The word “consciousness” appeared in English in 1632 its definition being, “a living being’s awareness of the outside world, without which awareness, the survival of the living being is impossible.”
An exceptionally profound human consciousness is known as “genius,” a word that originated in English in 1513 during the Renaissance, with its roots in 14th century Italy.
In the 17th century, “genius” led to the West becoming safer and more powerful (militarily) than the rest of the world.
This inherited Renaissance advantage was over in the 20th century, when Soviet Russia, which returned in 1917 to the pre-Renaissance universal imperial slavery, defeated in World War II Germany. Germany had introduced universal slavery in 1933.
If not for the Western countries outside Germany, the latter would have become part of Stalin’s Russia, as did its eastern territory, including the eastern section of Berlin.
A good example of genius in the West, still inheriting the Renaissance, is John Stuart Mill in England (1806-1873).
The territory of England itself accounted for less than 10 percent of the territory of the British Empire, and England had no need for genius in geostrategy in order to survive.
India became an independent country, and Canada a “dominion,” a “self-governing nation of the Commonwealth.” But Mill’s book (“essay”) “On Liberty” was an unsurpassed analysis of civic liberty by a genius in the 19th century.
It is worth recalling that Mill never went even to school, which did not prevent him, at the age of 8, to have read the original works of Herodotus and to have started Latin, Euclid, and algebra. At the age of 10, he read Demosthenes with ease.
Mill spoke to his readers through publications like “On Liberty,” republished about a century after his death in five English-speaking countries (England, the United States, Austria, Canada, and New Zealand).
In the United States, those responsible for its survival and hence to be people of genius in the understanding of the outside world are taught at universities, which issue to them academic degrees.
I lectured at some universities in the United States, as well as in some other English-speaking countries, since, as I emigrated from Russia in the 1970s, there were differences in the perception of Soviet Russia among scholars or Sovietologists, as they were called.
I was a live specimen of Soviet Russia, which some university professors of sociology regarded as moving to peace and progress, while others continued to regard it as a threat.
Indeed, the fall of the Russian dictatorship in 1991 opened a way to freedom under President Yeltsin, while today “President Medvedev” has sent out a memo to all Russia schools stating that Stalin was a great progressive statesman, mistaken after his death in 1953 for God knows whom.
In my lecture to the Sovietologists at Columbia University, I said that at the time (in the 1970s), Soviet Russia was still a slave empire whose emperor, owning the entire population as his slaves, was elected not hereditarily, as tsars had been, but in a conspiracy involving secrecy and violence.
The Sovietologists who argued with me had been shocked by what I had said. I had merely proved to them that I was such an extremist of the (fascist?) right that it was impossible to find my match among Americans.
They were wrong: Some American universities made me an honorary citizen of the cities where the universities were located.
A professor’s home assignment to his students was particularly eye-opening for me. The assignment was an essay about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s advance of freedom in his book “The Phenomenology of Mind.”
Well, what advance to freedom could there be if the relevant chapter in Hegel’s book was entitled “Master-Slave Relationship,” while he meant serfdom in Germany, not slavery? (Hegel was a son of a German “revenue officer.”
One of Hegel’s phrases cut into my mind. Hegel declared that the “masters” beat their “slaves” insufficiently: The beating should be such as to “fill in the slave’s mind the entire universe.”
This is what happened. All the students, except one crank, copied other students’ essays from previous years — essays that did not mention Hegel’s instructions as to how “the slaves” should be beaten. As for the essay that the crank himself wrote, the enraged professor said, “I have not accepted it. It does not exist.”
The other students were pleased: they didn’t have to read Hegel — they simply copied the old students’ essays. The goal of university education is to receive a degree, which would help them to get a higher paid job, and the less they have to read to achieve that goal, the better.
George W. Bush received his degrees, with lowest grades, at two universities (Yale and Harvard, for which his parents paid). Enough to be elected the U.S. president for two terms.
He could have achieved the same results internationally (five years of war in Iraq) and domestically (the beginning of a Depression?) if he and all of his helpmates, consultants, advisers, generals, intelligence officers, and other subordinates were illiterates, along with all radio and television “hosts” and “guests,” supposed to enlighten the electorate at John Stuart Mill’s level.
The country has been more than ignorant about the outside world — most of its elected officials have been smug, blind — certain that phrases from Hegel or Plato, torn out of the context and contradicting the rest of the text, constituted a higher wisdom. And they are ignorant about more powerful post-nuclear weapons developed by military scientists and technicians, educated in China and abroad, and invited from all over the world to China if they show signs of genius in geostrategically crucial fields.
Predictably, the dictatorship of China publishes no data about its present and future post-nuclear superweapons. But it publishes the “China Statistical Yearbook,” which says how many scientists and technicians China obtains every year.
The Yearbook is — or at least recently was — available in the New York Public Library! But I have never heard it being quoted by the U.S. media.
Of course, Hegel’s nonsense about the necessity of the “masters” to beat their “slaves” as ruthlessly as possible is more important than the development of post-nuclear weapons in China today by the best scientists and engineers China can educate and attract from all over the world.
You can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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