Judaism, Fanaticism, Empire, And Self-Destruction

Our Civilization Is Not Just “Judeo-Christian”, Far From It, Yet All Too Many Think It Is:

Judaism contained the initial versions of Abrahamism. 2,000 years ago it gave birth to Christianism (in its many versions) and later Christianism was adopted as “Orthodox Catholicism” by Roman emperors as a metaphysical version of, and indomitable support for, their secular fascism.

Many scholars have argued that Christianism was the straw which broke the back of the Roman state. (Although it seems likely to me that Christianism gave an excuse to a much deeper rot, which, in turn, caused the altruism of Christianism.)

13 centuries ago, Meccan Arabs rejected their 365 gods polytheism around the goddess Moon, and adopted instead a hard-core desert version of Abrahamism, Islamism. Some go around, claiming that our civilization is “Judeo-Christian”, although neither Jews nor Christians invented the alphabet (Egypt, Sumer, Phoenicia did), nor basic mathematics (Egyptians, Greeks, Indians did), nor basic physics or engineering nor the idea of fairness embodied by the law (Babylonians did), nor basic state organization (Egypt, Sumer, Achaemenids), nor welfare (imperial Rome).

This cult of “Judeo-Christianism”, however mistaken, precisely because it’s so mistaken, has to be addressed.

Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Largest (Herod’s) Version. Destroyed in 70 CE. King Solomon Built Part of It, A Millennium Earlier. Solomon was married to the daughter of Pharaoh. Only a 488 meters long retaining wall is left today, while Christians and Muslims built churches and mosques on top of the emplacement, in an apparent demonstration of whom owned what, the old fashion (jungle) way!

***

Paleologue O asks me in Aeon: “I would be interested to hear more about how the intolerance of the Jews led to the Judean Wars and their subsequent dispersal. What’s your thesis?”

Answer: More exactly it was the intolerance of some Jewish faction leaders, especially Simon bar Giora. Although the revolt started in part for tax reason, Simon instigated the war, if I remember well, with the surprise massacre of more than 600 Roman legionaries.

Simon was captured alive, although he fought to the bitter end. He was brought to Rome and executed by very public whipping (the leader of the Zealots, John of Gischala was condemned to life imprisonment). The first approach to the period is to read the (huge) entire work of the historian Josephus, adoptive son of emperor Vespasian. Josephus had been elected general by the Jewish People, but, after much valorous fighting, was besieged and had to surrender to (then) general Vespasian and his son, general Titus.

In general, the attitude of the Jews made little sense, except if one believed, as many Jews did, that they had a deal with god. Under Rome, the Jews could practice their religion, and even apply some of their most abusive theocratic laws: witness Saint Paul, a Jew named Saul who committed the (fatal) sin of having visited the Jewish temple in Jerusalem with a bodyguard who was not a Jew.

Saul had persecuted the Christians (supposedly) before becoming one himself. Saul’s work on behalf of the Gentiles infuriated Jewish theocrats.

So Saul was condemned to death, and arrested by the authorities. He was imprisoned 2 years by the Roman governor of Judea. As Saul was also an important Roman citizen (a prosecutor), he successfully asked to be judged in Rome, and not by the order of the High Jewish Priests, the Sanhedrin. Paul disappeared in Rome around 67 CE or 68 CE (executed by order of the evil Jews, said some Christians, or the evil Nero, said others, if he was not exfiltrated to Spain say still others…)

Meanwhile, by 66 CE, fanatical Jewish factions, the “Zealots” and “Sicari” took control of Jerusalem (full of hatred for each others, not just the Greco-Romans). When other Jews tried to flee the city they were crucified (with as many as 500 crucifixions in one day!)

In general, Abrahamism stinks, as the founding legend, Abraham, was ready to execute his son, just because his boss asked him to. (Imagine Google, aka God ask you to kill someone dearest to you?) Whereas I say that when a God asks for the death of one’s child, or any child, He should be told: F U! That’s a question of basic morality. If a god doesn’t deserve respect, it should get it.

One can compare how Celts, Punics and Jews reacted to the rise of civilization (in its Greco-Roman version). The former two laid low superstitiously speaking: they stopped pretending that they had better metaphysics than the Roman Republic (the Saxons would do the same after being beaten into submission by Charlemagne for 30 years).

After the Romans defeated (some of) them, Celts and Punics condemned their own religions, they said OK to Rome, and they helped build a constructive empire (defeated “Gaul” was the most important and powerful province of Rome after the First Century, and the relationship of Italy and Gaul got inverted, pacifically; soon enough, Carthage was again one of the Greco-Roman empire’s greatest cities).

Whereas some Jewish factions in Jerusalem opted to resist fanatically and murderously the Greco-Roman empire. Not all Jews did so, thus Judaism survived the eradication of the fanatics (differently from the Samaritans who fought as one, later, so only 3,000 are left, now…) Those vicious factions were based in Jerusalem, but not present among the dozens of thousands of Jews in Alexandria. After the second Jewish war, in 132-135 CE, the Jews were dispersed out of Israel, rebaptized “Palestina” on the occasion, so here we are…

***

Paleologue replied: “Thanks for the Cliff Notes version. I hadn’t realized they’d started off by killing 600 Roman soldiers. A fatal tactical blunder. Obviously the Zealots didn’t have a proper diplomatic corps, to put their case in more reasonable terms. Had they followed the advice of some in-house Gandhi figure, to suggest the non-violent way, they might have met with greater success. (They certainly couldn’t have done any worse.)

I do have a nice copy of Josephus sitting around. But it’s so heavy I have so far put off reading it. I do have kind of a long reading list already. Maybe I should bump it up a hundred places.”

Not just that, but an entire Roman legion, Legio XII Fulminata, was sent to re-establish order, and then, after evacuating Jerusalem, fell into an ambush. This time more than 6,000 Roman soldiers died, shocking the entire empire.

Reading Josephus is a must. One of the greatest classics ever, which even the crazed-out Christian monks found valuable enough to save. The Zealots, Sicari and others were into hatred and killing (as they showed by killing each other). Being out there to kill humans en masse is one of the most instinctive, if not the most sacred, mass behavior of humans. Because, without it, humanity would not exist anymore than it would, without love. Yeah, right, it’s crazy. But even more crazy to ignore it.

***

One thing is clear to me; those who claim to love Judaism should decrease their fanaticism, and tribal exaltation:

(Besides, it’s hypocritical as the inertness of American Jews demonstrated, when confronting Nazism: it’s the French Republic, which is not Jewish, but laic, which stood in the way of Nazism, not the Jews; as Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil pointed out, making lots of PC enemies in the process… Life among intellectuals would be devoid of spice without PC, Perfect Cretins…)

In particular, genital mutilation, a hallmark of Jews shouldn’t not have to be tolerated when visited on males more than it should be when visited on females. (Yes, there are good arguments for both; but good arguments can be found for anything, whatsoever, if one changes one’s parameters to crazy enough…)

Jewish fanaticism backfired many times in history. (Christian fanaticism was, mostly, done away with, and mostly an imperial tool, anyway; but Christians never claimed to have been given a piece of land by their own private god… Only the all too secular Charlemagne gave land to the Pope…)

Now the Jews claim they own the land of Israel. They have a good historical case, but moderation is key. Punics, Celts, the Franks, and all sorts of Germans and the Saxons saw the light, when confronted to higher civilization, and, after fighting it, learned the mistakes of their ways, and embraced it. (By 950 CE, the Saxons had become the pillar of the Franco-Roman empire, while Western Francia disintegrated in 63 political authorities…) 

The problem with, and the force of, Judaism is tribalism. Tribalism without a higher cause is just racism. Some will say the god of the tribe is enough of a higher cause. Not so. The tribal god himself needs a higher, universal cause: this is why Catholicism became universal (Catholic means universal). This is also why Islamism became universal (it has universal pretense, although it’s to call for the killing all sorts of people)

Now, pleasing the empire is more important than ever. Because the empire, and its enemies, have never been more powerful. A mistake or two, and billions of people could end up dead.

Thus those who cultivate tribalism and exclusion, as if they were delicate flowers of the greatest value, tickle the dragon. The thermonuclear dragon. Let us remind them their gods are of the highest immorality.

Patrice Ayme’

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10 Responses to “Judaism, Fanaticism, Empire, And Self-Destruction”

  1. pshakkottai Says:

    Polytheistic gods and goddesses are role models for human behavior. People can learn useful morals. They do not incite religious wars. The constitution of India added secular explicitly, unnecessarily, because Dharma is fully secular to begin with and has been for several thousand years since Harappa and Mohenjadaro.

    Manotheism of the my-god is-bigger-than your-god type leads only to religious quarrels and learn secularism very slowly. Christianity and Islam have been the bane of civilization. At present Islam is still at it.

    Polytheism and animism and nature worship, if you call them lower religions, are good. Indians, Greeks and Romans never fought for their poly-gods and goddesses.All have similar pantheons.

    Abrahamism has been bad. Mono-god has been terrible for civilization. The trouble in India is due to Abrahamism of the islamic variety which is against human rights, science, liberty and civilization.

    The superiority of one god over many gods is entirely unfounded. Abraham was mistaken. His idea of sacrificing his son for his god was the worst possible crime.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Indeed, Partha, indeed. The ONE God doctrine is intrinsically fascist (‘Follow THE One’). It’s also intrinsically ‘REDUCTIVE’. It reduces human behavior to just a few emotions and passion (besides being sadistic and dictatorial, Allah is ‘merciful’, a contradictory passion which provides some balance).

      I want to deprive Literal Islam of the respect it gets. Just as Christianism has been deprived of respect, at least, in Europe. However, I know many smart, highly educated Jews, or people married to “Jews”, or people who are blond like fields of wheat, and claim to be Jewish, in Europe or the USA, who now play the Jewish card to the hilt. I explain this by considering that now their children belong to the Jewish TRIBE, an obvious advantage. So it’s understandable: tribes are advantageous. But tribalism is venom, war ultimately, and full wars, nowadays, are fought with nukes…

      Thus I want to deprive Abrahamism of all the respect it still gets, all too much… Especially among intellectuals and the most highly educated… BTW, Judaism switched from a high priest based system before 70 CE to a system around “rabbis” (who are not supposed to be rabid, contrarily to the apparent cognate…)

  2. EugenR Says:

    I couldn’t write the historical summary better. I would only add in Jewish history, Jews always had two kinds of approaches, one tribal and the other universal. Mostly the second one had the upper hand. If the tribal opinions take over, because of its blindfolded approach to reality, sometime one event could bring devastation for generations. But let me remain you, the Jews of Europe before WWII had nothing with tribalism. Most of them didn’t see themselves as belonging to one nation. Rather as Germans , Polish, Hungarians, with Jews religion and belonging to local communities. Still it didn’t help them.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Right, Eugen! Thanks! Indeed, the paradox is that Hitler exterminated integrated Jews, the ancestors of whom were often “ARYANS” who had converted to Judaism, especially in the Eight Century, when the Franks encouraged that implicitly (Charlemagne later would call himself “David” from the king of Israel with the eponymous name).
      The problem is that Saint Louis, Luther were rabid Jew haters:

      https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/luther-hitler-unelected/

      Those hateful sadistic criminally minded pigs (and I measure my words) set a culture of Jewish hatred to last centuries…

  3. EugenR Says:

    To speak about influence of Judaism of the Western culture. It has more in it than the pure faith in the idea of one God, who is an extra terrestrial omnipotent creator of Being and creator of the laws that govern this Being.

    In the Bible you can find the idea of Purpose, (an Aristotelian idea. Who was first? Historically the old testament, but i don’t think Aristotle was aware of the Bible and if yes, he didn’t need it anyway. He was after all a Naturalist ). I would add that the modern understanding of entropy is a certain kind of purpose, not a very human prosperous idea, but definitely an idea of direction. If to speak about purpose, the historicism is also an idea from the Bible, (it is not a Hegelian invention). There is causality and direction in the biblical description of the history. You have sin and punishment, then the final aim, the kingdom of God. From this point of view, all the utopian philosophers including Marx were influenced by this idea. The influence didn’t have to be a direct one, out of rational argumentation, but it was innate in the psychology of the utopian philosophers through generation of indoctrination.

    Then you have the idea of singularity (in modern terms), or everything comes out of One. One substance, energy out of Big Bang if you like the modern term. The one that is everything. Even the idea of all mighty, omnipotent God, who decided in one moment before the beginning of time about everything, has its interpretation in the Bible.

    The idea of legal attitude to sin between human and human (not only between human and God) and its punishment, even if a Sumerian invention, still was developed to a very sophistical level in the Bible for its time and still influences our moral attitudes. Not surprisingly, when the Greeks discovered the Jews in the fourth century, they were astonished by this small (insignificant in imperial terms) nation with their Bible and called them the nation of philosophers. Later as known, the two opposite philosophies were to much the other side of the stick to live with each other. So very soon these two ancient world concepts of existence tried to annihilate each other. The boiling pot was Alexandria of first century, where the Greeks and the Jews were majority. At first after the destruction of the Holly Temple in Jerusalem at 70 a.d. seems as if the Greeks had the underhand. But people needed faith, not only philosophy. (How many could after all read Aristotle? How many can read him today?) And the alternative religions, had little to offer to the majority of the people. Most of the religions were not for the ordinary people but for the rulers, to legitimize their position.

    The last thing i would emphasize is the social awareness of the Prophets living in the 6-7 century b.c. The understanding of the needs of the least capable, as contrary to social Darwinism. And then you have the beautiful quotes about peace from the book of Isaiah:

    And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion will graze together; And a little boy will lead them.

    And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

    Is it so different from our idea of peace? And it was written in 800 b.c.

    • EugenR Says:

      Sorry….70 a.d. seems as if the Greeks had the uperhand and not underhand..

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Eugen: You suggest that “people need faith, not philosophy”. That was an idea imposed sneakily in the PRINCIPATE period of the Roman empire (which lasted 3 centuries). Then it was imposed loud and clear by Diocletian with the cult of SOL (similar to the Japanese one in some ways… Japan also had a military government, by its own admission, from the middle of the Middle Ages).

      Etc… The following is going to be integrated in a reply essay to you, Eugen:

      People Need Faith, Not Philosophy?
      That people need faith, not philosophy was suggested by a commenter on Thoughts, Eugen R. Basic concepts cause problems here. “People”, and “Faith”.

      “Faith” is necessary to operate: one has to have faith that, whatever one is engaging into, it brings something. As life ends in death always, faith in the desirability of daily tasks, is a triumph over the prospect of death.

      But of course, by “faith”, Eugen R meant the sort of fanaticism Abrahamists are known for. Catholic priests in Japan, refusing to put their foot on an image of Christ (see the book and movies “Silence”)

      Assuming “People” need “faith” but rulers do not, is a perpetual stand-by, as long as there are rulers and they rule. The nature of the faith varies.

      Overall ruler Toyotomi Hideyoshi in Sixteenth Century Japan put an end to peasant revolts by making illegal for peasants to have swords (and a fortiori firearms). At the same time, he crucified 26 Franciscans in Nagasaki, and made Christianity illegal (although he had to embrace Christian traders). In 1600 CE Japanese society, Christianism was revolutionary (all men were equal in the eyes of Christ). Whereas in Fourth Century Rome, Christianism was debilitating, distracting and by 390 CE, a way to not just subjugate, by actually assassinating free spirits.

      It’s actually fascinating that the same religion could be liberating in Japan, and subjugating in the Roman empire. The reasons are clear, albeit complex.

      In all societies, religions of the rulers is different from that of those they rule: Charlemagne wanted the Saxons to submit to Christianism scrupulously, under the penalty of death, but he personally took king David of Israel as a model, and in his realm Christians were free to convert to Judaism, while he himself, like all the top Franks, lived with a harem.

      Nietzsche spent much time exposing the hypocrisy of Christianism as practiced in Europe: the military hereditary class known as the “nobles” or “aristocrats”, similar to the one in Japan, had, in practice, a very different religion from the “People”.

      (By the way, Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who achieved immense power, even trying to invade China after invading all of Korea, was of unknown peasant stock, he rose through the military hierarchy, all by himself, a story not found in Rome, and Europe, because, there, those who reached ultimate command, were themselves children of individuals who had reached power by themselves: for example the uncle of emperor Justinian, or the parents of emperor Constantine, etc; most of the others were part of dynasties, some of them last centuries).

      People don’t need “faith” (of Abrahamist strength). Subjugated people do, to justify their subjugation…

      • EugenR Says:

        Dear Patrice, when i spoke about the people who need faith, i meant those people, who define themselves as belonging to a certain seperate group of people. Even a Franchman has to believe in existance of Framnch identity, which is different from English or German to feel to be a French. After all how is the French identify so different from the British, or German. Don’t most of the Franch people watch the same American serials, eat Mac Donalds and drink Coca-Cola, as the English or the Germans do? Still they are ready shout out their throats in a soccer game, to support their National team. So they must to believe they are Franch and not German. These people, need to belong to community, that they can indentify with, so they need faith.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          My essay, a sort of answer to you, is coming along, I hope to have it out within an hour.
          What you seem to be speaking of, is tribalism, an instinct in human beings. I cordially despise it. I am certainly not in general for US or French sport types, just because of their nationality.
          One could say that most people believe it’s good to enjoy tribalism. They have faith in tribalism!

          • Gmax Says:

            You say we all have faith. OK. How does that daily faith differ from faith in Christian daily bread?

            How is that essay coming along? Are you taking a break from writing?

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