Thursday 30 January 2014

Laodamia deflowering death and the Ulysses' big word

Laodamia deflowered Death, could Catullus die
Or gain Galatea breath from Pygmalion's sigh
The Eye in the Pyramid of Geist's hysteresis
Were Sauron to the Heart's synteresis.

A friend, who does not wish his comment on the above to appear here, has taken me to task for using an obscure word simply so as to pull off a facile 'June/ Moon' type rhyme.

In my defense, I went to a Catholic School, in Delhi, but didn't attend Catechism classes because I'm Hindu. I honestly didn't know that synteresis is not a commonly used word, at least, amongst Catholics.
I'd previously used it when translating the Sufi concept of 'guarding of the heart' which, I concluded, involved a Herostratic response to Hegel's pyramidal Synthesis.
When I was young, I read a bit of Joyce scholarship- without, of course, understanding a word- which is why it is interesting that my Google search for 'synteresis' yielded this- to wit, Richard Ellman saying-
'..the question that Stephen puts to his mother at the climax of the “Circe” episode, itself the climax of the novel. Stephen is appalled by his mother’s ghost, but like Ulysses he seeks information from her. His mother says, “You sang that song to me. Love’s bitter mystery.” Stephen responds eagerly, “Tell me the word, mother, if you know now. The word known to all men.” She fails to provide it. This passage has been much interpreted. I suggested a dozen years ago that the word known to all men must be love.1 Hugh Kenner has suggested that it is “perhaps” death—a revelation that would hardly require a mother’s ghost to divulge.2Another writer, Thomas Sawyer, in the James Joyce Quarterly, proposes that the word known to all men is “synteresis,” which would seem rather to be the one word unknown to all men.3 Anyway, synteresis, meaning conscience as a guide for conduct, is too cold and moralistic a concept for the excited Stephen to claim such prominence for it.
Gabler has happily recovered a passage that was, it seems, inadvertently left out of the “Scylla and Charybdis” episode. When Stephen is talking about Shakespeare’s affection for his granddaughter, he suddenly bethinks himself, in a passage that the typist probably skipped because two closely succeeding paragraphs ended in ellipsis. He says, “Do you know what you are talking about? Love, yes. Word known to all men. Amor vero aliquid alicui bonum vult unde et ea quae concupiscimus….” The rather tortured Latin, which uses the vocabulary of Thomas Aquinas though I have not found in his works the exact passage, means, “Love truly wishes some good to another and therefore we all desire it.” (In Exiles Richard explains love to the skeptical Robert as meaning “to wish someone well,” as in the Italian, “Ti voglio bene.”) In this view Stephen is following his master Dante, who has Virgil say, in Canto XVII of the Purgatorio—that canto in which the meaning of purgatory is set forth—“Neither Creator nor creature, my son, was ever without love…and this you know” (Singleton translation).
Now that we can be certain that the word known to all men is love, we can verify the implications of Stephen’s question. He is asking his mother to confirm, from the vantage point of the dead—for he thinks she may know now—what from the vantage point of the living he has already surmised. Presumably the dead can fathom the “bitter mystery.” (It will be remembered that at the end of A Portrait his mother hopes that he will learn elsewhere what the heart is and what it feels, and Stephen says “Amen” to that.) Stephen is of one mind with Leopold Bloom, who at an equally tense moment in the “Cyclops” episode declares, “But it’s no use…. Force, hatred, history, all that. That’s not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it’s the very opposite of that that is really life.” “What?” says Alf. “Love,” says Bloom. “I mean the opposite of hatred.”
I'm fucking shite, I am. The question I'd ask my Mum is- 'you guarded your heart and gave it only to Daddy even when so supremely giving it to your children and your widowed Mum and brothers and countless others- more and more of them, precisely coz your heart was guarded so strongly for Dad and only Dad. So tell me- what was his password? Did he call you 'Honeybunny' or 'Cuddlebunny'? I NEED TO KNOW that word all other men know- coz they got wives who are Moms to kids who really fuckin' love their parents, even those who, like me, are totally shit.'
What is that word all men know?
I think it's 'Cuddlehoneybunny'. Gonna try it tonight coz I'm going on a date. Nine months from now- who knows?- I might finally put a bullet in the brain of this abortion of a blog.

The God of Dioscorides

Man is a maze of bitter waters, yet abides
A knot tied in contending tides
Briefer than a bubble
Did Eros not trouble.

Sunday 26 January 2014

Qais, Christ

Qais, Christ of the tribe who worship the Sun
Is an infidel, sure, tho' our God be One
Whose Madness might Heaven Delight
Loves Lailah not but Eternal Night.

Tuesday 21 January 2014


Ere fond yearning yields, drear Learning leads 
Nous to but Anamnesis
Tho' Jesus bleeds, Saqi, our Sangreal needs
Love's negative rhesus.

Monday 20 January 2014

Alfred Marshall & Octavia Hill

Alfred Marshall said- Women can't be Economists- they have nothing useful to say.
Yet, his wife- his own ex-student- was an Economist. She and he wrote books together.

The young Marshall learnt much from Marx, more from Lasalle, but was entirely enraptured by the all gainful kalokogathia of Spirit, if not the catastrophically ungainly form, of the young Octavia Hill who, with money from Ruskin, turned into a Landlord to the Fex Urbis scum of the city- i.e. those on low & intermittent incomes. She remitted a healthy 5 per cent return on Capital (Consols yielded less than half that) and used the surplus to expand her operations.
What was her secret? She used women as rent-collectors- not bully boys, no, but those whose life was but being bullied, those truly wretched of the Victorian earth, Jane Austen's spinsters who had been too bluntly told they were de trop.

Compared to Octavia Hill, young Marshall's experiments in practical Economics were a lamentable failure. He tramped the countryside evangelizing for rural Trade Unions- a cause doomed by Free Trade- and even, irony of ironies, unctuously lectured women.
 Like Hill- who  eventually came to reject Female Suffrage, National Insurance, Council Housing and so on- Marshall lived on to be a reactionary, but, unlike Hill, did so as a reverse martyr, passing into History as but the meretricious, marginalizing, Vampire of his own Passion & Truth.

Friday 17 January 2014

Time's ink, Clepsydra erased

What Prometheus stole, where Satan fell
Let Savants argue about in Hell
Time's ink Clepsydra erased,
Fire think a pattern traced

Tuesday 14 January 2014

The paradox of parrhesia

A Greek word taken up by the Quakers to mean 'Speak Truth to Power.'
Following Foucault, its modish meaning is- how like Power speaks to void all that is True and Good and Just so just give me tenure already.

Still, the question remains, how can we have a Just Society if ordinary people can't speak freely and openly to the High and Mighty and that too with no more substantive defense against retribution than the conscious knowledge of having spoken the truth?
The answer, obviously, is there is no Justice if shitheads can bite your ear off. 
Still, is it not mischievous nonsense to suggest that Parrhesia, the plainest type of speech, could not just harbor but be founded upon paradox?
Indeed, what is with this modern obsession with aporias and paradoxes and logical fallacies and other such clever-too-clever word games?
Isn't it a fact that where Paradoxes most lushly flourish- as in the prose of Oscar Wilde, G.B.Shaw, G.K Chesterton- something has gone wrong with Society? It has become decadent. Wilde's mother, like Chesterton's mother, was a 'Radical'. Both women were against the injustices perpetrated by the Ruling Class. They demanded things like Freedom for Ireland, Equal rights for Women and the Working Class and an end to the Aristocracy of Vested Interest's perpetual program of wasteful Wars abroad and repressive Retrenchment at home.
Wilde may have caught the contagion of lapidary antinomy from his tutor at Trinity College, Dublin, J.P Mahaffy - arch-apologist for the Primrose League, but under the influence of his Mother, the redoubtable Irish Nationalist, 'Speranza', Oscar smote his old mentor hip and thigh- but then lost himself and was lost to his mother's cause, walking the Primrose path of paradox.
Chesterton's case was worse. He could have been a Christian. He should have been a Christian. Indeed, in all probability, he would have been a Christian if his immodest method of converting to Christianity hadn't turned him into a raging Anti Semite.
Dr. Bill Oddie disagrees. He thinks  Chesterton, now a nominee for Sainthood, was pro Jewish and cites the following passage, which Chesterton wrote after his return from a visit to Palestine in 1919- 'if the Jew cannot be at ease in Zion [a reference to Amos 6:1: "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion”] we can never again persuade ourselves that he is at ease out of Zion. We can only salute as it passes that restless and mysterious figure, knowing at last that there must be in him something mystical as well as mysterious; that whether in the sense of the sorrows of Christ or of the sorrows of Cain, he must pass by, for he belongs to God.'- i.e. the Jew is a homo sacer, too lowly even to be killed, whose primal sin relates to having once enjoyed wealth in Zion.
Incidentally, back in 1919, the Establishment view was that the Arabs would slaughter the Jews but not before having some fun with them first.

I live about halfway between the house where Chesterton was born and that in which Oscar Wilde welcomed his sons into the world. In between, where once were slums, all is salubrious because Socialism, it seems, so long as it is content to not, too stridently, call itself so, Socialism works. One way it works is by providing work for even worthless scum like me.
Is that the paradox of Parrhesia I wanted to talk about in this blogpost?
I'd have to reason it out...
Just tried.
Fuck it.
Could we get back to something I genuinely excel at- like Anti-Semitism?

The Jews said to Christ, 'speak plainly- speak with parrhesia-  are you the Messiah?'
The problem here is that the word Messiah means different things to different people. Indeed, Zephanaiah 3.8 and 3.9 indicate that it is only after the dies irae, the day of wrath, when God chastens all the nations with His jealous fire, only then will God purify human speech such that all may call upon the name of the Lord and serve Him with one accord.
But that dies irae has not come to pass.
So, what is happening here?
Are the Jews, though appearing to speak with parrhesia, actually laying a parrhesiac trap for our Lord?
Is this the Gospel's parallel to the Quranic episode where the Jews say 'Ra'ina'?

To say yes, we must believe that the Jews were acting in bad faith.
They didn't believe Christ could be the Messiah.
But where is the proof of this?
Had Christ said, 'Yes. I'm the Messiah. I command you to rise up against the Romans.' might not those  same Pharisees have followed Christ though it cost them their lives? The fact is, the Pharisees- like Josephus- did rise up and were all but annihilated.

From the philosophical point of view, the Jews are demanding  from Christ a univocal answer to an equivocal question. This would be illicit, it would be bad faith, if Christ were not a Rabbi. But Christ was a Rabbi. He knew every word of the Bible- all of which possess literal truth with regard to the Unseen. Indeed, how could any text have a metaphorical meaning with respect to that which is beyond our ken? A beautiful orchard garden- pardes- can be a metaphor for Paradise because we have all seen a garden. Paradise, we have not seen. It can't be a metaphor for anything. God is not a person like any person we know. His commandments can't be metaphors for the commandments of some human person. 

Christ, answering the Jews, can only do so with parrhesia if he uses the language of the Bible, because he has knowledge regarding the unseen which ordinary mortals lack. This seems paradoxical. Surely to speak with parrhesia can't mean speaking of that which we can not, as mortals, know? 
However, perhaps, Christ resolves this paradox by speaking of something which, as an 'emergent' on mortal discourse, could exceed, without breaking, the mortal net of words.

Notice the phrase he uses, in answering the Jews, comes from Psalm 82.6

Psalm 82

A psalm of Asaph.

God presides in the great assembly;
    he renders judgment among the “gods”:
“How long will you[a] defend the unjust
    and show partiality to the wicked?[b]
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
“The ‘gods’ know nothing, they understand nothing.
    They walk about in darkness;
    all the foundations of the earth are shaken.
“I said, ‘You are “gods”;
    you are all sons of the Most High.’
But you will die like mere mortals;
    you will fall like every other ruler.”
Rise up, O God, judge the earth,
    for all the Nations are your inheritance.

Sunday 12 January 2014

Ayn Rand in India- a novel of Romance, Passion and True Objectivism.

Murali caught only a glimpse of Penny as he piloted his private jet towards Hyderabad airport. Though he was a high powered Micro-finance Maven and she was just a poor girl from a backward caste toiling in the fields of Evil Landlord Johnny Reddy; just the sight of her, back bent, plucking cotton in the Vidarbha wasteland was enough to convince Murali that she read Ayn Rand and coitus would occur, perhaps even including anal, in a most satisfactory but also socially meaningful way, such that both their lives would be completely transformed.

Meanwhile, back at the Palace of Evil Landlord Johnny Reddy, a dastardly plan was being hatched to violate the honor of Penny. Penny did not know this but- as she looked up at the sky from which not one drop of rain had fallen due to one hundred years of solitude- she remembered the words of Ayn Rand- 'true Objectivism rejects Compassion because only the Individual can be Truly Objectivist and therefore worthy of being called a votary of True Objectivism.'

Because of the Indian Government's lack of True Objectivism- not that the U.S.A is any better as Murali well knew because he had a PhD from the University of Arizona- hundreds of billions of women like Penny were being cruelly exploited thus presenting a great opportunity for building a Globalized Private Equity Brand through grass-roots For Profit Micro-finance.

Evil landlord Johnny Reddy, who was a Socialist Member of Parliament, laid hands upon Penny in a brazen attempt to force her to give up the pearl of her virginity to him. He was rather hairy. Penny protested as follows- 'Due to True Objectivism requires the rejection of the False God of Socialized Medicine- including rape- I will not at all surrender the pearl of my virginity to you- unhand me hairy fellow!'

Just then Murali's parachute descended into that cotton field in Vidarbha where, the cunning Landlord, Johnny Reddy, was seeking to deflower Penny by putting his penis into her vag.

'How now!' said Penny, addressing Murali as he wafted into view, 'What strange manner of wooing is this? Do you think to win my maiden heart by such providential parachuting? Fie upon thee! I am a True Obectivist and can not be swayed by such theatrics and fandango!"

"Madam! You mistake me!" Murali replied, "I am a Micro-finance Maven. Just, I jumped out of my plane because, due to Red Tape and Bureaucratic Delay, I didn't want to waste time at Hyderabad Airport.  Furthermore, for your kind information, let me tell you I have parachuted here not at all on your account but on my own behalf. I mean to start a grass roots Micro-finance initiative focused on poor women. That my arrival has providentially rescued you from rape at the hands of Evil Landlord Johnny Reddy, whom I knocked unconscious whilst landing, is not due to Compassion or Chivalry or Etiquette or any other such Sentimental- but at heart Socialistic- Nonsense which True Objectivism abhors.'

"I see." said Penny, her heart beating fiercely as she looked into the eyes of Murali- he had two of them and was using both to look Penny in the eye, though she too had two eyes- 'Your explanation is satisfactory. You may proceed with your Micro-finance initiative in a timely fashion. But, stay! My mind misgives me. Might not your Micro-finance initiative itself be a sort of altruism rather than a pure For Profit Globalised Private Equity Brand building exercise?'

"Impossible!' said Murali raising his eyes haughtily.'I have PhDs from not just  Georgetown and Jones Town but numerous others from the University of Arizona- which gives them away with every Happy Meal."

"Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much!" replied Penny her eyes flashing though in truth she was very anxious to surrender her virginity to him- perhaps including anal- because she sensed in him a masterly spirit that was indomitable and Truly Objectivist.

Meanwhile, Johhny Reddy had recovered consciousness and, with the help of his evil henchmen, had founded a rival Micro-finance initiative based on giving Government handouts to very poor women and not asking for that money back..

Pointing this out to Penny, Murali pleaded time constraints and suggested postponement of their wooing and eventual coition- definitely including anal- to a more propitious time.

"Methinks the gentleman protests too much!" Penny replied haughtily- for Hell hath no Fury like a woman scorned.
'You said that already.'' Murali pointed out.
'Methinks the gentleman protests too much,' Penny's heart was breaking but she consoled herself that at least she was getting the last word.
'Nay, for sooth!" it was the Evil Landlord Johhny Reddy at the head of millions of poor women, 'it is not the gentleman who protests too much but these millions of protesting poor women you see behind me. They are protesting against the high interest rates charged by For Profit Microfinance. They have all taken a vow never to repay loans from Micro-finance initiatives."

"By Jove, this is a blow!" Murali replied despondently, 'Ye Heavens I cry fie upon thee! You think it sport to hurl me from the airy zephyr where my plane I piloted sans care, down to the black earth of benighted Vidarbha- whose harvest is bountiful in but the smoking pyres of farmer-suicides- only to have the last laugh upon me by denying me even the opportunity to build a Globalized Private Equity Brand through For Profit Micro Finance! I am crushed! I despair! I swoon! I faint! Nay, more- let me declare without meiosis- I die!"

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" said Johhny Reddy laughing evilly, "Thus have I vanquished he who thought to come between me and my prize- where stands the fair Penny that I may without delay ravish her by putting my penis in her vag? What? She has disappeared! That too bearing away the lifeless body of my foe? Can such things be? Argal, if be they must then I must let be! Yet 'ware Penny! for this I swear which I hold most true. Neither sky-bolt nor earthquake shall halt my mounting you!'

Meanwhile, Penny had joined Sanjeev Sabhlok in condemning Arvind Kejriwal as a Satanic Socialist and, taking her message to the Masses, was leaping from teerth to teerth all over India's sacred geography, still clutching the decomposing corpse of her beloved Murali with which she was enjoying coition, albeit entirely of anal variety, by regularly sodomizing him with her rolled up copy of 'The Fountainhead'. So vigorous was this bookish buggery that pieces of Murali's body began to fall on different parts of India, thus creating the sacred Lingas of a Truly Indian True Objectivism whose aim is to ensure that everybody gets a PhD from the University of Arizona- if not a Happy Meal.

Parrhesia's drunken helot

Edit- I am adding notes to this because of a comment.

Stage, Parrhesia's drunken helot, upon Heaven a heist
Fex Urbis, Lex Orbis, by the blood of Christ!
Piss on their Symposia should Paideia sing
The Sufi Saqi is not Plato's King

1) Parrhesia is to speak openly, to say everything without troubling too much about being polite or polishing one's rhetoric. Plato's last book, 'the Laws', features an Athenian stranger- who might even be Socrates resurrected- who is invited to speak 'with parrheisa' by his interlocutors both of whom claim a special relationship of friendship with Athens.
The Spartan is a 'proxenos' of Athens- i.e. his family had provided lodgings for Athenian plenipotentiaries and had acted as a sort of Honorary Consul for it. The Cretan was descended from a Priest and Oracle who had prophesied favorably concerning Athens' fate in the Persian wars. Thus both were entitled to plain speaking from the Athenian, since their affections were already engaged on his side.
The Athenian makes a somewhat strange argument- viz. that drinking may be a good thing even though all evidence is to the contrary. Indeed, the Spartans would deliberately get a helot (i.e. a member of the slave caste) drunk so as to exhibit him to their young adolescents as a dire warning against the evils of intemperance. The Athenian, however. argues that provided the Symposium (drinking session) is ruled by a judicious 'King'- who determines how much water to mix in the wine and who acts as Master of Ceremonies- then, Smyposia become an extension, or indeed a consummation, of 'paideia' (Education)- in particular, training in Music fructifies into a schooling in Philosophy such that human beings become fitted to themselves dialectically arrive at Laws which are a mimesis of those by which Heaven is ruled.

Bearing this in mind, the phrase 'Parrhesia's drunken helot' means that type of 'saying everything' (Foucault would call it 'speaking Truth to Power) which a member of the oppressed or otherwise despised caste, might be guilty of and which those with Power might, not just tolerate, but actively elicit, so as to serve the instrumental purpose of providing an awful example and warning to their own young people of what happens to members of the despised caste, condignly deprived of paideia, by reason of congenital defect, who nevertheless gain access to, or are forced to partake of,  the peculiar elixir of the Symposium which, like the Soma of the Arya, is the Sun and Moon in the mouths of the Entitled, but which immediately becomes Rahu & Ketu- the decapitated demons of the Solar and Lunar eclipse- upon the tongues of those heavily burdened, whose Lebenswelt, it is the Enlightened Economics of the Elite, to render consubstantial with Hell.

2) Heist- Wikipedia says 'heist is a robbery from an institution such as a bank or a museum, or any robbery in which there is a large haul of loot.'
The first line asks the 'drunken helot' who is in the grip of Parrhesia to stage a heist upon Heaven. Prometheus, it is said, stole fire from Heaven. It was a calculated move. Prometheus means 'fore-thought'. But how can the drunken helot have 'fore-thought'? Surely, he is impulsive- Epimethean- he has what Hoppe calls 'low time preference'- he does not think, he does not plan, he accepts Pandora as a gift from the Gods.

But, Pandora's great gift was doubt- Pyrrhonism- including a cussed skepticism regarding the 'beautiful and good'  'Paideia' of the elite.

When a poet uses a word as the end rhyme of his opening line, then we naturally expect to see other words with the same rhyme later on. In this case, we may expect to see 'Geist'- Spirit- which has a special meaning in the Hegel's dialectical system. Essentially, what we have here is the notion that at any given moment in Time, only some people- those with an Entitlement to the correct Hegelian Paideia, by reason of belonging to, or possessing an unreasoning proclivity for, some privileged topos and ethne- can participate in the Universal Geist which is a sort of asymptotic limit of what can be rightly thought and felt at that moment in Absolute Time.

3) Fex Urbis Lex Orbis- 
Wikipedia says Fex urbis lex orbis is a Latin saying, meaning "Dregs [classical Latin faex] of the city, law of the world", that is, the lowest class of citizens determines how the world works.
First written by St. Jerome,[citation needed] the phrase is often erroneously attributed to Victor Hugo, who quotes it ironically at the beginning of Volume V of Les Misérables while advising one to be careful in labeling social groups:[1]
the beggars were the making of Holland; the populace saved Rome more than once; and the rabble followed Jesus Christ.
There is no thinker who has not at times contemplated the magnificences of the lower classes.
It was of this rabble that St. Jerome was thinking, no doubt, and of all these poor people and of all these vagabonds and of all these miserable people whence sprang the apostles and the martyrs, when he uttered this mysterious saying: "Fex urbis, lex orbis," — the dregs of the city, the law of the earth.
4) Blood of Christ. 
Wine is turned into the blood of Christ during the Christian ceremony of  Mass. Similarly, the communion wafer (a type of unleavened bread) is turned into his flesh by the miracle of Transubstantiation. Both are consumed by the devout. This ceremony binds the Christians together and fosters fellow feeling and the desire to work together for the uplift of all.
The early Christians had to hide in the catacombs but were hunted down and flung to the lions. Yet this 'rabble' prevailed over the might of Cesar. 
I may mention, Christ was asked by the Jews to speak with 'parrhesia' and reveal if he was the Messiah. Had Christ not spoken openly (the same point could be made of the Sufi, Mansur al Hallaj) he would have been safe and honored.
One could say that the Blood of Christ, which buys redemption, was only caused to flow by the parrhesia of this 'son of a carpenter'.

5) Symposium- originally this meant a convivial drinking party rather than an academic seminar. Plato's 'Symposium' was read by the Ikhwan e Safa- i.e. the intellectuals of the Abbasid dynasty who were also patronized by the Barmicides family.
 In connection with Aristophanes' fable of the sexes, a hadith of the Prophet was mentioned and this became one of the foundations of the Sufi doctrine re. Ri'jat & Tanasukh- i.e. something similar to metempsychosis.
The Sufi Symposium, unlike Plato's, did not feature wine or a 'King' who regulated it's distribution. It did not become an extension or consummation of worldly 'Paideia'. On the contrary, it included the dervish- the poor man, the beggar, the crazy fellow- and it was presided over by the Saqi (Wine pourer) of the Unseen. The Sufi khanqah is the opposite of the Credentialist Academy. Sufi wisdom is apophatic not sophistical.

Saturday 11 January 2014

Can there be Mimetic Superfairness?

A distribution is fair if everyone prefers his own outcome to that of anyone else. There is no 'envy' in the sense that every agent feels every other is worse off (according to his own system of preferences).
Thus, if I just sold you Manhattan for some glass beads, I don't envy you at all because Manhattan is full of ghosts while glass beads sure are shiny and you're a real sucker to have made the trade. However, as time goes by, and you just keep giving me more glass beads to prove the trade we made was Super-Fair, though I still keep taking your glass beads- coz damn them beads be shiny!- I still can't help feeling more and more envious and more and more of a shmuck and more and more hard done by, even if I believe them Manhattan ghosts gonna git you eventually.

To get round the problem of substantive interpersonal comparisons of Utility- which otherwise made it impossible to speak positively about fairness- a number of approaches were taken to show that Economists could still talk about fairness on the basis of purely bilateral (or indeed Chichilnisky type 'limited arbitrage') considerations and that this could enable Economics as a discipline to move forward by redefining 'fairness' in a manner internal to its own axiom system.
Baumol's classic work on Superfairness- i.e. positions in which all parties suffer zero envy even if something is substracted from them- sought to overcome the obvious objection (nevertheless made by Holcolmbe) that it is unfair to usurp the ordinary meaning of 'fairness' by proving the utility of just such a usurping language game in various topics in Economics- more especially models with individual but no aggregate risk, where it has been shown that ex post and ex ante equity can be satisfied such that envy free allocations exist.

In his book,  Baumol defines a notion of incremental Superfairness but shows that allocatively efficient Superfair improvements can be unfair. Thus, for Economics, some scandal lurks for the notion of a golden path Fairness.

Can Tardean mimetics, to which Rene Girard gave a De Maistrean twist, come to the rescue? At first sight, no, not at all- the reverse is the case. We are envious of he whose example comes to be emulated- somehow he has shown his superiority and become the target of 'mimetic rivalry' for others, whereas we ourselves- even if our preferences and beliefs are unchanged- have become invisible or marginalized. More seriously, he can extract a rent or exploit an early adopter advantage while our ability to do the same thing, ceteris paribus, worsens day by day. Initially, it may be, mimetic rivalry causes the envious killing of the 'King' at the apex of Society's system of Tardean imitation, but soon enough a 'phramakos'- a scapegoat- is found from amongst the hoi polloi whose periodic sacrificial killing acts as a sort of innoculation against Violence becoming endemic.
Yet, for a De Maistrean reason, we may accept this dispensation as if not Fair, or even incrementally Superfair, yet Divinely Fair for Christ too was a King and we killed him and ate him and still get a little tipsy drinking his blood and dunno how Girard got all this out of reading Proust but he did okay and like his bestest bro was Mandelbrot so there's probably some heavy duty fractal Maths which shows like how all this is Kantian kosher and euvoluntary and shit.
This follows because in a De Maistrean Universe- as if by mathematical convention, or 'normalization'-  there is no aggregate but only individual risk. Thus, glass beads are verily the ghosts of Manhattan and forever is their feast.

Friday 10 January 2014

Ghalib's Elegy.

If, at Journey's end, your vigil's prolonged by my dilatory ways
Recall, alone you ventured forth, bide alone a few more days.

Whether its rain can dissolve rock or my eyes are their own maze
My skull or your sepulchre will crack in a few more days

Just yesterday you came, not as a guest who forever stays
Why so fain to flee 'fore my plea for 'a few more days?'

Your parting jest was ever 'from now, till the End of Days!'
My Doom is now and forever, not in a few more days.

Yes, more than Endymion, Selene, Arif had a youthful face
Old Siren of the Skies, couldn't you wait a few more days?

He was our Moon of Eid, we feasted by his rays
Now our lifelong Lent knows but Ember days

My dear one, do you naively ask why Ghalib yet delays?
Death too is a desire at least for a few more days.

lāzim thā kih dekho mirā rastā koʾī din aur
tanhā gaye kyūñ ab raho tanhā koʾī din aur
miṭ jāʾegā sar gar tirā patthar nah ghisegā
hūñ dar pah tire nāṣiyah-farsā koʾī din aur
āye ho kal aur āj hī kahte ho kih jāʾūñ
mānā kih hameshah nahīñ achchhā koʾī din aur
jāte huʾe kahte ho qiyāmat ko mileñge
kyā ḳhūb qiyāmat kā hai goyā koʾī din aur
hāñ ay falak-e pīr javāñ thā abhī ʿārif
kyā terā bigaṛtā jo nah martā koʾī din aur
tum māh-e shab-e chār-duham the mire ghar ke
phir kyūñ nah rahā ghar kā vuh naqshā koʾī din aur
nādāñ ho jo kahte ho kih kyūñ jīte haiñ ġhālib
qismat meñ hai marne kī tamannā koʾī din aur

Khobragade indictment- painful reading for Indians

Mid rank, Indian diplomats are normally only allowed to take one domestic servant per trip. The Government pays the air fare and provides an allowance to pay the servant. It is in the diplomat's interest to keep the servant happy otherwise the servant has the right to return to India leaving the diplomat to fend for herself.
Many servants will feel lonely, they may find the climate not to their liking, they may miss their own families. Thus the diplomat needs to ensure that the servant has a good social life and is treated as a member of the family- e.g. being taken along for sight-seeing trips and Community events. Also their Religious needs must be catered for.
Did Devyani keep her maid happy? It appears not because the maid left her. Now the maid was entitled to return to India at Govt. expense if she felt mistreated or if her mental health had suffered in the new country or by reason of family emergency and so on. It was the duty of the Consul General to ensure that her grievances were addressed and that she was sent back safely.
What about if the maid simply absconded? Then the Consulate had a duty to inform the U.S authorities and also to take such steps commensurate with their duty of care- i.e. establish that she was not ill, under duress or at risk of exploitation.
Did anything of this sort happen?
According to the the U.S indictment of Devyani Khobragade-

Devyani's f.i.r accuses Sangita Richards and her husband of various crimes of cheating and conspiring to obtain and retain an official Indian passport for a malafide purpose.
It is poorly written-

This is quite extraordinary. Why is the husband of the maid being accused of cheating and conspiracy and other such crimes? Which ordinary diplomat would proceed in such a high handed way? If Devyani herself, and not her superior officials at the Consulate or the M.E.A, initiated this plot she must be sacked and tried in an Indian Court. If not, she must be questioned as to who ordered her to put her name to the above.
We might suspect that her father acted officiously and she reluctantly backed him up. This would fit the mind-set of the retired I.A.S officer. However, the fact that Devyani made this f.i.r speaks for itself.

I don't know if it is true that Sangeeta Richards demanded to be sent back on her own passport. But it is quite probable as it improved her bargaining position. Devyani had no right to deny this request. Now, the Consul General could have spoken to the maid-servant and promised to redress her grievances. He could have said- 'okay, tell you what, we will pay you for helping out at Consulate parties. We will include you in more sightseeing excursions. We will get you vocational training. We will organize a creche so you and others like you have more time off. One thing, as a matter of urgency, we will ensure you can attend Religious services to your liking.
'One thing we will never do is to say you can't return to India even though you are finding it difficult to cope here. You are a citizen of India same as us. We may appeal to your patriotism to stick it out but we can't deny your right to go home.'

Indian Courts must now take cognizance, by suo moto or other means, of what has happened and send a clear signal to the I.F.S cadre in this matter.

I wonder, had no strip search occurred and if, instead Devyani had been merely subpoenaed, whether Govt of India might have waived civil immunity?

Thursday 9 January 2014

Ghalib 125

Gone is that matter which e'en addressed wouldn't matter
Why speak when what is spoken like ashes must scatter?

Union is the name of what gnaws at our Mind
If it isn't where isn't it to Loose or to Bind?

Courtesy is a mask that lacerates the face
Shame in this matter is Beauty's disgrace

Adoring his idol- how would the Brahmin eat?
Did every idol its adorer she like me treat

Even the timid glance of the mirror so excites your ire
Had you a second in the City its minarets were of Fire.

Whose fate is to face days black as mine
If Day he calls Night which Moon will repine?

My hope revives with her professions of esteem
 If further she won't inquire, my lot is but dream

The faith I placed in her epistle was no foolish mistake
What eye to eye isn't seen, is Unseen for Heaven's sake!

 Of the Theodicy of Love in Separation, if this Envoi is trite yet odd.
 Tell her, Ghalib isn't raving,  he echoes the shadow of God

gaʾī vuh bāt kih ho guftago to kyūñkar ho
kahe se kuchh nah huʾā phir kaho to kyūñkar ho

hamāre żahn meñ us fikr kā hai nām viṣāl
kih gar nah ho to kahāñ jāʾeñ ho to kyūñkar ho
adab hai aur yihī kashmakash to kyā kīje
ḥayā hai aur yihī gomago to kyūñkar ho
tumhīñ kaho kih guzārā sanam-parastoñ kā
butoñ kī ho agar aisī hī ḳho to kyūñkar ho
ulajhte ho tum agar dekhte ho āʾīnah
jo tum se shahr meñ hoñ ek do to kyūñkar ho
jise naṣīb ho roz-e siyāh merā sā
vuh shaḳhṣ din nah kahe rāt ko to kyūñkar ho
hameñ phir un se umīd aur uñheñ hamārī qadr
hamārī bāt hī pūchheñ nah vo to kyūñkar ho
ġhalat̤ nah thā hameñ ḳhat̤ par gumāñ tasallī kā
nah māne dīdah-e dīdār-jo to kyūñkar ho

mujhe junuu;N nahii;N ;Gaalib vale bah qaul-e ;hu.zuur

firaaq-e yaar me;N taskiin ho to kyuu;Nkar ho

Tuesday 7 January 2014

Khobragade's ace in the hole.

Devyani Khobragade was in trouble. Her Mary Poppins had absonded. Her dad back at home was accused of having threatened the Nanny's family. She was being accused of Visa fraud and Human trafficking and failure to pay the minimum wage and might even have faced Jail time.
As a 'creamy layer' Dalit- one, moreover, married to a High Caste naturalized American- she stood in danger of becoming a hate-figure for not just jhollawallah types but even the 'Aam Aadmi'. Her glamorous career would stall. She'd be transferred to a desk job in New Delhi or some punishment posting in the Third World. It would take years for her to live down the scandal. She'd also have to pay a hefty fine to a U.S court.

Then, as if Bhagwan Krishna had Himself intervened, everything changed. She was strip-searched. But hers was a Draupati Vastraharanam, by which her antagonists were undone while her innocence was preserved.

An Upper Caste Khatri had sought to humiliate the chaste Devyani for the crime of being an 'uppity' Dalit!
She immediately received the offer of a safe seat in U.P. But, Maharashtra will give her something even better. From being tainted by the Aadarsh scam and her own father's maladroit medlings, Devyani was able to emerge as stainless and pure as Draupati from her Disrobing.

Interestingly, it turns out that Devyani actually did have diplomatic immunity by reason of accreditation to the U.N. She claims to have forgotten or not known this at the time of her arrest. Her own ignorance in this matter, or indeed the State Dept's on going refusal to certify her immunity or issue a Statement of Interest, still does not alter the fact that, as a matter of substantive and procedural due process, her arrest was unlawful and thus she can claim a 7 figure settlement for wrongful detention while simultaneously escaping prosecution for visa fraud. In other words, she can have her cake and eat it too. 

It's an extraordinary reversal of fortune and all thanks the U.S Marshals Service insatiable desire to gape at the orifices of all and sundry. This, truly, was Khobragade's ace in the hole.

Note- the warrant against Devyani was issued on the basis of an affidavit from a State Dept Diplomatic Security Agent which, in showing 'probable cause' failed, however, to mention her U.N. Accreditation and thus was faulty. Was it also recklessly so?
This may sound reasonable. The guy checked a database and made a couple of phone calls to some other guy. Clearly, it wasn't reckless at all of him, or the guy whom he talked to at Protocol, to just go ahead and sign off on the affidavit which got Devyani strip searched.
So what if SCOTUS  decided, in Florence vs Board of Chosen Freeholders, that there is no longer any 4th amendment right not to have some guy shine a flashlight up your arse if you are arrested for even the most trivial offence? 
How does this fact impact Protocol? 
The answer is that Protocol must make damn sure that America really does have personal jurisdiction over a foreign diplomat before signing off on a probable cause affidavit because, thanks to SCOTUS, America is now a barbaric and perverted country which can't be trusted to respect the human rights of anyone caught up in its corrupt, racist and utterly unfit for purpose, Criminal Justice System.
It now transpires that Devyani had personal immunity. An agent of a State Dept. Agency signed a recklessly false probable cause affidavit because he relied on some guy at Protocol to know his arse from his elbow. Will any of the people responsible for this travesty face arrest themselves? No because no good purpose would be served. Everybody already knows what these shitheads have got up their assholes- viz. more assholes, assholes furiously shitting assholes, while themselves being shat out by assholes and even the American Criminal Justice System- and American Diplomacy is now nothing but an asshole shitting out that asshole while being shat out by it- can't muster up sufficient resources of Perversion and Imbecility to shine its flashlight up that infinite regress of assholes.

Which is why Obamacare is like totally Socialistic and un American and the moral equivalent of Sodomy. Incidentally, did you know Devyani is a Medical Doctor? Maybe, that guy at Protocol, or Proctology, did know and arranged for this dainty little diplomat to get Obamacared but good. That'ill larn her. That'll larn all youse dam dothead sand-nigger scum.

Saturday 4 January 2014

Why Vivek Chibber is both Right & Shite.

Vivek Chibber is right about Subaltern Studies. It genuinely was shit. But, look at the thing in context. To get ahead in Indian Academia from the late Sixties onwards one needed to either
1) kill and rape random dudes while embezzling as much money as possible.
2) pretend to be a Revolutionary of some sort so if anyone gang-raped you or beat you to death with a hockey stick then like these real mean Naxal dudes or KGB dudes or the ghost of Gramsci would turn up and take a fitting revenge.

Subaltern Studies was the coward's way out but, at one time, it appeared as remunerative a route to a Green Card as being a Code Monkey.

Its great utility to the Indian Disapora was that
1) it was a way of whining about being Brown that didn't get you lumped with the Blacks or Blue Collar proles or Tamale eaters or Chinky chopstick users.
2) it permitted one to make ridiculous claims about one's own parochial, deeply ignorant, sub-culture- like Guha's claim that Ramram Basu was actually a great historian rather than a Kayastha scoundrel of a scribbler, who procured abortions for the girls he seduced, and whose titanic contribution to Indian historigoraphy was written to order for an English Baptist Missionary who held his nose but paid the worthless hack so as to turn a profit on his Printing Press.

This was important because the old White professors who were heads of Area Studies Departments tended to be awfully patronizing coz they knew your Grandfather's Boss or Clan Chief or Maharaja or whatever. Subaltern Studies was about pretending that there was stuff in some vernacular which had never been written down, but which you knew and the Professor didn't, which showed that Grand-dad was actually the Lenin of the Latrine Inspection Dept. in Ludhiana,  or that Granny was like the Rosa Luxembourg of  the Laydees' Knitting (actually Spitting) Circle in Coimbatore.

As such, Subaltern Studies was shite, but it was deeply Indian shite and, okay, it passed its sell-by date round about the time the diaspora could point to genuine Porn Stars and Professional Wrestlers of its own, still, it's scarcely nice of Chibber - a Punjabi- to point this out to the Bongs coz Bengal has scored no similar success since Niradh Chaudhri's infamous nude one-man show 'O! Calcutta!'.

Thursday 2 January 2014

American academics boycott Israel- Armageddon is at hand.

I read this in the Guardian-
'A prestigious US academic body has joined a growing movement to boycott Israel in protest at its treatment of Palestinians, in a move both welcomed and condemned in a bitterly divisive international arena.
'The American Studies Association (ASA), which has more than 5,000 members, is the most significant US academic organisation to back a boycott of Israeli educational institutions following a two-thirds majority vote. Around a quarter of members took part in the ballot.'
Would it surprise you to learn that you could be a member of this prestigious American academic body? Now I know very well that the vast majority of you people are pubescent Pakistanis searching for nude pics of Veena Malik and that you are all as ignorant as shit. Still you possess the only academic qualification necessary to join ASA as can be verified from their website.
Individuals: The ASA is open to all persons who have an interdisciplinary interest in American culture. Individual membership includes subscriptions to American Quarterly, the ASA Newsletter, and the Encyclopedia of American Studies Online. Membership is available for a calendar year only. Persons who join by October 1 will be enrolled for the current year. Those who join after October 1 will be enrolled for the following year. Dues are based on a graduated scale, according to income. International members are asked to ascertain their dues category based on the American dollar equivalents and to remit payments in U.S. Funds.
Institutions: The ASA is open to colleges, universities, museums, foundations, societies, and other institutions sympathetic to the aims of the association. Institutional membership includes subscriptions to American Quarterly, the ASA Newsletter, and the Encyclopedia of American Studies Online, plus discounts on association services, upon payment of $170 annually in July or September. A list of institutional members is published in each issue ofAQ.

I like watching 'Orange is the New Black' while drinking Bourbon. That's an interdisciplinary interest in American culture right there. What's more I like watching 'Orange is the New Black' on my Nexus & sipping Bourbon from my hip-flask while presiding over my local Girl Guide's jamboree. (Yes, I know, it was very racist of the dowager Lady Baden Powell to mistake me for a scalp taking Indian Squaw and appoint me Chief Inspector of Tomahawks for the Surbiton branch, but it still beat being buggered in the Boy Scouts). This means that my chapter of the Girl Guides can join the ASA because clearly its interest in American culture is interdisciplinary and involves scalping people.
Israel is trembling in its boots at the ASA's boycott of it. I personally have been boycotting Israeli academics- unless they are clearly mad and stupid, like Liah Greenfeld (except she isn't really Israeli, is she?)- all my adult life because them fuckers do totally Nazi stuff like 'research?' and shit. 
Strangely enough, the Universities which are now boycotting the ASA aren't doing so because, clearly, it is too easy for a vested interests to create bogus memberships to influence voting and secure a (relatively cheap) P.R coup, but because they believe in 'academic freedom' and their own right to run a Credentialized Ponzi scheme for Careerist Cunts with Shit for Brains.