Ce sont des Mots Qui Vont Tres Bien Ensemble
This is a follow-up on the essay I wrote on the debauch of demons in Christo-Islamism. One of the reasons for which I do not like novels much, is that the human psychology therein represented is all too often a caricature, something all too simple. Why so trite? Because a novelist wants to sell books. Those who are successful, that is the most read, are most read precisely because they are familiar, and flattering, to the masses.
The Politically Correct (PC) is not just most followed, it’s what sells (and reciprocally). Nietzsche sold only a few hundred books when he was conscious.
A real philosopher does not caress, but stings the masses. Nietzsche sold books only after several famous intellectuals sang his praises.
I had a most curious upbringing, mostly, but not exclusively, in Africa. Although (it turned out) in “Muslim” lands, I was unaware of Islam. I grew up under the vast umbrella of what is called “Sufi” Islam.
In some ways that “Sufi” Islam was more secular and progressive than secularism in, say, Europe. (“Sufi” is a label which covers many completely different religions; yet they all tend to be less sexist: Kurdish females have been dying as soldiers in combat in Kobani).
Many of the religiously obsessed claim that elaborate religious rituals are innocent, because they represent a long tradition. The Jews, in particular, are prone to make this reasoning. That’s rather incongruous, after centuries of pogroms: any practice which brings lots of death to the practitioners ought to be viewed, clearly, as not innocent!
Others identify religion and civilization. For example they talk of the “Islamic” civilization. Really? As there is more than one hundred types of Shia “Islam”, does that mean there is more than a hundred Islamic civilizations?
How do the simplistic theory: Islam = Civilization… survives the war in Kobani? There, in a few miles, three versions of “Islam” are in an extermination fight: Wahhabis against Kurds against Turks. Clearly both non-Kurdish Turks, and Wahhabis want to exterminate the Kurds.
About 25% of the population of Turkey is Kurdish (but many are in hiding). That the government hates them is nothing special: in a full blown plutocracy, the 1% hate the 99% (aristocracy, in France’s old regime was 2% of the population).
I know Turks who hate Erdogan and his ilk: the ancestors of those “Turks” were Armenian (thus Christian), or Kurds (and some of the Turks I know are mixed Armenian-Kurdish). To save their children, they had to bring them up as the kind of Muslim Turks who are kosher in Ankara. So now they feel that their children are not really their children anymore. That’s the Australian method of genocide (bring up the children of Bushmen without their parents, or their culture).
Kurdistan is about 3,000 years old, and Armenia was the first Christian land. Saladin was a Kurd.
Too much respect for tradition is an error. Tradition to a great extent, is in opposition to “secular” (which means of the age). Hence tradition is a religion.
This meditation is about religion, it can only hurt those who feel it is right, it is their right, to feel very strongly about the metaphysics they believe in. But metaphysics is never innocent. After all, it’s about the foundations of minds one talks about. One can’t get more intimate than that. Or more penetrating and violating, should one get into metaphysics, that is, other people’s minds. Potentially.
Religions tie people together. (Re-ligare.) This is what religious means.
Religion does not have to have a metaphysical element. Some people practice an art or a sport, as if it were a religion. It is a religion. Many young people get tied together again by activities such as being soccer supporters… And only by them. And they seem ready to die for it.
Zen, Taoism, forms of Yoga, nationalism, tribalism, are all religious in character. After all, these bounds are often so strong, people are ready to die for them. The SS had: “Gott Mit Uns!” on their belts buckles (“God With Us”; that inspired the American Congress to follow suit and adopt a variant of that slogan for the entire USA.)
Yes, any nation worth its salt, is, to some extent, a religion.
In other words: Religions generate tribes. That’s what they do. It’s very important, because human beings are nothing, in nearly all ways, if not in a tribe. (Or then they are philosophers.) The religious instinct cannot be distinguished from the tribal instinct.
Nice tribes, or nasty tribes, that is the question. Inclusive tribes, and inclusive religions, are nice. (To conclude the “Social War”, Rome learn to become inclusive, and so are its descendant regimes.)
Religions, nations who exclude are nasty, and bring blood. Exclusivity, alienation, is always (ethologically perceived as) an aggression. That has been observed in chimpanzees.
Tribes are not just about being strong together, they are about group selection. Thus, so are religions. Deadly aggression, even war, was found to be “adaptive” in chimpanzees:
Religion is war according to the most fundamental means. The deepest ways of the minds. Maladaptive religions get exterminated: Rome and its descendant regimes annihilated all human sacrifices religions (starting with Rome’s, Carthage’s and then the Celts’).
It’s not a good sign, when a religion is full of demons (as Christianity and Wahhabi Islam are). Or when it’s so nasty, it needs a god of evil (Hades, Satan, etc.)
Another dichotomy is between rational religions, and irrational ones. That one is roughly equivalent to that between religions which are organized around superstition, and the supernatural, and those which are not.
Nasty has to do not just be about mistreating others directly, but how they lead others to react.
Often tribes get dressed in black, claiming to be somehow elected by god. Example: Catholic “men in black”, those monks of the Fourth Century destroying books and intellectuals. Jesuits followed suite (and suits!), a millennium later, and then, Orthodox Jews, themselves copied in more ways than one, by the Hugo Boss black tailored SS, etc… The alienation was deliberate: it became a hatred multiplier, and hatred was the goal.
Another way to alienate is by advertising wildly irrational beliefs, constituting a religion, defining a tribe. The more irrational, the more flaunted, the more alienating to other groups, the more it leads to hatred in reply, and the more hatred one is submitted to, the tighter the tribe that creates the alienation will be.
It’s this advanced calculus of hatred, fear and alienation which is at the root of all too many religions and their associated tribalizations.
Ever since men have roamed, religions have clashed. And the better ones have won. Time for the best, the most ethologically correct religion, the one ultimately granted by 50 million years of evolution: direct democracy.