Jump to content


Getting an "Insecure Connection" warning for Exisle? No worry

Details in this thread

Is there a rising tide of fascism in the U.S.?

Politics-American Fascism Fears

  • Please log in to reply
72 replies to this topic

#41 Rhea

Rhea

  • Islander
  • 16,433 posts

Posted 10 February 2005 - 02:01 PM

offworlder, on Feb 9 2005, 07:26 PM, said:

Four- there really isn't brownshirting going on there in Wash-town, and I'm slightly offended by the writer's word choice and instigation ... it's really not that, it's just a bit of "so we can outnumber 'them' now so let's use that power to make it all how we want" -isms ......... mixed with a tablespoon of "grab the big stick we now wield and push as far as we can for what we want" -isms .....

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I agree. I find it morally contemptible that anybody, regardless of party, can go as overboard as the Republicans have the last 5 years. Whatever happened to fiscal responsibility, for instance? Ah well, at least my brother the Republican can't use that one in arguments any more.  :devil:

I think what scares me most about Bush being re-elected is that it seems to me that there's no awareness that you can be a  perfectly decent, God-fearing Christian and make really BAD choices. All most of the people who voted for him that I know cared about was a) he's a nice Christian family man or b) he's not John Kerry.  :eek:
The future is better than the past. Despite the crepehangers, romanticists, and anti-intellectuals, the world steadily grows better because the human mind, applying itself to environment, makes it better. With hands...with tools...with horse sense and science and engineering.
- Robert A. Heinlein

When I don’t understand, I have an unbearable itch to know why. - RAH


Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.  - RAH

#42 Lover of Purple

Lover of Purple

    Mustang Man

  • Retired Board Owner
  • 11,215 posts

Posted 10 February 2005 - 02:08 PM

^^Kind of like many people who voted for Kerry.

1. He isn't Bush

2. He isn't Bush.

:D

#43 Spectacles

Spectacles
  • Awaiting Authorisation
  • 9,632 posts

Posted 12 February 2005 - 08:17 PM

I just happened upon this article, from The Memphis Flyer. The writer shares her experiences of being, um, disagreed with on the street because of her bumper stickers, and she goes on to discuss the essays by Roberts and McConnell.

http://www.memphisfl...cleID=6&ID=6896
"Facts are stupid things." -Ronald Reagan at the 1988 Republican National Convention, attempting to quote John Adams, who said, "Facts are stubborn things"

"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman

#44 waterpanther

waterpanther
  • Islander
  • 1,944 posts

Posted 12 February 2005 - 09:08 PM

A similar take on the subject from a slightly different angle:

Quote

Waiting for the barbarians

A once-great empire, Rome fell into catastrophic cultural and economic decline. Morris Berman on chilling parallels with modern America

Saturday October 6, 2001
The Guardian

When I wrote my recent book, The Twilight of American Culture, my focus was on what might be called "inner" barbarism, the structural factors endemic to American society that were, I believed, bringing about its disintegration.
The contemporary American situation could be compared to that of Rome in the Late Empire period, and the factors involved in the process of decline in each case are pretty much the same: a steadily widening gap between rich and poor; declining marginal returns with regard to investment in organisational solutions to socioeconomic problems (in the US, dwindling funds for social security and medicare); rapidly dropping levels of literacy, critical understanding, and general intellectual awareness; and what might be called "spiritual death": apathy, cynicism, political corruption, loss of public spirit, and the repackaging of cultural content (eg "democracy") as slogans and formulas.

What I overlooked, however, was perhaps the most obvious point of comparison; obvious, at least, with the benefit of hindsight. This is the factor of external barbarism, destruction from without. The events of September 11 brought that possibility home, in stark relief.

In the case of Rome, the historical outline is clear enough. The Goths began pressing against the border of the Roman empire from the late third century, and scored a decisive victory in AD 378, when Roman legions were resoundingly defeated at Adrianople.

"The battle", wrote historian Solomon Katz, "did more than expose the weakness of Rome to the barbarians and encourage them to return to the attack again and again, for never afterward did they leave Roman soil".

From that time on, siege and potential invasion became facts of Roman life. The Visigoth leader Alaric invaded Italy in 401, and finally captured and sacked Rome in 410. The city was further sacked by the Vandals in 455, and in 476 barbarian mercenaries deposed the last Roman emperor and put the Germanic chieftain Odoacer on the throne, making him king of the western empire.

America, too, now has barbarians at the gates, and also, it would seem, within them. It, too, is committed to a war to the finish, "total victory", defined by President Bush as the point at which there are no longer any terrorist organisations capable of international reach - which some would say is a formula for permanent war.

One photograph of the shell of the World Trade Centre eerily resembles pictures of the Roman Coliseum. But there are many more concrete similarities between the invasion of Rome and the attack on America. As American military personnel have recently suggested, September 11 is not likely to be the end of it. The US can expect further terrorist attacks on its soil.

More poignant, the destruction of the WTC showed that America is not invincible. In the case of Adrianople, things were never the same thereafter. The sharks smelled blood, and they kept coming back. America can expect something similar. (Note also that just as the barbarians used Rome's excellent network of roads to mount their invasions, so did the terrorists of September 11 use America's aviation schools, banking systems, internet accessibility and the like to mount theirs.)

The response of the empire is to regard the attackers as the ultimate Other. ("Barbarian", comes from an ancient Greek anecdote, that those who couldn't speak Greek just uttered strange sounds - "bar bar" - that didn't amount to a real language.) In the main, the Romans had no understanding of non civilisation: of different values, nomadic ways of life.

Similarly, America views Islamic terrorism as completely irrational; there is no understanding of the political context of this activity, a context of American military attack on, or crippling economic sanctions against, a host of Arab nations - with unilateral support for Israel constituting the central, running sore.

Instead, the enemy is characterised as "jealous of our way of life", "hateful of freedom", and so on. Hence President Bush, no less than the Islamic terrorists, uses the language of religious war: we are on a "crusade"; the military operation was initially called "Infinite Justice"; and the enemy is "evil itself".

Along with this is the belief that the pax Romana/Americana is the only "reasonable" way to live. In the American case, we have a military and economic empire that views the world as one big happy market, and believes that everybody needs to come on board. We - that is, global corporate consumerism - are the future, "progress".

If the "barbarians" fail to share this vision, they are "medieval"; if they resist, "evil". Most historians see a relationship, in the case of Rome, between its internal decay and its susceptibility to invasion. By the fourth century, if not much before, Rome had lost its central value, the legacy of Greek culture, and was effectively existing for the sake of military and administrative purposes.

As it overextended itself, creating a huge standing army and a bloated military budget, the middle class began to disappear, and there was a reciprocal, reinforcing interaction between internal decadence and instability on the one hand, and external vulnerability on the other. I n the case of the United States, the nation no longer stands for the enlightenment tradition, but rather for military-political hegemony and the total commodification of life.

It is hardly an accident that the terrorists' targets were the WTC, symbol of American global finance, and the Pentagon (although the White House was apparently the original target in this case). Consider how remarkable, even bizarre, it would have been if the terrorists had selected instead the Jefferson memorial and Columbia University.

But the latter no longer represent the United States; Wall Street does. What is likely to happen, as obtained in the case of Rome, is increasing budgetary appropriations for military expenditures, leaving (in the American case) fewer and fewer funds for education, the rebuilding of cities, health care and social welfare. As in the case of American involvement in Vietnam, this could eventually bleed the country morally and financially.

In addition, military action versus Iraq, Afghanistan, and other Arab nations will sow the seeds of more intifadas. By the third century, nearly every Roman denarius collected in taxes was going into military and administrative maintenance, to the point that the state was drifting towards bankruptcy. The denarius, which had a silver content of 92% in Nero's reign (AD 54-68) was down to 43% silver by the early third century.

The third century saw even greater increases in the size of the army and the government bureaucracy, followed by further debasement of the coinage and enormous inflation. The standing army rose from 300,000 troops in AD 235 to about 600,000 a mere 70 years later. By the time the fifth century rolled around, Rome was an empire in name only. Spiritual and intellectual collapse were unavoidable in such a demoralised context, expecially because the economic life of the cities was virtually destroyed.

For centuries, the aim had been to hellenise or romanise the rest of the population - to pass on the learning and ideals of Greco-Roman civilisation. But as the economic crisis deepened, a new mentality arose among the masses, one based on religion, which was hostile to the achievements of higher culture.

In addition, as in contemporary America, the new "intellectual" efforts were designed to cater to the masses, until intellectual life was brought down to the lowest common denominator. This, according to the great historian of Rome, MI Rostovtzeff, was the most conspicuous feature in the development of the ancient world during the imperial age: primitive forms of life finally drowning out the higher ones.

For civilisation is impossible without a hierarchy of quality, and as soon as that gets flattened into a mass phenomenon, its days are numbered. "The main phenomenon which underlies the process of decline," wrote Rostovtzeff, "is the gradual absorption of the educated classes by the masses and the consequent simplification of all the functions of political, social, economic, and intellectual life, which we call the barbarisation of the ancient world."

Religion played a critical role in these developments. By the third century, if not before, there was an attitude among many Christians that education was not relevant to salvation, and that ignorance had a positive spiritual value (an early version of Forrest Gump, one might say).

The third century saw a sharp increase in mysticism and a belief in knowledge by revelation. Charles Radding, in A World Made By Men, argues that the cognitive ability of comparing different viewpoints or perspectives (quite evident in Augustine's Confessions, for example) had disappeared by the sixth century.

Even by the fourth century, he says, what little that had survived from Greek and Roman philosophy was confused with magic and superstition (much as we see in today's new age beliefs or in the so-called philosophy section of many bookstores). Only a warped version of the classical culture of antiquity remained.

"Short of the mass destruction of the libraries", writes Radding, "a more complete collapse of a classical civilisation is hard to imagine." And so the proverbial lights went out in western Europe. The parallels with contemporary America are not identical, but they do seem disturbing. The factors of hype, ignorance, potential bankruptcy and extreme social inequality are overwhelming, and they make a kind of spiritual death - apathy and classicist formalism - ultimately unavoidable.

The phrase "Twilight of American Culture", however, implies an eventual dawn, and at some point we are going to emerge from our contemporary twilight and future darkness, if only because no historical configuration is the end of history. After centuries of stagnation, the culture of the Latin west became a viable option once more, thanks to the medieval monasteries, especially Irish ones, which began to stow away nuggets of intellectual achievement from Roman civilisation.

That, however, is a whole other story. In terms of the current American situation, recovery at the external level probably depends on a reconsideration of American foreign policy but also a reconsideration of internal purposes. The United States does not seem to grasp the impact of its current foreign policy on the have-nots of this world. Without such an understanding, an Israeli-style scenario would seem to be inevitable: a garrison state, and a condition of endless siege. It is a chilling thought, the possibility that for the remainder of the new century, America will be waiting for the barbarians.

Guardian

Edited by waterpanther, 12 February 2005 - 09:12 PM.

Posted Image

#45 Palisades

Palisades

    Northern Lights

  • Islander
  • 7,753 posts

Posted 12 February 2005 - 10:31 PM

self-serving elitism said:

For civilisation is impossible without a hierarchy of quality, and as soon as that gets flattened into a mass phenomenon, its days are numbered. "The main phenomenon which underlies the process of decline," wrote Rostovtzeff, "is the gradual absorption of the educated classes by the masses and the consequent simplification of all the functions of political, social, economic, and intellectual life, which we call the barbarisation of the ancient world."
Ah, so in a well-designed social system we'll have the highly educated elites telling the "masses" what to do. Also, I note that this elitist author has basically argued that civilization is impossible under democracy since it gives each citizen one vote rather than maintaining a "hierarchy of quality."
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#46 waterpanther

waterpanther
  • Islander
  • 1,944 posts

Posted 12 February 2005 - 11:14 PM

Nice try, but no cigar.  I suggest you do some reading up on the Reformation and the Enlightenment.  One of the great virtues of those movements was that they absorbed the "masses" into the "educated classes" with their insistence on literacy and the need for every person to read the Bible for him/herself.  The result was the radical expansion of the middle class, without which democracy as we know it is impossible.  

The "hierarchy of quality" does not apply to persons here, but to ideas.  For instance, there is a clear hierachy of quality between the scientifically tenable  theory of evolution and the baseless notion of creationism that is currently being shoved down the throats of educators and students by the right wing.  When the dialectic is so debased by propaganda that a large number of people can no longer tell the difference, we'll be in trouble.

:eek2: Ooops.  We're in trouble right now.
Posted Image

#47 Palisades

Palisades

    Northern Lights

  • Islander
  • 7,753 posts

Posted 12 February 2005 - 11:46 PM

waterpanther, on Feb 12 2005, 11:14 PM, said:

One of the great virtues of the [the Reformation and the Enlightenment] was that they absorbed the "masses" into the "educated classes" with their insistence on literacy and the need for every person to read the Bible for him/herself. The result was the radical expansion of the middle class, without which democracy as we know it is impossible.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


While what you say is true, this doesn't explain why the author chose to write a rant on the liberal meme of class warfare and the barbarian masses rather than to argue that we should reform our educational system to better prepare future voters to participate in their government and critically analyze the issues.

Edited by Solar Wind, 12 February 2005 - 11:48 PM.

"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#48 waterpanther

waterpanther
  • Islander
  • 1,944 posts

Posted 12 February 2005 - 11:54 PM

True.  But then, the essay is not about "the liberal meme of class warfare and the barbarian masses."

I do love the conservative style of argument that just keeps tossing right-wing memes--regardless of their appropriateness--in the apparent hope that eventually one will have something to do with the original statement.  What's your next riposte?  "Kerry is a flip-flopper?"   :lol:
Posted Image

#49 Palisades

Palisades

    Northern Lights

  • Islander
  • 7,753 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 12:42 AM

waterpanther, on Feb 12 2005, 11:54 PM, said:

the essay is not about "the liberal meme of class warfare and the barbarian masses."
The essay is about how the masses and their “primitive forms of life” are drowning out the “educated classes” and their “higher [forms of life],” thereby leading to the barbarization of America and our doom and gloom.


waterpanther said:

What's your next riposte?  "Kerry is a flip-flopper?"   :lol:
Oh, and here I thought that the election was about who had the character and the wisdom to lead. Kerry authorized the use of force against Iraq, but when polls showed the anti-war Democrats beating him in the primary polls, he decided to vote against funding the war he authorized, thereby showing that his standing in the polls was more important to him than the lives and well being of the troops. And when asked how he could do such a thing, he defended himself by saying, "I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it."
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#50 waterpanther

waterpanther
  • Islander
  • 1,944 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:01 AM

Quote

The essay is about how the masses and their “primitive forms of life” are drowning out the “educated classes” and their “higher [forms of life],” thereby leading to the barbarization of America and our doom and gloom.

Actually, that's a point a quoted historian makes about Rome.  Or do you really think the fifth century CE in Western Europe was an improvement over the first?

Quote

Oh, and here I thought that the election was about who had the character and the wisdom to lead.

Evidently not, given that GeeDubya possess neither.
Posted Image

#51 Palisades

Palisades

    Northern Lights

  • Islander
  • 7,753 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:34 AM

waterpanther, on Feb 13 2005, 01:01 AM, said:

Quote

The essay is about how the masses and their “primitive forms of life” are drowning out the “educated classes” and their “higher [forms of life],” thereby leading to the barbarization of America and our doom and gloom.
Actually, that's a point a quoted historian makes about Rome.
And the author of the essay is clearly trying to draw a parallel between Rome and America.
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#52 Gefiltefishmon

Gefiltefishmon

    Oolong Caluphids Private Secretary

  • Islander
  • 789 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:36 AM

^^^ I notice there is no by-line on that op-ed piece from the Guardian. Typical.

What this author obviously fails to understand is that Islam- as it is currently practiced in most (but not all) places - is fundamentally opposed to the future of humanity, progress, human rights, the rights of women and children, freedoms of any kind and essentially anything which does not prop up their house of cards.

If Islam does not go through a "reformation" like both the Christian and Jewish faiths did, it will lead to eventual holy war which will consume the globe. Ignoring the poor and downtrodden of the Islamic world will only hasten this eventual conflict but nothing will prevent it, short of the reformation of Islam or the erradication of every Islamic individual on the planet. There are no other options. There are, of course, "fundamental" sects of both Christianity and Judaism, but as a whole they tend to be much less of a problem than it would seem - although it should be noted that in America as in Israel there have been problems and even violence associated with both Jewish and Christian Fundamentalists - but nothing which would harken the death knell of our civilisation!

We've run simulation after simulation on our mainframes here at the university and the eventual outcome is always the same - Global Thermonuclear destruction. Starting in Israel, mostly, though if a conflict starts in Indonesia it could simmer away for a period of months to a year before it explodes. If it starts with Israel, it's a matter of days at most, hours at worst. There is no "Peaceful Solution". There is no capability of compromise.

Instead of seeing America as the twilight Romans and planting the seed in the minds of the very Barbarians at our gate that we are IN FACT ripe for the picking, perhaps the author's time would have been better spent talking about reforming Islam into a religion which can fulfill the spiritual needs of it's followers WITHOUT necessitating the destruction of every other viewpoint. Remember that Islam refers to the outside world in two ways; That part of the world which is "under Islamic Control" and those parts of the world which "Are not YET under Islamic Control". This is not the enlightened viewpoint of a religion which seeks to live at peace with the rest of the world. Clearly, it is the viewpoint of a religion which seeks utter and total world domination and the destruction of all other viewpoints and religions, though at this point it should be mentioned that Mohammed (PBUH) certaintly felt that Jews and Christians would jump at the chance to follow Allah, and he was somewhat perplexed at the resistance to his new religion. This could be easily considered to be a rationale behind the viewpoint of "Us and Them" but still, it's not very enlightened, perhaps it needs a re-write? And for those who think that's not possible, I would like to point out that the Bible itself has been through a number of revisions and re-writes and is a very different document today than it was a thousand years ago.

I would certaintly consider it more productive to seek ways for Islam to build a bridge from the past into the future than poking America with a great stick, calling for the the barbarians to sack it and calling it a "Twilight Empire" - Which, all things considered is rather a funny thing for the former 'British Empire' to say about America. You wanna talk twilight? HA





PS. If I'm so "down on Islam" why show respect to the Prophet (PBUH)? Because I am a Buddhist, and we try (Give me strength I try!, though I know I am not always successful at it) to be respectful of everyone. Thankfully, you all here are more than prepared to let me know when I am not being respectful. You get the point.
"To know that you do not know is the best. To act from the pretense that you know when you do not know is a disease" - Lao Tzu

"From All, One; and From One, All" - Heraclitus

"Let me be clear: however the world's goblet turns there will always be those drunk on the wine of the Self" - Ghalib

"A 'politically savvy challenge to evolution' is as self-evidently ridiculous as an agriculturally savvy challenge to euclidean geometry would be." - Charles Pierce

#53 Palisades

Palisades

    Northern Lights

  • Islander
  • 7,753 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:50 AM

Gefiltefishmon said:

We've run simulation after simulation on our mainframes here at the university and the eventual outcome is always the same - Global Thermonuclear destruction. Starting in Israel, mostly, though if a conflict starts in Indonesia it could simmer away for a period of months to a year before it explodes. If it starts with Israel, it's a matter of days at most, hours at worst. There is no "Peaceful Solution". There is no capability of compromise.

Do you have links to information on these simulations, and how they modeled the actions and responses of the various countries and groups of people as well as the complexities of the political, cultural, and religious influences acting on them?
"When the Fed is the bartender everybody drinks until they fall down." —Paul McCulley

"In truth, 'too big to fail' is not the worst thing we should fear – our financial institutions are now on their way to becoming 'too big to save'." —Simon Johnson

FKA:
TWP / An Affirming Flame / Solar Wind / Palisade

#54 Gefiltefishmon

Gefiltefishmon

    Oolong Caluphids Private Secretary

  • Islander
  • 789 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:54 AM

Quote

Do you have links to information on these simulations, and how they modeled the actions and responses of the various countries and groups of people as well as the complexities of the political, cultural, and religious influences acting on them?

I don't think any of it is online, I will check for you; but I can probably forward you a copy of the latest sims I have on my desk, via PM - I know they are multidimensional Sociology based programs that can model in 23 dimensions of human activity, but the Sosh guys can probably give you more info on that.

Oh and just for ref's I'm a statistician on the modeling team. You wouldn't believe the things we forecast (sometimes it seems more science fiction than pure science, heck I'm just glad to have an academic job again! I have developed an intense dislike for working on death statistics for insurance companies!)

Edited by Gefiltefishmon, 13 February 2005 - 01:57 AM.

"To know that you do not know is the best. To act from the pretense that you know when you do not know is a disease" - Lao Tzu

"From All, One; and From One, All" - Heraclitus

"Let me be clear: however the world's goblet turns there will always be those drunk on the wine of the Self" - Ghalib

"A 'politically savvy challenge to evolution' is as self-evidently ridiculous as an agriculturally savvy challenge to euclidean geometry would be." - Charles Pierce

#55 waterpanther

waterpanther
  • Islander
  • 1,944 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 01:56 AM

Quote

I notice there is no by-line on that op-ed piece from the Guardian. Typical.

The author's name is on the third line.

Quote

If Islam does not go through a "reformation" like both the Christian and Jewish faiths did, it will lead to eventual holy war which will consume the globe. Ignoring the poor and downtrodden of the Islamic world will only hasten this eventual conflict but nothing will prevent it, short of the reformation of Islam or the erradication of every Islamic individual on the planet.

Re-educate 'em all or wipe 'em out, huh?  Daayyyum, but General "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" Sherman  would've been proud!

Edited by waterpanther, 13 February 2005 - 01:59 AM.

Posted Image

#56 Lord Ravensburg

Lord Ravensburg

    All your lightsabers are belong to me

  • Islander
  • 533 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 02:03 AM

waterpanther, on Feb 13 2005, 06:56 AM, said:

'em all or wipe 'em out, huh?  Daayyyum, but General "The only good Indian is a dead Indian" Sherman  would've been proud!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't believe that anyone in this thread is advocating genocide.  The question was about moderate reform.

#57 Gefiltefishmon

Gefiltefishmon

    Oolong Caluphids Private Secretary

  • Islander
  • 789 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 02:07 AM

I knew many would find my viewpoint incendiary, but can you tell me please how to make a peaceful co-existence with a culture which has stated it's goal is the eventual conversion of the world to it's belief system or, failing that, it's destruction?

As I stated, I thought, Most clearly, what Islam must have is a "reformation" a modernization of it's tenets and systems to adapt to a changing world. Failing that, then yes, it's got to go.

And I consider myself to be a liberal, Imagine that!




And yes, Morriss Berman's name was hidden there in the tag-line, I missed it, my mistake!

Edited by Gefiltefishmon, 13 February 2005 - 02:11 AM.

"To know that you do not know is the best. To act from the pretense that you know when you do not know is a disease" - Lao Tzu

"From All, One; and From One, All" - Heraclitus

"Let me be clear: however the world's goblet turns there will always be those drunk on the wine of the Self" - Ghalib

"A 'politically savvy challenge to evolution' is as self-evidently ridiculous as an agriculturally savvy challenge to euclidean geometry would be." - Charles Pierce

#58 Gefiltefishmon

Gefiltefishmon

    Oolong Caluphids Private Secretary

  • Islander
  • 789 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 02:09 AM

Thank you Lord Ravensburg! Yes, I wish most fervently that Islam reforms into a religion which can support its believers into the future. I most dearly wish that would happen!!!
"To know that you do not know is the best. To act from the pretense that you know when you do not know is a disease" - Lao Tzu

"From All, One; and From One, All" - Heraclitus

"Let me be clear: however the world's goblet turns there will always be those drunk on the wine of the Self" - Ghalib

"A 'politically savvy challenge to evolution' is as self-evidently ridiculous as an agriculturally savvy challenge to euclidean geometry would be." - Charles Pierce

#59 tennyson

tennyson
  • Islander
  • 6,173 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 02:41 AM

I don't think the essay really shows a good grasp of the Roman Empire according to my own historical research. Imperial Rome has one of the best records of incorporating divergent cultural elements into itself of any pre-modern society. Each area they brought into thier empire, aside from a few exceptions such as Palestine where the dominant belief system was incompatible with emperor worship, maintained its cultural identity and added pieces of it to the Roman culture. Good upper class Romans were worshipping Isis and Mitra in mystery cults and pretty much adopted the whole Greek mythos on top of thier own. The emperors soldiers were taken from all the areas of the empire, and by the time of the invasions of the various other groups the Roman military was about as cultural intigrated as such an organization could be, with Goths, Vandals and other Germanic tribes serving with Sarmatians, Iberians, Greek and Romans. As long as you paid your taxes and gave lip service to the emperor they made no effort to change anything about the regions brought into the empire aside from providing them with infrastruture and building the occasional city. I think the author is confusing the Greek disdain for the nonGreek with what the Romans practiced, which was a much more inclusive system that was nominally available to anyone who would allow themselves to be part of it.
"Only an idiot would fight a war on two fronts. Only the heir to the throne of the Kingdom of Idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts."

— Londo, "Ceremonies of Light and Dark" Babylon-5


#60 waterpanther

waterpanther
  • Islander
  • 1,944 posts

Posted 13 February 2005 - 03:13 PM

Quote

I don't believe that anyone in this thread is advocating genocide.

Really?  Then what's this:

Quote

Ignoring the poor and downtrodden of the Islamic world will only hasten this eventual conflict but nothing will prevent it, short of the reformation of Islam or the erradication of every Islamic individual on the planet.

Quote

There are no other options.

How about containment?  It worked just fine with other world-dominating philosophies such as Soviet Communism and Maoism in China--and both of those states had and still have sufficient nuclear capability to wipe us out in a matter of hours.  (We can do the same back to them, of course.  MAD may be mad, but we're all alive to talk about it.)  It also worked remarkably well with Saddam before the recent invasion; as it turns out, he had no WMD's and very little else in his arsenal.  

Quote

Instead of seeing America as the twilight Romans and planting the seed in the minds of the very Barbarians at our gate that we are IN FACT ripe for the picking, perhaps the author's time would have been better spent talking about reforming Islam into a religion which can fulfill the spiritual needs of it's followers WITHOUT necessitating the destruction of every other viewpoint.

Oh, I don't think they need Mr. Berman's help to make the connections.  Osama bin Laden not only predicated his attack on this very idea but it's been a staple of jihadi rhetoric since well before the Iranian hostage crisis during Carter's tenure.

Quote

Remember that Islam refers to the outside world in two ways; That part of the world which is "under Islamic Control" and those parts of the world which "Are not YET under Islamic Control".

Bully!  When do we set about "eradicating" the neo-cons? :p What's the difference between this position and PNAC's?

Quote

Clearly, it is the viewpoint of a religion which seeks utter and total world domination and the destruction of all other viewpoints and religions,

In which it is in no way different from current fundamentalist Christianity and almost all forms of historical Christianity.

Quote

I would like to point out that the Bible itself has been through a number of revisions and re-writes and is a very different document today than it was a thousand years ago.

Not really.  It has been through a number of translations and reinterpretations, but the only major difference between the Vulgate of a thousand years ago and the versions available today is the option to include or exclude the Apocrypha.  The closest the remainder of the text came to a radical revision was Luther's attempt to ditch Revelations.

Edited by waterpanther, 13 February 2005 - 03:15 PM.

Posted Image



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Politics-American, Fascism, Fears

0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users