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Anglo-European Standards rule our World 2

Posted by Henric C. Jensen on April 18, 2008


I don’t want to spend all my time arguing for the sake of argument.

Thank you for telling me that you consider this discussion, and especially my part in it, something you really cannot be bothered with and something that is said, not to engage in friendly discussion, but for the sake of argument, basically what I have to contribute to the discussion is of no consequence other than as so much hot air.

While your generalized observation that a movement towards the right has been with us since the first paddock was fenced off, it isn’t relevant to my argument.

Actually, you were the one entering the generalized observation “corporate trend”. Considering the general understanding of the word “trend” as craze, fad, furor, mode, rage, style, vogue, trend and bias, cast, disposition, leaning, partiality, penchant, predilection, predisposition, proclivity, proneness, propensity, squint, tendency, turn, trend – i.e something rather limited, but not specified, your specification of it through the use of “corporate”, a word that did not gain its general meaning “business” until far into modern history puts it into a modern context – what I did was simply pointing out that we are not dealing with a trend – something rather short-lived or recently “invented”, but with a rather essential part of human civilization – barter. Nor can it easily be called a movement, since owning, selling and buying is The Right – i.e Capitalism, i.e Conservative.

If you didn’t think this “corporate trend” is relevant to your argument, why did you enter it into discussion? It could very easily be read as if you wanted your generalized interpretation of the expression “corporate trend” to stand without elaborating argument, such as I offered, in which case your “argument” becomes propaganda. Nice and quiet propaganda, but nevertheless propaganda.

Since the invasion of Iraq, rendition, black sites, torture, private security firms that look a lot like the SS, blatant media suppression, anti-terror legislation that gives no guarantees of due process for any of us and where dissent itself can be dangerous, I would say that the facts speak for themselves.

If we cannot agree on this point then we really should leave the table and agree to disagree.

Example:

Since the invasion of Tibet, rendition, black sites, torture, State police that looks a lot like the SS, blatant media suppression, legislation that gives no guarantees of due process for any of us and where dissent itself can be dangerous, I would say that the facts speak for themselves.

D, what is happening in the USONA has been a reality of human existence and human history since one man decided that he was best suited to rule the local tribe and killed, maimed kidnapped and raped the family of whom he considered his rival – rulers have always used their power to gain control over their subjects and over whomever they consider their enemies. This is nothing new.

I would suggest that the reason all this is possible in the USONA is because it is a young nation that is still in the midst of its evolution as a nation. This is something the USONA has very much common with f.i China, which is why I used China in my example.

I did enjoy your analysis of the Declaration of Independence even though it was irrelevant to my point. As for the monarchies being Elected… That’s a stretch. Not by commoners, they weren’t.

My analysis of the Declaration of Independence is very much relevant to what you said:

“So in terms of America being the defenders of democracy, they were in the sense of the prevailing myths of the time. Other than France, every other developed nation was a monarchy that did not have any power in the hands of the people. America was the ‘grand experiment’ for which the peoples of the entire globe held out hope.”

You introduced the concept of USONA into the discussion as “the holder of the torch of liberty and the defender of democracy” – words that are almost directly quoted from the Declaration of Independence, as semiotician you must be aware that such words have very high symbolic value in the minds of most people, especially since it has been hammered into the general world population since USONA was declared independent from the British. You claim that the current actions of USONA is “shocking” exactly because it is considered, TODAY, not in the past, “the holder of the torch of liberty and the defender of democracy”. Then you claim that this too is irrelevant?? If it is irrelevant to what you wish to say, then why enter it into discussion? That is the third point in my argument you reduce to an insignificant portion of hot air, and I am very much inclined to believe that you do this because your favorite pet-peeve met with some resistance. Whether you enjoyed my analysis or not, however, is irrelevant to the discussion, and I suspect that it’s just another rather condescending royal gesture on your part.

Let me clear up one or two points. My criticism of most historians is that they read the past through current mythologies and fail to realize that world view rather than accepted fact, regardless of whether it is right, wrong or irrelevant causes events to occur.

I am not “most historians”, D. I am the one who constantly tell people to read current events in the light of history and the shift in culture that occurs as a result of events that are in fact guided by world views of the past. My World View will not change the present, but it will influence the future. Like stars we are always “in the past”.

You assume that I have an anglicized world view simply because I point out that it was an anglicized world view that led to colonialization. I am a semiotician. It is my job to see the differing myths that ruled our past.

I don’t assume. It’s very clear that you have an Anglo-European/North American world view. One rather blatant example of this is the fact that use your education and your job “lecturing” as a tool to suggest that your point of view is better founded than mine and that in fact I am one of your students, not your equal. Very Anglo-European.

You say:

“True, if you are speaking of how language evolve over time within culture, but misleading if you wish to apply it to actual attitudes.”

Myths are the culture, the way of viewing the world and are entirely responsible for the prevailing attitudes. We read Homer now and how Odysseus slaughtered his wife’s servants and was considered by his contemporaries to be heroic for doing it. We cannot understand it when we read it from a modern perspective. Mythology plays a far bigger role than you give it credit.

Now, who did you say was assuming things here?

However, things become offensive when you assume that I am attacking Islam. I was happily married to an Islamic Iranian woman for many years. And, quite clearly, you are confusing Islamic belief with an intractable culture that has surrounded it in many parts of the world. You confuse a fundamental Islamic culture with Islam – the view that upsets most Muslims I know – and you attack me for stating that to view women as property to be bought, sold and mutilated at will is a mark of savagery. My wife would have had a piece of you. However, you don’t criticize my assertion, just the fact that I said it. You aren’t supporting the view that women should be chattel, are you?

Again, I am not assuming. It’s there in your own words. I am not saying that you INTEND it to be. I don’t think you do. It doesn’t change the fact that by saying

“even if we disagree that a man who sees women as chattel may live in a nice home but his consciousness is 800 years old and still in a tent.”

in a context of Islam, and this thread is that, it becomes derogatory of and insulting to Islam, because you do not clarify what kind of Islam you are referring to – however it doesn’t much matter how you turn this around, D, because earlier you asserted, about the members of the OIC: “That people living in tents and 800 years in the past want to burn heretics is not surprising…” You did not say “Fundamentalist Islam” or “Islamic Culture”, you said “That people living in tents and 800 years in the past want to burn heretics is not surprising.” The fact that you don’t choose your words more carefully is what I have an issue with.

I would also like to point out that what you call Islamic Culture is in fact not Islamic in origin at all, but stem from a far older, less centralized and exclusively tribal society, actually the very society Muhammad opposed. That some of the ideas from before Islam survived and is present in Islamic Culture is as natural as Easter originating in the Pagan Feast Ostara or Xmas being celebrated on the Winter Solstice. This is not to say that I agree with those elements of Islamic Culture. But I know what it means to be from a people that originated in a tribal society and have had to clean out quite a lot of “leftovers”.

The real problem here is that you appear to be saying that the fundamentalist beliefs such as a man should travel no further from his home than a donkey can travel from sunrise to sunset, represent Islam and the vast majority of Muslims. If this is true I do not regard you as bigoted or prejudiced, merely misinformed.

Appearances deceive. While I have not made any statements about Muslims or Islam, you have, and in a generalizing manner, not once but twice. I have treated the OIC without prejudice and have addressed the attack on the UDHR only, and have not made any assertions based on perceived notions of Islam. While you have actually expressed your perceived notions quite clearly.

You see, to me whether the attack on the UDHR was orchestrated by non-religious gorillas or by devout Muslims is irrelevant. You however place the reason for the attack in Islamic Culture, (800 years in the past and in a tent) well aware (or you would not have claimed that I can’t make that distinction) that your audience might not be capable of making the distinction between Islamic Culture and Islamic Belief. In fact I am inclined to believe that you counted on your audience not being able to make the distinction, most likely for the harmless reason of then “educating” them, as you attempted to do with me.

No, I did not criticize your assertion: “to view women as property to be bought, sold and mutilated at will is a mark of savagery” – I criticized this: “That people living in tents and 800 years in the past want to burn heretics is not surprising.” and: “may live in a nice home but his consciousness is 800 years old and still in a tent.”

Many cities have been built by people that held a sword in one hand and a mason’s trowel in the other, and I think that we actually can do both, D. Yes, some will view it a hypocritical, some already do, but to give up keeping an eye on my neighbor’s garden so bugs and burglars don’t get in, is to give in to what can effectively be called a hijacking of the UDHR, the only Universal Tool we have to assure some semblance of Global Civilization.

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