Before the injustices of the world, man trembled, and lamented his fate - to stand as the peak of a history he did not choose, and could not escape. But, clever as he was, man turned his fear into courage, and his cries into laughter, and he cast himself, in an Ideal form, as God, as the centre of existence, and himself, the "humble", one, chosen by this God, to suffer for being human, and in this feigned submission, and self-abasement, he rose, again, a secret pillar supporting a cosmic edifice, a supreme order, through which he too found power. Why the follower of the King of kings and not King? Same reason Oz hid behind the curtain, and today's elite are conspicuously absent.
But, soon, such ploys were no longer necessary. Man grew to believe that the extensions of his self-knowledge, translated into code, and protected as technologies & techniques, and his arrogance could come out from behind his duplicitous humility. He now declared himself the measure of all things, and a future God...an immanent god, to fill in for the one that was missing. He had his words to carry him upwards, and numbers to decode his essence and extend them into things.
Now, he declares himself his own creation, a product to be reproduced and recycled, and all that once bound him he leaves behind, hiding it under the gadgets and the tools he's built to cover-up his past.
All hail the Last Man!!! Not even his own words will stand in his way. He will render them empty, to escape, once more, and then fill them up again, with artificial substances, when the time is right.
The love affair between the Modern and words, reaches its apex with his obsession with money. Money is, after all, a symbolic representation, an abstraction, of resources, also reflecting the individual's utility to the whole, or his marketability and the majority's appreciation of him. Similar to credentials, money is a systemic sanctioning of the individual's worth. A clear indication of years of loyal, productive, work.
The power of the symbol within manmade systems is made most evident with money. It has the power to compensate for any genetic (natural/past) determinations, purchasing respect with servitude, and it has the power to offer the individual the emans through which he can pretend he is whatever he wishes to pretend that he is. Education is also an example of how money can purchase the emans towards specialization, systemic utility, and the means to be trained, memorizing 's own past were erased and replaced by a communal past and regurgitating the wisdom of centuries, as if the individual. The minds of geniuses can now fit over the mind of the student, like a noetic prosthesis, and generations of recipes, precedent, and guide him towards a mediocre career.
Parity through proxies, through association....this time not God, but the abstraction of Humanity. Humanity losing its sexual designation and becoming the replacement word for the Divine - the king of the beast, the master of nature. "First there was the word, and the word was...God Human". The arrogance follows, ranging from cynical dismissal of what is pretended, unable to differentiate the authentic from the faked, to arrogance where self and words, declaring self whatever is idealized, becomes the norm. Political-correctness, "civility", prevents any confrontation with the real - all agree to disagree, or politely part with their own subjective thoughts and beliefs intact. Nothing lost, nothing gained. The mission of avoiding hurt is accomplished. Natural selection gives way to memetic selection that now only allows productivity and systemic acknowledgement as the only source of pride, of self-worth.
Money, like words, has the magic to compensate, to raise the individual above his determined nature - within human systems only, because outside of them money, like words, and numbers have zero impact, if they do not produce an organ extension, another technical/technological prosthetic for the modern Cyborg. The Last Man is a gadget. Have you not seen the art-form expressing anxiety with this coming future?
Man builds machines to avoid being enslaved by other men, then he is enslaved by the machines, and he can no longer call himself man - that word has also lost all meaning. Word is the beginning and, the end - Alpha<>Omega.
Stripping the child of identity by denying him/her a father, and making him exclusively attached to the mother, who, alone, and with no male, is a institutionalized dependent, turns boys and girls into fashion hounds, and trend whores. A broken family, an estranged, slandered, and absent father, is the recipe of producing more socially dependent minds, looking for themselves in pop-art, and in every face that inspires pride in them. Each day they wake up not knowing what new self will go to bed by the evening.
When the social system is the father figure, from where children get their sense of self, their principles, their self-value, the idea of a socio-path touches in them that private fear of abandonment - a tale of orphanage, full of solitude and loveless suffering, finalizing in a monster.
The MRA reminds us what feminism is a symptom of. The family has not been reinvented, as some think, after woman was liberated from man, but it has been abstracted, made into another symbol with no substance. The woman, through feminism, is the bride of the State, just as a nun was said to have married Jesus when she took on the habit. Men, if not surrogate females, are to remain boys, playing at being formidable, mythical hyper-masculine figures, while mother stands by admiring her sons, and girls will grow up to be loyal, and devoted wives to whatever institution woos them, producing for them what they would have produced for their biological mates. This is serious role-playing, so nobody deserves to have his/her game destroyed.
Big daddy, not brother, watches over the boys as they pretend, and mother sits by knowing she is well taken cared for, and protected, and appreciated - if she is correctly evaluated, because she is no longer a womb, producing children and raising them to be like daddy, she is now a memetic womb, a mind, seeded and gestating the institutional values, giving birth to ideas, and things, and services just like big-daddy. And if the penis, the flesh and blood member, is required, when the abstraction cannot offer it, then the men are to step in and be that penis, and nothing more. She already has a mate, all she needs is a bit of warm-blooded loving, from time to time.
The tactic of playing both sides of the field making it seem like there's progress occurring, free-thinking, a challenge and a challenger, is part of the Nihilistic pattern. The either/or, representing the positive/negative, the 1/0 of the self-referential binary logic, produces this right/left, Republican/Democrat political discourse where both sides seemingly at odds, are in agreement about the basic tenets of their shared nihilistic paradigm.
They set up these false dilemmas, involving good/bad moral judgements, and exclude the obvious that it is nether.
In metaphysics the same dilemma is presented as a profound question - is there some-thing or no-thing, where the thing is the common, self-evident ground. Is the world positive or negative, again there is no reference point, other than the subjective mind to decide. The world is neither. Another example is absolute chaos and absolute order...where the absolute is the shared nihilistic common ground. Being/non-Being is another.
Once the poles of the nihilistic paradigm are settled, the mind is trapped within the premises. It cannot even imagine anything outside of this binary logic. This is not simply dumbing-down, reducing or maintaining brains on a very simple, animal level of awareness, but it also acts as an inhibiting limit to those minds that have the potential to go beyond....Beyond Good and Evil....
These dualistic abstractions are not only signposts, orientation symbols, metaphors, but within the nihilistic framework, both represent a different way of negating the real. Whether by fire or by ice, Frost wrote, and I would add whether by absolute order or absolute chaos, 1/0, the dynamic, Flux, with or without a pattern, will be negated. The only antidote is to rescues words from where these Nihilists have sent them - masturbation halls, and opiate dens., used by charlatans who want to declare themselves the mouth of God, or a up and coming god themselves, coming at it with the subtle coyness of a virgin who wants cock, but also fears it. They claim to have found the fabric of reality, solved the greatest mysteries, finally reached the end of philosophy, that all is knowable...and then they sit back gratified, smoking a fag. Rescue words, take them back from these brain-dead, cowards, these men-children who sue them like toys. Take every word and connect it to a phenomenon...and if you cannot then file it under indecisive, ro metaphor, or abstraction with no reference point.
Consider the word "Nihilism" as used since the Russians to indicate the absence of a universal morality, meaning, purpose. They too suffered the pains of orphanage, and realized that despite having replaced God and Christianity with the Party and Communism, that this was impersonal, unsatisfying, terrifying...negative.
Nihilism they called it...when it is the most positive aspect of existence. The absence makes life possible, creativity relevant, human thinking valuable, important...free-will more than a self-contradicting vacuous concept.
Consider the word "human" and what these modern have made of it. Stripped of its sexual component it has become a substitute for the anthropomorphic God of Nil, the perfect order of annihilation. What meaning does human have when it no longer designated reproductive potential, apprised of reproductive types..male/female?
Consider the word "morality" and how cowards and simpletons use it. No longer a social survival tool, a behaviour observed within social organisms enabling cooperative unions, but detached, and referencing first a God, out there, outside...and then nowhere...a nothing, using words like good/bad as if they were innately meaningful. And then you have these Nihilistic imbecile spending days debating these terms in this context, wondering what value philosophy has, or is philosophy applicable. Well, not if you are a moron...it isn't. Not if you use it to jerk-off, and to comfort yourself it isn't. Not if you use words like a child uses toys it isn't.
Take any word..."love" springs to mind So empty a word I have never heard. after the modern gets his hands on it, it becomes a candy, slowly melting in his mouth, with no nutritional value and surely to give him a cavity - rot. a word used and abused...every pop-song will include it. I challenge everyone to count how many songs on the pop-charts do not involve love, sex, or ways of getting love sex... How many movies? The word "love" detached from its erotic/agape components has become a Deity...worshipped by emasculated boys and prissy girls the world over. all deserve it...a Christian love...a whore's love. What value does it have if all deserve it indiscriminately, blindly?
From, a mechanism of overcoming the fight/flight mechanism, making heterosexual and later social unities possible, it has become magical, mystical, empty of all substance, disconnected from anything real. A word for greeting, appeasing, parting...no matter who what or where. One of Nihilism's favourite words.
The disastrous conflation of sex and love in the writings of Freud and his disciples is also apparent in the literary world. Using the example of Leslie Fiedler, Cuddihy (1974, 71) emphasizes the fascination of Jewish intellectuals with cultural criticism emanating from Freud and Marx—whichever one seemed to work best for a particular author at a particular time. Courtly love was unmasked as sublimation—a ritualized attempt to avoid the coarseness of sexual intercourse with a female. And Dickstein (1977, 52) notes regarding Norman Mailer, “Gradually, like the rest of America, he shifted from a Marxian to a Freudian terrain. Like other fifties radicals he was most effective, and most prophetic in the psychosexual sphere rather than in the old political one… Where repression was, let liberation be: this was the message not only of Mailer but of a whole new line of Freudian (or Reichian) radicalism, which did so much to undermine the intellectual consensus of the cold war period.” Although the works of Marcuse, Goodman, Fiedler, and Mailer are illustrative of the deeply subversive cultural critiques emanating from psychoanalysis, these works are only one aspect of an incredibly broad program. Kurzweil (1989) has provided a comprehensive overview of the influence of psychoanalysis on cultural criticism in all Western societies.
A consistent thread in this literature is a concern for developing theories that entail radical critiques of society. The followers of Jaques Lacan, the French literary critic, for example, rejected a biological interpretation of drive theory but were nevertheless “as eager as their German colleagues to restore the radical stance of psychoanalysis” (Kurzweil 1989, 78). As expected in a nonscience, psychoanalytic influence has resulted in a veritable tower of Babel of theories in the area of literary studies: “In America, not even the contributors could agree on what their activities ultimately were proving or what they amounted to; they all had their own prejudices” (Kurzweil 1989,195). Lacan’s movement splintered into numerous groups after his death, each group claiming legitimate descent from the master. Lacanian psychoanalysis continued be a tool in the radical cultural critiques of the Marxist Louis Althusser, as well as the highly influential Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes. All of these intellectuals, including Lacan, were disciples of Claude Lévi-Strauss (see p. 22), who in turn was influenced by Freud (and Marx) (Dosse 1997 I, 14, 112-113). The central role of psychoanalysis as cultural criticism can also be seen in its role in Germany after World War II. T. W. Adorno, an author of The Authoritarian Personality, is an excellent example of a social scientist who utilized the language of social science inthe service of combating anti-Semitism, pathologizing gentile culture, and rationalizing Jewish separatism (see Ch. 5). Returning to Germany after World War II, Adorno expressed his fears that psychoanalysis would become “a beauty nolonger able to disturb the sleep of humanity” (in Kurzweil 1989, 253). Eventually psychoanalysis became state supported in Germany, with every German citizen eligible for up to 300 hours of psychoanalysis (more in severe cases). In 1983 the government of Hesse sought empirical data on the success of psychoanalysis in return for funding a psychoanalytic institute. The response of the offended analysts is a revealing reminder of two central aspects of the psychoanalytic agenda, the pathologization of enemies and the centrality of social criticism: “They rose to the defense of psychoanalysis as a social critique… [They attacked the] unconscious lies of (unnamed but recognizable) psychoanalysts, their unhappy relationship to power, and their frequent neglect of the counter transference.” The result was a reinvigorization of psychoanalysis as a social critique and the production of a book that “enlarged their critiques to every political topic” (Kurzweil 1989, 315). Psychoanalysis can be justified solely by its usefulness in cultural criticism independent of data on its effectiveness in therapy. - Culture of Critique
What value does a given have, if all it asks of the mind is to be appreciated as a given, if all it demands is a receding away from life, from world, internally referenced and acknowledged - a subjective thing present in all, independent of ideals, objectives, and all external standards? What use other than as an escape, a detachment from the unruly, uncertainty of existing? What good are words then, when all they can do is reaffirm a conviction internally, transferring it to the minds of others where it can pretend it is engaging world?
The otherness of fluctuating patterns and non-patterns, replaced with the familiarity of a communion of other humans - reality redefined as a human construct, inviting more participants to join so as to increase its temporal/spatial span where shared symbols become the walls keeping the cosmos outside, and esoteric means diving into a communion of inter-subjective delusions.
The infection has touched bone, and may require amputation.
Now, we recall the Greeks as bisexual hedonists, who experiment with sexuality - we sample from the most decadent era, among the bored elites, to cultivate the delusion that homosexuality was "normal" for them, and so it ought to be normal for us, who want to emulate the golden age without seeing the filth, focus on the [positive and evade the negative.
The Greeks look down upon those who enjoyed being penetrated. their opinion of women, no doubt, is based on her acceptance of a alien other into her being, her enjoyment of it. But with woman this is part of her role, her nature, and when the same was found in a male they called it soft (μαλακας), a word still sued in modern Greece although with a different connotation: now it means to masturbate, to be soft, in the head, due to excessive self-pleasuring. A remnant of orthodox Christianity that made all pleasure evil. Like all things the christian church takes the ancient and twists it, converts it.
Along with the corrupted usage of the word, the modern- Greeks also have a curious understanding of homosexuality. If you penetrate another male you are not a homosexual, wheres if you are penetrated you are. A convoluted perception of the act, which must maintain an erection in response to the same sex. Whatever buggery was practised among the ancient Greeks it could not have been any different than the one practised in modern decadent systems. Among the elites, and as populations grow, increasing with them the numbers of drones feeding no the labour of citizens, creating the leisure classes, mutations grow with them. With no threat indulgence become an expression of psychosis, ennui, a desire to assert dominance when one fails to do so in every other way.
In nature a male mounts another as a display of his status.
If we are to give a fair judgment then we must mention that for the Greeks, of that time, what was practised was ephevophilia, not homosexuality. the young male, not looking any different than a female, was taken as a student by an older male, and trained in all things including sex. What we have today is hedonism, debauchery confused beta-males, immature adolescent minds, exploring a sexuality they do not understand, or reject because ti restricts their expression of internal psychosis: displays by a needy man-child, who wishes to feel powerful because he intuitively knows he is powerless.
How could not such a mind be seduced by abstractions like mystical shapes, and figures, that offer the same sensation, using them to mentally bugger younger males? Not to free them from authority, as a teacher frees a student from his dependence on him by teaching him how to think not what to think, but to reinforce dependence, by unnecessarily mystifying existence, and then presenting himself as the grand decipherer, the keeper of the key, the knower of a secret he can only allude to, imply, using the students ignorance and need.
Greeks also have a curious understanding of homosexuality. If you penetrate another male you are not a homosexual, wheres if you are penetrated you are.
Having watched a variety of US prison documentaries, strangely enough, this also rings true among the inmates. The penetrator holding some kind of domineering status, where the penetrated is the "bitch" or "sissy"..despite both of them having a clear open homosexual relationship...
Greeks also have a curious understanding of homosexuality. If you penetrate another male you are not a homosexual, wheres if you are penetrated you are.
Having watched a variety of US prison documentaries, strangely enough, this also rings true among the inmates. The penetrator holding some kind of domineering status, where the penetrated is the "bitch" or "sissy"..despite both of them having a clear open homosexual relationship...
Yes, it is a product of a spirit imprisoned, with no options, no sexual outlets. When sex becomes dull, when it ceases to have a risk, a cost, then exploration begins, to find the magic, the passion.
Ironically, this inorganic realization results from a desire for the bodily pleasures the mummy is meant to transcend. This is the double bind of the Egyptian mythology: on the one hand, worshippers of Osiris, each year torn between desert and river, hate death and yearn to live forever in the lush reeds; on the other, these same disciples of the dead god know that the only way to avoid the pain of death and endure eternally is to become one with the inorganicity they loathe.If Osirian adepts were to love life less profoundly, they might be able to imagine a disembodied afterlife. However, they are too attached to the stalks to imagine ever being divorced from sap. If these same followers of Osiris were to yearn for eternity with less intensity, they might be capable of envisioning death as a simple descent into the impersonal earth from which their limbs grew. But these initiates are too fixated on the persistence of their existences to picture their bodies undergoing the ruins of the seasons. Sensitive to the joy of organic life, Osirians cannot face death. Attentive to the decays of nature, these Egyptians come to loathe living matter. The melancholia attendant upon this contradiction ranges from noble though unfulfilled longing for eternity to nervous but sensitive neurosis over time. If the former form of sadness can devolve into living death, consummation by Thanatos, it can also ascend to life beyond fear and desire, Eros realized. If the latter type of gloom can agitate the heart into frayed nerves, Eros never satisfied, it can just as well grant an awareness of the rich interdependence between growth and decay, Thanatos as vital energy. Gathering the poles of this spectrum, Osiris as mummy proves an early version of the Hermetic anthropos, the ideal human being torn between eternity and time, death and life.
Explaining the Jewish neurotic, depicted in many Hollywood films.
The slaves took this hatred of life from their old masters, the Egyptians. Their "genius" was no great innovation - it was stolen from an old authority, as slaves do. Where they excelled is in buying and selling. Buying cheap, selling high - usury.
Egyptians death cults, and the pyramid ascent towards God, the singularity, inverted.
Disembodiment, the schizophrenic separation of mind from body, reflected in the obsession with detaching noumena, symbolized by words, from phenomena, the sensually perceived.
Nihilistic multiplicity born out of desired chaos, confusing, ambiguity, words used in whatever manner the individual psychosis desires, craves, needs.
Humility before world is too unbearable for the Nihilist.
He dreams of detachment from nature, from the immutable determining past, because he despises how it has manifested as presence.
Liberty from this makes him vulnerable to anyone promising it, and in his desperation he becomes a slave to the one who offers it.
Is this not what the Christian priests offer? Salvation?
Salvation, using words detached from reality, making themselves the conduit towards this "liberation". What is the price for eternal power but a lifetime of proving yourself worthy to liars and hypocrites who take advantage of human cowardice, desperation and stupidity to build earthly paradises as they declare them sinful.
Was not Jesus put to death because we described a god that did not require middle-men?
Now think what they would do to the one who teaches hoe to connect noumena to phenomena, and do so on their own, wit no expert, no shaman, no authority selling ambiguity, and lies as mysticism to make their place secure. Mystifying words requires a translator...someone who knows the secret behind the signs.
When Saul spread the teachings of Jesus, he invented the antithesis contained in the spirit of those very same teachings, expressed in metaphor, and parables, setting the cornerstone for a new church building, a new religion, the teacher had forsaken as unnecessary.
To do so, he sold himself as his rightful inheritor, his best interpreter, the one who understood the intent hiding in Jesus' metaphors, implying that he was the first follower, the one who would expand, and deepen, the “saviour’s” words. He christened himself the rightful heir of Jesus, and all that followed became known as Christians.
We see the parallels with what has become of Nietzsche, and these self-declared Nietzscheans.
History repeats. But who looks back to learn from it?
Jerusalem has so deeply permeated the history of the west that the history of Athens as it lives with the present are intimately bound, through Rome and the mediterranean ecumene. A complete prejudice against Jerusalem and will taint the historical consciousness of the western continent (due to the Christian heritage in even key thinkers such as Rousseau). Even the beginnings of the philosophical tradition is tainted in retrospect, viewing Plato through the lens of ('post')-modern historical consciousness rather than through the Homeric consciousness from which he and his contemporaries sprang. Jersusalem must be brought into the perspective of the mediterranean ecumene from which it arose as a force among the Romans, rather than given centrality as has been our scholastic habit since the dominance of the ecclesiastical polity.
Correct. Our understanding of Plato and of all [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], including proto-European spirituality (paganism itself) can be tainted by historical infections, passed unto us environmentally (socially).
My method is one of direct involvement. The engagement of world directly: subjective thinker and objective world. Connecting noumena with phenomena, preferably ones not fabricated by human meddling, filters out all intervening corruptions, and historical effects. The past is, after all, manifested as presence.
Any teachings will have to be used as guides not replacement for personal insights - either contradicting or supporting our own efforts.
The first step is to understand the relationship between subjective and objective, between idea(l) and real. Through it one can understand the connecting utility of the symbol (word/number), and to what process it correlates in the organism.
I've broken it down to a mind/body interface via the nervous system, corresponding to subjective/objective via the symbol, the abstraction given sound, and then form (lines, shapes - geometry - later to be abstracted further as numbers).
We experience this intervening proxy corruption when we engage the ancients through the Roman and later the Christian interpretations of them. Heidegger did a brilliant job in his clarification of the Greek versus the Latin word for "truth": aletheia and veritas.
On a smaller, and yet more intimate immediate scale, we see the same influence of cultural socioeconomic interventions when dealing with someone more modern, like Nietzsche, and how our official understanding of his insights have changed in the course of time, from the pre-war to the post-war era.
This is true of all ideas coming to us through an interpreter, or directly from the thinker with the intervening effects of socioeconomic influences coming in contact with minds cultivated in our Modern times.
I have read some of your writings on connecting the noumena with the phenomena and I must admit they had an influence on me wishing to share my own thoughts on the forum, to see how our understandings will interact.
I understand your intention when you say, "Any teachings will have to be used as guides not replacement for personal insights - either contradicting or supporting our own efforts.", but I am curious what you think about my own idea on the matter. What we call culture (or civilization as it is a greater development of culture) is an extension of human ergon (which in its ripest developments leaves traces of what we consider cultural phenomena). The more developed the society the greater propencity there is for members to leave cultural traces (which says as of yet nothing about the quality of those traces).
Because cultural (and by extension civilizational) traces are traces of ergon they hold not only what we call a potential for knowledge (which we can use as a guide or discard if we find it to be faulty, etc.) but also an energy which is still alive. This is visible to greater and lesser degrees for example of the cultural remnant is a building, an institution, an idea (meme), or even the faintest trace, such as a name in a history book which provokes a further search. Often what we gain through knowledge of the past is not significant in its terms of right or wrong but in the living essence which pervades all history and is open to those attentive and possessed with the quality of bringing history into the present and the future through the temporal ergon of our becoming (which is thrown).
Translating one mind's thinking to another mind's thinking is what stands in the way of understanding. Using a common language helps.
Your usage of "ergon" is from the Greek. If I understand your application of it correctly, it is in agreement with my views on [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. Ergon would be the intervention upon gene, either to contradict it or to enhance it as meme.
Your last post was highly significant so it will be difficult for me to do it justice all at once. Allow me to say for now that as I understand Promethean gifts, culture is the traces of Becoming which are laid behind by a culture. They are not just about entering into and accepting in the sense of a belief but rather in the sense of an experience, and in some senses an experience which is lost to the receiver (for example a modern reader) or even the transmitter if the cultural fragment is a literary or artistic work which is contrived for example in mannerism, but it's not difficult to think of other examples. Besides that the receiver of a gift is not given a pure gift, a noumetic world to enter into, instead what takes place is that a subject encounters some sort of artifact, and this happens on a most mundane day to day. Our houses (especially if we moved into them used), buildings and institutions.
Admittedly I use the word Ergon because it lacks the clutter of the English words for modern speakers. My concern with using it is for a new understanding of the deed and work in the sense of cultivation being a part of potential which is commonly unseen.
I do not see ergon as begin an intervention on the gene entirely because I see genes as only latent and subsequently relational to the environment. Ergon is only interventional insofar as environment is interventional upon the gene which is debatable, and actually I use the word Ethos because in Homer it is not yet distinguished from habitat, and so has connotations of habitat and character being part of a world and so process.
Ergon is also a latent potential and I relate it to culture because we are able to transmit these possibilities.
Culture emerges out of the relationship between a population, genes, and the particular environment.
All actions are interventions, but human ones exceed the environment by intervening upon it to a degree that it reflects back more profoundly, impacting the destiny of the organism more than the environmental processes intervened upon.
Genes are experiences stored and passed on as code, experienced second-hand as cellular memories, on a visceral level. We call these desires, intuitions, sometimes expressed through emotions triggered by a stimuli which is not immediately connected to the (re)action. Same as when a gene can remain latent until some environmental change triggers it into an effect.
I begin prior to the emergence of culture. Culture is the formal application of inherited lucid methods - ritualized for the laymen who need not understand why but only follow tradition and repeat the rituals, the habits of his tribe.
If intervention does not sit well with you use extension. If this memetic extension to the genetic memories contradicts the memories, forgets them, rejects them, attempts to detach from them, the the guiding idea(l) is Nihilistic.
It is knowledge of the gene which guides the mind through diverse cultural manifestations. My concern is with culture in that those extensions of ergon ultimately will shape the gene, because the gene does not exist in isolation. My concern is not only with the gene for that reasion, nor ultimately with culture because cultural is ephemeral, but with physis from which the gene sprang.
An excellent synopsis of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]. I've traced the social phenomenon to a psychology, a particular relationship of a type of human with nature/past.
I've used the word "nihilist", returning the word to its rightful place, from the one it was hijacked into serving. One of the central symptoms of this psychotic relationship to nature/past, is in its application, and usage of words. Nihilists, in whatever form they come, is obsessed with "liberating" man, from a resented nature/past, by liberating itself form reality. Words being the symbol connecting the noumenon to the phenomenon, makes of the word the tool of liberation.
Common among all forms of Nihilism is how their words are detached from reality, or refer to abstractions with no reference in world, or to anything outside the human mind - pure noumena (abstractions), existing as connectors between minds, circumventing a disruptive to their goal world of sensually accessible phenomena (appearances, presence).
Words used to order a world in Flux, is "liberated" to become a tool for political manipulation, by exploiting human psychology: triggered, and stimulated using words. Words, as they are used by Nihilists, break away from a restricting, determining past, offer a medium of self-identification, free to name itself anything: path-of-least-resistance where one can simply use a new word, rather than go through the painstaking process, with uncertain success, method of self-improvement. Self-improvement demanding a taking of account of self, in relation to other, and not to begin by blaming other for self.
The [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is the next phase in the Cold War paradigm - a frozen war, where things appear to be moving "forward", progressing, and yet they remain stuck in the mind as abstraction that has nil effect outside of it - self-inebriation using symbols; it is a war of words, over the "hearts and minds' of the masses, who are only relevant because quantities drown qualities when the system has reached the size of globalization. Political Philosophy is the only kind of philosophy practised. It is the exploration of methods to deal with masses, starting from the ancient answers in Abrahamic spirituality and, in the east, in Buddhism; it is the manoeuvring of self in relation to others, where the only others are human. The relationship of man to world has become a relating of man with mankind. This makes nihilism viable, because man relates to man as noumenon relates to noumenon, existing only as abstraction within human brains. Nature can be forgotten, reinterpreted as something vague on the periphery of human consciousness.
Connecting noumenon to phenomenon ceases to be important. Now what is "exoteric", external to mind, in another mind. The noumenon can refer to another noumenon existing in another mind, completely circumventing the phenomenal. Individuals feel like they are engaging reality when all they are doing is engaging another human mind - their shared language making if possible to share a word's application, with nothing outside their private relationship interfering in their personal relationship, their private world. All effects are measured by how their impact other human minds - power being defined as the dominance over humans. Politics becomes the practice of imposing your own words upon others, unhindered by anything real. To share in a belief becomes a reality unto itself. Individuals sharing a common code, a common word usage, become a private reality with tangible consequences. They can live within their own inter-subjective world, nothing existing beyond this relationship to contradict them.
The entire structure only possible when nature/past has been intervened upon to a degree where individuals can exist without paying the price for being detached from reality - a slave's privilege, a herd psychology with the farmer's fences protecting domesticated herds from natural environments they no longer can survive on without this mediating sheltering buffer. Within the enclosure of the farm, the manimals can invent any noetic abstraction they think will offer them happiness - sharing with the others their annulment of the world beyond the fences. Competing over which noumenon will dominate is a matter of numbers. Infect the majority and you rule within the fenced environment - all becomes political: seducing, exploiting, manipulating human nature, evolved outside the fences and now completely oblivious to itself - some rejecting the very idea of a human nature.
Because men can hope to impose his will over another man, he confuses his power as that over world, which he now associates only with manmade worlds. The idea of adapting to world feels like a submission to another's will, again, because when he speaks of world he has no other reference point in mind than one dominated by human artifices, and by humanity. When he speaks of philosophy he means the study of humanity, wanting to find the "best" way to manipulate men and "change" the world. If you convince enough that race and sex are social constructs then it does not matter if this is so outside human environments, because within them all will abide by this shared belief, and act in accordance to its implications. The validity of a proposition evaluated by how many minds it convinces, or seduces into its premises, because, for the Modern Nihilist, there is no objective standard to evaluate an idea(l), other than other subjective minds. Success, and/or failure, determined by the number of minds infected; the easiest way to seduce and convince a human is to tell him what he most wants to believe is true, flatter him, feed into his weakness and the psychosis it produces when trying to deal with nature/past he despises and finds insulting and negative. Philosophy, now, becomes the art of exploiting human proclivities, denied by the majority making them even more vulnerable to a clever mind's knowledge of them.
Related thoughts manifest themselves in Johann Gottfried Herder’ s suggestive remark that, ‘ among the most uncultivated people, the language of religion is ever the most ancient and obscure. ’
The increasing opacity of older religious languages is substantially due to the fact that, in the course of the civilization process, some gestures and turns of phrase are forgotten that were previously required in order to commit the collective to its own inner cohesion and ideas of sacred relevance. Such figures are later carried along erratically by the current of sacred traditions as petrified relics of an obsolete self constraint.
Monotheism was the simplification of reality to a level where the common mind can know it, with a single word: God.
There is a link there to a book by Sam Roth called Jews Must Live. Within you'll find a chapter called "Farewell to Judas".
This chapter is good look into the Jewish mind.
What jumped out to me was when they were discussing art. He knew his tastes were considered degenerate, or that by revealing his tastes in art so boldly that he'd be seen as weak and degenerate. When he reveals it, Ada turns her nose up to him and the fiance of Alma is pleased (because of history in the chapter where they're previously not on good terms). Alma herself, though, is open to his tastes in art and asks for him to explain why. After he explains his reasons for enjoying that particular art, Alma is the only one who finds the explanation beautiful.
The two who raise their chins are saying "attack from above not from below". That is, assert in sure terms that you are above me before you insult my tastes. Take a position of power before you offend or foul my senses. Alma appears to excuse this and I think it may be due to her naivety, but I'm not sure. Whatever it is, it came to me as the same reason young females today are seduced by degeneracy and will turn away their more prideful counterparts as being "rude" or "unfair" when they reject the stench of love for what's below them. I can only imagine that such a female feels an amount of liberation in the fact that a Jew can so staunchly defend degeneracy. That they are good justifiers for her to be free of them and everyone else. To be degenerate and empowering to the female who adapted to use mostly nonviolent power. That is, the nullification of physical violence as a means of control.
Later on, when Alma confesses her love to him (a culturally masculine act?), he is unsure of what to do with such love. He describes very precisely his feeling that he is undeserving of such a flower as her. He did nothing to work for her, he only lowered himself and professed a love for what's above him - which was below everyone else. It would be like describing a turd in vague, vain and obtuse language to try and justify its being better than it is. Indeed, is this not the temperament of the Jew which he rails against? The ability to commoditize or commercialize every thing it is which they involve themselves with. He has no respect for the art which he supports... or, he respects it for the opposite reasons one should respect a thing. When he describes it, he describes the art as an offense to the physicality of the female form. Everything about the female (in the art) is sexually valuable and stunning but nothing of her demeanor is taking advantage of it. The artist, from his perspective, tries to make appearances appear equal and meaningless in this way. It is one thing to make most of the expression of a woman's nudity sexless as contrast for another sexual aspect within the same image, but to deprive it of all sexuality would be an offense to nature. That is, a Jew passes off his tastelessness for a refinement (or that is how we interpret them, while they may have no real conscience about it).
By admiring the bastardizing of the image, he remains true to his Jewish nature. It becomes a commodity, as good as the items he sells to a populace. It is beauty without purpose, another rock, another stone that they only appreciate because a gentile appreciates it. Another item with which to use to acquire and suck in under their influence the whole world they see before them. Perhaps, analagous to a blind desire to torture everything they see, like a child wanting to burn ants.
In the same chapter, we see him move from one extreme to another. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] A jew may have no sense of balance. There are either boundaries within life or there are none. The universe is all about them or it is about no one. They have converted their own family into a commodity, which is why their mothers and sisters are whores for hire. ----
I looked up the response other Jews had to his book. You can find that here: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Interestingly, he reflected on the book himself with Jesus as his judge. Jesus forgave him, though saying the book was ugly, it was still a true expression of his passion and if he accepts punishment willingly then it shows he has repented for it.
Also interesting is the treatment he got from another Jew who psychoanalyzed the work. He said he vindicated Roth as being bitter about a culture that demonized him for his work in pornography. What's interesting about this is that gentiles are not treated with the same understanding today when they are supposedly "racist". His soft stance toward Roth ironically vindicates the anti-semitism within Roth's work.
Another interesting aspect is in that blog post Roth is not concluded as a self-hater until he's thrown the glass at the mirror. That is, until he's committed or threatened violence or death. Suppose then that everything else he said was fine...it only becomes hate when you intend to act on it? I would say the hatred was there before the violent impulse. It just reminds me of a quote by a recent politician: [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
The Jew sees in everyone what he sees in himself. He does not understand respectability or honor. He only understands kill or be killed, live or die, dominate or be enslaved. In an earlier chapter of Jews Must Live, Roth excuses his Jewish colleagues for exploiting him by saying "Even the most noble of men would exploit me if I am so easy to exploit. There is nothing indecent about it, I deserved to be exploited." I do not know how to precisely quantify this "outlook". However, here is a look into the Jewesses' bitchiness which may also give insight to the mind of a Jewish man:
To simplify this Jerusalem/Washington vs. Athens/Rome memetic warfare, we can say that the former attempts to negate past/nature, to increase power, whereas the latter embraces it despite losing power... or risking the loss of power. Sometimes completely, in death.
One lies, and the other cannot help but be completely honest - because it is part of its spirit. One clouds and obfuscates, depending no vagueness to remain vigorous, the other is clear, lucid, direct, un-covering what remains covered/concealed. One uses quantity to measure itself, the other quality. One uses feminine methods, putting a masculine front, and the other masculine ones, unafraid to expose a feminine side.
Memetic warfare explored in [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is a war over the hearts and minds of the predisposed, the choir, the majority most willing to surrender to anything that offers them hope, salvation, escape from their undesirable past/nature. This means Democracy, as it is practiced in Modern times, is part of the narrative: quantities drowning out qualities.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], are this warfare's swords; its weaponry. Territories gained and lost in the mind, in human spirit.
Collateral effect: zombies, brain-dead mind-less hedonists, roaming the earth - with no past, no nature, no identity other than hunger, desire...
Sometime back, Satyr had mentioned the book by Werner Sombart. I had read him many years ago, but had forgotten to excerpt here. So here goes; Sombart's emphasis on the Jewish principle of "substitution", etc. (some of it is Xt. anti-semitism.)
Werner Sombart wrote:
"The development of the modern colonial system and the establishment of the modern State are two phenomena dependent on one another. The one is inconceivable without the other, and the genesis of modern capitalism is bound up with both.
Whilst for centuries (espe- cially during the 17th and the 18th — the two so momentous in the growth of the modern State) the Jews had personal financial dealings with the rulers, in the century that followed (but even during the two already mentioned) the system of public credit gradually took a new form. This forced the big capitalist from his dominating position more and more into the background, and allowed an ever-increasing number of miscellaneous creditors to take his place. Through the evolution of the modern method of floating loans the public credit was, so to speak, “democratized,” and, in consequence, the Court Jew became superfluous. But the Jews themselves were not the least who aided the growth of this new system of borrowing, and thus they contributed to the removal of their own monopoly as financiers. In so doing they participated to a greater degree than ever before in the work of building up the great States of the present.
It is a matter of common knowledge that the Stock Exchange in modern times is becoming more and more the heart of all economic activities. With the fuller development of capitalism this was only to be expected, and there were three clear stages in the process. The first was the evolu- tion of credit from being a personal matter into one of an impersonal relationship. It took shape and form in securities. Stage two: these securities were made mobile — that is, bought and sold in a market. The last stage was the formation of undertakings for the purpose of creating such securities. In all the stages the Jew was ever present with his creative genius. We may even go further and say that it was due specifically to the Jew- ish spirit that these characteristics of modern economic life came into being.
Securities represent the standardization of personal indebtedness. We may speak of “standardization” in this sense when a relationship which was originally personal becomes impersonal; where before human be- ings directly acted and reacted on each other, now a system obtains. An instance or two will make our meaning clear. Where before work was done by man, it is now done by a machine. That is the standardization of work. In olden times a battle was won by the superior personal initiative of the general in command; nowadays victory falls to the leader who can most skilfully utilize the body of experience gathered in the course of years and can best apply the complicated methods of tactics and strategy; who has at his disposal the best guns and who has the most effective organization for provisioning his men. We may speak in this instance of the “standardization” of war. A business becomes standard- ized when the head of the firm who came into personal contact with his employees on the one hand and with his customers on the other, is suc- ceeded by a board of directors, under whom is an army of officials, all working on an organized plan, and consequently business is more or less of an automatic process.
Now, at a particular stage in the growth of capitalism credit became standardized. That is to say, that whereas before indebtedness arose as the result of an agreement between two people who knew each other, it was now rearranged on a systematic basis, and the people concerned might be entire strangers. The new relationship is expressed by negotiable instruments, whether bill of exchange or security or banknote or mortgage deed.
The security gives the owner the right to participate in the capital and the profit of a concern with which he has no direct personal contact. He may never even have seen the building in which the undertaking in question is housed, and when he parts with his security to another per- son he transfers his right of participation.
So, in short, with all credit instruments: an impersonal relationship is established between either an individual or a corporation on the one hand (the receiver of moneys), and an unknown body of people (we speak of “the public”) on the other — the lender of moneys.
But if stress is laid on the standardization of the credit-relation- ship, it will not be before the 18th century that we shall find instances of joint-stock enterprise and of securities. For the early contributions to a joint-stock never lost their personal character. The Italian Monies were impregnated through and through with the personality of their founders. In the case of the Maones, the personal factor was no less important than the financial; while at the Bank of St. George in Genoa, the fami- lies concerned jealously guarded the principle that each one should ob- tain its proper share in the directing of the work of the bank. The trading companies too had a strong personal element. In the English East India Company, for instance, it was not until 1650 that shares could be trans- ferred to strangers, but they had to become members of the Company.
In all early instances the security was for unequal and varying sums. The personal relationship thus showed itself plainly enough. In some companies shares could not be transferred at all except by consent of all the other members. In fact, the security was just a certificate of mem- bership, and throughout the 18th century such securities as were made out in the name of a specified person predominated. Even where there was freedom of transfer from one person to another (as in the case of the Dutch East India Company) the process was beset with innumerable obstacles and difficulties.
The modern form of security can therefore not be found before the 18th century.
During the last hundred and fifty or two hundred years, Jews have beenlargely instrumental in bringing about the standardization of what was before a purely personal relationship between the holder of stock and the company in which he participated. I am bound to admit, however, that I cannot adduce direct proofs in support of my thesis. But indirectly the evidence is fairly conclusive. Jews were great speculators, and speculation must of necessity tend to substitute for the security wherein the holder is specified one which has no such limitation.
In some cases it may even be demonstrated that speculation was responsible for the change from se- curities of differing amounts to those of equal value. The Dutch East India Company is a case in point. Originally its shares were of all val- ues; later only 3000 florin shares were issued.
The first time any banker issued a note without reference to some specific deposit a new type of credit instrument, the modern banknote, came into being. There were banknotes in existence long before that. But they bore the depositor’s name and referred to his money. I believe that in all probability the personal banknote became a general (imper- sonal) one in Venice about the beginning of the 15th century. There are on record instances dating from that time of banks making written prom- ises to pay over and above the sums deposited with them. An edict of the Venetian Senate as early as 1421 made it an offence to deal in such documents. The first permission to establish a bank was granted to two Jews in 1400, and their success was so great that the nobili made haste to follow their example.
But perhaps no particular firm introduced the new paper money. It may have come into existence in order to satisfy the needs of some locality. Nevertheless, if we take as the place of its origin the town where the earliest banks reached a high degree of perfection, we shall surely be on the safe side. From this point of view Venice is admirably qualified. One of the most influential families were the Lipmans; and in 1550, as we have already noted, the Christian merchants of Venice stated that they might as well emigrate if trade with the Marannos were forbidden them.
Furthermore, Jews were prominent and active figures wherever in the 17th century banks were established. They participated in the foun- dation of the three great banks of that period — the Bank of Amsterdam, the Bank of England and the Bank of Hamburg. The experience which the Jews gathered when the Bank of Amsterdam was founded served them in good stead when in 1619 the Hamburg Bank came into being. No less than forty Jewish families took shares in the new concern. As for the Bank of England, the latest authorities on its history are agreed that the suggestion for the Bank came from Jewish immigrants from Holland.
The Jews were, in all likelihood, the originators of this species of credit instrument, more especially of mortgage deeds. We have it on record that Dutch bankers, from about the middle of the 18th century onward, advanced money to colonial planters on the security of their plantations. Mortgage-deeds of this kind were bought and sold on the Stock Exchange, just like Public Debt bonds. The bankers who dealt in them were called “correspondentie” or “Directeurs van de negotiatie,” and the instruments themselves “obligatie.” Documents to the value of no less than 100,000,000 gulden were in circulation before the crash of the 1770’s.
There is no complete agreement among authorities on the history of legal documents as to the origin of credit instruments. Let it be remembered that such documents first came into use among merchants, in whose ranks the Jewish element was not insignificant. The form that became current received recognition in judicial decisions, and eventually was admitted into the body of statute law, first of all presumably in Holland. Can we possibly deduce modern credit instruments from Rabbinic law? I believe we can.
In the first place, the Bible and the Talmud are both acquainted with credit instruments. The Biblical passage is in the Book of Tobit, iv. 20; v. 1, 2, 3; ix. 1, 5.
The best known passage in the Talmud is as follows (Baba Bathra, 172): —
“In the court of R. Huna a document was once produced to this effect: T, A.B., son of C.D., have borrowed a sum of money from you.’ R. Huna decided that ‘from you’ might mean ‘from the Exilarch or even from the King himself.’”
Second, in later Jewish law, as well as in Jewish commercial practice, the credit instrument is quite common.
Let me mention some Rabbis who dealt with the problem.
First in importance was Rabbenu Asher (1250–1327), who speaks of negotiable instruments in his Responsa (lxviii. 6, 8 ). “If A sends money to B and C, and notes in his bill ‘payable to bearer by B and C,’ payment must be made accordingly.”
So also R. Joseph Caro in his Choshen Mishpat: “If in any bill no name is mentioned but the direction is to ‘pay bearer,’ then whoever presents the bill receives payment” (lxi. 10; cf. also 1.; lxi. 4, 10; lxxi. 23).
R. Shabbatai Cohen in his Shach. (1. 7; lxxi. 54) is of the same opinion.
Thirdly, it is very likely that the Jews, in the course of business, independently of Rabbinic laws, developed a form of credit instrument which was quite impersonal and general in its wording. I refer to. the Mamre (Mamram, Momran). It is claimed that this document first appeared among the Polish Jews in the 16th century, or even earlier. Its form was fixed, but a space was left for the name of the surety, some- times, too, for the amount in question. There is no doubt that such docu- ments were in circulation during three centuries and were very popular, circulating even between Christians and Jews. Their value as evidence consists in that they already had all the characteristics of modern instruments:
(1) the holder put the document in circulation by endorsement;
(2) there is no mention of the personal relationship of the debtor and the creditor;
(3) the debtor may not demand proof of endorsement or transfer;
(4) if the debtor pays his debt without the presentation of the Mamre having been made to him, it is considered that he has not really discharged his obligation; and lastly,
(5) the cancellation of the document is almost the same as it is to-day — if it is lost or stolen the holder of the document informs the debtor; public notice is given by a declaration posted up for four weeks in the synagogue, wherein the bearer of the instrument is requested to come forward; at the end of four weeks, if nothing happens, the creditor demands payment of the debtor.
In the fourth place, it would appear that Jewish influences were potent in the development of many weighty points of legal practice. Let me mention some.
During the 16th century there circulated in different parts of Europe credit instruments with blanks for filling in names. What was their origin? Is there not a possibility that they emanated from Jewish commercial circles, having been modelled on the pattern of the Mamre? They are met with in the Netherlands, in France and in Italy. In the Netherlands they appeared towards the beginning of the 16th century at the Antwerp fairs, just when the Jews began to take a prominent part in them. An Ordinance of the year 1536 states explicitly that “at the Antwerp fairs payment for commodities was made by promissory notes, which might be passed on to third persons without special permission.” It would seem from the wording that the practice of accepting notes in payment for goods was a new one.
Of very great significance in the development of modern credit instruments is the Antwerp Custom of 1582, wherein it is for the first time admitted that the holder of a note has the right of suing in a court of law. This conception spread rapidly from Antwerp to Holland — as rapidly, indeed, as the Jewish refugees from Belgium settled down among the Dutch.
Among the instruments wherein the name of the holder was in- serted we must include marine insurance policies. It is recorded that the Jewish merchants of Alexandria were the first to use the formulae “o qual si voglia altera persona,” “et qwsvis alia persona” and “sive quamlibet aliam personam” (“or to any other person desired”).
Now why did the Jewish merchants of Alexandria adopt this legal form? The answer to this question is of the gravest import, more espe- cially as I believe that the causes for which we are seeking were inherent in the conditions of Jewish life. It was to the interest of the Jews to a very large degree — in some respects even it was to the interest of the Jews alone — to have a proper legal form for credit instruments. For what was it that impelled the Jewish merchants of Alexandria to make out their policies to bearer? Anxiety as to the fate of their goods. Jewish ships ran the risk of capture by Christian pirates and the fleets of His Catholic Majesty, who accounted the wares of Jews and Turks as legitimate booty. Hence the Jewish merchants of Alexandria inserted in their policies some fictitious Christian name, Paul or Scipio, or what you will, and when the goods arrived, received them in virtue of the “bearer” formula in their policies.
How often must they have endeavoured to adopt some device which concealed the fact that they were the recipients either of money or of commodities sent from a distance. What more natural than that they should welcome the legal form which gave “the bearer” the right of claiming what the document he had entitled him to. This formula made it possible for fortunes to vanish if the Jews in any locality passed through a storm of persecution. It enabled Jews to deposit their money wherever they wanted, and if at any time it became endangered, to remove it through the agency of some fictitious person or to transfer their rights in such a way as not to leave a trace of their former posses- sions. It may seem inexplicable that while throughout the Middle Ages the Jews were deprived of their “all” at very short intervals, they man- aged to become rich again very quickly. But regarded in the light of our suggestion, this problem is easily explained. The fact was that the Jews were never mulcted of their “all”; a good portion of their wealth was transferred to a fictitious owner whenever the kings squeezed too tight.
One passage in the commentaries of R. Shabbatai Cohen is distinctly typical. “The purchaser of a bond,” he says, “may claim damages against the debtor if he pays the debt without obtaining a receipt, the reason being that as there is no publicity in the transaction this practice is detrimental to dealings in such instruments.
Here again we touch a vital question. I believe that if we were to examine the whole Jewish law concerning bearer bonds and similar instruments we should find that such documents spring naturally from the innermost spirit of Jewish law, just as they are alien to the spirit of German and Roman law.
It is a well-known fact that the specifically Roman conception of indebtedness was a strictly personal one. The obligatio was a bond between certain persons. Hence the creditor could not transfer his claim to another, except under exceedingly difficult conditions. True, in later Roman law the theory of delegation and transmission was interpreted somewhat liberally, yet the root of the matter, the personal relationship, remained unchanged.
In German law a contract was in the same way personal; nay, to a certain extent it was even more so than in Roman law. The German principle on the point was clear enough. The debtor was not obliged to render payment to any one but the original creditor to whom he had pledged his word. There could in no wise be transference of claim — as was the case in English law until 1873. It was only when Roman law obtained a strong hold on Germany that the transfer of claims first came into vogue. The form it took was that of “bearer bonds” — the embodi- ment of an impersonal credit relationship.
It is admitted that the legal notion underlying all “bearer” instru- ments — that the document represents a valid claim for each successive holder — was not fully developed either in the ancient world or in the Middle Ages. But the admission holds good only if Jewish law be left out of account. Jewish law was certainly acquainted with the impersonal credit relationship. Its underlying principle is that obligations may be towards unnamed parties, that you may carry on business with Messrs. Everybody.
Jewish law has no term for obligation: it knows only debt (“Chov”) and demand (“Tvia”). Each of these was regarded as distinct from the other. That a demand and a promise were necessarily bound up with some tangible object is proved by the symbolic act of acquisition. Consequently there could be no legal obstacles to the transfer of demands or to the making of agreements through agents. There was no necessity therefore for the person against whom there was a claim to be defined, the person in question became known by the acquisition of certain com- modities. In reality claims were against things and not against persons. It was only to maintain a personal relationship that the possessor of the things was made responsible. Hence the conception that just as an obli- gation may refer to some specified individual, so also it may refer to mankind as a whole. Therefore a transference of obligations is effected merely by the transference of documents.
Securities are intended to be circulated, and they have not served their true purpose if they have not been bought and sold. Of course it may be urged that many a security rests peacefully in a safe, yielding an income to its owner, for whom it is a means to an end rather than a commodity for trading in. The objection has a good deal in it. A security that does not circulate is in reality not a security at all; a promissory note might replace it equally well. The characteristic mark of a security is the ease with which it may be bought and sold.
Now if to pass easily from hand to hand is the real raison d’être of the security, everything which facilitates that movement matters, and therefore a suitable legal code most of all. But when is it suitable? When it renders possible speedy changes in the relationship between two people, or between a person and a commodity.
In a society where every commodity continues as a rule in the pos- session of one and the same person, the law will strive all it can to fix every relationship between persons and things. On the other hand, if a body of people depends for its existence on the continued acquisition of commodities, its legal system will safeguard intercourse and exchange.
In modern times our highly organized system of intercommunica- tion, and especially dealings in securities and credit instruments of all kinds, has facilitated the removal of old and the rise of new legal rela- tionships. But this is contrary to the spirit of Roman and German law, both of which placed obstacles in the way of commodities changing hands. Indeed, under these systems any one who has been deprived of a possession not strictly in accordance with law may demand its return from the present owner, without the need of any compensation, even though his bona-fides be established. In modern law, on the other hand, the return of the possession can be made only if the claimant pays the present owner the price he gave for it — to say nothing of the possibility that the original owner has no claim whatever against the present holder.
If this be so, whence did the principle, so alien to the older systems, enter into modern law? The answer is that in all probability it was from the Jewish legal code, in which laws favouring exchange were an integral part from of old.
Already in the Talmud we see how the present owner of any object is protected against the previous owners. “If any one,” we read in the “Mishna” (Baba Kama, 114b and 115a), “after it has become known that a burglary took place at his house finds his books and utensils in the possession of another, this other must declare on oath how much he paid for the goods, and on his receiving the amount returns them to the origi- nal owner. But if no burglary has taken place, there is no need for this procedure, for it is then assumed that the owner sold the goods to a second person and that the present owner bought them.” In every case, therefore, the present owner obtains compensation, and in certain given circumstances he retains the objects without any further ado. The “Gamara,” it is true, wavers somewhat in the discussion of the passage, but in general it comes to the same conclusion. The present owner must receive “market protection,” and the previous owner must pay him the price he gave.
For centuries there was a special enactment regu- lating the acquisition of moveables by Jews; it received official recogni- tion for the first time in the “Privileges” issued by King Henry IV to the Jews of Speyers in 1090. “If a commodity that has been stolen,” we read therein, “is found in the possession of a Jew who declares that he bought it, let him swear according to his law how much he paid for it, and if the original owner pays him the price, the Jew may restore the commodity to him.” Not only in Germany, but in other lands too46 (in France already about the middle of the 12th century), is this special ordinance for Jews to be met with.
But when all is said, the principal thing was to establish a suitable mar- ket for credit instruments. The Stock Exchange answered the purpose. And just as the commodities there to be bought and sold were imper- sonal embodiments of claims, so, too, was the dealing divested of its personal character. Indeed, this is a feature of the Stock Exchange which differentiates it from other markets. It is no longer the trustworthiness that a merchant enjoys in the estimation of his fellow-merchants, based upon personal experience, that underlies business activities, but the gen- eral, abstract valuation of credit, the ditto di Borsa. Prices are no longer formed by the higgling of two or more traders talking over their transac- tions, but rather by a mechanical process, representing the average of a thousand and one units.
As for the history of the Stock Exchange (in the broadest connota- tion of the term), it may be divided into two periods — (1) from its beginning in the 16th to the end of the 18th century, an epoch of growth and development, and (2) from the 19th century to the present day, when the Stock Exchange dominates all economic activities.
It is now generally agreed that the origin of Stock Exchange dealing most likely began with the associating of bill-brokers. The centres where the famous exchanges first arose in the 16th and 17th centuries were previously well known for a brisk trade in bills.
The important thing for us is that just when the Stock Exchanges came into being the Jews almost entirely monopolized bill-broking. In many towns, indeed, this business was regarded as a Jewish specialty.
They gave the Stock Exchange and its dealings their peculiar features in that they became the “originators of speculation in futures,” and, indeed, of speculation generally.
When speculation in stocks first arose is as yet difficult to determine.
Not in Italy in the 15th, but in Amsterdam in the 17th century will the beginnings of modern speculation have to be more correctly placed. It is almost certain that the Dutch East India Company’s shares called stock-jobbing into existence. The large number of shares of equal value that were suddenly put into circulation at that time, the strong speculative temper of the age, the great interest taken in the Company ever since its foundation, the changing rates of profit that its activities produced — all these must surely have given an impetus to stock and share dealing on the Amsterdam Exchange, then already a highly developed institution. In the space of only eight years dealing in stock became so general and so reckless that it was regarded as an evil by the authorities, who tried to abolish it. A proclamation by the Government of the 26th February, 1610, forbade merchants to sell more shares than they actu- ally possessed. Similar prohibitions were issued in 1621, 1623, 1677, 1700 and so on, all equally without effect.
Who were the speculators? The answer is, all those irrespective of religion who had sufficient money to enable them to participate. Nevertheless the assumption will not be too bold that the Jews were more prominent than others in this activity. Their contribution to the growth of Stock Exchange business was their specialization in stockbroking and the device of dealing in futures. We are not without evidence on both points. Towards the end of the 18th century it was a generally accepted fact that Jews had “discovered” the stock and share business.
By the side of Sir Solomon Medina (“the Jew Medina,” as he was called), who may be regarded as having originated speculation in the public funds in England, we may place a number of other wealthy Jews of the reign of Anne, all of whom speculated on the Stock Exchange. Manasseh Lopez was one. He amassed a fortune in the panic which followed the false news that the Queen was dead, buying up all Govern- ment Stock which had fallen in price in consequence.
Postlethwayt, who is pretty reliable in matters of this kind, asserts72 that “Stock-jobbing . . . was at first only the simple occasional transfer- ring of interest and shares from one to another as persons alienated their estates; but by the industry of the stockbrokers, who got the business into their hands, it became a trade; and one, perhaps, which has been managed with the greatest intrigue, artifice, and trick that ever anything which appeared with a face of honesty could be handled with; for, while the brokers held the box, they made the whole exchange the gamesters, and raised and lowered the prices of stocks as they pleased and always had both buyers and sellers, who stood ready, innocently to commit their money to the mercy of their mercenary tongues.”
The name Rothschild refers to more than the firm: it stands for the whole of Jewish influence on the Stock Exchange. It was no exaggeration to assert that in many a land the minister of finance who could not come to an agreement with this firm might as well close the doors of his exchequer. “There is only one power in Europe,” was a dictum well-known about the middle of the 19th century, “and that is Rothschild: a dozen other banks are his underlings, his soldiers are all honest merchants and workmen, and speculation is his sword” (A. Weil). Heine’s wit, in passages that are surely too well-known to need quoting, has demonstrated the importance of the family better far than any table of figures.
Since the appearance of the Rothschilds, the stock market has become international. This was only to be expected, considering the enormous extension of Stock Exchange activities, which necessitated the flow of vast sums from all parts of the inhabited world to the borrowing centres. To-day the internationaliza- tion of the stock market is an accepted fact; at the commencement of the 19th century it was regarded with nothing short of amazement. When in 1808, during the Peninsular War, Nathan Rothschild undertook in London to attend to the pay of the English army in Spain, his action was regarded as a stupendous achievement, and indeed, laid the foundation of all his influence.
The conditions were thus given whereby a foreign loan might be treated as though it were an internal loan, and gradually the public became accustomed to investing their capital in foreign securities, seeing that the interest could be paid at home in coins of the realm. Writers of the early 19th century describe it as a marvellous thing that “every holder of Government stock . . . can receive his dividends in various places at his convenience without any difficulty. The Rothschilds in Frankfort pay interest for many Governments; the Paris house pays the dividends on the Austrian Métalliques, the Neapolitan Rentes, the Anglo-Neapolitan Loan either in London, Naples or Paris.”
The circle of possible investors was thus enlarged. But the Rothschilds were also alive to the importance of obtaining every avail- able penny that could be borrowed, and for this purpose they skilfully utilized the machinery of the Stock Exchange for floating loans.
“To create a demand” was henceforth the watchword of the Stock Exchange. “To create a demand” was the object in view when, by means of systematic buying and selling, changes were brought about in price; and the Rothschilds devoted themselves to the business from the first.100 In a sense, they carried on what the French called agiotage, and this was something quite new for a great banking firm to do. In reality the Rothschilds only adopted the methods of the Amsterdam Jews for artifi- cially influencing the market, but they applied them to a new purpose — the placing of fresh securities before the public.
The business of bringing out loans is an attempt to obtain profit by means of the creation of securities. It is important because it represents a capitalistic force of exceedingly great power. Henceforth, stocks and shares come into being not because of the needs of those who require money and depend on credit, but quite independently, as a form of capi- talistic enterprise. Hitherto the possible investor was waited for until he came; now he is sought out. The loan-floater becomes, as it were, ag- gressive; he gives the impetus to the borrowing movement. But this is hardly ever noticeable. We see how it works, however, when small States require loans; we may imagine a kind of “commercial traveller in loans.” “Now we have wealthy firms with large machinery, whose time and staff are devoted to hunting about the world for Powers for whom to bring out loans.”
Naturally, the loan-floater’s relation to the Stock Exchange and the public changes. He must be aggressive and pushful, now that his main work is to get people to take up shares.
There is as yet no satisfactory history of the business of bringing out loans; however, probably there were three well marked stages in its growth.
In the first of these, either a bank or a wealthy individual (who, in the pre-Stock Exchange period himself made the loan) was entrusted with the placing of the debt in return for a commission. Such was the method adopted in Austria throughout the whole of the 18th century: “Loans of fairly large sums, especially those contracted abroad, were usually obtained through the intervention of a bank or a group of financiers. The firm in question arranged, by means of public subscription, for the supply of the amount needed; handed over the sum to the borrower or his agent; undertook’ the payment of interest and portions of the principal to the individual lenders — out of their own funds if need be; all, of course, for a consideration.” But about the middle of the 18th century there were already “dealers in loans.” In 1769 there were Italian and Dutch firms who would willingly undertake the floating of loans."
Mantle, hose or damsel’s veil, The Jew he had them all for sale. To the craftsman, then, there came but few, For all the world dealt with the Jew.
Summing up all the facts adduced, we shall perceive that the Jews originated the principle of substitution.
What was called inferior quality in the wares of the Jews was not in reality so. It was not as if the articles were of the same sort as those of other traders, except that they were worse in quality. It was rather that they were new articles, intended for similar use as the old, but made of a cheaper material, or by new processes which lessened the cost of production. In other words, the principle of substitution was brought into play, and Jews may thus be regarded as the pioneers in its application. The most frequent cases occurred in textile fabrics; but other instances are also on record — for example, substitutes for coffee. In one sense, too, dyeing must be mentioned in this connexion. Jewish influence aided its growth. Originally, the inventors of artificial alizarine used expensive chemicals to mix with their red colouring matter; the Jews introduced cheaper materials, and thus gave an impetus to the dyeing industry.
There is yet one other, though less frequent, accusation levelled against the Jews. It was that the Jews could sell more cheaply than Christians because they gave less weight or short measure.103 They were taunted with this in Avignon, where woollen articles were mentioned, and in the case of German Jews an actual illustration is given. “The Jew is on the look-out for the least advantage. If he measured 10 ells there were only 9%. The Christian (customer) is aware of this, but he says to himself, ‘Jews’ measure is short, ten ells are never quite ten, but then the Jew sells cheap.’" [Jews and Modern Capitalism]
"Max Weber demonstrated the connexion between Puritanism and Capitalism. It might well be suggested that that which is called Puritanism is in reality Judaism. Among no other civilized people has religion so impregnated all national life. For the Jews religion was not an affair of Sundays and Holy Days; it touched everyday life even in its minutest action, it regulated all human activities. At every step the Jew asked himself. Will this tend to the glory of God or will it profane His name? Jewish law defines not merely the relation between man and God, formulates not merely a metaphysical conception; it lays down rules of conduct for all possible relationships, whether between man and man or between man and nature. Jewish law, in fact, is as much part of the religious system as are Jewish ethics. The Law is from God, and moral law and divine ordinances are inseparable in Judaism.1 Hence in reality there are no special ethics of Judaism. Jewish ethics are the underlying principles of the Jewish religion.
No other people has been so careful as the Jews in providing for the teaching of religion to even the humblest. In the course of the year the Torah is read through from beginning to end. Moreover, it is one of the primary duties of the Jew to study the Torah. “Thou shalt speak of them when thou sittest in thine house and when thou walkest by the way and when thou liest down and when thou risest up” (Deut. vi. 5).
Certain it is that they are the most “God-fearing” people that ever were on the face of the earth. They lived always in trembling awe, in awe of God’s wrath. “My flesh trembleth for fear of Thee, and I am afraid of Thy judgments,” said the Psalmist (Ps. cxix. 120), and the words may be taken as applicable to the Jews in every age. “Happy is the man that feareth alway” (Prov. xxviii. 14). “The pious never put away their fear” (Tanchuma Chukkath, 24 ). One can understand it when one thinks of the Jewish God — fearful, awful, curse-uttering Jehovah. Never in all the world’s literature, either before or since, has humanity been threat- ened with so much evil as Jehovah promises (in the famous 28th chapter of Deuteronomy) to those who will not keep His commandments.
Without a State, without their sanctuary, the Jews, under the leadership of the Pharisees, flocked around the Law (that “portable Fatherland,” as Heine calls it), and became a religious brotherhood, guided by a band of pious Scribes, pretty much as the disciples of Loyola might gather around them the scattered remnants of a modern State. The Pharisees now led the way. Their most distinguished Rabbis looked upon themselves as the successors of the ancient Synhedrium, and were indeed so regarded, becoming the supreme authority in spiritual and temporal affairs for all the Jews in the world. The power of the Rabbis originated in this fashion, and the vicissitudes of the Jews in the Middle Ages only helped to strengthen it.
Because amid all the persecution and suffering which was meted out to the Jews on all sides, that alone enabled them to retain their dignity, without which life would have been valueless. For a very long period religious teaching was enshrined in the Talmud, and hence Jews through many centuries lived in it, for it and through it. The Talmud was the most precious possession of the Jew; it was the breath of his nostrils, it was his very soul. The Talmud became a family history for generation after generation, with which each was familiar.
Radix stultitiae, cui frigida sabbata cordi Sed cor frigidus relligione sua Septima quaeque dies turpi damnato vetemo Tanquam lassati mollis imago dei.
[The Sabbath — monstrous folly! — fills the need Of hearts still icier than their icy creed, Each seventh day in shameful sloth they nod, And ape the languor of their weary God.]
Such was the Roman view.
Judaism then looked askance at mysteries. With no different eye did it regard the holy enthusiasm for the divine in the world of feeling.
It banished all pictorial art from its cult. “And the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the sound of words but ye saw no form” (Deut. iv. 12). “Cursed be the man that maketh a graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman. . . .” (Deut. xxvii. 15). The com- mand, “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” finds acceptance to-day, and the pious Jew has no statues made, nor does he set them up in his house.
The kinship between Judaism and Capitalism is further illustrated by the legally regulated relationship — I had almost said the business- like connexion, except that the term has a disagreeable connotation — between God and Israel. The whole religious system is in reality nothing but a contract between Jehovah and His chosen people, a contract with all its consequences and all its duties. God promises something and gives something, and the righteous must give Him something in return.
The contract usually sets forth that man is rewarded for duties performed and punished for duties neglected; the rewards and punishments being received partly in this and partly in the next world. Two consequences must of necessity follow: first, a constant weighing up of the loss and gain which any action needs must bring, and secondly, a com- plicated system of bookkeeping, as it were, for each individual person. Obviously this necessitates the keeping of accounts, and each man therefore has his own, in which his words and his deeds, even the words spoken in jest, are all carefully registered.
Another conception is bound up with this of divine bookkeeping and is closely akin to a second fundamental trait of capitalism — the conception of profit. Sin or goodness is regarded as something apart from the sinner. Every sin, according to Rabbinic theology, is considered singly and by itself. “Punishment is according to the object and not the subject of the sin.” The quantity of the broken commandments alone counts. No consideration whatever is had for the personality of the sinner or his ethical state, just as a sum of money is separated from persons, just as it is capable of being added to another abstract sum of money. The ceaseless striving of the righteous after well-being in this and the next world must needs therefore take the form of a constant endeavour to increase his rewards. Now, as he is never able to tell whether at a particular state of his conscience he is worthy of God’s goodness or whether in his “account” the rewards or the punishments are more numerous, it must be his aim to add reward after reward to his account by constantly doing good deeds to the end of his days. The limited conception of all personal values thus finds no admission into the world of his religious ideas and its place is taken by the endlessness of a pure quantitative ideal.
Deum respice et cura is still the motto of the Jew. If he meets a king or sees a dwarf or a Negro, passes a ruined building or takes his medicine or his bath, notes the coming storm or hears its roaring thunder, rises in the morning and puts on his clothes or eats his food, enters his house or leaves it, greets a friend or meets a foe — for every emer- gency there is an ordinance which must be obeyed.
Now what of the contents of the ordinances? All of them aim at the subjugation of the merely animal instincts in man, at the bridling of his desires and inclinations and at the replacing of impulses by thoughtful action; in short, at the “ethical tempering of man.”
You must think nothing, speak nothing, do nothing without first considering what the law about it is, and then apply it to the great purpose of sanctification.
The cardinal virtues of the pious are, on the other hand, self-control and circumspection, a love of order and of work, moderation and abstemiousness, chastity and sobriety.
Self-control and circumspection especially and in regard to your words is a constant theme of the moralists. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not transgression: but he that refraineth his lips doth wisely” (Prov. x. 19).
No less insistent was the later tradition. “Raba held that whoso carries on an unnecessary conversation transgresses a command” (Joma, 19b). “Our sanctification,” says a modern book for popular edification, “depends to a large extent on the control of our tongues, on the power of holding our peace. The gift of speech . . . was given to man for holy purposes. Hence all unnecessary talk is forbidden by our wise men.”
But self-control and circumspection generally are urged on the pious Jew.
Who is the strongest of the strong? He who controls his passions (Aboth de R. Nathan, xxiii. 1). The thoughts of the diligent tend only to plenteousness: but every one that is hasty hasteth only to want (Prov. xxi. 5).
He that hasteth with his feet sinneth (Prov. xix. 2).
And as for industry and thrift, innumerable are the exhortations to that end.
The Jew must wake the day, not the day the Jew — so taught the Rabbis, as a homily on Psalm lvii. 9
It is just the strongest instincts of man that must be curbed, directed into right channels, deprived of their natural force and made to serve useful ends. In short, they must be rationalized.
the rationalization of life, and especially of the sexual life, which the Jewish religion effects cannot be too highly estimated for its influence on eco- nomic activities. If religion is at all to be accounted a factor in Jewish economic life, then certainly the rationalization of conduct is its best expression,
To begin with, a number of good qualities or virtues which are in- dispensable to any economic order owe their existence to rationalization — e.g., industry, neatness, thrift. But the whole of life, if lived in accor- dance with the ordinances of the “Wise,” ministers to the needs of wealth- getting. Sobriety, moderation and piety are surely qualities which stand the business man in good stead. In short, the whole ideal of conduct preached in Holy Writ and in Rabbinic literature has something of the morality of the small shopkeeper about it — to be content with one wife, to pay your debts punctually, to go to church or synagogue on Sunday or Saturday (as the case may be) and to look down with immea- surable scorn on the sinful world around.
But Jewish moral teaching did not spend itself in the mere produc- tion of this type of the small respectable shopkeeper. It may even be questioned whether the type is altogether its work. At any rate, it is not of much consequence for economic development. Middle-class respectability as a matter of fact owes its origin to the narrow outlook of the petty trading class. Hence it can have but little to do with capitalism, except in so far as the qualities which that class possessed were the foundation on which capitalism could be built up. But capitalism did not grow out of the qualities, and therefore we must search in other directions for the causes which made the Jews pioneers of capitalism.
For this system calls for great energy, and we can scarcely imagine it being produced except through the agency of psychological influences which appeal not only to the social instincts but also to the family ideal.
Before capitalism could develop the natural man had to be changed out of all recognition, and a rationalistically minded mechanism introduced in his stead. There had to be a transvaluation of all economic values. And what was the result? The homo capitalisticus, who is closely related to the homo Judceus, both belonging to the same species, homines rationalistic! artificiales. And so the rationalization of Jewish life by the Jewish religion, if it did not actually produce the Jewish capacity for capitalism, certainly increased and heightened it.
The conception of the universe in the mind of such an intellectual people must perforce have been that of a structure well-ordered in accordance with reason. By the aid of reason, therefore, they sought to understand the world; they were rationalists, both in theory and in practice.
Now as soon as a strong consciousness of the ego attaches itself to the predominating intellectuality in the thinking being, he will tend to group the world round that ego. In other words, he will look at the world from the point of view of end, or goal, or purpose. His outlook will be Ideological, or that of practical rationalism. No peculiarity is so fully developed in the Jew as this, and there is complete unanimity of opinion on the subject. Most other observers start out with the teleology of the Jew; I for my part regard it as the result of his extreme intellectuality, in which I believe all the other Jewish peculiarities are rooted. In saying this, however, I do not in the least wish to minimize the very great ‘importance of this Jewish characteristic.
Take any expression of the Jewish genius and you will be certain to find in it this teleological tendency, which has sometimes been called extreme subjectivity. Whether or no the Indo-Germanic races are objective and the Semitic subjective, certain it is that the Jews are the most subjective of peoples. The Jew never loses himself in the outer world, never sinks in the depth of the cosmos, never soars in the endless realms of thought, but, as Jellinek well puts it, dives below the surface to seek for pearls. He brings everything into relation with his ego. He is for ever asking why, what for, what will it bring? Cui bono? His greatest interest is always in the result of a thing, not in the thing itself. It is un-Jewish to regard any activity, be it what you will, as an end in itself; un-Jewish to live your life without having any purpose, to leave all to chance; un-Jewish to get harmless pleasure out of Nature. The Jew has taken all that is in Nature and made of it “the loose pages of a text-book of ethics which shall advance the higher moral life.” The Jewish religion, as we have already seen, is teleological in its aim; in each of its regulations it has the ethical norm in view. The entire universe, in the Jew’s eyes, is something that was made in accordance with a plan. This is one of the differences between Judaism and heathenism, as Heine saw long ago. “They (the heathens) all have an endless, eternal ‘past,’ which is in the world and develops with it by the laws of necessity; but the God of the Jews was outside the world, which He created as an act of free-will.”
No term is more familiar to the ear of the Jew than Tachlis, which means purpose, aim, end or goal. If you are to do anything it must have a tachlis; life itself, whether as a whole or in its single activities, must have some tachlis, and so must the universe. Those who assert that the meaning of Life, of the World, is not tachlis but tragedy, the Jew will reckon as foolish visionaries.
How deeply the teleological view of things is embedded in the nature of the Jew may be seen in the case of those of them who, like the Chassidim, pay no attention to the needs of practical life because “there is no purpose in them.” There is no purpose in making a living, and so they let their wives and children starve, and devote themselves to the study of their sacred books. But we may see it also in all those Jews who, with a soul-weariness within them and a faint smile on their coun- tenances, understanding and forgiving everything, stand and gaze at life from their own heights, far above this world. I have in my mind such choice spirits among the literary men of our day as George Hirschfeld, Arthur Schnitzler and George Hermann. The great charm of their work lies in this world-aloofness with which they look down on our hustle and bustle, in the quiet melancholy pervading all their poetry, in their senti- ment. Their very lack of will-power is only strength of will in a kind of negative form. Through all their ballads sounds the same soft plaint of grief: how purposeless and therefore how sad is the world! Nature her- self is tinged with this sorrow; autumn always lurks in ambush though wood and meadow be bright with gay spring blossoms; the wind plays among the fallen leaves and the sun’s golden glory, be it never so beautiful, must go down at last. Subjectivity and the conception that all things must have an aim (and the two are the same) rob the poetry of Jewish writers of naiveté, freshness and directness, because Jewish poets are unable simply to enjoy the phenomena of this world, whether it be human fate or Nature’s vagaries; they must needs cogitate upon it and turn it about and about.
As Leroy-Beaulieu well said, “The Jew is at once the most stubborn and the most pliant of men, the most self-willed and the most malleable.”
The leaders and the “wise” men of the Jewish people were in all ages fully alive to the importance, nay the necessity, of this flexibility and elasticity, if Israel was to continue, and they were therefore never tired of insisting upon it. Jewish literature abounds in instances. “Be as pliant as the reed which the wind blows in this direction and in that, for the Torah can be observed only by him that is of a contrite spirit. Why is the Torah likened unto water? To tell you that just as water never flows up to the heights but rather runs down to the depths, so too the Torah does not abide with the haughty but only with the lowly.” Or again, “When the fox is in authority bow down before him.” Once more, “Bend before the wave and it passes over you; oppose it, and it will sweep you away.” Finally, a supplication from the Prayer Book runs as follows: “May my soul be as the dust to every one.”
The remarkable power of the Jew to adapt himself to his environment has more scope than ever. The Jew of Western Europe and America to-day no longer wishes to maintain his religion and his national character intact; on the contrary, he wishes, in so far as the nationalist spirit has not yet awakened in him, to lose his characteristics and to assimilate with the people in whose midst his lot happens to be cast. And lo, this too he can successfully achieve.
Perhaps the clearest illustration of the way in which Jewish traits manifest themselves is the fact that the Jew in England becomes like an Englishman, in France like a Frenchman, and so forth. And if he does not really become like an Englishman or a Frenchman, he appears to be like one. That a Felix Mendelssohn should write German music, that a Jacques Offenbach French and a Sousa Yankee-doodle; that Lord Beaconsfield should set up as an Englishman, Gambetta as a French- man, Lassalle as a German; in short, that Jewish talent should so often have nothing Jewish about it, but be in accord with its environment, has curiously enough again and again been urged as evidence that there are no specifically Jewish characteristics, whereas in truth it proves the very opposite in a striking fashion. It proves that the Jews have the gift of adaptability in an eminently high degree. The Jew might go from one planet to another, but his strangeness amid the new surroundings would not continue for long. He quickly feels his way and adapts himself with ease.
This peculiar capacity for adaptation is rooted in the four elements of the Jewish character. But perhaps the rationalism of the Jew is responsible for it to a greater degree than the other three. Because of his rationalism he is able to look at everything from without. If the Jew is anything, it is not because he must but because he deter- mines to be so. Any convictions he may have do not spring from his inmost soul; they are formulated by his intellect. His standpoint is not on solid earth but an imaginary castle in the air. He is not organically original but mechanically rational. He lacks depth of feeling and strength of instinct. That is why he is what he is, but he can also be different.
The driving power in Jewish adaptability is of course the idea of a purpose, or a goal, as the end of all things. Once the Jew has made up his mind what line he will follow, the rest is comparatively easy, and his mobility only makes his success more sure.
How mobile the Jew can be is positively astounding. He is able to give himself the personal appearance he most desires. As in days of old through simulating death he was able to defend himself, so now by colour adaptation or other forms of mimicry.
Easier still, on account of his mental and moral mobility, is it for the Jew to make the intellectual atmosphere of his environment his own. His mental mobility enables him quickly to seize upon the “tone” of any circle, quickly to notice what it is that matters, quickly to feel his way into things. And his moral mobility? That helps him to remove trouble- some hindrances, either ethical or aesthetical, from his path. And he can do this with all the more facility because he has only to a small degree what may be termed personal dignity. It means little to him to be untrue to himself, if it is a question of attaining the wished-for goal. But there is further proof in some of the special gifts which Jews possess. I refer to their undoubted talent for journalism, for the Bar, for the stage, and all of it is traceable to their adaptability.
The actor’s calling, no less than the barrister’s, depends for success on his ability to place himself quickly in a strange world of ideas, to take a right view of men and conditions without much difficulty, to form a correct estimate of them and to use them for his own end. The Jew’s gift of subjectivity stands him here in good stead, for by its aid he can easily put himself in the position of another, take thought for him and defend him. To be sure, jurisprudence is the bulk of the contents of Jewish literature!" [Jews and Modern Capitalism]
"The honorary offices connected with the reading of the law are given to the highest bidder. Before the scrolls are taken from the Ark, the beadle walks round the central platform (the Almemor) and cries out:
“Who will buy Hazoa vehachnosa? (i.e., the act of taking the scrolls from the Ark and of replacing them). Who will buy Hagboha? (the act of raising the scroll in the sight of the people). Who will buy Gelilah?” (the act of rolling up the scroll when the reading is finished). These honours are knocked down to the highest bidder, and the money given to the synagogue poor-box. It need hardly be said that to-day this practice has long been eliminated from synagogue worship. In days of long ago it was quite general.
R. Isaac also taught that a man should always have his money in circulation.” It was R. Isaac, too, who gave this piece of good advice. A man should divide his fortune into three parts, investing one in landed property, one in moveable goods, and holding the third as ready cash (Baba Mezia, 42a). “Rav once said to his son. Come let me instruct thee in worldly matters. Sell your goods even while the dust is yet upon your feet.” (What is this but a recom- mendation to have a quick turnover?) “First open your purse and then unloose the sack of wheat. . . . Have you got dates in the box? Hasten at once to the brewer” (Pesachim, 113a).
What is the meaning of this parallelism between the Jewish religion and capitalism? Is it a mere chance? A stupid joke perpetrated by Fate? Is the one the effect of the other, or are both traceable to the same causes?
The economic differences may be traced, at bottom, to the contrast between the nomadic and the agricultural life, between Saharaism and “Sylvanism.” From the wood which is cleared, from the marsh which is drained, from the soil which the ploughshare turns up arose that economic organization of society which was dominant in Europe before Capitalism came — the feudal, manorial system, resting on the ideas that production should be only for consumption, that every man should have his niche to work in, and that every society should have differences in status. The peasant’s holding, strictly marked off as it was from his neighbour’s, gave prominence to the idea of each man’s limited sphere of activities, of “the estate to which it had pleased God to call him”; there he was to remain and work in the traditional way.
From the endless wastes of sand, from the pastoral pursuits, springs the opposite way of life — Capitalism. Economic activities here are not circumscribed for each man, but are those of the breeder (shepherd) with his boundless outlook, where to-morrow may undo the work of to- day, but where also in a few years’ time stock may increase tenfold. Sheep and kine multiply quickly, but as quickly they may be decimated by hunger or disease. Hence, only in the shepherd’s calling, never in the farmer’s, could the idea of gain have taken root, and the conception of unlimited production have become a reality. Only in the shepherd’s calling could the view have become dominant that in economic activities the abstract quantity of commodities matters, not whether they are fit or sufficient for use. Only in the shepherd’s calling was counting a prime necessity. Moreover, the rationalism which, as we have seen, is insepa- rable from nomadic life, here entered into play, and it is not too much to say that “Nomadism” is the progenitor of Capitalism. The relation between Capitalism and Judaism thus becomes more clear.
For in money, the two factors that go to make up the Jewish spirit are united — desert and wandering, Saharaism and Nomadism. Money is as little concrete as the land from which the Jews sprang; money is only a mass, a lump, like the flock; it is mobile; it is seldom rooted in fruitful soil like the flower or the tree. Their constant concern with money distracted the attention of the Jews from a qualitative, natural view of life to a quantitative, abstract conception. The Jews fathomed all the secrets that lay hid in money, and found out its magic powers. They became lords of money, and, through it, lords of the world.
His intellectual mobility is accountable for his readiness to dis- cover new methods of production and new possibilities of marketing. He is an adept at forming new organizations, and in these his peculiar capacity for finding out what a man is best fitted for stands him in good stead. And since in the world of capitalism there is nothing organic or natural but only what is mechanical or artificial, the Jew’s lack of un- derstanding of the former is of no consequence. Even undertaking on a large scale is itself artificial and mechanical; you may extend a concern or contract it; you may change it according to circumstances. That is why Jews are so successful as organizers of large capitalistic undertak- ings. Again, the Jew can easily grasp impersonal relationships. We have already noted that he has the feeling of personal dependence only in a slight measure. Hence, he does not care for your hoary “patriarchalism,” and pays little attention to the dash of sentimentality which is still sometimes found in labour contracts. In all relations between sellers and buyers, and between employers and employed, he reduces everything to the legal and purely business basis. In the struggle of the workers to obtain collective agreements between themselves and the masters, which shall regulate the conditions of their labour, the Jew is almost invariably on the side of the first.
But if the Jew is well fitted to be an undertaker, still more is he cut out for the part of the trader. His qualities in this respect are almost innumerable.
The trader lives in figures, and in figures the Jew has always been in his element. His love of the abstract has made calculation easy for him; it is his strong point. Now a calculating talent combined with a capacity for working always with some aim in view has already won half the battle for the trader. He is enabled to weigh aright the chances, the possibilities and the advantages of any given situation, to eliminate every- thing that is useless, and to appraise the whole in terms of figures. Give this sober calculator a strong dose of imagination and you have the perfect speculator before you. To take stock of any given state of things with lightning speed, to see a thousand eventualities, to seize upon the most valuable and to act in accordance with that — such, as we have already pointed out, is the aim of the dealer. For all this the Jew hasthe necessary gifts of mind. I should like expressly to emphasize the close kinship between the activities of the clever speculator and those of the clever physician who can successfully diagnose a disease. The Jew, because of his qualities, is eminently fitted for both.
A good dealer must be a good negotiator. What cleverer negotiators are there than the Jews, whose ability in this direction has long been recognized and utilized? To adapt yourself to the needs of a market, to meet any specified form of demand, is the one prime essential for the dealer. That the Jew with his adaptability can do this as well as any other is obvious. The second is the power of suggestion, and in this also the Jew is well qualified by his ability to think himself into the situation of another.
Wherever we look the conclusion forces itself upon us that the combination of no other set of qualities is so well fitted, as are those of the Jew, for realizing the best capitalistic results. There is no need for me to take the parallelism further; the intelligent reader can easily do so for himself. I would only direct his attention to one point more before leaving the subject — the parallel between the feverish restlessness of Stock Exchange business, always intent on upsetting the tendency towards an equilibrium, and the restless nature of the Jew.
In another place I have sought to characterize the ideal undertaker in three words — he must be wide-awake, clever and resourceful. Wide-awake: that is to say, quick of comprehension, sure in judgment, must think twice before speaking once, and be able to seize upon the right moment.
Clever: that is to say, he must possess a knowledge of the world, must be certain of himself in his judgment and in his treatment of men, certain in his judgment on a given conjuncture; and above all, acquainted with the weaknesses and mistakes of those around him.
Resourceful: that is to say, full of ideas. The capitalistic undertaker must have three additional qualities: he must be active, sober and thorough. By sober, I mean free from passion, from sentiment, from unprac- tical idealism. By thorough, I mean reliable, conscientious, orderly, neat and frugal.
I believe this rough sketch will, in broad outline, stand for the capitalistic undertaker no less than for the Jew.
That the appreciation of life and growth should be able to develop, or at least to develop more freely, among the luxuriant Nature of the North than among the dead vegetation of the South is not at all unlikely. And as the desert, so the town, in depriving man of his piece of fruitful mother earth destroys in him the feeling of communion with all living things, breaks the bond of fellowship between him and animals and plants, and so deadens all true understanding of organic Nature. On the other hand, the city sharpens his intellectual capacities, enabling him to search, to spy-out, to organize, to arrange. To be constantly on the alert is the nature of the nomad; to have to be constantly on the alert was what their fate forced on the Jews — to be constantly alive to new possibilities, new goals, new combinations of events; in a word, to order life with some end in view.
The Jew is adaptable and mobile. Adaptability and mobility are the principal qualities the nomad must possess if he is to survive the struggle for existence. Your settled peasant could not make any use of these virtues.
“The law of desert life prescribes the greatest mobility both of person and of property. Camel and steed must be able to carry the nomad and all his substance speedily from one halting-place to the next, for his stock of provisions is not great and is soon exhausted, and besides he must be able to flee from the onslaughts of his foe with the rapidity of a lightning flash. . . This mobility even in ordinary circumstances necessitates a certain measure of organizing talent on the part of the tribal leaders.” (The soil tiller has no need of this.) “The plough and the ox seem lazy things enough when compared with the lance, the arrow and the horse of the nomad.” So too the country when compared with the town. Turn to the history of the Jews, and observe how from the moment they crossed the Jordan until this very day towns have engendered in them a high degree of mobility.
Always then we have the contrast between the nomad and the dweller by the hearth, the contrast to which may be ascribed, on the one hand determination to reach some goal, on the other, joy in work for what it is worth. In the case of the Jews their thousand years’ wanderings only developed this nomad virtue in them. The promised land throughout their journeyings was always before them; it was always something to be reached, something to be achieved, something to which they looked forward, like a traveller who has no delight in his wandering. The more hopeless the present became, the richer were the blessings which the future held out; everything that was was accounted as a bubble, all reality as without content, all action as senseless; only the result of action — success, the end in view — had a value. In this chain of tendencies the stress laid on results was to a large extent responsible for the utilization of money for lending purposes, and, indeed, for the whole of the capitalistic nexus. The importance attached by the Jew to results of action may have been cause and effect at once of their capitalistic undertakings." [Jews and Modern Capitalism]
Chosenness adorning itself in the garb of cosmopolitan = miser as spirit of generosity. Judaism - Spirit of self-sustenance through exclusivity, selling inclusivity - distinction is genetic/memetic social isolation Hellenism - Spirit of self-sustenance through inclusivity, practising exclusivity - distinction in genetic/memetic exploration
Virus adorns itself in the outer appearance, the image, of its host, to avoid being recognized. Exoteric contradicting Esoteric - schizophrenia - duplicity. Jewish Paradox = Humility, before God, resulting in pride before men - inheritance of pride through submission to the divine word; physical (genetic) insecurity compensated with noetic (memetic) security.
When the memetic virus has been discovered and dealt with, by the host’s autoimmune system, through such agencies as Nietzsche, among others, the virus reinvents itself to exploit the same vulnerability, by incorporating elements of the newly invigorated immune cells. Christianity having been un-covered as what it is, requires a substitution – a new christened one; one the host is not familiar with. A virus adapts to the new data it received in its battle with the host’s immune cells – it incorporates them, assimilates them, into a new viral strain of the same original dis-ease. As always, memetic viruses exists and spread, and are relevant, only as words – code. It enters the host through its weakest points, masking itself as a healthy cell in the host’s body – its nature/past.