Philosophy

My Response To twofingerstwocubes “Hmm”, a Criticism of my “Pax Christiana Part I”

Friedrich-Engels-001

Here is a link to the thoughtful, though in my view mightily flawed, essay arguing against a segment of my polemical argument stating that Marxism, Utilitarianism, and existentialism are humanist ideologies/philosophies http://twofingerstwocubes.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/hmm/comment-page-1/#comment-45

Please read twofingerstwocubes’ essay in full before reading my response.

Marxism is hardly a Utopian ideology. You are conflating Marxism with statist Communism as practiced by Mao and Stalin and other absolute dogmatists. Marxism is a materialist philosophy that speaks to the value of labor and the systems that exploit, abuse, or utilize that labor. It also evaluates and analyzes the content philosophies that justify exploitation and certain market systems.Yours is a common mistake of course. You are also correct in stating that Utilitarianism is far more than just the outline you posted here. Mill was not some sort of Ayn Randian libertarian out to justify the craven urges and needs of the elite and the powerful. He sought to craft systems and ideas that would liberate man to pursue its greatest potential in the most pragmatic and humanitarian of ways. His was of course an analysis of failed systems and ideas as much as it was a proposal for reform, and his ideas must be seen within the context of the 19th Century Industrial era and its philosophic and moral peculiarities. As to this statement : “the issue of utilitarianism which are [sic] really just the ideological justification for wielding autocratic power”, I don’t know what this is supposed to mean and I doubt you do either. Again, I believe you are confusing modern paleo-libertarianism for 19th Century Utilitarian philosophy, which was heavily influenced by humanist and pre-Marxist socialist ideas. You even admit that you are coming to the table with a limited knowledge of the different forms of utilitarianism and how those philosophies pertain to the exercise of political power and governmental authority.

“Existentialism rejects any idea that there is a meaning to things outside of the individual.” Hardly. Sartre and Camus would laugh at the notion that this is the only meaning of the term or even a cogent analysis. Existentialism existed as a mode of reinterpreting existence, and how one copes with the varied truth-claims and experiences that each individual mind brings to that existence. To reject meaning would be to accept that meaning exists as a class of observable order, or that there is a truth to be found within experience that is ripe for rejection. Existentialism is a mode of crisis wherein post-cataclysmic man (and woman) reevaluated the way he/she approached a world, and the assumptions made from existential and sensual experience, that had torn itself apart in two world wars. How could reasonable, enlightened people see the world in such violently divergent ways, and was there a method beyond this divergence that would allow for a more peaceful, or at least more orderly, application of power and agency?

What is cave wisdom? Are you referring to the allegory of the cave? If so how does that have anything to do with the quote you took from my polemical essay on Christian Imperial pretensions? Are you implying that my idea in “Pax Christiana” is merely an exercise in limited thinking derived from a false set of assumptions made using the evidence I present? If so, how, and why? There is much that is flawed in this essay and I feel you would be better served by studying the assumptions you have made about the philosophies you are claiming to defend and/or disregard.

Yes, you do indeed digress. Your appeal to the historicist school is rather…oddly placed given your emphasis on systems of political power and the assumptions you bring a priori to their application and meaning. Are you attempting a historicist critique of my statement, or are is this just a strange ad hoc musing on the conclusions a better informed historicist critic would come to regarding my claims? The entire first paragraph of your essay comes off as rather clumsy non sequitur. I am also fascinated with your claim that the Catholic Church “are” the most powerful group of Historicists in history. How so? Do you have any evidence to back up this rather radical and impressive claim? Or are you just having fun with the word “historicist”, a concept that I suspect you may be having a difficult time understanding. Marxism hardly requires a teleological view of all world history ( a la the Catholic Church), especially the Marxism I was referring to which is a philosophy of economic and moral analysis. I would suggest you read The Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts of 1844 before you comment on this aspect of Marxism in the future.

I also never made the claim that these humanist/enlightened philosophies were DESTINED to improve humanity, just that Christianity and its imperial and universal prerogative attempts to retard any potential for growth and exploration OF alternatives to theocratic and imperial systems of thought and exploitation. Again, you seem to be putting your ideological cart before the horse.

In conclusion you are making huge leaps of logic and strange assumptions based on what I really do not know. You seem to be arguing a point that I did not attempt to make and seem to have your own mission against Marxism and materialist philosophies. More power to you…but my essay is not really the opponent I think you want it to be.

Advertisements
Standard
Atheism, Christianity

Pax Christiana Part I

ConstantineCrossBanner

Christianity famously started its long and fascinating history as one of many persecuted minority faiths in the lands of the Roman Imperial state. That this religion based around the words and (supposed) deeds of an itinerant preacher and son of a carpenter came to partner with and eventually usurp the power of the Roman authorities that hemmed them in at every turn was no surprise to the true believers. But it must have been a truly terrifying and earth shattering turn of events for all those unfortunate enough to not be washed in the blood of the savior. Those who hoped that this new religion based on the philosophy of a millenarian pacifist would be any less violent and imperialist than the last set of theocratic rulers would soon find that this hope was sorely misplaced. Of course there were the occasional beneficent Francis of Assisi’s and monks who vouchsafed reason against the all encompassing tide of faith and fear, but for the most part the powerful or wannabe powerful used the Christian religion as the Romans had used their Pagan beliefs: as a hammer to crush the bodies and minds of those who stood in the way of their authority. The Pax Romana gave way to a Pax Christiana, and to those who wished to live their lives free from coercion or absolutist terror there was hardly a difference to be seen between the two.

As chaos spread in the Roman world the official practice of pagan belief grew ever more important and the persecution of unsanctioned (and therefore dangerous) minorities religions kicked into high gear. Christians bore the brunt of this fear and fury but soon they found themselves beneficiaries of the pragmatism of the fearful and desperate Roman elite. It was either oblivion and a collapse of aristocratic authority, or the cross. The choice was easy and fateful for the entire world. Using the mechanisms and tradeways of the Roman state Christianity was able to spread from West Asia to Europe, Northern Africa, Southern Asia and beyond. The faith of the cross became the faith of the sword and thousands of cultures and millions of people were consigned to the flames in its ever expanding wake.

A Pax Christiana demands a clean slate, the casting away of all other beliefs and modes of thought. Where the Roman pagans allowed other faiths to flourish if only they paid homage to the basic idea of Roman superiority, Christianity would broker no disagreement, no alternative but the cross and the blood of Christ. When the faith spread to the New World a cataclysm the likes of which had not been seen and would not be seen again until the 20th century battlefield of political ideologies was unleashed. 100 million or more died in the name of Christ, and hundreds of proud and vibrant cultures were sacrificed to appease the followers of the most meek and mild Christ. The Taiano, The Aztec, The Maya, The Navajo, The Pueblo, The Sioux, The tribes of the Eastern Seaboard…this is but a short list of the victims of the Christian disease. While these cultures were far from ideal or even enlightened in many senses, the Christian Empire would take the failings of mankind and amplify them into persistent and established systems that would carry on into the modern age. Slavery, sexual repression, patriarchy, institutionalized cover-up of the sexual abuse of children, hatred of secular thought and philosophy, unfettered capitalism and material exploitation, everything was justified in that name of the Lord, as long as it was the servants of the Lord who profited. Morality became dependent upon belief, the blood of Christ cleansing the guilt and the culpability of even the most craven and evil of men and women.

The Empire that preserved and expanded the Pax Christiana was an empire of the mind as much as of the body and the earth; every man, woman and child was a slave of the redeemer, even if they did not yet know it. Thought crime, the most vicious of all methods of control and abuse, came into being and proliferated all over the world. It is not as though Christians invented vice or excuses for it but never before has a religion been based on the notion that all mortal trespasses can be forgiven with the trespasser going without punishment in the secular realm. The ultimate judge is God so there is no need for earthly justice, at least not for those entrusted with the authority to interpret the word of God and to bestow upon the huddled and worthless mass of humanity his graces and his favor. Christianity was not a religion localized in one culture or dependent upon certain systems of governance and control. Christianity was adaptable in a way paganism, Judaism, and Hellenism never were. It behaved like a pathogen that bore itself into the body politic and the body cultural of a given society and usurped and reshaped its shared morality and truth claims. Good was now only good within the auspices of Christian ontology and law, evil was only evil if in opposition to Christian dogma and authority, truth was only truth if it was bathed in the corrosive and transformative blood of the lamb. Christianity was a pathogen that could and did spread all over the world in a way that no other religion had or has. Islam could conquer, Judaism could influence, and paganism could inspire, but Christianity could subsume. Giordano Bruno, Galileo, Capernicus, and countless thousands of artists, free thinkers, writers and scientific thinkers and philosophers have suffered direct persecution at the hands of Christian authorities or the thugs and soulless technocrats they give aid, comfort and moral absolution.

Freedom fighters and hard working men and women in the exploited and enslaved regions of the world from the Philippines to Indonesia to Congo to Mexico to India have felt the combined might of Christian morality in the form of “civilizing” missionaries and imperial officials who sought to introduce shame of self and hatred of culture and the human body. There is no room for individual expression or cultural pride in a Christian world. There are only the servants of the lord and their humble and simple minded slaves. Thousands of years of thought, creativity cultural exploration and imagination have been erased or subsumed by the tired, morose and shaming Christian moral mythology. There is no room for creativity or radical reinterpretations of theology or cultural heritage when only one belief is valid and all the rest is made a postiori profane.

Billions of women have been made to feel less than human and have been condemned to a status in society that ignores their intellectual and moral potential. The patriarchal world upheld and nourished by Christian patriarchy denied us the talents of Maria Anna Mozart, and countless other unknown women who could have joined the ranks of the great and the celebrated. Christianity, while cultivating some forms of education and limited philosophical inquiry, has also retarded the biological and human sciences and also vilified and combated philosophies of social progress like Marxism, Utilitarianism, existentialism and humanism. The world is seen as the domain of men who would exploit and consume it, and if in the end the earth is ravaged beyond repair there is at least heaven to look forward to for the twisted and sickly remnants of humanity that cling to life on the barren rock that is the legacy of Christian supported capitalist exploitation.

And this creed, this imperial system, has not yet reached its apogee.

The potential for total power comes when the potential for the dissolution of the established contemporary order is at its greatest. Christianity faces that existential threat in the form of enlightened philosophy and scientific reasoning. Ever since the first monks began to read and record the all but destroyed heritage of Hellenic Greece, Ancient Rome, and The Islamic Renaissance, there has been an outpost of freedom in every educated mind. This was and remains the greatest threat to complete Christian hegemony.

[To be Continued in Part II]

Standard
Conservatism, Conservatives

F**k Dynasty

duck-dynastys-phil-robertson

Phil Robertson of A&E’s reality show abortion Duck Dynasty has revealed himself to be a racist, sexist, homophobic christian fundamentalist prick. I am not surprised that a stupid redneck is behaving as such but it is hilarious that the right wing is now defending him and saying it “violates” his first amendment rights that he was suspended from his TV show by a private company. I thought the right was against government interference in business affairs? Guess not when they get a chance to defend a man who compared gay relationships to fucking a goat.

This “man” is a piece of shit and A&E should cancel this hot messy turd of a program. If you want to know what this idiot has actually said about Gays, Nazi Germany, African Americans and non-Christians take a look at these links

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/phil-robertson-black-people_n_4473474.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/18/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson-gay_n_4465564.html

Of course the usual nutjobs on the Right are defending him and calling for him to be made the new Pope (or so I assume). Sigh. The Right wing of this nation is a scary scary thing. The same people who called for Martin Bashir to be fired for his free speech are asking A&E to keep Robertson around. Hypocrisy at its finest.

Standard
Christianity, Reason, Religion

Pro-Choice Mary

Sassoferrato_-_Jungfrun_i_bön

Mary is visited by an angel who tells her she will give birth to the savior of all mankind

She smiles and says “No, I don’t think I want to have an all powerful desert god’s child right now”.

So the next day she goes to the local midwife and asks for some herbs to cause her to miscarry

She takes the herbs and the pregnancy is aborted

She throws the remains of this unwanted savior into the sty for the pigs. They love it!

Mary goes on to live a long life into her late 40’s before dying of the plague

James was none the wiser

The End

 

Standard
Africa

Thoughts on Mandela

nelson-mandela1_custom-64127a3bc8c249783e3bca36a00d3c933c63254f-s6-c30

With the memorial to the life great South African leader and civil rights leader comes questions about who this man was and what it was he actually stood for. From the Right there have been attacks on the man who has been pilloried and demonized by the likes of Ronald Reagan and James Buckley, Jr. He is denounced for the same evils the conservatives see in their own society.

That is to be expected and does not bother me. What does bother me are some of the assumptions made about the beliefs and acts of Mandela. It bothers me that Mandela is attacked for being a “communist” when, a. he was a democratic socialist at best and was much more of a theoretical Marxist and b. it is assumed, as it always is in the US press, popular culture, and government, that being a communist is essentially a bad thing.

Another issue. Mandela is attacked for being “violent” and “anti-white”. a. of course he was violent at times, he was in the middle of a civil war against a better armed and better supported rival who wanted him dead. Conservatives love figures like this when they are named Robert E. Lee or Jefferson Davis. b. if your foe is universally white and you acknowledge this fact and combat them this is NOT racism, this is telling the truth. It is the perverse trope of “reverse racism” rearing its ugly head once more. Conservatives on the contemporary US political scene project theirs fears and concerns onto every event and onto ever problem or person that appears to deviate in any way from their philosophy.

Just some thoughts.

Standard
News

Martin Bashir Fired After Speaking Truth to Palin

120420_martin_bashir_ap_328

Martin Bashir was fired from MSNBC today for daring to make a cogent, albeit crass, point about Sarah Palin. Actually he was not crass, he was merely lampooning her own crass comparison of the federal debt to slavery. This woman is a dangerous racist idiot with presidential pretensions and she needs to be called out publicly on her stupidity. Here is the video of the “offensive” thing Bashir said…I still cannot believe that Martin Bashir can make a good point and get fired and Hannity can lie all day long and get a raise. Disgusting. And they will probably replace him with some “moderate” talking head. Yuck.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/tv/showtracker/la-et-st-martin-bashir-exits-msnbc-in-wake-of-sarah-palin-outburst-20131204,0,3269678.story#axzz2mYp2hiKN

So basically Martin Bashir was fired for making a joke MSNBC assumed its own audience was too stupid to understand. Shame on MSNBC. Shame on them. Sarah Palin and her ilk represent the death throes of a white conservative US that is fearful of the minority population, the workers, the women, and the immigrants that they have exploited and abused for decades. Their chickens are coming home to roost and you better expect more racist analogies, fascistic policy proposals and appeals to the lowest common denominator. All the US Right has left is its fear, its hate, its weapons, its racism, its money and its religion. They are dying out, slowly buy steadily, and they do not want to let go of the controls. Palin represents the thuggish fascism they have come to embrace as a last, best, great white hope to save a US that only ever existed in their minds. Bashir is just the latest victim of their feverish hate and stupidity. He will not be the last.

If you want to hear more about the Conservative disease eating away at the US then may I suggest my cheap as hell, but quite well thought out, book Libertarianism & Democracy https://www.createspace.com/4227121

Standard
poetry

The Golden Ass

???????

Ha!

I laugh!

You are transformed

And I watched you change

Moribund stranger

I watched you change from a young man into a crone!

For so long you wandered and played like a young ass in the dunes

You were a child of fortune, and then a man of distinction

But You were laden with so many jewels and so much empty praise

You began to show your age before your age had come

So you changed

And I watched you change

You were so beautiful once

Like a golden ass

Your hair was yellow, a mane really

You were so strong when you were still oh so young

You sang songs

You kissed all the pretty girls

You were a warrior to be feared

What are you now?

You are an old crone with a stick and a story to tell about a youth that was transformed

No one believes your stories anymore

But I do

I watched you changed

I was there when you were called a Golden Ass

I was there when that was a name you took pride in

Standard