NEMANJA: SMIRENOUMLJE

nedjelja, 04.11.2007.

OLIGARHIJA!

NEWTON: OKULTISTIČKI EKSCENTRIK

Prije tjedan-dva objavio sam nekoliko eseja koji anticipiraju ovu temu; sada donosim izvadak iz netom objavljene knjige "Protiv oligarhije", posve posvećene nevjerojatnom komplotu Venecije protiv Zapada.
Bez Amira Riđanovića ova bi nam tema promakla; bez Marine Kralik, ovi eseji teško da bi bili prevedeni na hrvatski.
U svakom slučaju, dugujemo im zahvalu za dobru knjigu.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

(...)
Sljedeća faza korupcije znanosti od strane Venecije ovisit će o jednom prilično opskurnom nastavniku s Cambridgea imenom Isaac Newton. Za oligarhiju, Newton i Galileo jedina su dva natjecatelja dostojna te časti da budu najutjecajniji mislioci oligarhijske klike od vremena samog Aristotela. Britanska oligarhija slavi Newtona kao utemeljitelja moderne znanosti. No, istodobno, nesposobni su očuvati tajnom činjenicu da je Newton bio ludujući iracionalist, okultistički ekscentrik. Među oligarsima, tek je britanski ekonomist lord John Maynard Keynes, diplomac s Cambridgea, počeo otvarati crnu kutiju Newtonova pravog karaktera. Je li Newton doista bio prvi i najveći među modernim znanstvenicima, praktičan primjenitelj hladnog i ni sa čime predobilježenog razuma? Ne, rekao je Keynes, Newton nije bio prvak ''doba razuma''. On je bio posljednji čarobnjak, posljednji Babilonac i Sumeranin, ono posljednje čudesno dijete kojemu bi magi mogli odati iskreno i zasluženo štovanje. Keynes je svoje uvide zasnivao na sadržaju kutije. Što se nalazilo u toj kutiji? Kutija je sadržavala papire koje je Newton zapakirao kada je napuštao Cambridge odlazeći u London 1696. godine, završivši time svoju kembričku karijeru i započinjući svoj novi život u Londonu kao član i predsjednik Britanskog kraljevskoga društva, ravnatelj državne kovnice novca, svećenik–mag novog Britanskog Carstva.

Unutra u kutiji bili su rukopisi i papiri s ukupno oko 1,2 milijuna riječi. Nakon Newtonove smrti, biskup Horsley bio je zamoljen da pregleda kutiju, imajući u vidu eventualno objavljivanje, no kada je vidio sadržaj, užasnut je ustuknuo i zalupio je poklopcem. Prošlo je jedno stoljeće. Newtonov biograf iz devetnaestoga stoljeća, sir David Brewster, zavirio je u kutiju. Odlučio je spašavati Newtonovu reputaciju tiskanjem tek nekoliko biranih odlomaka, a ostatak je falsificirao lažući bez pardona, kako kaže Keynes. Kutija je postala poznatom kao ''Portsmouth papers''. Nekoliko matematičkih papira dano je u Cambridge 1888. godine. Godine 1936. tadašnjem je vlasniku, lordu Lymingtonu, bio potreban novac, tako da je ostatak završio na dražbi. Keynes je kupio koliko god je mogao, no ostali papiri rasuli su se od Jeruzalema do Amerike.

Kako ističe Keynes, Newton je bio sumnjičava, paranoidna, nestabilna priroda. Godine 1692. Newton je doživio nervni slom i nikad nije ponovno zadobio prijašnju konzistenciju misli. Pepys i Locke vjerovali su da je poremetio umom. Newton je iz svog sloma isplivao blago ''ćaknut''. Kako naglašava Keynes, Newton se držao ''kompletno podalje od žena'', iako je imao nekoliko mladića za bliske prijatelje. Jednom je ljutito optužio Johna Locka da ga ovaj pokušava spetljati sa ženama.

U posljednjih nekoliko desetljeća poklopac te kutije otvarali su, tek djelomice i mrmljajući, anglofilski učenjaci, čuvari Newtonova mita. Što se, dakle, ima vidjeti unutra u kutiji?

Prvo, Newton je bio pobornik arijanske hereze. Poricao je i napadao Sveto Trojstvo, pa stoga jednako tako i Filioque te koncept Imago viva Dei (živa slika Božja). Keynes misli da je Newton bio ''judaistički monoteist Maimonidesove škole'', što sugerira da je bio kabalist. Za Newtona, štovati Krista kao Boga bila je idolatrija i smrtni grijeh. No, čak i u Engleskoj crkvi, Newton je ove svoje nazore morao držati tajnima ili se suočiti s ostracizmom.

ALKEMIJA I ZELENI LAVOVI

Newtonov pravi interes nije bio matematika ili astronomija. Bila je to alkemija. Njegov laboratorij na Trinity Collegeu, Cambridge, bio je prikladno opremljen za alkemiju. Tu se, kažu njegovi prijatelji, vatre nikad nisu gasile tijekom šest tjedana u proljeće i šest tjedana u jeseni. A što je to alkemija? Kakvu je to vrstu istraživanja obavljao Newton? Njegovi izvori bile su knjige, primjerice Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum Eliasa Ashmolea, rozenkrojcerskog lidera britanske spekulativne masonerije. Newton je posjedovao svih šest teških svezaka Ashmoleove knjige divovskog formata.

Cilj alkemičara bilo je traganje za mitskim kamenom mudraca, koji bi dao alkemičaru da olovo i druge neplemenite metale pretvori u zlato. Alkemičari su se nadali da bi im kamen mudraca mogao dati i druge magične moći, primjerice pomlađivanje i vječnu mladost.

Alkemija je također uključivala relacije između astroloških utjecaja planeta te svojstava i reakcija kemikalija. Jedna rasprava koja se bavi ovim stvarima bila je Metamorfoza planeta. Budući da je planet Jupiter imao prvo mjesto među planetima, to je on zauzimao povlašteni položaj i među alkemijskim reagensima. Newton je to izrazio slikom Jupitera na prijestolju koju je nacrtao na unutrašnjoj strani naslovnice ove knjige.

Koji su bili Newtonovi pronalasci? Pustimo ga neka govori sam za sebe: „Glede Magnezije od zelenog Lava. Zove se Prometej & Kameleon. Također i Androgin, te djevičanski zelena zemlja u koju Sunce nije nikada bacilo svoje zrake, iako je ono njezin otac a mjesec njezina mati. Također obična živa, rosa s neba koja zemlju čini plodnom, salitra mudraca. Instructio de arbore solari. To je saturnovski kamen“. Ovo je moglo biti napisano 1670. godine. Uzorak iz 1690. godine: „Sada je ova zelena zemlja Zelene Gospođe iz B. Neka je sretno Valentinovo prekrasno zelenoj Veneri i zelenom venerijanskom smaragdu i zelenoj zemlji Snydersa kojom je on nahranio svoj lunarni Merkur i s krepošću koje je Dijana izvela djecu a za koju Ripley kaže da se iz nje crpi krv zelenoga Lava u početku ovoga djela.“

Tijekom 1680-ih Newton je k tomu sastavio niz aforizama o alkemiji, među kojima šesti glasi ovako: „Mladi novorođeni kralj hrani se u još većoj vrućini mlijekom koje je destilacijom izvučeno iz raspadnute materije drugoga djela. Ovim mlijekom mora ga se napojiti sedam puta da bi ga se dostatno izgnjililo i onda maksimalno uzdiglo do bijeloga i crvenoga, a u prelasku do crvenoga treba ga napojiti s malo crvenoga ulja da bi se učvrstila solarna priroda i crveni kamen učinio tekućijim. I to se može nazvati djelom trećim. Prvi ne ide dalje od stanja raspadanja, drugi ide do bijeloga a treći do crvenoga.“ (Westfall, str. 292, 293, 358).

I tako to ide u više od milijun riječi, sa Zelenim lavovima, androginima, muškim i ženskim principima, Panom i Ozirisom. Istinito je ono što je jednom bilo rečeno, da je Newton isprobavao alkemijsku literaturu onako kako je nije isprobao nitko, ni dotad ni ikad, a sve to za vrijeme dok je navodno pisao svoje Principia Mathematica. Uz to je još crtao planove za Hram kralja Salomona, a kasnije i kronologiju biblijskih događaja koja je skraćivala perspektivu ove povijesti tako što je iz nje izrezano nekoliko stotina godina.

NEWTONOVA ''OTKRIĆA''

A što je s Newtonovim takozvanim otkrićima? Pri pobližoj analizi, ispada da on nije učinio nikakva otkrića. Uzmimo, primjerice, Newtonov tobožnji zakon univerzalne gravitacije, koji kaže da je sila privlačenja između dviju točkastih masa jednaka umnošku tih dviju masa podijeljenih kvadratom udaljenosti između njih, pomnoženo konstantom. Ovo je Newtonov takozvani zakon obrnuto proporcionalnog kvadrata. Dugo vremena bilo je poznato kako to zapravo i nije neko novo otkriće, već je, dapače, izvedeno nekim šeprtljanjem iz Keplerova Trećeg zakona. Kepler je ustanovio da kada se udaljenost nekog planeta od Sunca na treću potenciju podijeli s kvadratom ophodne godine toga planeta, taj odnos uvijek daje konstantu. Nadopunjujući ovo Huygensovom formulom za centrifugalnu akceleraciju i uz još neke supstitucije, dobiva se odnos obrnuto proporcionalnoga kvadrata. To pitanje obrađeno je u dopunama za The Science of Christian Economy (Lyndon LaRouche, The Schiller Institute, Washington DC, 1991.). Ali Newtonovi privrženici i dalje tvrde kako je Newton objasnio gravitaciju.

Otvaranjem poklopca kutije, nalazimo da je Newton i sam priznavao, u jednoj neobjavljenoj zabilješci, kako je njegovo veliko postignuće bilo prepisivačinom ukradeno od Keplera. Newton piše:“... Počeo sam misliti o gravitaciji kako se proteže do Mjesečeve orbite te sam (iznašavši kako procijeniti silu kojom planet u svom kretanju orbitom pritiskuje površinu kugle) iz Keplerova pravila o periodičkim vremenima planeta koja su u seskvialteralnomj omjeru (n+1:n) prema njihovim udaljenostima od središta njihovih orbita, zaključio da sile koje drže planete u njihovim orbitama moraju biti recipročne kao kvadrati njihovih udaljenosti od središta oko kojih se one okreću (revolviraju)...“ (Westfall, 143). Newton je „do relacije obrnuto proporcionalnoga kvadrata došao tako što je supstituirao Keplerov Treći zakon u Huygensovu svježe objavljenu formulu za centrifugalnu silu“ (Westfall, 402). Hooke i Sir Christopher Wren tvrdili su da su učinili isto, otprilike u isto vrijeme.

Newtonova ljubav za alkemiju i magiju izranja tu kao osnova njegova svjetonazora, uključujući u to i njegove navodno znanstvene spise. U svojoj Opticks on se pita: „Nemaju li te majušne čestice tijela stanovite moći, snage ili sile, s pomoću kojih djeluju na daljinu... Način, kako ova privlačenja mogu biti izvedena, ovdje neću razmatrati. Ono što nazivam privlačenjem može biti izvedeno uz pomoć Impulsa, ili nekim drugim sredstvima meni nepoznatima.“ To je to Newtonovo zapažanje o gravitaciji kao akciji na daljinu, koje je Leibniz s pravom ismijavao kao crnu magiju. Newtonov sustav bio je nesposoban opisati išta drugo dalje od interakcije dvaju tijela, a pretpostavljao je jedan entropijski univerzum koji će se odviti do kraja kao satni mehanizam ako ga se periodički ponovno ne bude navijalo. Newton je još pisao i o nekakvom električkom duhu, te o misterioznome mediju koji je nazivao eter. Koja je osnova ovoga u alkemiji, nije posve jasno.

Zatim je tu još priča o Newtonovu otkriću calculusa. U stvarnosti, Newton nikada u svom životu nije opisao nikoji calculus. Jer nijedan nikad nije ni imao. Ono što je on izmislio bila je teorija o takozvanim fluksijama i beskonačnim nizovima. To nije bio calculus, i to je brzo utonulo u zaborav odmah čim je bilo objavljeno, devet godina nakon Newtonove smrti. Do 1710. godine, europski znanstvenici radili su s Leibnizovim calculusom već nekoliko desetljeća. Po prilici u to vrijeme, lansirali su Newton i Britansko kraljevsko društvo svoju kampanju u potvrdu tome kako je zapravo Newton pronašao calculus već 1671. godine, iako iz nekog nepoznatog razloga nije o tome nikada rekao ništa u javnosti tijekom punih 30 godina. To je bilo nadopunjeno još i drugom nedokazanom tvrdnjom, da je Leibniz plagijator koji je svoj calculus kopirao od Newtona nakon nekih razgovora i pisama koje su njih dvojica razmijenili tijekom 1670-tih godina. Te sramotne klevete protiv Leibniza pismeno je sastavio Newton, a 1715. g. one su bile iznesene kao službeni pravorijek Britanskog kraljevskoga društva. Tom istom linijom mlatila su dalje neka besramna plaćena piskarala kojima je ravnao Newton. No, znanstvenici u kontinentalnoj Europi, a osobito odlučujuća Francuska akademija znanosti, nisu ni najmanje bili uvjereni u Newtonov slučaj. Newtonova reputacija na kontinentu bila je u najboljem slučaju skromna, a posve sigurno ne previsoka. Postojao je otpor prema Newtonu i u Engleskoj, tvrdo jezgro od oko 20 – 25 posto opredijeljenih antinjutnovaca u samom Kraljevskome društvu. Pa kako je onda, dakle, nastao danas aktualni mit o Newtonu znanstveniku?

NEWTON: APOTEOZA JEDNOGA ŠARLATANA

Za Newtonovo uzdizanje do neba pobrinuo se Antonio Conti iz Venecije, središnji lik naše treće grupacije iz klike ''mrtvih duša''. Da bi se stvorio mit o Newtonu kao velikome modernom znanstveniku, Conti je bio zadužen učiniti nešto što se u ono vrijeme smatralo posve nemogućim: stvoriti jednu probritansku stranku u Francuskoj. Conti je u tome uspio te je tako postao utemeljitelj prosvjetiteljstva koje i inače treba shvaćati kao mrežu francuskih anglofila. Oni Francuzi koji su spali na to da postanu anglofili spast će i dotle da postanu njutnovcima, i obratno. Britanci nisu imali dovoljno razrađenu mrežu po Parizu da bi mogli to provesti u djelo, no Venecijanci su je imali, zahvaljujući tada najnovijoj djelatnosti takvih likova kao što su bili Montaigne i Pierre Bayle. Ono što Britanci nikad ne bi mogli ostvariti, obavili su Venecijanci na slavu i hvalu anglo–venecijanske partije.

Rođen u Padovi 1677. godine, Conti je bio patricij, pripadnik venecijanskoga plemstva. Bio je svećenik koji je ostao bez mantije te se pridružio redu oratorijanaca, ali ga je napustio da bi slijedio književne i znanstvene interese, uključujući Galilea i Descartesa. Conti je, međutim, i dalje bio nadstojnik samostana. Godine 1713., Conti je stigao u Pariz. Bilo je to u vrijeme Utrechtskoga mira, po završetku jednog dugog i vrlo gorkoga rata za španjolsku sukcesiju, u kojemu su Britanci, Nizozemci i njihovi saveznici upali u Francusku Jeana Baptista Colberta, porazili je i oslabili. Luj XIV imao je pred sobom još svega dvije godine života, nakon čega je prijestolje imalo pripasti regentu iz kuće Orleansa.

U Parizu, Conti je izgradio mrežu komunikacija u čijem je središtu bio filozof Nicholas de Malebranche. Također je blisko surađivao s Bernardom Le Bovier de Fontenellom, stalnim tajnikom Francuske akademije znanosti, koja je tada još bila prvi istraživački centar u Europi. Conti je odmah zamijetio da je Fontenelle sljedbenik Giordana Bruna iz salona Ridotto Morosini. Conti je u Parizu postao zvijezdom, no uskoro je proglasio da se već umorio od Descartesa, lika koji je dominirao francuskom intelektualnom scenom. Počeo je pričati po pariškim salonima kako se sve više i više okreće Newtonu i Leibnizu. Počeo je upozoravati na polemiku između Newtona i Leibniza. Kakva sramota da se ta dvojica uglednih znanstvenika bore jedan protiv drugoga! Možda bi se ta dva stanovišta mogla nekako pomiriti. Za to bi bio potreban taktičan posrednik, jedan iskusan svjetski čovjek. Budući da su engleski i njemački znanstvenici bili na ratnoj nozi, tko bi bio bolji od jednoga Talijana, Venecijanca, da istupi naprijed kao posrednik? Možda bi takav jedan suptilni Venecijanac našao način da izgladi taj mučni spor oko calculusa i predloži kompromisno polazište kao sredstvo za izlječenje.

Pomrčina Sunca bila je na vidiku, i Conti je organizirao skupinu francuskih astronoma da odu u London i otamo promatraju eklipsu – vjerojatno je londonska magla trebala u tome pripomoći. Uz Contijevu pomoć ovi Francuzi bit će obrlaćeni, učlanjeni u Kraljevsko društvo, a kada se budu vratili u Francusku, postat će prvim francuskim anglofilima osamnaestoga stoljeća i francuskoga prosvjetiteljstva. Prije nego što je napustio Pariz, Conti je, s klasičnom venecijanskom dvoličnošću, napisao vrlo prijateljsko pismo Leibnizu predstavljajući se kao onaj koji podržava Leibnizovu filozofiju. Izjavio je da u London ide kao Leibnizov pristaša te da će u Londonu braniti njegovo učenje jednako kako je to činio i u Parizu.

S godinom 1715. Leibnizove političke perspektive postale su vrlo tmurne, jer je njegova zaštitnica, Sophie od Hanovera, umrla u svibnju 1714. godine. Leibniz tako nije postao prvim čovjekom Engleske, jer je novi britanski kralj bio Georg Ludwig od Hanovera, kralj George I.

Čim je Conti stigao u London, odmah je tamo počeo djelovati kao kakav dijabolični agent provokator. Uključivši svoj magnetizam, začarao je Newtona. Newton je bio impresioniran svojim gostom i počeo se opuštati. Conti je rekao Newtonu da je bio obučavan kao kartezijevac. „I ja sam, u mladosti, bio kartezijevac“, rekao je mudrac sjetno, te dodao zatim kako kartezijanska filozofija nije ništa doli ''splet hipoteza'', a dakako da Newton ne bi nikad tolerirao hipoteze. Priznao je kako nije razumio ništa od njegove prve knjige iz astronomije, nakon čega je pokušao s knjigom iz trigonometrije ali s jednakim neuspjehom. No, samog Descartesa je mogao shvatiti jako dobro. S tako pripremljenim terenom Conti je uskoro bio redoviti gost na večeri u Newtonovoj kući. Čini se da je s Newtonom večerao u prosjeku bar tri večeri u tjednu. Conti je također uveliko kontaktirao s Edmondom Halleyem, zatim s Newtonovim antitrinitarnim župnim svećenikom Samuelom Clarkom i s nekim drugim samozvanim znanstvenicima. Conti se jednako tako sprijateljio i s princezom Karolinom, princezom od Walesa, koja je bila u srodstvu s Leibnizom. Conti je tako postao vrlo popularan na britanskome dvoru i već u studenom 1715. Newton ga je uveo u članstvo Kraljevskoga društva.

Conti je razabrao da je Newton, ekscentrik kakav je već bio, idealna kultna figura za novu zaglupljujuću izmišljotinu deduktivno–induktivnog pseudomatematičkog formalizma maskiranog u znanost. Zahvaljujući Venecijancima, Italija je imala Galilea, a Francuska Descartesa. Conti je možda razmišljao o izumljivanju jedne pseudoznanstvene ideologije za Englesku koja bi bila zasnovana na Descartesu, no bilo je posve jasno da to ne bi išlo jer je Venecija željela iskoristiti Englesku iznad svega kao oruđe koje će baciti na koljena Francusku u beskonačnim ratovima. Venecija je trebala jednog engleskoga Galilea, a Conti je osigurao zaplet i odnose s javnošću potrebne da se stvori jednoga takvoga, na način ne odveć različit od Paola Sarpija stoljeće prije.

UTAKMICA LEIBNIZ – NEWTON

Conti je primio pismo od Leibniza u kojem se ponavlja kako Newton nikada nije ovladao calculusom i napada se na Newtona zbog njegovih okultnih primjedbi o gravitaciji, njegova inzistiranja na postojanju atoma i praznine, njegove induktivne metode. Kad god bi Conti dobio kakvo pismo od Leibniza, on bi ga pokazao Newtonu kako bi podjario vatru Newtonove opsesivne manije da uništi Leibniza. Za to vrijeme Newtonov prijatelj Samuel Clarke počeo je razmjenjivati pisma s Leibnizom o ovome i o drugim pitanjima u vezi s time (Voltaire je poslije zamijetio da bi Clarke bio idealan nadbiskup od Canterburryja, samo kada bi bio kršćanin). Leibniz je pisao kako je u Engleskoj u raspadu sama prirodna religija, jer mnogi vjeruju da su ljudske duše materijalne, a drugi, pak, vide Boga kao neko tjelesno biće. Newton je rekao da je svemir organ, koji Bog upotrebljava da bi percipirao stvari. Newton i njegovi sljedbenici imali su jednako tako i vrlo čudno mišljenje u vezi s Božjim djelom. Prema njihovu naučavanju, „Bog Svemogući želi s vremena na vrijeme naviti svoj sat; inače bi on prestao ići. Nije, čini se, gledao dovoljno unaprijed pa da ga napravi kao perpetuum mobile“. To je dalo povoda za Leibniz–Clarkeovu prepisku, u kojoj i opet vidimo Contijevu ruku.
Sve to vrijeme, kameleon Conti bio je totalni pristaša Newtonove linije o atomima i praznini, aksioma njutnovskog apsolutnog prostora. „Kada ne bi bilo praznine“, piše Conti „sva tijela bila bi jednako teška i komete ne bi mogle prolaziti nebeskim prostorima... G. Leibniz napisao je svoj govor princezi (Karolini), i predstavio svijet ne onakav kakav on jest, nego onakav kakav bi mogao biti.“ (Badaloni, Antonio Conti, str. 63).

Newton je pokušavao dovesti veleposlanike iz londonskog diplomatskog kora da pogledaju njegove stare rukopise i pisma, nadajući se da će oni podržati nalaze Kraljevskoga društva o tome kako je Leibniz plagirao njegov calculus. Leibniz je istaknuo kako je Kraljevsko društvo konstruiralo dokaze. Conti je to iskoristio da bi okrenuo kralja Georga I sve više protiv Leibniza. Conti je organizirao baruna von Kilmanseggea, hanoverškog ministra i muža ljubavnice Georga I, da zauzme stav kako pregled dokumenata neće biti dostatan. Jedini način za odluku u Newton–Leibniz kontroverziji imalo je biti putem izravne razmjene pisama između njih dvojice. Kralj George složio se s time. Conti je potaknuo Newtona da dadne pun odgovor Leibnizu, tako da se oba pisma mogu pokazati kralju. Kada je čuo Newtonovu verziju, kralj je napomenuo kako će Leibnizu biti teško odgovoriti na Newtonove činjenice.

Conti se trudio uvjeriti Leibniza da prihvati presudu Kraljevskoga društva iz 1715. godine, kojom se calculus imalo pripisati Newtonu. Zauzvrat, da bi zasladio taj jetki prijedlog, Conti je velikodušno dopustio da je Leibnizov calculus lakši za upotrebu i mnogo šire prihvaćen. Od tada pa nadalje Leibniz je bio svjestan da ima posla s neprijateljem koji je spreman na sve, no Leibniz je preminuo 4. studenog 1716., nekoliko dana prije negoli je Conti stigao u Hanover da bi se susreo s njime. Newton je vijest o smrti svog velikog antagonista primio putem pisma od Contija.

PROTIV OLIGARHIJE
možete naručiti na:

eneagram9@gmail.com

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Webster G. Tarpley: Protiv oligarhije

Prava je rijetkost naletjeti na autore koje bismo mogli okarakterizirati kao „militantne fundamentalističke platoničare“. Poklonici Platonove baštine obično su nekako eterični i, ne znam kako to ljepše reći, cendravi u svom idealizmu, pa im je i stil izražavanja pomalo mlitav. Ali to nikako ne možemo kazati za Tarpleya koji vehementno nastupa kao šerif Nove Renesanse. Šerifski pristup nedvojbeno se vidi iz njegove ranoholivudske podjele na dobre i loše momke, bez i najmanje simpatije za one loše. Pri tom se, kao pravi US Marshall, uopće ne zamara nepotrebnim argumentiranjem svog polazišta, na primjer, zašto su loši loši, a dobri dobri. Stoga su čitatelju potrebni dobri živci da bi se probio do kraja 350 stranica debelog pamfleta Protiv oligarhije. Pamfleta, ali dobrodošlog pamfleta, s obzirom na pitanja koja otvara.
Riječ je o zbirci predavanja i eseja od 1981. – 1996. godine, a ponaslov zbirke je Venecijanci i Britanci, što nam govori o autorovom omiljenom području. Kako i stoji u podnaslovu, knjiga se sastoji od dva dijela. U prvom se Tarpley bavi Mletačkom Republikom, zloglasnom Serenissimom, od osnivanja pa do 1800-te, odnosno do Napoleonovog fatalnog upada koju godinu ranije. Autoru je upravo Venecija interesantna jer, kako na samom početku kaže: “Razdoblja u povijesti koja su, kao i ovo u kojem upravo živimo, obilježena potresima i nestabilnošću ljudskih institucija, osobit su izazov za sve one koji svoje djelovanje žele zasnovati na ispravnom i autentičnom poznavanju povjesnih procesa. Takvo poznavanje moguće je postići jedino ako se povijest sagleda kao regularno smjenjivanje urota koje jedna drugu pretječu ne bi li kako diskriminirale platonizam i platoniste, a u prilog njegovih epistemoloških i političkih neprijatelja. Nema boljeg načina da se stekne uvid u ovu građu nego što je proučavanje povijesti venecijanske oligarhije, tog klasičnog primjera oligarhijskog despotizma i zla izvan granica Dalekog istoka.“ Tako nam je autor već na početku objasnio što je dobro, a što zlo, i kako se jedino povijest može sagledati. No ključna riječ je ipak „urota“ i nema sumnje da će svi poklonici teorija urota uživati u odgovarajućem štivu. Svakako će im biti zanimljivo da se popularna reptilska teorija Davida Ickea u velikoj mjeri zasniva upravo na radu Webstera Tarpleya koji je, premda kontroverzan, ipak samo povjesničar, tako da nije imao dovoljno imaginacije da svoj rad oplemenjuje znanstvenom fantastikom. Drugim riječima, manje više sve što nađete kod Ickea već se moglo vidjeti kod Tarpleya, minus gušteri. Tarpley se drži dobrih starih ljudskih pokvarenjaka, spletkaroša i srebroljubaca, bez nepotrebnog upliva izvanzemaljske krvi.
U drugom dijelu knjige nazvanom Britanci bavi se programom, uspostavom i širenjem britanskog Imperija kao preslike venecijanske oligarhije, od Jamesa I. Stewarta do namjernog iniciranja sloma njujorške burze 1929. i, konzekventno, velike svjetske recesije tridesetih.
Iz prvog dijela knjige vrijedno je istaknuti dvije teme, odnosno dva zanimljiva povijesna lika kojima se autor bavi. Prvi je venecijanski kardinal Gasparo Contarini, „vodeća figura protestantske reformacije, te prvi protestant u modernoj Europi“. Njegova „agentska mreža ohrabrivala je i štitila Martina Luthera a poslije i Jeana Calvina iz Geneve. Contarini je poslao svog susjeda i rođaka Francesca Zorzija u Englesku da podrži plan Henrika VIII. Za razvod od Katarine Aragonske...Kao rezultat, Henrik je stvorio anglikansku crkvu prema venecijansko-bizantskome modelu...“ i tako dalje, sve u stilu zanimljivog onodobnog političkog trilera. Nema ništa neobično u tome da su protestantizam nosili nezadovoljni u okrilju klera, no zanimljiv dio, po Tarpleyu, tek dolazi: „Contarini je, nadalje, bio i vođom katoličke protureformacije. On je bio pokrovitelj sv. Ignacija de Loyole i on je osigurao papino odobrenje za stvaranje Družbe Isusove kao službenog reda u Crkvi.“ Cilj čitave ujdurme bio je destabilizirati Europu kako bi se onemogućio novi kambrejski savez usmjeren protiv Venecije i njezine dominacije i trgovačkih interesa. E, pa: Contarini, majstore!
Drugi zanimljiv lik je Paolo Sarpi, „otac empirizma“, i autor knjige njegovu ulogu ovako objašnjava: „Dokle god je renesansna znanost nastavljala svoj put i njime napredovala, tako dugo su Venecijanci, Britanci i svi ostali bili prisiljeni to oponašati i kopirati, u opasnosti da bi inače mogli biti vojno poraženi. Ali iracionalna dominacija oligarha nije mogla egzistirati zajedno sa stalnim napretkom u znanosti i tehnologiji. Venecijanci nisu mogli jednostavno napasti znanost izvana. Bilo im je potrebno preuzeti kontrolu znanosti iznutra. Ta zadaća dopala je venecijanskom inteligencijskom vođi Paolu Sarpiju koji je živio od 1552. do 1623. godine.“ Uglavnom, Tarpley na dušu ovog raspopa kao „najdugoročnije postignuće“stavlja „lansiranje europskog prosvjetiteljstva koje je uključivalo, kako Bacon-Hobbes-Locke-Newton-Berkley-humeovski engleski empirizam, tako i Descartes-Voltaire-rousseauovsku francusku enciklopedističku školu.“ Sve u svemu, Tarpley se ovdje čini najviše ogorčen, pa zaključuje: „Sarpi je bio glavni kvaritelj moderne znanosti, najveći šarlatan svih vremena. Ono što se danas uči na sveučilištima, to su njegova učenja.“
Esencijalno, Tarpley modernoj znanosti prigovara formalizam i fetišizam „autoriteta stručnog mišljenja“ nasuprot „moći kreativnog razuma koji postaje snagom za oplemenjivanje i poboljšanje u prirodnom redu stvari“. Egzistencijalizmom, dekonstrukcijom postmoderne i drugim teorijskim tijekovima dvadesetog stoljeća nije se bavio, tu se zaustavio na ekonomiji, odnosno na krahu njujorške burze i depresiji dvadesetih i tridesetih.
Moderna znanost je uzbudljivo i kreativno područje. To Tarpley ne vidi, ili ne želi vidjeti, ali postavlja pitanje: zašto je danas znanost sluškinja krupnog kapitala, što znači hegemonističke oligarhije, baš kao što je nekoć filozofija bila sluškinja religije, ili kao što je religija bila sluškinja nemoralnim vlastodršcima?
Materijalisti su dekretom riješili tajnu postojanja. Ipak, postojanje je i dalje duboka tajna, i u tome je njihova neizmjerna arogancija koja Tarpleya s pravom živcira. To što on u tome vidi političku urotu zapravo je manje važno. Zanimljiviji je njegov pokušaj da demaskira vladajući koncept kao ideologiju koja je sazdana od floskula podjednakih, ako ne i gorih od svega što slijednici empirista-racionalista-pozitivista s podsmjehom proglašavaju tlapnjama. Ipak, nije jednako oštar prema rimokatoličkoj instituciji Pape i njegovoj nepogrešivosti, tako da u čitavom tom kolopletu venecijanskih „agenata“ s pravom postavite pitanje nije li Tarpley nekakav vatikanski „agent“. No kako odmičete s čitanjem i to postaje jasnije. Inzistiranje na produhovljenosti u čovjekovu životu, pa makar i institucionaliziranoj i okoštaloj u obliku crkvene hijerarhije, kod Tarpleya nije iz nejasnih ezoterijskih ili ideoloških razloga, već sasvim konkretno. Naime, potrebno je sačuvati odgovornost za riječi i postupke. Čovjek mora znati da će jednom nekom polagati račune. Bila to tlapnja ili ne, čini se da je jedino je takav život, u konačnici, podnošljiviji.
Drugi dio knjige manje je razigran jer se bavi nama bližom poviješću i faktografijom. Ipak, obiluje zanimljivim detaljima o kojima baš i nismo učili u školi, poput uloge ruske flote cara Aleksandra II. u Američkom građanskom ratu. Zanimljiva je i svojevrsna revizija Prvog svjetskog rata gdje se odgovornost za taj do tada neviđeni pokolj s „bedastog“ njemačkog Kaisera redistribuira na „zlobnog lukavca“ engleskog kralja Edvarda VII.
Ne možemo baš biti sigurni koliko je uslugu Tarpley napravio Platonu „i njegovim dečkima“ svojim popriličnom mahnitim stilom pisanja upravo Platonu u prilog, a protiv „zlog Aristotela“, ali svaki glas protiv oligarhije dobro je došao. Jer oligarhija je tu, ona se čak više ni ne trudi skrivati. I sasvim je svejedno jesu li gušterski potomci, mletački trgovci, degenerirani patriciji ili pak najobičniji glupani što misle da je vladati svijetom vrijedno svih svinjarija koje naposlijetku postanu ono što obično zovemo poviješću čovječanstva.
Zato je to knjiga koja čitatelja ni u kojem slučaju ne bi trebala ostaviti bez reakcije. Ako ste istinski Venecijanac u duši (nu, znate što mislim, znam da vi nemate dušu) i pravi vojnik Oligarhije, srdito ćete se namrgoditi: gdje je taj drski glupan da ga zgazite kao crva svim raspoloživim sredstvima! Ako ste uvjereni idealist, popravljač pokvarenog (i moralno i mehanički) svijeta i prvoborac raznih ljudskih pravica, stegnut će vam se već otprije stisnuta šaka u dodatnom priljevu pravedničkog gnjeva. A ako ste uobičajeni, najčešći primjerak antiglobalista s figom u džepu koji još uvijek čeka priliku da nekako mazne svoj prvi milijunčić i svima pokaže srednji prst, e vama je Tarpley pljunuo ravno u čelo: da, ovo je blesav svijet, ali nije takav sam od sebe. Takav je zato jer ste blesavi – vi.

Nenad Perković

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

John Maynard Keynes' Newton, the Man

The Royal Society of London planned an event to celebrate the tercentenary of Isaac Newton's birth in 1942. However World War II made it essentially impossible and the celebrations did not take place until July 1946. Lectures were given by E N da Costa Andrade, H W Turnbull, Niels Bohr and Jacques Hadamard. John Maynard Keynes had also been invited to lecture but unfortunately he died in April 1946, three months before the celebrations took place. Keynes was fascinated by Newton's manuscripts and had been the first person to see some of the manuscript material by Newton which had been kept secret until his papers were sold in 1936. Keynes' lecture, Newton, the man was delivered at the celebrations by his brother Geoffrey Keynes. Here is the text of the lecture:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is with some diffidence that I try to speak to you in his own home of Newton as he was himself. I have long been a student of the records and had the intention to put my impressions into writing to be ready for Christmas Day 1942, the tercentenary of his birth. The war has deprived me both of leisure to treat adequately so great a theme and of opportunity to consult my library and my papers and to verify my impressions. So if the brief study which I shall lay before you today is more perfunctory than it should be, I hope you will excuse me.
One other preliminary matter. I believe that Newton was different from the conventional picture of him. But I do not believe he was less great. He was less ordinary, more extraordinary, than the nineteenth century cared to make him out. Geniuses are very peculiar. Let no one here suppose that my object today is to lessen, by describing, Cambridge's greatest son. I am trying rather to see him as his own friends and contemporaries saw him. And they without exception regarded him as one of the greatest of men.
In the eighteenth century and since, Newton came to be thought of as the first and greatest of the modern age of scientists, a rationalist, one who taught us to think on the lines of cold and untinctured reason.
I do not see him in this light. I do not think that any one who has pored over the contents of that box which he packed up when he finally left Cambridge in 1696 and which, though partly dispersed, have come down to us, can see him like that. Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world with the same eyes as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance rather less than 10,000 years ago. Isaac Newton, a posthumous child bom with no father on Christmas Day, 1642, was the last wonderchild to whom the Magi could do sincere and appropriate homage.
Had there been time, I should have liked to read to you the contemporary record of the child Newton. For, though it is well known to his biographers, it has never been published in extenso, without comment, just as it stands. Here, indeed, is the makings of a legend of the young magician, a most joyous picture of the opening mind of genius free from the uneasiness, the melancholy and nervous agitation of the young man and student.
For in vulgar modern terms Newton was profoundly neurotic of a not unfamiliar type, but - I should say from the records - a most extreme example. His deepest instincts were occult, esoteric, semantic-with profound shrinking from the world, a paralyzing fear of exposing his thoughts, his beliefs, his discoveries in all nakedness to the inspection and criticism of the world. 'Of the most fearful, cautious and suspicious temper that I ever knew', said Whiston, his successor in the Lucasian Chair. The too well-known conflicts and ignoble quarrels with Hooke, Flamsteed, Leibniz are only too clear an evidence of this. Like all his type he was wholly aloof from women. He parted with and published nothing except under the extreme pressure of friends. Until the second phase of his life, he was a wrapt, consecrated solitary, pursuing his studies by intense introspection with a mental endurance perhaps never equalled.
I believe that the clue to his mind is to be found in his unusual powers of continuous concentrated introspection. A case can be made out, as it also can with Descartes, for regarding him as an accomplished experimentalist. Nothing can be more charming than the tales of his mechanical contrivances when he was a boy. There are his telescopes and his optical experiments, These were essential accomplishments, part of his unequalled all-round technique, but not, I am sure, his peculiar gift, especially amongst his contemporaries. His peculiar gift was the power of holding continuously in his mind a purely mental problem until he had seen straight through it. I fancy his pre-eminence is due to his muscles of intuition being the strongest and most enduring with which a man has ever been gifted. Anyone who has ever attempted pure scientific or philosophical thought knows how one can hold a problem momentarily in one's mind and apply all one's powers of concentration to piercing through it, and how it will dissolve and escape and you find that what you are surveying is a blank. I believe that Newton could hold a problem in his mind for hours and days and weeks until it surrendered to him its secret. Then being a supreme mathematical technician he could dress it up, how you will, for purposes of exposition, but it was his intuition which was pre-eminently extraordinary - 'so happy in his conjectures', said De Morgan, 'as to seem to know more than he could possibly have any means of proving'. The proofs, for what they are worth, were, as I have said, dressed up afterwards - they were not the instrument of discovery.
There is the story of how he informed Halley of one of his most fundamental discoveries of planetary motion. 'Yes,' replied Halley, 'but how do you know that? Have you proved it?' Newton was taken aback - 'Why, I've known it for years', he replied. 'If you'll give me a few days, I'll certainly find you a proof of it' - as in due course he did.
Again, there is some evidence that Newton in preparing the Principia was held up almost to the last moment by lack of proof that you could treat a solid sphere as though all its mass was concentrated at the centre, and only hit on the proof a year before publication. But this was a truth which he had known for certain and had always assumed for many years.
Certainly there can be no doubt that the peculiar geometrical form in which the exposition of the Principia is dressed up bears no resemblance at all to the mental processes by which Newton actually arrived at his conclusions.
His experiments were always, I suspect, a means, not of discovery, but always of verifying what he knew already.
Why do I call him a magician? Because he looked on the whole universe and all that is in it as a riddle, as a secret which could be read by applying pure thought to certain evidence, certain mystic clues which God had laid about the world to allow a sort of philosopher's treasure hunt to the esoteric brotherhood. He believed that these clues were to be found partly in the evidence of the heavens and in the constitution of elements (and that is what gives the false sestion of his being an experimental natural philosopher), but also partly in certain papers and traditions handed down by the brethren in an unbroken chain back to the original cryptic revelation in Babylonia. He regarded the universe as a cryptogram set by the Almighty - just as he himself wrapt the discovery of the calculus in a cryptogram when he communicated with Leibniz. By pure thought, by concentration of mind, the riddle, he believed, would be revealed to the initiate.
He did read the riddle of the heavens. And he believed that by the same powers of his introspective imagination he would read the riddle of the Godhead, the riddle of past and future events divinely fore-ordained, the riddle of the elements and their constitution from an original undifferentiated first matter, the riddle of health and of immortality. All would be revealed to him if only he could persevere to the end, uninterrupted, by himself, no one coming into the room, reading, copying, testing-all by himself, no interruption for God's sake, no disclosure, no discordant breakings in or criticism, with fear and shrinking as he assailed these half-ordained, half-forbidden things, creeping back into the bosom of the Godhead as into his mother's womb. 'Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone', not as Charles Lamb 'a fellow who believed nothing unless it was as clear as the three sides of a triangle'.
And so he continued for some twenty-five years. In 1687, when he was forty-five years old, the Principia was published.
Here in Trinity it is right that I should give you an account of how he lived amongst you during these years of his greatest achievement. The east end of the Chapel projects farther eastwards than the Great Gate. In the second half of the seventeenth century there was a walled garden in the free space between Trinity Street and the building which joins the Great Gate to the Chapel. The south wall ran out from the turret of the Gate to a distance overlapping the Chapel by at least the width of the present pavement. Thus the garden was of modest but reasonable size. This was Newton's garden. He had the Fellow's set of rooms between the Porter's Lodge and the Chapel - that, I suppose, now occupied by Professor Broad. The garden was reached by a stairway which was attached to a veranda raised on wooden pillars projecting into the garden from the range of buildings. At the top of this stairway stood his telescope - not to be confused with the observatory erected on the top of the Great Gate during Newton's lifetime (but after he had left Cambridge) for the use of Roger Cotes and Newton's successor, Whiston. This wooden erection was, I think, demolished by Whewell in 1856 and replaced by the stone bay of Professor Broad's bedroom. At the Chapel end of the garden was a small two-storied building, also of wood, which was his elaboratory. When he decided to prepare the Principia for publication he engaged a young kinsman, Humphrey Newton, to act as his amanuensis (the MS. of the Principia, as it went to the press, is clearly in the hand of Humphrey). Humphrey remained with him for five years - from 1684 to 1689. When Newton died Humphrey's son-in-law Conduitt wrote to him for his reminiscences, and among the papers I have is Humphrey's reply.
During these twenty-five years of intense study mathematics and astronomy were only a part, and perhaps not the most absorbing, of his occupations. Our record of these is almost wholly confined to the papers which he kept and put in his box when he left Trinity for London.
Let me give some brief indications of their subject. They are enormously voluminous - I should say that upwards of 1,000,000 words in his handwriting still survive. They have, beyond doubt, no substantial value whatever except as a fascinating sidelight on the mind of our greatest genius.
Let me not exaggerate through reaction against the other Newton myth which has been so sedulously created for the last two hundred years. There was extreme method in his madness. All his unpublished works on esoteric and theological matters are marked by careful learning, accurate method and extreme sobriety of statement. They are just as sane as the Principia, if their whole matter and purpose were not magical. They were nearly all composed during the same twenty-five years of his mathematical studies. They fall into several groups.
Very early in life Newton abandoned orthodox belief in the Trinity. At this time the Socinians were an important Arian sect amongst intellectual circles. It may be that Newton fell under Socinian influences, but I think not. He was rather a Judaic monotheist of the school of Maimonides. He arrived at this conclusion, not on so-to-speak rational or sceptical grounds, but entirely on the interpretation of ancient authority. He was persuaded that the revealed documents give no support to the Trinitarian doctrines which were due to late falsifications. The revealed God was one God.
But this was a dreadful secret which Newton was at desperate pains to conceal all his life. It was the reason why he refused Holy Orders, and therefore had to obtain a special dispensation to hold his Fellowship and Lucasian Chair and could not be Master of Trinity. Even the Toleration Act of 1689 excepted anti-Trinitarians. Some rumours there were, but not at the dangerous dates when he was a young Fellow of Trinity. In the main the secret died with him. But it was revealed in many writings in his, big box. After his death Bishop Horsley was asked to inspect the box with a view to publication. He saw the contents with horror and slammed the lid. A hundred years later Sir David Brewster looked into the box. He covered up the traces with carefully selected extracts and some straight fibbing. His latest biographer, Mr More, has been more candid. Newton's extensive anti-Trinitarian pamphlets are, in my judgement, the most interesting of his unpublished papers. Apart from his more serious affirmation of belief, I have a completed pamphlet showing up what Newton thought of the extreme dishonesty and falsification of records for which St Athanasius was responsible, in particular for his putting about the false calumny that Arius died in a privy. The victory of the Trinitarians in England in the latter half of the seventeenth century was not only as complete, but also as extraordinary, as St Athanasius's original triumph. There is good reason for thinking that Locke was a Unitarian. I have seen it argued that Milton was. It is a blot on Newton's record that he did not murmur a word when Whiston, his successor in the Lucasian Chair, was thrown out of his professorship and out of the University for publicly avowing opinions which Newton himself had secretly held for upwards of fifty years past.
That he held this heresy was a further aggravation of his silence and secrecy and inwardness of disposition.
Another large section is concerned with all branches of apocalyptic writings from which he sought to deduce the secret truths of the Universe - the measurements of Solomon's Temple, the Book of David, the Book of Revelations, an enormous volume of work of which some part was published in his later days. Along with this are hundreds of pages of Church History and the like, designed to discover the truth of tradition.
A large section, judging by the handwriting amongst the earliest, relates to alchemy - transmutation, the philosopher's stone, the elixir of life. The scope and character of these papers have been hushed up, or at least minimized, by nearly all those who have inspected them. About 1650 there was a considerable group in London, round the publisher Cooper, who during the next twenty years revived interest not only in the English alchemists of the fifteenth century, but also in translations of the medieval and post-medieval alchemists.
There is an unusual number of manuscripts of the early English alchemists in the libraries of Cambridge. It may be that there was some continuous esoteric tradition within the University which sprang into activity again in the twenty years from 1650 to 1670. At any rate, Newton was clearly an unbridled addict. It is this with which he was occupied 'about 6 weeks at spring and 6 at the fall when the fire in the elaboratory scarcely went out' at the very years when he was composing the Principia - and about this he told Humphrey Newton not a word. Moreover, he was almost entirely concerned, not in serious experiment, but in trying to read the riddle of tradition, to find meaning in cryptic verses, to imitate the alleged but largely imaginary experiments of the initiates of past centuries. Newton has left behind him a vast mass of records of these studies. I believe that the greater part are translations and copies made by him of existing books and manuscripts. But there are also extensive records of experiments. I have glanced through a great quantity of this at least 100,000 words, I should say. It is utterly impossible to deny that it is wholly magical and wholly devoid of scientific value; and also impossible not to admit that Newton devoted years of work to it. Some time it might be interesting, but not useful, for some student better equipped and more idle than I to work out Newton's exact relationship to the tradition and MSS. of his time.
In these mixed and extraordinary studies, with one foot in the Middle Ages and one foot treading a path for modern science, Newton spent the first phase of his life, the period of life in Trinity when he did all his real work. Now let me pass to the second phase.
After the publication of the Principia there is a complete change in his habit and way of life. I believe that his friends, above all Halifax, came to the conclusion that he must be rooted out of the life he was leading at Trinity which must soon lead to decay of mind and health. Broadly speaking, of his own motion or under persuasion, he abandons his studies. He takes up University business, represents the University in Parliament; his friends are busy trying to get a dignified and remunerative job for him - the Provostship of King's, the Mastership of Charterhouse, the Controllership of the Mint.
Newton could not be Master of Trinity because he was a Unitarian and so not in Holy Orders. He was rejected as Provost of King's for the more prosaic reason that he was not an Etonian. Newton took this rejection very ill and prepared a long legalistic brief, which I possess, giving reasons why it was not unlawful for him to be accepted as Provost. But, as ill-luck had it, Newton's nomination for the Provostship came at the moment when King's had decided to fight against the right of Crown nomination, a strle in which the College was successful.
Newton was well qualified for any of these offices. It must not be inferred from his introspection, his absent-mindedness, his secrecy and his solitude that he lacked aptitude for affairs when he chose to exercise it. There are many records to prove his very great capacity. Read, for example, his correspondence with Dr Covell, the Vice-Chancellor when, as the University's representative in Parliament, he had to deal with the delicate question of the oaths after the revolution of 1688. With Pepys and Lowndes he became one of the greatest and most efficient of our civil servants. He was a very successful investor of funds, surmounting the crisis of the South Sea Bubble, and died a rich man. He possessed in exceptional degree almost every kind of intellectual aptitude - lawyer, historian, theologian, not less than mathematician, physicist, astronomer.
And when the turn of his life came and he put his books of magic back into the box, it was easy for him to drop the seventeenth century behind him and to evolve into the eighteenth-century figure which is the traditional Newton.
Nevertheless, the move on the part of his friends to change his life came almost too late. In 1689 his mother, to whom he was deeply attached, died. Somewhere about his fiftieth birthday on Christmas Day 1692, he suffered what we should now term a severe nervous breakdown. Melancholia, sleeplessness, fears of persecution - he writes to Pepys and to Locke and no doubt to others letters which lead them to think that his mind is deranged. He lost, in his own words, the 'former consistency of his mind'. He never again concentrated after the old fashion or did any fresh work. The breakdown probably lasted nearly two years, and from it emerged, slightly 'gaga', but still, no doubt, with one of the most powerful minds of England, the Sir Isaac Newton of tradition.
In 1696 his friends were finally successful in digging him out of Cambridge, and for more than another twenty years he reigned in London as the most famous man of his age, of Europe, and - as his powers gradually waned and his affability increased - perhaps of all time, so it seemed to his contemporaries.
He set up house with his niece Catharine Barton, who was beyond reasonable doubt the mistress of his old and loyal friend Charles Montague, Earl of Halifax and Chancellor of the Exchequer, who had been one of Newton's intimate friends when he was an undergraduate at Trinity. Catharine was reputed to be one of the most brilliant and charming women in the London of Congreve, Swift and Pope. She is celebrated, not least for the broadness of her stories, in Swift's Journal to Stella. Newton puts on rather too much weight for his moderate height. 'When he rode in his coach one arm would be out of his coach on one side and the other on the other.' His pink face, beneath a mass of snow-white hair, which 'when his peruke was off was a venerable sight', is increasingly both benevolent and majestic. One night in Trinity after Hall he is knighted by Queen Anne. For nearly twenty-four years he reigns as President of the Royal Society. He becomes one of the principal sights of London for all visiting intellectual foreigners, whom he entertains handsomely. He liked to have clever young men about him to edit new editions of the Principia - and sometimes merely plausible ones as in the case of Facio de Duillier.
Magic was quite forgotten. He has become the Sage and Monarch of the Age of Reason. The Sir Isaac Newton of orthodox tradition - the eighteenth-century Sir Isaac, so remote from the child magician born in the first half of the seventeenth century - was being built up. Voltaire returning from his trip to London was able to report of Sir Isaac - 'twas his peculiar felicity, not only to be born in a country of liberty, but in an Age when all scholastic impertinences were banished from the World. Reason alone was cultivated and Mankind could only be his Pupil, not his Enemy.' Newton, whose secret heresies and scholastic superstitions it had been the study of a lifetime to conceal!
But he never concentrated, never recovered 'the former consistency of his mind'. 'He spoke very little in company.' 'He had something rather languid in his look and manner.'
And he looked very seldom, I expect, into the chest where, when he left Cambridge, he had packed all the evidences of what had occupied and so absorbed his intense and flaming spirit in his rooms and his garden and his elaboratory between the Great Gate and Chapel.
But he did not destroy them. They remained in the box to shock profoundly any eighteenth- or nineteenth-century prying eyes. They became the possession of Catharine Barton and then of her daughter, the Countess of Portsmouth. So Newton's chest, with many hundreds of thousands of words of his unpublished writings, came to contain the 'Portsmouth Papers'.
In 1888 the mathematical portion was given to the University Library at Cambridge. They have been indexed, but they have never been edited. The rest, a very large collection, were dispersed in the auction room in 1936 by Catharine Barton's descendant, the present Lord Lymington. Disturbed by this impiety, I managed gradually to reassemble about half of them, including nearly the whole of the biographical portion, that is, the 'Conduitt Papers', in order to bring them to Cambridge which I hope they will never leave. The greater part of the rest were snatched out of my reach by a syndicate which hoped to sell them at a high price, probably in America, on the occasion of the recent tercentenary.
As one broods over these queer collections, it seems easier to understand - with an understanding which is not, I hope, distorted in the other direction - this strange spirit, who was tempted by the Devil to believe at the time when within these walls he. was solving so much, that he could reach all the secrets of God and Nature by the pure power of mind Copernicus and Faustus in one.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

- 21:54 - Komentari (20) - Isprintaj - #


View My Stats

Blog.hr koristi kolačiće za pružanje boljeg korisničkog iskustva. Postavke kolačića mogu se kontrolirati i konfigurirati u vašem web pregledniku. Više o kolačićima možete pročitati ovdje. Nastavkom pregleda web stranice Blog.hr slažete se s korištenjem kolačića. Za nastavak pregleda i korištenja web stranice Blog.hr kliknite na gumb "Slažem se".Slažem se