Holy Moses! Fratricide and the Western Curriculum

 
A winter storm beckons
Holy unrest is growing
Only chrysanthemums are silent (kC)
 

Not to be denied their rightful place in the annals of modern day Moslem–bashing, as well as their just desserts at the hands of a newly declared barbarian horde, the French have gone ahead and weighed in on the sacred person of Mohammed, providing us with a rather raw and (typically French) naked pictorial of the prophet.  Of course, after the Danish publication in 2005 of those rather satirical cartoons, and following on the fatwa that was ordered on Salman Rushdie after publication of his blasphemous The Satanic Verses, it is not surprising that Muslims in MENA and around the globe are literally up in arms, yet again. In fact, just this last week, and on the heels of the violent uprisings across MENA…

an Iranian religious foundation headed by Ayatollah Hassan Saneii raised the bounty for Rushdie from $2.8 million (£1.7 million) to $3.3 million (£2 million) following protests against an anti-Islamic film that helped lead to riots around the Middle East.

However, while I am not surprised, neither am I sure that I or any of the other spectators knows what this Middle East hullabaloo is really all about. After all, no one is rounding up Muslims and dragging them off to be gassed in the showers, as happened to the Jews in Europe during the early part of the 20th Century.  Nor are they being tortured and thrown into the Coliseum to fight for their lives like the Christians martyrs of old Rome. Certainly, I can understand the outrage of the faithful; after all, it is their savior who is being crucified now. But, I guess violence, intolerance, and persecution is just a natural accompaniment to the phenomenon of modern religious faith; no different than that borne of radical nationalism. At least it seems to be the case with these monotheistic, and specifically, Abrahamic, traditions arising from those barren deserts surrounding the alluvial plains of the Fertile Crescent in the ancient Near East. A substantial portion of the wars, persecutions, genocides, and assorted acts of terror that have been launched in the civilized world, have been done in the name of that Almighty One himself or in visceral reply to His asserted promises to those nomadic desert fathers.

Ideology… is ultimately defined as the ‘us against them’ mentality.  It is the expression, often social, of an implacable and irrational dualism. It is especially powerful in desert lands because the desert seems to confirm a law of oppositions to the senses… (Nature and Madness, p 60)

Did you ever wonder if the eschatological apocalyptic view of these monotheistic faiths was meant to be a self-fulfilling prophecy?  You know, a ‘believe in it and we can make it happen’ philosophy.  Well, increasingly this seems to be the case.  As the planet strains towards apparent material, ecological, and climatic collapse, brought on by the unrelenting and unforgiving pace of global capitalism and post-industrial civilization, the Curriculum of the West shifts into hyper-drive, with diverse and competing ideologies and theologies crashing down, one against the other, in a race to be the first one at the finish line.

[M]onotheism socially becomes fascism, imperialism, or capitalism: philosophically is unmetaphorical, unambiguous, and dichotomous; and psychologically is rigid, fixed, and linear (Shepard, Nature and Madness, 59)

So begin the roots of our fratricide, our conflicts and our confrontations, our wars, terrors, and our collective ecocide, the destruction of the planet earth; all parties claiming possession of the truth, punch-drunk believers on all sides, acting out the images, myths, and symbols of their respective ideologies and faiths: Christian soldiers, Muslim terrorists, capitalist objectivists, sunshine patriots, and assorted national-socialists, alike. And, we must not forget the Israeli Mossad, or their friends, the US bankers, on this ship of fools.

[T]he entire Judeo-Christian-Muslim period in human history has been an episode of unparalleled perceived and social psychosis and international barbarity. (Keneth Rexroth, Bird in the Bush, 1959, p.20)

Why is it in our modern, civilized world people always say, “I don’t discuss politics or religion?”  Why? Because once one has committed oneself to cleaving to a monolithic hierarchical thought-experiment, like Abrahamic monotheism or the modern State, there is absolutely no room for another voice to be heard, except the one in your head screaming… “Thou shalt have NO other gods before me!” Thus, spaketh the Lord!  Just ask your president, Barack Obama, the perfectly psychotic admixture of Moslem, Christian, and Jew, who continues to argue for “the use of the military in domestic policing and…the empowering of the government to strip U.S. citizens of due process.”* Remember folks, In GOD we trust!  Welcome to the profoundly spiritual roots of the sickness that afflicts the soul of our civilization.

147 Responses to Holy Moses! Fratricide and the Western Curriculum

  1. “….and when they came for me, there was no one left to protest” sad,sad,sad…the curtain has come down, the dancers have left the theater, the audience has gone home..shows over, last one out turn off the lights..oh don’t bother,they will all be going off soon,anyway

    • kulturcritic says:

      The last will be first, and the first last… why… because the first are pushing the last over the edge first, while they (the first) scrape all the remainder for their final party.

  2. Disaffected says:

    TRULY one of your best Sandy! And the Shepard, Nature, and Madness quote is just about as spot on as it gets. Expect religious fundamentalism to go viral as the collapse unfolds, as humanity grasps at straws wherever it can find them. But our imaginary Gods will be nowhere to be found. Alas, the age of enlightenment will have proven to be just the latest of mankind’s many follies, done in, as usual, by our many unresolved deep-seated primitive conflicts.

    To me, religion always manifests itself first and foremost as hubris. As soon as anyone imagines that they have *THE ANSWER*, the next logical step is always and forever the idea that they must begin converting everyone else too. And thus was any monotheistic religious idea borne. It’s no mere coincidence that western-style capitalism and Christianity are both proselytizing religions. Poor Islam, caught flat-footed without a matching economic doctrine to spread it’s ideas without the use of naked, overt violence. Gotta give credit where credit is due. Western-style capitalist religious fascism is by far the highest embodiment yet of the proselytizing ideological religious mindset. Totally false and completely malignant, it is surely the cancer that will end our current round of evolution on this planet.

  3. bmiller says:

    Yep, everyone seems determined to leap or push each other off the cliff at the same time. Where I grew up it was called “waiting on the rapture”. An aged aunt berated me for being active in the anti-nuke movement in the eighties. She said nuclear destruction of the planet was “part of god’s plan”. So when I read Bakunin’s words, “I reverse Voltaire’s aphorism and say: if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him,” I shouted amen, brother.

    • kulturcritic says:

      A rush to the finish!! The rapture!! How I learned to love the bomb!!

      • Ivy Mike says:

        RE: A recent conversation here in Jesusland with a Krapturist about the Left Behind twaddle:

        Cretin: Are you ready to meet Jesus?
        • Moi: I already did; he fueled my airplane in San Antonio.
        • Cretin: Ha, ha! No, I mean when Jesus comes back to rapture us. Will you be left behind?
        • Moi: According to Jesus in Matthew 24:38-40, it’s much better to be left behind, rather than to be swept away by the flood waters of judgement with the wicked.
        • Cretin: But you’re taking those verses out of context.
        • Moi: Read Jesus’ words; Jesus says the unrighteous will be taken away by the flood waters of judgment, and the righteous will be left behind safe and sound. So count me in the righteous left behind crowd.
        • Cretin: But that’s not what it says! Are you an atheist?
        • Moi: No, I believe in the gods.
        • Cretin: There’s only one God!
        • Moi: Atheists like you might try to deny the existence of gods, but right in Genesis 1:1 it says that Elohim, meaning the gods, plural, created the heavens and the earth, and Genesis 1:26 says “Let us make….”
        • Cretin: But you’re taking those verses out of context!

        They just repeat their hackneyed scripts like some poor technical support drone in Bangalore. I’ve had more rational conversations with a dead animalflat out on the freeway and drying in the sun.

        • Disaffected says:

          Whenever I hear the word Jesus come up in conversation, I usually try to defuse the subject immediately by making a smart-assed comment along the lines of, “Oh yeah, I ran into him down at the car wash the other day,” or similar. No, it’s not usually well accepted, but more often than not it gets the point across without further dramatic interlude. The whole concept of a “man as savior” is so patently ridiculous to my mind, that I can’t believe that rational, sentient beings would have ever conceived it in the first place. Moreover, the sheer arrogance of Christians to bring such nonsense up in “polite company” is simply unacceptable on so many levels that I can’t even begin to comprehend where they – and we – have gone off the rails. Simply amazing!

          • leavergirl says:

            Chill, man, chill. Such outrage for so little. There are far worse things in the world. And learning to listen to possible meanings behind what you don’t understand in others is a damn useful skill in a world gone batshit.

            • kulturcritic says:

              It is undeniable that monotheism is fully complicit in the destruction of the planet

            • Disaffected says:

              Far worse things in the world? I suppose, although I think you seriously underestimate the havoc such bat-shittedness causes. And believe me, that was hardly outrage on my part. My resume in that genre is quite extraordinary, if I do say so myself.

              • leavergirl says:

                Giggle. If you say so! I don’t underestimate any havoc bad behaviors cause. I am skeptical that focusing on beliefs is useful. You end up sounding like just another prejudice monger.

                • Disaffected says:

                  OK, I’m game. As opposed to focusing on what exactly? By the way, you come off sounding just a tad “effete liberal elitist” for even my tastes. And prejudices are in the eyes of the beholder always, are they not?

                • kulturcritic says:

                  Beliefs are what drive BEHAVIORS Vera… Sorry! Especially institutional, imperial, fascist behaviors!!

                  • leavergirl says:

                    You don’t KNOW that. You assume so… in other words, that is your belief, and it can be wrong, like other beliefs. IMO, it’s hubris to assume you know what moves other people… and I am rather betting that the causes of behavior are complex, and often not clear to the people themselves.

                    My evidence is there for every one to see. Two virtually identical christian beliefs, or two anarchist, or what have you, beliefs: one person is wonderful, the other an asshole. Happens all the time. Wake up and look at what they do, people! Putting words/ideas above behaviors is part of the trance…

  4. Hines says:

    A rare grammatical error for you in the first sentence of an otherwise concise and illuminating piece.

  5. Ralph Meima says:

    Sandy, one of your best. Raw. Plaintive. Unwavering.

    Once upon a time (back in the ’80s, maybe), I probably assumed that, as global resource, environmental, population, and climate crises became more acute and better understood – around now, roughly – the forces of reason and science-for-the-common-good would rally and become stronger. In fact, in most countries, the trend in recent decades has been toward increased secularism and away from faiths. However, despite the existence of large, educated, clear-thinking portion of populations everywhere, including in the US, there has been this steady upsurge of peversely anti-rational fundamentalist, minority movements all over: jihadists, evangelical Christians, radical orthodox Jews, Sikhs, extreme Mormons, science-denying US Republicans…

    The deeper the crises become, the more energized and crazy – and self-righteous – they get, each movement, cell, cult, and mob a vicious, accelerating circle of power locally demonstrated and lusted for by its ambitious leaders.

    My fear is not that these different extremist groups will go to holy war against each other, wounding the rest of us in the crossfire.

    My fear is that they will become louder and louder – stupider and stupider – blocking necessary changes in society and technology (and providing cover for the Exxon Mobils, the Monsantos, the Koch Industries, the Entergy Corporations, and other corporate oligarchies), until rational, clear-thinking people have no choice but to go to war against them, and if you think that a religious/ideological zealot can muster a lot of energy and commitment, think about the explosive determination that “the adults in the room” will come up with when faced with their/our own obliteration. This is what overcame Hitler, eventually. It will be grand and terrible. Let’s hope that they/we are led by enlightened leaders. But the damage may outweigh the prize, ultimately, and your Curriculum of the West may come through it in fine shape, there to define the next phase of false redemption after WWIII, as the good folk settle back into our daily preoccupations. If we “win,” that is. If we don’t, say Hello to the New Inquisition.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Thanks, Ralph. Glad you enjoyed it. Just one thought.

      You say “My fear is not that these different extremist groups will go to holy war against each other, wounding the rest of us in the crossfire.”

      Don’t forget… the leadership and culture of our nation has become the most dangerous of the extremist groups now on the face of the earth.

      • Ralph Meima says:

        I don’t fully agree, unless we narrow down some definitions of leadership, culture, and extremist group. There are totalitarian regimes and terror organizations (including drug cartels) that are much more intensely violent and dangerous than the USA within their footprints (e.g., North Korea, Iran, Mexican DTO’s, etc.) – they’re an inch wide and a mile deep – and I am not so naive as to think that, absent the United States of Empire, they would quiet down and play nice. They rule their spheres of influence with death and terror, and I would never trade places with their constituents. The US is in contrast a mile wide and an inch deep for the most part (drone strikes aside), and more ambiguous in terms of the good and evil it inflicts. It’s a mixed bag. I do agree that the net effect of US culture, especially the consumerism, hypocrisy, militarism, corporate oligarchy, and disconnect between foreign and domestic behavior, is very damaging to many people’s lives both here and abroad. But the narrative and practices of democracy still go on, not always coopted, and we could have a leader much worse that Obama (e.g., Rmoney), who, although he accommodates too much of what’s evil in America, also pursues nobler ends through for example the Affordable Care Act and the elimination of private lenders from government student loan funding.

        It’s too easy to just say, “America is the most dangerous of the extremist groups,” because it may look like that from Siberia, but – from inside – it looks like a battle with all manner of monsters, demons, and angels fighting it out.

        • kulturcritic says:

          The narrative and practices of democracy SEEM to go on; and they provide that spectacle at a SEVERE cost to the rest of the planet and its inhabitants. Ralph, do not become naive again; not after your last round. I will not deny that the conditions of relative freedom of speech and mobility exists within limits in the USA, but that too is more a matter of perception and marketing hype. But, no; I would not want to trade it for life in N Korea or Iran. But that is another horse story. sandy

        • Disaffected says:

          Ralph,

          There’s good evidence out there and a lot of smart people presenting it (needless to say, I’m inclined to agree) that Romney is nothing more than a strawman being set up for Obama to conveniently knock down, in the process being seen as the “reasonable alternative” when he subsequently enacts policies that are by any reasonable standard even farther to the right than any of Bush/Cheney’s. It’s the “new, more sophisticated approach to fascist tyranny, meant to appease the more discerning political tastes of today’s modern political consumer.” Make no mistake about it, the real and present danger already resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, and won’t be enhanced nor diminished one whit whether Obama OR Romney stands at the dais in late Jan 2013. And there’s damn good reason to conclude that Romney, in the absence of the convenient cover of nominally being a member of the “liberal opposition” party, would be the least effective of the two at enacting what will surely be a “more of the same” radical corporate fascist agenda either way.

    • leavergirl says:

      Perhaps it’s because I grew up under communism that I am reluctant to make religion the whipping boy. You want nasty, murderous, and brutal? Does Uncle Stalin ring a bell?

      I also hung out with a bunch of atheists once, for a few months, online, and they were about the verbally nastiest, most demeaningest people I ever interacted with personally.

      Some people are bloody nasty. Why don’t we focus on their behavior rather than their beliefs?

      • Disaffected says:

        Some people are bloody nasty. Why don’t we focus on their behavior rather than their beliefs?

        That’s probably pretty good advice. However, in my experience at least, beliefs are a pretty good indicator for behavior. That said, I have many Christian friends. Granted, our friendship will never be more than superficial, but I attribute that to their constant need to proselytize and my refusal to budge. As I often ask them when they’re in that mode: Why do you feel the need to “convert” me to your beliefs? I don’t ask that of you. To which they launch into their whole “personal salvation” shtick. In the end, it really is “baked into the cake” with proselytizing religions. These people are, by any reasonable standard, simply objectively insane.

        • leavergirl says:

          Proselytizing infects all folks who buy the One Truth doctrine. It infected the commies like the plague. Basically, these folks simply have to be right.

          In my own life (actual experience), religious people have been, on balance, nicer people. One of my best friends is a proselytizing Christian… she tries to seduce me her way, I try to seduce her in the direction of the Goddess. It balances out…. 😉

          • Disaffected says:

            In my own life (actual experience), religious people have been, on balance, nicer people

            I will concede, there definitely is some truth to that statement in my experience as well. BUT, and it’s a damn big BUT, you have to remember that many of those same people are simply being “nice” under the guise of being “good” (the lord’s eyes are on you always, and all that shit) and/or they’re still trying to sell you as a potential convert. Call me a cynic (and I am), but I’ll take a good old fashioned, honest to god asshole ANY DAY over another moronic dip shit wanna be used car salesman trying to sell me something – religion or otherwise. And in the end, that’s what religion always comes down to. Just another cheap marketing opportunity to the moronic masses to sell them on the idea of passivity while they’re being led to their slaughter. Not for nothing that all the main players in the field are into blood sacrifice.

      • kulturcritic says:

        I will gladly compare the Crusades and the Inquisitions to Stalin anytime!!

        • Ivy Mike says:

          Especially considering how the Inquisition or Crusades would have gone if they possessed the technology to steel that Ol’ Joe had. And frankly, Stalin was as holily efficient at enforcing distribution* as the Apostles were in the case of Annanias and Saphira.**

          ________
          * “…they had all things common…and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” ~Acts 4:32, 35
          * “But [Stalin] said, [Comrade], why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the [Petreburo], and to keep back part of the price of the land?” ~Acts 5:3

        • leavergirl says:

          Sandy, ya can’t. Every place is different. If you go to the Ukraine, where Stalin staged a famine that wiped out 10-30 million, then later further onslaught of insanity brought the Nazis (who dabbled in the occult but were secularists) I think you would have a hard time arguing that the crusades and the inquisition were worse when these people did not experience them. Oh and then, because the Ukrainians had welcomed the Nazis as liberators (no wonder) Stalin cracked down again, carting people off to the gulag in droves. Oh there had been priestly abuse, and pogroms, but nothing like the scope of the secular abuse. In another part of the world, the balance would be different. That’s why I keep saying it’s both sides. Don’t look at what people believe… words are cheap. Look at what they do, and beware the asshole or psychopath in any garb.

      • javacat says:

        Besides the intrusive Jehovah’s Witness folks, I’ve found vegans have been exceptionally judgmental and holier-than-thou! 😉

        The common thread among all the groups mentioned seems to be the absolute rightness in their belief that disallows any other viewpoint. Such absolute certainty in one’s beliefs signals danger, both individually and for the group. Once a belief becomes rigid, there’s no room for adapt to new understanding. The system, the one right way, must be defended at all costs, despite evidence to the contrary. Obviously, this approach creates sharp ‘us and them’ distinctions that seriously interferes, if not precludes, any kind of meaningful dialog or exchange.

        • Ivy Mike says:

          Most humans are rigidly fucked up, even myself, even though they are still good people, like myself.

          But human fucked-up-ness used to be sparsely distributed, like ubiquitous and harmless uranium ore, and didn’t cause much problem. Now the hairless great ape has reached critical mass, and the chain reaction is in motion.

          • Disaffected says:

            A fucked-up-ness singularity? Better watch out Mike, you’re liable to find yourself with a following. And then, like Jesus (allegedly), you’re liable to find yourself strung up by the short ones and proclaiming for the NEW New Testament, “My GOD, how in the FUCK did we end up EVEN MORE fucked up the second time around?”

            To which God will merely reply: You are INDEED some truly dumb motherfuckers! Don’t ask me, go ask your mother (presumably, Satan).

        • leavergirl says:

          I’ve seen the same. They are just like the Witnesses. Eager to lavish attention on you to convert you, but not hearing anything you say. Ever.

  6. Murph says:

    Sandy and Ralph,

    The intertwining and complexity of all of these social forces seem to me to be nearly undecipherable. Treating each problem as a discreet problem isolated from other problems is a perception mistake in my view.

    I have been doing some investigation into this U.N. Agenda 21 fiasco along with the mad dash into joining ICLEI. It sure enough appears to me that this agenda 21 and all it embodies is helping to perpetuate the ideological tensions and disputes that Currently the Capitalistic corporation fascists are winning. If they fail in bringing on some kind of apocalypse something else will take their place in that endeavor. .Yeh, I know, that is conspiracy theory. Although on the other hand, natural world wide disasters have happened in earths history, and perhaps we need a good cleansing of the gene pool, taking for granted we don’t become extinct as a species.

    B. Mille,

    Yeh, I like Kropotkin and Bakunin thoughts on social organization also. I actually came across a younger fellow just lately that when I asked him if he was familiar with their work he immediately launched into a history of both and the essence of their writings. Had to laugh. Only second person in years now that I have met that was even familiar with the names.

  7. Hines says:

    Sandy, my apologies. I could swear that when I first read it you had “deserts” and not “desserts” written in the first line. I need to catch up on some sleep.

  8. Ivy Mike says:

    Sandy,

    It’s often emotionally satisfying to whack at the idiotic Abrahamic (and pre-Abrahamic*) Know-Nothings, yet at a deeper level, religio-economic movements, from Islam and Christianity to Objectivism and Khmer Rouge are only a somewhat rationalized reactions to we hairless Great Apes attempting to adapt with the horrors of agricultural civilization and the competitive Prisoner’s Dilemma horrors in which one must either engage or be annihilated.

    In other words, as anthropologist Jason Godesky points out—supported by materialist anthropologist Marvin Harris and primitivist popularizer Daniel Quinn —no one dies for religion.

    Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. ~some long-haired Greek cynic street preacher and Buddhist missionary, as quoted in verse 44, chapter 17, of the Jefferson Bible.

    ~Ivy Mike

    ___________
    * “Indeed, the myths of Baal later formed the template for the Biblical myths of Abraham.” ~Diana Agorio. (2010). SEX RITES: The Origins of Christianity: The Ritual Use of Sex, Drugs, and Human Sacrifice

  9. Ivy Mike says:

    The science is in; belief in a moralizing high god depends on different modes of subsistence.

    Apparently, people who owns cows on pasture are the root of the damned god problem.

    The devil is a rustler and many are his men,
    Who ride the plains and valleys, damning souls with death and sin.
    If you’re a Christian Cowboy, then saddle up God’s Word,
    And save a soul that’s headin’ towards the devil’s herd.

    ~Christian Cowboy

  10. Malthus says:

    “As the planet strains towards apparent material, ecological, and climatic collapse, brought on by the unrelenting and unforgiving pace of global capitalism and post-industrial civilization, the Curriculum of the West shifts into hyper-drive, with diverse and competing ideologies and theologies crashing down, one against the other, in a race to be the first one at the finish line.”

    Well done Sandy and you managed to avoid the underlying problem of all these and most problems we are struggling under. Population numbers. More people more problems. Add in the ease of communication of said problems around the world and most knowing things are going terribly wrong. Of course mine is a simplistic view of all this.

    • Disaffected says:

      Simple problems demand simple views. And overpopulation should in the coming years be a fairly straightforward problem to solve, although it won’t be without a lot of pain. Either stop reproducing like rabbits, or watch your young and old alike die from famine, disease, pestilence, and war. Only we in the first world continue to doubt this. Those in the third world have known it for lifetimes already.

      • Malthus says:

        Gore Vidal said much the same thing about reproducing like rabbits except he said something like the human population has spread like a virus over the planet this century. All of the natural intelligence is now in the third world. Who else would think of putting a raw egg into a leaky radiator to stop the leak?

        • Disaffected says:

          In the end we’re inherently biological and live by the rules of same. It comes right back around to hubris. In reaching for our imagined “higher selves” through our religions, philosophies, and other intellectual constructs, we’ve attempted to deny our physical mortal beings. Needless to say, nature remains less than impressed with our delusions of grandeur. Some things seemingly never change!

          Icarus

          …or the more humorous updated version:

          Costanza: On Wings of Pastrami

    • kulturcritic says:

      OK, Malthus, go out and terminate half the population… all that does is buy us time.

      • leavergirl says:

        Time, and more elephants… and cod… and maybe no CaFOs….and roughly only half of the current number of psychopaths and assorted assholes… oh do it, Malthus, already, what are you waiting for? 😉

        I am holding you responsible for all this antireligious frothing at the mouth, Sandy! Yer an inciter. Ole D. does not need much to push him over the edge, freaks when someone mentions Jesus in conversation. Hoooo… what horror! Brings on that Life of Brian scene… you know, the stoning…. where the guy taunts the crowd with “Jehovah Jehovah Jehovah”…. I think I am just gonna substitute Jesus Jesus and watch him go off. Whoooosh!

        Well, time for bed. I’ll dream of Malthus going forth.

        • Malthus says:

          That is good levergirl. When you are dreaming of me I hope you picture me in a loin cloth carrying a bloody spear stepping on broken bodies of those that are asking for it. Now who is it that is asking for it? The deniers of overpopulation, The deniers of climate change, the greed head infestors who really don’t care where the stuff is made as long as they don’t pay them for their work, the lying politicians, and the other self centered that think growth will save us all, BTW I totally stay away from making any remarks about religious beliefs. And last but not least fools like me that have the very stupid idea that humans could actually work together for the benefit of mine and yours and every living thing on this planet.

          • leavergirl says:

            There was a recent discussion at Dave Pollard’s on whether we can work together like that (by intension, by design) and save ourselves. It looks like we cannot. But… nature has self-organization up her sleeve, and that is the dark horse I am betting on.

        • Ivy Mike says:

          Malthus can rest easy, the Second Artillery is co-mingling conventional and thermonuclear weapons, which is as stupid as showing up to a baseball game with grenades, as the latest issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists points out. Catch! One doesn’t store nukes alongside regular missiles unless one intends to use them both in the same war.

          But I suppose Chinese only mean to compete with the remarkable psychopathy found in US Nuclear Posture Review of 2002, another document co-mingling the use of conventional and nuclear weapons against the non-Chosen Ones.

          It’ll be Psalms 137:9, again, soon.

          “You think I’m crazy? Well, listen up, there’s a storm coming like nothing you’ve ever seen, and not a one of you is prepared for it.” ~Curtis, Take Shelter (2011)

          • Disaffected says:

            Nothing like nukes on the cheap. It’s the democratization of WMDs. A chicken in every pot, a nuke in every arsenal is what I say. Or Mutually Assured Mass Destruction – it’s what FRIENDS do just to ensure that we’re all actually FRIENDS in the first place.

      • Malthus says:

        Spaying and neutering would be far better than that option Sandy.

        • Ivy Mike says:

          How ya gonna catch me?

          • leavergirl says:

            He don’t need to catch *you*… as long as he catches enough of them rabbits out there in the bushes… many of them too fat to run, sad to say… ugh, I am making myself depressed.

            • Malthus says:

              Know one wants to catch anybody. If Ivy wants to have 50 kids let him. Some weird virus or some other natural disaster will take care of that problem. I live in a world class tourist destination and it has now been over run with mansions, and castles in monument to the owners wonderfulness and consequently we have been over run with starving bears looking for food in garbage cans because we have taken over most of the land that they used to depend on for food. Our answer to that problem is to trap them, tag them, and take them back out into the mountains. If they come back and are caught they are killed, most leaving starving cubs that are sent to sanctuaries. The town is overgrown with these huge homes. Someone in the local newspaper suggested we spay and neuter them and someone else commented that the best idea would be to spay and neuter humans. I for one can see how that would be good for the entire planet.

              • Disaffected says:

                All looted from future “earnings” (which would in turn merely be looted from future earnings, etc.), all the product of the modern **MIRACLE** of debt-based capitalism. Ponzi, Ponzi, Ponzi. PONZI!

                Debt-based capitalism, greatly abetted by the one time only **TRUE MAGIC** of cheap, non-renewable fossil fuels, is nothing less than the intellectual **MAGIC** that allows humans to believe that they transcend nature. While fucking each other over for the proceeds just in case in the process of course. WE are **TRULY** a fucked up species in the end.

                • Ivy Mike says:

                  I trust you’ve read David Graeber’s Debt: The First 5,000 Years.

                  Debt is the Original Guilt trip.

                  “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” ~Romans 4:4

                  • Disaffected says:

                    No, I haven’t, but “it rhymes,” as they say. By they way, WHY are you busting on Malthus? Terminating “half the population” or MORE will INDEED be the quandary very shortly in my view as well (actually 5 or 6 out of 7 at current rates). Time to buck up to the big boy problems there buckaroos! We ain’t got time no more for little people’s shit, time to get with the REAL program!

          • Disaffected says:

            WE have our ways, dissident…

  11. Greg Knepp says:

    “…us against them…It is especially powerful in the desert lands because the desert seems to confirm the law of opposition…”

    Really?

    First, for the most part, the ancient Middle East wasn’t desert at all; it was savannah – perfect for grazing the roaming herds driven by Semite nomads (‘hebrews” in the Sumerian tongue). In fact, much of the area we dub The Fertile Crescent was fairly lush. It was no accident, then, that these well-endowed lands birthed civilization. It took civilized man several centuries of land abuse to turn the area into desert. However, long before that was accomplished, the sky god, EL – an established uberdeity in the ME pantheon – had come to rule pretty much alone over the hebrews.

    The one-god theology kept life-on-the-move simple and efficient: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me”. And, as El was invisible and equally available no matter the local, there was no need to tote about cumbersome idols and statues. “Thou shalt have no craven images”. The fact that theology, technology and law were all tied into one neat package gave the hewbrews additional survival advantages. (Hear, oh Is-Ra-El, the Lord is One.)

    But even the hebrews eventually succumbed to the call of the big city, and established a civilization of their own, taking with them their lean, monotheistic faith . I see no sun-parched angst or DeMillian desert drama here – just a pretty serviceable religion with all the assets and liabilities of any other human endeavor.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Greg – there is some evidence that the Sahara was fertile savanah with plentiful rain some 7,000-10,000 years ago. But, it appears to have been fairly arid desert by 5,000 years ago, about the time those Israelites would have been out and about. Thanks for your clarity.

      • leavergirl says:

        He is talking near east… the Fertile Crescent was then actually a fertile crescent! The Israelites were not out in the Sahara. Your frayed geography is showin’… 😉

        • kulturcritic says:

          Oh well; never claimed to be expert… but I am certain that Shepard’s geography is right on!

          • kulturcritic says:

            The facts, Vera and Greg, are that the “Fertile Crescent” was so named because it was a fertile arc of land surrounded by a hostile Syrian desert to its south. Early civilizations arose there precisely because it was fertile land at the mouths of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, eclipsed by desert.

        • Greg Knepp says:

          Thank you leavergirl. I was somewhat unhinged by the author’s response, and was planning a comprehensive retort, but you’ve said it all.

          I must add that I have read some of Shepard’s work (on the author’s recommendation)
          and have found it to be compelling in every way. However, when the facts – often complicated and inconclusive – get in the way of Shepard’s thesis, he has a tendency to simply ignore them. Shepard is after the Grand Statement. Be wary.

          • kulturcritic says:

            Unhinged???? Greg, I appreciate your exceptional scholarly perspicacity; however, I am not trying to win any debates here in OT theology. Enjoy the posts, if you like. But, you may not always agree with my interpretation of “the facts.” Just remember, everyone creates the facts to back up their theories or beliefs. I will admit that. And I am guilty. I doubt that you or Vera are flexible enough to make such a confession. No response is necessary. sandy

        • Ivy Mike says:

          I think Sandy is referring to the Israelite refugees led by Moses from the Sahaha Desert, and that the Sahara is a former savannah desertified by men who control domesticated Earthling slave-species via House-Bondagery (husbandry, or pastoralism.) The Fertile Cresent of Adad/Abram/Abraham was degraded in much the same process.

  12. leavergirl says:

    Yer welcome, Greg. 🙂

    Sandy said above:
    “People kill for ideology, Ivy Mike… and for economic reasons… but the do kill for both!”

    Actually, people kill for endless reasons — jealousy, and anger, and because they like it, and because they want the notoriety, and because they think they will be heroes, and because of fear… and on and on and on… simplification here serves no one, Sandy.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Vera – stop putting words in my mouth, and trying to construct rebuttals out of thin air. I never said people DO NOT kill for other reasons. I was responding to someones statement regarding economics v ideology. Come on Vera, stop the Bull shit, te, he

      • leavergirl says:

        Since you tossed in the towel on the beliefs bullshit, I will toss in the towel on the reasons people kill. Fair’s fair. 😉

  13. leavergirl says:

    Disaffected, got a question for you. You’ve often bitterly complained that the Jesus people hit on you, trying to convert you. Haven’t you been able to draw an effective boundary? I mean, it can be very annoying, but heck, it’s easy to sidestep them, and one does not even have to be rude. So why dontcha? Is it that they are relatives, and you feel unable to cut them off? Or? It could be that once you are able to protect your boundary, your fury will no longer needed. Just a thought…

    • kulturcritic says:

      Do I here another Russian babushka giving more advice to the uppidy youngsters? There is a Russian saying goes something like this:
      Не учите меня как жить, лучше помогите материально. (Don’t teach me how to live; It is better to help me with money).

    • Disaffected says:

      Hey Leaver. Just checked in expecting to see a new Sandy post but was disappointed.

      To your point. Good question. So, since you asked (I’ll keep it brief): I’ve got some MAJOR(!) anger issues in general, which I’ve since found to be the root of my so-called “alcoholism.” YES, one of my basic issues is in regard to an aging parent, who’s pretty much haunted me my entire life, and who is now in a (purposely prepared) position of dependence to take from me at the end of his/her life when I’m in no particular good position to deal with him/her either monetarily or physically/spiritually. And, truth be told, BOTH of my parents are trying to pull this same stunt to greater or lesser degrees. For both, Christianity played a major part in their “life dramas,” both of which were pretty typical for mid 20th century mid-Americans of modest means.

      I know, I know. Typical American lower middle class bullshit. And it is. And it is. And it is.

      • leavergirl says:

        Well, we have a lot in common. My aging parent is a raging narcissist and manipulator of the secular kind. Same old shit in another garb. 😦

    • Disaffected says:

      By the way LeaverGirl, ONCE AGAIN, I simply have to come back to the term effete. I’m sorry. I know, I know, I also like to use the term “silver spoon,” which, I’m not implying applies to you whatsoever, but which I use in conjunction with many of the people I know. I also bandy about such terms as “privileged” and “academic” more than I should, I know. I betrays my lower middle class upbringing in that regards.

      • leavergirl says:

        We are who we are. I am a lay-scholarly type, partly self educated, and partly (over)schooled. Privileged? Not very. First gen immigrant who’s known poverty and privation. My most lucrative job was a factory job. Wish I had hung onto it.

  14. troutsky says:

    Hey, look who’s back! Anyway, I want to make a pitch for unapologetic, examined ideology as well as for an “agonistic pluralism” which follows on Schmitt’s “friend/ enemy” distinction. To me the most insidious ideology is the claim of non-ideological objectivity or neutrality. The quicker we set this post-modern hallucination aside, the better.

    At the same time, I believe in the small d democratic revolution and feel any attempt to avoid the irreducible nature of antagonism is to end any hope for a return of the political, something sorely missing. IMO an excess of consensus is as dangerous to democracy as all these theological Absolute Truth claims.

    • kulturcritic says:

      Well, I would agree with you, Dave, on the modern hallucination of “objectivity. It is a convenient fiction. One usually finds the objects that sets out, pre-reflectively, to find. It is called hypothesis formation. So, you are rather voting for healthy egalitarian anarchism (aka your agnostic pluralism)? May the most accomplished hunter have the most respected advice.

    • Greg Knepp says:

      No question about it; my presumptions (what I think before I think) are my enemies, unless I make an effort to bring them into my conscious mind. Like speaking English or breathing they dominate me without my awareness, molding my perceptions and triggering my emotions. I unthinkingly gravitate toward whatever supports my presumptions – no matter how inappropriate they my be to my current circumstances.

      Belief systems and ideologies can present the same problem on tribal and national scales. Cultural lag plays a part. Ideologies that were once rooted in practical application defy change even as circumstances change, and degenerate into ‘tradition’, then motif, then religion or national creed. They become ‘Truths’.

  15. leavergirl says:

    “To me the most insidious ideology is the claim of non-ideological objectivity or neutrality. The quicker we set this post-modern hallucination aside, the better.”

    Huh? Can you splain, please?

    Heartily second your second para.

    • Disaffected says:

      “Huh?” indeed! What needs ‘splainin? Are you suddenly hard of understanding LeaverGirl? I would have thought you would agree with this hands down with a round of “booh-yahs!” to boot.

      EVERYTHING’S subject to the observer’s viewpoint. I thought that was just plain common knowledge at this point.

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