Thursday, March 26, 2015

ARE JEWS THE ONLY SEMITIC PEOPLE? Part One of a Series

A longtime friend of prof bug named Matt ... --- a prominent Lutheran Pastor who knew Martin Luther King and marched with him in demonstrations against prejudice --- asked in a recent email sent to bug whether the word "Semite" refers to Jews only or to others as well.

                                       THE ANSWER: YES AND NO

THE TERM SEMITE MEANS WHAT?

In their origins, "Semitic" and "Semite" are strictly linguistic term developed by European and American linguists and anthropologists in the 19th and early 20th century that referred to a family of somewhat similar languages originating about 3000 to 3500 years ago in the Middle East.

That linguistic family and its varieties --- like, say, Latin, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and French all considered a family of Romance languages --- were used by disparate ancient peoples in the Saudi Peninsula and nearby regions, though there were other peoples in the Middle East who didn't speak or write in those Semitic languages. 

The most historically prominent of those diverse peoples sharing family-like languages were the Jews, Akkadians, Phoenicians, and possibly Arabs who lived in disparate tribal groups for centuries in the Saudi region.  And so, if Semites is a term referring to a loosely shared set of languages, the answer to Matt's query is --- YES, there were different peoples other than the ancient Jews who spoke different variations of the shared Semitic language-family. 

BUT "NO" OTHERWISE

Overwhelmingly, the original cultures and languages of those non-Jewish peoples sharing Semitic languages thousands of years ago disappeared over time.  Yep disappeared, not just changed. 

This was especially the case after 632 with the death of Mohammed . . . followed immediately by the rapid spread out of Saudi Arabia of conquering Islamic militaries and, no less important, the subsequent adoption by the conquered peoples  of the Arabic language and Arabic culture  all over the Middle East and North Africa.   At most, over time, there have been some minor differences of shared Arab or Persian cultures . . . plus, of course, the two major competitive hate-filled religious sects of Islam: mainly Sunni (about 86% of all Muslims) vs. Shiites (about 12%) --- both sects persecuting, torturing, or killing off one another with glaring glee.  With both major sects persecuting, torturing, or killing off some minor sub-branches such as Sufis (mystical Muslims), Druze, Baha'is, Alevis, and Alawis. All these latter are regarded by mainstream Sunnis and Shiites as horendous heretical-sects, usually in need of blazing punishment for their religious sins.

Sidebar Clarifications:

Something to stress here: just how quickly Arab conquests were achieved once they were on the jihadi warpath. The initial vanquished "non-believers" (Kafir in Arabic) were the legendary Byzantine and Persian armies ---the first Orthodox Catholic in religion and the latter mainly Zoroastrian (dualist believers in a bad-guy God and a higher-level good-guy God at battle with one another, the dualism shared by Gnostic Manichaeism). Persia was entirely conquered in the 630's C.E., with Islam imposed more or less on them if they knew what was "good" for them.

As for the Byzantine Orthodox Christian Empire, in the 630's C.E., Arab militaries drove it swiftly out of the Levant --- roughly, in today's terms, the areas of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel --- but it remained a very powerful Greek-speaking Empire elsewhere for hundreds of more years, during which it was at war repeatedly with Muslim Arabs, or the vast Muslim Persian Empire, or eventually the Muslim Ottoman Turks from the middle 14th century on. In 1453, the Ottomans destroyed once and for all the remnants that remained of the 10-century old Byzantine Empire.  By then, the Ottoman Empire was already vast in scope  and then went on to conquer much of Southern and Eastern Europe in the centuries to follow 1453.

Back to conquered Persia. 

In the 16th century, the new Persian Emperor (the 1st in the Safavid dynasty) shifted Islam in his country and the larger empire away from Sunny to Shia Muslim worship and laws. His motive? Mainly to ensure that the age-old Persian language and age-old impressive culture distinguished Persia and its vast empire from the hated Sunni Arabs and Ottomans (and for a while the Turkish-Uzbek Muslims). Large massacres and wholesale torture and slaughter then followed in Persia for the Sunni clerics, scholars, and average people who wouldn't convert to Shia Islam or exile themselves.

As you can easily grasp, lots of crackling hatreds and violence have marked historically the interactions of various branches and subbranches of Islam. Is it different today in the religion of peace?

   Ha!Ha! - If You Guessed Wrong.  No Different at All.  Gory Internecine Wars Galore. 

In the various wars between different kinds of Islam, Muslims have been persecuting or outrightly massacring one another for 1400 years, and almost non-stop with glee. Why should it be different in 2015? [Might as well ask the Spaniards to stop tormenting and killing bulls; or the British to stop drinking coffee and switch back to mainly tea again; or the French to bring back their great culinary traditions, now tattered beyond recognition (70% of all French restaurants were found by the French government in 2013 to mainly heating up processed food in microwave ovens and only 20% have received a formal endorsement from the government for using slightly more than 60% fresh food.]

The latest wars in the Middle East these days are found everywhere among Sunni countries, often led or attacked by frothing half-crazed Sunni jihadists --- their on-the-warpath-minds full of murderous fantasies on behalf of Allah's wish for Islam to conquer the world, Sunni dark-age version of course. With, needless to add, there'll be all those mind-frenzied mainstream Shias --- joined by heretical and non-heretical Shias all over the Saudi Peninsula and some from Persia: their eyes hard and deranged-looking, --- on-the-hunt to kill Sunnis for the sake of Shiite martyrdom and the 72 gorgeous virgins all panting and waiting for the brave martyrs to go skyhooting directly to paradise.  Be assured though.  Sooner or later, like all exhausted massacre-mongering killers, both Sunni and Shia liquidators will need to take some R&R away from their slaughter-house warring with one another and resort to some effortless fun by torturing and butchering as many Muslim Kurds, Christians, Yazidis, Druze, Jews, Bahai, Buddhists, Gnostic Zoroastrians and Gnostic Mandaeians as they can find in their path.

Not to worry, all ye armchair aficianodos of atrocious wars!

After a couple of days of torturing, raping, and gruesome luiquidating the defenseless minorities, the brave Shia and Sunni- warriors --- nicely rested and their heavenly visions flaring with renewed hatred --- will  continue their irresistible bloodbath carnage of one another     

A Key Question Prompts Itself Here: Is Islam, Then, More HISTORICALLY Bloodthirsty than Christianity?

The answer: Another Yes and No. It depends on the motivations for the wars we're talking about.

If the answer focuses strictly on religion motives for warfare among Muslims and also against non-believing "infidels" for a good 1400 years now, then clearly the judgment has to be NO . . . Islamic-warfare has been no more murderous than Christian warfare for 1600 years. Historically, going back to the early 4th century when Constantine the Great, the Emperor of the Roman Empire, converted the Empire to Christian religion, religious motives have animated all forms of brutal wars against Christian "heretics" over and again, and against Jews, Muslims, "pagans", and of course between Protestants and Catholics in the 16th and early 17th centuries.

But YES, Islam has been more bloodthirsty than Christianity if we focus strictly on religious motivations again --- and, more to the point, blood-thirstier since the middle of the 17th century. How so? In 1648, after more than a century of raging wars between Protestants and Catholics, the various leaders of European countries and principalities met and agreed to abide by what has been known as the Treaty of Westphalia. By signing it, the Kings and Princes would leave it up to one another to decide which version of Christianity would dominate over their peoples.

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 10:23 AM PST

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

ANTI-SEMITISM IN EUROPE, COMPARATIVELY VIEWED

                     JEFFREY GOLDBERG INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM   

Here is an outstanding, if pretty long online article by Jeffrey Goldberg --- a journalist who has written impressive investigative reports on a variety of topics (mainly foreign  and US affairs) that have appeared in  several distinguished weeklies, the Atlantic online blogs, and for the New York Times magazine. He has won awards both his journalism and a book that appeared in 2006.  A former Israeli soldier, he returned to the USA and is now a national correspondent for The Atlantic, the oldest ongoing magazine in the USA.     His reputation enables him to interview not just high government officials and politicians in the USA, but elsewhere in the world too.   Source of his article: Click here 

The Subject of the Article? 

Growing anti-Semitism in Europe, something prof bug has written about several times on his blog.  Except that Goldberg, to his great credit, has done a lot of investigative interviews in Europe, especially in France.  What was especially surprising to me was the number of hate-crimes against Jews in Britain --- where only 300,000 Jews live (about 6-7 million in the USA, and about 500,000 in France).  In concrete terms, there were almost the double number of hate-crimes in Britain last year (about 1100 reported to the police) than in the USA with a population of 310 million people vs. about 62 million in both France and Britain.  The high number in Britain exceeded those in France, even though France has a much larger number of serious attacks than in Britain. 

What is even more surprising is that the most recent survey of anti-Semitism in several dozen countries by the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) found that France had the 2nd number of higher reported anti-Semites in Western Europe --- 37% vs 8% in Britain vs. 27% in Germany (the anti-Semitic findings were very low in Netherlands and Scandinavia), but much higher in East Europe such as : Lithuania (65%), Poland (62%), Hungary (61%) and Austria (52%).  The source of these findings is the most recent ADL survey of anti-Semitism, reported in the spring of 2014 for 2013.  All over Eastern Europe, every country subject to the ADL survey has a very high rate of anti-Semitism with one exception: Czech Republic.  It's only 13%, about 1/4th to1/5th of the high percentages elsewhere.  

The survey dealt with 102 countries around the world, surveying about 53,000 people.  One quarter of the world's population shared a clear percentage of strong dislike to hate of Jews.  No need to explain why it was far far higher in Muslim countries, though less so, now and then markedly, in Asian Muslim countries compared to Iran, Turkey, and Middle East Arab countries.

USA and Jews

In the USA, anti-Semitism is at an all-time low.  Jews are roughly 2% of the US total population at 310 million.  The ADL 2013 survey found about 9% of the US population was anti-Semitic.  Then, too --- a big surprise --- Judaism was found to be in another survey the most admired religion in the USA.  The contrast with Europe, never mind the rest of the world, couldn't be more striking than that.   Click here for the ADL interactive data.  And here for the Pew Research Center's findings on how Americans rate other religions in our country:

Three Further Points to Keep in Mind:

1) Reports to the police of all kinds of crimes may differ across countries, just as the definitions of the serious nature of a crime --- say, assault as an example --- can differ too. That's why victims of crime-surveys are also carried out nationally and reported to Interpol and other police agencies globally. Generally, victims surveyed report more crimes than those who call the police. Even so, the two sorts of crime-stats will usually rise or fall jointly.

A further way to discover unreported crime is to interview prisoners, with promises of keeping the interviews secret.  Usually academics carry out those reports, prisoners not confident about the police.  One unusual study in 1995 found in two different prisons visited by the interviewers --- one in New England, the other in Wisconsin (maybe Michigan) --- that the inmates in both prisons reported the same number of crimes they committed that weren't ever reported to the police: 11 for each criminal.  That same number was undoubtedly a coincidence.)

2) Despite the rise of radical right-wing groups in Europe, most of their animosity is directed toward the much larger (than Jewish) Muslim populations.  In France, there seem to be 5 - to - 6 million Muslims (about 9-10% of the total population), and in Britain there are 2.8 million Muslims.  Remember, the population of the two countries is about the same (true also of Italy) at roughly 62 million.: Germany, since unification, has 30% more at about 80 million.  In Britain --- something that clarifies the relatively high anti-Semitic attacks yearly --- about 95% of all those attacks are done by Muslim hoods and jihadis. 

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 03:39 PM PST

Friday, March 13, 2015

Christians Persecuted All Over the Middle East. More and More Flee

Buggy Introduction

On the very good Foreign Affairs online-site today (03/13/2015), there appeared a commendable article by two specialists on the Middle East who set out the growing fears and persecutions underway of Christian Arabs --- along with their efforts to flee those dangers by emigrating the US or Europe, to which article Prof Bug replied.  Click here for the article, plus several other comments left on the article-site.  Foreign Affairs is always worth looking at, its articles put out by both scholars and journalists.  Lots of them are noticeably informative and fair-minded --- which means they take into account likely criticisms of their work.  Agreed: some of the articles aren't fair-minded.  All the same, they are generally intellectually stimulating.

Apropo of the fair-mindedness and balance that good scholarly work and journalism should live up to, each of you on the buggy site should always try to recognize propaganda and lopsided writings or lectures that simply set out automaton-driven indoctrination.  That's true of much of the stuff set out by those professors --- at all levels of higher education --- who repeatedly engage in one-sided brainwashing and ignore, purposefully, hard evidence that might be found in counter-arguments.  The new leftwing post-modernists are an insult to good scholarship and teaching. 

A Couple of Examples 

The only powerful intellect who associated himself with the New Left for a couple of decades --- the philosopher Richard Rorty --- said in a book put together by scholars of his work that he was "properly chastened and reprimanded" for his previous New Left associations.  He even went so far as to call its academic members "creeps".  That book  --- Rorty and his critics by Robert Brandom, 2000 --- is well worth reading if you're interested in philosophy. Brandom, a prominent philosopher himself, was a Ph.D. student of Rorty's.  Rorty died in 2007.  By then, he was robably the most famous philosopher in the world since the early 1980s.   

Something else.  The political right-wing in the USA also engages in lop-sided Orwellian New-Speak too.  That's especially true of the more frenzied of them.  The big difference with the New Left?  The right-wing is not strongly represented in universities, at least not in the Social Sciences and Humanities --- though lots of good scientists describe themselves as Republicans.  Then, too, the work coming out of Business-sponsored institutes like the generally sound American Enterprise Institute is usually worth looking at.  It employs mainly retired or former scholars, and it grounds its articles in clear data.  You may disagree with their articles, but that requires your spotting insufficent or mishandled data --- something not easily done except by specialists. 

A confession: Buggy sees himself as a moderate Democrat. 

 

                                             THE BUGGY POST AT FP TODAY

This is an informative article, backed up in other ways . . . such as the rapidly growing influx into Israel of Arab Christians.  They make generally good citizens of Israel, and many have joined the IDF (Israeli military).  Recently, a couple of years ago, an Arab Christian female officer was put in charge of a IDF company.  Click here

The fast growing influx into Israel of Arab Christians --- who practice different kinds of Christianity (Orthodox, Copt etc) --- is due to a combination of causal influences: the never-ending wars in Syria and Iraq; ISIS massacres of both Christians and Christian churches; increasing efforts in Gaza and to an extent in the West Bank to force the populations to submit to rigid medieval sharia-law, including total submission of women to male-favored laws; persecution of gays and so on.  

Israel's population is 8.3 million.  75% of them are Jews.  Arabs, at 1.7 million, are 21% of the population.  Of those 1.7 million, there are about 167,000 Christian citizens total  in Israel, with 80% of them Arabs.  The Arab Christian community has the fastest growing rate of child births in the country.  They do well in Israeli schools and universities, and increasingly they have voluntarily joined the IDF.  

Here's a Breakdown of Israeli Demographics

Group[9][10]PopulationProportion of totalGrowth rate
Jews:6,119,00075.0%1.7%
Mainstream5,499 00065.1%1.2%
Haredi750,0009,9%5.0%
Arabs1,688,60020.7%2.2%
Other349,7004.3%N/A
TOTAL8,157,300100%1.9%

Source: click here

Egypt

Farther afield in the Middle East, note that in Egypt --- which has by far the largest population of Christians --- the numbers of Coptic and other much smaller Christian minorities have been fleeing the country for three decades now, with the numbers of emigrants soaring after the radical Muslim Brotherhood took control of the government in 2013.  Most of those emigrating seek to go to Europe or the USA. 

Copts, please note, are about 12% of Egypt's 90 million population.  The Coptic leaders have continually accused the Egyptian government since the 1970s of not sufficiently protecting their members and churches from jihadis and rampaging crowds.  The same leaders dismiss the official government figures of only 6 million Copts in Egypt as a shameful fabrication.  The currently ruling military has promised the Coptic community that it will intensify its protection of their persons and churches. Click here for a good article about all this.

More recently, jihadi attacks in Libya sent well over 10,000 Christian Arabs fleeing with Egyptian aid into Egypt itself.  The rescues were aided by the Egyptian government . . . a signal, it seems, that the military leaders in Cairo are living up to their promise of providing better protection for their Christian citizens and refugees.

 

Retired Prof, AKA Michael Gordon 

 

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 02:49 PM PST

Sunday, March 1, 2015

ISRAEL, THE MIDDLE EAST, AND OBAMA AND IRAN

                 In Israel's hour of need by Caroline Glick

                                    Click Here for Source

                                                         

Ron, thank you for the Glick article. 

My Reaction?

To tell the truth, I don't know what to say with much insight about the article.  It clearly has some strong points --- though, on this score,   it could have stressed some  references to Obama's feckless dead-end "red lines" for the Syrian and Iranian governments, one for chemical weapons and the other for nuclear bomb-developments. These on-and-off threats do little except alienate certain allies in the Middle East and harm American efforts to counter and contain potential enemies.  This doesn't mean diplomacy isn't useful, even with potential adversaries; but not when it includes tongue-loose lines-in-the-sand that turn out to be vacuous rhetoric, nothing more. 

One of the better points in Glick's article is her references to Netanyahu's compromise-offers regarding an independent state in the West Bank and prisoner-exchanges (and a handful of other moderate positions).  Another good point is her criticism of Obama's excessive and semi-delusive faith in the Arab spring, even though she focused mainly on Egypt.  That said, she could have strengthened her argument by underscoring how Obama's policy twist-and-turns have impacted the member-states in the sotto-voce alliance between Israel and Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the small Gulf States.  Briefly put, those sleigh-of-hand changes in policy have turned the leaders of all these countries into skepticism about US reliability toward them and their worries about Iran.

All That Said, What Follows?

Follows? Well .. .  we have to await a few developments to see what's really going to happen soon.  No soothsayers should be trusted until then.  Those developments?

 

  • There's Netanyahu's speech and how the Senate reacts.

 

  • There're Obama's negotiations with Iran and what they might amount to. Right now, despite some leaks to the press recently, nobody knows for sure. To put too much trust in anything Muslim dictators say, whether foes or allies, would be naive, but that doesn't mean negotiations couldn't be useful to a certain degree in our relations with Iran . . . especially if they allowed full freedom for UN inspectors to visit their sites as quickly and often they demand. (Whether the Iranians could still hide weapons developments in large underground facilities beneath, say, Tehran buildings, is always a possibility that the inspectors might never even chance upon.)

 There are good reasons, all in all, to be skeptical about any treaty that permits Iran to maintain certain high-potent centrifuges, but not all of them.  In this respect, some say that for 10 years or so the Iranians could promise in a treaty not to move directly to a breakout-development of  few nuclear warheads on ever longer-distance missiles.  That seems naive.  At a minimum, in the most explosive area of the world, what would keep the Saudis, say --- loaded with oil money --- to not move to nuclear weapons too.

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 01:41 PM PST

Thursday, February 19, 2015

PART FOUR ISLAM AND ITS MASSIVE PROBLEMS WITHIN AND BETWEEN EACH MUSLIM COUNTRY AS WELL AS WITH RADICAL JIHADI TERRORIST GROUPS

 

Please Read the First Three Parts in This Series Before Reading This 

Start by Recalling the Findings Set Out at the End of Part Three

Far More Likely Causes of Islamic Downfall and Backwardness For Three Centuries Now:

All over the world, vast numbers of Muslims readily shift the blame onto outsiders for Islam's massive failures and steady descent into humiliating economic and military weakness for three centuries now  --- with the vicious hobgoblin Jewish World Conspiracy the crack-whip commanders in charge of their monstrous anti-Muslim proxy-miscreants (the USA and the bigger EU countries).  Note though.  A few Muslims, a small and relatively quiet group of scholars and journalists, disagree. They've explained Islam's endless decline and backwardness for centuries now as due to more plausible causes.  Namely: massive corruption, incompetent dictatorial regimes, secret-police states, crony-patron groups at the top that suppress or kill off rival crony-patron groups, and promotion of cronies to higher position without qualifications (just nice obedience to the head-honchos). 

Not to overlook a poor work ethos, incompetent business managers, and retard-economies, all of which plague their societies.  Plus, it needs to be stressed, backward science and backward technologies and horrid educational systems.  And not least, just the contrary, the marked suppression of half of all Muslims world-wide who don't have penises

Nor Is That All. 

The religion of peace doesn't look at all peaceful these days --- very much the blood-splattered opposite. Well, when was it ever at peace with either non-Muslim countries or between different Muslim Empires and Kingdoms? 

Nothing surprising, then, that everywhere in Islam these days, there are endless internecine hatreds and bloodthirsty conflicts galore at work in every Muslim country.  These bitter antagonisms pit diverse Muslim ethnic and tribal groups against one another, all of them, it seems, full of rancor and enmity toward others . . . just as the same  antagonisms --- no less crazed and cutthroat ---still cause massive wars a good 1500 years old between Sunnis and Shia, the two major branches of Islam.  Not to forget, within these two branches, the use of extensive terrorism by breakaway jihadi and other hate-filled minority Muslim groups only too eager to kill off alleged heretics and apostates or one another in grudge-laden struggles for power. 

Then, too, a  new target these days of the more vicious terrorists enters the domestic Islamic House-of-Horrors.  In particular, there are all the alleged Muslim softy sellouts, not least the Kings and Presidents-for-Life and their followers in charge of their countries, who have adopted certain western values and behavior recently, with their numbers soaring in recent decades thanks to American and Europe movies, TV, and the Internet.  No surprise again, is it? that 6 of the top 8 countries worldwide that watch the most pornography online are Muslim.  Click here for the list.

Oh, and don't forget on this score of westernized imports a steady inflow of Western (or Russian) arms that require US and European instructors to train the locals in their usage.

What Follows?

For ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other death-cult jihadis, these halfway-modernized Muslim-traitors will either have to repent and kneel without complaint to dogmatic Dark-Age Sharia laws or face you-know-what . . . a bomb here, a few swords slashes there: What the heck, can't rebuild Islam to its glory past without lots of gore, right? And in case there aren't enough apostates or softy-sellouts around to massacre, there are always Christians and pagans to take their place, what say guys?

Who knows in extremist jihadi circles what to do here, these poor confused male killers? Well, maybe Boko Haram has pioneered the way to deal with Christians, males or females, anywhere. Just kidnap some school girls and sell them off to Saudis and others with enough lute. Or, if the children are Muslim, train them in Boko's ranks to "slaughter people like animals." Click here for the evidence.

Recently, in Israel, there has been a noticeable increase of Christian Arabs fleeing from Syria and Iraq and other Muslim countries, with the Israelis welcoming them warmly.  More and more Christian Arabs already settled in Israel have been joining the IDF (Israeli army) . . . including a female Christian put in charge of a front-line unit composed of Jews and Christians.  Click here for the info.

And The Future of the Arch-Bogeymen Who Rule the World?

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 09:08 AM PST

Sunday, February 15, 2015

GLOBAL ISLAM'S NON-STOP DECLINE FROM 1700 ON ...PART 3 IN A SERIES


Before you start here, please be sure to read the first two parts of this long series on Islam's thrusting conquests over wide swaths of the world from the early 7th Century C.E. to 1700.  

PART THREE

Islamic Decline:

Starting in the 18th century, the Ottoman Empire fell more and more behind the rapidly modernizing Europeans (especially in West Europe) --- more specifically,  behind more and more in economic growth and in technology, military might, and all forms of the Industrial Revolution (led by the British by the end of that century).  The Empire continued to stagnate, along with all of the Muslim countries (whether Sunni or Shia), until it was reduced in the early 20th century to its relatively small Turkish homeland.

The Caliphate itself was renounced in 1924 by the modernizing and secular government dominated by President Ataturk.  By then, most of Islam was ruled by conquering European powers: in all of North Africa, and in most of the Arabian  Peninsula  ---the British and French carving out new Arab countries in most of it ---not to overlook  India, Pakistan, Indonesia, and parts of tropical Africa.  To put it bluntly, there was no fully independent Muslim country anywhere in the world that wasn't under European domination for a certain period --- whether lengthy or short. 

Is the Caliphate ever going to return? 

Well, jihadi ISIS and its equally cruel wham-bang Islamist allies are now struggling to rebuild it in the Arabian Peninsula as well as in parts of Asia Minor, even as the existing Sunni and Shia governments try to find allies and fight these mass-murdering fanatics.  In their frenzied minds, the creation of a new Caliphate --- governed by rigidly ancient Shari laws and renunciation of all Western cultural and political influences --- will eventually spread out and dominate dozens of Muslim countries.  After which?  After which a  purified Islam will mysteriously, just like a series of heavenly sent miracles, create rapid economic growth, highly educated Muslim scientists grounded in Koranic and Hadith studies, technological marvels not yet imagined, military prowess without equal, and so on.  Not to overlook how these miracles will once again make Muslims worldwide realize that they alone are Allah's true people, as proud and glorious as they once were from the 7th century until the 17th century (or later). 

As for the conspiratorial Jews who rule the world and their proxies they manipulate in Christianity and pagan countries, they all will either convert to Islam, or accept dhimmi status again, or just be killed off as monstrous beings.

Oh sure.  With one caveat: ISIS and the other death-cult jihadis will desperately seek to find and use Weapons of Mass Destruction --- nuclear, chemical or biological.  So be wary of those in the West who say --- just treat these frenzied cutthroats as normal criminals who can do only limited damage. 

A Sidebar Commentary:Ottoman Rule over Palestine Collapses and the Eventual Emergence of an Israeli State

First: For 400 years or so, no Arab government had ruled anywhere in the Arabian Peninsula, including Palestine.  It was all ruled by the Ottomans.  In the middle of WWI, with strong British backing, the Arab revolt began against Ottoman rule.  The Ottoman defeat in WWI marked the total end of its Empire.  It had lost its Imperial control in Central Europe by the end of the 17th century.  Later on, in the 19th dentury, it lost its rule over the Balkans and North Africa . . . much of the latter colonized by the French and British as well as the Italians in Libya and the Spanish in Spanish Morocco. As for the existing Arab states in the Peninsula these days, their boundaries and initial King-Rulers were all carved out by mainly the British colonialists and, to an extent, their French equivalents in Lebanon and Syria.  To repeat: modern-day Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the small Gulf states, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon are all new creations, mainly created back in the 1920s.  And Israel?  It emerged after the United Nations voted to create the state in 1948

By then, the occupying British government and its large military withdrew from Palestine totally.  By that time, too, starting in late 1947, a civil war was underway between Arabs and Jews, with the Arabs (supported by the Arab League and several thousand Arab fighters from outside Palestine) on the offensive until the Jews --- whose army was now strengthened and well trained --- went on the offensive.  A day after the British withdrew in the summer of 1948, the civil war between Jews and Arab militias --- the latter badly beaten everywhere --- was followed by the invasion of 5 Arab armies, plus dozens of piloted planes sent by the Saudis.  Oh, and Yemen sent 100 fighters to join with the other Arabs.

The result?  Israel defeated those Arab armies, and quickly too.  The Mandatory era of British rule over all of Palestine --- created by the League of Nations in the early 1920s --- was now totally ended.  The Israelis let the defeated Egyptian army to occupy Gaza.  The same was true of Jordan on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem.  In the 1967 war with Syria, Jordan, and Egypt, the Israelis overan both the West Bank and Gaza. 

What will happen in the future to those two Arab areas, one ruled by a hard-to-pindown secular President Mahmoud Abbas and Gaza by hardline jihadi Hamas leaders? 

Neither one has held a new election for 9 years or so.  Even Hamas --- a spillover of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood that originated in Egypt, but has been armed by Shia Iran (strange, no? ) -- is outlfanked in fanaticism by more radical Salafi terrorists.  Meanwhile, since 2010, Hamas has also been busy Islamizing the population in ways very similar to draconian Taliban rule in Afghanistan.  Small wonder that the military government in Egypt has again imposed a total blockade of access by Gaza to arms and other supplies . . . the Egyptians themselves battling extremist jihadi groups in the SInai peninsula, all with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and to dark-age Saudi  Wahabbism that renounced all western influences as evil and inspired al-Qaeda's terrorism.

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 10:54 AM PST

Saturday, February 14, 2015

ISLAM'S THRUSTING RISE IN POWER AND CONQUEST FOR 11 CENTURIES...PART TWO IN A SERIES

Part Two 

ISLAM'S RISE IN POWER AND INFLUENCE

632 C.E. -- 1700 C.E.

Please be sure to read part one first on Islam's conquests and sweeping Muslim Rule for 1100 years over wide swaths of the earth. Part one dealt with rapid Arab conquests of all of the huge Persian Empire in the early 7th century and large parts of the even bigger Byzantine Empire's Empire in the Middle East and North Africa in the 7th into the 8th centuries. What follows are the no less remarkable invasions and conquests by Arabs in Europe,  Seljuk Turks ruling a large Peresian Empire, Ottoman Turks destroying the Byzantine Empire and moving swiftly into in much of Europe and elsewhere, Tatar Mongols rule over much of Russia for 250 years, and Turkish-Mongolian dominant control of most of India for 300 years until 1803.

 2 ) MUSLIM INVASIONS OF EUROPE 1300 YEARS AGO

In the early  8th century, not long after their conquest of the Levant and North Africa, triumphant Arab militaries crossed the Mediterranean Sea and invaded Spain and soon afterwards much of France.  Later, in the 10th century, Arabs conquered Sicily and parts of mainland Italy in the south.  They held onto it for 200 years, after which feared Viking invaders forced them out of all of Italy.  These invasions represented the greatest incursion into Western Europe ever made by Muslims. 

 Not so for Islam in South and parts of Central Europe.  This time, starting with formidable Ottoman Turkish conquests in the 14th century, much of the Balkans and as far north as Hungary came under their rule.   Amazingly, despite the Ottoman Empire's steady, non-stop slide into backwardness from 1700 on --- scientifically, technologically, economically, and militarily --- the Ottoman Empires still ruled over Greece, Bulgaria, and other parts of the Balkans until way into the 19th century.  

 And now back to the initial Muslim conquests in Europe and its failures to dominate most of it.

 

France  Invaded and the Defeat of Arab Conquerors at the Battle of Tours 

More specifically, the rapid Muslim conquests of West European territory in the early 8th century continued until 732. (Europeans called the Muslim Arabs and Berbers who invaded them "Moors."  That year, for the first time, the hitherto undefeated Arab cavalry and infantry encountered a powerful European army of Frankish and Burgundian soldiers that wasn’t overstretched or exhausted by long decades of war (as had been the fate of the conquered Byzantines and Persians a century earlier).  Neither had they been obliged to battle well trained Knights in armor who road on large horses that towered above the agile, but much smaller Arabian ponies.  Plus, quickly note, the Knights led a well prepared infantry, both seasoned and battle-hardened, many of whom also wore armor.  It was largely the Frankish-Burgundian infantry that did most of the fighting.  The Arabs relied mainly on horse attacks.  Only once, at the start of the battle, did the Arab cavalry actually manage to break the ranks of some of the European infantry. 

Clarification: Both the Franks and Burgundians were originally Germanic warrior tribal-nomads ---along with Goths, Vandals, Visigoths, Ostrogoths,  Anglo-Saxons,  and others ---  all of them out of the Russian Steppes that ran all the way to Manchuria, Mongolia, and China who continually moved westward for reasons that scholars still dispute. 

Almost everyone agrees, though, that fleeing the feared Attila the Hun and his fierce warriors, who loved to kill everyone in sight was a major reason for the Germanic tribes to keep moving west in front of them.  The Huns, to clarify quickly, were a mix of different nomadic tribes, out of Central Asia and the Russian Steppes, and with a mix of horse-warrior nomads of Germanic origins as well, possibly, of Chinese or Turkish tribes and possibly other nomadic tribes.  Of these nomadic warrior tribes, the most feared by indigenous peoples and the other invading Germanic tribes was the Huns --- led by Attila-the-Hun.  He and his followers managed in the mid-5th century to invade the Balkans and much of central Europe, parts of France, and eventually much of Italy, all the while fighting both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires with success. For all that, the resulting vast Hun Empire in Europe collapsed a just year after Attila's death in 453 C.E --- largely because the Huns never managed to create an effective tax-system and governmental bureaucracy to keep the Empire together. It simply fell apart into warring parts. The Huns who survived Attila soon dispersed and were absorbed more or less swiftly into other nomadic warrior-tribes in Europe.

Attila himself was called the "Scourge of God".  He bragged that nothing was more fun than slaughtering whole communities, with a special stress on killing women and children . . . the former (along with fathers before they were massacred) often forced to kill their own children.  He also bragged that where he and his men rode, the grass itself would be so trampled that it would never grow again.  In fact, if he didn't understand or like something, he had it destroyed.  

Back to the European-Muslim Battle at Tours in 732

 The fierce fighting lasted one day, no longer, near the city of Tours --- just 80 or so miles south of Paris.  The hitherto successful Arab military was stopped and badly damaged by the  European military it encountered.  Nobody knows the exact size of the Arab forces, but all scholars agree it was much larger than the Frankish-Burgundian military.  No matter.  Until then, the conquering Arabs had never fought against a powerful, ready-for-battle army, and their leaders were astounded by the carnage that occurred in their cavalry and infantry charges.  They were astounded so much that no sooner did nightfall occur than the remaining Arab forces quietly sneaked away southward.  Some of the remaining Arab military immediately crossed the Pyrenees and returned to conquered Spain.  Most of the Arab forces stayed on in the south of France near the Pyrenees until, a few decades later, constant Frankish attacks forced them to retreat back to Spain as well. 

There, in the large Iberian Peninsula, the triumphant Arab conquerors were now fighting advances into their conquered kingdoms by fiercely determined Spanish conquistadors.  The wars with these stubborn Christian forces ---  who themselves splintered into various competing kingdoms exactly as the Arabs were doing --- continued for 7 more centuries until the last Muslim stronghold in Granada fell in 1492.

Something else to remember: Berber Muslims, indigenous peoples out of the desert and coastline areas of North Africa -- no, they weren't Arab-speaking --- had invaded Spain with the initial Arab militaries, but tensions between the two ethnic groups added to the number of divided Muslim kingdoms.  Almost all of the Berbers returned to North Africa in the 9th century, only --- in far greater numbers --- for two large waves of Berber invasions in the in the 11th and 13th centuries to dominate the Arab kingdoms and also to help in the Muslim struggle against the endlessly encroaching Spanish recapture of the country.

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 07:34 PM PST

ISLAM'S THRUSTING RISE IN POWER AND CONQUEST FOR 11 CENTURIES...PART ONE IN A SERIES

      PART ONE ON ISLAM’S DANGERS COMPARATIVELY VIEWED

 

                                  Introductory Comments:

         Islamic Domination And Armed Expansion

          For 1100 Years and Then Endless Decline

The Start of Militarized Imperialism

Islamic conquests of non-Muslim countries started in just a year or two after Muhammad's death in 632, with Arab militaries --- on fast-moving ponies and in slower infantry --- going on a religious rampage in the Levant (held by the formidable Byzantine Empire) and in the vast Persian Empire.  The efforts to conquer "heathen" countries and, where encountered, to destroy their military resistance and set up Muslim rule over  the subject peoples went on for 11 centuries, expanding Islam in immense areas of the world 1100 years.  In those 1100 years, the dominant Muslim colonialists varied in ethnicity.  Sometimes the leaders were Arabs and Berbers. Sometimes it was Ottoman Turks, or Tatar Mongolians in Russia, or new Turkish-Moguls in India, and a combination (as with later European colonizers) of clerics, soldiers, traders, and bureaucrats that expanded Islam throughout Central and Southeast Asia. 

In the process, Muslims ruled over Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, and pagans galore.  The invasions and conquests started, to repeat, in the early 7th century and went on until the end of the 17th century. 

What Then? 

Well, from 1700 onward, Islam in whichever power-laden guise it still assumed --- the Ottoman Empire, the Persian Empire, the Turkish-Moguls in India (in power as the rulers from 1528 to the mid-18th century, followed by British rule) --- fell farther and farther behind Europe on every important measure of creativity, power, and influence  . . . whether in economic growth, in science and technology (civilian or military), in literacy and education, in medicine, and what have you. Not to forget the entire industrial revolution, created in Britain first from the mid-18th century on. 

The result of this growing backwardness?  In the early 19th century, European colonialism quickly overran Islam almost everywhere --- even as the last Muslim Empire (the Ottomans) lost all of their European possessions in the Balkans, North Africa, and, eventually, in  the Arabian Peninsula by the end of WWI.  Not to forget Zionist immigrants who created the new state of Israel in 1948, followed in May of that year by Arab armies --- far outnumbering the Israelis --- going to war in 1948, 1967, and 1973 and always being vanquished.  What could be more humiliating than that?  Jews regarded as dhimmi cowards in Muslim countries for more than 14 centuries, right down to 1948  and with no powerful foreign countries to try rescuing them the way Christian dhimmis could count on from European Christian militaries.

    Sidebar Clarification of Dhimmitude: Dhimmis were protected minorities captured when Arabs and later other Muslim Empires conquered non-Muslim countries in jihad wars.  On this count, Muslims did better in allowing Jewish and Christian subordinate minorities to remain in their home-countries than Christian countries did in extending control over Jews and Muslims in Europe  . . . at any rate until the 17th and 18th centuries.  Remember though: when Islamic rule was established over the conquered non-Muslim populations, its system of government controlled not just political, legal, and military matters, but all social, ethnic, religious, economic, cultural, and family life as well . . . family life covering the entire treatment of women by men. That was the aim of Sharia-law.  It encompassed all the various ways of life, no exceptions. 

And though there were variations in imposing sharia law across different regions of Islam, its advantage  was the creation of one common civilization --- or, to be more accurate, an advantage but also a similarly rigid brake on the ability of dozens of various Muslim countries to experiment with distinct ways to overcome Islam's steady downfall and backwardness and modernize to catch up with Western civilizations after 1700.

Anything else?  Yes: conquered peoples had three choices when Islam overran it.  1) They could convert to Islam; 2) Stay in the country as second- and often third-class submissive minorities --- as long as they paid the yearly jizya tax --- that could be as high as 80% of the revenue earned by the dhimmis or 3) Emigrate without taking any assets out of the Muslim ruled countries.  Actually there was a fourth alternative: death, but it didn't seem to have much appeal. 

And now on to a deeper look at Islam's 1100 years of conquest and expansion around much of the globe (save in the Americas and the rest of the "New World"), followed by its non-stop decline and multiple setbacks in contending with Western civilization's rapid modernization after 1700.

 

ISLAM'S RISE IN POWER AND INFLUENCE

                                                          632 C.E. -- 1700 C.E.

1)  START WITH LARGE ARAB CONQUESTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA IN THE 7th AND 8th CENTURIES

The Initial Targets were the Byzantine and Persian Empires

The first Muslim conquests were carried out by Arabs first starting in the 630's C.E. and lasting for about 6 centuries.  The first areas to be invaded and ruled over were significant parts of the Byzantine Empire in the Holy Land and the rest of the Levant, plus, not long afterwards, parts of southern Russia and all of Egypt and North Africa.  Almost simultaneously as these conquest occurred on Byzantine territory was the total conquest of the massive Persian Empire.  (Note that the Levant refers to these modern day countries: Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, and Israel, but not the Arabian desert areas from which the Arabs hailed, nor Turkey.)

 .....Sidebar Clarification: The Byzantine Empire, Greek-speaking --- though with Latin the official language until the 7th century --- was created by the Roman Emperor Diocletian around 300 C.E.  He split the Empire into two parts because the increasing wars with Germanic and other Tribal Warriors along the vast porous frontiers of the gigantic Empire clearly indicated to him that it was too unwieldy for one Emperor and his chief advisers to rule effectively . The Byzantine Empire itself existed a good thousand years after the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 5thcentury.  In 634, Arab militaries invaded the Byzantine territory, destroyed its rule in the Levant (more on this later), and continued their wars with the Byzantines for three centuries more.  In their initial invasion of the Greco-Roman Empire, the Arabs conquered, fairly swiftly, almost all the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa (it too under Byzantine rule.

As for the Persian Empire, it was ruled from 224 C.E. to 633 C.E. by the Sassanid dynasty.  633 C.E. was the year when the Arab jihadi military first showed on Imperial soil.  Until then, the Persian Empire had been considered the equal in power, span, and influence of both the Western and Easter Roman Empires. The Sassanid dynasty was only the third ruling family regime in the long history of the Persian Empire, during which, among its numerous foes, it fought repeated wars with the Roman and Byzantine Empires.  How big actually was the Persian Empire? 

By 632 C.E. the Sassanids had expanded their rule to the Empire's  greatest immensity ever.  in square miles, to be more specific, the Persian Empire spanned over 2.5 million square miles. Currently, to grasp this mammoth size, consider that the USA 48 Continental states add up to around 3.0 million square miles.  Persian dominance included much of the Arabian Peninsula, parts originally of the Byzantine Empire, and northward on the other side of the Black Sea, much of the Caucasus . . .the source today, needless to say, of  a limited war between Russia and Ukraine.

How did the Arabs overrun two powerful empires so quickly? 

The chief reason: the Romans and later the Byzantines and the Persians had been fighting for centuries, and more to the point, by 633 C.E. they had been slugging away in a new war lasting off and on for several decades.  The predictable result: when the Arab militaries marched into their lands that year, the two empires’ armies were exhausted and noticeably weakened.  Worse yet, both the Persians and Byzantines dismissed the invading Arabs as contemptible backward desert peoples with little fighting spirit and even less knowledge of tactical military doctrine for fighting and winning battles. 

Yikes!  Never a good idea for any military to underestimate an enemy's long-term strategy and, even worse, its tactical preparation for battles.  The Byzantine and Persian dismissal of the Arab forces invading their territories  --- with fast-moving cavalry and infantries --- proved calamitous.

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 09:44 AM PST

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Putin's Russia and New Expansion --- What Is Liable To Happen

Buggy Rregrets . . .

 that he hasn't posted for over a year on his blog-site.  This is now changing.  He will start now with this posted commentary at RealClearWorld that is a reply to a very stimulating and informative article by Dr. James Jay Carafano entitled "Putin's Progress."   Click here for it and Prof Bug's comments about it --- essentially an extension, with some historical analysis of Russia's struggle for several centures, to overcome its almost non-stop backwardness, technologically and economically, compared to the lead-countries in parts of West Europe and in the USA on these two key scores. 

The hard fact is, Russia is not now and never has been a noticeably innovative country --- rather, a later copycat of big scientific and technological breakthroughs made by the West.  Without its high levels of oil and gas exports, its economy will continue to falter and decline relative to the USA.  Worse, rampant corruption and ongoing authoritarianism will further increase the country's failures to create a modern economy near the technological frontier.  Expect Putin's rule to resort ever more frenziedly to the last age-old stratagem of both the Czarist and Communist regimes: endless drumbeats for the Russian masses of fervent nationalism, along with manipulative lies that Russia's massive internal problems derive wholly from the threats and frightening dangers from abroad.   And, of course, along with those enemy countries' treasonble operatives at work inside Russia itself . . . such as these days the helter-skelter leaders of democratic opposition to the former KGB officer now in power.

The likely end resort of all this?  Well, read first Carafano's informative article and then Buggy's comments (reproduced below).

   

 The Buggy Reply

An outstanding post, Dr. Carafano --- the most enlightening I've read in the past few months about the complex alternatives open to Putin in his self-entangling troubles. It's always worth remembering that he has a strong KGB background, compounded by a massive ego and a belief-system that Russia deserves to be fully respected as a giant super-power . . . this, despite the Soviet Union collapse a quarter of a century ago and Russia's flimsy, backward economy dependent on oil and gas exports (and little else) for its GDP growth annually.

Russia has always been backward, economically and in technology, compared to West Europe and eventually the USA.

Again and again, its Czarist and more recent Communist dictatorships struggled to keep abreast of the lead Western countries, only to find themselves --- after large-scale efforts and wasted resources (as well as tightening tyranny and various degrees of government-sponsored terror) --- to still be behind as major breakthroughs in new technologies materialize in the more advanced parts of the Western world. And again and again, the response in Moscow has been heightened, even crackling nationalism as adjuncts of the new tyranny.

Yes, Russia has also been attacked over its long history of about 1000 years --- both from the East (Tatars and other Mongol-Turkish peoples) and the West (Sweden, France, Germany), and come to that Ottoman Turks from the South -- but its people, at great sacrifice, would fight back and stop or defeat its enemies.

Note though. Sooner or later, after the defeat of its enemies, the Czarist and later Communist regimes would expand once more across 1) Central, Southern, and Eastern Asia (followed by the conquest and occupation for a century or two of Alaska, parts of Canada, and parts of the coastal areas of what are now the states of Washington and Oregon). And 2) once more, northward along the Baltic Sea and westward across much of central Europe.

In the end, Russia has never experienced any long period of restrained and accountable government and effective civic society independent of rigid government-control of its people. It's no different today (minus the horrid terror of the Stalinist era).

If anything, Putin's current autocratic control of the Russian media, full of massive nationalist manipulations (with those Russian groups critical of them quickly silenced one way or another), shows that the new communication and information technologies invented in the lead Western countries can lead to new form of tyranny and ultra-nationalism, and not --- as many journalists, economists, and political scientists claim --- just democratic openings . . . witness too what has happened to the laughable Arab Spring.

Michael Gordon, AKA TheBuggyProfessor (name of my blog)

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 11:18 AM PST

Friday, May 10, 2013

Jacques Derrida: Deconstructionist Genius or Self-Bamboozled Fraud? Part V

 This is the final installment in the 5-part series on Derrida, Critical Theory, and Post-Modernism.  Be sure to read the first four parts before you tackle this one.

        What Might Explain All This Pompous, Head-Spinning Turgidity?

All the obscurantist abracadabra, you'll remember --- which the first four buggy posts dealt with ---  originated in  German and French philosophy  or sociology and literary disciplines, only to be emulated later by their bedazzled epigoni in the USA, Britain, Australia, and Canada  . . .but not, note quickly, in English-speaking philosophical circles.  Just the opposite.  Adorno, Heidegger, and Marcuse in Germany --- and, Derrida, Foucault, and the other overblown French-thinkers-of-the-month --- have been widely regarded in those circles as essentially pretentious bullshitting  poseurs.  The epigoni followers, by contrast, are found overwhelmingly in sociology, ethnic studies, feminist studies, literary studies, some historical work, and among certain journalist copy-cats of these studies . . . all of which have been dominated for three or more decades now by postmodernist theoretical work.

That said, what follows by way of explanation is some tossed-out buggy opinions, nothing more, to account for these French and German intellectual origins.  If these opinions have any substance, it's because they're based on prof bug's own studies and teaching abroad in the 1960s and 1970s in France, Germany, and Switzerland . . . with Oxford, where he earned two degrees, a real contrast with these Continental countries. 

And from what bug has learned from others, things haven't changed that much over the last three to four decades. 

Against This Background, Start Here:

Which means --- start, above all, with the traditional structures of European universities, at any rate on the Continent  . . . Britain, please observe again, noticeably different here (more like American universities).  Everywhere in Continental universities, thanks to long-standing aristocratic and other status-hierarchies that had marked European societies for a millennium or more, professors in the humanities and social sciences have been treated, historically, as aloof demigod-mandarins . . . essentially untouchable and unaccountable to others.  And far, far above any explanations of their ideas, verbal or written, to lowly students or young academics.  

If you didn't and don't understand what they've said or written, however obscure, tough luck.  You're too callow and lame-brained to grasp their deep thoughts. And how dare you, a nobody, interrupt Herr Dr. Professor Somebody or Monsieur le professeur très important.

No surprise, Then,

. . .that in these markedly hierarchical universities these days --- over-crowded , under-funded, and distressingly impersonal as well--- students can't raise their hands in classrooms and ask their pontificating professors to clarify or elaborate on what they're claiming. So the professors can say anything and never be challenged. Ditto outside the classrooms. Their treatment of students, both historically and today, is formal and aloof.  Small wonder that there are no office hours or any personal access by students to their professors. 

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 01:25 PM PST

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Jacques Derrida: Deconstructionist Genius or Self-Bamboozled Fraud: Part IV

Remember: You Should Read the First Three Posts Before Continuing. Remember Too: The previous post dealt less with Derrida than the Famed Critical Theorist Theodore Adorno

SOME QUERIES PROMPT THEMSELVES HERE

What Happens If You Criticize Adorno's and Other Intellectual Inanities Disseminated For Decades Now In ...

. . . in virtually all postmodernist work, full of obscurist writing and psycho-ward attacks on contemporary life in the rich democracies in Europe and the USA ---and full, too, come to that, of overwrought dogmatic declarations, passing for brilliant insights, that have been inspired by French masterminds like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean Baudrillard, Jean-Francois Lyotard and on and on since the late 1960s. An exaggeration? No, not really. With very few exceptions, these postmodern writings unfold in an impenetrably tangled syntax, an orgy of turgid neologisms , wildly imperious claims by the boxcar load, and very little evidence . . . all leading to a reader's head-spinning confusion, assuming he or she tries to hack and hew their way through the thickets of contriver malarkey to the very end. (In Foucault's case, please observe, there is lots of selective cherry-picking of historical examples chosen to illustrate his own sweeping, half-truth claims about power-driven mind-controls across different modern epochs, with the mental dominance and manipulation getting worse and worse from which, he added,there was no escape . . . . all these claims by Foucault delivered with convoluted Delphic complexity and obscure neologisms galore.)

What Then To Do?

Well, suppose you say in a reply --- maybe in a review, maybe in conversation with the devotees ---that their silly and garbled insights into the alleged horrors of modern Western societies lack clarity, logic, and hard evidence . In turn, they reply --- assuming they deign to answer you--- you lack patience; you can't read with focused concentration; or your mental faculties aren't up to it. Or, face it, you're just an idiot. (Maybe you should go see a Donald Duck cartoon, huh?)

Note that the idiot-ploy, to bring all into a relevant focus, was actually used by Derrida with Michel Foucault. Foucault, you see, had publicly dared to criticize Derrida's latest dogmatic featherbrained meanderings. Derrida's public retort? "Vous m'avez mal compris, vous etes idiot!" "You've misunderstand me, you idiot!" (This is like the pot calling the kettle black here, n'est-ce pas?) On Foucault's pretentious and nearly impenetrable writing style, see this talented dissection by a British professor French (a francophile to boot): John Weightman, "Not Underestanding Michel Foucault", American Scholar (1989)

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Posted by gordongordomr @ 01:51 PM PST