Gustave Flaubert and Herman Hesse Novels and the Corruption of Power.

The great French novelist Gustave Flaubert’s Sentimental Education, published in 1869 is consider to be a romantic novel. In reality, it includes vivid descriptions of France’s social classes, political institutions and practices that lead to the famous 1848 social revolution and the failure of the Second Republic in his country. That event was followed by major upheavals in Europe, particularly in the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Italy, and the Austrian Empire.

Professor Edward T. Gargan of the University of Wisconsin in an essay published in the Encyclopedia of 1848 Revolutions note that Flaubert took exhaustive care to document and looked for testimonies to authenticate the novel.

Of particular interest, in today’s context of most discussed and for many admired “Spring” and other street revolutions or movements are the descriptions of the behavior of their leaders and activists once in power. Flaubert’s main character attending an assembly “..was astonished at their abominable style of talking, their pettiness, their spite, their dishonesty—all these people, after voting for the Constitution, now striving to destroy it; and they got into a state of great agitation, and launched forth manifestoes, pamphlets, and biographies.

Herman Hesse in his famous novel The Glass Bead Game published in 1943 also touches this particular dark side of the human condition and its relation to power. In a conversation, the main character tell a friend to  “consisted of an unbroken succession of rulers, leaders, bosses, and commanders who with extremely rare exceptions had all begun well and ended badly. All of them, at least so they said, had striven for power for the sake of the good; afterward they had become obsessed and numbed by power and loved it for its own sake.”

Excerpt From Flaubert, Gustave. “Sentimental Education.” Barnes&Noble, 2009-06-01. iBooks. Check out this book on the iBooks Store Link: Flaubert, Gustave. “Sentimental Education.”

Excerpt From Hermann Hesse. “The Glass Bead Game.” Henry Holt and Company. iBooks. Check out this book on the iBooks Store. Link: Hermann Hesse. “The Glass Bead Game.”

ISIS Accelerates Destruction of Antiquities in Syria – The New York Times

Screenshot 2015-08-25 12.52.50The barbaric attack on human beings with mass killings, public decapitations of innocent people, rape of women and the destruction of millenary cultural sites require a stronger action.

The war intensified and current strategy to ended and stop the barbaric actions seem far from successful.

Today news only adds to the list and deserve a stronger condemnation.

ISIS Accelerates Destruction of Antiquities in Syria – The New York Times.

Irrational exuberance

The Financial Times has a problem with Apple and clearly over the years has a negative bias towards that company. Any problem related with Apple is magnified. I will demonstrate with the dozens of misleading headlines I have collected. On the other hand, significant problems in other tech companies are ignored or not reported. As examples bugs in Android that affect more than 50% of the base or the flops of products.

I will be posting previous articles with commentaries and start with yesterday article. Bad reporting or bad faith of the editors.

Market turmoil leaves tech sector exposed Deepest damage likely to be felt by companies valued on growth prospects YESTERDAY by: Richard Waters in San Francisco

My comment to the article:
For some reason, the article did not include the dramatic fall from clearly overvalued stocks. Particularly, ignored Netflix (from $ 128 to $ 103) more than 20%, Amazon ( $540 to $ 494) 10%, Google, Facebook and Tesla are also down.
The quoted stocks in the article, (Apple, Intel and Microsoft) are in a different category; they are profitable and pay a dividend.

The article to be relevant should have been about the overdue realignment of the market and a bubble burst.

Savvy investors probably will change from “momentum”, “hype”, “sentiment” that created a bubble with overvalued tech stocks to companies with real value, low p/e, profits, dividends, etc.

As in the dot-com bubble, the press has been instrumental inflating the market.