President Trump Is Us Gone Mad

 

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PRESIDENT TRUMP IS US GONE MAD

BY

DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

29 April 2017

The failure of Hillary Clinton to win the presidency of the United States despite her great majority of popular votes overall may be attributed to the strategic error of her campaign in neglecting a few key states wherein she lost all the electoral votes simply because she lost the popular vote in those states by a very small margin, thereby giving Donald Trump a wide margin of electoral votes in the elector college, where electors do not vote their conscience, as was intended by the Framers of the Constitution, but almost all routinely cast all their votes for whosoever won the popular vote in their states.

That is, the Electoral College system has become a farce. The perversion of the electoral system in the United States was referred to by Walter Bagehot, in The English Constitution (1867), wherein he compared the virtues of the English Cabinet to the American Presidential system:

“The presidential system not only gives the executive power an antagonist in the legislative power, and so makes it weaker; it also enfeebles it by impairing its intrinsic quality. A cabinet is elected by a legislature; and when that legislature is composed of fit persons, that mode of electing the executive is the very best. It is a case of secondary election, under the only conditions in which secondary election is preferable to primary. Generally speaking, in an electioneering country (I mean in a country full of political life, and used to the manipulation of popular institutions), the election of candidates to elect candidates is a farce. The electoral college of America is so. It was intended that the deputies when assembled should exercise a real discretion, and by independent choice select the president. But the primary electors take too much interest. They only elect a deputy to vote for Mr. Lincoln or Mr. Breckenridge….” “The member of electoral college is but a messenger, a transmitter: the real decision is in those who chose him, who chose him because they knew what he would do.” (See Note)

President Trump, a consummate bamboozler, claimed that the election returns were skewed by fraud, that he actually won the popular vote, but of course there is absolutely no evidence of that or any of the other bizarre claims he has made before and after he was elected.

That is, after all, what a showman does. Nonetheless, many people thought the carnival would end the day he took office. It has gone on and on, and TV armchair psychiatrists have diagnosed him as psychotic instead of neurotic, the norm for most of us.

We apologize in advance for repeating the slanders in the interest of fair comment on the nature of psycho-political commentary: He is delusional because he supposedly believes that facts are fake; he is a malignant narcissist, a sort of devil who loves himself as god so much that he hates the humankind he would deceive and annihilate in a nuclear holocaust; he suffers from attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, as evidenced by his pacing about the White House in the wee hours, tweeting like mad, and muttering “To do or not to do, yes I shall but no I shall not, to do or not to do, yes I shall, but no I shall not, yes, no, yes, no, tweet, tweet, tweet. ” And that is not all.

The latest poll I took from a representative sample of a dozen people at the South Beach Crunch gym has The Donald’s worst sin not as groping, something women seem ambivalent about given the man, but, all answered “Yes” to “Is the president an egomaniac?” Some added obscene words next to the box, but that is outside the scope of the poll.

That was admittedly a loaded poll question, for whom do we love but ourselves when we love others? That is made obvious by the people who love the president very much. The only thing maniacal about self-love is when it is all too obvious.

In any event, narcissism is inappropriately applied to Mr. Trump because he loves nymphs, and that was not the case with Narcissus at all. And nowadays we have huge mirrors, so there is no chance he will drown himself in a pool.

The question should also be asked of ambivalent humankind, whom do we love most of all when we hate others if not ourselves?

Why, the President has just finished his first hundred days in the White House including weekends in his Florida Mansion, and, according to Leaky Leaks, people are confessing to priests that they want him dead as soon as possible, but are tormented by the thought that Pious Pence would take over, because they believe he is an unctuous snake so do not want to pray with him, or, even worse, Wily Ryan, because they see a satanic glow in his eyes.

There is no chance of impeachment because, as President Jefferson truly observed after resorting to it behind the scenes to prevent the judiciary from being an independent branch of government, impeachment is a farce that should not be tried again. That he was correct was proved, at least as far as presidents are concerned, by the impeachment of Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. As long as Spin-The-President gives Republicans more wins than losses, and President Trump is their Bully-in-Chief, there will be no impeachment. There is no way the Senate would convict President Trump, anyway, at least not until after the next election.

The President’s cabinet could appeal to Congress to relieve President Trump from his duties if he were unfit, mentally incapacitated or certified insane by a bipartisan panel of psychiatrists. Forget about that. It is best for his councilors and department heads, if they wish to keep their jobs, to keep him in invisible chains, try to minimize his appearances so the public cannot see the drooling and slobbering attended to privately by his attractive daughter, probably the only person who loves him unconditionally as she does her best to distract him from tweeting and help him clip coins.

The best thing his advisors can do at the moment is familiarize him with one of the chief merits of President Calvin Coolidge (Silent Cal), who observed that politicians do little harm to themselves by keeping quiet. That is not always true, but President Trump should learn how convenient it would be for him to just shut up; that should in part defray concerns about his Mental Age.

The reality is this: President Trump is not really in charge of anything now, not even when he goes to the toilet.

That does not mean he is insane. We like to think one person can lead us into Zion, but our presidents are enchained by innumerable organizational influences from the day they take the Oath of Hypocrisy to serve the will of the people instead of their prejudices e.g. idiotologies and theologies, when they take office. The office changes the officer. President Ronald Reagan was once a bleeding heart liberal. President Franklin Roosevelt was once a fiscal conservative. And so on.

Alas, there is no such thing as the General Will of the People other than currents upon which leaders can bob as corks, swim downstream or sink trying to go against the flow, perhaps giving a little guidance along the way as pilots as circumstances force their hands.

It is a great deal of fun to poke fun at public figures, and even to despise them, but it is not politically correct to laugh at and despise mentally disturbed people. The cause of most mental disturbances in individuals will be found in society. That society is presently hysterical and obsessed, has nearly gone stark raving mad.

If this president be a Narcissus for his blatant self-worship, the reflection he is seeing in the mirror is the huge base of supporters who love him and would continue to do so if he shot a Democratic dead in broad daylight on Broadway. They love him for the reason that they love themselves, and they believe the circumstances they hate are unnecessary and can be changed for the better. We elect the leaders we deserve. What is definitely called for in all of us is therapeutic self-improvement. Then something constructive may be done.

XYX

NOTE

“It is true that the British House of Commons is subject to the same influences. Members are mostly, perhaps, elected because they will vote for a particular ministry, rather than for purely legislative reasons. But, and here is the capital distinction, the functions of the House of Commons are important and continuous. It does not, like the electoral college in the United States, separate when it has elected its ruler; it watches, legislates, seats and unseats ministries, from day to day. Accordingly it is a real electoral body. The parliament of 1857, which, more than any other parliament of late years, was a parliament elected to support a particular premier, which was chosen, as Americans might say, upon the ‘Palmerston ticket’, before it had been in existence two years, dethroned Lord Palmerston. Though selected in the interest of a particular ministry, it in fact destroyed that ministry. . . .

“The independence of the legislative and executive powers is the specific quality of the presidential government, just as their fusion and combination is the precise principle of cabinet government.” “The executive is crippled by not getting the laws it needs, and the legislature is spoiled by having to act without responsibility: the executive becomes unfit for its name since it cannot execute what it decides on; the legislature is demoralized by liberty, by taking decisions of which others (and not itself) will suffer the effects.” “(T)he cabinet can compel legislation by the threat of resignation, and the threat of dissolution; but neither of these can be used in a presidential state. There the legislature cannot be dissolved by the executive government; and it does not heed a resignation, for it has not to find the successor.” “(U)nder a presidential government a nation has, except at the electing moment, no influence; it has not the ballot-box before it; its virtue is gone, and it must wait till its instant of despotism again returns.”

“It has been said that England invented the phrase, ‘Her Majesty’s Opposition’; that it was the first government which made a criticism of administration as much a part of the polity as administration itself.” “There are doubtless debates in the legislature, but they are prologues without a play. There is nothing of a catastrophe about them; you cannot turn out the government. The prize of power is not in the gift of the legislature, and no one cares for the legislature. The executive, the great centre of power and place, sticks irremovable; you cannot change it in any event.” “(A) parliamentary or cabinet constitution possesses an additional and special advantage in very dangerous times….” “Under a cabinet constitution at a sudden emergency this people can choose a ruler for the occasion. It is quite possible and even likely that he would not be ruler before the occasion….” “By the structure of the world we often want, at the sudden occurrence of a grave tempest, to change the helmsman, to replace the pilot of the calm by the pilot of the storm…But under a presidential government you can do nothing of the kind.” “There is no elastic element, everything is rigid, specified, dated.”

“Even in quiet times, government by a president is, for the various reasons which have been stated, inferior to government by a cabinet; but the difficulty of quiet times is nothing as compared with the difficulty of unquiet times. The comparative deficiencies of the regular, common operation of a presidential government are far less than the comparative deficiencies in time of sudden trouble, the want of elasticity, the impossibility of a dictatorship, the total absence of a revolutionary reserve.”

“…a strong cabinet can obtain the concurrence of the legislature in all acts which facilitate its administration; it is itself, so to say, the legislature. But a president may be hampered by the parliament, and is likely to be hampered. The natural tendency of the members of every legislature is to make themselves conspicuous. They wish to gratify an ambition laudable or blamable; they wish to promote the measures they think best for the public welfare; they wish to make their will felt in great affairs. All these mixed motives urge them to oppose the executive. They are embodying the purposes of others if they aid; they are advancing their own opinions if they defeat: they are first if they vanquish; they are auxiliaries if they support. The weakness of the American executive used to be the great theme of all critics before the Confederate rebellion. Congress and committees of Congress of course impeded the executive when there was no coercive public sentiment to check and rule them.”

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Regarding Natives and Barbarians

Decisive Battle at Nuuanu by Herb Kane
 
REGARDING NATIVES AND BARBARIANS
“The decisive downward step…is not the change ‘Unbeliever’ to ‘Barbarian’, but the change from ‘Unbeliever’ to ‘Native’, in the definition of the stigma by means of which the oppressor seeks to rob his victim of an inalienable humanity. In stigmatizing the members of an alien society as ‘Natives’ of their homes, ‘top-dog’ is denying their humanity by asserting their political and economic nullity…. By designating them as ‘Natives’, he is implicitly assimilating them into the non-human fauna and flora of a virgin ‘New World’ that has been waiting for it predatory and acquisitive latest human discoverers to enter and take possession in virtue of a right of ’eminent domain’ over a ‘Promised Land’ deemed to be the gift of some war-goddess of Private Enterprise…” (Arnold Toynbee)
In Eurasia, nomadic peoples who descended from the North were generally known as “barbarians”. The Ta-taerh or Tatars were a clan akin to the Chinese, yet the label was applied to all nomads. The Mongols warned Europeans not to call Mongols Tatars. The Tatar clan vanished about 1200 A.D. after being conquered by the Mongols. Yet long thereafter the term was used to designate both Mongols and Turks. As for the Mongols mong-ku (brave people), they are descended from the ancient Turks and an ancient Siberian tribe (Tungusi). The Chinese called them Hiung-nu, meaning the mass of nomads, and also used pejorative names, such as one meaning “devils.” The Turks became a political football for the experts and politicians for quite awhile.. “Turk” means helmet, supposedly because the Turks wore helmets or came from near a helmet-shaped mound. A related term, the Chinese, ‘Tou-kei‘, meant “insolent dog,” and, more recently, “foreign dog.” All three terms were practically synonymous with “barbarian.”

Mainstream Media Bakes Farewell Cake For Ethically Challenged Mayor

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Philip Levine (l) Jimmy Morales (r)

MIAMI HERALD BAKES A FAREWELL CAKE FOR MAYOR PHILIP LEVINE

The report of a decline in bribery is fake news

By David Arthur Walters

AS THE PRESS SPINS

March 31, 2017

“MIAMI BEACH Bribery attempts drop, but they still happen,” declaimed the headline at the top of the front page yesterday.

That was followed by the subheading: “A survey reveals that 22 percent of Miami Beach public employees say they’ve been offered a bribe at some point in their career.” The employees were not asked if they accepted bribes. Pray tell.

That percentage does not jibe with a subsequent statement about the December 2016 survey that of “218 employees in departments most likely to be targets of bribery… 100 reported having been offered a bribe as some time in their career.”

Well, 100 divided by 218 is 45.9 percent, not 22 percent, but never mind that because the timing of “sometime” makes meaningful comparison impossible, and so does the rest of an incomplete hodgepodge of statistics from several years of surveys instead of a straightforward table of side-by-side statistics for all categories.

The employees were not asked if they accepted bribes, and the report does not say whether employees who said they received offers were asked to identify the persons who offered the bribes so an attempt could be made to corroborate their statements or law enforcement alerted to keep an eye on them.

Of course there is a difference between a free lunch and a cash donation, and lunch will probably be declined.

What is clear is that the report takes the cake, that it is a liberal propaganda piece bidding Mayor Philip Levine—a wealthy media mogul who was himself disgraced for soliciting campaign contributions from developers of city properties—farewell forever because his political career has been washed up with the defeat of his great friend Hillary Clinton.

The “Get It Done” mayor’s vainglorious demeanor and censorious conduct alienated honest reporters to begin with. What followed turned many of his followers against him, although he certainly is not to blame for everything that has gone wrong.

Haste makes waste: “King” Levine’s “prime minister,” city manager Jimmy Morales, is partly to blame for bad planning and thuggish rush to completions resulting in massive public disturbances, costly overruns and stalled projects.

Exposure of public corruption is improbable because the parties to it are unlikely to confess to it unless someone rats them out or law enforcement gets something else on them and offers them a deal.

The administration has made that more difficult, for example, with its software upgrades, making it inconvenient for delators to confidentially access online building permit and inspection records, requiring them to identify themselves and obtain permission from the owners. And that is not all to show that the often advertised “increased transparency” is a canard in respect to some crucial records.

The administration has also replaced municipal magistrates or “special masters” who hear code violation cases with virtual stooges who provide no meaningful review for the discriminatory policymakers who are their masters.

The city has in the past refused to adopt a county whistleblower ordinance to encourage informers to come forward.

The county ethics commission, a retirement farm for prosecutors, is a joke on Miami Beach taxpayers despite its randomly correct findings. Just prior to the last wave of arrests, its director, Joe Centorino aka “Sleeping Joe” declared at a meeting with bloggers that Miami Beach had cleaned itself up, and when a reporter noted that, bullied him by email. The Miami Herald has ignored numerous reports of inadequacy of that commission as well as allegations of Miami Beach corruption, not to mention the commission’s egregious violation of public disclosure law when its commissioners were filmed whispering behind folders at a meeting.

The result of the ethics commission’s recent “investigation” into allegations made by one Antonio Halabi damned the commission to infamy for its lack of due process: the commission forwarded his allegations, including evidence that the city manager had raised himself above the law, to city officials. The accused naturally responded in the negative; the commission took their word for it and dismissed the case without offering Mr. Halabi an opportunity for rebuttal.

That is not all that demonstrates the incompetence and selective enforcement of the ethics commission and the bullying attitude of its director when his investigations are criticized.

Now here we have another condignly unbalanced report from the Miami Herald, representing the so-called fourth branch of government that is in actually part of the real fourth branch, the bureaucracy, posing as news in a way that suits the very definition of “fake news,” false inferences from survey facts that do not really indicate facts at all.

The city is congratulated for taking an expensive ethics course run by the county ethics commission, a notion that was scoffed at by the likes of Commissioner Ed Tobin, because even a moron knows what corruption is. Or maybe not, because when wrong is done long enough, wrong seems right.

Mayor Levine and the majority of commissioners he sponsored waived the city’s ethics requirements so that Commissioner Tobin could apply for the police job while sitting on the commission. Levine lauded Tobin, and said he would like to similarly waive the ethics code for himself. But when the commissioner crossed him, he accused him of being unethical, leaving us to wonder why the commissioner failed to pass the ethics test given under the purview of the mayor’s new police chief, forcing him to get at police officer job on the mainland with the City of Miami,

Mr. Levine may be one of the most ethically challenged mayors to sit on the dais since the notorious Mayor Alex Daoud. Just for example, millions were paid by the city for the air rights above the Sunset Harbour shopping center owned beneficially by him and his great friend and partner Scott Robins, and then, while mayor, he attempted to push through zoning to his advantage; the ludicrous premise handed down by the state ethics commission was that the advantage to him would not be immediate. This time, however, the county ethics commission did not put its nose where there is no sunshine.

The city also is applauded for the allegedly improved morale of its employees, who “felt” they have better whistleblower protection. The mayor naturally “thinks” there has been “a tremendous change in culture” under his tenure.

Please “think” and “feel” again, because thinking in itself is not knowing, neither are self-congratulatory feelings.

Critical thinking is indeed useful, so think again about what deposed Mayor Matti Bower said after Mr. Levine was crowned a strong mayor over his court of faux reformers as his prime minister bragged about the number of people fired, leaving key people around in honey pots such as the problematic Building and Code Enforcement departments for years, yet now saying key staffers were replaced.

City workers, averred Madame Bower, a grandmotherly politician who was friendly with scores of employees, reported they said they had been cowed by the new regime. That is, fear and intimidation was the rule.

We all know the corporate drill: you had better have a good attitude and be positive about us or you had better find another job.

Here is something else to “think” about: The “indicative” statistics quoted by the Miami Herald are meaningless in terms of “indicating” facts.  South Florida is by virtue of its Third World influences perhaps the most corrupt region in the United States. Federal law enforcement is charged with curbing corruption of the local, county and state police power in all departments, but with a deliberately limited staff. Economists have even declared that a certain degree of corruption is good for business. Republicans led by President Trump may desire to cut the FBI staff in half. Miami Beach is a drop in the bucket. Arrests there come in intermittent waves as a handful of investigators work priorities from place to place. When Miami Beach is hit, corruption may decline for awhile, and lessons are learned as to how to avoid detection.

Now the Miami Herald also reports that the $3.5 million recently plundered from city coffers, an event that led to the departure of finance department staff, “remains unsolved and under investigation.”

The mayor’s wealth sidekick on the dais, Commission Rick Arriola, told the Huffington Post that the matter is under investigation, that the city will get back every penny. and that “audits are the responsibility of the city’s outside auditors and the city’s CFO.”

What a ridiculous statement that is, for the problem is that the finance department and auditors did not bother for ages to reconcile cash balance on books to cash in bank, a routine bookkeeping procedure.

Mr. Arriola would surely fire his controller and bookkeepers for failing to detect the imbalance in a month if not in a day given the modern software relations between banks and their clients.  Since he is so sure of recovery, he should personally guarantee it, as the amount is rather miniscule for him given his good fortune.

By the way, the attack pieces of the Huffington Post were so imbalanced that I was tempted to rebut them and give the mayor some little credit for the hundreds of millions allocated for the war against global warming. At least we are not wading around in knee-deep water in South Beach.

Yet it is high time that a major media outlet took the mayor and his ilk to task  despite more threats of SLAPP libel suits. It is safer to do so now that his great friend Hillary Clinton has gone down in flames.

But the Miami Herald must “feel” sorry for the mayor, and “think” that it has a duty to boost from time to time the official sources needed bolster its sales. Therefore we have this astonishing farewell cake baked for Mayor Philip Levine

XYX

LINK TO MIAMI HERALD PROPAGANDA COVERAGE

CITY OF MIAMI BEACH SHUTS DOWN ONLINE BUILDING PERMIT SEARCH FOR GENERAL PUBLIC AND HINDERS ACCESS TO RECORDS BY REQUIRING PUBLIC RECORD REQUESTS AND FEES AS A RESULT OF EMBARASSING DISCOVERIES BY PUBLIC INFORMERS

CAN I VIEW PERMIT HISTORY ONLINE?Permits issued for any property in the City of  Miami Beach from 1990 to 04/26/2016 are available through Velocity Hall Online Permitting.

Click here to access permits before 04/26/2016 Velocity Hall Online Permitting

Permits and other processes transitioned to the City’s new software can be obtained via the Citizen Access Portal at https://eservices.miamibeachfl.gov/EnerGovProd/CitizenAccess/Site/Public/Main

Note:  If you are not either the owner, contractor, engineer, architect  or owner representative, you will not be able to register at the Citizen Access Portal and therefore; may submit a public records request to the Building Department’s Records Management Section.  Click here to download the Records Request Form

NEW CITY MANAGER SWEEPS ALLEGATIONS UNDER RUG

OFFICIAL BULLSHIT PREVAILS – THE FAKE REFORM

THE MAYOR’S SUNSET HARBOUR HONEY POT

FAUX REFORM OF MIAMI BEACH GOVERNMENT

THE SHAMEFUL COUNTY ETHICS COMMISSION

ALLEGED CITY SANCTION OF CORRUPTION RING

CITY MANAGER RETALIATES AGANIST LAW ABIDING BUSINESS

THE CRESPO ATTACK ON SHAMEFUL EHICS COMMISSION

MIAMI BEACH CORRUPTION AS USUAL

ETHICS COMMISSION UNRESPONSIVE TO SUNSET HARBOUR INQUIRY

THE ROOTS OF EVIL IN SUNSET HARBOUR

WHISPERING GOVERNMENT ATTORNEYS

ED TOBIN AND HIS POLICE DREAM JOB

MIAMI BEACH SLEAZE AND THE UNRESPONSIBE ETHICS COMMISSION

The Marquis de Condorcet’s Progressive Technique


THE MARQUIS DE CONDORCET’S TECHNIQUE FOR PROGRESS

BY

DAVID ARTHUR WALTERS

The Marquis de Condorcet (1743-1794) was the youngest and only philosophe of note who played a major role in the French Revolution. He was already a celebrated mathematician when he took up politics and became a member of Voltaire’s Enlightenment clique. Opposed to the sentimental approach of Rousseau to human nature, Condorcet employed mathematical language, extending differential calculus and the theory of probability to moral and social behavior, employing statistical methodology to analyze sociological phenomena.

Condorcet is best known for pioneering perhaps the first modern theory of progress. The social scientist presumes that human behavior like the rest of nature is subject to certain laws which he might discover through the careful observation of phenomena and reflections thereupon, leading to the formulation of hypotheses for experimentation.

Human evil, he believed, was largely due to the miscalculation of human interest. In sum: evil outcomes are due to errors in judgment. Humans are natural-born gamblers: they instinctively weigh the chance of one result against another. To obtain better results, a scientific method is needed to eliminate error; to wit: the social calculus of probability.

The application of mathematics and political arithmetic to social science provides us with a quantitative degree of certainty about what outcomes will obtain when conditions are manipulated. Presumably social scientists conduct their studies for the benefit of society, that society may improve or progress. Condorcet is best known for pioneering perhaps the first modern theory of progress.

So the social scientist presumes that human behavior like the rest of nature is subject to certain laws which he might discover through the careful observation of phenomena and reflections thereupon, leading to the formulation of hypotheses for experimentation.

Nature including humankind is undoubtedly subject to laws, but human beings, endowed with the power of reasoning, have the ability to modify the application of natural laws to their personal and mutual advantage. The ability to reason is natural, therefore so is progress. Reasoning may be employed to ascertain logical means to measurable progress. For instance, probability theory employs symbolic logic to determine what course of action is most likely to succeed. Hence progress in is augmented by a precise language grounded in facts of sense.

It follows that human progress is entirely up to us, that it is not dependent on the miraculous intervention of transcendental forces beyond our apprehension and comprehension. Therefore Condorcet was “anti-Christian” as Christianity was then conceived. He was raised by Jesuits, who apparently had a knack, at least when confronted with rebellious young minds, for cultivating brilliant “atheists,” especially in France.

Human beings, he asserted, progress from conditions of brute enslavement, including enslavement to their own passions, towards mastery over those conditions. Mastery is achieved by the removal of certain obstacles to the ultimate perfectibility of humankind, such as elitism, tyranny, popular prejudice, ignorance. The impediments to progress can be removed from the progressive highway by scientific and technological advances, and political revolution.

The goal of progress is freedom, but absolute freedom from restraints, absolute power, is impossible, not to be had except in Chaos. Relative freedom, on the other hand, is possible, and is always from an evil towards a good. The perfectibility of man, however, which is indefinite, is by no means assured. National and class inequalities may be eventually reduced, and the lot of individuals improved via the historical movement is towards equality; not absolute, totalitarian equality, but the equality of rights, the equality of freedom without regard to race, color, creed or sex (Condorcet was an advanced feminist).

Wherefore Condorcet advocated freedom in order; freedom under law; freedom legally constituted with a constitution, preferably that of a liberal democracy.

He was enthusiastic about the outbreak of the Revolution, but he did not conceive of Reason as a raving lunatic or murderous fanatic. His independent adherence to reason instead of the bloodthirsty mob would cost him his life.

Condorcet had considerable influence in England. For instance, his thinking had an impact on an eccentric inventor and English radical by the name of Charles Stanhope (Lord Mahon). Stanhope, the son of a mathematician, was like his father in important respects. Joseph Priestley, a man very much admired by Condorcet, dedicated his third volume of ‘Experiments on Air’ to Charles Stanhope’s father.

Condorcet also admired Stanhope’s associate, Richard Price, an important adviser to the fledgling United States of America. Price pioneered actuarial methodology for mutual aid societies, devising sinking fund schemes to fund social security and reduce the national debt.

Practically all radicals worth their roots were enthusiastic about social mathematics and political arithmetic. That is not to say they were cold-hearted, calculating, mean-minded men. An emphasis on reason may be compensation for underlying passion. Condorcet, despite his romantic temperament, was wrongly depicted as an arid, heartless man.

Condorcet lost his life attempting to thwart the Jacobin movement. He had been “proscribed” by the Jacobins, meaning that he was to be decapitated, so he went into hiding. He eventually disguised himself and left the house he was hiding in because he feared for the safety of the painter’s widow who had insisted on harboring him there despite his protests. After wandering about for three days with a tattered copy of Horace, he walked into a tavern where he was pointed out and arrested.

On the day of his imprisonment, while awaiting the guillotine, he died, some say by self-administered poison he allegedly kept hidden in his ring. Suicide would have been a fitting end, for he always said that even there are laws regulating the universe, man has the natural power to modify their application for his own benefit, and that is the very nature of his freedom.

Condorcet circumspectly warned his daughter against unregulated passion shortly before he died, highly recommending reason as passion’s proper guide. And he wrote his incredibly optimistic essay on the history of progress under the shadow of the guillotine.

No doubt he had his doubts in dire circumstances, but he still enjoyed a degree of certainty he called “hope,” hope not for his own fate but for man’s movement into the next epoch along the long road of indefinite perfectibility. He eschewed the opposite, pessimistic perspective on probability that considers the long-term disadvantage, that the house always wins in the long run, because if something can go wrong it eventually will.

No, the Marquis de Condorcet was certainly not a cold-blooded, heartless being. He was an enthusiastically human being.