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How is this dreadful turn of events to be understood? In Syria — as in Egypt and Yemen — the deep state is the hard core of a regime that strongly resembles those of the Mamluks in Egypt and the Levant long ago. The notion of the deep state became fashionable in media coverage of Egypt in Filiu notes that the term originated in Turkey, where it connoted not merely the secretive apparatuses of the state such as the police and intelligence services but above all the shady nexus between them, certain politicians and organised crime.

Part of his argument is that the deep state is beyond the law: its members see themselves as custodians of the higher interests of the nation and believe this authorises them to get up to all sorts of unavowable things, not only working with criminal elements but even engaging in what would otherwise be regarded as criminal acts. The sense that they have an unqualified right to do whatever they choose, he argues, is premised on a patrimonial view of the state and a paternalistic view of the people, both views determined by the collective self-interest of the deep state actors themselves.

There is of course truth in all this. In the Ben Barka affair of , the leader of the Moroccan left was abducted and murdered during a visit to France as the result of a conspiracy involving a large cast of characters including French police and intelligence agents, Moroccan agents, the Moroccan interior minister and French gangsters. A few of those involved — mainly the gangsters — eventually stood trial and went to jail. The state and the deep state are not two things but all of a piece, in what we call democracies as well as in dictatorships.

Talk of the deep state in Egypt suggested that its discovery was an unpleasant surprise, which indicates a good deal of naivety on the part of the Egyptian revolutionaries. Why, then, does Filiu make so much of this? The original Mamluks were the slave soldiers employed by the Abbasid dynasty from the late ninth century onwards.

The answer was to form armies of slaves imported from far afield, non-Arabs and non-Muslims: Kipchak Turks, Circassians and Georgians and, in a later period, Albanians and Greeks. Eventually the strategy backfired. In it seized power in Egypt and Syria and established the Mamluk Sultanate, with its capital in Cairo. The key principle was that the army should not be recruited from the free-born Muslim population. But the people who storm the Bastille are rarely the people who construct a new political order on the ruins of the old regime; those who do the constructing can always be accused of hijack.

Before we can clarify what is to be done about Syria, there are two questions that need to be answered. The first is why the nationalist movements in these countries, and Syria in particular, were militarised. The second question is: who have been the real hijackers of the Arab uprisings from onwards, and how have they gone about it? Algerian nationalist politics were militarised in Until then political parties led by civilians had peacefully put forward variants of the nationalist ideal.

But successive governments in France refused to make any serious concessions.

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The demilitarisation of Algerian politics became a matter of public debate with the winding down of the violence after But achieving it requires a reinvigoration of civilian politics, and that will take time as well as new thinking. For all its shortcomings, the political life of Egypt after the end of the British protectorate in was an improvement.

But Egypt had a measure of freedom and, however unsatisfactory, a political life to call its own. And then, between and , the army took over. Under Nasser, Egypt became a political desert but made headway in achieving full independence by securing the British evacuation of the Canal Zone in and nationalising the canal itself in ; Nasser himself gained immense popularity and legitimacy in the process.

But his regime lost the Sinai to Israel in and, in order to get it back, his successor, Anwar Sadat, prostrated Egypt before the United States. It has remained a depressed client state to this day. Sadat increased his own freedom of action by encouraging the army to develop its economic interests as a surrogate for an active political role, a strategy continued by Mubarak. The recent emphatic remilitarisation of Egyptian political life, after just two and a half years of inevitably turbulent civilian politics, owes a great deal to this history.

Four and a half months later Zaim was killed during a second coup, carried out by Colonel Sami al-Hinnawi. Hinnawi soon lost out to Colonel Adib al-Shishakli, who took command of the army in December To consolidate his authority he did what Nasser was soon to do in Egypt: he banned all political parties and set up the Arab Liberation Movement as a regime-controlled surrogate.

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But by this point the army itself had been politicised. In February , a number of senior officers including some linked to the Baath Party and others to the Communists rebelled; to his credit, Shishakli went into exile rather than allow a civil war to erupt, and civilian party politics resumed. But four years later, the army commanders, supported in varying degrees by civilian politicians, gave up on Syria as a viable political entity and begged Nasser to take them into a political union. The terms he imposed were the abolition again of all political parties in Syria, to bring it into line with Egypt, and the subordination of Syria to Egyptian stewardship.

In , advised that the region probably contained huge oil reserves and that the Royal Navy would require oil, Lloyd George told his French opposite number, Clemenceau, that he wanted Mosul; Clemenceau provisionally agreed. Independent Syria has never accepted this transfer; a map I bought in Damascus shows the Iskenderun region as part of Syria. That the infant democratic republic of Syria was not a viable state on its own was widely acknowledged by its politicians during the first decade of independence.

Some sought to recover the territory lost in the imperial carve-up. This idea had support in Lebanon too, where many people still thought of themselves as Syrian. In Beirut in a Greek Orthodox Christian called Antun Saada founded the Parti Populaire Syrien with an explicitly irredentist purpose; subsequently renamed the Syrian Social Nationalist Party, it had support in Syria in the late s in both civilian and military circles.

But Iraq is more than twice the size of Syria and far richer; it would have dominated any political union. Above all, under the Hashemite monarchy it was seen as a British client; free at last of the destructive ministrations of France, few Syrians wanted to come even indirectly under imperial sway again. The foundation of the state of Israel — seen as a menacing development in itself — meant that recovering lost territory from the former mandate of Palestine came to seem impossible; the same applied to territory lost to the British-backed kingdom of Jordan. But it was the efforts of the Americans and British to exploit the Cold War in order to subordinate Arab states, beginning with the Baghdad Pact of , that brought the crisis to a head.

Three and a half years after the formation of the United Arab Republic of Egypt and Syria in , few Syrians still supported it; in September a military coup led by an anti-Nasserist officer backed by Jordan and Saudi Arabia succeeded and the UAR disintegrated. Its most dynamic figure was Salah Jadid, a leftist whose views determined Syrian government policy from onwards.

Committed to pan-Arabism, Jadid was also committed to the Palestinian cause. Ever since the Syrians had decided that the UAR was a mistake, reducing their country to the unbearable condition of an Egyptian colony, the pressure to find another solution had been immense. A central element of his strategy was building strong alliances with distant and powerful states that had no ambitions to take Syria over, among them the Soviet Union and, from , Iran.

At home, he sought national unity in an effort to secure consent to the authoritarian aspect of the regime. He rebuilt the armed forces and other state institutions, and even allowed four other political parties of the Syrian left to operate, on condition that they did so as members of a National Progressive Front in which the Baath retained primacy. In short, Assad performed the function in the Syrian national revolution that Cromwell had performed in the English revolution: he stabilised it so that the country could be governed and defended.

In the process, he induced the Syrian Baath to concentrate on making Syria itself, at last, a viable state. In what sense, then, can Assad and his wing of the Baath be accused of hijacking Syrian independence? More coherently and more effectually than any of their predecessors, they sought to make independence a reality. The tragedy for Syria is that Assad lived so long. Under Assad, Syria was a republic ruled by an autocrat. A republican autocrat is a contradiction in terms. But Richard Cromwell seriously tried to liberalise the Protectorate; the army felt threatened and deposed him after nine months.

Assad fell ill in and it seemed for a moment that his younger brother, Rifat, would take over, in what would have been an anticipation of the Cuban scenario. But Assad recovered, sent Rifat into exile and carried on for another 16 and a half years, grooming his eldest son, Bassel, to take over. When Bassel died in a car crash, he summoned Bashar to be groomed in his place.

So in Syria, unfortunately, the Cromwellian succession worked; in England it had been a fortunate fiasco. Allowed to make minor reforms and to bring on younger men of his own choosing, he was undoubtedly made aware of red lines that could not be crossed. All of them have been national security states whose rulers have calculated that liberalising in earnest would compound their already serious national security problems, enabling hostile powers to manipulate the new political parties that liberalisation would bring.

But qualitative political reform can only come about if they are put under sustained pressure by effective movements from below — movements that articulate demands which can be defended as strengthening the state by enhancing its legitimacy. This is the lesson that much of the opposition in Algeria has drawn from the bitter experience of the s: positive change can only come from non-violent activism that seeks to establish a national consensus on a project of reform. The theoretical possibility of such a thing happening in Syria in was destroyed almost at once.

The brutal repression with which the regime responded to demonstrations in Deraa in the far south of the country backfired; it ensured that the revolt would spread across Syria, initially in the form of increasingly angry demonstrations but soon as an armed insurrection. This was to prove disastrous. A major meeting was convened in Antalya in southern Turkey. The House of the Wolf; a romance. Stanley John Weyman. The Sign of the Shadow. Maurice Leblanc.

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Edith Wharton. The Snowball. The Grandissimes. The Quadroon. Captain Mayne Reid. Old Man Savarin Stories. Laplace in was the first to point out that the speed of sound in air depends on the heat capacity ratio. Newton's original theory gave too low a value, because it does not take account of the adiabatic compression of the air which results in a local rise in temperature and pressure. Laplace's investigations in practical physics were confined to those carried on by him jointly with Lavoisier in the years to on the specific heat of various bodies.

He prudently withdrew from Paris during the most violent part of the Revolution. In November , immediately after seizing power in the coup of 18 Brumaire , Napoleon appointed Laplace to the post of Minister of the Interior. The appointment, however, lasted only six weeks, after which Lucien Bonaparte , Napoleon's brother, was given the post. Evidently, once Napoleon's grip on power was secure, there was no need for a prestigious but inexperienced scientist in the government. Geometrician of the first rank, Laplace was not long in showing himself a worse than average administrator; from his first actions in office we recognized our mistake.

Laplace did not consider any question from the right angle: he sought subtleties everywhere, conceived only problems, and finally carried the spirit of "infinitesimals" into the administration. Grattan-Guinness, however, describes these remarks as "tendentious", since there seems to be no doubt that Laplace "was only appointed as a short-term figurehead, a place-holder while Napoleon consolidated power".

Although Laplace was removed from office, it was desirable to retain his allegiance. In copies sold after the Bourbon Restoration this was struck out. Pearson points out that the censor would not have allowed it anyway. In it was evident that the empire was falling; Laplace hastened to tender his services to the Bourbons , and in during the Restoration he was rewarded with the title of marquis.

According to Rouse Ball, the contempt that his more honest colleagues felt for his conduct in the matter may be read in the pages of Paul Louis Courier. His knowledge was useful on the numerous scientific commissions on which he served, and, says Rouse Ball, probably accounts for the manner in which his political insincerity was overlooked. Roger Hahn in his biography disputes this portrayal of Laplace as an opportunist and turncoat, pointing out that, like many in France, he had followed the debacle of Napoleon's Russian campaign with serious misgivings.

Napoleon had originally come to power promising stability, but it was clear that he had overextended himself, putting the nation at peril. It was at this point that Laplace's loyalty began to weaken. Although he still had easy access to Napoleon, his personal relations with the emperor cooled considerably.


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As a grieving father, he was particularly cut to the quick by Napoleon's insensitivity in an exchange related by Jean-Antoine Chaptal : "On his return from the rout in Leipzig , he [Napoleon] accosted Mr Laplace: 'Oh! I see that you have grown thin—Sire, I have lost my daughter—Oh! You are a mathematician; put this event in an equation, and you will find that it adds up to zero.

In the second edition of the Essai philosophique , Laplace added some revealing comments on politics and governance. Since it is, he says, "the practice of the eternal principles of reason, justice and humanity that produce and preserve societies, there is a great advantage to adhere to these principles, and a great inadvisability to deviate from them".

States that transgress these limits cannot avoid being "reverted" to them, "just as is the case when the waters of the seas whose floor has been lifted by violent tempests sink back to their level by the action of gravity". About the political upheavals he had witnessed, Laplace formulated a set of principles derived from physics to favour evolutionary over revolutionary change:. Let us apply to the political and moral sciences the method founded upon observation and calculation, which has served us so well in the natural sciences.

Let us not offer fruitless and often injurious resistance to the inevitable benefits derived from the progress of enlightenment; but let us change our institutions and the usages that we have for a long time adopted only with extreme caution. We know from past experience the drawbacks they can cause, but we are unaware of the extent of ills that change may produce. In the face of this ignorance, the theory of probability instructs us to avoid all change, especially to avoid sudden changes which in the moral as well as the physical world never occur without a considerable loss of vital force.

In these lines, Laplace expressed the views he had arrived at after experiencing the Revolution and the Empire. He believed that the stability of nature, as revealed through scientific findings, provided the model that best helped to preserve the human species. Laplace died in Paris in It was reportedly smaller than the average brain. A frequently cited but potentially apocryphal interaction between Laplace and Napoleon purportedly concerns the existence of God.

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Although the conversation in question did occur, the exact words Laplace used and his intended meaning are not known. A typical version is provided by Rouse Ball: [9]. Laplace went in state to Napoleon to present a copy of his work, and the following account of the interview is well authenticated, and so characteristic of all the parties concerned that I quote it in full.

Someone had told Napoleon that the book contained no mention of the name of God; Napoleon, who was fond of putting embarrassing questions, received it with the remark, 'M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.

An earlier report, although without the mention of Laplace's name, is found in Antommarchi's The Last Moments of Napoleon : [77]. Je m'entretenais avec L I congratulated him on a work which he had just published and asked him how the name of God, which appeared endlessly in the works of Lagrange, didn't occur even once in his. He replied that he had no need of that hypothesis. It was not God that Laplace had treated as a hypothesis, but merely his intervention at a determinate point:. In fact Laplace never said that.

Here, I believe, is what truly happened. Newton, believing that the secular perturbations which he had sketched out in his theory would in the long run end up destroying the Solar System, says somewhere that God was obliged to intervene from time to time to remedy the evil and somehow keep the system working properly. This, however, was a pure supposition suggested to Newton by an incomplete view of the conditions of the stability of our little world.

Science was not yet advanced enough at that time to bring these conditions into full view. But Laplace, who had discovered them by a deep analysis, would have replied to the First Consul that Newton had wrongly invoked the intervention of God to adjust from time to time the machine of the world la machine du monde and that he, Laplace, had no need of such an assumption.

It was not God, therefore, that Laplace treated as a hypothesis, but his intervention in a certain place. Faye writes: [78] [79]. I have it on the authority of M. Arago that Laplace, warned shortly before his death that that anecdote was about to be published in a biographical collection, had requested him [Arago] to demand its deletion by the publisher.

It was necessary to either explain or delete it, and the second way was the easiest. But, unfortunately, it was neither deleted nor explained. The Swiss-American historian of mathematics Florian Cajori appears to have been unaware of Faye's research, but in he came to a similar conclusion.

It's just that he doesn't intervene, to break the laws of Science. The only eyewitness account of Laplace's interaction with Napoleon is from the entry for 8 August in the diary of the British astronomer Sir William Herschel : [82]. The first Consul then asked a few questions relating to Astronomy and the construction of the heavens to which I made such answers as seemed to give him great satisfaction.

He also addressed himself to Mr Laplace on the same subject, and held a considerable argument with him in which he differed from that eminent mathematician. The difference was occasioned by an exclamation of the first Consul, who asked in a tone of exclamation or admiration when we were speaking of the extent of the sidereal heavens : 'And who is the author of all this! De la Place wished to shew that a chain of natural causes would account for the construction and preservation of the wonderful system. This the first Consul rather opposed.

Much may be said on the subject; by joining the arguments of both we shall be led to 'Nature and nature's God'. Since this makes no mention of Laplace saying, "I had no need of that hypothesis," Daniel Johnson [83] argues that "Laplace never used the words attributed to him. Raised a Catholic, Laplace appears in adult life to have inclined to deism presumably his considered position, since it is the only one found in his writings.

However, some of his contemporaries thought he was an atheist , while a number of recent scholars have described him as agnostic. He owned that he was an atheist. It appeared to Guettard that Laplace's atheism "was supported by a thoroughgoing materialism ". Hahn states: "Nowhere in his writings, either public or private, does Laplace deny God's existence. Let Him be always present to your mind, as also your father and your mother]. Glass, quoting Herschel's account of the celebrated exchange with Napoleon, writes that Laplace was "evidently a deist like Herschel". It is, he writes, the "first and most infallible of principles It is the sheerest absurdity to suppose that "the sovereign lawgiver of the universe would suspend the laws that he has established, and which he seems to have maintained invariably".

Maurice thought that the basis of Laplace's beliefs was, little by little, being modified, but that he held fast to his conviction that the invariability of the laws of nature did not permit of supernatural events. However, according to his biographer, Roger Hahn, it is "not credible" that Laplace "had a proper Catholic end", and he "remained a skeptic" to the very end of his life. Platina's account does not accord with Church records, which do not mention the comet. Laplace is alleged to have embellished the story by claiming the Pope had " excommunicated " Halley's comet.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Laplace disambiguation. Beaumont-en-Auge , Normandy, Kingdom of France. Paris , Kingdom of France. Main article: Theory of tides.


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    Main article: Laplace's demon. Mathematics portal Physics portal. Hawking and George F. Harvard University Press, Chapter 3. Cambridge University Press. American Chemical Society. June However, Gillispie , p. Celestial Mechanics: The Waltz of the Planets. Celestial Mechanics — the Waltz of the Planets. Berlin: Springer. Bibcode : cmwp. Retrieved 2 June Archived from the original on 13 January Archived from the original on 19 December Archived from the original on 2 April Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Bibcode : arXiv Mathematical thought from ancient to modern times. Oxford University Press. Laplace: Eulogy. Translated by Powell, Baden. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 21 March Allgemeine geographische Ephemeriden herausgegeben von F. Band, I. Dover Publications edition New York, has same pagination.

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