Palestinian Projections and the Workings of Jew-Hatred

The indispensable PMW has just published a translation of an article in Ma’an, the Palestinian news agency publication. PMW emphasizes the vicious anti-Semitism of the piece (Israel and “the Jews” are interchangeable) which is pervasive in Palestinian media, and the fact that Ma’an is supported by the EU, UNESCO, and the Dutch and Danish governments, presumably to encourage their journalism which, we all know, is equally professional everywhere and therefore supportive of civil society.

I’d like to emphasize a different aspect of the text, namely the profound role that projection plays in its formulations about “the Jews.” Indeed, if it were not that they have insulated themselves entirely from real-world feedback (with the help of their European and global allies), they might have hesitated to publish so deeply embarrassing – indeed humiliating – a piece of self-revelation. But then again, projection lies at the heart of the anti-Semitic mind, as in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Text bolded by PMW, my comments added throughout.

“Israel is Trembling”
by Sawsan Najib Abd Al-Halim
“We’re used to seeing vampires in Dracula movies, where the murderer and the vampire act in the dead of night, and as soon as dawn breaks, the murderer disappears and hides during the day.
The brave warrior, who at the very least has moral values, fights in the daytime. In all wars, in all eras, honorable nations conducted their battles during the day and slept at night. But has Israel even a trace of morality?
A brave warrior is proud when he confronts another [warrior] as brave as he, and the more he is struck, the stronger he grows, proud in his struggle and respectful of his adversary. But since Jews are – as our grandparents said of them – sons of death (expression of contempt, meaning ‘a coward,’ -Ed.), they are too cowardly to confront an enemy face to face, especially if their enemy is as well armed as they…
All of this coming from Palestinians, who have never fielded an army, Arabs who, despite being better armed and vastly more numerous, have repeatedly lost to Israelis since 1948, is historically risible. But it does illustrate an element in the pathology of Palestinian honor-shame culture. The description here of the true warrior (which has no historical example among Arabs in the modern world, and on the contrary, in their acts of deliberately targeting civilians, has countless counter-examples), is a classic depiction of the values of an honor-shame culture:
A brave warrior is proud when he confronts another [warrior] as brave as he, and the more he is struck, the stronger he grows, proud in his struggle and respectful of his adversary.
Not only does a true warrior rejoice in both battle and even death in a fair fight, but the last thing he would do is show weakness to his foe, much less parade his weakness and humiliation before anyone witness to the battle. And yet, since 1948, and the staggering humiliation of losing to the rag-tag, under-armed, troops of the historically weak and cowardly Jews (i.e., the Nakbah), the Arabs have been parading the humiliation and suffering of their refugees – a self-inflicted humiliation - before the world (indeed before their traditional enemies, Christian Europe), in an effort to blacken the face of an Israel whose very existence they find unbearably humiliating.
Jews think that their fortresses will protect them from death, but any breach of these fortresses or protective walls instills panic and fear in their hearts, and they are seized by fear and trembling. If a missile falls beyond their protective walls or if even a bullet passes over them, you can see how their hearts fill with horror – and this is because Allah has stricken fear in their hearts and decreed humiliation and degradation upon them until Judgment Day…
Aside from the wish-fulfillment involved in much of this, it’s notable that the depiction of the Israel’s reactions to attack describe much of the Palestinian response to Israeli attacks – widespread panic, cries of horror, accusations of genocide, all performances readily taken up by the world media and personalities like Annie Lennox.
The remark about humiliation till Judgment Day is interesting in that normally, in the Qur’an, humiliation comes at Judgment Day. The humiliation of the Jews until Judgment Day, however, is carried out by the laws of the Dhimma, the systematic legal subjection of Jews (and Christians) to degrading conditions meant to drive home their inferior status, resulting from their stubborn refusal to acknowledge Allah. The State of Israel, however, has reversed that condition: Israel is the state of the dhimmis who got away, and the inability of Muslims to re-subject them lies at the heart of the conflict.
So the line above about Allah decreeing the humiliation of the Jews till Judgment Day is both a projection and desperate substitution of a speech-act for an inability to act in the real world. On the one hand, the current Muslim condition is one of humiliation – i.e., until Judgment Day and the extermination of the Jews, Muslims are forced to live in a world where non-Dhimmi Jews live and rule in the heart of Dar al Islam. On the other, if anything illustrates the (allegedly racist) generalizations that observers make about the fantasy world that Arabs live in because they believe their own overheated rhetoric, then this certainly qualifies.
Historically, it is known that the lives of Jews have always been war and fighting. 
Fine example of combining historically inaccurate generalizations with projection. If anything the Jews have been, especially since 135 and the elimination of the Bar Kochba rebellion, among the least belligerent cultures in the world, whereas the Arabs place war and fighting at the heart of their culture, and Islam, historically, is the most belligerent religion in global history.
The only reason for this is that they have been outcasts in every corner of the earth, and not one nation in the world respects them, for they cause strife, and scheme everywhere they settle.
As self-description this is rather painful. A colleague of mine who specializes in Muslims in China noted that although the Chinese did not know of the biblical passage describing Ishmael as “a wild ass of a man: his hand shall be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren” (Genesis, 16:12), that summarizes their description of their monotheist neighbors. As Pat Condell notes so poignantly, the world has no respect whatsoever for the Palestinians, whom they treat with contemptuous condescension.
We know that they have been defeated in every war they have fought throughout history, and they have been dispersed in every direction, but Allah’s curse upon them and his fury at them cause them to continue with their transgression and tyranny. 
Alas for the poor Palestinians, the Israelis have won every war they’ve fought since (and with) their creation in 1948. If anyone would appear to be cursed right now, it’s the poor Palestinians, humiliated by their brethren, championed by people who only support them to get at the Jews, ruled over by leaders incapable of rising above their infantile rages.

A coward acts brutally when he can, but runs for cover humiliated, when he faces anyone who is his equal. Our fathers told us of one Palestinian before 1948 who was holding a stick while walking the streets of Tel Aviv, and he drove away scores of cowardly Jews

Speech replaces, nay inverts, reality.

Psychologically, they have been defeated through the ages and feel inferior to the nations and societies in which they live, because of the hostility and evil rising in their hearts towards others and for their plots and schemes against the nations who know with certainty that the Jews are the root of conflict in the world, wherever they reside. Jews think that every shout is against them, and what better proof is there than the slogan they voiced to the world – which is ‘Antisemitism.’

Islamophobia, thy name is cowardice and projection.

Therefore, the only way we can deal with them, when we are weak militarily compared to Israel’s power,

Huh? I thought the Jews had been defeated in every war. Apparently, consistency is not the hallmark of this discourse. It’s like the contradicting lines about how the Holocaust never happened, but the Israelis are like the Nazis. Both feel good despite that the former undermines the latter.

is to stick to the threat to annihilate Israel, not to submit to its [Israel's] desire for a cease fire, and keep the flame of resistance burning.

And lest one think this is mere rhetoric, note that Mohamed Morsi’s now famous rant in 2010 made precisely this point:

Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue.

And they do everything they can to live up to this noble goal.

Rather than [violently] resist and then back off somewhat, whereby we give them the impression that we are afraid of them. There is nothing wrong with our sitting with them to talk, but the resistance must always continue. Late President Yasser Arafat, peace be upon him, understood the Jews’ weakness, so he showed them the face of peace in negotiations, and at the same time raised the slogan ‘Every day a settler.’ This is the slogan that terrorized the Jews, and which many Palestinians have forgotten. They may have forgotten why the comrade-fighter Marwan Barghouti was arrested. Wasn’t it because he was the one given the job to fulfill this slogan? (Marwan Barghouti is serving 5 life sentences for orchestrating terror attacks against Israeli civilians. -Ed.)

Let us again be united in the message against the Jews and turn the weapons against them. Every time the guns and stones are directed at the Jews, they become angry, seized by fear, their brutality increases and our sacrificing increases more and more. Jews know that the more their brutality increases, so our resolve and defiance are strengthened against them, until Allah will strike terror in their hearts and they will be driven away from our land humiliated. This is revolution until victory.”

Of course, they don’t really mean this. I’m sure that if only Israel would withdraw to the ’48-’67 borders then all would be well and the Palestinians would live in peace with the Israelis. This foaming at the mouth is blowing off steam, mere rhetoric.

[Ma’an News Agency’s website, posted Nov. 18, 2012, accessed Jan. 29, 2012

43 Responses to Palestinian Projections and the Workings of Jew-Hatred

  1. Martin J. Malliet says:

    Muslim Projections and the Workings of Hindu-Hatred

    http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali hadn’t convinced me yet, but Koenraad Elst has: Islam is the problem (or rather: the prophet), not Muslims; it is imperative to separate the sinner from the sin, or violence against Muslims will be the only solution that remains. Somewhere he expresses the optimistic expectation that Islam will disappear in a few decades as it started, in a bang. But these decades could still be very unpleasant, and one should do what one can to hasten the end.

    Apparently Koenraad Elst is doing this since 1989 and the Salman Rushdie Affair, from a Hindu-Muslim ‘inverted reality’ background called “Indian secularism”, and in a very refreshing and straightforward argumentation style, as in the following interview: “What is your basic criticism of India’s so-called secularism?” – “That it isn’t secular.”

    http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/interviews/sulekha.html

    Here I agree with V.S. Naipaul: the non-Arab Muslims suffer from the conflict between their ancestral cultural roots and their imposed religion. Every Muslim is an abductee from the civilization in which he once belonged. Where I differ with the Nobel-winning author is that I would apply the same diagnosis to the Arabs. Though they did not have to adopt foreign customs and language, which made the transition to Islam less disruptive, they too were cut off from their original culture. Either way, Muslims would do well to take a critical look at the basics of their religion. I don’t think anyone else can do it for them, and I expect little from VHP conversion campaigns among them. I expect more from state policies ensuring that Muslim children are exposed to a wide spectrum of ideas rather than being locked up in the Madrassas which have produced the Taliban. But ultimately, the Muslims have to come out of the mistaken belief system of Islam themselves. They will then enter the same vacuum where post-Christians like myself are struggling to see the light. But that uncertainty is quite all right. I can personally testify that there is life after apostasy.

    http://koenraadelst.blogspot.be/2012/12/islamophobia-concept-and-polemic.html

    It is not so sure that the “Islamophobes” really are Rightists, though. They are against hate, therefore against an ideology of hate; and they are for multiculturalism, therefore against an ideology that is the enemy of multicultural societies. Thus, in 1947, South-Asian Muslims forced the Partition of India on the Hindus, Sikhs and Christians (killing a million and forcing some fifteen million to flee) because they did not want to live in a multicultural society with these others. As his life’s mission, Mohammed himself changed Arabia from a vibrant multicultural society into a monolithic Islamic one. I leave it to the reader to make up his mind whether favouring multiculturalism and opposing hate really constitutes “Rightism”.

    Fortunately, that Right doesn’t have to “manufacture” fear of Muslims. The whole establishment including Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama may say all they want about Islam being a “religion of peace”, but the public also gets the news items that philter through. These factual reports recount day after day how Muslims commit violence here and then there. The media try to put a harmless spin on it, but the viewers and readers retain the hard facts about Islam. And these facts have been taking place ever since the Prophet Mohammed made a living by attacking caravans, raping and ransoming the women, killing the men and selling the children into slavery. The Right doesn’t have to say this, all it has to do is to quote from Islamic scripture.

    (…)

    For Muslims are just human beings who have, after all, had to learn Islam; they were not born as Muslims. Indeed, there is nothing about this mistaken belief system that cannot be washed off.

    (…)

    Shrill and panicky warnings against an Islamic take-over are not what the world needs. The degree to which Islam itself is threatened by modernity and by the West should also be considered. Confusion between Islamic doctrine, which is indeed the germ of some dangerous developments, and the mass of Muslims, who are as much the prisoners as the carriers of Islam, is to be avoided. Muslims can’t help it that they were born into Muslim families, and that they associate the natural respect for their parents with a belief in the religion they received from their parents. If we had been born in their societies, maybe we too would have been Muslims. So we should empathize with them and their difficult situation of having believed in a deluded Prophet for decades. After all, we expect of them that they outgrow their religion, which is possible yet fairly hard to do. We should not so much focus on symptoms, such as the veil or the minarets or the “Ground Zero mosque”, but on the Islamic belief system itself. Our attitude to Muslims should be to say: “Know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The rest, from their stopping the slaughter of sheep in their bath-tubs to their abandoning of jihad, will then follow from itself.

    • SerJew says:

      “Our attitude to Muslims should be to say: “Know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” The rest, from their stopping the slaughter of sheep in their bath-tubs to their abandoning of jihad, will then follow from itself.”

      You suffer from an acute case of cognitive egocentrism, as defined by prof. Landes in many posts in this blog. And it seems you even notice.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Apart from the first two paragraphs, these were all quotes from Koenraad Elst. You then formulate a conclusion, without showing how you reach it.

      My thinking up till now was more like: one should really insist on asking Muslims how they can know with certainty who the infidels are; and as they cannot know with certainty, what they think must follow from that. But what if even moderate Muslims cannot allow that distinction between “knowing with certainty” and “faith in the prophet’s message” without fear for the complete unraveling of the “seamless garment” of their absolutist belief system? If making the distinction between the machine and the manual to the machine (Frank Van Dun’s analogy) is an expression of cognitive egocentrism, then it is true that I do not see anymore where the cognitive center could be located.

      • SerJew says:

        You insist in your naive view that muslims are ready to hear questions and worry about contradictions and such stuff. You are projecting a style of thinking that they just don’t have, are not interested in having and in fact hate that YOU have and are trying to bother them with such infidel niceties. Meanwhile they are trying to behead you while shouting “Allahuh-akbar”. Your whole stance is a textbook case of cognitive egocentrism and is definetly suicidal.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      I never said anything about giving up our capability of self-defense, neither did Koenraad Elst. What I did understand from Koenraad Elst is that if the separation of the sinners from the sin is not tried, violent self-defense is the only outcome that remains. He for once is very critical of appeasement tactics that avoid the direct confrontation of the mistaken belief system and consequently does nothing to strengthen the movement of apostates, which does seem to exist. And the reason why Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has said the same thing for quite some time already, had not convinced me yet, is because she has an argumentation style somewhat similar to yours: high on convictions, forceful in conclusions, but a bit poor in argumentation. The reason why people delude themselves (and I don’t exclude myself) is because it is only natural to hope for the best outcome, and the more you scare them, the more they will follow their natural inclination to delude themselves. Koenraad Elst’s argumentation style I therefore find more effective. But he doesn’t have the visibility of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

      • SerJew says:

        Well, I don’t see much argumentation from you either. You just gives a lot of citations. My point is that you seem to be unaware of the cognitive egocentrism you are into; details can be found right here at Landes blog. Trying to argue with Islamists is like trying to argue with Nazis. You can try to talk, but better bring a really big stick, because they will attack. Period.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Cognitive egocentrism may not be such a useful concept, as I can only think using my own mind. Guarding against interpretative projections is something else. So far I think I managed to avoid solving what is an empirical question by simply projecting the identity Muslims = Islamists. You didn’t. And there’s also quite some material on this blog warning against essentialising two-dimensional Arabs or Muslims.

      I’m not saying this to have the last word. I like this blog. And playing your part in a dialogue is difficult. Giving some credit to the other side is a prerequisite. Keeping the purpose in mind is another. Cheers.

      • SerJew says:

        “Cognitive egocentrism may not be such a useful concept, as I can only think using my own mind. Guarding against interpretative projections is something else.”

        But that exactly this projection that characterizes Landes’ concept of cognitive egocentrism (if I understood it correctly); and particularly the projection onto muslims of the western ideas of human rights, democracy, self-criticism, reason, etc. You seem to be doing exactly that with your proposals of reasoned conversation/convincing with people from a culture which is just not tuned to that song. This can be dangerously suicidal.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      We’re on an interesting knot here that needs to be untied. Maybe Richard Landes can help.

      As I see it, there is a distinction to be made between cognitive and practical expectations in every political dialogue (in this case with Muslims). A distinction between what you expect your partner in the dialogue to be able to understand and what you expect him to be willing to understand. As the purpose of the dialogue is practical, it is better to have high cognitive expectations and low practical expectations than the other way around. Better especially if you want to obtain a clear answer to your practical expectations.

      Barack Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo could be criticised for making this mistake: low cognitive expectations on the understanding of respect for rights and positive sum negotiations (out of fear of being misunderstood and having some unpleasant backlash), and, somewhat in compensation, high practical expectations about the willingness to accept respect for rights and positive sum negotiations. So that the speech was well received, but without telling us much about what it has achieved.

      Repeating what I said before, dialogue isn’t all there is to foreign policy. But it shouldn’t be underestimated either.

      Before discovering Richard Landes’s blog, I was having a look at another historian (and politician), namely François Guizot. On the web site http://www.guizot.com dedicated to his memory, they picture him, rightly I believe, as a champion of ‘gouvernement par la parole’. I have to go back, because I hadn’t finished, and I think that he is more interesting than is conventionally acknowledged.

      • Martin J. Malliet says:

        PS: What I found was missing from the Cairo speech was an explicit message of the kind: “Muslims are not our enemies. But we (Westerners) will not tolerate to be called infidels. Nor to be treated as such. Because that is our natural (or godgiven) right. Muslims who do not respect our right are themselves responsible for becoming our enemies.”

      • Martin J. Malliet says:

        Criticism of Islam and criticism of Muslims

        (1) Muslims are people, and their rights and freedoms ought to be respected, just as Muslims ought to respect the rights and freedoms of non-Muslims (whom Muslims call infidels, although calling them infidels is in itself already a slanderous violation of the right of non-Muslims).

        (2) The prophet, the quran and the other texts belonging to islam are things, not people, and have no rights; they can be criticised in every which way without violating anybody’s right.

        (3) If Muslims protest against criticism of the prophet or the quran, they have no lawful basis for doing so; if they insist on completely identifying themselves as persons with these other things, they only have themselves to blame for being criticised themselves in similar terms as the things with which they identify.

        Example: I call the quran a disgusting piece of hate-speech directed against infidels (i.e. non-Muslims); a Muslim accuses me of not respecting him by calling his holy book a disgusting piece of hate-speech; I can then accuse the Muslim himself of preaching hatred of non-Muslims indirectly by declaring holy a disgusting piece of hate-speech directed against infidels.

        • SerJew says:

          Again, you are projecting onto muslims concepts, such as “human rights” that they just do not abide by. This is nothing but Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism, as defined by Landes. Same with your assumption that they can distinguish the quran as a mere “thing” from a God ordained word that basically defines their whole identity.

        • Martin J. Malliet says:

          I wasn’t projecting anything on Muslims. I was formulating our Western position. In words I do indeed expect Muslims to be able to understand. Whether they will respond favourably to it depends on them, and on nobody else.

          So why make assumptions about their response of a kind that can only lead to the conclusion that “dialogue is impossible anyway”? To follow up on it by the practical decision not to make any attempt at dialogue at all? It is indeed my conviction that our Western politicians do that too much already – not making a serious attempt at dialogue and thereby giving the impression of caving in. And that impression is then easily exploited by whoever on the other side is indeed not interested in dialogue but in something else. And the word that comes to mind is ‘defeatism’.

      • SerJew says:

        Here prof Landes’ notion of cognitive egocentrism:

        http://www.theaugeanstables.com/reflections-from-second-draft/cognitive-egocentrism/

        According to his scheme, yours can be classified as Liberal Cognitive Egocentrism.

      • Martin J. Malliet says:

        SerJew, please, stop repeating yourself. I got your point, and I was aware of it even before you started making it. But I disagree with your one-dimensional outlook. As I explained before when making the distinction between cognitive and practical expectations in a dialogue, you cannot base a dialogue on the projection of essentialised two-dimensional Arabs or Muslims. Not only because it is morally wrong, but because it cannot practically work. ‘Good faith’ is another essential concept for conducting a dialogue. And if we want to find out about the ‘good faith’ of our partner in dialogue, we cannot start ourself in ‘bad faith’. There’s nothing naive about that, because it doesn’t entail making any assumptions about the outcome of the dialogue. It’s just a better way to get an outcome that can reliably tell us something about the good faith of our partner in dialogue. And as I also said before, dialogue isn’t all there is to (foreign) policy, but it shouldn’t be underestimated either.

        I furthermore think that you haven’t read Richard Landes’s material well enough. I agree, there is a lot, and it can get quite complicated. But all he has to say on demopaths and demodupes hinges on the cognitive underestimation of ‘two-dimensional’ Arabs or Muslims.

        There is for instance the remarkable similarity between the stance against Western oppression in the Islamic world and the anti-capitalist stance of our social-democratic left. And just as I don’t exclude that many social-democratic politicians quite lucidly thrive on exploiting that prejudice, I don’t exclude that Iranian politicians try to exploit it lucidly in their attempt to get the Arab oil resources.

        But as the power of politicians depends to a large extent on the ‘consent’ of the people (to let themselves be fooled), a dialogue conducted in ‘good faith’ with the politicians can have some real power. Because it can help to reveal their ‘bad faith’. At least I think it’s worth a try (and it doesn’t add much extra cost to whatever else we’re doing).

        • SerJew says:

          “At least I think it’s worth a try (and it doesn’t add much extra cost to whatever else we’re doing).”

          Sorry, but it is you that is getting repetitive. I also get your point. The incredible thing is that you seem to ingore the many attempts to establish such “dialogues” before, that failed miserably, frequently with a high cost in human lives. It’s always nice to pontificate from a safe position, with nice citations from your favorite philosphers, while avoiding tackling the real world of islamic totalitarianism. That’s the necessaryy backing on reality that you dislike for being “positivistic” but without which one runs the risk of cultural suicide. Reality has a nasty habit of interfering with our rosy wishes.

      • Martin J. Malliet says:

        Well, you may be right of course, that I’m completely out of the loop and not aware of all these attempted dialogues. Up till now I was under the impression that the way in which public figures (politicians, journalists, etc) publicly spoke was rather inadequate, and what I had learned from this blog had only reinforced that impression.

        Furthermore, I thought I had done a bit more than simply “pontificate”, I had given a few examples of what I was having in mind as dialogue.

        (1) On anti-semitism of the new type:

        http://www.theaugeanstables.com/multiple-part-essays/open-letter-to-jostein-gaarder-fisking-crypto-supersessionism/#comment-587980

        (2) On the peace process:

        http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2012/09/25/tablet-article-a-cultural-redesign-of-the-peace-process/#comment-588842

        (3) On Ahmadinejad:

        http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2013/01/01/martin-malliets-reflections-on-the-enderlin-karsenty-case-in-the-al-durah-affair/#comment-608384

        (4) On Barack Obama:

        http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2013/01/30/palestinian-projections-and-the-workings-of-jew-hatred/#comment-618030

        I hadn’t got any feedback on those, except being called a Nazi for (1). Your feedback is telling me that all these are armchair fantasies. Well, let me just say that I’m not convinced yet. But I’m perfectly willing to shut up if the owner of this blog asks me to.

        • SerJew says:

          “Furthermore, I thought I had done a bit more than simply “pontificate”, I had given a few examples of what I was having in mind as dialogue.”

          You mentioned a supposed willingness of a majority (how many?) of muslims to doubt their culture and you claim that as soon that happend islam would implode or something like that. I ask you about your evidence for that and you gave absolutely none. In fact, all the evidence seems to point against this; the West trying many times to take the initiative to propose a dialogue (like in the so-called peace process and more recently the pathetic Cairo speech) and in general it receives rejection, demands, victimization complaints. It’s always the West trying to accomodate and appease islamic “sensitivities” which are readly exploited in demopathic fashion.

          It’d would be nice if everyone could sit down and resolve their differences, but after many attempts one has to re-examine your assumptions, that’s all.

          “But I’m perfectly willing to shut up if the owner of this blog asks me to.”

          No comments on that.

      • Martin J. Malliet says:

        (I’m having trouble posting all the time: the thing doesn’t come up, and when I try again, it says “duplicate post”. I have two more follow-up pieces written out, but you’ll have to wait for them.)

        You call Barack Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech “pathetic”, but then you conclude “it has all been tried, it’s no use trying again”. All I say is that there is a point in trying to do better. That may be to some extent because I’m personally interested in dialogue and speech, whereas you’re more the exact sciences type who is drawn to something else. But different inclinations shouldn’t become a reason for disagreement.

        Furthermore, there are always different audiences listening to such a speech, even when it is seemingly addressed to only one audience. And our own Western audience, so badly informed by the MSNM, is probably the most important one I’m having in mind. Especially in Europe. You can’t very well disagree with the significance of the change that would occur when one could turn Europe around, can you? Iranian nuclear threat, Israel victim of a crime against humanity since 1947-48, Europe accessory to the crime for naively supporting Palestinian victims … These things are NOT said in public speech. But they should be said.

        Without fantasising too much about the effect it would have, I simply had this idea (and proposed it to Richard Landes, but he’s too busy): why don’t we just write these speeches ourselves (on the blog)? It’s fun to do, and quite inspiring, when you put yourself in this new position where you talk TO people, and not only ABOUT them.

        In Germany right now they’re having a discussion about Der Spiegel-columnist (and owner) Jakob Augstein’s anti-semitism. Because the Simon Wiesenthal Center has listed him as an anti-Israel journalist using the Sharansky 3-D test (delegitimisation, demonisation, double standards). His defense: all these overreacting attempts at silencing legitimate critics of Israel’s occupation and settlement policies with the accusation of anti-semitism are not only wrong, they also tend to debase the value of the accusation where it really matters, and so help the true anti-semites to gain acceptability. The sub-title of his 2012-11-26 self-defense column: “Jeder Kritiker Israels muss damit rechnen, als Antisemit beschimpft zu werden. Das ist ein gefährlicher Missbrauch des Begriffs. Im Schatten solch falscher Debatten blüht der echte Antisemitismus.” He invokes Judith Butler as another innocent victim of such partisan tactics. The general title of his Spiegel-column is “in case of doubt to the left”, which is quite revealing of contemporary ‘probabilistic’ journalism: when we don’t quite know what to think, we have to fall back on a default position (which he himself at least makes explicit). That the only acceptable guideline for a journalist who doesn’t quite know what to think is to try harder, or to keep silent, has become obsolete, apparently. Of course, these same journalists routinely complain about ‘information overload’.

        http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/kritik-an-israel-inflationaerer-gebrauch-des-antisemitismus-vorwurfs-a-869280.html

        Lieber Herr Augstein

        Sie reden Schwachsinn. Und zu dieser Einsicht würden Sie auch selber kommen, wenn sie im Zweifel nicht einfach links, sondern mehr nachdenken würden. Oder schweigen, wie es sich geziemt für einen Journalisten der zweifelt. Dem vielbeklagten Informationsstau wäre damit übrigens auch abgeholfen. Im übrigen vermute ich einfach: Sie sind noch zu jung für diesen Job.

        (Comments are closed, so I can’t post it on Der Spiegel.)

        • Martin J. Malliet says:

          [This is the final version as sent to Jakob Augstein - Der Spiegel Online. If possible, I would like the two previous posts, which where drafts, to be removed.]

          Offener Brief an Jakob Augstein:

          Herr Augstein, Sie haben nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank. Der Satz von Günter Grass, den Sie für richtig halten, ist falsch. Und dass Sie nicht nur zu so einem Fehlurteil im Stande sind, sondern es auch noch als Journalist bekannt machen müssen, um dann weiterhin daran festzuhalten, obgleich Sie alle Gelegenheit gehabt haben zu besseren Einsichten zu kommen, das alles macht Sie tatsächlich zum Antisemiten. Oder zum Anti-Israel-Journalisten, wenn Ihnen das lieber ist.

          Es geht nämlich in dieser Angelegenheit (wie überhaupt in allen Angelegenheiten) nicht nur um politische Interessen und Werte, d.h. Motive. Es geht an erster Stelle um Recht und Unrecht. Und um darüber urteilen zu können, muss man genau und vollständig über die Tatsachen verfügen, d.h. über das was die eine und die andere Seite in dem Konflikt getan hat.

          Der Vorwurf des Antisemitismus der Sie trifft, ist der Vorwurf einseitig und ungenau mit den Tatsachen umzugehen, in einer Weise die Israels Politik in ein unrechtes Licht stellt.

          Dass Sie alles so kurzerhand auf Motive reduzieren (politische Interessen und Werte), sagt schon sehr viel über wie Sie mit dem Problem umgehen. Nämlich in einer Weise die eben alles auf parteiische Motive reduziert. Sodass Ihnen (und Ihren Lesern) nichts anderes übrig bleibt, als im Zweifel einen parteiischen Standpunkt einzunehmen. In Ihrem Fall ist der links, darin zumindest sind Sie ehrlich. Aber nicht unvoreingenommen. Die Voreingenommenheit drückt sich auch in Ihrem insinuierenden Sprachgebrauch aus (“vorgebliche Freunde Israels”) und in Ihrer leichtfertigen Unterstellung von Handlungsmotiven (“sind bereit einen hohen Preis in Kauf zu nehmen …”). Solcher Sprachgebrauch und solche Unterstellungen sind einem Journalisten, der um die gewissenhafte Beurteilung der Tatsachen bemüht ist, unangemessen. Daran zumindest braucht niemand zu zweifeln.

          Der parteiische Umgang mit den Tatsachen, an dem leider nicht nur Sie sich schuldig machen, wird von Vorurteilen geleitet. Und zwar nicht sosehr von explizit für wahr gehaltenen, falschen Vorurteilen über die Juden, wie das beim alten Antisemitismus der Fall war. Sondern viel mehr von normalerweise vorauszusetzenden Annahmen, wie zum Beispiel die Vermutung der Unschuld, die erstaunlicherweise unterschlagen werden. Die Vermutung der Unschuld habe ich schon genannt. Weiterhin geht es um die Vermutung der Verantwortlichkeit der Palästinenser, die auch sehr oft, in dem Bild des Kampfes zwischen David und Goliath, so nicht ganz, dann doch sehr weitgehend heruntergespielt wird. Und dann wäre da auch noch die Vermutung der Sympathie für die Juden von Israel, die nicht nur sehr oft, sondern eigentlich fast immer fehlt, da ja alle Sympathie schon ganz verausgabt ist an den schwachen David.

          Der ganz grosse Trick jedoch der antisemitischen oder anti-israelischen Propaganda betrifft den Ursprung des Konflikts. Der bleibt nämlich auch unausgesprochen. Dabei wird entweder angenommen, dass er ja schon hinreichend bekannt sei. Oder, dass er einfach nicht mehr auszumachen sei in der ganzen unentwirrbaren Geschichte des Konflikts. Das sind schon sonderbare Annahmen für Journalisten, die um eine gewissenhafte Beurteilung der Tatsachen bemüht sind.

          Die damit unausgesprochen bleibende Wahrheit aber ist, sowohl heute als zur Zeit der Gründung Israels, dass nur eine in gutem Glauben vereinbarte Regelung der gegenseitigen Ansprüche zu einer rechtmässigen Lösung des potentiellen Konfliktes führen konnte. Die Repräsentanten der jüdischen Zionisten waren zu solchen Verhandlungen bereit. Die Führer der muslimischen Araber jedoch nicht. Nur dadurch wurde der potentielle Konflikt zu einem wirklichen Konflikt. Und weil die Araber obendrein auch noch ihr unbewiesenes Recht auf Verweigerung jeglicher Verhandlungen mit Gewalt und Krieg verteidigten (und weiterhin verteidigen), sogar zu einem blutigen Konflikt.

          Die Verteidigung mit Gewalt und Krieg eines unbewiesenen Rechts ist ein Verbrechen. Ein Verbrechen gegen das Völkerrecht und gegen die Menschlichkeit. Und wie alle Verbrechen hat es Folgen, bis heute, nicht nur für Israel, sondern ganz besonders auch für die palästinensische Bevölkerung. Und damit hört es noch lange nicht auf.

          Ein Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit das einfach unausgesprochen bleibt, so weit geht er in der Tat, der Antisemitismus in der Weltpolitik. Und all diejenigen die zu dieser unausgesprochenen Leugnung des Verbrechens beitragen sind folglich Mittäter. Da gibt’s nichts dran zu rütteln.

          Nun überlegen Sie mal, Herr Augstein: hat Günter Grass wirklich Recht, wenn er behauptet, dass Israel den Weltfrieden gefährdet? Wo kämen wir denn da hin?

          Martin J. Malliet

          Jakob Augstein Zitate:

          “Es ist dieser eine Satz, hinter den wir künftig nicht mehr zurückkommen: ‘Die Atommacht Israel gefährdet den ohnehin brüchigen Weltfrieden.’ Dieser Satz hat einen Aufschrei ausgelöst. Weil er richtig ist. Und weil ein Deutscher ihn sagt, ein Schriftsteller, ein Nobelpreisträger, weil Günter Grass ihn sagt.”

          “Jeder Kritiker Israels muss damit rechnen, als Antisemit beschimpft zu werden. Das ist ein gefährlicher Missbrauch des Begriffs. Im Schatten solch falscher Debatten blüht der echte Antisemitismus.”

          “Das ist das Problem: Es geht bei diesen Auseinandersetzungen in Wahrheit um politische Interessen und Werte. Aber die vorgeblichen Freunde Israels sind bereit, für ihre politischen Interessen einen hohen Preis in Kauf zu nehmen: die Ernsthaftigkeit der Antisemitismus-Debatte.”

          PS: Nun setzen Sie das bitte auf “S.P.O.N. – Im Zweifel zweimal nachdenken, oder schweigen: Herr Augstein, Sie haben nicht mehr alle Tassen im Schrank.”

          Und zeigen Sie damit, dass Sie noch lernfähig sind.

        • Martin J. Malliet says:

          “Every critic of Israel must expect to be accused of being an anti-Semite. This is a dangerous misuse of the term. In the shadow of such false debate flourishes the real anti-Semitism. ” (Jakob Augstein)

          It is the first sentence that is problematic. The next two are insinuations that merely serve as a distraction. On the first sentence. If you say something like that, Mr Augstein, you’re simply showing your bad faith! The most plausible reason after all for which a critic of Israel (in this case, yourself) is accused of being an anti-Semite is that he has expressed some unfounded anti-Semitic criticism of Israel. At least one cannot exclude that. You on the other hand talk as if the criticism of anti-Semitic critics (including yourself) could never be anything else but unwarranted abuse of so-called ‘legitimate’ critics of Israel. These same critics of anti-Semitic critics you then accuse a little further in the text of using the rhetorical trick of inversion! As I said, you’re showing your bad faith, there’s no other way to see it. In the sole purpose of avoiding to answer your critics! – Now, it is indeed an increasingly widespread practice of people who talk nonsense to accuse those who are pointing it out of wanting to curtail their freedom of expression (censorship!). As if the freedom to talk nonsense needed to be defended against attempts to point it out. What is lost in the process is that it is not the freedom of expression that is the subject of debate, but the nonsense, and also, that the whole point of freedom of expression is to curb the nonsense, and not to protect it. – Are you aware that as a critical journalist – because I know you like to see yourself as one – you are expected to assist with that? And not with cooking more porridge of unfounded self-serving opinions?

          On Edward Said Tactics

          The dialogue tactics work as follows:

          (Accusation): You’re in the habit of publishing unfounded anti-Semitic criticism of Israel’s policies (supposing that that is the truth).
          (Defense): In an act of bad faith takes this accusation to mean something else, and replies that the accusation is an attempt to essentialise the accused as an anti-Semitic.

          If (A) lets herself been guided into forgetting about the initial accusation and into defending herself against the counter-accusation, e.g. in a debate about the essence of anti-Semitism, (D) has of course succeeded in suppressing the truth of the initial accusation. Supposing that the initial accusation was about some really important truth, the fact of its suppression can then be used by (D) to establish an important untruth with widespread consequences, with (D) being largely the master of these consequences.

          I feel a bit embarassed when writing all this out. Because these tactics are hardly new and cannot very well be called the ‘Edward Said Tactics’. The French have a much older name for it: “drowning the fish” (noyer le poisson). As it corresponds to the essence of politics, namely ‘might makes right’ (obtenir gain de cause, que l’on ait raison ou non), it must be as old as politics.

          Nevertheless, I would be curious to learn about naked statements on exactly the same tactics in older writings (Plato, George Orwell, Karl Kraus), because I haven’t found any so far. And I mean, precise, neat statements.

          Another, more interesting aspect, is the fact that we’re seeing these political tactics being used not only by politicians, but also by journalists and intellectuals. Well, that can’t be new either. Complaints about “la trahison des clercs” are probably as old as complaints about politics.

          So the only really interesting question is an empirical question, a question about the proportion and the degree in which these tactics are used and to which they are damaging our civil society. My impression is that both are very high. But my empirical method is very rudimentary: it’s no more than the feeling of suffocation, like a ‘drowned fish’, each time I read a newspaper or watch a political debate on TV.

          But it could also be that one should focus first of all on ‘technical progress’, i.e. the evolution of the means of public discourse, which may better explain why old tactics can still work so well when coming in a new garb. I have no ideas on that. I just know that the ‘Tale of the Emperor’s Clothes’ to which Richard Landes constantly refers is an old tale. But it’s still going on, or Richard Landes wouldn’t constantly be referring to it.

          PS: The general impression in Germany is that Jakob Augstein is winning this contest with his critics of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Matthias Küntzel consoles himself by saying that this impression will not last, and that in the end it will become apparent that the critics of Jakob Augstein were right all along. Just as the critics of Martin Walser in 1998 are recognised today to have been right all along. I must say that I’m a bit puzzled by his remark, because I don’t quite see how that prediction is consoling or reassuring.

          http://www.welt.de/kultur/article112761041/Jakob-Augstein-und-der-Israelkomplex.html

          “Einige von Ihnen werden sich noch an die Rede Martin Walsers in der Frankfurter Paulskirche von Herbst 1998 erinnern, in der er gegen „Auschwitz“ als „Moralkeule“ vom Leder zog. 1.200 Zuhörer erhoben sich damals zu standing ovations. Nur einer blieb sitzen und sprach von „geistiger Brandstiftung“: Ignaz Bubis, der damalige Vorsitzende des Zentralrats der Juden in Deutschland. Wochenlang stand Bubis mit seiner Kritik allein. Heute gilt als sicher, dass Bubis damals im Recht war, die Masse der Claqueure hingegen nicht. (…) Wenn die Affekte dieser Debatte abgeklungen und die Pulverschwaden verraucht sein werden, wird sich die Berechtigung der Kritik des Wiesenthal-Zentrums ebenso unzweifelhaft erweisen, wie sich die Bubis-Kritik des Jahres 1998 im Nachhinein als berechtigt erwies.” (Matthias Küntzel)

  2. mika says:

    “Islam is the problem”
    ==

    Bullshit.

    Islam was already pretty much dead a hundred years back, until it was brought from the dead by those who I’m not allowed to mention, via their gov mafia subsidiaries in the US and Europe.

    The problem is not Islam or manipulated ignorant Muslims. The problem is with those who keep Islam alive and kicking for the purpose of thieving, war profiteering, and eugenic genocidal bloodlust.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Mika, for once, listen to me and have a look at your own confusion before accusing me of it. If Islam or manipulated ignorant Muslims aren’t the problem, how is it that those you’re not allowed to mention have succeeded in keeping them ignorant and manipulated them into keeping Islam alive and kicking although it was already pretty much dead a hundred years back?

  3. mika says:

    The software (Islam) is not the problem. The programmers (Rome) who created the software are the problem. The hardware (Muslims) is not the problem. The users (Rome) that feed the computer electricity (money, organization) and run the software are the problem.

    Hiding behind their proxies is a favorite trick of the Roman Imperialists. But once you learns a little about history, you learn to understand our Roman Imperialists and their tactics. It then becomes very easy to see through their machinations and their dialectic applications towards their goal(s).

    I hope that solves your confusion.

    • SerJew says:

      Fortunately, Mika Meshuganah, Asterix and Obelix with take care of those neurotic Romans.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Mika, how about seeding a conspiracy theory in the Muslim world that the prophet was an agent of the Vatican …

      • mika says:

        It’s not for me to seed this or that theory. That Muhmud, his family and army, were proxies in Rome’s war against “heretics”, in my assessment is beyond doubt.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      But don’t you want them to know that? Couldn’t it help to defeat Rome’s quest for world domination?

      • mika says:

        Martin, I’m not interested in winning or defeating anyone. It’s not about war. It is about the opposite of war. As the wise man said, “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Not interested in self-defense when cross-haired for destruction?

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Why don’t you explain to me why they’re not mutually exclusive? It seems only natural to me to think they are.

      • mika says:

        That’s the problem, Martin, you don’t think. You just copy & paste garbage that sounds good to ear. You need to exercise your brain, and much more urgently than me needing to exercise my horrible typing skills.

        • mika says:

          Martin, I hope I wasn’t too rough on you. It’s not my intention to insult you. I actually want to help you. Help you be independent in your thoughts. Stop being so deferent to authority or those you perceive as an authority. We all drink eat and shit. :)

  4. Martin J. Malliet says:

    The other reason why I thought it useful to bring in Koenraad Elst, Muslim projections and Hindu-hatred got completely lost so far. I mean, I had read V.S. Naipaul’s two books and what he has to say on the Muslim conquest of India. But boy, what I know understand from Koenraad Elst, who seems to be rather well informed, is mind-boggling. And they’re struggling with the same MSNM bias against the true victims as the Jews of Israel. It is astonishing.

    Of course, where there were holocausts, there are holocaust deniers. And the whole history of Islam seems to be a history of holocausts and holocaust denials. Neither Eric Voegelin (“Order and History”) nor Max Weber (“Religionssoziologie”) paid any attention to it. Although Voegelin wrote the following: “The case is of special interest as there can be no doubt that Islam was primarily an ecumenic religion and only secondarily an empire. Hence it reveals in its extreme form the danger that beset all of the religions of the Ecumenic Age, the danger of impairing their universality by letting their ecumenic mission slide over into the acquisition of world-immanent, pragmatic power over a multitude of men which, however numerous, could never be mankind past, present, and future.”

    Arthur Schopenhauer also could only shake his head over “the most disgusting piece of propaganda ever written, shamelessly enlisting the disenfranchised and exploiting the emotional volatility of the young as the raw material by which it spreads its tentacles.”

    So it’s a bit like when Karl Kraus said before falling silent: “Zu Hitler fällt mir nichts ein.”

  5. Martin J. Malliet says:

    I’m not sure, but Koenraad Elst’s expectation that Islam will implode may be justified by the logic of common knowledge.

    Hypothesis: many Muslims have doubts about their absolutist belief system, but believe themselves to be alone in having these doubts.

    They are consequently very fearful of making these doubts known, even to friends, and so perpetuate their isolation.

    If it became common knowledge in the Muslim world that many Muslims have doubts about their absolutist belief system, Islam would implode.

    • SerJew says:

      “Hypothesis: many Muslims have doubts about their absolutist belief system, but believe themselves to be alone in having these doubts.”

      OK, what is the evidence to sustain this hypothesis? How many such muslims are there? In fact, the available evidence is not very favorable. And the very notion of doubt is against the whole edifice of islamism. Also, saying that they are afraid of speaking out is a way to shield your hypothesis from criticism.

  6. Martin J. Malliet says:

    Further to the hypothesis: it is difficult for any normal human person NOT to have doubts about an absolutist belief system that creates so much misery and oppression both for believers and unbelievers.

    Only the fear instilled by the belief system itself and by the self-policing social relationships that are its consequence can contain those doubts: the God-willed self-righteous rule of believers over infidels maintains the outer islamic police state, while the God-willed self-righteous rule of believers over apostates and of men over women maintains the inner islamic police state.

    Projection of self-imposed oppression onto outside ‘oppressors’ is only a natural escape path, but also contributes to perpetuate the isolation of doubters.

    One may wonder how such a society of absolutist believers can ever liberate itself from the oppression caused by the terror of its own absolutist beliefs. Maybe Gustave Flaubert was right in thinking that to release the fear you must give them a tangible proof of the falsehood of their godforsaken absolutist beliefs.

    In any case, I think Koenraad Elst is right in thinking that it is very difficult for Muslim doubters (or moderate Muslims) to reform their belief system ‘gradually’. Not because it is theoretically inconceivable, but because the original literalist belief system so much favours the thugs, the rabble, those who don’t hesitate to use violence to instill fear. So that any attempt at reform becomes an ‘all or nothing’ proposition.

    The best thing outsiders (Westerners) can do for moderate Muslisms therefore is, in Koenraad Elst’s opinion, to frontally attack the belief sysem itself as a hoax, and the prophet as a deluded and paranoid impostor. Thomas Aquinas did the same already in the 13th century, Arthur Schopenhauer was of no different opinion, and there are probably many others I don’t know of. Only our contemporary Western intellectuals, in their own confused understanding of what religion is (e.g. “I’m proud to be an atheist”), can’t think of anything better than paying ‘respect’ to a belief system that shows all the symptoms of a ‘literalist derailment’ in Voegelin’s words (i.e. making immanentist nonsense of symbols that express the experience of divine presence in the order of man’s existence in society and history).

    To SerJew: Granted, this is all about the hypothesis and its possible implications, I’m in no position to empirically test any of it. But hypothesis-building comes first, right? I’ve never worked my way through all of J.M. Keynes’s “Treatise on Probability”, but from what I understood (reasoning with probabilities is an extension of logical reasoning) there is a lot to say for speculating on probability relationships, it is indeed the meaning of the word ‘speculate’. And why are you so hyper-critical all the time? Impatience? It’s not as if we had to reach a definitive conclusion today, is it? At least I don’t think so.

    “Also, saying that they are afraid of speaking out is a way to shield your hypothesis from criticism.” Isn’t that proof of your being hyper-critical? And somewhat in bad faith? Because if that part of my hypothesis is correct, it only means that empirical testing will indeed present some difficulties. And it will not be my fault! (If you care to believe me.)

    Brainstorming isn’t easy. At least it takes some willingness to cooperate. What is it with people always so eager to jump to conclusions and to refute whatever you say? On my job it’s the same. And after a long and frustrating discussion, there’s often just nothing of value that remains. A negative sum outcome, in my view.

    PS (containing some empirical evidence): I once had a chance encounter with a Somali student who had grown up in Norway after having been sent there at age 10 by his well-connected family. We talked about too many things and didn’t work out our speculations sufficiently. But I remember two things he brought up and that strike me now as relevant: fear (preventing people from thinking), and the inadequacy of Hirsi Ali’s discourse (not reaching any Muslims and certainly not the women).

    PPS: Koenraad Elst seems to take all his history of the prophet and of islam from islamic scriptures, without having any doubt about their veracity. And from a book by Herman Somers, “Een andere Mohammed” (1993). (E.g. the story that the prophet after his first auditory and visual hallucinations was afraid of going mad, and that it was his first wife who submitted the visions to a feminine test – “let’s fuck”. And when that helped to make the visions go away, she assured him that the hallucinations did not come from Satan, and encouraged hem in his vocation.) Tom Holland in his “In the Shadow of the Sword” on the other hand – which I haven’t read, I just saw the TV documentary – stresses the 100 year or so gap that there is between the life of the prophet and the writing down of the scriptures, when the Arab-Muslim conquest was already underway and had reached Jerusalem. He suggests in other words that the scriptures were possibly a very conscious attempt at formulating a political ideology in the guise of religion. I don’t know which one to choose, nor whether it really matters.

    • Martin J. Malliet says:

      Tom Holland on Christianity and Islam

      Already discussed on this blog at:

      http://www.theaugeanstables.com/2009/04/05/islam-a-religion-like-any-other-tom-holland-weighs-in

      http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2009/04/muslims-essay-islam-state
      http://www.newstatesman.com/religion/2008/11/essay-christian-secularism
      http://www.newstatesman.com/ideas/2008/10/europe-christian-essay-less

      I find Tom Holland’s articles interesting and at the same time frustrating: the thoughts he advances to me always seem to be incomplete. It’s a strange feeling, to which my main reaction is that I would like to point him to Frank Van Dun and Eric Voegelin, who I think are more coherent in their treatment of religion. The way in whichTom Holland tries to regulate the debate between ‘secularists’ and ‘religious believers’ I therefore feel to be inadequate, or simply unclear.

      Militant secularists obviously are ‘dumb’ in some way when they think they must fight religion as such. Eric Voegelin would say that they have a mind that is “closed to the divine ground of being”, and I would agree with that. Although I’m certain that a militant secularist would not understand these words, in the same way as having a blind spot prevents people from understanding the accusation of their having a blind spot.

      Frank Van Dun’s analogy of the machine and the manual to the machine I understand as the simplest way to reconcile secularists with believers in divine revelation, and it is indeed very Greek: the Hebrew Bible, New Testament, or Quran may be the manuals to the natural order of the human world (the law), but “it is not the manual that makes the machine what it is”.

      A good example for illustrating this problem with secularists would be the so-called separation of State and Church. I would agree with it, if it implied the abolition of the State. And I mean abolition, not fusion of the State with the Church. Because if the State is separated from the Church, but then invested with some secular State ideology, we only have replaced one theocratic State by another. Which is indeed what we’re living under: a State invested with the secular ideology of Hobbesian democracy. (See Frank Van Dun’s article on “Hobbesian Democracy” (2005), which he opposes to ‘lawful democracy’ on the judicial model.)

      “We can define a simple measure of ‘lawful democracy’. With respect to any decision, let m(V) stand for the measure of the set of voters. Let m(A) stand for the measure of the set of people who risk being victimized or, as we shall say, affected by the decision. Then, m(V+A) measures the set-theoretical sum of the sets of voters and affected persons, and m(VA) measures the set-theoretical product of those sets. Complementary sets are designated with an apostrophe: V’ (non-voters), A’ (non-affected persons). A simple measure of a set is the number of people in it. In that case, m(V+A) = m(VA) + m(V’A) + m(VA’).

      The following formula defines a measure of ‘lawful democracy’:

      D = (m(VA) – m(VA’) – m(V’A)) / m(V+A)

      D=1 (democracy is at a maximum), if every person affected by the decision has a vote in the decision-making process and every voter is a person who is affected by the decision: m(VA’)=m(V’A)=0 and m(VA)=m(V+A).

      At the other extreme, D=-1 (democracy is at a minimum), if no voter is affected by the decision and no affected person has a vote: m(VA)=0 and m(V+A)=m(VA’)+m(V’A).”

      http://rothbard.be/bestanden/frvandun/Texts/Articles/Hobbesian%20democracy.pdf

  7. mika says:

    “Projection of self-imposed oppression onto outside ‘oppressors’ is only a natural escape path, but also contributes to perpetuate the isolation of doubters.”
    ==

    Outside oppressors is not a fictional escape path, it is a fact of a very VERY long and continuing history. From Roman Imperialism, to pre-Roman Greek Imperialism, to pre-Greek Persian Imperialism, to pre-Persian Assyrian and Babylonian Imperialism, etc., to post-Roman European and Russian Imperialism, to NATO Imperialism and global New World Order.

    So they have quite a bit of reason to hate and distrust the blue-eyed devil dogs.

    descargar videos de youtube

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