March 17, 2015

Professor Buruma
Bard College
NY 12504-5000

Dear Ian Buruma,
I used to know a woman who was living in Paris when the Nazis left.  She told me the people working for the Vichy government were killed and thrown into the Marne, where their bodies decomposed, bloated up, floated up, rafted up and blocked the bridges.  I never heard about it elsewhere except that there was a Sad Sack comic strip by George Baker that suggested Paris was off limits for liberating GI’s; more recently I have read that it was only Black GI’s who were not included in the victory parade.  None the less I have always taken her words seriously.

I suppose there are two kinds of regime change, a fairly tranquil one such as was imposed on the South of the US by the North and a bloodbath like the Terror of the French Revolution.  Your book Year Zero (Penguin, New York 2913) suggests that the year 1945 saw a regime change of the second type over much of the world.  I take it my friends report is true.

So why is it that people are so terrible to people?  There is strong evidence that the answer is biological and is intimately related to the fact that type 2 regime changes occur with clock-like regularity.  So far as I can make out from the numbers our time has not yet come.  I am morally sure one cannot understand the world without understanding the biology and that its cycle cannot be stopped until the process is understood.  If you are curious, go to and look at the film clip I posted on March 2 of this year.  This will be unlike anything you have learned before.


M. Linton Herbert MD

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