SUPERIOR LOVE OF DEBATE IS HOW CIVILIZATION DOMINATES, SURVIVES. WHY PLUTOCRACY LOVES IDIOTS.
Abstract: Comparisons with Sparta, Athens, Rome, the European Middle Ages, and around Einstein's aura, show why the USA is at risk of staying civilizationally irrelevant.
EINSTEIN FOR U.S. EMPIRE!
Thomas Friedman (mostly quoting Isaacson): "...the only way to have creativity and imagination is to nurture free thought — rebellious free thought"... Einstein’s major theories — special relativity, general relativity and the quantum theory of light — “all three come from taking rebellious imaginative leaps that throw out old conventional wisdom... Einstein thought that THE FREEST SOCIETY WITH THE MOST REBELLIOUS THINKING WOULD BE THE MOST CREATIVE. If we are going to have any advantage over China, it is because we nurture REBELLIOUS IMAGINATIVE FREE THINKERS, rather than try to control expression. My gut tells me that’s right, but my mind tells me not to ignore something Bill Gates said in China the other day: that putting PCs, education and the Internet in the hands of more and more Chinese is making China not only a huge software market, 'but also a contributor to this market. Innovation here is really at a rapid pace.' Will China hit a ceiling on innovation because of its political authoritarianism? That’s what we need to watch for." (Friedman, "China Needs an Einstein. So Do We." NYT, April 27, 2007)
Friedman concludes: "A society that restricts imagination is unlikely to produce many Einsteins — no matter how many educated people it has. But a society that does not stimulate imagination when it comes to science and math won’t either — no matter how much freedom it has. So my sense, from reading Mr. Isaacson’s book, is that if Einstein were alive today, he would be telling both America and China that they have homework to do."
How intelligent does America want to be? With too many graduates from top US universities, language capability is restricted to the six tones they learned for the word "cool". An unwillingness to master common human language, the LOGOS, makes mastering the specialized language, mathematics, difficult. More gravely, it shows LITTLE INCLINATION TOWARDS THINKING in general, let alone imagination. THINKING IS MORE GENERAL THAN COMPUTING. PHILOSOPHY (key to correct "imagination") IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SCIENCE (a specialized "knowledge"). The USA has top mathematicians, and quite a few scientists, but is philosophically devolving. One proof: Iraq.
WHY FASCISM AND PLUTOCRACY LOVE IDIOTS:
What are US citizens free to do? Sieg "cool!", like deranged parrots all day long? HOW FREE ARE AMERICANS TO DECIDE WHAT THEY TRULY WANT? The Australian tycoon Murdoch boasted that he hypnotized the Anglo-Saxons into attacking Iraq. Who is free to mold American minds, besides Murdoch and his kind?
The Bush Justice department was free to pump itself up full of graduates from Regent University, a "fourth tier" (i.e., as low as it gets) law school. "Regent" used to be known as "CBU", the "Christian Broadcasting University", founded by the hyper rich Christian fanatical propagandist, Pat Robertson. The US Attorney General opined that it was good Regent did not leave God out of the picture. What happened to the separation of the State from religious fanatics?
The USA is full of God, the God of the Bible, who orders fathers to barbecue their children. That's what CRISTIANO-ISLAMISM is FUNDAMENTALLY about: driving the "faithful" to ecstasy CELEBRATING HOMICIDE (the cross!), symbolized by the psychopathy of reluctant child killer Abraham. Proof: The greatest celebrations of Islam, the Hajj and the Eid ul-Adha, are about Abraham, hence his homicidal FANATICISM ("Sorry, but God says I have to kill a child today...").
Millions of Americans really believe in that cross stuff, and vote for the sort of president willing to kill children in Iraq, obeying his "Higher Father".
Biblical fanaticism was imposed in America from the top, after WW2. Christianity had been imposed before, for similar reasons, by the emperor of the fascist Greco-Roman empire, to make it more fascist (313 CE). Homicidal religions (contemplate the psychopath Abraham again) suit homicidal, imperial regimes (inuring people to murder, dumbing them down). Christiano-islamism and Aztec superstitions are examples. After deploying hubristic imperial fascism even the Athenian democracy stumbled into bloody superstition during the Peloponnesian War (Socrates was accused of APOSTASY for believing that the moon was a rock, like his spiritual grandfather Anaxagoras).
The SS took oath to God: they fought well. In 1953 the CIA organized MUSLIM fanatics to KEEP IRANIAN OIL AMERICAN. In 1954, emboldened by that religious triumph, "In God We Trust" was imposed as the new US national motto. American children were made to stand up, hand on the heart, facing the flag, mouthing in unison that their nation was "under God". Well, soon the nation will be under water, thanks to US CO2 emissions, so may be a swimming stance would be more appropriate...
Several American Founding Fathers (Jefferson, Madison, Adams, etc...) were revolted by the "perversity" of Christianity, thus enchroaching theocracy is not All American. It's more Murderoch than anything else.
IMAGINATION IS MORE DEMENTED THAN KNOWLEDGE:
Friedman quotes Einstein: "imagination is more important than knowledge". Maybe so, but without knowledge, no imagination (and with perverted knowledge, perverse imagination). Einstein learned a lot of math and physics early in his teenage years, from some uncle he had. Without, he would have discovered nothing. Einstein had been exposed to research physics by the age of 16, and realized that the "Galilean" addition of velocities prevented light to catch up with, hence return, from a mirror, i.e., contradicted Maxwell equations (which had been experimentally built). Einstein was not a pure product of the Prussian school system, even before fleeing it for Italia and Suisse. The intellectual tradition of his family, and of German Jews, and the respect for intellectual aspiration which came with it, played a crucial role.
A family, and a society do not just teach facts and equations, they teach values and inclinations. What desires does the USA teach? That is what Friedman wants to ask. Does the USA teach loving sport figures above anything else? Does the US teach memorizing sport scores and making arcane team sport analogies for everything, and that is the highest value Americans are taught? Does the USA teach "compete" above anything else? Does the US teach hedge funds envy? Does it teach Gates and Buffet as temples of wisdom? Or teach fake serenity by uttering the word "cool" every five minutes?
The rest of the world wants to know, as it watches US nuclear carrier fleets cruising the planet, back and forth, looking for trouble. One thing not taught is geography: no, Iraq is not next door, presenting a clear and present danger. The US does not teach how to think in a superior way, and having a taste for it. As Murdoch's Bill O'Reilly, one of the rabid aggressors of Iraq, said to millions: "if you do not support the troops as they fight, you are a BAD American. You are free to think otherwise." Free thinking, American style: support the fight, or else...
Friedman says: "If Einstein were alive today and learned science the boring way it is taught in so many US schools, wouldn’t he have ended up at a Wall Street hedge fund rather than developing theories of relativity for a Nobel Prize?"
Newsweek recently opposed a famous author, pastor, and (huge) church leader Rick Warren, to a neurobiologist and atheist, Sam Harris. Pastor Warren boasted that he would "not waste a minute being good, if there was no God". Only God makes it so that "there is more to life than make money and die". This is exactly what characterizes a lot of the US VALUE SYSTEM IN A NUTSHELL: DEATH AND MONEY, UNDER GOD. From the (war) horse's mouth. As Christianity grew in Rome, intellectuals decried the rise of superstition it led to. You can pile up all the Einsteins in the world, on top of such good natured psychopathy, you will not reverse the defeat of the mind the USA has become.
What's missing in the 'American way of life'? The will to encourage brains as top value, trying honestly to use what one has got.
RISE OF EMPIRE, DEFEAT OF THE MIND:
Why increasing American mental retardation? It did not use to be. When the then, not Zen, idiotic Japanese Empire attacked globally, the USA was a republic of engineers, church and state separated (~1942). The recent devolution into American brainlessness made the rise of a perverted empire possible. No Einstein required to see that some in the USA lives better materially from the US empire than without, in some ways.
The USA received the world in inheritance thanks to the Nazis and the subsequent rushed "decolonization" (understand: de-Europeanization allowing global US plutocratization). Both Nazis and decolonization were carefully concocted, or helped along, by giant conspiracies of a few American plutocrats and their agents (e.g., the Dulles brothers). They installed a worldwide "Pax Americana", a web of markets and devices in their service. Example: paying overseas oil in US Dollars, and recycling said ("petro")dollars in the USA itself (the infernal recycling machine of Saudis and oiligarchs, now suffering from acute bin Ladenitis nervosa). China joined, making stuff, and in exchange recycling its dollars with US plutocrats.
Too much brains inside the USA would disrupt that delicate imperial machinery, which requires little introspection. Thriving in obscurity, the plutocracy needs less Einsteins, and more idiots. Early on the crucial (meta) idea, that only fools and bad Americans believe in conspiracies, is hammered into American minds. Good Americans trust in God instead. They don't want to know (say) that the Bush family's fortune is soaked in Auschwitz's blood (which it is!)
The US imperial system is -was- perfect, it should be left alone, unsaid, indescribable. INTELLIGENCE EVOLVED TO LEARN TO DO THINGS DIFFERENTLY. Too much thinking about why it is that the rich is rich is why plutocrats hate thinking. Athens, at her mental apogee, was not a state of great wealth inequality (contrary to most of the ancient world). Great wealth inequality happens in nations stupid enough to let a few have it all. But if wealth is expensive, thinking is even more so. With all her thinkers, Athens could not afford great wealth inequality.
The USA is more Sparta and Rome than Athens and France. Once again, it's all about the imperial enterprise, and the related addiction to force rather than understanding. This meta strategy has served English America well, when it was forcibly created, with the mission of obliterating the Indians. It was also useful during butcheries such as the Civil War, or WW2. It's hard to stop doing what worked well. The generalized American idiocy when launching the invasion of Iraq was a necessary ingredient to its launch. Without it, no launch. So, as far as the crafty American oiligarchs were concerned, American idiocy was a good thing in their service. The ignorant American populace listened gravely to incredible fables, believed them, and hop: shipped to Iraq, mission accomplished!
Let's not be inconsiderate though, and throw US plutocrats the stone, just because with Iraq they went one aggression too far. Many maneuvers similar to the Iraq war were successful before, in great part because the average American could fake lack of awareness about the evil nature of these immensely profitable operations. Thus self reinforcing, American ignorance confidently became ever more idiotic.
Those overseas conspiracies, exploitations and aggressions succeeded precisely because Americans did not know anything about them, and cared even less. A few examples. Precisely because Americans did not know anything about it, and cared even less, some American plutocrats were able to give huge quantities of Texas oil to Hitler for his first military operations in Europe (1936/37). Hitler was laughing about it for years. Of course, Americans did not know anything about Hitler, and could not care less. All what the State department knew was that the French republic was into vacations whereas Hitler meant business. Earlier, precisely because Americans did not know anything about it, and cared even less, American plutocrats smuggled the weapons which allowed the SS to kill more than 10,000 of their German opponents (1932). Precisely because Americans did not know anything about it, and cared even less, American plutocrats made fantastic business arming Hitler's Third Reich to the teeth. In 1939, the French and Poles may as well have been fighting the American army, so many Nazi war technologies having been transferred from the USA. Precisely because Americans did not know anything about it, and cared even less, IBM, Standard Oil, Getty, Bush (Prescott), and many others built great fortunes, in collaboration with their collaborator Hitler. A bit later, precisely because Americans did not know anything about it, and cared even less, Roosevelt made a devil pact with Saudi Arabia King Al Saud, and Americans still are surprised by 9/11. Precisely because Americans did not know anything about it, and cared even less, the CIA was able to overthrow Iranian democracy in 1953, and manipulated Nasser into aggressing Europe. And so on. Just like the Germans who loved Hitler because he had bought them (by pillaging minorities and then countries), US citizens love their mental unawareness, which has enriched them just so.
But there is something as too much of a good thing, as the Germans found out (1945). By 2003, US idiocy was so ubiquitous, nobody noticed Iraq was bin Laden's wet dream.
EINSTEIN AS THIRD TIER GENIUS:
Einstein got the Nobel Prize for grabbing Planck's idea of energy packets (1900) and applying it "heuristically" to Hertz's photoelectric effect, by asserting that light itself consisted of lumps (1905). This predicted the energy of electrons kicked out by a light source would linearly depend upon its frequency (checked by the American Millikan in 1915). The Hertz-Planck-Einstein's light quantum contradicted the Young-Poisson-Maxwell observation that light was made of waves. So is light a particle or a wave? Not solved yet.
Einstein was not an intellectual of the very highest caliber. He got lucky because several theories coalesced just when he came of age, and Planck helped. Most equations of relativity had already been published by others. Lorentz got the Nobel Prize for the relativistic space-time transformations. Poincare' discovered in a PHILOSOPHICAL JUMP his "Principle of Relativity" (1904). Einstein and friends studied his book. That the curvature of geodesics away from Buridan's straight lines (14C) appear as forces was due to Riemann (1860). It's the fundamental idea of "general relativity" (=slightly improved Newtonian gravity).
Einstein was very good at morphing things together, and getting inspiration from others, all the way to India (Bose). His greatest, deepest ideas were not truly his.
Einstein's exploitation, for deriving relativity, of a purely relational space-time was, and should still be controversial (idea from Leibnitz). Some sort of physical space is more probable as an ultimate theory than relational space (because the essence of experience is that reality primes gossip; physical space is what physicists look for to give a quantum aspect to space to unify particle and wave, and also gravity and Quantum Field Theory... but the (philosophical) idea of relational space (at the root of relativity) blocks this (and so does the intinsically local nature of QFT!) In the spirit of Newton, EXISTENCE REQUIRES PRESENCE (not just relation). Space would have to be a non local, dynamical, particle generated ether (see below).
PHILOSOPHY AS SCIENCE'S NECESSARY FOUNDATION:
And here lies the rub. The greatest breakthroughs in understanding are NOT caused by piling up the equations high, but by using the PHILOSOPHICAL METHOD (empirically boosted guesswork). Thinking about things in such a fundamental way that equations are made possible, relegates the later to important, but secondary technicalities. Equations are assemblies of a few symbols (that's why equations are useful), but in each of them entire worlds of assumptions are implicit. Drastic progress in physics comes only by changing those. Now that there are computers which can compute whatever (and automatized proof theory is progressing), mental breakthroughs will become increasingly conceptual.
Einstein's relativity work used coordinates on space-time bent by mass-energy distribution. The philosopher, economist, psychologist, physicist and mathematician Oresme invented, among many other things, the so called "Cartesian" coordinates (three centuries before Descartes). Oresme was one of these universal minds the European Middle Ages produced, as part of a tradition of maximal intellectual excellence for the sake of maximal intellectual excellence. What Friedman wants to ask: do China and the USA have this spirit of maximal intellectual excellence for its own sake? Truth and sensitivity for truth and sensitivity's sake? Do they try to cultivate them? Friedman's first impulse is to acquire an Einstein super weapon to "compete" better. That's a fundamental error. Those who honor the highest human spirit do not "compete". They meditate, no holds barred. That's how the European Middle Ages pulled ahead of all other civilizations. MENTAL CREATIVITY IS ITS OWN REWARD.
The tradition of REBELLIOUS IMAGINATIVE FREE THINKING comes from the Franks. They had served as Constantine's strike force, so Catholicism may have been viewed as their creature, but they did not convert for another two centuries. When they did, they rebalanced civilization by INSTALLING SECULARISM AS THE RELIGION TOLERATING CHRISTIANITY, while wiping out 15 centuries of Greco-Roman barbarity (slavery, etc...). Since they were stronger than the fanatics, and the Greco-Romans, the Franks made the Church into whatever they found secularly useful. The Church was made into a strategic reserve, a (secular) educational system, a (political and social) consecration, a library system, a reserve of values, a sense of transcendentalism.
The tremendous fight of the great philosopher Abelard (12C) against rabid fundamentalism in the Catholic Church reinforced the tradition of maximal intellectual excellence for the sake of maximal intellectual excellence. Erigenus, Abelard, Buridan, Oresme, all top philosophers, played maximal roles as engaged intellectuals, teachers and counselors to emperors (Erigenus), saints, countless cardinals and bishops (Abelard), and king (Oresme). The European Middle Ages took mental activity on the hardest subjects more seriously than anything else, calling it the study of God, founding most fields of inquiry, well beyond what Greco-Roman antiquity had done (except for mechanical computers, an invention lost to Christian terror).
LOCALITY, GLOBALITY, REALITY, SENILITY:
We do not know what is going on when light, or matter, propagates. Einstein's version of space-time is a somewhat melted version of Oresme's space. Not much shattering progress there.
Quanta end up according to a computation using all space instantaneously. No time. This contradicts the field spirit of Einstein's relativity. Alain Aspect (institut optique, France) entitled an article in Nature (19 April 2007):" To be or not to be local." As Einstein and others deplored, there is a contradiction between traditionally described reality and locality ("EPR",1935). Aspect points out that we do not know which of the two is the problem. At the most basic level of understanding it is not surprising that reality and locality would turn into derived notions. A non commutative geometry, modifying the concept of "betweenness", seems necessary. To elucidate this, more advanced philosophy (with attached math), will have to roll.
The quantum confrontation between locality and reality has already shown this: ULTIMATE LOCALITY DOES NOT EXIST: IT TURNS GLOBAL. (Math: locality has no ultrafilter). Quantum mechanics say that LOCAL IS NOT LOCAL. Einstein found that "unacceptable". Well, too bad he could not understand the greatest physical discovery of the last two millennia. We tried to understand the infinitely small well before Lucretius wrote his famous poem. Now that we have found the door to the solution, most physicists do not get it, since Quantum Field Theory (=high energy physics) accentuates locality (because the more energy, the smaller the waves).
Einstein was no Buridan. Buridan found out that Aristotle was completely wrong about the basic law of dynamics (Anglo-Saxons know that law as the "first law of Newton", because Newton used it 350 years later). Thus armed, Buridan established that it looked as if the earth turned around the sun. Although holly scripture said the opposite. Yes, that was two centuries before Copernic. American children do not come across French intellectuals much in their schooling, but on TV they can observe and learn that the French are a bunch of idiotic skunks. That's drilled into American skulls in kindergartens by "Pepe Le Pew", an obnoxious skunk with a parody of a despicable French accent: hey, it's important Americans learn to stay away from too much thinking, French style. Better to stick with God and prayer.
The sort of imperialo-plutocratic civilization the USA has, does not lead to the deepest forms of knowledge, but it leads to its own topmost values, plutocracy and servility thereof.
NEUROLOGY IS CIVILIZATION DEPENDENT:
Becoming feral is not just a question of equations. Feral children, not having mastered human language in time, are incapable to learn it later. Same for walking on two legs. Hitler boasted that Germany's children were his. Feral in other words. Who is rising America's children? The plutocracy? Murdoch's "Myspace"? His space?
Rome never produced ONE first tier intellectual. It could not have been an accident, it was a system: Rome lasted more than a millennium, had maybe a quarter of the world population, and the most educated. Rome invaded countries, competed, traded, and made the richest men in the world: Gates after Gates, after Gates. Gates to Hades, it turned out. Rome, for the same imperial reasons exposed above about the USA, was fundamentally ANTI intellectual. Rome produced a few writers and poets, and plenty of fantastic engineers. But, even at the apogee of the Greco-Roman empire (2C), when intellectuals were immensely respected and rewarded (with today's equivalent of billions of Euros), the intellectuals of note came from the Greek part. Greece was into big thinking (but also expert at trade), Rome was into big military, big money and big parroting. It's revealing that several supreme Roman intellectuals (Cicero, Caesar, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius) were actually top bellicose politicians. All the mental giants of the Greco-Roman empire, dozens of them, of all sorts: poets, historians, mathematicians, physicists, biologists, doctors, nearly all philosophers imaginable, even feminists, came from the GREEK part. Rome was all about cool parrots parroting.
That spectacular contrast between brains came from different genealogies of morals in Rome and Greece (Sparta excepted). Roman peasants and aristocrats believed in fascism and plutocracy, all too early, and all too much. Soon Rome went in a perpetual loop invading Iraq over and over again. It all ended into deified fascism. It's actually bewildering to see the USA repeat the same pattern in an even more stupid way. The USA has got to be the new Rome. But this time, it faces an Athenian empire, calm and strong (Europe), and the US is just, after all, a big European colony (whereas Rome, never a Greek colony, was subjugated to Etruria, and became strong when the later got destroyed by Celts and Greeks).
The TIGHT ASSOCIATION BETWEEN NEUROLOGY AND CIVILIZATION can be exhibited, even more spectacularly, in the contrast between ATHENS and SPARTA. The two Greek States were close by (200kms), and roughly equivalent in expanse and wealth. But they may as well have been an ocean apart. They had completely different civilizations. Sparta was a fascist, racist dictatorship which nevertheless clung ferociously to a few Greek ideas like a rat to a raft in the middle of the ocean. It was never submitted, and had the less sexist State in antiquity.
Sparta made the best soldiers in the world. Sparta had no luxury, just war training and war making. Sparta pervaded by the martial culture, made zero intellectual. Absolute, total zero. Meanwhile Athens, as if in a galaxy far away, was busy inventing civilization. Athens was far from militarily inept; she crushed the Persians at Marathon, and Salamis (both times without the Spartans), and Platea (with 45,000 Spartans and other Greeks). Half a century later, Athens, after a thirty year war, was defeated by Sparta (using Persian money, and a huge coalition).
Sparta invented two words, and the second one was: laconic. From the name of its region: Sparta was no debating culture. This is the crux of the matter. The low quality of the debate in the USA before going to invade Iraq was striking; lies everywhere, idiocy all over, significant debate nowhere.
In that sense, China and the USA are significantly alike: they are not debating cultures. Such neurologies go hand in hand with militarization.
Einstein fled Germany during high school precisely because of its increasing militarization. By the numbers, Germany had the most literate population in the world. But all which was taught were technical tricks and equations, not maximal common sense, nor maximal common heart. It was all about the bad German versus good German distinction dear to Murdoch's O'Reilly. Those "good Germans", Nietzsche viewed as trash. In the end, as Nietzsche feared, the good Germans of the fascist German empire, having got their orders, pursued total war with the life loving, democratic republic next door, France. But, France being France, the showdown lasted 75 years including more than 12 years of outright total combat. It was a repeat of the Sparta-Athens confrontation, with the difference that this time the fascists did not come out on top. The democracy (France) had all the allies in the world (in due course...) and thus won. Enough French intellectuals and politicians knew what happened with Athens, and why. Athens, blinded by her own strength, lapsed into psychopathic hubris, and consequential fascist behavior, inciting Sparta to lead a coalition of democratic Greek States angry against her. France did not go down that path. Bush did.
Nowadays, the USA and China are the two most militarized countries on earth. Neither is fascinated by debating ideas first.
DEBATING IS THE DOMINEERING CHARACTERISTIC OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN:
A man taught by wolves does not talk, and actually cannot walk like a man, nor, a fortiori, debate like a man. That is the problem. APES DO NOT DEBATE. APES DO NOT WANT TO DEBATE, AND, ANYWAY, THEY CANNOT DEBATE. The USA and China can pile up the universities, as did imperial Germany. That may bring better weapons, but that's not enough. As Rabelais put it: "Science without conscience is only ruin of the soul" (16C).
It's a chicken and egg problem: both China and the USA push mercantilism (not to say plutocratism) and nationalism, and obsession with being on the top of the crabs' basket, so as to step on the other crabs, as the top values (see pastor Warren). With basic values like that, it's hard to have the greatest intellectual obsessions dominating. In many European countries, the most respected people are intellectuals, but in the USA the notion of intellectual would be viewed as outright French, were it to exist. Thank God, it does not exist. When they are small, young Americans are told to admire sport figures, and people making zillions of dollars. In a country such as France great intellectuals, philosophers and mathematicians are viewed as the apex of the admiration pyramid. Islamic countries never got to think because, each time an intellectual could be admired, he was lapidated (e.g., Ibn Rush), or scared into submission (=Islam). Abelard was excommunicated twice, but that only made him more virulent than ever.
So here we are. Where are the American intellectuals? Why should there be American intellectuals? How come there are no American intellectuals yet? Remember: in God, the USA trust. Better: WITH GOD WE THRUST. That's the deepest truth, and it says it all.
Just like Sparta, Rome, or the anti Semitic nationalistic militaristic fascist German empire pre WW1, the USA, definitively, and China, potentially, seem dangerous to civilization. There is no democracy when everybody thinks the same, or, a fortiori, has lost an inclination to thinking afresh. The strength of democracy comes precisely from encouraging all thoughts to be considered, and then debated: see Athens. For all that to happen, one has to have CULTIVATED A TASTE FOR IT.
That is what the USA does not have. To install that taste, one has to install what Pope Gregory the Great hated, what was then called "grammar", namely the acerbic critique of texts. The Franks mocked Gregory, leaving him to sit with the savage Lombards ("Long Beards"), to stew in the errors of his ways (~600 CE). The US school system does not teach the art and pleasure of criticism. Instead it teaches conformism, the seduction of peers as source of value, the competition with peers, thinking as something uncomfortable only idiots do.
If debating ideas does not activate the dopamine in a brain, that brain will never discover anything. It's troubling when a collectivity of automatized brains puts the planet at risk, as the USA has been doing, and suddenly goes crazy because "their" plutocrats (Murdoch) told them to. This infantile reaction is directly traceable to the lack of American intellectuals, and to the God of money and publishability which reign over American universities, INSTEAD OF THE HONOR AND HONESTY OF DEEP THOUGHT. Once again, as we hinted before, it's no accident; the plutocracy tweaked the US educational system so that it could control the USA, which is easier done with people who are not too bright.
One thousand Einsteins could not help. Einstein did not think much of the criminally insane Prussian attack of August 1914 (which led to Auschwitz). But a careful reading of Nietzsche and Marx warnings by German intellectuals supported by an understanding population could have short circuited it. There was not enough of either. In 1933, Einstein finally understood enough to flee from Berlin to Princeton.
In secularist France, top intellectuals have displaced the Gods, and point people in the right direction (France attacked Hitler in 1939, remember). MENTAL SUPREMACY AS THE TOPMOST VALUE IS THE TRADITION WHICH MADE EUROPE WHAT IT BECAME (initially mostly from Celto-Brits, Jews and Franks). Between secularism and its intellectuals (the Euro way) or empire and its Fascist-in-Heavens ("God"), US plutocrats, unsurprisingly, chose the later. When Rome made the same choice, it took five centuries to collapse (the Greek part survived). But Rome had no competition, whereas the US has plenty.
Especially when measured in megatonnage of superintellectuals. Most of them are long dead but still studied. Ideas have long shelf value. Imagination reigns because LONG DEAD INTELLECTUALS INSTALLED THE HONOR OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT AS THE FLOWER ON TOP OF EUROPE. That flower is what the US plutocracy does not want, and what the world needs.