Research Article - (2016) Volume 5, Issue 2
Before discussing ‘how’ to fight the so-called War on Terror, the real question is whether parents are openly willing to send their sons and daughters to die. If not, then what they say is their hedonism is more important than their civilization. This is an issue of morality. The entire world is at war; a war that began some two decades ago, has exacted many millions of casualties, and everyone agrees will continue for the next several decades, at least. One of the longest, harshest wars in human history; and no one has really ‘bothered’ to comprehend its characteristics – or even to define it. This article is not about religion. Modern ‘faith’ is drawn from Marx, religion is the opiate of the masses – and who wants to be ‘masses’? It is more chic to be ‘liberal’ and ‘secular’ and anti-religion. And, if one can get away with it, anti-religion while proudly declaring utter ignorance. We probably all know of a certain biologist who makes a point of searing anti-religion statements while proudly professing his ignorance of the subject. This article is about Morality and Education for morality, as a defined objective – a dangerous and uncomfortable subject; this article is about choosing civilizational survival.
Keywords: Terrorism; War; education; globalization; anti-Semitism
Terrorism is a multi-headed Hydra. Like the Hydra of old, killing one head does not prevent formation of a new one. Sometimes, one might even say it facilitates multiple new heads formation. Yet, that does not mean killing that head has no value. Twice killing a ‘head’ of al Qaeda (Zarqawi and Bin Laden) resulted in strengthening al Qaeda, as well as germinating new organisations; yet no sane person would suggest that eliminating monsters is gratuitous.
Just after the events of 11 September 2001, President Bush iterated a “War on Terror.” Many people considered this a misnomer – terror is a tactic. But is it? Terror is defined as: “extreme fear; person or thing causing terror”. Terrorism is defined as: “practice of using violent and intimidating methods, especially to achieve political ends”(The Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English”; seventh edition; 1984 – I intentionally use a dictionary that predates any “political intentions” behind the phrasing of the definitions)
Is the war a war against terror or a war against terrorism? Terrorism is a tactic; terror is in our hearts. The real war is not with this or that terrorist or terrorist organisation, the real war AND its final resolution is within our hearts.
So let’s put the real question right up front. If the Iraqi/Syrian organisation and quasi-state called “Islamic State” is defeated, and all of its leaders from al Baghdadi on down killed, is the war over? Are the streets of Western countries then safe from terrorist attacks? The answer, of course, is a resounding negative! No statistics exist to support hypotheses of increased safety over the past decade; rather, quite the opposite is supported. Such would have no effect whatever on Iran, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Hamas, Ansar Beit al Maqdis, al Shabaab, Fatah, al Qaeda or any of the other tens or hundreds of “terrorist organisations” presently operating throughout the world. Nor would it affect, in any way, the tens of thousands of trained and dedicated operatives now placed deep within Europe and the Americas. Quite the opposite: such would likely enhance their motivation and increase the acts of terrorism in the streets of Europe. This is the real conundrum. If you cannot identify and define the enemy; if you cannot see who he is and what drives his actions, there is no way to defeat him and the war will continue. There is no way to “degrade” this enemy via the usual means of arms and there is no way to “convince” him to leave you be; by diplomacy or negotiations. Iran, the largest terrorist organisation of them all , has just been given “permission” by the “powers” to produce and deploy nuclear weapons.
It is possible that had the battle been engaged in a timely manner – before implementation of delaying tactics (“Junior Varsity”) that very quick decimation of IS might have significantly impacted the process. It is too late for that now. Now, thinking MUST be highly strategic, in order to defeat an enemy with a long term, detailed action plan, already being implemented in hundreds pf venues around the globe.
We are living in an age of catastrophic thinking. Our social and cultural discourse on any number of subjects—the environment, public health, technology—is defined by a vocabulary and worldview that can only be described as apocalyptic . Or, as David Goldman says in “First things last”: “An apocalyptic mentality (national bankruptcy, demographic decline) promotes policies less as opportunities for renewal than as bitter necessities that follow from this or that collapse . Examples of apocalyptic mentality are legion; surrounding us so ubiquitously that we no longer perceive them. Catastrophic thinking is subliminal, transcendent pessimism, as prime societal paradigm. Apocalypcism is the ultimate downer, implemented as civilisational mores. In other words, Western civilisation is entrenched in a process of paranoiac suicide, as its governing concept. “Civilizations fail when they become despondent, when they lose confidence in their history and their future, when their citizens cease to feel pride in and draw inspiration from their culture . Kant’s “Kingdom of Ends” ends, by ending itself. Immanuel Kant, the ‘enlightenment’ philosopher who viewed being nice to dogs of greater value then treatment of human beings . Western civilization is in an advanced state of catastrophic failure – it can be arrest able, but only with destination, determination and deliberation.
Greco-Roman-Euro ethics philosophy epitomises a lack of ethics – whether demonstrated by the Holocaust, World Wars, War of the Roses, Crusades or Dark Ages – Western Civilisation prefers halcyon inebriant revelry to 20-year child rearing responsibility: Nihilism Uber Alles, nihilism for all; equal opportunity nothing. In Europe’s deepest moral turpitude, Fascist Japan offered to save three million European Jews, not democratic America, who prevented them being saved. To endure, Western Man needs to reassess morality, ethics and withal, education – “education”, I say, not instruction; for fact-digestion has become anorexic. ‘Publish-or-perish’ no longer smells sweet.
If America, or NATO, or Europe or “The West” were to put a quarter of a million soldiers into the remnants of those fake nations Syria-Iraq to fight, “degrade” and defeat the Islamic State “Caliphate”, with all the material support necessary and all the air support and etcetera, would this result in defeat of Terrorism as it exists today? Would this even defeat “Islamic State”? A quarter of a million, for clearly less than that would be another exercise in futility – assuming that that number is at all attainable; that a quarter of a million fighters can be found today in America and/or Europe. And sadly, this also needs to be asked: also disregarding the budgetary and fiscal issues involved in fielding this size army.
The simple answer is that the direct outcome in the venue is still doubtful; but, and this is the real issue here, the ultimate goal would not be achieved. Deash (The organisation running the Islamic State Caliphate is called Deash. In the past, it was also called ISIS. It was never called ISIL, except by ignorant journalists who did not understand Arabic and mistranslated. Using the wrong name does not defeat an armed enemy; it only makes the user appear pathetic. America lack clear threat identification) is not the only extant organisation fighting the West, nor is it confined to a specific geography. There are some 40 global organisations under the banner of Deash, with millions of adherents. No one knows how many adherents it has in North and South America, nor in Europe, but the number is large. We know they have hundreds of (as yet) inactivate sleeper cells in ‘dozens of countries’. Islamic State has carried out 50 attacks, in 18 countries, that have killed 1,100 people and injured 1,700 since declaring it Caliphate in 2014. Every analyst of these events is convinced that 2016 will see a large upswing in all these numbers. We know they plan an unprecedented bid to destabilize western governments and spark a huge military retaliation in the Middle East. Islamic State is planning to lure western governments into a ‘final battle’ in the Middle East. They are not afraid of the possibility of a quarter of a million fighters on the civilizational side; they do not perceive any possibility of that occurring, but they do see that number accruing to their sides quite soon (“their sides” – plural). What is wrong here? What is their advantage? Why do they perceive this? Recently, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio message (http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/629695/Islamic-State-ISISAbu- Bakr-al-Baghdadi-audio-recording-Caliphate-recruits) boasting that his forces were “doing well” and urging followers to “be confident God will grant us victory.” He taunted America for not sending troops to Syria and Iraq.
They do not dare to come, because their hearts are full of fear from the Mujahidin” – and unfortunately, he is correct. Why is the West at so obvious a disadvantage? Why can he generate an endless stream of recruits but the West can’t even protect its homelands? Paris was struck on Friday the Thirteenth with 130 dead – after Charlie Hebdo, after Casher Market, after Toulouse; and they learned nothing. Well, not all of them, eight thousand Jews left France for good and moved to Israel this year, along with 22,000 others who decided Israel is the only Western country defending itself and its citizens.
Islamic State is not the enemy, it is an iteration of the enemy (AQ: Al Qaeda; MB: Muslim Brotherhood). On ‘their side’ this is the issue. What of ‘our side’?
Christendom has defined itself (at least) since the Council of Nicaea (The Nicene Creed) by racial and philosophical rejection of Israel . For Christmas, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said in his “Christmas sermon” about Islamic State: “They hate difference, whether it is Muslims who think differently, Yazidis or Christians, and because of them the Christians face elimination in the very region in which Christian faith began. This apocalypse is defined by them and heralded only by the angel of death . Yet, this doctrine attributed by him to Deash is identical to that of Christianity for 1,700 years. Professor Francisco Gil-White relates: “Without Hitler everything would have been the same. … This model identifies a social system, directed by the power elites who manage enormous sociological and political forces operating in a stable manner. … For 2500 years, enormous mass killings of Jews have repeated themselves throughout the centuries in the West(One can dispute the numbers “1,700 years” or “2,500 years”; that does not change the basic mode) .
As Gil-White explains, peoples change, move and evolve. Calendars change. Political systems change. Economies rise and fall. Empires rise and fall. Aristocracies (i.e., ‘power elites’) rise, fall and evolve. The only item, in all that time, throughout all Western history, that remains constant, is antisemitism. It never changes – indeed, we see its physical attributes today are again rapidly rising; actively encouraged by the same ‘power elites’, e.g., Brussels aristocracy/bureaucracy. It is nice that Welby is chagrined, but unconvincing. Even when Western man sincerely ‘describes morality’ it fails. Berman says .
“Perhaps the most famous example of such an initiative from modern times is the American Homestead Act of 1862. With the Great Plains open to mass settlement, nearly any person over 21 years of age could acquire, at virtually no cost, a tract of 160 acres that would become his after five years of residence and farming.”
The United States is the only empire in the history of mankind to have been consciously defined and founded upon morality and moral principles – not ‘just’ western man, but in all of humanity. This is an enormous achievement which should not be in any way belittled. Yet Berman’s statement is horrible sophistry, for of course the ‘cost’ was mass genocide of the previous possessors of the land for “of course” they were not Christians and as such, had no rights, not even survival, and one could, and even ought, vilipend them with impunity. And this is America – the best of the lot!
The philosopher Yoram Hazony, formerly of the Shalem Center Institute (and now College), publishes a series of “Jerusalem Letters” (now President of the Herzl Institute (MBM – he discusses land equality). In the ‘Letter’ of 15 January 2010, entitled “Goodbye Spinoza”, he states .
“It is difficult today to remember that Judaism was once considered one of the most impressive systems of thought and ways of living available to mankind. In the Greek and Roman world, interest in Judaism—both positive and negative- was intense. In the wake of the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, Judaism won thousands of converts in Alexandria, Damascus, Antioch, Athens and Rome, and its laws and thought were imbibed by many others who did not formally convert. Indeed, so great was the popular interest in Judaism that in the first century, the Stoic philosopher Seneca, an advisor to the Emperor Nero, wrote that “The customs of this accursed race have gained such influence that they are now received throughout the world. The vanquished have given laws to their victors”(Quoted in Louis H. Feldman, Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World (Princeton: Princeton, 1993), p. 491, n. 40) .
Hazony goes on to discuss the thoughts of Spinoza who claimed that: everything worth knowing about the ‘true life’ or ‘sublime ideas’ can be known by every individual by means of ‘the natural light of reason’”. Thus, in the 18th century there began a process of ‘eliminationism’ concerning Jewish thought and philosophy, which has become an enduring feature of academia and persists to this day. Hazony says: “French philosophies and German professors leaped on this universal theory of Jewish irrelevance with gusto, embellishing it and making it the cornerstone of a historical understanding that was openly eliminations with respect to the role of the Jews in the history. More than a century before the Nazis reached for the physical annihilation of the Jews, post-Christian European philosophers and scholars sought the spiritual annihilation of the Jews by eliminating the memory of the Jewish part in the discourse that had created the West” .
Today, this is a cornerstone of antisemitism. The ‘Enlightenment’ became fulcrum and direct bridge for the darkest chapter in all Western society history. “To the Nationalists, the Holocaust was not an unexpected event and Nationalist leaders like Jabotinsky had warned that it was coming. To the Universalists, it was an inexplicable event that challenged the entire progressive understanding of history as a march toward enlightenment” . Since Jews were doctrinally hated, elimination of their thought led inevitably to elimination of their being. The ‘light’ in enlightenment is a direct path to the darkest moments in human history.
This is in spite of what many highly regarded intellectuals thought. For instance, John Adams, second president of the United States, said: “I will insist the Hebrews have [contributed] more to civilize men than any other nation. If I was an atheist and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations... They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their empire were but a bubble in comparison to the Jews.” And John F. Kennedy said: “Israel was not created in order to disappear- Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honours the sword of freedom.” These two “parenthetical” acknowledgements served no rationale for academia.
Arnold Toynbee, the noted British anti-Semite  characterized Jewish civilization as “fossilized” and Zionism as “demonic” . Use of such terminology is itself demonic. The ONLY definition of Untermenchen is anyone who uses such terms to describe others. We saw that in 2,500 years of European history; we saw that in Rwanda, we saw that in Sudan – we see that again and again, and still fail to see what we see.
While some may perceive a resurgence of sorts in esteem (or deference) for Hebrew literature and thought (Hazony seems to think so) this is exceedingly limited in scope and has not penetrated to where it really counts for generations – into education of the future educators of the coming generations; to whit rampant antisemitism on most western college and university campuses.
What we know to be fact is that moral mores based upon air, based upon mans’ imaginings, are inadequate. They always fail. Morality needs to rise above man’s fallible imaginings. The Hebrew expression is “the mouth that prohibits is the mouth that permits.” The voice of morality must be higher sourced than its user, for otherwise the user will always make it bow.
Communist China killed some 78 million persons, Soviet Russia killed some 62 million persons, Nazi Germany killed some 60 million persons (nearly 200 million persons were killed in conflicts POST World War II, mostly in internal conflicts ) all based upon Marx, Kant, Nietzsche, Wagner and even the New Testament. It is not the writers’ morals that were tested. Human beings, as beings, were tested; “To murder 6 million people, the Nazis showed us, you don’t even need fanatics” . Humans cannot depend upon man-given mores for morals. No being can rise above self from below; there must be an outside force to do the heavy lifting. Kant’s “human autonomy”  is a certain road to Nazism. Such ‘Autonomy’ is aggressive arrogance. It is not a road to morals; it is supercilious and self-serving, a road to avoid moral conflict.
David Goldman is an economist by training, a member of the Middle East Forum Think Tank and a long-time journalist and analyst for Asia Times. He said, “Positive demographics are a result of societies that are forward-looking and self-confident. A lack of desire for children is typically a symptom of civilizational decline” . This phenomenon is not limited to any single geographic. In this second decade of the 21st Century, we see it in Europe, we see it in almost every Muslim country and we see it throughout the industrialised countries of the world – except for Israel, the only industrialised country with positive demographics and a rising birth-rate (one should add, a rising Jewish birth-rate, with a constantly falling Muslim birthrate). "The best predictor of the number of children in industrial societies is religious observance," Goldman avers .
“Civilizations fail when they become despondent, when they lose confidence in their history and their future, when their citizens cease to feel pride in and draw inspiration from their culture. Somehow, for thousands of years, Jews and Chinese kept their confidence in their civilization and preserved it through war and foreign conquest. Surely that helps explain their present success. The confidence to redouble one's efforts in the face of adversity, even malevolence, cannot be explained by simple stubbornness. The grit required to excel even when the game is rigged against you is not only a cultural trait, but the trait of a culture, that is, a personal characteristic that draws on a culture's self-confidence” .
The subheading here says “trust”. Trust in what? Trust in the idea of a future for society. Goldman’s “forward-looking” is about more than optimism, it is civilizational sustainability.
Academia in the Service of Civilisation
Mores of morality are a basic aspect of any civilisation—academia projects a primary role in forming and, in turn, in passing on, these mores generation-to-generation.
In the latter half of the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century the European morality breakdown was implemented via Eugenics (Eugenics is the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population. It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics).” Wikipedia; 7 February 2014 Alternative:” a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed”; Merriam-Webster; http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eugenics) Eugenics is now considered an international crime against humanity both by the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, as well as The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which also proclaims "the prohibition of eugenic practices, in particular those aiming at selection of persons". This pseudo-science had its basis in academia. Eminent academicians, such as Konrad Lorenz (a Nazi Party member and strong enthusiast), John Maynard Keynes, Linus Pauling and many others were strong supporters of so-called ‘racial hygiene’ .
The root of this travesty of everything that could have been developed for the good of humanity lies [sic] in a ‘radical religious’ view of the Theories begun by Charles Darwin (Francis Galton(His book was, “Inquiries into Human Faculty and Its Development) the originator of Eugenics, was Darwin’s half-cousin and one of his leading interpreters). Eugenics was an academic discipline in many universities, particularly in Europe and continued to be practiced in some countries even into the 1970’s.
The basis for Eugenics was “extreme secularism” – secularism held as a religious practice. The philosophy of extreme secularism has failed. Secularism, as long as it was moderate, could function somewhat, albeit when carefully couched in a society that was, in turn, firmly anchored to a deep social-cultural-mores value system(It is indeed ironic and perhaps paradoxical that a religion is the driving force for secularism; but radical secularism is a natural outgrowth of Christianity with the addition of Kantian and etcetera types of philosophies. One must not forget that Hitler and the vast majority of senior Nazis considered themselves devout Catholics, and indeed, have never been repudiated by the Catholic Church or its hierarchy) When no value system is any longer perceivable, civilizational collapse begins via hedonism or violence. Identity based primarily upon negative – what I am ‘not’ – is inherently weak and, when challenged, as young people tend to do, it breaks. The result is emptiness and a search for meaning. In the West, the social-cultural-mores value system was known as Judaic-Christian values.
The inevitable collision of neither singularity nor ‘Sofalarity’
Professor Tim Wu, in a dual paper in the New Yorker  used the neologism ‘sofalarity’ to connote a difference from technology singularity as predicted by Kurzwell and others. The technology singularity is supposedly when mankind will begin to be ‘chased’ beyond its innate cognitive abilities by super-abilities of technology. As described by Wikipedia (NOTE: Wikipedia is a general, non-scientific, resource which primarily reflects common opinion; it is legitimate for definitions). A hypothetical moment in time when artificial intelligence will have progressed to the point of a greater-than-human intelligence.” This point is called by those prognosticators as the technological singularity, beyond which mankind is not and can never be the same again. The concept is based upon unconstrained religious belief in Darwinism where everything is supposed to be based upon ‘survival of the fittest’. Wu’s paper, on the other hand, predicts, “Our will-to-comfort, combined with our technological powers, creates a stark possibility. If we’re not careful, our technological evolution will take us toward not a singularity but a sofalarity. That’s a future defined not by an evolution toward super intelligence but by the absence of discomforts” . The comfort is represented by horribly obese persons vegetating on a sofa; hence that neologism (In a horrible “semantic coincidence” Wu’s sofa is Hebrew for terminal).
However, both concepts are a gross misfit from inception. Civilised human behaviour patterns are not similar to either cave dweller or to animals. Reproductive choices have nothing whatever to do with fit, fitness, fittest or anything of the kind. Homo sapiens are most decidedly not an animal species like any other. There are two basic differences, conscious mate-selection choice (whether by individuals or community) and communication.
In every industrial country and in most other countries as well, anywhere on the globe, reproductive patterns today trend towards demographic decline, at a rate unprecedented by any time in history. As Ettinger clearly and continuously documents , Israel is the only First-World country with consistently positive demographic trends; and they are rising constantly. The complete failure of radical secularism is becoming more poignant.
Demographic Collapse is about More Than ‘Just’ Female Fertility
People tend to perceive the simple and simplistic. It is so much easier in an era of total communications to hear a ‘sound-byte’ than to actually be forced to think and evaluate data. Demography is equated with female fertility. This is not ‘incorrect’ it is simplistic.
In Britain, a 'three-percent-population' Muslim ethnography produces thirty percent of total British birth defects. In the United States birth rates in some groupings have fallen by fifty percent in the past twenty years (reported by the Population Reference Bureau). In Christendom, female fertility has fallen, leading to demographic collapse; within a decade it may mean an irreversible end to Western Civilisation.
Coupling birth rate decline, with declining life expectancy, inebriation (a list of the ten countries with highest alcohol use shows all of them in Europe), drug use(Christendom’s enemies have long recognised the double value of drug use, both as funds source and as a weapon of civilizational warfare, to weaken society. The primary supplier of opiates is the Shia Crescent. The primary supplier of cocaine is Latin America, via Hezbollah (part of the Shia Crescent) and emigration. Europe is in panic mode. As Goldman documents . “In America, fewer than half of adults available to work with a high school education or less actually are working. That is, only 58% of the noninstitutional adult civilian population with only a high school degree is counted in the labor force. For adults with less than a high school diploma, the labor participation rate falls to just 44%. Deduct the unemployed, and the result is that less than half of Americans without college are at work. That's why 60 million Americans are on food stamps, and why a third of all American households have at least one member receiving means-tested government subsidies.
Meanwhile employers report shortages of skilled labor in numerous fields. It is hard to find skilled machine operators, who require the equivalent of a couple of years of college math to master the computer controls on industrial equipment, for example. Spain's unemployment rate remains at 26%. Spanish workers are now willing to take jobs at 700 euros (US$957) a month making clothing to compete with Chinese imports. That's roughly what better-qualified Chinese workers earn with overtime. The low end of the European labor market, that is, already has converged with the high end of the Chinese labor market.”
The statistics of decline are vast and beyond scope. In a conversation with a leading professional Social Worker from Netherlands (Smit, Peter; 14 January 2012, 19:30; at my home) I was told that in addition to a gross lack of youth, among the paucity that does exist, about one third are inebriated, or close to that, most of the time. These youth are ‘unlikely’ to be productive in industry or maternity, the datum is not gender-sensitive; see  for a cultural basis of this phenomenon. Scruton describes in “Islam and the West: Why We can’t get along  what he describes as Lines of Demarcation between the two cultures. One of the fascinating “lines” is the use of ‘strong drink’ in western society – as a major cultural trait.
Humanity is connected to and by faith
The Pew Forum conducted a world-wide survey of religious beliefs in 2012 and published the results 18 December 2012 . “Worldwide, more than eight-in-ten people identify with a religious group. A comprehensive demographic study of more than 230 countries and territories conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life estimates that there are 5.8 billion religiously affiliated adults and children around the globe, representing 84% of the 2010 world population of 6.9 billion.”
There are some persons, and even well-known persons, and even persons with recognisable intellectual accomplishments (such as that aforementioned biologist), that try very hard to deny basic fact. They attempt to claim that as they do not believe, no one ought to, and if those others do believe, that makes those others inferior. This claim is not just spurious and not just horribly impolite; it is unfounded, aggressive arrogance.
As the above quotation shows, the reality of humanity has religious belief, and even more than that, a declared religious affiliation – which is, of course, much stronger than mere belief. This article is not the forum to discuss how these beliefs diversify by religions and etcetera. Nor are relative sizes generally of interest here. Suffice to say that this is clearly not a geographic, gender or age distribution. Young people are just as religiously devoted as are older people. In addition, the above number discusses religious affiliation. There are also many nonaffiliated believers: “…many of the religiously unaffiliated do hold religious or spiritual beliefs. For example, various surveys have found that belief in God or a higher power is shared by 7% of unaffiliated Chinese adults, 30% of unaffiliated French adults and 68% of unaffiliated U.S. adults” .
Thus, it is clear that the natural state of humanity is belief, not secularism; secularists that make a great effort to proselytize for their ‘belief system’ act as religious fanatics. Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin, famously said of Israel, “Our religion is uni-national and our nation is uni-religious.”
What religious education actually IS
It is well known that the “most Jewish” of all statements of faith is the Shema Yisrael (Kriat Shema – the word Kriah (The difference of the final “t” is as part of an expression, “read of…”) has double meaning, the imperative of read and an announcement), declared twice daily by every observant Jew. Within the Shema Yisrael, in the second paragraph, is the Mitzvah: “Teach this to your sons, to speak them in the morning and the evening and while walking and when lying down and upon awakening (The book’s name, the word, actually means “Statements” but is mistranslated by Christians as “Deuteronomy”)
In Judaism, education, study, learning, expanding ones’ mind to encompass new concepts and realities, are forms of worship as well the highest form of observance – one only takes to the next world that which one has prepared in this world ; preparation is entirely studybased.
Judaism’s essential philosophical insight, beyond even definitive Deity uniqueness, is universal education egalitarianism. “Nowhere in paganism does the concept of hope suggest a general enhancement of all human existence” . Universal literacy is a revolutionary idea of such enormity, that Western civilisation has still not comprehended it, though it pretends to copy parts. This aspect of universal literacy, required by law, was the more revolutionary act at Sinai, more so than any other aspect of handing down written Torah.
One of the toughest aspects for westerners to comprehend is the idea of absolute humility in the learning forum. Everyone must listen to everyone–really listen! Everyone’s opinion is important, all learn from all – including, and frequently particularly, the more senior. He became more senior by being a ‘better listener’ (not age).
Angel says “Rambam criticized a literalist, fundamentalist approach to the words of Hazal. Since the sages were wise and reasonable, their words obviously were filled with wisdom and rationality . Rambam – Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon (Maimonides) was one of the leading sages. “According to Rambam, those who insist on the literal truth of all the statements of Hazal are not only doing a disservice to our sages, but are corrupting our religion” . This is a highly significant concept. It means that merely reading and accepting is insufficient by definition; which in turn means that significant learning alone is nearly impossible. This concept in turn, acts as a catalyst on all three of the above principles. IBM famously said think. Torah study makes this a basic factor of daily life. What happens if secular persons provide Education “of religious and religion-oriented subjects,” within a framework which is by definition no-religious, or anti-religious? Does this qualify? There exists a basic implementation flaw.
Religious Education contains a paradigm, a set of constructs and values; both constructs and values are fundamental to the system of study, both stull and brace are needed or the way collapses. Breaking the system does not make a different system and creates nothing new; just a broken system. Can a person with no knowledge of the Philosophy of Science effectively teach science? Probably, one may answer in the affirmative, but that teaching will be flawed and can proceed only until a certain level – transmitting basic facts might work, but quality scientific research (new knowledge acquisition) will be impossible. Scientific study is a system; if you break the system it fails. Religious Education is a system, if you break the system it fails. However, breaking the system in a study of morals and ethics has a much higher societal price than other systems – ask six million who can no longer answer.
It would never occur to a physicist that he was so smart as to ignore Newton. It would never occur to any mathematician that he was so smart that he could ignore all existing mathematical knowledge; from thousands of years, and that this is a ‘right’. It would never occur to any student of Philosophy to exert Greco-Roman thinking as a method of explaining Confucianism, Buddhism or Shinto. It would never occur to any scientist, of any ilk, that all sages that came before could be set aside and that their own arrogance could be set free.
Judaism is a discipline with some three and a half millennia of experience. Western academic Jewish Studies Departments are based upon the notion that ‘Jewish Studies’ can be pursued devoid of Judaism. It is an anti-discipline. Mazor (Reading from the back of the book: “Professor Yair Mazor is the Director of the UWM Center for Jewish Studies and Head of the Hebrew Studies Program and the Certificate Program in Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee)wrote in his book, “Pain, Pining Pine Trees(Published in the year 2000) .
“The Mishnah is associated primarily with Rabbi Abba Arikha, though it had been the offspring of numerous scholars called Tannaim (teachers). It contains three major tracks of discussion: Midrash, interpretations of Torah’s laws; Halakhah, legislative decisions and verdicts; and Aggadah, fables and legends. The Aggadah is the most accessible section of the Mishnah. It helps the reader understand complex discussions of law that are illustrated by appealing fables. The first tractate, Massekhet Avot (Patriarchs or Forefather’s tractate) is entirely dedicated to stories and legends (Emphases in the original – MBM).
Obviously, to deconstruct this book in its entirety is beyond the scope of an article. While the book is truly exemplary in everything external (e.g., the title is wonderful!) everything internal is horrible. None of the afore-quote is at all correct; it is all wrong, factually, basically wrong. And this has nothing to do with traditions or surmise. The Mishna was compiled and redacted by Rabbi Yehuda Hanasi. Rabbi Abba Arikha, more commonly known as Rav, is someone else, altogether; who lived in a different place and at a far different time.
Mishna is a massive compendium of quotations from scholars called Tannaim about law. The content of the Mishna is directly related to law. There are exactly zero fables, stories or anything else. It is strictly related to the practical, daily aspects of law. There is no relationship between Mishna and Midrash. They are two, totally separate, literary works, written by different persons, at different times. There are no Agadot in the Mishna; exactly zero. Agadot exist of course, but once again, they are totally separate literary works, with no relationship to the Mishna.
Avot is not the first tractate. It is the thirty-ninth tractate, out of a total of sixty-two. Avot contains exactly zero stories; exactly zero legends. Avot is a compendium of aphorisms, with potency resembling law, relating to morality and proper ways of acting between persons.
He goes on. The continuation of the chapter discusses, or rather purports to discuss, Hebrew literature through the ages. Unfortunately, the level of discussion continues in the same vein (and same level of vanity – pun fully intended). Entire classes of literature are not mentioned. Many things mentioned are either taken out of context or entirely ‘new’ meanings given them. The professor of Hebrew literature displays an embarrassing lack of familiarity with fundamental Hebrew literature the book is 'pretty' but less than worthless; it is harmful.
Academic biblical criticism is an outgrowth of this same mind-set of rejectionism in place of steady scholarship. Biblical criticism needs to return to its roots so that the moral lessons that are the basis for all biblical work can return to its place in academia and in society and can help direct the training of future generations of scholars and leaders. Criticism as rejectionism needs to be delegitimised so that criticism as scholarship can be rightfully applied. What principle is behind socalled ‘academic bible criticism’?
Solomon Schechter said:
“The Bible is our sole raison d’être, and it is just this which the Higher anti-Semitism is seeking to destroy, denying all our claims for the past, and leaving us without hope for the future. Can any section among us afford to concede to this professorial and imperial anti- Semitism and confess … we have lived on false pretenses and were the worst shams in the world?” .
Rosenberg then continues:
“Many German critics were not disinterested academics, seeking a purely historical reconstruction of Jewish history and its central text. On the contrary, the biblical scholarship of Hoffmann and Schechter’s day was shot through with anti-Semitic conceptions of Jews and Judaism. Ancient Israelites were often portrayed as illiterate, legalistic, and backward, in pointed contrast to enlightened Christians. The “Old Testament” was viewed as a necessary but outmoded precursor to Christianity at best, and as a primitive artifacts to be scorned and discarded at worst. As Schechter observed, by denigrating the Jewish past, such scholarship served to justify the denigration of Jews in the present. (Tellingly, scholars have found affinities between this scholarship and later Nazi biblical exegesis)” .
None of this has changed. So-called ‘modern academic biblical criticism’ is devoted to denigration, not learning. as various religions that practice mutual respect for other religions have every right to stand on their own. The key phrase is “mutual respect”.
What is the resolution to the ‘Final Battle’ that IS so desperately wishes to provoke?
The question remains, “The West” has failed or is failing, depending upon point of view. Judaism continues to thrive and constantly revitalizes itself; despite all efforts of Christendom; despite pogroms and Holocaust. Goldman states: “the future of Judaism is to be found in the yeshivas, and not in the Jewish Studies departments of universities” . To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, We won, they lost.
The time has come to ask what is learned from success, rather than focusing solely upon pseudo-competition, focus on looking forward. Ultimately, what is pathetic is not an individual; this is the general level of scholarship resulting from removing Religious Education from the academy (In my forthcoming book “The Opposite of Time” I document many additional examples of this false scholarship) In the “Kingdom of Ends” exerting Greek Philosophy upon a diametrically opposed world-view ends in squashing the subject until flatulence is all that remains. Greek political rationalism disappeared during the halfdozen generations after Aristotle. It stayed gone.
According to statistics published by the US Bureau of Justice, Incarceration in the United States (http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm? ty=tp&tid=11#pubs), nearly one percent of the population of the United Stated is incarcerated at any given time; with an enormous increase beginning in 1980. The ‘rate’ of incarceration is 716 per 100,000 persons (four and a half percent of the world contains 22% of the prisoners) costing some 75 billion dollars per year. What is a greater expression of social morality than crime and punishment? Extreme alcohol use; extreme drug use; extreme crime; no babies – Society has ceased to care if it lives of dies. So it has chosen to die.
Let us state it simply: The state of morality, of societal values and mores, in all of Christendom, is extraordinarily low and in steady decline. This is Western culture’s primary weakness. This is why there is no simplistic way to win the war on terror (Not on terrorism) – the war that is being fought by our hearts, within our hearts, for our hearts. And yes, I know, the extreme secularists will claim this is wrong. We have seen how much hope they have to fight and win. Is it any wonder that prisoner populations are the most fertile ground for Islamic proselytization? Islam is offering them a real moral structure; even if what it offers is horrible. Real human beings are aware that they need a religious belief system; one that works, one that supplies a moral compass. If their upbringing does not supply it, they will find it otherwhere.
Where to proceed
Christianity is destroying itself for nothing. The Holocaust succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of its perpetrators. European Jewry is no more. True, there are still some Jews in Europe, but they are no longer of quantity to matter nor does an independent Jewish- European subculture exist (witness the rate of emigration to Israel, a society that works); nor does trust in Christendom to recreate what was so vaingloriously destroyed, with malice aforethought. Yet withal, antisemitism is rampant throughout Europe; it is bureaucratic and institutionalised.
Some parts of Europe thought that ‘giving’ Jews back our State, Israel, paid for what they did. This was nonsense, of course, as was amply demonstrated by Britain which, after the German Shoah, proceeded to murder some thirty thousand Jews in Aden, Yemen, Trucial States (now UAE), Eretria, Cyprus and the seas ; ending only in 1951, three years after the Mandate that they had so flagrantly abused.
Christianity IS antisemitism; the two are inseparable. Fact! Get over it and move forward. While neither I, nor my brethren, have any reason to wish any ‘good’ upon Christendom, it is not in our nature to wish upon it bad. The ‘point’ of this article is a plea for survival of western civilisation; a plaintive (perhaps last) cry to say its demise is not necessary. Christendom, Europe, the West can be saved. It is not ‘just’ a question of demographics, though a culture of hope is a prerequisite.
How can this War be accomplished, and won, if both the military and diplomatic options seem without clear direction? That is the point. This is a religious war (It is important to make a point about Islam. I do not say, and have not said, that Islam is “at fault”. Clearly, anyone who has read the Qoran recognises its problematical nature. Yet, there are entire peoples who are Muslim and have accommodated their religion with remaining a part of humanity. Kurds are Sunni and have a rich history of culture and morality. Azeris are Shia and have a rich history of culture and morality. Same can be said of Baluch, Amazigh and others. Yet, with this, hundreds of millions of Muslims (some 25% of Muslims) believe in Jihad. The War is with these hundreds of millions). Islamic State and all of the other branches of Jihad have, or seem to have, an endless stream of manpower and have in place, after decades of meticulous planning, thousands of ready operators. The West has a dearth of manpower, and most of those have serious motivation issues.
Unless Western civilisation makes a real, conscious effort to revitalise itself, there is no way that it can survive the onslaught of the Islamic masses converging upon it, in ever increasing numbers, with motivation on their part constantly growing, while western motivations recedes.
That is the fulcrum of the War on Terror – stop allowing you to be terrorised. Retake control of your hearts and minds. In the recent past, the thought was to “win the hearts and minds of the enemy population. The war is to win your hearts and minds. The only way to do that is to rekindle morality. The only way to do that is to rekindle religion. That is a problem for societies that define themselves as “secular” – the way must be found to reconcile the two issues or all is lost.
Aragorn said: “A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight”.
Men of the West, this day you need to decide to fight, for your final battle is at hand. Antelucan indeed can our times be, if the decision is made, consciously made, for it to be so. Survival of the West is in the final quarter of the eleventh hour. Let this be clear, a decade from now, it will be too late – one decade and the last chance, your last chance, will be gone. You are being given the chance to finally grow up, to grow beyond your pettiness and hatred, to tell forefather Esau, for the final time, that ‘active’ hatred for Jacob may have been ‘permissible’ when children, but you are no longer children. Antisemitism exists, and will not pass; put it aside. To have hope, Children of the West must decide to embrace their heritage and begin the process of reintegration of morality and ethics studies in the fabric of every facet of society. Anything less, and Aragorn is lost, the West is lost. Decide now, or relent of the ability to make such a decision – forever more. Today, every civilised human being recognizes that treating people differently by race or genetics is irrational (Despite that the continued irrational aberration called anti-Semitism remains unexplained) and not ‘just’ irrational, but both socially and economically counterproductive, stupid, and immature, and this is the major point.
Christendom, I now address you directly. The time has come for you to simply accept that your antisemitism is a form of sociological immaturity; a sort of retardedness that cannot be fixed. You need to grow out of enslavement to it, to rise above this malady, to recognise that it is simply there; then, despite this issue, to accept morality, and decide to survive. “The door is shut; you cannot pass!” There will not be another chance to make that decision – decide to fight or die – “To be or not to be, that is the question (William Shakespeare; Hamlet).