Thursday, February 26, 2015

Islam's* War on the West

Warriors to the Battlefield

If it's not "Islam" which unites them, what does? Being-in-the-World (Dasein)? And what does it mean to become an "authentic" Moslem?

150 comments:

Gert said...

Of course there is no 'Islam' in the same way there is no 'Christianity', no 'United Kingdom', no 'United States', no 'Judaism'.

Instead there are loosely affiliated groups, sub-groups, sects, sub-sects. sub-sub-sects, hybrids and so on. I say loosely affiliated but often they don't see eye to eye. Shia - Sunni, Zionist - antizionist Jews, 'Libtards - Repugniks' etc etc.

A bit like American 'patriots': they proclaim to love their country, they just happen to hate 50 % of people living in it.

As an agnostic, if I had to convert, Islam would be considered: its ideal - a direct relation with G-d w/o 'brokers' and a trans-everything brotherhood - would appeal to me. But why however would I have the slightest sympathy death cults like ISIS, if I were a Muslim? And why should I be suspected of harbouring such sympathies?

The 'authentic' Muslim is thus a red herring. Sorry you can't see that.

That leaves of course another explanation: something 'structural' in Islam. Then try and explain why in the Golden Age of Islam it was streets ahead of Medieval Christianity in just about everything. Why in Iran, with a regime I would like to see the back off too, there's such an extraordinary emphasis on science and technology and why women enjoy such extraordinary levels of higher education (something they will come to regret, no doubt! ;-) )?

-FJ said...

Mohammed and the first four "righteous" caliphs were warriors. They are an "ideal" for Moslems. The Medinan verses of the Koran are just as important as the Meccan, if not MORE so (much as the NT is more important to Christians than the OT).

As an "American", my "ideal" nation is one of small shopkeepers. THAT is my "ego ideal". THAT is what I would fight to establish/ re-establish. In that sense, I am little different from the foreign fighter who joins ISIS.

For it is the "obscene" flipside of fighting/warring/battle that becomes "permissable" under jihad. In peace, I must respect women. In war, I am given permission to rape them. With religion, EVERYTHING becomes permitted. Even torture/killing.

-FJ said...

The entire reason for the 10 commandments is that I can be given, in defense of my religion, permission to BREAK them all. Same with the Constitution/Bill of Rights. It's the "obscene" flip-side of an ego-ideal. SuperEgo.

-FJ said...

That "some" people cannot do so in "good conscience" is PTSD. PTSD is a symptom of this inherent antimony.

-FJ said...

Did you see Full Metal Jacket? Complete identification with the ego ideal...

-FJ said...

The Patriot? Same thing. Excesses deemed permissible by the big "Other".

-FJ said...

Without Islam (or some other corresponding ideology), the fighters of ISIS would never have been "permitted" to participate in the excesses "officially sanctioned". And it is "in the name of Islam" that they "currently" perpetrate them.

-FJ said...

...and leaders like al Baghdadi take advantage of this. They "sanction" the obscenity in the "name of Islam".

The Sunni dislike the Shi'a because the Shi'a have made Islam a "blood" religion. Yo lead Islam, you must be "of the prophet's" blood. In many ways, it is a regression to something like Judaism. And so the Sunni see Shi'a as "heretics".

But all, al Qaeda, ISIS, The Shi'a themselves, seek to become the "guardians" of the faith. And the best way to do that is to attract fighters with the "bribe" of some Superego excesses... women to rape, contests of strength and endurance. "Authentic Moslem" stuff... not the panty-waist "book-reading" stuff.

-FJ said...

...and for non-inheriting sons, looking to "make their fortune"... it beats sitting in a flat in London collecting welfare checks and puking in the gutters after the Pubs close.

-FJ said...

Islam is NOT unique in that leaders take often advantage of playing the "Superego" role, sanctioning the obscene. But to claim that it plays "no part" in the conflict like Obama says, is disingenuous at best.

Now in America, we have Quakers and others who qualify for "conscientious objector" status in wartime. These are "authentic" Christians, IMO.

-FJ said...

...they shun the "Superego" excesses that typically lure the masses to their leader's "crusades".

-FJ said...

Compare ideals - Jesus-Mohammed.

Priest - Warrior

-FJ said...

It's tough (not impossible) to launch a Crusade with Christians to free the holy land by preaching "Christ". For Moslems to invade Europe though, no problemo teaching "Mohammed".

btw - In the last Crusade, the crusaders sacked Constantinople and then went home. Talk about your ironies...

-FJ said...

Can a young jihadi "fantasize" that he is riding side-by-side with Mohammed's soldiers on the raid to Medina? And can he fantasize of the tales that will be told about his exploits of his "St. Crispin's Day"? I think it highly "likely".

Joe Conservative said...

If Obama wants to fight a "propaganda war" with ISIS, THIS is the way to succeed. Not grovel in some stupid PC worship of Islam.

Joe Conservative said...

To undermine "Islamic extremism," one would have to do what is recommended starting at 15:42 in the link. But the Saudi's will NEVER permit a "critique" of the "Ummah", the "mythical Islamic community".

Just as to undermine MY classical-liberal idealism, one needs to ridicule the "petite bourgeois"... my "ideal community".

Joe Conservative said...

...maybe I should go join the John Galt community in Atlas Shrugged... ;)

Joe Conservative said...

Effective propaganda requires kynicism, NOT cynicism.

Joe Conservative said...

The Moslem's can smell the stink of Obama's cynical overtures a million miles away!

Stanley Kowalski said...

Unfortunately, Obama is unaware of the odor.

Stanley Kowalski said...

The obscene jouissance that dwelled at Abu Ghraib... before the veil was restored.

Always On Watch said...

The West's denial will cease at some point. After the West's destruction -- or before?

Always On Watch said...

FJ,
The Medinan verses of the Koran are just as important as the Meccan, if not MORE so (much as the NT is more important to Christians than the OT).

Indeed. And some about which few Westerners have no clue.

Gert said...

Obama, whom generally I despise as much as any American president, is only doing the right thing here: to try and avoid a backlash against Muslims who aren't guilty of anything.

I don't see how this can be objected too, even less so by you, FJ, who warns against Srebrenica style tit-for-tat retaliation against innocent Muslims.

Go on, cue some idiot: 'there are no innocent Muzzies!'

-FJ said...

Unfortunately, Obama is also preventing a tit-for-tat retaliation against guilty Moslems. See the Zizek article above. It's not anti-Islamic to condemn the elements of a religion that contribute to ISIS. It's not anti-Islamic to ask it to "reform" itself.

Despite many MANY years of war, few Moslems have been "assaulted" in the West. To claim a need to "protect" them because they are in some kind of "populist" danger, borders upon the preposterous.

Once we re-write their Constitutions (like we did the Japanese and German), we can talk about "Islam" being a "religion of peace".

-FJ said...

...and the Dirty ragheads, Japs, Nips, and Krauts can rejoin the world community with all "flourishes and honours".

-FJ said...

In other words, lets put our own Western "obscene" abu-Ghraib energy to good use.

-FJ said...

Killing ISIS, p*ssing on their corpses, and stacking their bodies on their parent's front porches.

Gert said...

I think your analysis of Islamic theology is very reductionist, FJ. It's quite reminiscent of Richard Dawkins' 'religion is the root of all evil'. And no surprise here: like Sam Harris, Dawkins hates all religion but with special ire reserved for Islam with a good dollop of philosemitism thrown in too. ;-)

9/11 left a shard of the Twin Towers in much of the American public's 'psyche'. In that respect bin Laden succeeded.

-FJ said...

I think its deeper than religion...

Nietzsche, GoM

In this area, that is, in the laws of obligation, the world of the moral concepts “guilt,” “conscience,” “duty,” and “sanctity of obligation” has its origin—its beginning, like the beginning of everything great on earth, was watered thoroughly and for a long time with blood. And can we not add that this world deep down has never again been completely free of a certain smell of blood and torture—(not even with old Kant whose categorical imperative stinks of cruelty)? In addition, here that weird knot linking the ideas of “guilt and suffering,” which perhaps has become impossible to undo, was first knit together. Let me pose the question once more: to what extent can suffering be a compensation for “debts”? To the extent that making someone suffer provides the highest degree of pleasure, to the extent that the person hurt by the debt, in exchange for the injury as well as for the distress caused by the injury, got an extraordinary offsetting pleasure: creating suffering—a real celebration, something that, as I’ve said, was valued all the more, the greater it contradicted the rank and social position of the creditor. I have been speculating here, for it’s difficult to see through to the foundations of such subterranean things, quite apart from the fact that it’s embarrassing. And anyone who crudely throws into the middle of all this the idea of “revenge” has buried and dimmed his insights rather than illuminated them (—revenge itself, in fact, simply takes us back to the same problem: “How can making someone suffer give us a feeling of satisfaction?”). It seems to me that the delicacy and, even more, the Tartufferie [hypocrisy] of tame house pets (I mean modern man, I mean us) resist imagining with all our power how much cruelty contributes to the great celebratory joy of older humanity, as, in fact, an ingredient mixed into almost all their enjoyments and, from another perspective, how naive, how innocent, their need for cruelty appears, how they fundamentally think of its particular “disinterested malice” (or to use Spinoza’s words, the sympathia malevolens [malevolent sympathy]) as a normal human characteristic:—and hence as something to which their conscience says a heartfelt Yes!* A more deeply penetrating eye might still notice, even today, enough of this most ancient and most fundamental celebratory human joy. In Beyond Good and Evil, 229 (even earlier in Daybreak, 18, 77, 113), I pointed a cautious finger at the constantly growing spiritualization and “deification” of cruelty, which runs through the entire history of higher culture (and, in a significant sense, even constitutes that culture). In any case, it’s not so long ago that people wouldn’t think of an aristocratic wedding and folk festival in the grandest style without executions, tortures, or something like an auto-da-fé [burning at the stake], and similarly no noble household lacked creatures on whom people could vent their malice and cruel taunts without a second thought (—remember, for instance, Don Quixote at the court of the duchess; today we read all of Don Quixote with a bitter taste on the tongue; it’s almost an ordeal. In so doing, we would become very foreign, very obscure to the author and his contemporaries—they read it with a fully clear conscience as the most cheerful of books. They almost died laughing at it). Watching suffering makes people feel good; creating suffering makes them feel even better—that’s a harsh principle, but an old, powerful, and human, all-too-human major principle, which, by the way, even the apes might perhaps agree with as well. For people say that, in thinking up bizarre cruelties, the apes already anticipate a great many human actions and are, as it were, an “audition.” Without cruelty there is no celebration: that’s what the oldest and longest human history teaches us—and with punishment, too, there is so much celebration!

Gert said...

Will read that later.

Are JC and SK alter egos of yours?

-FJ said...

ISIS is currently "celebrating" the Obama Presidency. And these "celebrations" can naught but grow... and inspire.

-FJ said...

I have many avatars/alter ego's. Speedy channels my Venezuelan identity, AM my "Rocky and Bullwinkle anti-communism" identity, JC my Tea Party/revolutionary identity, FJ my "John Dickinson" identity (the only non-signer of the Declaration of Independence).... etc. I have numerous others.

Thersites said...

...including Thersites, the ugliest Achaean at Troy.

Thersites said...

Do you perceive the "common thread"? I wonder... ;)

Gert said...

Let there be more to it than religion itself, I don't even disagree with that but could bring elements to the table that would immediately be followed by cat calls of 'liberal apologetics' by the likes of banal left-baiters like FN.

So let there be more to the phenomenon of Islamism than religion tout court. That takes nothing away from the fact that 'critique' of Islam by various Western punditry has reached scatologically obscene levels.

Not to mention a McCarthyiesque approach for example to those who, like me, aren't Charlie.

You invoke rationalism in your critique of Islam but I see little of that in most of what passes as 'non politically correct analysis' of ISIS and Islam. Instead it's very much them v. us. The Other.

That Far Right European parties are increasingly using Islam as the 'shark' is difficult not to see.

Gert said...

We're at risk of sleep walking into the 'Clash of Civilisations' but we won't like it much when all hell breaks loose.

Gert said...

Book review: 'Les Chemins de Damas'

http://lespolitiques.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/book-review-les-chemins-de-damas.html

Did Western media lie about how quickly the Syrian 'civil war' became militarised and Islamised?

Thersites said...

The current Left is naught but a tool for global capital. They've not a care for the millions of displaced former-workers whom Western corporations and Chinese labour have rendered obsolete. That is why across Europe, across England, voters are swarming to Right parties.

It is "us v. them". And we intend upon seeing that the "other" remains both "other" AND "far away".

We don't want to "understand" Islam. We do not "envy" them. We want "them" to "leave us alone". So if "demonizing" and "harassing" them results in THAT happening, I'm okay with it. I'm not planning on making any multi-trillion dollar business deals with some degenerate sheiks. I don't NEED their friendship. All I "need" is their respect.

Thersites said...

...and I won't get THAT by kissing their *sses, "praising" the peaceful Moslem.

-FJ said...

ISIS/Boko Haram are conducting a genocide against non-Moslems. Do you think that they give a whit about "blowback" against Moslems in the USA?

-FJ said...

I can tell from the article that you linked that it's but another neoliberal European mercantilist / colonialist perspective. A need to "reconcile" France and Syria.

THAT is not my goal. My goal is to get back to what we former-colonial American's do best. Mind our business.

-FJ said...

If you are interested in "fixing" the world, talk to an "establishment" Republican. You won't find one of those, here.

-FJ said...

Mine is a narrow, and MUCH more parochial interest. And the narrower and more parochial it gets, the BETTER I like it.

-FJ said...

And unlike some, I do not see Islam as a "shark". I recognize that America's problems run much deeper than "problem minorities" (although I do believe that our own "elites" may look more like a shark to me than any racial, ethnic or religious group).

-FJ said...

AJAX

Thou bitch-wolf's son, canst thou not hear?

Beating him
Feel, then.

THERSITES

The plague of Greece upon thee, thou mongrel
beef-witted lord!

AJAX

Speak then, thou vinewedst leaven, speak: I will
beat thee into handsomeness.

THERSITES

I shall sooner rail thee into wit and holiness: but,
I think, thy horse will sooner con an oration than
thou learn a prayer without book. Thou canst strike,
canst thou? a red murrain o' thy jade's tricks!

AJAX

Toadstool, learn me the proclamation.

THERSITES

Dost thou think I have no sense, thou strikest me thus?

AJAX

The proclamation!

THERSITES

Thou art proclaimed a fool, I think.

AJAX

Do not, porpentine, do not: my fingers itch.

THERSITES

I would thou didst itch from head to foot and I had
the scratching of thee; I would make thee the
loathsomest scab in Greece. When thou art forth in
the incursions, thou strikest as slow as another.


-Wm Shakespeare, "Troilus and Cressida"

-FJ said...

All FAIL the salaried bourgeoisie!

Thersites said...

This is America's problem. Not some "cube-worshipping" Middle-Eastern peasant.

Gert said...

That is why across Europe, across England, voters are swarming to Right parties.

I'm talking about Far Right parties (UKIP, Front National, Vlaams Belang etc) Typically they get about 20 - 25 %. Tories here are losing to them, but the Left too.

I'm NOT comparing them to Nazis but the tactic is the same: externalise an internal 'enemy'. Muslims and immigrants are the 'shark' here, the one thing one can project anything onto. If we have a serious economic crisis they can make serious inroads, otherwise they'll stagnate.

I've talked to many UKIP voters. Don't suspect any kinship with them: you and they are worlds apart.

A recent Tory defector (to UKIP) let it rip that 'European [EU] immigrants' might have to sent 'home' as well. That's people like me. He was only being logical, of course, with regards to immigration.

Way before 9/11 Vlaams Belang made the usual complaints about immigrants 'stealing our jobs and taking our women'. Not a peep about Muslims. Now it's all 'Muslims this, Muslims this'. That doesn't tell you something? Those same parties were for the most part also deeply antisemitic, now they're all pro-Zionist!

Always On Watch said...

FJ,
Love your comment at February 27, 2015 at 7:22 AM!

Joe Conservative said...

Gert, I don't deny that there are racist elements in the right who would love to offer a "shark" and not attack the economic fundamentals underlying the problem. Because let's face it, it takes money to run campaigns, and the second you start talking about real solutions, your "donor base" disappears. So I can't tell how much of the perceived racism is "real" and how much "rhetoric". I only know that I think that Zizek's on the right track (or left track, if you prefer) and that I think he's analyzed the problem pretty thoroughly. We may not have the same "dream" (fantasy) for the future, but I do think that we need more "theory" to chart a new economic course. I would "retrace" some steps, he hopes to "advance" them. And therein lies our argument.

Thersites said...

ps - AoW and I have spoken a lot about the solution to the problem lying in a "reform" of Islam... and yet that is the one option the President takes off the table.

This is what proves to me how "unserious" Obama is, and how deeply his interests are linked with neoliberalisms.

Thersites said...

@AoW - Thanks. I saved the vulgarities for the subsequent post. ;)

Gert said...

Th:

We may be playing with subtelties here and end up talking past each other.

'Che vuoi?' from the president? That he denounces Islam as the causal agent of that kind of terrorism?

Gert said...

From your link:

"This is a Muslim problem that needs a Muslim solution," he told the Washington Examiner in November. "You can't just say it's about violence. You need sermons that call upon America as the leading force for goodness in the world."

LOL. Brigitte Gabriel in drag?

Thersites said...

I agree. Selling America as a leading force for "goodness" is just neoliberal global capital expanding markets and creating the economic conditions for more 'Arab Springs'.

Gert said...

This:

http://alwaysonwatch3.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/allahs-identity.html

... had me in stitches. To be critical of Islam is one thing but to resort to religious revisionism is quite another. I guess we all have our own forms of apologetics. ;-)

No serious religious scholar, of whatever Abrahamic faith seriously believes that Allah is not God, Yaweh.

Heavy 'borrowing' from Judaic and Christian sources? That's a fact. But claiming they don't worship the 'one and only God'? That's hilarious! Call Islam Theism v 1.3.

Trust me, FJ: only in America. I don't even mean that as an insult: independent thinking I like but when it goes ahistorical it becomes comical. I'll be polite and avoid the 'Is.....bia' word but when... erm... 'dislike' of Islam takes on those levels, Reason really does leave the room.

'Huckster in the Holy Land'. Too funny from my PoV:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mike-huckabee-tour-guide-in-the-holy-land/2015/02/22/f0395335-1716-4f7f-9ce6-5e12c781d823_story.html

FreeThinke said...

The EXTERMINATION of ISLAM, and the ANNIHILATION of all ISLAMISTS is the ONLY thing that might give the human race a reasonable degree of hope for that it may yet survive.

The Utilitarian Approach to ridding the world of this PLAGUE of VERMIN would be our only viable option, if we have any real interest in a possible future for our children and grandchildren.

-FJ said...

@ Gert - No, I believe that AoW is right, it's NOT the same G_d. I am a Deist. My "god" is of the "Platonic" variety, much more akin to the Islamic than Judaic variety. Not a "Father" so much as "Other". The "cause" of the union of finite/infinite for those who ascribe to the "error" of cause-effect.

Zizek makes the same distinction in his "progression" of Judaism-Christianity-Islam. The "early" Islamic scholars were likely "Platonists" of the Plotinus variety.

@ FT, I'll settle for Islamic ideological reforms. A "New Testament"/Hadith.

-FJ said...

My "god" comes from the following:

Plato, "Philebus" -

SOCRATES: Let us be very careful in laying the foundation.

PROTARCHUS: What do you mean?

SOCRATES: Let us divide all existing things into two, or rather, if you do not object, into three classes.

PROTARCHUS: Upon what principle would you make the division?

SOCRATES: Let us take some of our newly-found notions.

PROTARCHUS: Which of them?

SOCRATES: Were we not saying that God revealed a finite element of existence, and also an infinite?

PROTARCHUS: Certainly.

SOCRATES: Let us assume these two principles, and also a third, which is compounded out of them; but I fear that I am ridiculously clumsy at these processes of division and enumeration.

PROTARCHUS: What do you mean, my good friend?

SOCRATES: I say that a fourth class is still wanted.

PROTARCHUS: What will that be?

SOCRATES: Find the cause of the third or compound, and add this as a fourth class to the three others.

PROTARCHUS: And would you like to have a fifth class or cause of resolution as well as a cause of composition?

SOCRATES: Not, I think, at present; but if I want a fifth at some future time you shall allow me to have it.

PROTARCHUS: Certainly.

-FJ said...

Laugh all you want. These small distinctions in assumptions v the "nature" of G_d result in significant differences in religions, even "monotheistic" ones.

-FJ said...

...and THAT is why I insist that the "solution" lies in an Islamic "reform"... if the neoliberal model is to prevail, or a neoliberal reform is some form of equilibrium between Islamic and Christian worlds are to coexist. Much like the Chinese "Three Represents" reformed the Chinese Communist System and made it captialism-compatible and Kim's Juche ideology prevents a Korean rapproachment.

-FJ said...

fyi

Gert said...

Apart from the fact that the entire video seems to be based on 1 email, I believe AOW is entirely ideologically motivated on this one. It's much easier to theologically consider them 'other', 'delegitimise' their religion and then see all kinds of existential threats, at least in that 'little boxes' mentality.

The use of the term 'Judeo-Christian' is largely in that same vain. Wiki happens to have a decent history of its usage.

I'm not opposed to a 'reform-Islam' but the idea negates the influence of many other historical factors on the Muslim ME.

Gert said...

See Zizek's primitivisation of Afghanistan, e.g.

A Christian Deist? Doesn't Christian theology require faith in a father creator, a Living G-d who interferes in Man's affairs?

Gert said...

We went past each other there, so allow me to catch up.

-FJ said...

I'm not a Christian. I was "raised" a "Lutheran" but became "agnostic" but now "choose" to be a Deist for social-symbolic reasons.

-FJ said...

ps - My god is more akin to "motionless-Motion" (Plato, "Laws"), outside of our "universe" and not one to "intervene" in it in any way-shape-form.

-FJ said...

As Socrates concludes (Plato, "Parmenides"): "If One is not, then nothing is"

-FJ said...

Plato and the Greeks didn't have a "0", 1 was the "unit" and 2, the "first" number.

-FJ said...

Arabic numerals are really "Indian" in origin, accounting for the infusion of nihilism in Eastern philosophies.

Gert said...

I'm not laughing. I'll bookmark that page on Muslim philosophy.

Seems to me though that the arguments in the video AOW links to have nothing to do with yours. I just watched it again.

Arabic numerals are really "Indian" in origin, accounting for the infusion of nihilism in Eastern philosophies.

Sure, the first part is well accepted but what would we do without the number 0 in mathematics, for instance?

-FJ said...

The Greeks did fine without them. Have you ever attempted Veidic math? Chinese? There are more than one "ways" to calculate.

Make your wager! ;)

-FJ said...

The antimonies inherent in names represent the "message" in the "medium". ;)

-FJ said...

I can't recommend this BBC documentary highly enough.

-FJ said...

Here is the whole Magillah. ;)

Gert said...

I'll stick to 'our' Calculus, if you don't mind...

I've been trying to make sense of the entire Ukraine situation, which means trying to cut through the ideological smog put out by all parties. Some things are quite clear, others about as clear as muck.

So I thought "What would Zizek say?" ;-)

And found this interesting piece here: Zizek on Ukraine (LRB, 2014, via Guardian)

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/10/ukraine-slavoj-zizek-lenin

Gert said...

That Chinese math thing is very interesting. I'll show my daughter that (must try and master it first).

But is it math? Or arithmetic? And if the latter, how do you get from there to algebra and calculus?

Gert said...

Terry Jones! My favourite Python. I've seen that one before. Excellent. Will look at the full thing again.

-FJ said...

That was a good piece... I don't wholly agree with his prescription and a few underlying premises ("ala- all capitalism is 'state capitalism'/mercantilism), but a good read.

-FJ said...

How do you do 'higher' math? With a machine, of course! ;)

Gert said...

The Chinese used Horner's method (algebra) in the 13th Century. Hell, had their society not stagnated and declined they wouldn have developed Limit theory, calculus and guided missiles! We've had a narrow escape! ;-)

I don't use a machine to solve differential equations. But in Big Science machine computation becomes ever more important, of course. Advances in chemistry are likely to come from computational chemistry. Big Numbers.

Gert said...

'would', not 'wouldn'. Grrr.

-FJ said...

It couldn't hurt to use a machine. ;)

nicrap said...

If it's not "Islam" which unites them, what does?

https://urduwallahs.wordpress.com/2012/10/21/hum-dekhenge/

The poem is by Faiz, a well-known figure in these parts. And despite being rich in religious symbolism, you will find that it is as much about injustice and tyranny and about liberation (and though the context is different, it is no less pertinent, i think, to the current discussion)...

...In fact, listen to its famous rendition by Iqbal Bano, and you will realize that it's much more about that. For, see how the crowd goes berserk at 6:39, right after the line "Every crown will be flung. (even though right before it the poet talks of the kingdom of the faithful...and yet it's the promise of justice in this world that touches their heart.)

The "West" (though i hate to use the term in this monolithic sense) has a lot to learn (especiall about itself), my friend, as we all do, indeed. :)

nicrap said...

...thinking I like but when it goes ahistorical it becomes comical.

Hear hear!

nicrap said...

Apropos the first link. If you scroll down the page, you will find the translation to the poem.

-FJ said...

Thanks nicrap. I agree as to cause (injustice). It's with the perceived and proposed "solutions" that I would disagree with both Zizek and Islam.

Gert said...

It couldn't hurt to use a machine.

One problem with things like Dsolve is that for simple DEs it often takes longer to input the data than to solve the damn things with pencil and paper. Machine language is very unforgiving. And com'on, what's more romantic than Pencilled Man against a theoretical problem!

The main applications of machine maths are in Big Crunching: calculation of the electron densities [reactivities] of molecules for instance.

Thanks nicrap. Will peruse your link.

Gert said...

A Glance into the Archives of Islam (Slavoj Zizek):


http://www.lacan.com/zizarchives.htm

nicrap said...

:)

Gert said...

Witness: Demetri & Bruno

How a dog came to represent the Greek in a hybrid film by a Greek film maker.

Or: How Greece and Europe need renewal.

-FJ said...

I agree, Europe and Greece need renewal. But how best to accomplish this renewal? And "what" specifically is the problem supposed to be "solved" through this "renewal"?

-FJ said...

:P

-FJ said...

Zizek is right, neoliberalism has become untenable. But with "what" is it to be replaced? And to solve "what" problem.

I believe that the quickest way to prosperity is to "skew" the legislation towards a broad and productive "middle" class. A return to the "petite" bourgeois with "legal limits" to prevent capital accumulation and its' extranationalization.

Gert said...

Yes, I already saw the one on positing the problem correctly. Impossible to argue with.

Going back to the them of the thread, I also like this:

http://www.lacan.com/zizantinomies.htm

-FJ said...

Maybe I should have included this

The DOJ is making a big deal about some "racist jokes" being told by Ferguson police officers. Talk about having NOTHING...

Gert said...

The militarisation of security forces (police) in the US is worrying though. How much money is being made from all that and to what purpose, I wonder?

'Race' is weaponised in the US by all sides. I have little respect for some African American spokespersons nowadays. 'Rev. this or that' or not.

Gert said...

Yeah, saw the one about racist jokes ('mother - sister') too.

I doubt if racist jokes made by Ferguson police are in that spirit though.

Lyin' Brian said...

The joke was about Obama. If you can take a joke about him, you're just a sore winner trying to criminalize politics.

Like going afte Petraus...

Yeah, the police are being armed to the hilt, and Obama's banning rifle ammo because some jokers have "pistolized" it.

Gert said...

Acc. the NYT:

In a November 2008 email, a city official said Barack Obama would not be president long because “what black man holds a steady job for four years?” Another email included a cartoon depicting African-Americans as monkeys. A third described black women having abortions as a way to curb crime.

I wouldn't trust the NYT selling me a second hand car but assuming they've got the basic facts right? African-Americans as monkeys? That's a very old racial stereotype.

Petraeus will get off with a mild slap on the wrist I think.

Don't really get your 'pistolized' reference, 'splain? Militarising police is pre-Obama.

Gert said...

Re Petreaus, all I can say is that some men will do anything to get laid! ;-)

Thersites said...

The whole Petraeus scandal is the Left doing "payback" for their "surge" embarrassments (NY Times - General Betray-us). If Petraeus hadn't been right, or had been a "loyal Democrat" there never would have been a retaliatory scandal.

As for the jokes, a shared obscenity is necessary. Yeah, monkeys "is" a bit "more" racist. So what? If it had been another stereotype like "big penis'" instead, DOJ would have still been crying "Racists!"

As for the ammo comment, along with "militarizing" the police has come a "demilitarization" of the local population. Pretty soon, the only "weapons" we'll be "allowed" are the stones lying in the streets.

You can't claim that the "spirit" of a joke is "racist" if you BAN all racial jokes (including those done for purposes of achieving empathy/solidarity). In that case, the only thing "proven" is a Leftist totalitarian "intolerance".

Thersites said...

btw - In our discussion, who's the "fool" and who's the "knave"? (vis Monkeyballs)

Gert said...

If one holds 'certain' people in such contempt one shouldn't be entrusted with 'serving and protecting' them. I think that's just common sense. Making racist jokes though isn't illegal, nor should it be.

I don't think the anti-gun lobby has made that many inroads yet. Your guns appear safe to me.

Gert said...

And of course 'big penis' could be a racist stereotype. 'Negroe' was neutral until is was made pejorative. And now 'nigger' is being reclaimed.

Gert said...

Wikipedia:

"This is a list of countries by guns per capita (number of privately owned small firearms divided by number of residents)."

USA ranks #1 (followed by a mystery runner up, Serbia), with 90 guns per 100 residents. Take away infants and others who aren't allowed guns for various legit reasons, sounds like you're far away from having to use sticks and stones.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Number_of_guns_per_capita_by_country

-FJ said...

Obama doesn't hold "whites" in "contempt"? Who knew.

Gert said...

What do you base that on?

Gert said...

Seems to me no POTUS escapes 'POTUS derangement syndrome'. ;-)

Your move.

Gert said...

The only meaningful way to judge a president is to what extent he's the puppet of those in real power. In that respect there's no significant difference between R or D POTUSes.

-FJ said...

The "double standard" in evidence:

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) on Wednesday questioned whether Hillary Clinton improperly shared classified information like former CIA Director David Petraeus.

Asked on "Fox and Friends" whether Clinton's exclusive use of a personal email address during her time as secretary of State raised national security concerns, Chaffetz said, "It does beg the question: Were there any sort of classified pieces of information that were flowing through her personal email account?"

"Which is something you can't do and something yesterday Gen. Petraeus had to plead guilty to, or was going out in a deal, dealing with his personal email and interaction with somebody who didn't have a classification," Chaffetz added.

Petraeus reached a plea deal, the Justice Department announced Tuesday, over charges he failed to turn over for archiving small record books kept while commanding U.S. forces in Afghanistan, instead providing them and their classified information to his mistress, Paula Broadwell, who wrote a biography of the Army general.

-FJ said...

What do you base that on?

His own words?

-FJ said...

here's no significant difference between R or D POTUSes

On THAT we can both agree.

Gert said...

How does the ill treatment [assuming it's true] of one 'white man' amount to "holding whites in contempt"? That's like saying criticising Obama amounts to racism.

Criticising Obama for his 'blackness' or trying to connect his incompetence to 'black inferiority' [or such like] would be racism, of course. Where do Petreaus' accusers connect his alleged misdemeanour with being white?

Your Obama quote seems to me a clumsy critique of White-on-black racism and the invocation a form of rightwing whataboutery.

Gert said...

I've seen this happen all too often: rightwingers denying there even is such a thing as racism, then using the weakest possible case as 'proof' an opponent is racist!

See also Ziobots.

-FJ said...

I'm not trying to argue that Petraus is the victim of racism, just a double standard "indicative" of a certain "contempt for the other" not "unlike" racism. A "quilting" of ideological constructs tatamount to the same thing as racism.

I'm a firm believer in the concept of "acta non verba". It was my college's motto. And so when Obama joins a church that demonizes "whites", I don't have to argue as to where his sympathies and contempt lies.

-FJ said...

The day that Democrats treat their own the same way they treat "Republicans" is the day that I'll submit to one of their hypocritical tongue lashings vis- "racism". Till then, they can "shove it!"

Gert said...

Do you think Petreaus did wrong?

If not you can look at ulterior motives for his prosecution. But not otherwise, IMO.

Has this become yet another partisan issue?

Gert said...

Full disclosure: I haven't the foggiest about his culpability and know only of the rudiments of the case.

Gert said...

And so when Obama joins a church that [...]

Is that an actual Church [place of worship or Christian denomination] or a term of phrase you're using?

-FJ said...

Did Petreaus do wrong? Technically... but as one who has worked in the "classified" world, it is literally "impossible" to not "do wrong". As a CINC running a war, he did what he needed to do to "operate" (kept notes). That he "shared" them with a woman who had "clearance" and was his biographer/ mistress... is a big "so what?" That Hillary ran the entire US foreign policy "off-the-record" is a MUCH bigger deal. Imagine if Petreas had Chelsea Manninged the entire contents of all his classified records. THAT is the equivalent of what Hillary did.

-FJ said...

And as for Obama's church, yes, it had a real pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and preached black liberation theology. The "Hate Whitey not yourself" school of radical polemics.

Gert said...

He did leave that Church and pastor in a hurry.

Someone on Megyn Kelly yesterday claimed Jeb Bush had done the same as Hillary Clinton. 3,000,000 emails on private servers he claimed.

Gert said...

O/T:

A comment by FreeThinke on AOW ('Obama and terrorism')

[snip]

Unfortunately, the Jews in Hollywood and the Jews who ran the Enemedia, and the Jews who'd grabbed control of most of our universities were just too strong for him.

[snip]

The Entertainment Industry, the News Media and the Indoctrinational Establishment (our Juniversities) dominated by Cultural Marxists (the Frankfurt School was100% Jewish in origin) had already steered The Good Ship AMERICA into an iceberg.


Wow, that's pure 'Protocols'!

Gert said...

Germany, ooops, America destroyed by the Joooos...

-FJ said...

Turn out that a LOT of politicians are doing it (e-mail off the record). Martin O'Malley, our ex-Governor currently contemplating a run.

...and FT does love to fill the "gap" caused by the absence of a "Big Other" with Jews... personally, I prefer a more "generic" elite.

-FJ said...

Just label me "anti-intellectual". ;)

-FJ said...

Good book. ;)

Gert said...

Yeah, there's a lot more about the Joooos:

http://freethinkesblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/what-does-term-alienated-jew-mean-to.html

"Certainly the Jews, themselves, -- or rather we would say a highly vocal element among them who have a made a virtual profession of touting, defending and promoting their Jewishness as such -- against real or imagined evidence of "anti-Semitism" by ceaselessly casting aspersions at gentiles and others not of the Jews' singular, self-styled brand of humanity -- have spared Shakespeare and many many others no end of vilification in their ceaseless attempt to promote what-may-be called for-want-of-a-better-term The Jewish Agenda."

The Jewish Agenda. Strong echos of The protocols of the Elders of Zion.

"I have a HUGE problem with Christian Fundamentalists who pride themselves on being "Bible-Believing," while openly scorning what-they-call "New Testament Christians." They fanatically support the establishment of Modern Day Israel, which has functioned primarily as a THORN in the SIDE of the Entire World since its inception."

A thorn in the side of the entire world? Blimey, just about any Western Nation supports Israel, as do so many Arab nations (at least their G'ments).

"Somewhere, somehow, someone MUST some day provide a rational explanation of why, despite their being highly intelligent people capable of impressive achievements, the Jews have functioned throughout history as a MAGNET for dislike, distrust, contempt, out-and-out hatred, rejection and persecution."

They've only got themselves to blame, i.o.w.

"THEY would claim it has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with ANYTHING that THEY have ever done. Logic -- and the Law of Averages -- says otherwise."

Ditto. Historical insight or perpective: ZERO.

"Why have the JEWS -- and according them, ONLY the Jews -- been singled out more than ANY OTHER PEOPLE -- for this kind of rough treatment? It stands to reason that it MUST have SOMETHING to do with the way THEY tend to act."

Most Jewish historians believe the Jewsih historical experience is a checkered one, as is inevitable for a people scattered to the four corners of the world. Periods of intense persecution and banisment alternated with periods and pockets of great prosperity and occasional roles as oppressors.

"That is certainly true of The Chosen -- and to a certain extent the Irish -- but of all the immigrant groups who arrived on our shores in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries ALL of which were given -- and GAVE EACH OTHER -- a hard time virtually ALL assimilated and became full-fledged Americans within a generation or two. But the JEWS have chosen very deliberately, I think, to remain SINGULAR -- APART -- IN-but-never-OF the mainstream."

Assimilation of Jews worldwide rivals that of most other minority groups, some elements withstanding assimilation nonetheless. Does assimilation mean all being the same?

And I thought he said that they were over-represented in Hollywood, Academia, public service and so on?

"The Jewish Rejection of the THEIR Messiah and OUR Lord and Savior MUST be the reason their entire existence has been beset by woe ever since. No one could deliberately set himself against GOD and expect to win anything but trouble, heartache, misery, grief and perpetual dissatisfaction with life."

So reductionist I won't even begin refuting it. Jews often suffered at the hands of atheists too. No amount of embracing the 'Lord and Saviour' would have changed that.

FreeThinke? More UnThinke, I think. Ahistorical tosh, petty theorettes that border on Tourettes. Free of Reason, perhaps...

And there's more of the same on his Jon Stewart thread, another 'chosen one', don't you know? Think of Stewart as an imbecile if you want, but why bring up his Jewishness?

Gert said...

All emphasis and italics were his, BTW. Faithfully reproduced. 'We report, you decide' ;-)

I'm just watching O'Lielly (a stand in) and a D is reeling off names of R-people who used private emails, Colin 'Iraqi WMD' Powel among many others. I don't think this preliminary attack on H. Clintooon is going to work too well. Keep yer powder dry!

-FJ said...

So who's your stain that fills in the gap and creates the social relationship?

To exemplify this necessity of supplementing the analysis of discourse with the logic of enjoyment we have only to look again at the special case of ideology, which is perhaps the purest incarnation of ideology as such: anti-Semitism. To put it bluntly: 'Society doesn't exist', and the Jew is its symptom. -Slavoj Zizek, "The Sublime Object of Ideology"

-FJ said...

On the symptom.

Gert said...

As regards Hofstadter's book, I found this review very interesting. And I learned a new word: equipoise, in Hofstadter's understanding of intellectualism:

It accepts conflict as a central and enduring reality and understands human society as a form of equipoise based upon the continuing process of compromise. It shuns ultimate showdowns and looks upon the ideal of total partisan victory as unattainable, as merely another variety of threat to the kind of balance with which it is familiar. It is sensitive to nuances and sees things in degrees. It is essentially relativist and skeptical, but at the same time circumspect and humane.

My stains: imperialism, colonialism, oppression, sexism/racism, outrageous and forced inequality, totalitarianism, Zionism (in its oppressive manifestations)

Gert said...

Something you won't read about in NYT/Wapo/Fox:

Allying themselves with the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, some Lebanese Christians are standing their ground against ISIS

-FJ said...

It was "required reading" in my undergrad Poly Sci class. The Admin (Carter) of my school (run by MarAd) was trying to compensate for the "excesses" under McNamara.

-FJ said...

I'm not at all surprised that many "minority religions" are allying themselves with Assad, et al. It beats being executed outright.

-FJ said...

...and bourgeois "formal democracy" (as opposed to socialist/communist "organized democracy") is based upon the idea of "temporary" victors w/o any corrupt naratives as to the "will of the people".

As Zizek says in "The Sublime Object of Ideology", The Lacanian definition of democracy would then be: a sociopolitical order in which the People do not exist - do not exist as a unity, embodied in their unique representative. That is why the basic feature of the democratic order is that the place of Power is, by necessity of its structure, an empty place. In a democratic order, sovereinty lies in the People - but what is the People if not, precisely, the collection of the subjects of power? Here we have the same paradox as that of natural language which is at the same time the ultimate, the highest metalanguage. Because the People cannot immediately govern themselves, the place of Power must always remain an empty place; any person occupying it can only do so temporarily, as a kind of surrogate, a substitute for the real-impossible sovereign - 'nobody can rule innocently' as Saint-Just puts it. And in totalitarianism, the Party becomes again the very subject who, being the immediate embodiment of the People, CAN rule innocently. It is not by accident that the real-socialist countries call themselves 'people's democracies' - here, finally, 'the People' exist again.

It is against the background of this emptying of the place of Power that we can measure the break introduced by the 'democratic invention' (Lefort) in the history of institutions: 'democratic society' could be determined as a society whose institutional structure includes, as a part of its 'normal', 'regular' reproduction, the moment of dissolution of the socio-symbolic bond, the moment od irruption of the Real: elections. Lefort interprets elections (those of the 'formal', 'bourgeois' democracy) as an act of symbolic dissolution of the social edifice: their crucial feature is the one that is usually made target for Marxist criticism of 'formal democracy' - the fact that we take part as abstract citizens, atomized individuals, reduced to pure Ones without further qualifications.

At the moment of election, the whole hierarchical network of social relations is in a way suspended, put in parenthesis; 'society' as an organic unity ceases to exist, it changes into a collection of atomized individuals, of abstract units, and the result depends on a purely quantitative mechanism of counting, ultimately on a stochastic process: ..... determines the general orientation of the county's politics over the next few years... in vain do we conceal this thoroughly 'irrational' character of what we call 'formal democracy': at the moment of an election, the society is delivered to a stochastic process. Only the acceptance of such a risk, only such a readiness to hand over one's fate to 'irrational' hazard, renders 'democracy' possible....

Gert said...

I'm not at all surprised that many "minority religions" are allying themselves with Assad, et al. It beats being executed outright.

That's correct. But I believe MB/al Qaida/Jihadists were messing with Assad right from the start, contrary to what the West claimed.

Way before all this, when Syria was ruled by a secular military dictatorship (the 'Military Committee') and Papa Assad was about to seize power, the MB were the main opposition (for better or for worse).

ACC 'skeptics': Dionysus v. Apollo

-FJ said...

Nietzsche's "problem with Science" was the "day labourer" approach to it, much as the "problem of journalism" was an hourly-wage making writer's "culture creation" activity.

-FJ said...

It lacks a "Newton" or "Einstein" that puts all the pieces together into a cohesive "universal" whole.

-FJ said...

...and I still contend that the whole "Middle East" fiasco is the Shi'a-Sunni battles of REFORMATION.

I'm sympathetic to the "Catholic" Sunni's, but the Shi'a are the "underdog" Protestants (15% of the Ummah).

Gert said...

Science is a very sophisticated business with a limited 'mandate'. We work on very complicated but very limited problems.

Who, in your scheme is supposed to be the 'reformer'? Sunni, Shia, a 'third party'?

Catholics aren't part of the Ummah.

Shock! Glenn Beck actually says something I agree with!

My battalion's motto: 'Regis ultima ratio'.

Gert said...

Christians, I meant of course.

Gert said...

It lacks a "Newton" or "Einstein" that puts all the pieces together into a cohesive "universal" whole.

The chance of that happening is ever diminishing with the exponential explosion of the paradigm into sub-paradigms and sub-sub-paradigms. Like urban sprawls, scientific conglomeration and atomisation compete with each other.

And I never was a 'scientific positivist' to begin with. Well, maybe when I was 16...

Gert said...

Boko Haram is pledging allegiance to ISIS by tweet!

Obviously none of that leadership have ever been jilted by a lover by text message. ;-)

Freedomnow said...

I disagree that the Sunni-Shiite war is a Reformation (although it can turn into one)

The modern version of this war is nothing but Sunnis reigniting claims of their Caliphate and defending that claim by killing those they consider apostates and a threat to it.

There is nothing in the Shiite response to suggest that they claim to be reforming Islam.

To the contrary the Shiite militias fighting back have similar medieval religious views that promote Islamic law over secular.

Everything is going backwards...

-FJ said...

I base my "Reformation" thesis on the following (Zizek, "Archives of Islam") "Which, then, is the repressed Event which gives vitality to Islam? The key is provided by the reply to another question: how does Islam, the third Religion of the Book, fit into this series? Judaism is the religion of genealogy, of succession of generations; when, in Christianity, the Son dies on the Cross, this means that the Father also dies (as Hegel was fully aware) – the patriarchal genealogical order as such dies, the Holy Spirit does not fit the family series, it introduces a post-paternal/familial community. In contrast to both Judaism and Christianity, the two other religions of the book, Islam excludes God from the domain of the paternal logic: Allah is not a father, not even a symbolic one – God is one, he is neither born nor does he give birth to creatures. There is no place for a Holy Family in Islam. This is why Islam emphasizes so much the fact that Muhammed himself was an orphan; this is why, in Islam, God intervenes precisely at the moments of the suspension, withdrawal, failure, “black-out,” of the paternal function (when the mother or the child are abandoned or ignored by the biological father). What this means is that God remains thoroughly in the domain of impossible-Real: he is the impossible-Real outside father, so that there is a “genealogical desert between man and God”(320). This was the problem with Islam for Freud, since his entire theory of religion is based on the parallel of God with father. More importantly even, this inscribes politics into the very heart of Islam, since the “genealogical desert” renders impossible to ground a community in the structures of parenthood or other blood-links: “the desert between God and Father is the place where the political institutes itself”(320). With Islam, it is no longer possible to ground a community in the mode of Totem and Taboo, through the murder of the father and the ensuing guilt as bringing brothers together – thence Islam’s unexpected actuality.

The Shia's "resurrect" the genealogical "family". Only members of the prophet's "family" can be "Grand Ayatollah's". They are NOT the "orphan" Sunni's. They are not the Ummah's (ALL). For to love ALL, there must be always at least 1 that you "hate", and that "hate" is for those who prefer "blood relations" to "religious" ones.

The Sunni's are attempting to "obliterate" this Shi'a "heresy"... which is why they insist that the leadership linage be limited to the first Four "righteous caliph's", and not extended to subsequent caliph's, members of the "prophet's family", as the "Twelvers" insist.

Gert said...

Well, you (Zizek) may be onto something. Shi'ism is of course a kind of usurping heresy and with its system of Islamic clergy more prone to form theocracies like Iran. Contrast this with predominantly Sunni Indonesia which is close to secular.

But ISIS is Sunni so a hypothetical 'Sunni victory' doesn't bode well either.

Thersites said...

Before Khomeini's "Wilayat Al-Faqih" "heresy", the Shi'a tradition was dominated by the "quietists" of Najaf. The theocratic "Guardianship of the Jurists" is a Shi'a "heresy" as well, centered (thanks to Saddam Hussein) in Qom.