Fanax: the Mycenaean term for "king"; pronounced "wanax". The funny initial letter, "F", is called digamma and shows up in Archaic Greek epigraphy (papyrus and tablet writings). The sound, if not the letter form, and its linguistic equivalent initially show up in the heiroglyphic writings (Linear B) of Bronze Age Greece both at Pylos, in the far west of Greece (Peloponnese), and at Knossos in north central Crete, the funny "F". Specifically, digamma shows up in the Greek of Homer's Iliad with the word "F"anax, but there it's a "rough breathing" in the form "(h)anax", where the term is linked to an important individual at Pylos. In Classical and Hellenistic Greek, the F continues in this aspirant, or "h" sound, form at the beginning of many Greek words.

Entries Tagged as politics

Debt Bondage

October 18, 2011 ·

"Peonage", as one of the commentors points out, is debt-slavery, and, boy, have we Americans embraced it, for all that the Bible warns us against exactly this.  No wonder God goes to such lengths to school us to avoid debt any way we can, and if we fall to it, to get out as quickly as we can.  This assumption of life-long, revolving peonage is simply insane (and unsafe).

Tags: politics

full explanation

October 16, 2011 ·

Well, OK, not necessarily a 'full' explanation, but this post is an excellent overview of what financialization really is and how it has been used to cause not only an explosion in prices (that is, inflation) but also the direct theft of our wealth by the large banks and financial institutions.  All supported by, even encouraged by, our national government.

"The solution is not to demand "free stuff" or "fairness."

"The only solution is to remove the excess leverage from the economy - to get rid of the debt that has been accumulated and force recognition of the fact that not only are many people bankrupt but the financial institutions are as well.  Only when the balance sheets on both sides are cleared can the economy recover."

Tags: politics


August 20, 2011 ·

Fascinating stuff here, IMHO.  Libertarianism is often written off as 'academic' and/or too abstract to really have any applicability in the real world.  I think this is largely a position borne out of ignorance, but clearly unless a position is tenable, who cares.

"How much government is needed and what kind cannot be determined in the abstract, but depends on the character of the people of a specific time and place."

There's a lot of really good incision in the post, laying out the fundamentals of political thought that led to the American experiment, among other things.  I am particularly struck, though, but how so many early writers (Burke, Kirk, Nisbet, etc.) got hung up on "self-interest" and its evils without seeing the distinction between humans and wolves:  humans are capable of learning that our own self-interest must include the interests of others.  Seems like that's what sets civilization apart from the animal kingdom in large measure, though even animals exhibit numberless examples of mutual self-interest as well (the birds that pick fleas off rhinos and those that pick tidbits from crocodiles' teeth come to mind).

Seems like the 1955 quote from Meyer captures a good deal of the distinction, when he said that "all value resides in the individual; all social institutions derive their value and, in fact, their very being from individuals and are justified only to the extent that they serve the needs of individuals."

The whole post continues on, with excellent examination of the dichotomies inherent in early thoughts of personal liberty.

Tags: politics

things never change

August 15, 2011 ·

"I invite the reader's attention to the much more serious consideration of the kind of lives our ancestors lived, of who were the men, and of what were the means both in politics and war by which Rome's power was first acquired and subsequently expanded; I would then have him trace the process of our moral decline, to watch, first, the sinking of the foundations of morality as the old teaching was allowed to lapse, then the rapidly increasing disintegration, then the final collapse of the whole edifice, and the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them. The study of history is the best medicine for a sick mind; for in history you have a record of the infinite variety of human experience plainly set out for all to see; and in that record you can find for yourself and for your country both examples and warnings: fine things to take as models, base things, rotten through and through, to avoid."
-- Livy, History of Rome (ab urbe contita libri), roughly 26 BC (emphasis mine)

Seems to be the lament of every generation, of course, and it’s nothing new, but that line is gold: “the dark dawning of our modern day when we can neither endure our vices nor face the remedies needed to cure them.”

Tags: politics

NASA Back At It

August 10, 2011 ·

Except this time their research supports what the sceptics have said all along:  that CO2 is not really a major contributor to the greenhouse effect AND that the Earth turns out to be awfully proficient at self-regulating, including temperature.  What a surprise.

Tags: politics

Super Congress

July 24, 2011 ·

Yeah, turns out the nutters are probably correct.  "They" really are trying to take over in a very very real sense.

This. is. insane.

Tags: politics

Platonic Guardians

June 22, 2011 ·

Yes, but who's watching the Watchmen?  Are they fucking serious??  First we get czars for everything ... really?? Tsars? Czars? Ceasars?  What about no man being set up to be King under the US Constitution?  Now we're going to get life & death panels established under Plato's model?  For those weak on their Greek literature, here's a snippet from The Republic itself.

"by law…such an art of medicine…[which] will care for the bodies and souls of such of your citizens as are truly wellborn, but those who are not, such as are defective in body, they will suffer to die, and those who are evil-natured and incurable in soul they will themselves put to death. This certainly…has been shown to be the best thing for the sufferers themselves and for the state."

Gee, sounds grand ...

Tags: politics

Gold Bubble

June 15, 2011 ·

The whole thing is good, but I thought this was an excellent, quick test for determining bubble vs inflation, really for anything not just gold.

"There are ways to measure if gold was in a bubble. You simply take the official gold supply numbers, multiply that by the market price and compare that number with the money supply. If you do that within the United States, you would come to a result of 17 percent. But in 1980, when gold was at $850 per ounce, that number was actually over 100 percent. In other words, at that point gold was so high that every holder of a dollar could have gone to the Fed, cashed in for gold and the United States still would have gold left over. In that situation, where the market value of gold is higher than 100 percent of the money supply, that is arguably a bubble. But we are nowhere near that number today, it is not 100 percent, it is about 17 percent."

The discussion towards the end of Middle Eastern countries asking for metals in exchange for oil is also very interesting.

Tags: politics

The source of revolution

June 06, 2011 ·

Death by a thousand cuts, isn't that what they say?

"Revolutions happen not upon every little mismanagement in publick affairs. Great mistakes in the ruling part, many wrong and inconvenieng Laws, and all the slips of humane frailty will be born by the People, without mutiny or murmur. But if a long train of Abuses, Prevarications, and Artifices, all tending the same way, make the design visible to the People, and they cannot but feel, what they lie under, and see, whither they are going; ’tis not to be wonder’d, that they should then rouze themselves, and endeavour to put the rule into such hands, which may secure to them the ends for which Government was at first erected."
-- John Locke (1691, Economic Writings and Two Treatises of Governmentchap. 19, sect. 225; Locke’s emphasis)

Tags: politics

Lord Monkton

May 16, 2011 ·

As always, a delicious, fact-filled overview of just one benighted climate change mitigation project.  Simply the numbers, exaggerated heavily PRO, yet despicably clear not only in the economic damage but also in the lack of environmental benefit.

Tags: politics

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