Author Archives: mhlcc

Ayn Rand Student Conference 2016

Posted: December 2, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Its not uncommon to hear that free will is an illusion that belief in free will is incompatible with science.

Yet, the existence of free will lies at the heart of every important issue in your life. Understanding precisely what is and is not within the power of your free choice is crucial to your pursuit of knowledge, values, personal relationships and happiness.

Join us November 4 to 6 in Atlanta, GA, at the Ayn Rand Student Conference 2016 (#AynRandCon) for an in-depth exploration of the concept of free will from the perspective of Ayn Rands philosophy of Objectivism. Rand the novelist, philosopher and cultural icon famous for her bestselling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged developed a new account of free will, one that underpins the distinctive view of good and evil and of heroism that runs through her novels.

Rejecting the false alternative of nature vs. nurture, Rand advanced a radical view of man, which holds that you are a being of self-made soul, capable of exercising fundamental control over your own thinking, actions and character. Far from viewing belief in free will as a superstition incompatible with science, Rand argued that the facts support the existence of free will and that its unscientific as well as disastrous personally and culturally to dismiss free will as illusory.

At #AynRandCon youll hear leading experts on Rands philosophy discuss the nature of free will and its implications for your life and for a range of current controversies, from inequality to free speech to U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Youll hear from practitioners inspired by Rands message to take control of their fates and build the kind of career and life they wanted. Youll meet other students who love Rands novels and are learning how to apply her ideas to their own lives. And youll have the chance to network with speakers, professionals and students.

The conference is brought to you by the Ayn Rand Institute in collaboration with STRIVE (STudents for Reason, Individualism, Value pursuit, and Enterprise) and is made possible by the generous support of the Michael and Andrea Leven Family Foundation, as well as by the support of the Charles Koch Foundation, Ellen and Harris Kenner, Chris J. Rufer, and Loren and Kathy Corle, RELCO LLC.

Thanks to these donors, students are able to attend this conference at little or no cost. All students will receive a scholarship covering their travel, lodging and registration expenses.

Apply to attend by October 10, 2016!

Excerpt from:

Ayn Rand Student Conference 2016

Posted in Ayn Rand | Comments Off on Ayn Rand Student Conference 2016

Social Origins of Eugenics

Posted: at 12:30 pm

Scientific Origins of Eugenics

Elof Carlson, State University of New York at Stony Brook

The eugenics movement arose in the 20th century as two wings of a common philosophy of human worth. Francis Galton, who coined the term eugenics in 1883, perceived it as a moral philosophy to improve humanity by encouraging the ablest and healthiest people to have more children. The Galtonian ideal of eugenics is usually termed positive eugenics. Negative eugenics, on the other hand, advocated culling the least able from the breeding population to preserve humanity’s fitness. The eugenics movements in the United States, Germany, and Scandinavia favored the negative approach.

The notion of segregating people considered unfit to reproduce dates back to antiquity. For example, the Old Testament describes the Amalekites a supposedly depraved group that God condemned to death. Concerns about environmental influences that might damage heredity leading to ill health, early death, insanity, and defective offspring were formalized in the early 1700s as degeneracy theory. Degeneracy theory maintained a strong scientific following until late in the 19th century. Masturbation, then called onanism, was presented in medical schools as the first biological theory of the cause of degeneracy. Fear of degeneracy through masturbation led Harry Clay Sharp, a prison physician in Jeffersonville, Indiana, to carry out vasectomies on prisoners beginning in 1899. The advocacy of Sharp and his medical colleagues, culminated in an Indiana law mandating compulsory sterilization of “degenerates.” Enacted in 1907, this was the first eugenic sterilization law in the United States.

By the mid-19th century most scientists believed bad environments caused degenerate heredity. Benedict Morel’s work extended the causes of degeneracy to some legitimate agents including poisoning by mercury, ergot, and other toxic substances in the environment. The sociologist Richard Dugdale believed that good environments could transform degenerates into worthy citizens within three generations. This position was a backdrop to his very influential study on The Jukes (1877), a degenerate family of paupers and petty criminals in Ulster County, New York. The inheritance of acquired (environmental) characters was challenged in the 1880s by August Weismann, whose theory of the germ plasm convinced most scientists that changes in body tissue (the soma) had little or no effect on reproductive tissue (the germ plasm). At the beginning of the 20th century, Weismann’s views were absorbed by degeneracy theorists who embraced negative eugenics as their favored model.

Adherents of the new field of genetics were ambivalent about eugenics. Most basic scientists including William Bateson in Great Britain, and Thomas Hunt Morgan in the United States shunned eugenics as vulgar and an unproductive field for research. However, Bateson’s and Morgan’s contributions to basic genetics were quickly absorbed by eugenicists, who took interest in Mendelian analysis of pedigrees of humans, plants, and animals. Many eugenicists had some type of agricultural background. Charles Davenport and Harry Laughlin, who together ran the Eugenics Record Office, were introduced through their shared interest in chicken breeding. Both also were active in Eugenics Section of the American Breeder’s Association (ABA). Davenport’s book, Eugenics: The Science of Human Improvement through Better Breeding, had a distinct agricultural flavor, and his affiliation with the ABA was included under his name on the title page. Agricultural genetics also provided the favored model for negative eugenics: human populations, like agricultural breeds and varieties, had to be culled of their least productive members, with only the healthiest specimens used for breeding.

Evolutionary models of natural selection and dysgenic (bad) hereditary practices in society also contributed to eugenic theory. For example, there was fear that highly intelligent people would have smaller families (about 2 children), while the allegedly degenerate elements of society were having larger families of four to eight children. Public welfare might also play a role in allowing less fit people to survive and reproduce, further upsetting the natural selection of fitter people.

Medicine also put its stamp on eugenics. Physicians like Anton Ochsner and Harry Sharp were convinced that social failure was a medical problem. Italian criminologist and physician Cesare Lombroso popularized the image of an innate criminal type that was thought to be a reversion or atavism of a bestial ancestor of humanity. When medical means failed to help the psychotic, the retarded, the pauper, and the vagrant, eugenicists shifted to preventive medicine. The German physician-legislator Rudolph Virchow, advocated programs to deal with disease prevention on a large scale. Virchow’s public health movement was fused with eugenics to form the racial hygiene movement in Germany and came to America through physicians he trained.

Eugenicists argued that “defectives” should be prevented from breeding, through custody in asylums or compulsory sterilization. Most doctors probably felt that sterilization was a more humane way of dealing with people who could not help themselves. Vasectomy and tubal ligation were favored methods, because they did not alter the physiological and psychological contribution of the reproductive organs. Sterilization allowed the convicted criminal or mental patient to participate in society, rather than being institutionalized at public expense. Sterilization was not viewed as a punishment because these doctors believed (erroneously) that the social failure of “unfit” people was due to an irreversibly degenerate germ plasm.

See the article here:

Social Origins of Eugenics

Posted in Eugenics | Comments Off on Social Origins of Eugenics

Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2012 – Wikipedia

Posted: at 12:20 pm


On May 13, 2011, in Exeter, New Hampshire, Paul announced his decision to seek the Republican nomination in the 2012 election. The announcement was broadcast live nationally on ABC’s Good Morning America.[4]

On May 14, 2012, Paul made a statement on the campaign’s website that he would no longer be actively campaigning in remaining state primaries, but would instead continue his presidential bid by seeking to collect delegates at caucuses and state conventions for the Republican National Convention in August 2012.[23]

He participated in a debate on June 13, 2011 at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire.[24] On June 18, 2011, Paul won the Southern Republican Leadership Conference straw poll with 41%, winning by a large margin on Jon Huntsman, who trailed second with 25% and Michele Bachmann with 13% (Mitt Romney came in fifth with 5%).[25] On June 19 he again won the Clay County Iowa StrawPoll with 25%, while Michele Bachmann trailed second with 12%.

Paul also participated in another debate on August 11, 2011, in Ames, Iowa, and overwhelmingly won the post-debate polls.[26] He then came in second in the Ames Straw Poll with 4,671 votes, narrowly losing to Michele Bachmann by 152 votes or 0.9%, a statistical first-place tie finish according to some in the news media.[27][28][29][30] He received the fourth most votes for a candidate in the history of the Ames Straw Poll.

On August 20, in the New Hampshire Young Republicans Straw Poll Paul came again first, again overwhelmingly, with 45%, Mitt Romney trailing second with 10%.[31] On August 27, in the Georgia State GOP Straw Poll Paul came in a close second place behind Georgia resident Herman Cain, who had 26% of the vote, with Paul receiving 25.7%.[32]

On September 5, Paul attended the Palmetto Freedom Forum in South Carolina along with fellow candidates Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich. The forum was paneled by congressmen Steve King of Iowa, senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Dr. Robert P. George, the founder of the American Principles Project which hosted the event.[33]

On September 12, Paul attended the Tea Party Republican Presidential debate broadcast by CNN. During the event, Paul received both unexpected “cheers” and “boos” for his responses to the questions posed by the debate moderators and fellow debate participants.[34][35] When Rick Santorum questioned Paul about his position regarding the motivation behind the September 11 attacks, some of the audience jeered his response that U.S. foreign occupation was the “real motivation behind the September 11 attacks and the vast majority of other instances of suicide terrorism”.[34]

When one of the moderators posed a hypothetical scenario of a healthy 30-year-old man requiring intensive care but neglected to be insured pressing Paul with “Are you saying that society should just let him die?”, several audience members cheered “yeah!” Paul disagreed with the audience reaction stating that while he practiced as a doctor in a Catholic hospital before the Medicaid era, “We never turned anybody away from the hospital.”[35] Paul elaborated further a few days later that he believed the audience was cheering self-reliance and that “the media took it and twisted it”.[36]

Jack Burkman, a Republican Party (GOP) strategist, was asked of Paul’s performance in the debate. While Burkman stated that his national radio program’s polling suggested Rick Perry won the debate (156 Perry votes to 151 Paul votes), he believed Paul’s support is extremely deep like Democrat support for Bobby Kennedy decades before and predicted “he could come from behind as the horses turn for home and win the nomination.”[37]

On September 18, Paul won the California state GOP straw poll with 44.9% of the vote, held at the JW Marriott in downtown Los Angeles. Out of 833 ballots cast, Paul garnered the greatest number of votes with 374, beating his nearest competitor Texas Gov. Rick Perry by a wide margin.[38]

On September 24, Paul finished fifth in the GOP’s Florida Presidency 5 straw poll with 10.4% of the vote.[39] Paul won with 37% of the vote at the Values Voter Summit on October 8;[40] the highest ever recorded at the event.

On October 22, Paul won the Ohio Republican straw poll with the support of 53% of the participants, more than double the support of the second-place candidate, Herman Cain (26%).[41]

Paul won the National Federation of Republican Assemblies Presidential Straw Poll of Iowa voters on October 29 with 82% of the vote.[42]

On November 19, Paul won the North Carolina Republican Straw Poll with 52% of the vote, finishing well ahead of the second-place candidate, Newt Gingrich, who received 22% of the vote.[43]

In an August Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters across the political spectrum asking if they would vote for Paul or Barack Obama, the response narrowly favored Obama (39%) over Paul (38%), but by a smaller margin than the same question asked a month ago (41% 37%).[44] Paul finished 3rd in a late-August poll of likely Republican primary voters, trailing Rick Perry and Mitt Romney and ahead of Michele Bachmann,[45] climbing from 4th position which, according to another poll, he occupied only a few days earlier.[46]

In a September Harris Poll, respondents chose Paul (51%) over Obama (49%).[47]

In the Illinois Republican Straw Poll held in the beginning of November, Paul took 52% of the votes of those polled with Herman Cain coming in second with 18%.[48]

In a November 1012 Bloomberg News poll of Iowans likely to participate in the January 3, 2012 Republican caucuses, Paul was in a four-way tie at 19 percent with Cain, Romney and Gingrich at 20, 18 and 17 percent respectively.[49]

A Bloomberg News poll released on November 16, 2011 showed Paul at 17% in New Hampshire, in second place to Romney’s 40%.[50]

A Public Policy Polling poll released on December 13, 2011 put Paul in a statistical tie for first in Iowa with Newt Gingrich, polling 21% and 22%, respectively.[51] The average shows Paul in second place in New Hampshire at 18.3% on December 28, 2011.[52] Public Policy Polling results from December 18 show that Paul is now leading in Iowa with 23%, followed by Romney at 20% and Gingrich at 14%.[53]

A January 2012 Rasmussen Reports poll of likely voters across the political spectrum found that in a hypothetical two-candidate race between Paul and Barack Obama, respondents preferred Obama (43%) over Paul (37%).[54] The average of polls also found Obama (47%) favored over Paul (42%), in a two-candidate race.[55]

A January Pew Research Center poll of registered voters across the political spectrum on the eve of the South Carolina primary found that in a hypothetical three-way race between Obama, Romney, and Paul, with Paul running as a third-party candidate, respondents would choose Obama (44%) over Romney (32%) and Paul (18%). (Paul had repeatedly stated he had no plans for a third-party run.)[56][57]

In polls of likely Republican primary voters on the eve of the South Carolina Republican primary, Paul placed third both in South Carolina (15%)[58] and nationally (14%),[59] trailing Romney and Gingrich.

A Rasmussen poll in April 2012 showed Paul as the only Republican candidate able to defeat Obama in a head-to-head match-up. Paul beat Obama by one point in the poll with 44% of the vote.[60]

Paul’s second moneybomb (the first being before his official announcement) was scheduled for June 5, 2011, the anniversary of the 1933 joint resolution which abolished the gold standard. The June 5 moneybomb, which was themed as “The Revolution vs. RomneyCare: Round One”, raised approximately $1.1 million.[61] A third moneybomb themed “Ready, Ames, Fire!” was executed on July 19, 2011 to provide support leading up to the Ames Straw Poll on August 13, 2011, raising over $550,000.[62]

In the second quarter of 2011, Paul’s campaign ranked second, behind Mitt Romney, in total dollars raised with $4.5 million.[63] This was $1.5 million more than his original goal of $3 million.[64] During that quarter, the Paul campaign had raised more money from military personnel than all other GOP candidates combined, and even more money than Barack Obama, a trend that has continued from Paul’s 2008 presidential campaign.[65]

A fourth moneybomb took place on Paul’s 76th birthday on August 20, 2011. It raised more than $1.8 million despite a cyber-attack against the site that took it down for several hours, after which the donation drive was extended for another twelve hours.[66]

A fifth moneybomb began on September 17, the date of the 224th anniversary of the creation of the United States Constitution. Continuing throughout the following day, it raised more than $1 million.[67] Shortly after the Constitution Day moneybomb, a sixth moneybomb, entitled “End of Quarter Push”, began on September 22 in an attempt to generate $1.5 million before the 3rd Quarter fundraising deadline.[68]

In the third quarter of 2011, Paul raised over $8 million.[8] A three-day moneybomb entitled “Black This Out” brought in more than $2.75 million in mid-October.[69][70]

On December 16, a moneybomb titled the “Tea Party MoneyBomb” took place and raised upwards of $4 million over a period of two days.[71]

Paul was also supported by a Super PAC, Endorse Liberty. By January 16, 2012, the PAC had spent $2.83 million promoting Paul’s campaign.[72]

In June 2011, online publisher Robin Koerner coined the term “Blue Republican” to refer to U.S. voters who consider themselves to be liberal or progressiveor who generally vote Democraticbut plan to register as Republicans and vote in the U.S. 2012 Republican presidential primaries for Paul. The phrase “Blue Republican” quickly spread after Koerner’s article “If You Love Peace, Become a ‘Blue Republican’ (Just for a Year)” was published in The Huffington Post on June 7. Social media entrepreneur Israel Anderson then promoted the term on Facebook, later teaming with Koerner to expand the movement.[73]

Five days after his original article coining the term, Koerner published a follow-up article on the term’s popularity: “‘Blue Republicans’: an Idea Whose Time Has Come.”[74] The article was shared on the social networking site Facebook more than 11,000 times by the time the second article was published.[75]

On June 21, 2011, Paul was the first 2012 Republican presidential candidate to sign the Cut, Cap, and Balance Pledge.[76] This pledge seeks commitments from politicians for changes of the debt limit, spending decreases, and taxation. The pledge also implores signers to endorse passage of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

During his previous presidential campaign, it was alleged by many supporters that there was a media blackout and suppression of coverage of Paul.[77] Similar allegations have arisen in the 2012 campaign and received some media coverage.[78]Politico columnist Roger Simon noted on CNN’s Reliable Sources that Paul has received considerably less coverage than Michele Bachmann, despite earning a close second to her at the Ames Straw Poll.[79] Simon later opined in Politico that the media was treating Paul unfairly.[80]

Comedian Jon Stewart similarly complained about the lack of coverage, despite Paul polling much better than candidates who received coverage. Stewart presented a montage of mainstream media clips that showed commentators ignoring, and two CNN correspondents admitting to suppressing, coverage of Paul.[81]Will Wilkinson opined in The Economist that “Ron Paul remains as willfully overlooked as an American war crime”, arguing that if Paul had won the Ames straw poll, it would have been written off as irrelevant, but since Bachmann had won, it was claimed to boost her campaign.[82] Other commentators noted that Paul has had success at past straw polls but has not turned that into broader success as a reason for the relative lack of media attention.[83]

Paul was asked in a Fox News interview “What are they [the media] afraid of?”[84] He answered “They don’t want to discuss my views, because I think they’re frightened by me challenging the status quo and the establishment.” Later, he continued on Piers Morgan Tonight: “They don’t want my views out therethey’re too dangerous … We want freedom, and we’re challenging the status quo. We want to end the war, we want a gold standard, and their view is that people just can’t handle all this freedom.”[85]

During the November 12 CBS/National Journal Debate, Paul was allocated 90 seconds speaking time. Paul’s campaign responded, saying, “Congressman Paul was only allocated 90 seconds of speaking in one televised hour. If we are to have an authentic national conversation on issues such as security and defense, we can and must do better to ensure that all voices are heard. CBS News, in their arrogance, may think they can choose the next president. Fortunately, the people of Iowa, New Hampshire, and across America get to vote and not the media elites.”[86]

Paul Mulshine a columnist with The Star-Ledger noted that the New York Times admitted to suppressing coverage of Paul. He quoted a column by Times editor Arthur Brisbane that said: “Early in the campaign, The Times decided to remain low key in its coverage of Ron Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman.”[87][88]

The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism found in August 2011 that Paul received substantially less coverage than other candidates in the 2012 race.[89][90][91][92] Pew released another study in October 2011 confirming that Paul has been receiving disproportionately low coverage in the media. Paul polled 6.09.8% during the study period, but only received 2% of media coverage, the lowest of all candidates. It also noted that Paul’s coverage among blogs was the most favorable of all candidates.[93] In January 2012, The Atlantic cited the weekly Pew study. They noted that despite steadily rising in the polls, Paul has been losing his share of press coverage, going from 34% in late-December 2011 to about 3% in mid-January 2012. They also noted a sharp drop in positive coverage and a small rise in negative.[94]

In June, a group of lawyers and legal experts filed a lawsuit[95][96] in the US District Court against the Republican National Committee and 55 state and territorial Republican party organizations for depriving Paul delegates of voice in the nominating process as required by law, and illegally coercing them to choose Mitt Romney as the party’s presidential nominee.[97] Supporters of the effort say there is “evidence that the voting rights of Ron Paul Republican delegates and voters have been violated by nearly every state GOP party and the RNC during the 2012 primary election phase.”

The plaintiffs claim that the party violated federal law by forcing delegates to sign loyalty affidavits, under threat of perjury, to vote for Mitt Romney, before an official nominee is selected. The suit alleged that there had been “a systematic campaign of election fraud at state conventions,” employing rigging of voting machines, ballot stuffing, and falsification of ballot totals. The suit further pointed to incidents at state conventions, including acts of violence and changes in procedural rules, allegedly intended to deny participation of Paul supporters in the party decision-making and to prevent votes from being cast for Paul. An attorney representing the complainants said that Paul campaign advisor Doug Wead had voiced support for the legal action.[97] Paul himself told CNN that although the lawsuit was not a part of his campaign’s strategy and that he had not been advising his supporters to sue, he was not going to tell his supporters not to sue, if they had a legitimate argument. “If they’re not following the rules, you have a right to stand up for the rules. I think for the most part these winning caucuses that we’ve been involved in we have followed the rules. And the other side has at times not followed the rules.”[98]

In August 2012, the lawsuit was dismissed by U.S. District Judge David Carter, who described most of the plaintiffs’ claims as vague and largely unintelligible. The judge said that the one intelligible claim they had lodgedthat the Massachusetts Republican Party had illegally excluded 17 elected state delegates from participating in the national convention because they had refused to commit to a particular nomineefailed because political parties have a right to exclude people from membership and leadership roles. The judge left the plaintiffs “a third and final opportunity” to amend their complaint.[99] The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint just days before the scheduled start of the convention.[100]

Despite ceasing most campaign activities, the Paul campaign did some fundraising in July 2012, in an attempt to fund the transportation expenses of Paul delegates traveling to the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.[101] Paul said one of his goals at the convention was to “plant our flag and show that our Liberty movement is the future of the GOP”.[101] He also said he was expecting a conflict over “credentials” and the party’s platform.[101] As of late August, Paul’s pet issue of auditing the Federal Reserve is on the draft version of the Republican Party’s national platform.[102] Presumptive candidate Romney is calling for the plank’s final inclusion.[103]

Paul finished third in the Iowa Republican caucuses, held on January 3, 2012. While all of the votes have not yet been counted, he is behind leader Rick Santorum (24.56%, 29,839 votes), and second-place Mitt Romney (24.54%, 29,805 votes), with 21.43% of the vote (26,036 votes).[104][105] Paul has been projected to receive 7 delegates out of 28, as many as Mitt Romney and one less than Rick Santorum, making him tied for second place in the delegate count at the time.[106][107]

Paul placed second in the New Hampshire Republican primary, held on January 10, with 22.9% of the vote, behind Mitt Romney with 39.4%. He gained 3 delegates from this contest. In the South Carolina Republican primary on January 21, Paul placed fourth and gained no delegates. Paul also gained no delegates in the Florida Republican primary on January 31, after he did little campaigning in the state because of its “winner-take-all” delegate apportionment.

The Nevada Republican caucuses were held on February 4. Paul finished third behind Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney with 18.73% of the votes and 5 of the delegates, behind the winner Romney’s 50.02% and Gingrich’s 21.10%.[108] The Colorado and Minnesota Republican caucuses were held on February 7. In Colorado, Paul finished fourth with 11.77% behind Santorum (winner with 40.24%), Romney, and Gingrich. In Minnesota, Paul finished 2nd (27.1%) behind winner Rick Santorum (44.9%), with Romney (16.9%) and Gingrich (10.8%) placing 3rd and 4th.[109] A non-binding vote in the Missouri Republican primary was held on February 7 as well, and Paul got 12.2% of the vote. The primary did not apportion any delegates; that will be done at the Missouri caucuses, scheduled to begin on March 17.[citation needed]

On February 17, with 95% of precincts in the Maine Republican caucuses reporting, Paul was running second to Mitt Romney with 34.9% of the vote to Romney’s 39%.[110] Neither of the frontrunners have pressed for a recount, and the Maine Republican Party’s chairman has stated that recounts are impossible due to the votes being physically thrown away.[111]

The Michigan and Arizona Republican primaries were held on February 28. Paul came in third place in Michigan, with 11.9%; and fourth in Arizona, with 8.45%.

A large portion of the delegates for the Republican National Convention were awarded in March, which includes the Washington Republican caucuses on March 3, Super Tuesday on March 6, and several other states later in the month. Paul came in second in the Washington caucuses, with 24.81%. On March 10, he picked up one delegate in the U.S Virgin Islands Caucuses while Romney added four delegates to the three super-delegates previously known to support him.[112]

Paul received 1.23% of the vote in the Puerto Rico primary, coming in sixth, his lowest polling of any territory during the campaign.[113][114][115]

On The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Paul said he forewent Secret Service protection because he considered it “a form of welfare” and that he believed he should pay for his own protection.[116]

The Paul campaign pursued a strategy of gathering support from state delegates as opposed to outright winning states.[117] For example, Paul had a strong showing in Romney’s home state, Massachusetts, with supporters getting the majority of delegates there (though they are compelled to vote for Romney in the first round), causing a battle between the Paul delegates, the Massachusetts Republican Party, and the Republican National Convention Committee.[118] A similar situation played out in Louisiana, with the Paul campaign initially winning 17 of 30 available delegates before procedural and legal challenges changed the allocation.[119] Paul also managed a delegate win in Nevada, with 88% of delegates supporting him.[120] Paul won 21 of 25 delegates in Iowa.[121]

On May 14, 2012, Paul announced that he would no longer actively campaign in states that have not held primaries, but rather focus on a strategy to secure delegates before the convention.[122] Paul remained active in the race through the 2012 Republican National Convention.[123] Leading up to the convention, he won bound-pluralities of the official delegations from the states of Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, and Oregon (but not the Virgin Islandsdespite winning the popular vote there). During the credentials committee meetings the week prior to the official opening of the convention, the Paul members of the delegations from Louisiana, Maine, and Oregon were disputed (as well as the Paul delegates from Massachusetts), and many of his delegates from those states were unseated. At the same time, Paul delegates from Oklahoma disputed the credentials of the official Oklahoma delegation, but they did not succeed. In the end, he had bound-pluralities from Iowa, Minnesota, and Nevada; however, he additionally had nomination-from-the-floor-pluralities in the states of Oregon and Alaska, plus the territory of the Virgin Islands. Under the 2012 rules, this total of 6 from-the-floor pluralities was sufficient to earn a fifteen-minute speech on national television; the rules were changed at the last minute to require 8 from-the-floor pluralities, and thus he did not speak at the convention.[124] Although he wasn’t named the 2012 Republican nominee, he did not officially end his campaign or endorse nominee Mitt Romney for president.[125][126] At the convention, he received second place with 8% of the delegates; Gingrich and Santorum had released their bound delegates to Romney the week before the official opening of the convention. Paul’s state-by-state delegates tallies were not verbally acknowledged by the RNC.

Paul would end the campaign with 118 delegates, coming in fourth behind Gingrich, Santorum, and Romney.”2012 Republican Delegates”.

View original post here:
Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2012 – Wikipedia

Posted in Ron Paul | Comments Off on Ron Paul presidential campaign, 2012 – Wikipedia

What is transhumanism, or, what does it mean to be human? | ExtremeTech

Posted: November 27, 2016 at 9:47 am

What does it mean to be human? Biology has a simple answer: If your DNA is consistent with Homo sapiens, you are human but we all know that humanity is a lot more complex and nuanced than that. Other schools of science might classify humans by their sociological or psychological behavior, but again we know that actually being human is more than just the sum of our thoughts and actions.You can also look at being human as a sliding scale. If you were to build a human from scratch, from the bottom up, at some point you cross the threshold into humanity if you believe in evolution, at some point we ceased being a great ape and became human. Likewise, if you slowly remove parts from a human, you cross the threshold into inhumanity. Again, though, we run into the same problem: How do we codify, classify, and ratify what actually makes us human?

Does adding empathy make us human? Does removing the desire to procreate make us inhuman? If I physically alter my brain to behave in a different, non-standard way, am I still human? If I have all my limbs removed and my head spliced onto a robot, am I still human? (See: Upgrade your ears: Elective auditory implants give you cyborg hearing.)At first glance these questions might sound inflammatory and hyperbolic, or perhaps surreal and sci-fi, but dont be fooled: In the next decade, given the continued acceleration of computer technology and biomedicine, we will be forced to confront these questions and attempt to find some answers.

Transhumanism is a cultural and intellectual movement that believes we can, and should, improve the human condition through the use of advanced technologies. One of the core concepts in transhumanist thinking is life extension: Through genetic engineering, nanotech, cloning, and other emerging technologies, eternal life may soon be possible. Likewise, transhumanists are interested in the ever-increasing number of technologies that can boost our physical, intellectual, and psychological capabilities beyond what humans are naturally capable of (thus the term transhuman). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), for example, which speeds up reaction times and learning speed by running a very weak electric current through your brain, has already been used by the US military to train snipers. On the more extreme side, transhumanism deals with the concepts of mind uploading (to a computer), and what happens when we finally craft a computer with greater-than-human intelligence (the technological singularity). (See: How to create a mind, or die trying.)

Beyond the obvious benefits of eternal life or superhuman strength, transhumanism also investigates the potential dangers and ethical pitfalls of human enhancement. In the case of life extension, if every human on Earth suddenly stopped dying, overpopulation would trigger a very rapid and very dramatic socioeconomic disaster. Unless we stopped giving birth to babies, of course, but that merely rips open another can of worms: Without birth and death, would society and humanity continue to grow and evolve, or would it stagnate, suffocated by the accumulated ego of intellectuals and demagogues who just will not die? Likewise, if only the rich have access to intelligence- and strength-boosting drugs and technologies, what would happen to society? Should everyone have the right to boost their intellect? Would society still operate smoothly if everyone had an IQ of 300 and five doctorate degrees?

As you can see, things get complicated quickly when discussing transhumanist ideas and life extension and augmented intelligence and strength are just the tip of the iceberg! This philosophical and ethical complexity stems from the fact that transhumanism is all about fusing humans with technology and technology is advancing, improving, and breaking new ground very, very quickly. Humans have always used technology, of course our ability to use tools and grasp concepts such as science and physics are what set us apart from other animals but never has society been so intrinsically linked and underpinned by it. As we have seen in just the last few years, with the advent of the smartphone and ubiquitous high-speed mobile networks, just a handful of new technologies now have the power to completely change how we interact with the the world and people around us.

Humans, on the other hand, and the civilizations that they build, move relatively slowly. It took us millions of years to discover language, and thousands more to discover medicine and the scientific method. In the few thousand years since, up until the last century or so, we doubled the human life span, but neurology and physiology were impenetrable black boxes.In just the last 100 years, weve doubled our life span again, created bionic eyes and powered exoskeletons, begun to understand how the human brain actually works, and started to make serious headway with boosting intellectual and physical prowess. Weve already mentioned how tDCS is being used to boost cranial capacity, and as weve seen in recent years, sportspeople have definitely shown the efficacy of physical doping.

It is due to this jarring juxtaposition the historical slowness of human and societal evolution vs. the breakneck pace of modern technology that many find transhumanism to be unpalatable. After all, as Ive described it here, transhumanism is almost the very definition of unnatural. Youre quite within your rights to find transhumanism a bit, well, weird. And it is weird, dont get me wrong but so are most emerging technologies. Do you think that your great grandparents werent wigged out by the first television sets? Before it garnered the name television, one of its inventors gave it the rather spooky name of distant electric vision. Can you imagine the wariness in which passengers approached the first steam trains? Vast mechanical beasts that could pull hundreds of tons and moved far faster than the humble but state-of-the-art horse and carriage.

The uneasiness that surround new, paradigm-shifting technologies isnt new, and it has only been amplified by the exponential acceleration of technology that has occurred during our lifetime. If you were born 500 years ago, odds are that you wouldnt experience a single societal-shifting technology in your lifetime today, a 40 year old will have lived through the creation of the PC, the internet, the smartphone, and brain implants, to name just a few life-changing technologies. It is unsettling, to say the least, to have the rug repeatedly pulled out from under you, especially when its your livelihood at stake. Just think about how many industries and jobs have been obliterated or subsumed by the arrival of the digital computer, and its easy to see why were wary of transhumanist technologies that will change the very fabric of human civilization.

The good news, though, is that humans are almost infinitely adaptable. While you or I might balk at the idea of a brain-computer interface that allows us to download our memories to a PC, and perhaps upload new memories a la The Matrix, our children who can use smartphones at the age of 24 months, and communicate chiefly through digital means will probably think nothing of it. For the children of tomorrow, living through a series of disruptive technologies that completely change their lives will be the norm. There might still be some resistance when I opt to have my head spliced onto a robotic exoskeleton, but within a generation children will be used to seeing Iron Seb saving people from car crashes and flying alongside airplanes.

The fact of the matter is that transhumanism is just a modern term for an age-old phenomenon. We have been augmenting our humanity our strength, our wisdom, our empathy with tools since prehistory. We have always been spooked by technologies that seem unnatural or that cause us to act in inhuman ways its simply human nature. That all changes with the children of today, however. To them, anything that isnt computerized, digital, and touch-enabled seems unnatural. To them, the smartphone is already an extension of the brain; to them, mind uploading, bionic implants and augmentations, and powered exoskeletons will just be par for the course. To them, transhumanism will just seem like natural evolution and anyone who doesnt follow suit, just like those fuddy-duddies who still dont have a smartphone, will seem thoroughly inhuman.

Now read: The Geek shall inherit the Earth

[Image credit:]

Continue reading here:

What is transhumanism, or, what does it mean to be human? | ExtremeTech

Posted in Transhumanism | Comments Off on What is transhumanism, or, what does it mean to be human? | ExtremeTech

Sacred Centers – Tools for Conscious Evolution

Posted: at 9:46 am

Aligned along the sacred core of your body, seven energy centers known as chakras spin like sacred jewels, forming a bridge of connection between Heaven and Earth, spirit and matter, mind and body.

Herein lies the architecture of the soul.

This ancient map of the chakra system presents a viable key to wholeness and a guide for both personal and planetary awakening.

As we align the inner worlds of earth, water, fire, air, sound, light, and consciousness, we simultaneously align with these sacred elements in the outer world.

Herein find tools to open, engage, activate, and align your chakras and your innermost being with the larger mystery of life.

Explore our books, workshops, home learning courses, videos, and more.

Join our community and become a member of Sacred Centers.

In this long-awaited book by acclaimed chakra expert Anodea Judith, you will learn how to use yogas principles and practices to awaken the subtle body of energy and connect with your highest source. Using seven vital keys to unlock your inner temple, you will be guided through practices that open and activate each chakra through postures, bioenergetic exercises, breathing practices, mantras, guided meditation, and yoga philosophy. Learn how to activate your chakras through yoga. With 232 full-color photographs, step-by-step alignment instructions, chakra-based posture sequences, pranayama (breathing) techniques, mantras, yoga philosophy, and more, this book is a must-have resource for anyone who teaches or wants to learn about yoga and moving the subtle energy.

Read the original here:
Sacred Centers – Tools for Conscious Evolution

Posted in Conscious Evolution | Comments Off on Sacred Centers – Tools for Conscious Evolution

Schedules – SeaLand

Posted: November 25, 2016 at 10:18 am


Read more:

Schedules – SeaLand

Posted in Sealand | Comments Off on Schedules – SeaLand

2 senior officials ask for head of NSA to be replaced …

Posted: at 10:09 am

The recommendation by Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was made last month, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the recommendation.

The replacement of such a senior person would be unprecedented at a time when the US intelligence community has repeatedly warned about the threat of cyberattacks.

A major reason for their recommendation is the belief that Rogers was not working fast enough on a critical reorganization to address the cyberthreat. The Obama administration has wanted to keep the NSA dealing with signals intelligence, which would be a civilian-led agency, and a separate cybercommand which would remain under the military, the official told CNN.

Right now, one man, Rogers, heads both. He took over as head of the NSA and Cyber Command in April 2014.

The official said the initial plan was to announce the reorganization and that given the shift of personnel, Rogers would be thanked for his service and then move on.

Another issue — but not the sole driving factor in removing Rogers, according to the source — is a continuing concern about security.

Harold Martin, a former contractor for Booz Allen who was working at the NSA, has been charged and is being held without bail after allegedly stealing a large amount of classified information. Prosecutors allege he stole the names of “numerous” covert US agents. He was arrested in August after federal authorities uncovered what they have described as mountains of highly classified intelligence in his car, home and shed, which they said had been accumulated over many years.

Martin’s motivation remains unclear, and federal authorities have not alleged that he gave or sold the information to anyone.

Separately, this comes as Rogers is one of those under consideration by President-elect Donald Trump to be the next director of national intelligence, CNN has previously reported. Rogers went on a private trip on Thursday to meet with Trump, a trip that took many administration officials by surprise.

Some officials also have complained about Rogers’ leadership style, according to the Post.

The Pentagon declined to comment, as did a spokesman for the director of national intelligence. The NSA did not return a request for comment.

The idea for dividing NSA’s efforts has been in the works for a while.

“So we had them both in the same location and able to work with one another. That has worked very well, but it’s not necessarily going to — the right approach to those missions overall in the long run. And we need to look at that and it’s not just a matter of NSA and CYBERCOM,” Carter told a tech industry group in September.

CNN’s Jim Sciutto contributed to this report.

More here:
2 senior officials ask for head of NSA to be replaced …

Posted in NSA | Comments Off on 2 senior officials ask for head of NSA to be replaced …

UK Marketing Firm Goes Bitcoin as Industry Interest Surges …

Posted: at 10:09 am

UK digital marketing agency In Front Digital has begun accepting bitcoin as payment following an increase in interest from businesses in the sector.

Also read:Did Barclays Just Declare War on Bitcoin Users?

The company, based in the countrys second city Birmingham, is still among the first movers in an environment comparatively slow to catch on to digital currency.

With the increase in interest in bitcoin, weve had several clients (mostly tech ones) ask if we did accept bitcoin, CEO Matthew Day told

We have also had some interest around international work and barriers are a lot lower (and quicker) when dealing with bitcoin versus bank transfers or PayPal.

In Front Digital offers SEO and PPC services as part of its full service marketing package, all of which can now be paid for in bitcoin. In a press release issued Monday, the company indicated it had been eyeingbitcoins progress among merchants for some time prior to making a decision to come on board.

We have been following the trend and usage of cryptocurrencies over the past 18 months and see bitcoin is gaining in strength, popularity and use, Day explained.

Research into bitcoins full potential to help business process does not stop at pleasing tech clients. The past few years have seen startups demonstrate how the virtual currency can easily be used to streamline not just merchant payments, but a raft of internal processes, which Day is keenly aware of.

I would prefer to keep the money in bitcoin due to safety from inflation but I will convert some to pay for expenses, such as company running costs, as although the amount of places taking bitcoin is increasing, we are still for the most part restricted to the banking system, he continued.

He added he would welcome the day that he could pay staff salaries in bitcoin.

Unlike many businesses which use merchant providers such as BitPay or Coinbase to accept payments, Day is going it alone. Indeed, long term he considers it prudent to maintain a maximum amount of BTC profit in its original format.

I think it is safer to keep it in bitcoin rather than fiat currencies, he said. I havent really used merchant support infrastructure too much but I am aware of sites like BitPay and others.

The UK is currently shaping up to be a mixed environment for cryptocurrency and businesses that deal in it. While government schemes appear to broadly support disruptive fintech, recent moves from the countrys banks demonstrate a lack of understanding on legislation and liability.

What do you think about In Front Digitals perspective on Bitcoin adoption and the current UK regulatory stance? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images via Shutterstock, In Front Digital

If youd like to know more about how to accept Bitcoin as a business, read our User Guides or ask your questions on the Forum.

Follow this link:
UK Marketing Firm Goes Bitcoin as Industry Interest Surges …

Posted in Bitcoin | Comments Off on UK Marketing Firm Goes Bitcoin as Industry Interest Surges …

Artificial Intelligence Lockheed Martin

Posted: November 23, 2016 at 10:00 pm

For the commander facing an unconventional adversary; for the intelligence analyst trying to find the needle in the data haystack; or for the operator trying to maintain complex systems under degraded conditions or attack, todays warfighter faces problems of scale, complexity pace and resilience that outpace unaided human decision making. Artificial Intelligence (AI) provides the technology to augment human analysis and decision makers by capturing knowledge in computers in forms that can be re-applied in critical situations. This gives users the ability to react to problems that require analysis of massive data; demand fast-paced analysis and decision making, and that demand resilience in uncertain and changing conditions. AI offers the technology to change the human role from in-the-loop controller to on-the-loop thinker who can focus on a more reflective assessment of problems and strategies, guiding rather than being buried in execution detail. By creating technology that allows captured knowledge to continually evolve to incorporate new experience or changing user’s needs, AI-based analysis and decision support tools can continue to assist the user long after its original knowledge becomes obsolete.

Key Technologies Artificial Intelligence is focused on the research, development, and transition of technologies that enable dynamic and real-time changes to knowledge bases that allow for informed, agile, and coordinated Command and Control decisions

The Artificial Intelligence group has an emphasis in four key thrust areas:

Artificial Intelligence is one of several Research Areas for the Informatics Laboratory.

Continue reading here:

Artificial Intelligence Lockheed Martin

Posted in Artificial Intelligence | Comments Off on Artificial Intelligence Lockheed Martin

Memetics Story

Posted: at 10:00 pm

DRUIDE : Celui qui est trs savant





Envisags au sens large, c’est–dire en tant qu’ils forment une classe sacerdotale, les druides offrent l’exemple accompli d’un groupe assumant au niveau le plus lev les valeurs, non d’un tat, mais d’un ensemble ethnique tout entier, dont il reprsente la foncire unit en mme temps qu’il contribue puissamment la maintenir, en dpit d’une grande dispersion dans l’espace – des rives de l’Atlantique la Cappadoce. Leur prsence, il est vrai, n’est pas formellement atteste partout dans le monde celtique; mais ceci tient, en partie au moins, l’indigence de notre information. Celle-ci repose sur les notices occasionnelles livres par la littrature grecque ou latine relaye, en Bretagne insulaire et surtout en Irlande, par une littrature mdivale hautement conservatrice, mais christianise. Au demeurant, le nom mme de druides n’est pas connu en dehors du celtique. Mais, de quelque manire que chaque nation celtique ait organis ce corps complexe, l’essentiel est qu’il conserve un statut minemment archaque qui l’apparente, parfois jusqu’au dtail, aux confrries homologues connues dans d’autres rgions conservatrices du monde indo-europen : Rome avec les flamines et les pontifes, dans l’Inde pr-bouddhique avec les brahmanes, ces derniers ayant mme l’poque historique cristallis en une classe ferme – la premire des trois castes fondamentales – la position minente et les liens avec l’aristocratie dirigeante qu’ils dtenaient aux temps vdiques.

Or, ce dernier trait est prcisment l’une des spcificits de l’ordre druidique : s’il agit dans l’intrt de la communaut, c’est de manire implicite; en fait, il apparat troitement li l’aristocratie, dans laquelle il se recrute, mme si l’on ne peut affirmer que, dans l’ensemble, la fonction ait t rigoureusement hrditaire. En tout cas, il apparat comme la face savante et sacralisante de la figure royale. Les activits exerces par les druides (au tmoignage de Csar comme des vieux textes de l’Irlande) pourraient mme servir dfinir de manire exemplaire cette fonction sociale primordiale que G. Dumzil a mise au jour chez les anciens peuples indo-europens et qu’il a appele, aprs l’indianiste A. Bergaigne, du nom heureux de souverainet . Souverainet, c’est–dire tout ce qui, activits ou modes de penser, rgit les formes suprieures d’administration du sacr et, sous la garantie des dieux, de la socit des hommes, avec leurs prolongements thologiques, juridiques et, plus largement, la pit, l’intelligence, la divination ou le savoir. La royaut proprement dite occupe dans ce schma une position part, transcendant les deux autres fonctions (guerre et force physique d’une part, fcondit et productivit de l’autre) tout en exerant le pouvoir au nom de la premire; et l’on voit dans l’Inde le roi provenir dans la pratique de la caste guerrire.

On ne saurait par ailleurs oublier que les conditions documentaires dans lesquelles nous atteignons le paganisme celtique nous interdisent toute investigation en profondeur sur les motivations proprement religieuses du prtre, sur ce qu’on serait tent d’appeler une vocation. En effet, l’historiographie grco-romaine ne s’y intresse pour ainsi dire que de l’extrieur. Csar nous a laiss, on vient de le rappeler, une description infiniment prcieuse de l’institution druidique (De bello Gallico, VI, 13-14); mais c’est une description d’ethnologue, vraisemblablement tire du voyageur-philosophe Posidonios, et d’ailleurs sommaire, du druide duen Diviciacus. Csar ne pouvait retenir, eu gard son objectif, que l’action politique : il n’a pas cherch en quoi le prtre et le politique ont pu interfrer.

Quant aux littratures insulaires mdivales, elles foisonnent en pisodes qui mettent en scne des personnages issus de la tradition druidique : magiciens, conteurs, voire un ancien dieu-druide comme Dagd. Mais les clercs qui l’on doit la recension dfinitive des rcits irlandais ou gallois les ont expurgs en tant la fonction druidique une partie de son aspect religieux, du moins au niveau lev o il pouvait offusquer une conscience chrtienne : c’est–dire prcisment ce qui intresse l’engagement du prtre celtique l’gard de la divinit. Faut-il le dire ? Les littratures celtiques anciennes n’ont livr l’quivalent ni d’un Lamennais ni mme d’un Bernanos. En revanche, la place du druide dans la socit donne matire un riche dossier, dont on ne peut prsenter ici que quelques pices matresses. C’est donc dans un cadre minemment social que la question de l’engagement peut tre envisage, mme si – et ceci n’est nullement contradictoire – les comptences multiples de la classe druidique mlent de manire indissociable, comme en toute socit archaque, sacr et profane.

I – Les origines

Elles ont donn lieu, dans un pass encore rcent, maintes controverses. J. Pokorny voyait dans l’institution druidique l’un des vestiges pr-indo-europens qu’il croyait reconnatre dans les langues et les civilisations celtiques. Plus rcemment, l’historien de l’Antiquit J. Harmand y a vu une institution peu ancienne. En vrit, comme on l’a brivement indiqu plus haut, il y a lieu de distinguer l’institution et la terminologie qui s’y rapporte. Cette dernire peut tre moins archaque, en ce sens que les mots clefs qui dsignent le prtre-savant ou le devin (druid-, bardo, weled-) se retrouvent la fois en Gaule, en Irlande et, pour les deux derniers, en Galles, sans remonter pour autant comme tels la prhistoire indo-europenne. Du moins ces trois termes sont-ils antrieurs la sparation, plus rcente il est vrai qu’on ne le pensait nagure, entre les Gals d’Irlande et le complexe gallo-brittonique (comprenant la majorit des Celtes continentaux et de Grande-Bretagne). Rappelons d’ailleurs en passant qu’il y a lieu de renoncer dfinitivement l’analyse traditionnelle de druid- (ainsi chez Csar, plur. druides, etc., et en proto-galique : cf. v. irl. dru, plur. druidi) par le nom du chne , analyse inspire entre autres par le rite de la cueillette du gui. Le vieux breton dorguid devin qui lui est visiblement apparent de prs, invite en effet y reconnatre un compos de la racine *weid- qui, ds l’indo-europen, se rfrait la vision physique, mais aussi la voyance, et de l au savoir et la sapience. Cette valeur religieuse subsiste, dgrade, dans les mots russe vd’ma sorcire et armnien get sorcier, devin . Lacise, elle a fourni les verbes savoir au germanique (nerl. weten, etc.; mais cf. encore angl. wise sage, avis ). Restreinte son emploi physique, elle nous a donn notre verbe voir (lit. uidere; cf. angl. wit-ness tmoin ). Le sens de druid- est donc trs savant (ou trs voyant) . L’irlandais a, en outre, form sur le mme modle su (*su-wid-) trs sage , qui dsigne parfois le druide dans les textes mdivaux. Mais ce modle mme est indo-europen : dans l’Inde, les composs nominaux en -vd- sont dj rig-vdiques; ds l’poque vdique tardive, l’une des pithtes du brahmane est evam-vid- (litt. qui sait de manire conforme, qui sait le vrai ), et d’ailleurs le sanscrit n’ignore pas le compos su-vid-, faiblement et tardivement attest, il est vrai. Sans doute, le nom du druide n’est pas ranger formellement parmi ces conservatismes en matire de terminologie juridico-religieuse que le monde italique ou celtique partage avec le monde indo-iranien (type lat. rix, celt. rix roi : sanscr. rj-, rj, ou encore lat. flamen : scr. brahmn-). Il reste que la structure du mot et sa signification institutionnelle, identiques depuis l’ouest du Continent jusqu’ l’Irlande, attestent son existence ds l’poque proto-celtique et font prsumer la haute antiquit de l’institution elle-mme. C’est ces antiques confrries sacerdotales, qui apparaissent dans leurs milieux respectifs comme des survivances, que J. Vendryes, ds 1914 (dans une communication publie et connue en 1918), attribuait les concordances de terminologie juridico-religieuse conserves par les rgions priphriques du monde indo-europen. Le trait le plus frappant, on l’a indiqu ci-dessus, est le contrle exerc par le druide sur le pouvoir que nous nommerions aujourd’hui excutif, l’origine la royaut. Elle-mme hritage prhistorique, elle survit avec ses formes traditionnelles en Irlande jusqu’ son incorporation la couronne d’Angleterre, en Bretagne insulaire jusqu’ l’poque romaine; mais, dans la Gaule de Csar, elle avait cd presque partout le pas un rgime de magistratures. Mais mme alors l’action du druide demeure prpondrante : ce sont les druides duens qui lvent Convictolitavis la magistrature suprme (Cs., B. G., VII, 34, 4), selon la coutume nationale (more ciuitatis), la royaut ayant d’ores et dj disparu (intermissis magistratibus). Un rcit pique irlandais montre comment l’incantation druidique intervenait lors de l’lection du roi suprme de l’le (ard-r), et d’une faon gnrale la littrature irlandaise abonde en tmoignages sur l’autorit spirituelle que les druides, en particulier celui qui tait attach la cour, exeraient sur le pouvoir. Si le druide n’avait pas proprement autorit sur le roi, la coutume lui assurait du moins une prrogative (au sens romain du terme) que le rhteur grec Dion Chrysostome, au dbut du IIe sicle de notre re, a bien exprime : sans les druides, il n’tait permis au roi ni d’agir ni de dcider (Disc., 32 = anc. 49). Formule que rpte presque mot pour mot tel rcit du cycle d’Ulster c’tait un des interdits du roi (des Ulates) que de prendre la parole avant ses druides : mme le fier Conchobar s’y soumet docilement. Un vieux trait lexicologique irlandais, la Convenance des noms (Cir anmann), oppose les druides qui sont des dieux aux hommes du commun qui ne le sont pas. Or, ces traits se retrouvent dans l’Inde ancienne, o le brahmane est magnifi ds les temps vdiques, jusqu’ tre qualifi de dieu-homme , et o l’on voit les raja s’attacher un chapelain titre personnel, la fois conseiller, garant de la bienveillance divine et exorciseur, et qui, dans le crmonial de la cour, avait la prsance (de l son nom de puro-hita- plac devant ). Et le peu que nous percevons d’authentique dans la Rome des rois (les quatre pr-trusques du rcit traditionnel) donne penser qu’une solidarit de mme ordre unissait le rex et le plus minent des trois flammes majeurs : celui qui desservait le culte de Jupiter, le dieu latin que ses attributions rapprochaient le plus de la souverainet telle que dfinie ci-dessus. Dans son Mitra-Varuna, p. 26 sv., G. Dumzil a dress un tableau saisissant des concordances entre les contraintes rituelles imposes Rome au flamine de Jupiter et en Inde au brahmane. Or, on vient de voir que flamen et brahmn- reposent sur un mme original prhistorique, les objections ritres l’encontre de ce vieux rapprochement (et dont aucune n’est dirimante) se heurtant ici une sorte d’vidence premire; et cette identit la fois rituelle et lexicale forme une sorte de chanon permettant de relier cet ensemble le druidisme celtique, o un *blaxmon- n’a jusqu’ici pas laiss de trace mais aura t remplac par ce qui semble avoir t une qualification laudative, sorte de titre crmoniel : qui a science ou voyance profonde . Ces concidences n’puisent pas la liste. En voici quelques-unes encore, trs diffrentes, dont seul peut rendre compte le soin avec lequel des corporations savantes ou sacerdotales ont su maintenir chacune de son ct, travers deux millnaires d’une protohistoire coup sr mouvemente, une tradition jalousement entretenue. C’est, par exemple, la fidlit au blanc comme symbole de la premire fonction , par opposition notamment au rouge des rois ou des guerriers, qu’il s’agisse du bonnet du flamine romain (l’albo-galerus) ou du vtement de l’officiant indo-iranien (car certaines des concordances s’tendent l’Iran mazden) ou celtique : deux notices de Pline l’Ancien (XVI, 149; XXIV, 103) sont cet gard tout fait premptoires. – D’autre part, le plus vieux droit irlandais (dont la rdaction parvenue jusqu’ nous s’chelonne du VIe au VIIIe sicle) et le plus vieux droit indien (Lois dites de Manu, dont la recension est plus ancienne d’environ un demi-millnaire) prsentent entre eux des convergences portant sur des points prcis, et qui ne sauraient tre fortuites : l’incapacit de la femme, formule en termes pratiquement identiques, avec la mme exception pour la fille piclre, substitut du fils en l’absence d’hritiers en ligne masculine; le nombre de gnrations retenues comme constitutives de la grande famille; les divers modes de mariages, etc. Les druides et les brahmanes ont entretenu de mme la croyance en l’efficacit magique de la dclaration ou du rcit vridique. Ainsi, un texte irlandais, peut-tre du VIIIe sicle, fait noncer un juriste lgendaire une srie d’aphorismes destins un prince, lui promettant, s’il pratique la Vrit, un rgne heureux et puissant, l’loignement de la mort pour ses populations, un juste quilibre des saisons, etc. Il n’est pas rare que des textes narratifs assurent ceux qui les coutent protection, succs en justice, en voyage ou la chasse : en quoi l’Irlande rejoint exactement la doctrine indienne du ravanaphala- ( fruit de l’audition [vridique ou sacre] ), plusieurs fois raffirme dans le Mahabharata par exemple. On sait par ailleurs que la Vrit est dans les conceptions indo-iraniennes une composante de l’ordre cosmique; elle fait l’objet d’un respect religieux qui s’affirme par exemple sur les inscriptions monumentales des rois de Perse achmnides. Identique en Inde et dans le monde celtique a t aussi l’attitude des corps savants devant l’criture. Cette dernire, on le sait, tait pourtant connue dans la Gaule hellnise, surtout Marseille, ds le VIe sicle avant notre re; des inscriptions en langue gauloise montrent que l’alphabet grec avait lentement pntr le long de la valle du Rhne et mme au-del de la Loire. Et, si obscure que soit l’origine des critures indiennes, il parat vraisemblable que les relations avec l’Empire perse, matre de la rgion de l’Indus, avaient apport l’usage, des fins administratives ou mercantiles, de la langue et de l’criture aramennes, bien que tout tmoignage direct fasse ici dfaut. Quoi qu’il en soit, mme les grammairiens sanscrits (sans parler par exemple de l’pope) ne font aucune allusion l’criture. Et il est curieux de constater que l’pigraphie indigne apparat au IIIe sicle en Inde comme – de manire trs limite – en Gaule du Midi. Quant l’emploi de l’ogam maintes fois voqu dans la littrature irlandaise, il ne s’agit pas encore du systme alphabtique qui se constituera sous ce nom dans l’Irlande chrtienne et latinise du IVe sicle, mais de signes magiques, sortes de sortilges gravs, dont seuls, d’ailleurs, les druides ou les filid avaient la matrise. On est donc en prsence d’un attachement bilatral, et dlibr, au principe de l’oralit, avec cette circonstance rvlatrice qu’en ce qui concerne la Gaule, la responsabilit des druides est explicitement affirme par le tmoignage de Csar (B. G., VI, 14). En Inde, o Vak ( Parole ) tait divinise, on estime que la transmission exclusivement orale des parties versifies du Veda (hymnaires, formules liturgiques, etc.) s’est poursuivie jusqu’au milieu du Moyen ge; nagure encore la mmorisation de textes trs tendus tenait une grande place dans l’apprentissage des futurs pandits. On a pu parler ce propos, comme d’une constante de l’rudition indienne, d’un long ddain pour la chose crite. Mais ici nous touchons un aspect trop essentiel du druidisme – l’enseignement, la valeur sacre de la parole, la part de la mmoire et de l’improvisation dans la composition potique ou savante -, pour ne pas lui rserver un dveloppement part, qu’on trouvera plus loin.

II – Organisation hirarchique, enseignement, recrutement

Par organisation hirarchique , il ne faudrait pas entendre une structure cohrente, sorte d’glise constitue soumise une autorit centrale analogue celle qu’exerait Rome le pontifex maximus. Le monde celtique ancien ne comptait pas, on le sait, d’tats centraliss. Cependant, d’une part, la classe des druides possdait au moins l’embryon d’une organisation supra-nationale : il suffit d’voquer la runion que les druides des diverses cits de Gaule tenaient tous les ans. D’autre part, ces mmes druides gaulois lisaient une sorte de prsident, investi, dit Csar (VI, 13, 8), de la plus grande autorit morale (summam auctoritatem). En outre, la classe comptait diverses fonctions spcialises, mieux connues pour l’Irlande que pour la Celtique continentale mis part trois d’entre elles : l’invocateur, le devin et le barde :

1 – c’est par invocateur qu’il convient d’interprter le mot transcrit gutuater sur quelques ddicaces latines de Gaule, l’lment gutu- tant rapprocher de l’irl. guth voix , ce qui placerait le gutuater dans la classe druidique un niveau comparable celui du hotar brhmanique (sans parent tymologique entre les deux noms); on notera que le titre, conserv exceptionnellement l’poque romaine, dsigne un prtre attach un culte particulier (en l’espce celui d’Anvallos, dieu rgional d’Autun, et de Mars, lequel recouvre coup sr un dieu tutlaire de cit ); or, ce service d’un culte personnel n’est jamais dit d’un druide et c’est ce caractre troitement cultuel qui l’avait sans doute fait tolrer par le pouvoir romain;

2 – le devin (en Gaule uatis, en Irlande faith), porte un vieux nom indo-europen occidental conserv en latin, et dont la racine renvoie la notion de possession ou de transe mystique , puis d ‘inspiration divinatoire ou potique , valeurs encore trs sensibles en germanique : le nom d’Odhinn (Wotan) en drive, ainsi que les mots all. Wut fureur ou v. anglais wods chant ; ce dernier sens est aussi, avec la nuance particulire de chant de louange , celui du moy. gallois gwawd; la tradition galique a cependant privilgi un nom du voyant (fiIe, au pluriel filid, du celt. anc. *wel- voir ), qui dsigne le plus gnralement dans les textes les divers reprsentants du corps savant ou magicien; peut-tre par suite de l’effacement du druide prtre, il occupe un rang lev dans la hirarchie sociale; la prophtesse Velleda de la petite tribu germanique rhnane des Bructres indique que le prestige de ce nom, et sans doute de la fonction, ont rayonn la priphrie du monde celtophone; l’Irlande connat aussi la devineresse (ban-file);

3 – plus connu, le barde (anc. bardos, irl. brd, gall. bardd, etc.) tait proprement le louangeur , le chantre charg de composer l’loge versifi des chefs ou un chant de guerre devant les troupes (cf. sanscr. gir- chant de louange ); attest dans toute l’tendue du monde celtique, il reprsentait un degr modeste dans la classe druidique, et sans doute est-ce pour cette raison qu’il lui a survcu pour ainsi dire jusqu’ nos jours : qui dit barde ne pense-t-il pas d’abord ces mnestrels bretons (barzhed) qui, au XIXe sicle encore, s’en allaient de foires en chteaux drouler les couplets de leur composition ou de leur rpertoire ? Chose trange, le mystrieux pouvoir qu’ils tenaient d’une antique tradition n’avait pas tout fait disparu, et il arrivait qu’on les consulte dans les affaires graves de la famille : aussi bien, tous les potes ou chanteurs populaires ne dtenaient pas le titre de barde. Comme on lisait en Gaule un druide suprme (au terme d’une comptition qui n’tait pas toujours platonique), de mme l’Irlande proclamait, au terme d’une disputatio verbale, un docteur (ollam, littralement suprme, minent ), qui revtait une robe spciale : tmoin, par exemple, le Colloque des deux sages , dont le vainqueur tait l’un des plus illustres potes mythiques de l’le, Ferchterne. Ici encore, rencontre entre traditions gauloise et galique. Le recrutement des druides de l’Antiquit tait, cela va sans dire, aristocratique – entendons qu’il concernait les deux premires classes, traduction dans la pratique sociale des deux fonctions dumziliennes de souverainet et de force guerrire. Toutefois, il importe de noter, pour notre propos, que nous n’en connaissons pas les rgles prcises, dont il n’est pas sr qu’elles n’aient pas vari avec le temps, les peuples, les circonstances. Nous les dduisons d’aprs les textes, spcialement irlandais, qui sont de nature plus pique ou mythologique que religieuse.

On sait du moins par un passage clbre de Csar (VI, 14) que les apprentis druides passaient par un noviciat de vingt annes, dure que la tradition irlandaise rduit douze ans. D’autre part, le mme texte nous apprend que les druides taient les ducateurs de la jeunesse. Ds lors se pose une question. Entre leurs lves, nombreux (magnus adulescentium numerus), et les candidats retenus la prtrise, o se situait la limite, comment s’oprait la slection, et quelle tait la part de la slection et celle de la vocation ? Cl. Sterckx, que la question a rcemment retenu, suggre que si l’accs l’enseignement n’tait pas rserv la caste druidique, il peut ne s’tre agi que d’une partie du savoir profane ou, au plus, de formes auxiliaires de sacerdoce ne requrant qu’un cursus moins long, tandis qu’on a pu rserver aux fils de druides les formes suprieures de la science thologique, les arcanes. De fait, ajoute Cl. Sterckx, des textes les plus anciens… aux derniers sicles des populations claniques d’Irlande et d’cosse, l’hrdit des fonctions (druides, potes, musiciens, mdecins…) est gnrale . Il semble bien en effet ressortir de deux passages du pote bordelais Ausone (Prof. Burdigal., IV, 7 et X, 22 Peiper) que des sacerdoces exercs autrefois en Gaule taient hrditaires. Le fait que les deux personnages voqus soient devenus au temps d’Ausone des rhteurs et des professeurs tmoigne mme d’une volution caractristique : le savoir s’est lacis en mme temps qu’il s’est latinis, mais il est rest une constante dans les deux familles. D’autre part, une version du clbre rcit pique irlandais le Rapt des vaches de Cooley (Tin b Cualnge) voque le grand druide Cathbad et sa classe de cent cinquante enfants nobles, dont huit seulement, dit le texte, taient capables de science druidique ; et une autre version parle, propos de la mme classe, de cent tourdis , nous apprenant ainsi que les lves n’taient pas tous arms de fortes motivations, et en mme temps que les chiffres de 100 ou 150 taient conventionnels, donc exagrs. D’autre part, il n’y avait pas de cloisons tanches entre la classe druidique et la noblesse guerrire; tel fils de noble pouvait devenir druide, et inversement : le roi d’Ulster Conchobar tait le fils du druide Cathbad. En Celtique continentale, le druide Diviciacus commande une arme duenne (Cs., II, 10, 5); en revanche, il ne ressort pas clairement du tmoignage de Cicron (De diu., II, 37) que le chef galate Djotarus, contemporain de Csar, ait lui-mme accompli l’acte technique d’une prise d’auspices : il a pu tre accompagn d’un augure professionnel comme et fait un gnral romain. Que conclure de tout ceci ? Assurment – la longueur mme des tudes l’imposait -, le recrutement des lves tait rserv l’aristocratie et, du moins pour les premiers degrs, non ncessairement la seule classe druidique. Or, on va voir que celle-ci comportait une srie de grades, de fonctions d’ingale dignit. Il est donc prsumer que des tudes plus courtes, limites au savoir laque (au sens tout relatif de ce terme), conduisaient certains grades, tandis que les plus levs, o entrait une part indterminable de vocation personnelle, de slection intellectuelle et de tradition familiale, auront t rservs une lite. Ceci, sans compter des avantages apprciables : exemption d’impts et de service militaire (Csar, VI, 14, 1).

Avec le temps, l’appartenance familiale, qui d’ailleurs devait avantager intellectuellement les candidats, a pu devenir prpondrante, jouer ds l’enfance et envahir mme les fonctions subalternes. Quoi qu’il en soit, tous les historiens ont soulign l’originalit, dans les socits occidentales antiques, d’un systme ducatif subordonnant de manire aussi troite un clerg la formation des lites; et l’on a mme pu voquer ce propos le rle des jsuites dans nos socits l’poque moderne. Il est vrai que le monde grco-romain n’offre rien de pareil; et sans doute le dveloppement inhabituel qu’y consacre Csar trahit-il, de la part de ce sceptique en matire religieuse, un certain tonnement. Ici encore s’impose la comparaison avec l’Inde ancienne o, aprs l’enseignement lmentaire des lettres et du calcul, le trs jeune adolescent entrait dans le brahmacarya, nom qui indique clairement qu’il s’agissait d’une sorte de noviciat : le savoir laque y tait abord dans ses rapports avec le Veda au sens large. En vrit, il s’agit l’vidence, dans la Celtique comme en Inde, d’une conception archaque de la socit o le savoir n’est pas dgag encore de la spculation et de l’exprience magico-religieuse. La socit trusque, o les devins (rapprochs des druides par Cicron dj, De div., I, 41) enseignaient la jeunesse noble et attiraient encore l’poque romaine les fils de patriciens, prsente un stade analogue, avec, toutefois, une emprise sociale sensiblement moindre. On en dira autant de l’ancienne cole pythagoricienne de Grande-Grce, o la spculation sur les nombres et sur les astres voisinait avec l’exprience mystique, et o les anciens avaient d’ailleurs relev les croyances communes avec les druides touchant l’immortalit de l’me. Comment pouvait se prsenter cet enseignement ? Sous le signe de l’oralit, cela va de soi; mais l’oralit ne va pas sans une mnmotechnie labore. Comme nous avons tout lieu de croire que la littrature rudite de l’Irlande mdivale a prserv une partie de cet enseignement – en principe la partie profane mais, par bonheur, la discrimination n’a pas t trop svre -, nous pouvons nous faire une ide, non seulement du contenu de la matire, mais de la manire mme dont elle tait expose. Ainsi, le Glossaire de Cormac, compil vers 900, et source majeure pour notre connaissance de la vieille tradition galique, se prsente sous la forme de sentences concises composes, ciseles plutt, dans une langue savante, prcieuse, mtaphorique, riche en archasmes, dont les filid s’enorgueillissaient de matriser toutes les subtilits; c’est cette mme recherche artiste qui prside la posie lyrique galloise des dbuts du Moyen ge : la monotonie des thmes y est rachete par l’extrme recherche de l’expression. Nul doute qu’il se soit agi, l encore, d’un phnomne de tradition, li l’oralit : formules religieuses, aphorismes de droit, strophes laudatives destines aux rois ou aux hros, tout cela devait, pour tre mmoris, mais aussi pour plaire l’lite, chapper la banalit de la langue commune. Et, l’cole druidique, il fallait l’exgse du matre, et le dialogue qui s’engageait entre matre et disciples, non seulement pour comprendre, mais encore pour actualiser, faire vivre en quelque sorte ces condenss traditionnels et immuables. De ces dialogues, les morceaux savants, souvent de caractre tiologique, qui maillent les sagas irlandaises donnent une ide. Un personnage interrompt le rcit en entendant un nom qui retient sa curiosit : d’o vient tel nom ? et un savant file, jamais court, de rpondre : ce n’est pas difficile… . Suit un topos qui nous fait connatre une lgende appuyant une tymologie. Le procd est constant. Or, cette manire de faire alterner morceaux sotriques, versifis lorsqu’ils ont un caractre lyrique, et le rcit ou le commentaire rdig dans une prose plus fluide, moins archaque au moment de sa fixation par crit, on la retrouve dans d’autres littratures du monde indo-europen ancien. Parfois mme les sutures en prose n’ont pas survcu au moment de la mise par crit. A. Meillet a ainsi propos, de manire sduisante, d’expliquer l’obscurit et le dcousu des stances zoroastriennes de l’Avesta, les gth. La littrature vdique ou bouddhique mme offre des faits du mme ordre. Il reste un souvenir de ce procd dans le thtre grec, o alternent les parties chantes par le coeur, de versification complique, composes dans le dorien conventionnel et savant du genre lyrique, et les parties dialogues, qui seules font progresser l’intrigue, et utilisent en principe le parler courant d’Athnes, dans un mtre souple, proche du rythme naturel de la langue. Or, la plus ancienne posie lyrique irlandaise ou galloise, dont certaines pices peuvent avoir t composes ds le trs haut Moyen ge, se trouve, mutatis mutandis, dans une situation comparable celle des gths de l’Avesta : les dveloppements originaux en prose qui les encadraient et leur assuraient une cohrence ont pratiquement disparu. Plus tard seulement les sagas irlandaises ont enchss de tels morceaux lyriques, dont la forme recherche contraste avec l’absence d’art de la prose qui droule la trame du rcit.

la lumire de ce qui prcde, on comprend mieux le refus de l’criture. Hritage de la prhistoire, sans doute, maintenu par le conservatisme inhrent toute religion. Mais cette attitude a pris un autre sens lorsque les circonstances historiques eurent introduit la connaissance de l’criture dans les pays celtiques. Aux deux raisons un peu courtes allgues par Csar : souci d’sotrisme corporatif et danger d’affaiblissement de la mmoire chez les lves, Dumzil, mis en veil par un texte de Plutarque (Numa, 22, 2), en a substitu une troisime, plus profonde et d’o dcoulent les deux autres : sans la parole vivifiante du matre, ce savoir tait vou la sclrose, il devenait seulement formulaire, et donc, comme dit Plutarque, apsukhon. C’tait, en somme, le moyen de concilier tradition et actualit. Cl. Sterckx fait remarquer ce propos que les inscriptions celtiques ou mme gallo-romaines s’en tiennent des messages immuables (pitaphes, ex-voto, excrations… ) jusqu’ l’poque chrtienne. Il est vrai que la Gaule conquise par Csar, qui ne manquait pas d’coles, n’a donn aucun crivain latin avant le Bas-Empire : inconscient ou non, serait-ce l un effet du vieil interdit druidique ?

III – Savoirs et pouvoirs

On l’a vu, l’un des traits par o le statut des druides rejoint celui des brahmanes de l’Inde est leur proximit vis–vis du pouvoir : pouvoir royal l’origine, en tant qu’il continuait la vieille royaut sacerdotale indo-europenne, rgime de magistratures qui prvalait en Gaule continentale au temps de Csar. Il est mme significatif qu’ la diffrence de ce qui s’est pass chez les trusques et Rome aprs l’viction des rois, o le lucumon et le rex sacrorum ne conservent plus que des fonctions sacerdotales, les druides de Gaule disparaissent compltement de la scne ds le lendemain de la conqute. L’autorit romaine ne pouvait tolrer pareille emprise sur les rouages de la socit ; mais elle a laiss subsister, du moins l’chelon municipal, une fonction politique avec le vergobret, dont le pouvoir, d’ailleurs trs coercitif – le mot peut s’interprter qui a le jugement efficace ou excutoire -, tait auparavant sanctionn par les druides (per sacerdotes more ciuitatis, dit Csar, VII, 33, 4). Magistrat suprme chez des peuples aussi loigns l’un de l’autre que les duens ou les Lexovii (Lisieux), il se retrouve l’poque romaine, Saintes, conservant son titre mais en mme temps prpos au culte imprial et questeur urbain. La puissance spirituelle des druides au service du pouvoir temporel, qui en tait l’manation, les dsignait comme ambassadeurs et mme comme intercesseurs au service de la paix. L’crivain grec Appien voque Bituit, roi des Allobroges vers 220 av. J.-C., venant en somptueux quipage au-devant du gnral romain Domitius Ahenobarbus, suivi d’un pote chantant la louange la fois du roi et de son ambassadeur (Hist. rom., IV, 22). De son ct, Diodore de Sicile nous montre les druides exerant une grande influence sur les questions de paix et de guerre , et en particulier s’entremettant entre deux armes adverses, prtes s’affronter, pour arrter le combat (V, 31). Mais ce pouvoir mme, c’est avec les moyens du pote-magicien qu’il s’exerce, comme le montre par exemple ce passage d’un rcit irlandais, dont j’emprunte la traduction Fr. et Chr. Le Roux-Guyonvarc’h (Druides, p. 107) : Alors se leva le pote prophtique la parole tranchante, l’homme au grand art potique… et les hommes d’art des Fianna [nom du clan]… et ils se mirent chanter leurs lais… et leurs hymnes de louange tous ces hros [opposs dans un combat] pour les calmer et les adoucir. Ils cessrent de se broyer et de se hacher devant la musique des potes… Les potes ramassrent les armes et ils firent la rconciliation entre eux . On ne saurait mieux caractriser la fois la puissance magique prte la posie et aussi le soin que met le rdacteur chrtien viter de parler de druides. Dans un autre rcit, on voit le druide Sencha arrter deux reprises une querelle qui s’lve entre les guerriers ulates. On sait quelle activit diplomatique a dploye l’duen Diviciacus. Lorsque la nation duenne s’est trouve expose au danger germanique, il n’a pas hsit se rendre Rome, l’anne du consulat de Cicron, pour y chercher du secours, puis, en 58, appeler l’intervention de Csar, et enfin, au cours de la premire campagne de Belgique, intercder en faveur des Bellovaques, anciens allis des duens. Pourtant, Diviciacus n’tait pas qu’un ngociateur habile : il tait, nous apprend Cicron, trs vers dans les sciences de la nature et dans l’art divinatoire (De diu., I, 41, 90). Leur proximit avec le pouvoir politique faisait des druides des juges et des jurisconsultes. Ceci n’avait pas chapp Csar, membre d’une nation minemment juriste et procdurire. Le proconsul s’arrte mme cet aspect de l’activit des druides bien plus qu’ leurs charges sacerdotales, distinguant mme droit civil et droit public, prcisant, entre autres dtails, que les crimes, les litiges successoraux ou fonciers donnaient lieu compensation pcuniaire ou, comme en droit irlandais, des prix d’honneur (praemia, VI, 13, 5), mais aussi que la cit ou le particulier qui s’y droberait tait puni d’une interdiction de sacrifice, poena grauissima (id., 6) : la sanction suprme tait donc d’ordre religieux. Et sans doute, les controuersiae et les iudicia dont parle Csar (VI, 13, 10) propos de l’assemble annuelle des druides visent des sentences d’arbitrage et des procs pour lesquels l’assemble sigeait en degr d’appel, ou qui concernaient deux nations ou deux fdrations en conflit. L’un des monuments les plus authentiques sans doute de la science druidique est le vieux droit irlandais, dont les articles sont composs en vers heptasyllabiques termins par une unit rythmique fixe (dactyle) pour les besoins de la mmorisation, ce qui souligne ses origines orales.

Le celtique commun avait un radical bret- pour prononcer un jugement, exercer la justice : au uergo-bretos gaulois rpond le brithem juge galique (cf. aussi breth jugement , gallois bryd avis, pense ). La langue des traits de droit irlandais est, comme celle de certains fragments lyriques, la forme la plus archaque du galique que nous puissions atteindre aprs les inscriptions en ogam; et, quant au fond, on a vu quelles analogies il prsente avec le Manavadharmaastra ( Lois de Manu ). Un autre tmoin de la science druidique est le grand calendrier pigraphique, rdig en gaulois, retrouv Coligny (Ain), et o s’affirme encore l’arrire-plan la vieille conception lunaire de la division du temps, donc de l’anne, corrige par les donnes solaires. La concidence entre le mois de Samonios et la fte irlandaise de Samain, comme la rencontre de la date de la fte de Rome et d’Auguste Lyon (ancienne fte du dieu Lugus) et de celle de Lugnasad en Irlande, ou encore de l’assemble druidique et du Beltaine irlandais, tout cela montre que les druides, ici encore, taient comme les pontifes romains les gardiens d’une trs antique tradition. On a vu plus haut quelle force la culture celtique attribuait la posie. On ne s’en tonnera pas. Il en allait de mme dans la Rome primitive : le double sens de carmen, littralement chant (*can-men), et qui dsigne la fois le charme , la formule magique et le pome , suffit le rappeler. Et cette croyance a persist longtemps en pays celtique : un proverbe breton ne dit-il pas que la posie est plus forte que les trois choses les plus fortes : le mal, le feu et la tempte ? On croirait lire un aphorisme tir d’un recueil druidique. L’une des prrogatives les plus constamment prtes aux druides, en effet, est la matrise des lments naturels : c’est Ferchterne, dj rencontr, qui fait baisser les eaux du lac et des rivires quand il satirise, et les fait gonfler quand il loue; c’est Forgoll, qui ose menacer son roi d’une satire qui rendra striles les arbres et les champs du royaume; c’est, dans le pome gallois le Combat des arbrisseaux , le sortilge d’o est sorti le motif shakespearien de la fort marchante . Sans doute, nous quittons ici le domaine de la vie sociale pour entrer dans celui des croyances et de la lgende : mais une croyance collective n’est-elle pas en soi un fait social ? Il en va de mme du blme. Car s’il compose des chants de louange, le druide est aussi un satiriste auquel on prtait une redoutable efficacit : ceci n’tant, au reste, qu’un autre aspect de la force contraignante de la Parole, comme l’ont bien vu Fr. et Chr. Le Roux-Guyonvarc’h : la parole ou la prdiction du druide a dtermin, court ou long terme, les conditions de sa ralit (Druides, p. 199). Que d’ulcres, souvent mortels, causs par une maldiction ou un blme, voire par le faux jugement d’un file ! Nagure encore, on composait en Bretagne des pomes satiriques pour venger un dommage ou une offense… Si le druide gaulois, le file irlandais ou le barde gallois est ainsi conteur, satiriste, matre en posie et en grammaire, il est aussi, ncessairement, gnalogiste et mythographe : c’tait en ce temps la forme du savoir historique. On l’a vu au dbut de cet essai, il n’est pas douteux qu’on doive attribuer la classe sacerdotale le mrite d’avoir gard en mmoire ce trsor de traditions et de lgendes qui fait la richesse unique des littratures celtiques mdivales, avant que les clercs chrtiens ne les mettent par crit, les sauvant de l’oubli o risquait de les emporter l’effacement du paganisme : bndiction sur quiconque gardera fidlement la Razzia [des vaches de Cooley] en mmoire , dit l’un d’eux, qui croit devoir ajouter toutefois qu’il ne croit pas cette fable (fabula), tissu de fictions potiques ou d’ artifices de dmons (praestigia demonum). D’une faon gnrale, la socit celtique semble avoir eu la hantise de l’oubli; Rome, la memoria avait t elle aussi, ds l’veil d’une conscience historique, une proccupation majeure des familles patriciennes. En Irlande, indpendamment des scla ou rcits proprement dits, des recueils comme le Cir anmann dj cit, ou les Dindsenchas (litt. histoires des villes ) sont mettre au compte des druides historiens , les sencha ( antiquaires ), un nom port par ailleurs par plus d’un personnage des rcits. Pour l’Antiquit, Camille Jullian avait autrefois runi, dans un essai qui n’a pas t remplac, les thmes littraires de tout genre que les crivains grecs ou latins sont susceptibles d’avoir emprunts la tradition celtique. Mais les druides sont aussi de savants naturalistes, astronomes ou herboristes et, par suite, des mdecins. Les crivains grecs parlent leur sujet de phusiologoi; Csar nous les montre occups des mouvements des astres et de cosmographie (VI, 14, 6). Mais l encore ils agissent autant par leur pouvoir surnaturel que par leur savoir. Lorsque le druide-mdecin du roi d’Ulster Conchobar, Fingen, nonce : c’est la force de la sagesse mdicale, la gurison des blessures, l’loignement de la mort , nous avons un cho de l’ancienne conception tripartie de l’art mdical chez les Indo-Europens, qui s’exprime aussi dans l’Avesta et chez Pindare. Aussi une opration, mme habile, pouvait avoir des effets inattendus. Tmoin la msaventure d’un gardien de Tara, l’antique capitale de l’Irlande: l’oeil de chat qu’on lui avait greff s’ouvrait la nuit aux cris d’une souris ou d’un oiseau, mais laissait endormi le malheureux portier lorsque arrivait une troupe. Diancecht, le dieu-gurisseur des grands dieux, devenus hros d’Irlande (les tuatha d Danann), se fait fort de gurir tout bless, si grave que soit sa plaie, moins qu’on ne lui ait coup la tte. Or, les savants dcoupages anatomiques dont tmoignent les ossuaires sacrs dcouverts Gournay-sur-Aronde (Oise) font sinistrement cho cette apparente forfanterie. Quant au thme des ttes coupes, il trouve, on le sait, son expression plastique dans les sculptures celto-ligures de Provence, Entremont prs d’Aix ou Roquepertuse, pour ne rappeler que ces deux sites bien connus. Comme l’observent Fr. Le Roux et Chr. Guyonvarc’h, la dcapitation, en interdisant toute gurison terrestre, assurait le transfert au vainqueur de toutes les capacits relles ou virtuelles du vaincu (Druides, p. 201). La pharmacope tait riche. La nomenclature botanique transmise par le naturaliste Dioscoride, les recettes mdicales transcrites en gaulois par Marcellus de Bordeaux sont peut-tre l’cho, via quelque trait gallo-romain, de l’enseignement druidique. Ici aussi, on rencontre un savoir pan-celtique : le nom gaulois du gui , parasite du chne dont on sait avec quel crmonial les druides faisaient la cueillette, signifie au tmoignage de Pline ]’Ancien panace (XVI, 249) : or, c’est aussi ce que signifient les composs irlandais et gallois pour dsigner la mme plante.


Il n’tait pour ainsi dire pas de secteur de la vie sociale des anciens Celtes, pas un pan de leur vie intellectuelle qui ne ft plac sous le contrle troit de la classe sacerdotale. Les Celtes offrent ainsi l’exemple d’une organisation archaque dont le monde grec et romain n’a plus, ds l’aube de son histoire, que des survivances isoles. Puissante gardienne de l’unit celtique dans ses formes suprieures, la classe druidique apparat comme un miroir o la socit tout entire se projette en se sublimant. Mais en mme temps cette socit s’en remet entirement, et collectivement elle pour ce qui touche ses rapports avec le divin. Et, si l’aspect individuel du sacerdoce druidique parat pour une trs large part s’effacer devant sa dimension sociale, l’archologie ne montre non plus aucune trace d’une dvotion, d’une pit individuelle. J.-L. Brunaux, prsentant devant l’Acadmie des inscriptions (CRAI, 1997 les rsultats des fouilles rcentes des grands sanctuaires de Picardie, observe qu’il s’agit d’normes sacrifices d’animaux et de trophes guerriers, non d’offrandes individuelles : ni cramiques, ni bijoux; ce sont des trsors sacrs grs par des prtres. Et peut-tre cela rend-il compte, au moins en partie, du caractre exclusivement monastique du premier christianisme irlandais, dont il parat indniable qu’il ait relay sans rupture brutale la tradition druidique. Ceci, toutefois, est un autre sujet.

Suggestions bibliographiques

Tous les aspects du druidisme, vie sociale et doctrine, tmoignages historiques et lgendaires, sont abords dans l’ouvrage dsormais classique auquel on s’est rfr ici plus d’une fois : Fr. Le Roux et Chr.-J. Guyonvarc’h, Les Druides, 4e dition, Ouest-France Universit, Rennes, 1986. Pour une approche plus rapide, on peut voir par exemple : M. Dillon, N. Chadwick et Chr.-J. Guyonvarc’h, Les Royaumes celtiques, trad. et adapt. fran., Fayard, Paris, 1974. J. Loicq, art. Druides et druidisme dans P. Poupard (d.), Dictionnaire des religions, 3e d., P.U.F., Paris, 1992. – Cet article est conu dans le mme esprit que l’essai qu’on vient de lire, mais prend en compte les aspects proprement cultuels et doctrinaux du druidisme, abords ici d’une manire incidente. Cl. Sterckx et P. Cattelain, Des dieux celtes aux dieux romains, d. du CEDARC, B-5670 Treignes, 1997. – Sommaire, mais suggestif, et intgre les rsultats des fouilles des sanctuaires de Gournay-sur-Aronde et Ribemont-sur-Ancre. J’ai connu trop tard l’article brillant, en partie orient vers ces mmes sanctuaires, de J.-L. Brunaux, Le pouvoir des druides, entre mythes et ralits, dans Pour la Science, dossier n. 7625 (octobre 1999). L’dition classique du De bello Gallico de Csar par Benoist, Dosson et Lejay, munie d’un abondant dictionnaire historique auquel avait collabor le celtisant . Ernault (Hachette, Paris, rimpr. jusqu’en 1928), demeure un instrument de travail irremplac en langue franaise. Sur les origines indo-europennes de la classe sacerdotale, le livre-programme de G. Dumzil, Jupiter, Mars, Quirinus, 3e d., Paris, 1941, demeure suggestif malgr sa date et les amnagements ultrieurs qu’on a pu apporter la doctrine. On verra aussi, de M. Dillon, Celt and Hindu dans le Vishveshvaranand Indological Journal, I et part, Vishveshv. Vedic Research Inst., Hoshiarpur (Inde), 1963, et (plus bref) Les Roy. celt., p. 11 sv. L’essai de C. Jullian, De la littrature potique des Gaulois, a paru dans la Revue archologique, 1902, 1. – Conjectural, mais intressant. Sur les procds de composition de la lyrique irlandaise et galloise, ou verra : J. Vendryes, Sur un caractre traditionnel de la posie celtique, 1930, reproduit dans Choix d’tudes linguistiques et celtiques, Klincksieck, Paris, 1952.

Lire le site d’origine de ce texte

See the rest here:

Memetics Story

Posted in Memetics | Comments Off on Memetics Story