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PostSubject: Qualitative Politics Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:24 am

Oh and in addition to your little quip there about what and what-not to worship (i.e. the G-d of Israel), might I chime in and let you know that I'm really not looking to be worshipped, but that's your perogative.

And I find the parallels of pagans bowing down to grain as compared to the grain that bowed down to Joseph indicating a promise sent from G-d interesting. I would much rather have such a privilege from the high and mighty Creator looking down on me, giving me the rule over life and agriculture, wouldn't you?
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:45 pm

Poison IV wrote:
A world become one, of salads and sun- only a fool would say that....
.....
The man on the street, dragging his feet don't wanna hear the bad news....
You do his 9-5, drag yourself home half alive, and there on the screen- a man with a dream

....any man on the street has murder in his eyes
You feel. No. Pain.

And you're younger than you realize....

I heard it was you
Talkin bout a World where all is free
It just couldn't be
And only a fool would say that

- Steely Dan


Or another favorite of mine:


When everything feels like the movies, yeah, you bleed just to know you're alive....-(Iris) Goo Goo Dolls


Oh and in addition to your little quip there about what and what-not to worship (i.e. the G-d of Israel), might I chime in and let you know that I'm really not looking to be worshipped, but that's your perogative.

And I find the parallels of pagans bowing down to grain as compared to the grain that bowed down to Joseph indicating a promise sent from G-d interesting. I would much rather have such a privilege from the high and mighty Creator looking down on me, giving me the rule over life and agriculture, wouldn't you?


"Someone who eats meat, after honoring the gods and ancestors, when he has bought it, or killed it himself, or has been given it by someone else, does nothing bad. [Laws of Manu; 5.32]"

Aryans never shied away from righteous-"violence"; the difference is we never saw sacrifice or life as a "sin" that could be redeemed with such killing as Judaism does.

To us, there is no 'God' before whom we submit like slaves and who stands apart us; to us, divinity is interconnected in all beings as Blake wrote,

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower"

The grain to us IS the world which IS our Self. Everything is a perpetual sacrifice. The grain is the sacrifice of rain and rain is that of the sun and the sun that of the Year and the year that of the divine innate order, a harmony that is our self as well from whose Orderly actions fuels the Year as a self-rolling wheel to turn again...
When we worth-ship this grain, we pay homage to Our Self.

"Let a man worship his Self only as his true state." [Brihad Upanishad]

To the Tantric Divya-class of men, vegetarianism simply meant by-passing all the intermediary stages when it doesn't take meat to be grateful to celebrate your Self; when the sensitivity and awareness is so high... killing animals becomes the self-disciplinary pursuit of killing the symbolic beasts within oneself first and experiencing such self-joy...

Now imagine how some semitic American soldiers in Afghan celebrated eid and the sacrifice of sheep; you bemoaned the loss of violence today, would this do for you?

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Is this the kind of activism and protection against animals become a Vicious Threat to Jewish Identity?

While those degenerates do not reflect general jewish behaviour perhaps, what makes you Conclude enforcing animal protection laws, an immediate case of anti-semitism?!


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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:13 pm

Lyssa wrote:


Is this the kind of activism and protection against animals become a Vicious Threat to Jewish Identity?

While those degenerates do not reflect general jewish behaviour perhaps, what makes you Conclude enforcing animal protection laws, an immediate case of anti-semitism?!


Oh please, that is clearly not what I'm saying- nice way to over dramaticize at an attempt to ridicule a sound argument.

I believe in animal rights and care very much for them.

I know you know what it is I'm getting at. I'm saying animals deserve more respect. In this society they're heavily domesticated and treated like toys....and I just don't consider that respectful of their wild natures. Why do you think even our presumably content pets runaway? They probably feel they've escaped an abusive home....

All of my cats are indoor/outdoor, but I still feel bad that they're trapped in the big city.


I've read much of Derrick Jensen's work, an anarcho-primitivst and animal right's activist, who also believes in sacrifice and killing an animal for the purpose of consumption. I recall he said something along the lines of how an animal's sacrifice be it for ritual or for meat, is something spiritually connecting, it connects us to the animal spirit in a deep felt sense. This is what many indigenous tribes have believed for ages. Of course, this refers to wild beasts and not the poor cattle and chckens we lock up for the slaughter house, but that's another matter. When you look at an animal, and make eye contact, something clicks. It's almost as if a mutual agreement is made, the one to kill for his meat and the one to be sacrificed are one. Derrick Jensen puts it very well. He thinks animals can understand the deeper meaning behind their higher purpose, which is to serve man....
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:19 pm

What of plants?

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:28 pm

@Poison, From 1.10 to 3.22 is an old brief documentary on how slaughter is done by the Jews:
Despite the title, its an unbiased doc.


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The recent ban in some countries against this method of slaughtering is jewish objection to anesthetize the animal with shots before killing it. Is there a verse or something that says suffering adds to the delight of Yahweh and pleases him? Does a less painful method of killing animals make the sacrifice "incomplete"? Would love to hear more on what your book says on this.

What does Derrick say is the 'higher purpose' of animals - as in wild-animals, and how does he know they understand that?

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:35 pm

Quote :


What does Derrick say is the 'higher purpose' of animals and how does he know they understand that?

They talk to him, he's a real modern day snow white...

And I'm done with the Jewish topic. It's obvious you have nothing but hatred for Jews, and you're going to continue using radical tactics to frame them in any way you can.
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:46 pm

Poison IV wrote:
And I'm done with the Jewish topic. It's obvious you have nothing but hatred for Jews

Where did I show that?

Every quote and material provided so far has been a Fact recorded in Your books and in history. I never made up anything.

Quote :
and you're going to continue using radical tactics to frame them in any way you can.

Is providing documentary footage of how slaughter is done radical tactics?
I was merely asking a question.
In other words, you don't know Why your book insists a suffering animal makes a better sacrifice.
You simply tried to defend your Rabbi and his call to lift the ban without understanding your own heritage and history.



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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:55 pm

Poison IV wrote:


They talk to him, he's a real modern day snow white...

Quote :
If Jews, in your mind, developed the idea for G-d, the one and only, then intelligent people are prone to believe that their patterns lead to a higher order.


All this reminds me of that Nietzsche quote where he laughed at how man first puts meaning into the world and then goes about exclaiming how he discovered Truth and a pre-existing order.... much like how Mr.Bean sends a card to himself and feels so warm and wonderful for getting it...

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:02 pm

Lolz, Derrick Jensen is now a Rabbi.
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:05 pm

Poison IV wrote:
Lolz,, Derrick Jensen is now a Rabbi.

Silly, I'm talking of Sachs call to lift the ban on jewish way of slaughter.

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:07 pm

Well, you need to be more specific, because you were on the subject of books, and Derrick was the only writer mentioned ;p

Thanks for the laugh though.
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:16 pm

Poison IV wrote:
Quote :


What does Derrick say is the 'higher purpose' of animals and how does he know they understand that?

They talk to him, he's a real modern day snow white...

And I'm done with the Jewish topic. It's obvious you have nothing but hatred for Jews, and you're going to continue using radical tactics to frame them in any way you can.
What a coward and a cunt you are, me dear.

If you are "done with Jews" then they are not done with you.
You are one, whether you like it or not, or whether you try to make it into a positive or not.
Not only are you infected but you belong to a majority in your immediate environment where this is considered "self-evident".

All you see are symbols supporting your delusions not even realizing that you belong to a civilization, based on appropriating and rendering inert symbols.
You cannot think outside the "Simulacrum" you imbecile, and so everywhere you turn you find examples supporting your delusions.
If some douche-bag looks at you at the red-light thinking "I want to bang her" you hypothesize that he's a C.I.A. agent, watching you because.....because, you imbecile, you... YOU., a stupid female, twenty year-old moron in Florida, are so fuckin' important.

You see secret messages in pop-culture which deals with public, subliminal messaging, and not secrets, you moron.
You've placed yourself in the center of your own world-view, to make yourself feel more important and significant, other than that ass and tits promising to young males a future.
You, tuts, are a dim-at...a classic female moron and, to be honest, in comparison to others you are flaky and border-line insane.
Tell your moms to give you the meds your brother is taking.

Your entire family is fucked...no cops0iracy, dear, basic genetics.

Imagine...this cunt once wanted to tell me about blood-types and how her's was not compatible with my own, more common, one.
A retard lost in her own hyperbole....supported by a system that simply loves stupidity.

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:17 pm

Lyssa wrote:


The recent ban in some countries against this method of slaughtering is jewish objection to anesthetize the animal with shots before killing it. Is there a verse or something that says suffering adds to the delight of Yahweh and pleases him? Does a less painful method of killing animals make the sacrifice "incomplete"? Would love to hear more on what your book says on this.

Ah, so nothing Is explained; no wonder no one can tell and jews get angry, because they themselves have been told "it is so" and are commanded to accept and obey it...

"The laws of shechita are not given in the text of the Torah. Rather, the Torah only writes that the slaughter shall be "as I have instructed you." (Deut. 12:21) In Orthodox Judaism this is often cited as one proof that Moses received an Oral Torah along with the text.
Reform Judaism does not require observance of the laws of kosher."
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If reformed judaism doesn't require kosher observance, then the german and other govts. are Not discriminating against jewish faith. Why is the Rabbi then raving about? Another example of manufactured victim-complex...


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:26 pm

Angry
Old
White
Men
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:31 pm

There are 7 billion (seven) people on this earth, presently.

Of those half, 3.5 billion (three-point-five) are female.

Of those approximately half, 1.8 billion aprox.(around one-point-eight) are of age where they are fertile.

How many of those really matter?

The system is built around generalities not individuals.
It does not give a shit about some moron living in Florida, U.S.A. thinking that every damn helicopter passing over her middle-class house is looking at her, or that every degenerate,s ex-crazed, American moron, passing outside her door, is looking at her because she has "inside information".
The only thing she ha sis a piece of as and tits and a pretty face with nothing nothing it but mush.

Only a simpleton would feel attracted to this beyond the immediate, short-term, physical.
This is why only "young boy" are "positive enough" for her these days...they and old fucks wanting to bag a young one.

Where's her daddy?
Nowhere.
Another imbecile who is all pretense and no substance.
A mother who's a whore...or the easiest approximation to one in this modern world.

What's left for her to feel loved and important and valuable?
Yes...

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:37 pm

Poison IV wrote:
Angry
Old
White
Men

I love being white...for obvious reasons. my heritage is the last thing I would complain about.
Being a nigger would be hell.

I love being old...because cunts like this cunt have no effect on me, like they do on simpleton, testosterone-driven, young boys; like the [color=indigo]]Dragon[/color.

I love being male....what's the alternative? Female?
I think I'll stick to this, less stunted, more cerebral, less involved, sexual type.
Menstruating, once a month, and gestating and being dumb as shit? No thanks.

I love being hateful...it identifies me in all this fake, lovey-dovey, bullshit twats, like you, think sublime or magical.
What I despise, like the virus that makes me ill, is what defines me.

If you hear of a twat who claims demons and spirits and gods visit her at night, run....don't even bother banging them before...just....fuckin'.... RUN!!!!

Thank my ancestor's but this twat failed to seduce me as she would have some douche-bag living in a truck in a WalMart parking lot and twice arrested for sexual misconduct.
No tits and ass is worth that price.

Jerk-off....no pussy is worth it when its of this quality.




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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:41 pm

Like I said, very angry....and old.
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:43 pm

And your stats are way off.

There are more men than women, and less than half are in the fertility range, as it's more uncommon to reproduce past midlife. Menopause, higher incidence of down syndrome etc.


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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:44 pm

Are you baiting, my sweet?
Such need.

I intend to get older and angrier.
You can return to your more "positive" young boys.
Maybe one of them owns a truck and can park it in a KMart parking lot and he's not a peeping-tom.

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:50 pm

Lyssa wrote:
"as I have instructed you." (Deut. 12:21) In Orthodox Judaism this is often cited as proof

Historicity means Nothing, and yet you hear them always say they are the most historical people; double-stadards spilling everywhere...

From 1:05 onwards; she says history doesn't matter, lol




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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:55 pm

I watched it....

And I'm confused...

I heard her say history does matter, and that the Bible is the only way for Israelis to stake their claim...

As far as I know the Bible is a history book.
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:58 pm

She is saying the history of whoever lived there doesn't matter. Whatever the Bible says, goes.

Revelation is not a scientific proof. Real realities of who lived there is a realistic claim than some God saying I said so... how laughable.

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:59 pm

Lyssa wrote:
She is saying the history of whoever lived there doesn't matter. Whatever the Bible says, goes.

Revelation is not a scientific proof. Real realities of who lived there is a realistic claim than some God saying I said so... how laughable.

Leo Strauss, widely acclaimed jewish political-philosopher claims because revelation is of non-human origin [and true scientific thinking in the manner of Socrates should keep every kind of questioning alive as the proper way of Philosophical life], reason can never be the means or grounds for refuting extra-rational claims. He debunks Spinoza on this basis and establishes a mirror-relation between the Prophet and the Philosopher. Just like Socrates claims Philosophers regulate esotericism of 'truths' to maintain and create the best-regime [arista politeia], the Prophet reveals God's word too terrifying for ordinary people to come into contact directly, and hence obedience to law for their own well-being is the highest Philosophical activity in order that the best kingdom of god can be established.

That such remarks have been given credibility and considered as 'serious contributions' by all philosophical schools, shows why people like the woman in that video can blissfully stake their claims in the imaginary...

Some excerpts from David Janssens' 'Between Athens and Jerusalem' on the thoughts of Strauss;


David Janssens wrote:
"As Strauss succinctly puts it, “The Bible is a human book—in this one sentence we can sum up all the presuppositions of Spinoza’s Bible science.”
Although this presupposition warrants the possibility of a scientific approach, it is far from obvious that it has a sufficient scientific foundation itself, Strauss continues. From a religious point of view, to say the least, it is unacceptable. For a believer, the Bible derives its specific authority from its nonhuman, divine origin: its contents were revealed by God himself and subsequently written down by man. This premise, of course, leads to an en- tirely different exegesis. Hence, when Spinoza posits the basic assumption of his scientific hermeneutics, he first has to confront a rival hermeneutics. If he wants to see his interpretation accepted, he is first compelled to subvert the traditional reading of the Bible. In other words, he must successfully re- fute the rival point of view before he can go on to found biblical science.
Moreover, there is a second argument that shows the priority of the critique of religion over biblical science. This becomes apparent when one looks at the relationship between the Treatise and Spinoza’s other great work, the Ethics. From the central teaching of the Ethics, the impossibility of revelation follows logically. When God is identified with the unchange- able and intelligible order of nature, every supernatural and inscrutable intervention is excluded, such as revelation or creation ex nihilo.26 The only divine laws are the eternal and immutable laws of nature, and God’s activity coincides with the reign of causal necessity, understood as logical necessity. For God to violate his own laws by declaring his will in a mirac- ulous way would amount to a logical contradiction.27 The same holds for man: to act against divine will or natural necessity is impossible. According to Spinoza, the unity of will and understanding of God or nature are oper- ative in everything that is, including human action. Carrying this doctrine of “predestination” to its extreme, he denies the existence of sin.

At this point, however, Spinoza introduces a crucial proviso: he states that unprejudiced reason cannot regard a miracle as a supernatural phenomenon, since it cannot claim to know the limits of the power of nature. From the perspective of unprejudiced reason, what theology calls a miracle is at most a problem that cannot be explained on the basis of current knowledge of nature.57 In a letter to his friend Henry Oldenburg, Spinoza expresses this condition in a succinct manner:
I venture to ask you whether we petty men possess sufficient knowl- edge of nature to be able to lay down the limits of its force and power, or to say that a given thing surpasses its power? No one could go so far without arrogance. We may, therefore, without presumption ex- plain miracles as far as possible by natural causes. When we cannot explain them, nor even prove their impossibility, we may well sus- pend our judgment about them and establish religion, as I have said, solely by the wisdom of its doctrines.
By means of this “deferral,” Spinoza’s positive critique deploys a silent but deadly power, Strauss points out. Even in its limited form, the right of reason is the basis for the legitimate expectation of progress in our knowledge of the limits of nature. In the light of this expectation, the expe- rience of miracles—recorded and situated in the past—loses its demonstra- tive power. The fact that in biblical times an event was held inexplicable and thus attributed to divine intervention does not imply that it must re- main unexplained. Critical scientific observation and analysis of the event, combined with historical research, may eventually yield a purely natural ex- planation. Until such an explanation has been found, however, to deduce without further ado the existence of an omnipotent God from the current knowledge of nature is inadmissible. From this perspective, the biblical ac- counts are indeed nothing more than “prejudices of the ancient people,” the fruit of the primitive and associative mode of thinking Spinoza deems characteristic of the Bible as a whole.
As long as the limits of nature are insufficiently known, unprejudiced “positive” reason cannot recognize any phenomenon as a miracle. How- ever, the reverse also holds: all that reason can successfully claim against theology is the postponement of judgment and additional research. As long as no definitive result is available, the possibility remains that the biblical events related as miracles will prove to be miracles after all. Therefore, the positive critique must be buttressed by further investigation into the relia- bility and credibility of biblical miracle stories. Strauss calls this supple- mentary critique “philological-historical,” as it assesses the Bible’s literary and historical consistency and examines biblical authorship.

Strauss asserts: “But what is Spinoza actually proving? In fact, noth- ing more than that it is not humanly possible that Moses wrote the Penta- teuch, and that the text of a book should come down to us through the centuries without any corruption of the text at any single passage.”
This brings us to the positive critique itself. Contrary to Spinoza’s claim, there is no foundational relationship between the metaphysical and the positive critique, Strauss holds. The positive critique, which aims to demonstrate that miracles cannot be known by reason, is based on the recognition that we are ignorant of the power of nature, and that it would be presumptuous to limit this power by referring to divine intervention. This claim, however, differs fundamentally from the more sweeping con- tention of the metaphysical critique that the power of nature is unlimited, from which it follows that divine intervention is impossible.63 Hence, the positive critique can never go as far as the metaphysical critique: it can only submit that miracles cannot be known to scientific reason, not that they are impossible. The positive critique, Strauss argues, “merely proves that mir- acles are not recognizable as such by the truly unbelieving mind which does not openly assume—or surreptitiously smuggle in—an element of faith. Reason devoid of faith, engaged in the pursuit of scientific inquiry, shows itself as immune to miracles.”

But how effective is reason’s declaration of independence against a po- sition that claims to be based on something that precedes all human judg- ment? According to Strauss, the critique based on experience and reason misses its target, not only because positive reason postpones judgment, but also because it fails to do justice to an important principle of revealed reli- gion. The positive spirit is characterized by a “will to immediacy” that aims to stay as close as possible to present experience and that refuses any other guidance.75 Viewed from this perspective, the tradition of revelation is based on something located in a remote past and hence a prejudice under suspi- cion. Since tradition and presence are mutually exclusive, the former can only throw a misleading veil over the latter. This presupposition, however, ignores the fact that, for a believer, mediation by a tradition is an essential condition for the presence of revelation. From a religious point of view, im- mediately hearing and seeing revelation in a direct confrontation with God is deadly for man.76 Only a prophet with superhuman powers is able to en- dure the tremendum, the terror that attends the presence of God.77 Prophetic mediation, which creates a safe distance with regard to the “inhu- man” character of revelation, is the source of tradition’s authority, Strauss argues. By permanently representing revelation, it answers to the “will to mediacy” of the God-fearing believer, whose pious obedience is based on the recognition that the tradition continually reveals and expresses God’s will. This principle of continuous mediation thus allows revelation to be ex- perienced by all believers as a covenant that is continually renewed:
If the will to mediated hearing of revelation is grounded in actual hearing of revelation, then the tradition of revealed religion, and with this the obedience to the tradition and the fidelity to that tradition is grounded in the actual hearing of the present revelation. Then all cri- tique of prejudice, and even more, all critique of the “rigidity” (Starrheit) of the tradition from the point of view of “experience,” cannot touch the seriousness and the depth of the will, grounded in immediate hearing, to mediacy.78

In Strauss’s analysis, then, the believer’s “will to mediacy” appears as an equal opponent of the positive spirit’s “will to immediacy.” The conse- quences of this equality, moreover, do apply not only to revelation, but also to miracles in general. The positive critique, it is true, asserts that miracles are unknowable to unbelieving reason, so that an impartial, scientific de- termination is impossible.79 However, Strauss asks, isn’t the mere intention to ascertain scientifically itself based on a blind and premature dismissal of the specific doubt and expectation that attend the experience of miracles? Even the followers of Baal, for example, did not experience the events on Mount Carmel as scientific observers, but with doubt, expectation, and the readiness to see a miracle that would decide between Jehovah and Baal. It is only because of this disposition that they were able to recognize the miraculous ignition of Elijah’s altar as a sign of the God of Israel and convert. Miracles, Strauss stresses, cannot create faith, but they presuppose a principal readiness to believing in a higher power. ...According to Maimonides, reason can do no more than deduce the greater probability of creation. Hence, it must be assisted by revelation. The latter does not contradict reason, but completes it and transcends its limits.

These falasifa, as they were called in Arabic, attempted to reconcile Greek philosophy and Islam by presenting the prophet Mohammed as a philosopher, seer, statesman, lawgiver, and founder of the perfect state.18 Maimonides, who was familiar with the work of Alfarabi and who similarly attempted to harmonize philosophy and Ju- daism, adapted this approach by presenting Moses as the perfect legislator.
As Strauss goes on to show, however, the prophetology of the falasifa itself points to an even older source. In the introduction to a treatise entitled On the Parts of the Sciences, Avicenna states that the science dealing with prophecy is a part of the practical sciences, more specifically of political sci- ence.19 The goal of prophecy, he explains, is primarily political, since the prophet’s principal task is to provide political guidance to the community. In the same treatise, he points to the source of this particular view:
Of this, what has to do with kingship is contained in the book [sic] of Plato and of Aristotle on the state, and what has to do with prophecy and the religious law is contained in both of their books on the laws . . . this part of practical philosophy [viz. politics] has as its subject matter the existence of prophecy and the dependence of the human race, for its existence, stability, and propagation, on the religious law.

Moreover, Plato’s work provides justification for the subordinate posi- tion of philosophy under the revealed law, which proved to be an important point of divergence between Maimonides and Aristotle. In the Republic, Socrates forbids the philosophers “what is now permitted,” namely, to remain outside the cave and devote themselves to contemplation in splendid isolation, “and not be willing to go down again among those prisoners or share their labors and honors, whether they be slighter or more serious.”24 Hence, Socrates proposes legislation that compels the philosophers to be concerned for and participate in the life of the political community. Only when they obey these laws and dedicate themselves to the common good can a truly harmo- nious state come into being, as opposed to the existing states that are gov- erned “in a dream.”25 According to Strauss, Plato’s Socrates thus subjects philosophy to “the state by means of the harsh commandment of the lawgiver, which considers the order of the whole and not the happiness of the parts. The philosopher is subordinate to the state, subordinate to the law. Philosophy must justify itself before the state, before the law: it is not simply sovereign.”

Nevertheless, Socrates formulates a specific requirement the law has to meet. It can claim the philosopher’s obedience only if it is truly divine, that is, if its ultimate goal is the perfection of the soul, which is tantamount to philosophizing. Thus, in the Laws, the Athenian Stranger names pru- dence and intelligence as the most important among “the divine goods” or- dained by the divine law.

According to the falasifa, the revealed law fulfills this requirement more than any other law. On the one hand, it surpasses the understanding of the philosopher and thus legitimately commands his obedience.28 On the other hand, it aims above all at the perfection of the soul: both the Torah and the Koran command man to acquire knowledge, the highest form of which is knowledge of God and creation. For the falasifa, this means that the law not only allows but also obliges them to philosophize, since this is the way toward knowledge of God. Thus, it is no coincidence that the prophetology of Maimonides and the falasifa appeals to Plato, Strauss argues. Living, in fact, under the au- thority of a religious law, they had no other choice: “The Platonism of these philosophers is given with their situation, with their standing in fact under the law.”30 Platonic political philosophy provides them with the means to justify their philosophic activity.


In his autobiographical prefaces, Strauss spells out his critique of cultural Zionism in more detail. As he argues there, cultural Zionism’s al- leged return to Jewish tradition was insincere and bound to fail, since it was based on a profound modification of the Jewish tradition. Inspired by the thought of German Idealist thinkers like G. W. F. Hegel and Johann Gottlieb Fichte, cultural Zionism understood the Jewish tradition as “high culture” (Hochkultur), the product of the Jewish “folk spirit” (Volksgeist). In doing so, however, it departed from the tradition’s self-understanding, which traced the origin of Jewish culture not to a human, but to a divine act. According to the tradition, the people of Israel were distinguished from all other peoples by divine election through receiving the revealed law. As a result, the Jewish people is what it is by dint of something that cannot be reduced to the “folk spirit,” national culture, or national con- sciousness. Strauss observes:
And if you take these things with a minimum of respect or seriousness, you must say that they were not meant to be products of the Jewish mind. They were meant to be ultimately “from Heaven” and this is the crux of the matter: Judaism cannot be understood as a culture. . . .The substance is not culture, but divine revelation.26

If cultural Zionism wanted to remain consistent in its objections to political Zionism, it had no choice but to transform itself into religious Zionism, Strauss asserts. This, however, implied a profound change in pri- orities: “when religious Zionism understands itself, it is in the first place Jewish faith and only secondarily Zionism.”27 If religion prevails over po- litical concerns, the reconstitution of the Jewish state is no longer exclu- sively nor essentially a matter of human intervention, but it becomes dependent on the coming of the Messiah, who will inaugurate tikkun, the great restoration. Religious Zionism is based on the conviction that the Jewish Question is an absolute problem, the result of a divine dispensation. From this perspective, the difficulties of the “unreal” life in exile are an in- alienable part of a divine providence unfathomable to man. They are signs that indicate the Jewish people have been elected by the creator to assume the sufferings of the world and to receive and spread ultimate salvation. Since these ordeals are imposed by a superhuman power, they can be ended only by that same power. Every attempt to achieve this goal by merely human means must therefore be rejected as blasphemous and false. Ac- cording to religious Zionism, the insolubility of the Jewish Question is the core of Jewish identity. The establishment of the state of Israel may seem to be the end, but it is, in fact, a continuation by other means of the galut, a relative solution to what is, in fact, an absolute problem.

From the neoorthodox perspective, Zionists were apostates who had been unable to resist the temptations of modern European culture, and who had abandoned religious faith in divine providence for the sake of a secular trust in progress and human autonomy. In this way, neoorthodoxy argued, Zion- ism had surrendered Judaism to the power, the discretion and the mutual quarrels of the modern nation states and undermined Jewish resilience. In its view, the failure of assimilation proved that Jews could find salvation only in theocracy, faith, and obedience to the revealed Law. Instead of trying to find a place among the other nations, the Jews ought to remain in exile, since the latter could be truly ended only by the coming of the Messiah. The violence of the goyim or non-Jews had to be endured resignedly, in the knowledge that justice ultimately was on the side of the Jewish people.
Strauss forcefully dismisses these accusations as well as the view under- lying them. In his rejoinder, he charges his opponents with dangerous polit- ical naïveté as well as with intellectual dishonesty. To begin with, he argues that neoorthodoxy’s angry polemic against Zionism hardly contributes to alleviating the predicament of German Jews.

Second, its simplistic presen- tation of the relationship between the Jewish people and the other peoples as a matter of “justice against injustice” constitutes a serious obstacle to reach- ing a viable political balance of powers. Third, he objects to the fact that, in spite of its antipolitical discourse, neoorthodoxy nevertheless deploys a polit- ical strategy that is not devoid of demagoguery: its defense of theocracy mo- bilizes the fundamental religious premises primarily because of their political utility, not because of their meaning and content.
According to Strauss, religious neoorthodoxy deploys a purely conse- quentialist argument. It preaches faith and obedience to Mosaic law by sys- tematically emphasizing their salutary consequences, such as national unity, social cohesion, the fulfillment of psychological needs, or the even force of habit. If the law is upheld for these reasons, it argues, faith in the fundamental religious dogmas is wont to follow. For Strauss, this view amounts to an outright reversal of priorities. The only valid reason for obe- dience to the law, he rejoins, is the existence of God and the authority of Mosaic revelation.29 If the law is to be obeyed, it is to be obeyed because it is the will of God, revealed by him directly and miraculously to Moses, and not because obedience has salutary consequences. By giving precedence to human concerns over God and the Torah, neoorthodoxy forgets “that re- ligion deals first with ‘God’ and not with the human being.” The view that the deeper meaning of the law consists in its “therapeutic” effects nullifies the seriousness of faith, and culminates in rigid dogmatism. Strauss’s dis- missal is particularly scathing: “For the sake of such a ‘deeper’ meaning of the Law one swallows the dogmas whole, unchewed, like pills. One asserts that that without inspiration the Law would lose its binding force, and one forgets that one doesn’t base it on inspiration at all.”30

Political Zionism’s appeal to the “will” of the Jewish people ultimately proves to beg the question. Mere normalization, Strauss notes, is not enough: “‘A people like all other peoples’ cannot be the program of self- critical Zionism.”40 Clearly, this puts him in a very difficult position. On the one hand, the Jewish people cannot survive without politics: the closed world of faith and galut has been definitely and irretrievably destroyed by modern science and modern politics. On the other hand, it cannot survive with pol- itics alone: its legacy continues to emit a claim that is constitutive of Jewish identity and thus cannot be ignored.41 This claim, however, inevitably points back to religion, which, properly understood, is apolitical and even excludes politics.

According to Strauss, Athens and Jerusalem represent two fundamen- tally irreconcilable and incompatible views of the right life. According to the first, only the philosophical, theoretical life leads to true human happiness. This view leads to an ambiguous relationship to the theological-political order of the city: philosophy as an activity is transmoral and transpolitical, but the philosopher is a political being subject to the authority of the city and its laws. As a result, the philosopher’s obedience to this authority can only be ambiguous. According to the second view, only the practical, moral life of pious obedience to the divine will leads to felicity.94 This view can- not be dismissed forthwith, Strauss stresses. Revelation offers the most pro- found foundation and the most coherent defense of the superiority of the moral-practical life over the theoretical life as the way to happiness.95 Be- cause of this quality, it is the only worthy opponent of philosophy in its orig- inal meaning. The latter can call revelation into question, but it cannot refute it, for this would presuppose that it has found a definite answer to the question of the right life. Conversely, revelation cannot compel the philoso- pher’s assent with the argument that such assent is of the greatest impor- tance for his salvation: in the philosopher’s view, this would only confirm the importance of raising the question of the right life, and thus demon- strate the necessity of philosophy.

Finite, relative problems can be solved; infinite, absolute problems cannot be solved. In other words, human beings will never create a society which is free of contradictions. From every point of view, it looks as if the Jewish people were the chosen people in the sense, at least, that the Jewish problem is the most manifest symbol of the human problem as a social or political problem." [Between Athens and Jerusalem]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Tue May 07, 2013 8:46 am

Quote :
"The desert gave birth to civilization.

Mesopotamia and Egypt both came into being in hot, dry desert climates alive with palm fronds, braying donkeys and the squeaking of shadufs drawing up water from wells. Camels, Bedouins, veils and dust: mud brick buildings, red granite cliffs, turquoise skies and crescent-shaped boats going up and down rivers and waterways. Canals splayed across the land like dendrites in a primitive nervous system shooting strips of water across muddy fields to nourish thin and spindly shafts of grain. Heat, flies and dusty pink horizons. Groves of date palms and tamarisk trees the only shelter from a burning disc in the heavens that settles at dusk to a glowing coal where the sky meets the earth.

Such is the world from out of which High Civilization emerged: mathematics and writing, astronomy and sculpture, monumental architecture and cylinder seals, gods and theogonies. A world of mental striations as topologically convoluted as a farmer’s network of fields interlaced by canals and ditches. A world of cracked plaster walls and crumbling roofs; of frayed reedwork boats and threadbare linen clothing; of cows, sheep and goats.

This is the world of the first great cities. But, take note: it is also the world that gave birth to the three great monotheisms, founded by Moses, Jesus and Mohammed: all religions favored by the desert, and all inimical—utterly—to life in cities. The three monotheisms bear the hatred of cities within them like striations in woodgrain: the Bedouin’s antipathy to life in cities, for they were all born, these gods—this God—out in the red granite cliffs beneath sagging palm fronds where lizards dart across rocks. As the French theoretician Regis Debray put it: “The city closes man in on himself; the desert opens him up to the Other. The polytheist prefers the vegetal, embellishments and valleys; his despiser prefers the mineral, abrupt canyons, limestone cliffs limned with geological phantasmagoria.”[1]

The desert is the home of monotheism, as Ernst Renan once put it.

And monotheism is a type of religiosity that is inherently, and structurally, opposed to life in cities, for it is a religion of nomads and camel drivers; of goat-herders and men living in tents, like the prehistoric Jacob wandering with his sons across the desertscapes of Palestine. The 10th Commandment, “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house,” may actually be an injunction to the nomad to keep his eyes on the grainy, shimmering horizons and the arcing wave-shaped, wind-blown dunes and away from the cities of the plain, nestled and secure within the mental wombs of their ancient protective gods.

And, just as in chaos theory, in which large effects ultimately result from very small initial conditions, so the monotheistic shepherd’s antipathy to cities will later become the general incommensurability of the Abrahamic worldview with science. The Scientific Civilization, also built by the West, is a civilization that comes out of life in cities, that is to say, the Medieval world of walled cities, towns and hamlets whose capitalistic metabolism nourished the very conditions out of which the scientific mentality could grow and thrive; the Monotheistic Society, though, is a world rooted in the horizontal life of nomads, goats, donkeys, camels and tents. Hence, in the Book of Genesis, Cain (whose name means “smith”) is cursed from the very beginning: nothing good, this text says, can come from technology or the worldview that leads to life in cities. Cain’s son Enoch is the builder of the world’s very first city, and his descendant Tubal-cain becomes the world’s first master of metallurgy. It is thus no coincidence that the Bible portrays Cain as the one who introduces murder into the world, for the Abrahamic vision thereby equates technology with cities, corruption and death. The city builder who, unlike the nomad, is locked into place and is therefore constrained to move vertically, can only ever give birth to his Towers of Babel, those impious and hubristic ladders to the heavens which confer on the city builder his heaven-storming arrogance.

Cain is the farmer; Abel the shepherd. But the excess produce of the farmer will require huge silos and storage buildings within which to store the grain, and soon, this will lead to the necessity for protective enclosures such as walls, armies and temples. One of the very first cities, in fact, the Samarran site of Tell es Sawwan (circa. 6000 BC), was nothing more than a collection of seven large storage silos for grain which, in later levels of the site, gave birth to a walled compound, one of the world’s first walled settlements, in fact. Gilgamesh was later regarded as a builder of walls, but the animal man Enkidu, on the other hand, climbs his way up from the deserts to the inside of the protective womb of Uruk itself: he was precisely the sort of dusty fellow that Gilgamesh had built his walls to keep out. However, Gilgamesh’s partnership with this proto-Martu was prophetic of the future of Near Eastern religion, which would unfold, not from the life of the city dweller, as in the days of the ancients, but from the dwellers in tents who had, from time immemorial, circled the cities as roving satellites. Gilgamesh was, in a sense, the lord of civilization’s past (hence, the true significance of his role as keeper of the dead, for the dead are merely bits of fossilized Past); while the future belonged to the Enkidus who claimed the world of cliffs and valleys, steppes and plains as their home.

The world’s most ancient deity of writing, the Sumerian goddess Nisaba, also happened to be the goddess of grain, for writing was originally invented in Sumer as a means of keeping track of economic flows going in and out of the temples: grain to this god and its priesthood; barley for that man and his fieldwork, etc. Thus, writing, like the first walls, and the farmer’s act of reaping and threshing and storing his grain, is part of the new womb-world of enclosures that the first cities brought into being.

But it is precisely such enclosures that the monotheistic shepherd blows apart: the Tower of Babel must be stopped by introducing foreign languages to break down its lines of communication so that it can no longer be built; the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah must be flattened by divine wrath for their incubation of bizarre and polymorphic forms of sexuality; the earliest cities themselves wrecked by a gigantic Flood, which washes them away like so much ruined silt and debris from the river’s ebb tide.

The monotheistic nomad, and his invisible God, wants nothing of enclosures, which recall too much of the womb and the Great Mother. He wants only open, endless vistas shimmering from one muddy horizon to the next; wants only the freedom to move about unconstrained and wander from one desert spring to the next; wishes only to follow the ancient desert trails of his Bedouin forebears who have tracked the endless, featureless wastes of the desert scrub before him.

For our blackboard, then, another formula: Bondage vs. Freedom; arborescence vs. mobility; submission to a king vs. the shattering visions of the Prophets.

...The religions of the Middle East are, in essence, anti-urban. Moses’ vision ends up grinding the cities of Canaan into pieces, beginning with the city of Jericho. Joshua’s assault on Jericho is an extension of the Mosaic vision. Joshua is a proxy for Moses, but the antipathy to the city is very evident. Likewise, with Christ’s assault on the Temple when he goes into Jerusalem, a place which he loathes as a den of corruption and vice. Moses-Joshua’s assault on Jericho is structurally identical to Christ’s assault on Jerusalem (the Temple that is later destroyed by the Romans is a kind of destruction of the city by proxy again. The Roman destruction of Jerusalem is a kind of delayed effect of Christ’s antipathy toward it). Mohammad’s assault on Mecca is also structurally similar.
Paul is another matter. He is the essence of the urban mind: multilingual, cosmopolitan, multiethnic. He is the reason why Christianity became universal. But Paul is not an originator of the Vision, which he inherited from the mind of Christ, an illiterate rural peasant. Paul must take the Vision and transform it into something cosmopolitan by inventing the proto-Christian literature of the epistle as the new medium with which to transmit the Vision.

Scientific civilization, on the other hand, is entirely urban. Newton and Darwin in London and Einstein in Vienna are all situated in urban milieus and their cosmologies actually represent the mind of these cities, the urban mentality itself, translated into a world picture. The cosmology of science is an extension of the macrosphere of the modern world city onto the cosmos itself.
Our Abrahamic religions are antipathetic to the scientific civilization not so much because they are religions but because they originate in a type of mentality — i.e. the desert wilderness — that is inherently poliphobic and anti-urban. These religions of the desert wilderness and their world views are extensions and projections of the Mind of the Desert onto the cosmos itself. This is why they are, to this day, in total conflict with the Scientific Civilization and its own projection of the Mind of the City onto the cosmos. Both mentalities are trying to accomplish something that is very different from each other’s and very much at odds."

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:13 pm

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Sat May 31, 2014 6:55 pm

Lyssa wrote:
Rosenzweig vs. Spengler on the Nomadic state:

Quote :
"Drawing upon the arche/re'shiyth of his own Judaic heritage, Rosenzweig questions the logic of geo-philosophy and its privileging of the soil as the basis of political community. In a fragment entitled "Peoples and their Native Soil", that serves as a kind of manifesto against autochthony, Rosenzweig writes:
"The peoples of the world are not content with the bonds of blood. They sink their roots into the night of earth, lifeless in itself, but the spender of life, and from the lastingness of earth they conclude that they themselves will last. Their will to eternity clings to the soul and to the reign over the soil, to the land. The earth of their homeland is watered by the blood of their sons, for they do not trust in the life of a community of blood, in a community that can dispense with anchorage in solid earth. ...For while the earth nourishes, it also binds. Whenever a people loves the soil of its native land more than its own life, it is in danger that... in the end the soul will persist as that which was loved more strongly, and the people will leave their lifeblood upon it. In the final analysis, the people belong to him who conquers the land. It cannot be otherwise, because people cling to the soil more than to their life as a people. Thus the earth betrays a people that entrusted its permanence to earth. The soil endures, the peoples who live on it pass. ...
And so, in contrast to the history of other peoples, the earliest legends about the tribe of the eternal people is not based on indigenousness [Autochthonie]. ...To the eternal people home is never home in the sense of land, as it is to the peoples of the world who plough the land and live and thrive on it, until they have all but forgotten that being a people means something besides being rooted in a land. The eternal people has not been permitted to while away time in any home. It never loses the untrammeled freedom of a wanderer."

vs.

Spengler wrote:
"[The peasant] roots in the earth that he tends, the soul of man discovers a soul in the countryside, and a new earth-boundedness of being, a new feeling pronounces itself. Hostile nature becomes the friend; earth becomes Mother Earth. Between sowing and begetting, harvest and death, the child and the grain, a profound affinity is set up. A new devoutness addresses itself in the chthonic cults to the fertile earth that grows along with man. ...The peasant's dwelling is the great symbol of settledness. It is itself plant, thrusts its roots deep into its "own" soil... this is the condition precedent of every Kultur, which itself in turn grows up out of a mother-landscape, and renews and intensifies the intimacy of man and soil. ...Only in Zivilisation with its giant cities do we come again to despise and disengage ourselves from these roots. Man as civilized, as intellectual nomad, is again wholly microcosmic, wholly nameless. ...Today at the end of this Kultur, the rootless intellect ranges over all landscapes and possibilities of thought. But between these limits lies the time in which a man held a bit of soil to be something worth dying for."






Quote :
"The history of mankind as a whole is tragic. But the sacrilege and the catastrophe of the Faustian are greater than all others, greater than anything Æschylus or Shakespeare ever imagined. The creature is rising up against its creator. As once the microcosm Man against Nature, so now the microcosm Machine is revolting against Nordic Man. The lord of the World is becoming the slave of the Machine, which is forcing him — forcing us all, whether we are aware of it or not — to follow its course. The victor, crashed, is dragged to death by the team.” — Oswald Spengler, Man and Technics

The unique characteristics of Faustian civilization, as Spengler described it, are now leading Europe to destruction. The Faustian is characterized by a drive towards the infinite, a will to break through the boundaries that limit man, whether they be intellectual or physical. Spengler calls the prime symbol of the Faustian soul “limitless space.”[1] Like Goethe’s Faust, Faustian civilization seeks infinite knowledge.

However, as this civilization declines, limitless space becomes an all-consuming maw that threatens the survival of all traditions, the all-encompassing extension of the Faustian soul ensnaring all the peoples of the world in its decline. Faustian man, detached from the earth, is on course to share the fate of Icarus. The fruits of the Faustian mind — rationalism, universalism, liberalism, industrialism, and globalization — threaten identity and heritage on a global scale.

While it is true that all civilizations, no matter what their particulars are, are bound to die as all living organisms are bound to die, the unique characteristics of the Faustian decline are uniquely disastrous. Whereas the ethnic Romans and Persians survived the collapse of the Roman and Persian empires, Western man’s dying civilization threatens to physically eliminate him, while also spreading the contagion of liberalism to non-Western cultures.

The Faustian tendency to break down barriers has transmogrified into the toxic global homogenization of cultures and peoples in the waning stages of Western civilization, that enables foreign and internal threats to multiply. The Faustian mindset must be discarded if Western Europeans and their descendants ever hope to create another great civilization in the ruins of this one.

One of the root causes of the current situation is universalism, which does not respect the particular qualities of an ethnos. The Faustian concept of space necessitates universalism. We may take the Faustian embrace monotheism as a starting point for this tendency. As Spengler wrote, “The plurality of separate bodies which represents Cosmos for the Classical soul, requires a similar pantheon — hence the antique polytheism. The single world-volume, be it conceived as cavern or as space, demands the single god of Magian or Western Christianity.”[2] Instead of separate moral universes, the Faustian worldview accepts only one.

While this monotheistic worldview is not unique to Faustian civilization, the Magian soul’s cavern infers a certain limit to its sovereignty, as we see in Islamic theology, where the world is divided separate houses, one of which is the house of Islam, Dar al-Islam. The unbounded space of the Faustian soul merges seamlessly into the Hebrew Bible’s conception of space. In On Being a Pagan, Alain de Benoist characterizes the latter, “The universe is thus conceived in the Bible as a world with no spatial boundaries.”[3]

National borders, borders between religions, between ethnic groups, are erased in the Faustian mind, indeed no group has embraced biblical universalism to the extent that Faustian civilization has. No other civilization has ranged so far and so wide in their efforts to impose their morality upon the entirety of the world. Even the most ferocious of the Islamic expansions, including the Salafist trends of our day, pale in comparison to the sustained attempt of the West to convert the rest of the globe. We see these efforts in the Crusades of the Teutonic Knights against the pagan Balts, the Swedes waging war on the Orthodox Slavs of Novgorod, the Spaniards’ attempts to convert the Indian populations of the Americas, the civilizing mission of the British Empire, and into this day and age with America’s global War on Terror.

While some men may look upon these events as great triumphs of Western Civilization, they are really milestones in a trend of globalization reaching its pinnacle now. Faustian civilization, in many ways like the most Salafist strains of Islam, sees the need to impose a single moral vision upon the world, whether it be a colonial nation’s particular strain of Christianity, or liberal democracy.

Under Roman rule, different customs and beliefs could coexist within certain moral boundaries, a cosmos of separate moral planets. In contrast, the Faustian man believes that his particular morality extends to the ends of the earth. Hence Kant’s dictum, “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law without contradiction.”

Thus international organizations and courts trample upon the sovereignty of peoples. The particulars of a man himself are stripped away, he is no longer German, an English, or Chinese, he is “man,” in the abstract. Any attempts to resists this alleged universal morality common to mankind are deemed criminal. Those who do not fall into line are primitives, heretics, or, to use more modern parlance, rogue states.

On the opposite end, the Faustian civilization is rendered rootless. There is nothing that could stand in the way of limitless space for there is no law without a universal character according to him. There can no longer be different standards of morality for different classes, genders, or any other social division. No longer is there a way of action and a way of contemplation, a way of kings and a way of priests, a way of men and a way of women, there is simply a universal way. Faustian civilization turned towards egalitarianism.

Political liberalism can be seen as the extension of a certain Anglo-Saxon mindset that grew under Christianity. Alain de Benoist states in The Problem of Democracy, “liberal democracies are rooted not so much in the spirit of ancient democracy as in Christian individualism, the rationalism of the Enlightenment, and the Anglo-Saxon Protestant spirit. In these democracies, the ‘citizen’ is not he who inhabits a history and a destiny through his belonging to a given people, but a rather an abstract, atemporal, and universal being, which regardless of any belonging, is the holder of ‘human rights’ decreed to be unalienable.”[4] Hence, politics ceased to be defined by the conditions of the polis itself. In the democracies of Ancient Greece, political freedoms were derived from being a member of a specific community, generally that which one was born into from autochthonous stock. In contrast to Classical civilization, Faustian civilization invented the universal rights of man, which appear to guarantee freedom from the bonds of community. Once again the theme of the replacement of the particular by the universal is evident. The rooted pillar of classical civilization is replaced by the infinite field of the Faustian."

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"The rootless political existence develops into rootless personal existence. The Faustian tendency towards uprooted modes of existence finds expression in postmodern philosophy. The boundless space of Faustian man is the home of the rhizome of Deleuze and Guattari, “It has neither beginning nor end.” The rhizome shares with Faustian physics a focus on motion and dynamics as opposed to discrete static objects, “It is composed not of units but of dimensions, or rather directions in motion.” Compare this with the Faustian focus on force, “There is no Western statics — that is, no interpretation of mechanical facts that is natural to the Western spirit bases itself on the ideas of form and substance, or even, for that matter, on the ideas of space and mass otherwise than in connexion with those of time and force.”[5] In both cases, the focus on actual substance, being, is reduced.

The criticism of being in their seminal text A Thousand Plateaus, displays certain Faustian characteristics as well. Here the rhizome is contrasted with the tree. Once again the symbol of rootedness is attacked by Faustian thought, with its additive and expansive qualities. “The tree imposes the verb ‘to be’, but the fabric of the rhizome is the conjunction, ‘and…and…and…’. This conjunction carries enough force to shake and uproot the verb ‘to be’.”

The contrast between the dynamic and the static becomes open conflict in the postmodernity of declining Faustian civilization where its expansiveness becomes full deterritorialization. What seems like abstract philosophy has a very real presence in the world. In the nomadic lifestyles imposed by many careers, where relocation across the face of the globe has become normal, in the fluid identities and fragmented subcultures of American youth, in global electronic networks, in globalization’s erosion of local economies, the rhizome dominates. Faustian dynamism and limitlessness has resulted in a world of scattered and broken spirits.

Due to the inherently limited nature of the physical world, the Faustian mind tends toward abstraction. Spengler’s discussion of the different conceptions of mathematics in instructive in this instance. “The beginning and end of the Classical mathematic is consideration of the properties of individual bodies and their boundary-surfaces; thus indirectly taking in conic sections and higher curves. We, on the other hand, at bottom know only the abstract space-element of the point, which can neither be seen, nor measured, nor yet named, but represents simply a centre of reference. The straight line, for the Greeks a measurable edge, is for us an infinite continuum of points.”[6] Classical mathematics is rooted in physical reality. It focuses on measurable quantities and physical shapes and surfaces. In contrast, Faustian mathematics is not constrained by what humans can touch, measure, or observe. We cannot count an infinite number of objects, nor have i (the square root of -1) of them, yet these concepts are integral to our mathematical system.

This retreat into the mind exacerbates the conflict between the physical and the intellectual. Instead of balance between mind and body, the Faustian mind gravitates towards logocentrism, a term most would associate with Derrida, but was coined by Conservative Revolutionary philosopher Ludwig Klages in his work The Intellect As Antagonist of the Soul.[7]

This movement towards the mental abstraction moves man away from the instinctive, the vital. Thus the Faustian tendency towards starry eyed idealism. Otto Reche speaks of “the powerfully rousing and simultaneously tragic song about the Nordic race and its idealism.”[8] At its worst it becomes a world denying tendency. Instead of experiencing the world in its mystery and majesty, we reduce it to what D. H. Lawrence termed a “thought form” a construct of abstract laws and facts existing only in our minds. As he says in “Introduction to the Dragon,”

. . . our sun and our moon are only thought-forms to us, balls of gas, dead globes of extinct volcanoes, things we know but never feel by experience. By experience, we should feel the sun as the savages feel him, we should ‘know’ him as the Chaldeans knew him, in a terrific embrace. But our experience of the sun is dead, we are cut off. All we have now is the thought -form of the sun. He is a blazing ball of gas, he has spots occasionally, from some sort of indigestion, and he makes you brown and healthy if you let him.[9]

Nietzsche correctly identified the retreat into the world of reason as a symptom of weakness. He states in the essay “Reason in Philosophy” from Twilight of the Idols, “To divide the world into a ‘real’ and ‘apparent’ world … is only a suggestion of decadence – symptom of declining life.” It is no great surprise that the West has wholeheartedly endorsed the Enlightenment program of rationalism, and its political emanation, liberalism. While rationalism is the mark of all declining civilizations throughout history, it aligns most intensely with the Faustian, whose affinity for abstraction was present at its birth. Indeed, we see in no other civilization an ideology like Enlightenment liberalism. Liberalism is a uniquely Western illness emerging from the Faustian decline.

Related to the Faustian tendency towards abstraction is the technical sophistication of Faustian civilization. Inventions spring from the unbounded Faustian mind. From the tools of abstract mathematics Faustian man has constructed the most precise and powerful theories of physical forces known to man. The combination of unlimited thought and dynamism enabled never before seen technological breakthroughs.

Indeed, not content with being in the world, Faustian man sought to create an artificial paradise. Spengler characterizes this attitude in Man and Technics “To build a world oneself, to be oneself God — that is the Faustian inventor’s dream, and from it has sprung all our designing and re-designing of machines to approximate as nearly as possible to the unattainable limit of perpetual motion.”

Spengler was keenly aware of the consequences of this mechanical world. In industrial societies the rise of alienation is seen, “And now, since the eighteenth century, innumerable ‘hands’ work at things of which the real role in life (even as affecting themselves) is entirely unknown to them and in the creation of which, therefore, they have inwardly no share. A spiritual barrenness sets in and spreads, a chilling uniformity without height or depth.”

No longer is the producer a traditional craftsman who handles the creation of goods from start to finish. He is merely performing one action of many required for the assembly of an object. The laborer’s dignity is diminished on the factory floor. This in turn breeds social conflict between the laborers and the managerial class. “The tension between work of leadership and work of execution has reached the level of a catastrophe. The importance of the former, the economic value of every real personality in it, has become so great that it is invisible and incomprehensible to the majority of the underlings. In the latter, the work of the hands, the individual is now entirely without significance.”

In addition to the social consequences, there are irreversible and wide-ranging ecological consequences. The depletion of natural resources, the elimination of species, the poisoning of our food, and water supplies, anthropogenic climate change. It is not alarmist to state that technology threatens life on earth. Spengler noted in 1931, “All things organic are dying in the grip of organization. An artificial world is permeating and poisoning the natural.”

In addition to the existential threat posed by technology, it greatly enhances the foreign threats against Faustian civilization. The expansive nature of Faustian man to spread to all the corners of the map, is mimicked by his technology. In the quest for ever greater profits and power, industry has spread all over the world. We may think this to be a late 20th-century problem linked with globalization, but it was already in motion in Spengler’s time, with Japan emerging as an industrial power in Asia. It has only increased in our time, with the outsourcing of industry and the spread of advanced weaponry to peoples who could not have possibly invented them. Global industrialization simultaneously has strengthened the power of non-Western peoples, while sapping the strength of the native working class in the West. Faustian technology, operating hand-in-hand with the forces of capital, has enabled the mass movement of foreign peoples into formerly homogeneous nations. While mass immigration has no one single cause, it is effectively, to use Alain de Benoist’s notable turn of phrase, “the reserve army of capital.” In his essay of the same title, Benoist notes how the French construction and automobile industries deployed trucks in the Maghreb to recruit immigrant labor. While it is true that other civilizations have imported foreign labor, only the late Faustian civilization has done it on such a scale as to threaten the survival of their national ethnic integrity. The combination of borderless thought and high technology now threatens the survival of the very people who dreamed up such ideas, as the threat of Europeans becoming minorities in their own homelands grows.

Perhaps a stronger descriptor than Faustian for the civilization that is our subject would be Titanic. Titanic in the sense of the Italian Traditionalist philosopher Julius Evola, who uses the term Titanism to refer to a particular type of usurpation of divine power. It accentuates the Faustian revolt against the divine order. Evola characterizes the Titanic civilization as such:

The first type of civilization is the Titanic one, in a negative sense, and refers to the spirit of a materialistic and violent race that no longer recognized the authority of the spiritual principle corresponding to the priestly symbol or to the spiritually feminine “brother” (e.g., Cain vs. Abel); this race affirmed itself and attempted to take possession, by surprise and through an inferior type of employment, of a body of knowledge that granted control over certain invisible powers inherent to things and people. Therefore, this represented an upheaval and a counterfeit of what could have been the privilege of the previous “glorious men,” namely, of the virile spirituality connected to the function of order and of domination “from above.” It was Prometheus who usurped the heavenly fire in favor of the human races, and yet he did not know how to carry it; thus the fire became his source of torment and damnation.[10]

Faustian man, like Prometheus, has stolen fire from the gods, reordering nature to suit his purpose. The Faustian man revolted against nature, as Spengler notes, “The creature is rising up against its creator. As once the microcosm Man against Nature, so now the microcosm Machine is revolting against Nordic Man.”

The expansive Faustian mind seeks to eliminate the barriers imposed by nature itself. Hegel characterizes it as thus, “The principle of the European mind is self-conscious reason which is confident that for it there can be no insuperable barrier and which therefore takes an interest in everything in order to become present to itself therein.” What we see is the drive of Faustian science to “know the mind of God,” which English physicist Stephen Hawking equated with “the ultimate triumph of human reason.” And if it is uncovered perhaps it will do more harm than good. The Spenglerian horror writer H. P. Lovecraft states prophetically in his story “The Call of Cthulhu”:

We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

The ecological devastation and social chaos sown by the scientific advances of Western civilization seem to validate Lovecraft. However, the Promethean narrative offers a glimmer of hope, a way out. The hero Heracles, son of the Olympian Zeus, frees Prometheus from his torture. Evola states that Heroism, as represented by Heracles in the Titanic cycle, is “the restoration of the Olympian solar spirituality and overcoming of both the Mother and Titan figures.” Considered from the spiritual position of Tradition, the overcoming of Titanic Faustian civilization is possible. However, let us not forget the role of man in fulfilling destiny and let us recognize the need for a new spirit to transcend our declining civilization before it destroys us.

This restoration need not be a return to the “dark ages” of obscurantism. Indeed oriented in the proper direction, the traits we associate with Faustian civilization, such as constant self-overcoming, intrepidity, rising to challenges, are tools for spiritual growth that predate Faustian civilization. From a Traditional viewpoint, they predate humanity itself, they are transcendent, beyond space and time. Evola’s “esoteric reading” of Nietzsche makes this clear:

The cutting of all bonds, the intolerance of all limits, the pure and incoercible impulse to overcome without any determined goal, to always move on beyond any given state, experience, or idea, and naturally and even more beyond any human attachment to a given person, fearing neither contradictions nor destructions, thus pure movement, with all that that implies of dissolution — “advancing with a devouring fire that leaves nothing behind itself,” to use an expression from an ancient wisdom tradition, though it applies to a very different context — these essential characteristics that some have already recognized in Nietzsche can be explained precisely as so many forms in which the transcendent acts and manifests.[11]

However, these tendencies need to be directed vertically, towards transcendence, not horizontally in the realm of sheer materialism, not manifesting in the need to dominate the world’s physical being. Evola attributes Nietzsche’s mental collapse to the fact that his energy remained on a non-transcendent level, burning him out like a circuit whose current is too strong. Continuing with the contrast between the horizontal plane of life, and the vertical axis of “more than life,” in the sense of Georg Simmel’s “more than living” (mehr als leben), we can envision two symbols, the ocean, and the mountain. The divine order stands with the mountain, whereas Faustian Titanism is the realm of the ocean. Western man is faced with a choice. He can conquer himself and ascend the peaks of the spirit, or he can conquer the world and disappear past the water’s horizon."


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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*


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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Fri May 27, 2016 2:17 am

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[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], Neoreactionaries, and The Cathedral


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"Summary

The Dark Enlightenment, or neoreaction, focuses on the fundamentally flawed tenets of modern western culture.


The darkly enlightened share many ideas, but many are still debated. Examples:
Secular progressivism is the memetic descendent of Puritan Calvinism. Blasphemy, inquisition, indoctrination, and brainwashing still occur from the perspective of the progressive religion. Therefore, progressive culture is referred to as “the Cathedral”. The Cathedral consists of influential people in politics, journalism, academia and education acting in an uncoordinated manner to advance progressive principles in society; often deceptively. We do not imply conspiracies.


Hierarchies are a natural consequence of innate differences and are necessary for societies to function. Stratified outcomes alone are not enough to prove discrimination or a failure of "social justice". There is no "social justice," only traditional justice.


The only morality is civilization. Any belief or ideology that works against civilization is evil no matter how well-intentioned.


Traditional values are not accidental. They are non-ideological social adaptations that provide good solutions to complex social problems. Cultures separated by vast amounts of time and geography independently converged on similar values. Values converged because cultures that implemented these values had a competitive advantage over their neighbors and became civilizations. Cultures that did not implement them failed and are forgotten.


Modern conservatives are last century’s progressives. Many ideas held by “conservatives” today were progressive (sometimes radically so) in the past.


Neoreactionaries acknowledge the legitimate flaws inherent to Democracies and are “predisposed, in any case, to perceive the politically awakened masses as a howling irrational mob, it conceives the dynamics of democratization as fundamentally degenerative: systematically consolidating and exacerbating private vices, resentments, and deficiencies until they reach the level of collective criminality and comprehensive social corruption.”


A system of No Voice-Free Exit in large hyper-federalist states or small independent city states is the optimal political arrangement. Singapore is an imprecise example with little political voice, but massive economic freedom and high levels of prosperity. City-states would be in constant competition for minds and business and risk losing economically valuable citizens and businesses if poorly run since they can easily relocate. This creates an incentive to remain economically and socially free.


Neoreactionaries accept human biological diversity. Individual humans and human groups differ in ability, psychological disposition, intelligence, and other traits for genetic reasons. Genetics can explain 50% or more of the differences in lifetime outcomes within and between human groups. Other factors are minor by comparison.
Recognition of HBD necessitates the rejection of the core progressive dogma of egalitarianism. Race and gender are not social constructs and everyone personally experiences that not all men or women are created equal. It is easier to believe in Leprechauns than to believe in egalitarianism."

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"One of [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] most important insights and contributions to the Dark Enlightenment was the idea that modern secular progressivism is actually the evolutionary descendant of puritan/Calvinist Christianity. The Cathedral is a Christian sect that very cleverly adopted the camouflage of secularism so as to more easily infect (memefect?) non-Christians and non-religious institutions in addition to actual believers. Only later did it deign to reject all pretenses of overt Christian theology. The biggest advantage of the camouflage was that it could get around that pesky separation of church and state in order to gain control of the coercive power of government and yet still not worry about anyone objecting to the new crypto-theocracy. Some very intricate rhetorical techniques have been developed, such as the motte and bailey, to support the effectiveness of this camouflage. In hindsight, the inclusion of the separation of church and state may have made such an evolution of religious feeling inevitable.

Keep in mind that all of this discussion isn’t meant to imply a grand conspiracy with central authority or control. Quite the contrary. In so far as as people are Crypto-calvinists today, it is a matter of mass action. Each individual, with the some helpful nudging in the form of mass education, individually decides to assent to Universalist mysticism. A knowledge of the origins of this mysticism is not required to adopt it so most people are blissfully ignorant of where all these strange ideas came from. (Most) humans are religious animals, and they are going to believe in something transcendent no matter the circumstance. If explicit belief in the supernatural becomes untrendy or marginalized, then spiritual feeling will assume a covert form. Alternatively, a new spirituality with the potential for trendiness will simply be made up.

Crypto-Calvinism didn’t just appear overnight, it has been slowly evolving in the United States and particularly in the northeast ever since the constitution was written and religion was banned from government. In the same way natural selection can create complex emergent forms in nature without conscious guidance or goal, so too can the same process create complex and intricate memeplexes in culture without the requirement of central planning or a pre-imagined endpoint. (The current version of this article on la wik appears to have been gutted, so I used an archive)

Anytime someone stumbles upon neoreaction for the first time, inevitably one of the first things he wonders about is this concept of the Cathedral. Rather than repeat what has already been explored beyond the short summary above, I decided to create a compilation of articles which explore the cathedral and modern progressivism as a nontheistic Christian sect. Any newcomers can then have fairly straightforward access to most of the writings done on this topic in one convenient place. Without such a compilation it would be very difficult to find all the relevant essays:

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"The Concise Introduction

For five hundred years, there have been attempt to reorder human society on the basis that hereditary privilege, and many other kinds of inequality between humans, are unjust. Reformers have attempted to alter systems of government and other institutions of society with the goal of reducing or eliminating these injustices.

These reformers have consistently underestimated the difficulty of getting people to cooperate in a society. The intellectual techniques of science and engineering that produced miracles in terms of manipulating the natural world, have, time after time, failed catastrophically to improve the lives of humans through changing government and society.

There are a number of reasons for this: For one thing, humans are much more complex than any of the parts and tools with which engineers have made machines. They will not fit in where they are put. Attempts to persuade or compel them to fit into the machine have to be built into the machine themselves, and end up changing the functioning of the machine so much that it no longer achieves its intended goal.

Most importantly, humans have evolved to compete for influence and power, by violence and by deceit. Any reform which attempts to limit or remove the power of the holders of power creates a competition for that power, which will lead to spectacular efforts by everybody else to win it. The innovations that will be produced by such high-stakes competition are impossible to predict or plan for.

Meanwhile, developments in technology have improved people’s lives so much that the calamitous decline in quality of government has been disguised. All mainstream political factions are intellectual descendants of the original reformers, and none have any interest in fairly comparing present-day government with traditional government. Those that are called “conservatives” are only reformers who oppose the most recently enacted or proposed reforms: none of them question the principle or the intellectual basis of progressivism.

Most neoreactionary writing consists of detailed criticism of particular progressive reforms, with particular emphasis on the flaws in one specific idea — democracy.

Ultimately, however, if after all these centuries of trying to improve society based on abstract ideas of justice have only made life worse than it would have been under pre-Enlightenment social systems, the time has come to simply give up the whole project and revert to traditional forms whose basis we might not be able to establish rationally, but which have the evidence of history to support them.


Neoreaction for Reactionaries

Some of the inquiries I spoke of at the beginning have come from old-fashioned reactionaries. The short answer for them is that it doesn’t matter. Neoreaction is not a new, better form of reaction that you should be upgrading to — rather, you’ve found a short-cut past what for us has generally been a long and laborious journey, one that has mostly passed through libertarianism or other forms of liberalism. A lot of our discussion will seem wrong-headed to you, and your theology is mostly irrelevant to us, but when the subject is more immediately practical, we are likely to be closer together."

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Part I














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May or may not be related:

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

*Become clean, my friends.*
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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Sat Dec 03, 2016 11:56 pm

Smoking and the Anti-semitism of Western Jews towards Eastern Jews

Sander Gilman wrote:
"On November 2, 1492, Christopher Columbus, having landed on what will later be called Cuba, sent two of his crew to spy out the land. They returned to him on November 6, 1492, announcing that they had found a village of people who “drank smoke.” They “light one end of the tabuco [sic] and by the other suck, . . . by which they become be- numbed and almost drunk.” One of the two men was Luis de Torres, Columbus’s interpreter, who “knew how to speak Hebrew and Chaldean (Aramaic) and even some Arabic.” It was Luis de Torres who, according to the myth, introduces tobacco and smoking into modern Europe. De Torres, modern scholars assume, was one of the hidden Jews who remained in Spain after the expulsion of the Jews and Moors that very year. The account quoted here, written by Columbus’s later companion, the priest Bartolomé de Las Casas, as a commentary on Columbus’s widely circulated diaries, was pub- lished only in 1825 and Las Casas’s magisterial History of the Indies appeared only in 1875. Their actual publication places this “legend” very much within the nineteenth-century debates about Jews and tobacco. That late nineteenth-century scholars quickly associated de Torres with the expulsion of the Jews at the moment of the East European pogroms, and that they made a strong, negative associa- tion of the Jews with tobacco should not be astonishing.

Smoking (in all of its forms and in all of its products) is a cultural phenomenon of human societies from the ancient world to modern times. Every culture in recorded history has had some- thing that it smoked, whether as a cure or for pleasure, whether as ritual or as part of popular culture. At different times we have smoked tobacco, opium, scented cigarettes, or marijuana through- out the world. Yet, there is a strange but powerful association of Jews in Europe and beyond with smoking tobacco. This association is so powerful, it forms a means of describing the modernization of Jewish identity from the eighteenth century to the present. Some of this association rests on the actual role that individual Jews played in the evolution of the European tobacco industry from the early modern period on.4 But though Jews played a sub- stantial role in the tobacco industry (as did many other ethnic and religious groups), their association with it also reflected the changing meaning of smoking from the Enlightenment to the present. Being stereotyped as smokers was a means of labeling the essential nature of the Jew both within and beyond the Jewish community. The association of Jews and tobacco thus had a part in shaping how Jews in Europe were imagined as a group and, indeed, how they imagined themselves and the meaning given to the social act of smoking in Jewish culture.

The association between Jews and smoking was never merely a symbolic one. As early as 1612 the city council of Hamburg per- mitted Sephardi Jews from Portugal to be residents in Hamburg; while not permitted to live in the inner city, they were also not required to live in ghettos. They were tradespeople who specialized in the wholesale trade of exotic wares such as tobacco, sugar, coffee, cocoa, calico, and spices. Sephardi Jews also settled in the Dutch province of Groningen in 1683, again as tobacco merchants. As “exotics” in Northern Europe and given their role in trade with the New World, especially with Brazil, the Jews of the Sephardi diaspora generally became associated with the positive aspects of tobacco as a luxury product.

As tobacco became a major European staple during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Jews in Northern Europe were also involved in its cultivation, treatment, and processing. In areas outside the traditional Jewish urban settlements of Amsterdam or Hamburg, Jews were primarily engaged in rural occupations or lived and worked in small towns. In states such as Baden in South- west Germany, an area that was the center of German tobacco pro- duction during the early nineteenth century, Jews grew, processed, and traded the plant. They assumed an increasing role as middle- men, buying, curing, and manufacturing cigars and pipe tobacco. Indeed, by the beginning of the twentieth century Jews owned about 40 percent of all of the tobacco-related companies in the city of Mannheim and represented about 4 percent of its population.

In Iceland, where there were de facto no Jews before the twentieth century, the Icelanders strongly linked one imported product with Jews: Júatóbaki (Jewish tobacco) that Danish Jews had exported to Iceland since the early eighteenth century. This social fact was read as part of the mythology of Jewish difference that grew up around Jews and tobacco in the course of the nineteenth century.

In Central Europe in the Hapsburg empire, it was only after civil emancipation of the Jews at the close of the eighteenth century that they were permitted to engage in the tobacco trade. Diego d’Aguilar held the tobacco monopoly in Austria using Christian nobles as middlemen from 1743 to 1748, and Israel Hönig established the State Tobacco Monopoly in 1788. From the nineteenth century on, Jews were seen as the face of the to- bacco trade in Central Europe as well as in the United States. Eu- ropean Jews had been the work force of American tobacco processing since the seventeenth century. At that point, Jewish merchants, such as the firm of Asher and Solomon, dominated the snuff trade. The Jewish firm of Keeney Brothers, whose brand of cigarettes, Sweet Caporals, was the best-selling brand of the nine- teenth century, employed 2,000 Jewish workers. The trade union movement began with Samuel Gompers organizing the cigar makers in the 1870s and 1880s. Jews also became identified with tobacco retailing. Companies such as Loeser and Wolf in Berlin became hallmarks of the tobacco trade. In partitioned Poland, Leopold Kronenberg produced 25 percent of the cigars and ciga- rettes manufactured in 1867.

In more rural areas of the Russian empire, Caucasian Mountain Jews (also known as Tats and Dagchufuts) were first permitted to own and till land in the course of the nineteenth century. While their oldest occupation was growing rice, they also grew tobacco and became associated with the tobacco trade. The association of Jews and tobacco was thus reinforced as Jews were emancipated or at least permitted to move from purely trading occupations to agriculture.

After World War I, Polish Jews were actually forbidden em- ployment in the state tobacco monopoly. By the early 1930s, be- fore the Nazi seizure of power in Germany in 1933, the Nazi bullyboys in the SA accused one of the major producers of cigarettes of making “Jewish cigarettes” because a member of the board of directors was a Jew. Jewish participation in the tobacco industry by this point was often read through the lens of anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Jews themselves had to confront both the simple fact that Jews smoked and the meaning ascribed to smoking in the worlds that they inhabited. The traditional rabbis throughout Europe had already been debating what function smoking was permitted to have within the more or less rigid rules for Jewish daily life. Could one smoke on festivals and the Sabbath when lighting a fire was pro- hibited? Could one smoke in synagogue or while studying? Smoking had become a fixed part of Jewish life on the frontier as it was with all peoples among whom the Jews dwelt. In Turkey, both Jewish men and women smoked. While the rabbis banned this on festivals and the Sabbath, many were so addicted, according to Rabbi Hayyim Benveniste writing in the mid-seventeenth century, that they would fill a water pipe with smoke on Friday and inhale it on the Sabbath.

Anti-Semites, who saw tobacco as weakening the social fabric, laid its very origin at the feet of the Jews. (There is a strong association between health reform and anti-Semitism in Central Europe from the nineteenth century through to the twentieth century.) This view is documented in the Christian anti-Semitic literature of the nineteenth-century German Romantic poets, such as a contribution of the poet Clemens Brentano to the German-Christian Table Society created in 1811. For him it was the Jews who

"in the year 1696 planted the first tobacco in the Mark Brandenburg. Thus they hindered the development of our countrymen and generated the many sinful and confused thoughts that arose in the devilish steam bath of this plant that already stank while it was growing. Indeed one can survey all of the destruction that this horrid herb generated. One sees in the fall the tall, leafless stems that dominate the poverty-stricken land like gallows. At that moment, one can believe the old Jewish myth that Christ admon- ished all trees not to bear his body, so that every cross that was made collapsed. Then a Jew bound such plant stems out of the devil’s garden together to a great height until he was crucified."

The Jews themselves are so addicted to this narcotic, states Brentano, that they even subvert their own laws prohibiting smoking on the Sabbath to avoid the restriction on lighting fire on the Sab- bath. Brentano goes on to associate these apparent character flaws with the “remarkable inherited diseases” of the Jews, diseases that Brentano attributes to the Jews as a punishment for their denial of Christ. Tobacco consumption comes to be a means of describing yet another sign of the innate physical and psychological difference of the Jews.

It was not only among anti-Semites that smoking came to characterize the difference of the Jews. The tradition of smoking came to be one of the major attributes in the biographies of the mid-eighteenth-century founder of modern Jewish mysticism, the Baal Shem Tov, the Master of the Sacred Name. There we find accounts of the lulke, the long-stemmed pipe, that he, regularly smoked. The Hasidic tradition imagined that when the Baal Shem Tov “wished to proceed to the upper worlds he would inhale to- bacco and at each puff he would proceed from world to world.” Smoking and mystic beliefs were associated with the East. Western Jews were thus able to distance themselves from the perceived irrationalism of the competing Hasidic tradition by seeing the addiction to tobacco as a sign of the irrationalism of the Eastern Jew. Modern scholarship has continued this argument as it surmises that the source for the master’s mystical visions and the power of his message was that his pipe was filled with substances other than tobacco!

Among Jews in Germany in the eighteenth century there was a strong association of smoking as a sign of Jewish difference. The new middle-class Jews of the Berlin Haskalah, the Jewish Enlightenment, attributed an unhealthy addiction to tobacco to the Eastern Jews of Poland and Russia. At the close of the eighteenth century, modern Judaism in the shape of the religious reforms advocated by the Berlin Enlightenment Jew Moses Mendelssohn competed with the mystical reforms advocated by the Baal Shem Tov at more or less the same moment. Mendelssohn’s view of Judaism was as an inherently rational religion in which all of the rules for a healthy life were present. His followers saw the Eastern Jewish mystical tradition as the source of illness and corruption. In fact, both confronted what they saw as moribund orthodoxy and saw themselves as competitors to reform Judaism. The quintessential autobiography of such an Enlightenment Jew, the Polish Solomon Maimon (1793), provides the reader with an account of how he moved from the irrationalism of Jewish mysticism to Kantian rationalism and thus became a modern Jew.

Maimon describes his visit as a young man to the Hasidic court of the miracle rabbi, Dov Ber of Mezhirech. There he sees “simple men of this sect, who saunter about idly the entire day, pipe in mouth, when asked what they are thinking about, replied, ‘We are thinking about God.’” Enlightened Jews such as Mai- mon condemned the smoking by the mystics as a sign of their irrationalism and weak character. The mystics believed, Maimon sarcastically implied, that they could reach God through tobacco! He knew better: “as their knowledge of nature was extremely limited; and consequently the condition, in which they concentrated their activity upon an object which, in respect of their capacity, was unfruitful, became of necessity unnatural.” When Eastern European Jews smoked it was a sign of naïve irrationality, in contrast to the Western Jew who smoked.

Tobacco smoking had been a sign of the acculturation of Jews into European society in the seventeenth century but now came to be read as an unnatural barrier to Eastern Jews becoming truly modern. In another anti-Hasidic polemic written in 1772, the Hasidim are condemned for postponing morning prayers so that they “can place incense in their nostrils.” This insult is actually a paraphrase of Deuteronomy 33:10 where the incense used in the Temple before prayer is mentioned. In at least one mystical tradition “the weed known as tobacco is considered by the tsadikim (pious) to be like incense.” Thus some of these mystics associated the act of smoking with the divine sparks that exist in all matter. They could only be released from tobacco through the act of smoking. Smoking is thus a form of mystical prayer and was therefore also seen as a form of segulah, the magical means of healing. By the end of the nineteenth century, those who had advocated that one could use tobacco on holy days and fast days had won their argument, but smoking was still generally banned on the Sabbath and Yom Kippur. Modern writers in the East could ironically critique this seeming hypocrisy as Raphael Kohen did in Russia in a modern Hebrew satire when he stated that cigar smoking must be permitted on the Sabbath as it is one of the Sabbath’s pleasures (“oneg shabbat”). Jews smoked and other Jews gave this smoking meaning.

The debate about smoking and the Jews reappears in the science of the late nineteenth century in the context of horrid and unmentionable diseases attributed to the Jews by writers such as Clemens Brentano. The French neurologist Jean Martin Charcot in 1858 described “Claudication intermittente” for the first time as a medical diagnosis. He defined it as the chronic reoccur- rence of pain and tension in the lower leg, a growing sense of stiffness, and finally a total inability to move the leg, which causes a marked and noticeable inhibition of gait. This occurs between a few minutes and a half hour after beginning a period of activity, such as walking. It spontaneously vanishes only to be repeated at regular intervals.

Charcot’s diagnostic category, intermittent claudication, became part of the description of the pathological difference of the Jew and one of the specific diseases associated with Eastern Euro- pean Jews. H. Higier in Warsaw published a long paper in 1901 that summarized the state of knowledge about intermittent claudication as a sign of the racial makeup of the Jew. The majority of the 23 patients he examined were Jews, and he found that the etiology of the disease was “the primary role of the neuropathic dis- position [of the patients] and the inborn weakness of their peripheral circulatory system.” By the time Higier published his paper at the turn of the century, this was a given in the neurological literature.

Heinrich Singer saw in- termittent claudication as proof of the “general nervous encumbrance born by the Jewish race.” This is a restatement of the Haskalah’s view that the Eastern Jews were diseased because of their form of religious practice as well as their “2000” years in the ghetto. Jewish reformers saw the only way to transform the diseased Jewish body was to liberate the Eastern Jew from his social bondage.

The earlier debate between Enlightened Jews and the Hasidic masters about the meaning of smoking for Jews suddenly became part of the science of the nineteenth century as it sought to explain disease through a model of racial degeneracy. One of the attempts to move this intermittent claudication classification away from a sign of the general weakness of the modern Jew’s body was taken up by Samuel Goldflam in Warsaw. Goldflam was one of the most notable neurologists of the first half of the century. What was noteworthy in Goldflam’s analysis of his patients with intermittent claudication was not that they were all Eastern Jews, but that they were almost all very heavy smokers. Thus, it is not the ill Jewish body that bears the stigma of nervous disease but rather tobacco intoxication.

Indeed, the moral dimension that the latter provide in their discussion of the evils of tobacco misuse is an answer to the image of the neurological predisposition of the Jew’s body to avoid military service. According to the medical literature, the misuse of tobacco is a sign of the Eastern Jew, not of the Western Jew. The Eastern Jew’s mind is that of a social misfit and his body reifies this role, but this is not a problem of Western Jewry except by extension.

One must note, however, that the desire to locate the etiology of intermittent claudication in the heavy use of tobacco by Jews played directly into the racial theory of the day. What had been a sign of the irrationalism of the Eastern Jew during the Haskalah came to be understood as the cause of their pathological difference from “healthy” non-Jews. By the close of the nineteenth century Jews were already labeled as a “race” with a particular susceptibility to tobacco poisoning. In the classic literature of that period on the pathology of tobacco, such as the work of L. von Frankl- Hochwart, Jews were tagged as susceptible because of the presence of intermittent claudication as well as of certain types of cerebral events, such as aphasia. The latter was seen as a disease of Western Jews. He claims that Orientals since they smoke in the open in their “natural” space are less susceptible to tobacco-related diseases. It is the practice of smoking in society, in closed spaces, that causes illness among these same Orientals now dis- placed into a hostile, modern environment. In this view Jews were Orientals out of their appropriate place (and practices) in the Middle East. This view continues in complicated ways through the late 1930s.

Fritz Lickint, whose work on tobacco reaches back to before World War I, repeats the claim that it is intermittent claudication that marks the major effect of tobacco on the Jewish body. He goes further to state that the overuse of tobacco among the Jews has a religious cause since it is the result of a religious prohibition against the use of alcohol. (Lickint’s claim is based on a common medical and popular belief that Jews consumed less alcohol than other groups. It had no basis in ritual prohibition.) Although he came to be an authority on smoking in the Third Reich, Lickint was not a follower of racial theory. Indeed, his model was one of bodily types, following Ernst Kretchmer, with some bodily types being more susceptible to the diseases of tobacco. His work was used by the Third Reich in its campaign against smoking. Hitler was personally opposed to the use of tobacco. The Nazi “war” against tobacco, so well documented by Robert Proctor, relied on older notions that would have appealed to Clemens Brentano more than a century before. In 1941, at the opening of the Institute for Tobacco Hazards Research in Jena, the editor Johann von Leers argued that the Jews were responsible for introducing to- bacco into Europe and that they continued to use the tobacco trade as a means of destroying Aryan culture. Smoking was still seen as a major tool to undermine the German body.

Who poisons whom with tobacco? The debate about Jews and the nervous illnesses caused by smoking was found beyond the case study of intermittent claudication. In seeking a root cause for the degeneracy perceived as tied to life in the modern world, to- bacco was also designated as one of the origins of hysteria and, by Theodor Billroth, the great Viennese surgeon, of the “nervousness” of modern society. This nervousness was the result of the competition for survival and the result that “tired nerves need the stimulation of tea and alcohol and strong cigars” to function. Jews—and here it must be stressed that these were Jewish men— were seen as the ultimate victims of the modern world since they were congenitally unable to deal with the pressures of modern life. Not only did the non-Jewish scientists of the age believe this, but also Jewish physicians such as the early Zionist and physician Max Nordau accepted this. In the nineteenth century Jewish men are assumed to be a group highly predisposed to specific forms of mental illness such as hysteria. And indeed, there was the view that one of the primary forms of undiagnosed mental illness of the fin de siècle was “Nicotinismus mentalis.” Smoking caused hysteria and male Jews from the East were, according to common medical wisdom, the classic hysterics. Yet, if excessive smoking caused nervousness, Leopold Löwenfeld saw moderate smoking, three cigars a day, as a potential therapy to “reduce nervousness.” Jews were seen as those who most suffered from all forms of diseases of the modern world and smoking might actually cure them!

The diseases of modern life included the cancers attributed to smoking, especially the smoking of cigars. Certainly the most famous case was that of Sigmund Freud, who was diagnosed with buccal cancer in 1923. For Freud, a cigar was much more than a cigar. He even attributed his ability to work to tobacco. Being without a cigar “was an act of self-mutilation as the fox performs in a snare when it bites off its own leg. I am not very happy, but rather feeling noticeably depersonalized,” he writes to Sandor Ferenczi in 1930 after another heart attack. The cigar was a cen- tral attribute of his own sense of self; without it he ceased being a complete human being.

For Freud, his father was the model for the productive smoker: “I believe I owe to the cigar a great intensification of my capacity to work and a facilitation of my self control. My model in this was my father, who was a heavy smoker and remained one for his entire life.” In Vienna it was the Eastern Jew of Jacob Freud’s generation who was understood as an abuser of tobacco. By the close of the nineteenth century, traditional Hasidic views dis- missed the smoking of cigars as mere vanity. By Freud’s own generation of westernized Jews, cancers of the hard palate had come to be called “rich man’s cancer” because of the cost of pur- chasing the 15 to 20 cigars a day deemed necessary to cause the cancer. In the popular mind, cancer of the buccal cavity became a sign of success, much as did cardiac infarctions during the 1980s in the United States. It was no longer understood as a sign of inferi- ority but of acculturation. What had been qualities (both smoking and illness caused by smoking) ascribed to foreign Jews became qualities associated with a specific economic class, as Jews became more and more integrated into the economic life of Vienna. Freud, himself a displaced Eastern Jew, saw the smoking of cigars as marking a specific place for himself in Western society. Indeed, from 1900 to 1930, about the time that Freud’s cancer was discovered, Jewish scientists, such as Maurice Sorsby, recorded that the incidence of cancer among Jews, except for genital cancer, seemed to be approaching the level of the non-Jewish population. By becoming ill, they were becoming like everyone else.

A predisposition to specific diseases among the Jews, includ- ing a predisposition to irrationalism, are seen to be triggered by smoking. These illnesses are an intrinsic aspect of the image of the Jewish body from the eighteenth century through the twentieth century. It is also internalized into the Jewish self-image at that time. As science began to define the Jew as a race, problems associated with smoking that were present in the religious and cultural models of Jewish identity were transformed into medical cate- gories. This world of mythmaking is far from any real association of individual Jews with the actual world of tobacco farming, curing, sale, and manufacture.

The fascination with the “special” relationship between Jews and tobacco has not vanished. Recent medical studies that focus on illnesses attributed to tobacco use, such as lung cancer, have also seen tobacco addiction as a cause of death among Jews at a greater rate than the general population.49 The contemporary ar- gument focuses on the urban concentration of Jews more than on any sense of predisposition to tobacco addiction. In contemporary Israel, the role of tobacco as a source of disease went virtually un- heeded until the founding in 1999 of Ma’avak Be’tabak (Struggle Against Tobacco) by Dov Rabinowitz, an immigrant from Boston. Tobacco-related illnesses are a public health problem in Israel as 28 percent of the adult population of Israel smoke and 10,000 Israelis die each year from smoking-related causes, making it the leading single cause of death in the country. The focus is, as in the Enlightenment, to reach the most religious members of the Israeli community. Rabinowitz, who is modern Orthodox, believes that “there is incredible dissonance between being an Orthodox Jew and smoking. Jews are not allowed to damage their own or others’ health. But you can’t get the message across to them in the general media.” Religious authorities agree with him. The Ashke- nazi chief rabbi, Yisrael Meir Lau (a former smoker), has con- demned smoking and pleaded for legal intervention: “There is no doubt that smoking is a dangerous addiction that can be and should be prevented. One should not set down laws that the public cannot observe, but it would be good and right if international organizations take action to reduce the cultivation of tobacco and tobacco advertising and to minimize—if not to halt—the production and marketing of cigarettes.” Sephardi spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef was even more outspoken: “If the rabbinical courts ruled, every person who smokes would get 40 lashes. To make a living, you’re living at the expense of people who die. Managers of tobacco factories are sinners and will receive divine retribution. They will suffer on their day of judgment. Importing the American antitobacco model of hygiene marks a tendency toward mod- ernization even among the religious authorities in the Jewish state. The image of the Jew as associated with growing, manufacture, and consumption of tobacco that was part of an exoticism of Jew- ish identity as long as tobacco was seen positively vanishes once smoking is seen only as a source of illness." [Jewish Frontiers: Essays on Bodies, Histories, and Identities]

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"ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν." [Heraclitus]

"All that exists is just and unjust and equally justified in both." [Aeschylus, Prometheus]

"The history of everyday is constituted by our habits. ... How have you lived today?" [N.]

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PostSubject: Re: Qualitative Politics Sun Feb 26, 2017 8:24 pm

Black Athena.

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Ivanka Trump, Barbara Bush, Marion Le Pen, Chelsea Clinton, etc.

Daughters of the future from the head of Xt. Patriarchs will tie the diplomatic knot and political correctness even more tightly, undone by their fathers - as Athena out of Zeus first established civil-ization.

History may very well repeat itself.

An age of utter legal diplomacy.

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