April 30, 2012
The "Peace Studies" malarky should be the tip-off...
Walter Russell Mead, Europe’s Jew Hatred Isn’t Just On The Fringe:
...Not so, alas. Norway’s Johan Galtung is no ordinary professor of sociology. Known worldwide as the “father of peace studies,” Galtung is famous for his work on the peaceful resolution of conflict. He is the founder of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo and the Journal of Peace Research, the recipient of numerous awards, accolades, and honorary degrees and professorships, as well as a hugely prolific writer on issues of peace and conflict. His Wikipedia entry calls him the “principal founder of the discipline of peace and conflict studies,” a discipline offered at universities around the world. He lived through the German occupation of Norway during WWII and saw his father arrested by the Nazis.
Galtung has long been a respected and influential member of the European academy. He is no immigrant from the Middle East and is not identified with any fringe political movements. He is as establishment as they come.
And he is also a vicious and hate-spewing anti-Semite.
In remarks at the University of Oslo and a follow-up email exchange with the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Galtung betrayed his true feelings on Jews.
He hinted at links between Anders Behring Breivik’s attack on civilians in Norway and Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency. He suggested there was some truth behind the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He said that Jews share some of the blame for what happened at Auschwitz — they had provoked the poor Germans under the Weimar Republic. He suggested that Jews control the American media and academic establishments. The list goes on and on — the kind of remarks that haters call “common sense” and “daring to tell the truth” but that sane people see as hatred, error and bile....
What fascinates me is that Mead, an intellectual giant, has no explanation for this. He doesn't even make a stab at one. And I, a mere pygmy, have the answer. (OK, OK, I think I have the answer.) He should read RJ.
To boil it down, probably too far, the conventional view is that religious faith in the West has been declining over many centuries. I don't think that is true. Rather, overt Christian and Jewish worship has been declining. BUT, people remained "religious," because they retained many of the habits of thought that derived from faith. They continued to believe in objective truth, for instance. And in objective morality. And many traditional Christian moral beliefs. (They thought divorce and abortion were wrong. And that it is admirable to be a "good Samaritan.") They retained the idea that they might join some cause or truth, even if they had not yet done so. These are all things that are bigger than the "self." All are holdovers from Jewish and Christian faith.
But, habits wear off. These wore off, for many people, around the middle of the 20th century. (Yes, it ties in with the book I'm writing on the transition to the Information Age. They are inter-connected. I'll resist the temptation to go into that now.)
The result was nihilism. That is, as I define it, the lack of any cause or belief bigger than ones self. Maybe for 20%, or 30% of Americans. And for even bigger percentages in Europe. This change in thinking was HUGE! And its effects are seen all around us.
For instance, most of those people assumed disguises, to cover their spiritual nakedness. The most popular one was "liberal." Followed by "pacifist." That's where the "Peace Studies" baloney comes from. Galtung has never accomplished anything in actually promoting peace. But no one cares. The point is, war is vastly offensive to the nihilist.
Why? Because what he hates is belief. And war symbolizes belief, belief that there is something worth fighting for. Even dying for.
I predict, even without knowing anything about him, that Galtung also hates or sneers at America, armed citizens, war (even against the worst tyrants), Israel, Western Civilization, traditional morality, and traditional art and architecture. And most of all, he hates Jews. All symbolize (and I think people mostly react to symbols, not conscious thought) belief in something greater than the self. All are symbolically God.
(I can explain all these points in much greater detail, if anyone cares. Or there are other posts here.)
Posted by John Weidner at April 30, 2012 8:41 PM
"All are holdovers from the Christian faith"
I would rather say Natural Law. Ancient Greeks and modern Hindus (f philosophic) believe in Objective Morality too.
I still do not understand your point that Jews symbolize God in some particular way that Muslims for example do not. Perhaps it is the mystical Election of Jews that is still operative?
The Jewish God is a God of Law. He is also a God who loves his people. Allah, in contrast, is portrayed as a master with slaves, who does as He will on whims. This is a profound difference.
I have lost the link, but I think Instapundit had a post recently on the demographic collapse in Japan. The comments on the original article showed a profound hatred not for Jews, but for people in general, that it was a good thing Japan was breeding itself out of existence. I could not help but think of your thesis here as I read some of them.
Natural Law is the same as God's law, but I wasn't writing about that. I'm writing about what's happening inside the heads of modern Westerners. (I suspect there are similar processes going on outside the West, but I don't know enough to speculate.)
And in the West, the big story (I propose) is the erosion of the Christian and Jewish faith that is at the heart of our culture. Lots of people say similar things, but I think they are missing a big part of the picture by assuming that a non-believer in 1760 or 1860 is the same animal as one in 1960.
What happens in the heads of ordinary people, unless they are very philosophical, is whatever's in their culture. That's of practical interest if one is speculating on what makes people tick. (That's a good metaphor; you hear a clock ticking, and can only theorize about what's going on inside it.)
And it's pretty obvious that Jews symbolize something! How could they own so much space in the head of a Norwegian? There are only about a thousand Jews in Norway. And probably a hundred-thousand Jew haters. This is really strange! And yet most people just take it for granted.
This is the article, Incredible Shrinking Country, By Ross Douthat.
Thanks, I hadn't read the comments. I find them mind-boggling. And they are just what I've been writing about. I read the first 20 or so, and none of the commenters suggested in any way that they possess any belief or calling for which they would sacrifice to make a better future. Including the sacrifice of raising children.
The kind of people who read the NYT have already accepted decline and death as their future. They are dead, in the same way Europe and Japan are dead. The corpses just haven't toppled over into the weeds yet.
I'd say that the subset of dying cultures correlates closely with those who are not excited by the prospect of humans moving into space, and those who think wearing keffiyehs is a cool fashion. These people.
I suppose the reason for anti-Semitism is that, to Westerner atheists anyhow, the Jewish people represent the insertion of God into the history of Man. And they yet abide. By eliminating the Jews (even as a nation rather than living human beings) Man can reject the first covenant.
Even harder to believe that people think such things is that they are willing to state them out loud and in public.
It reminds me a another future dystopia manga I read in which there is chemically induced non-aging. As a result the society has outlawed children. I thought it was just a plot device but now I wonder if the author realized something I didn't -- I could see people leaving those comments voting for that in such a case.
Terry, I agree.
But the implication of that is that, deep down, they think it's true. The story is true. They have forgotten the world's true story, but they know something is there, and real.
in 1920's and 30's the Catholics and Orthodox that faced the brunt of Modern nihilist rage--Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Mexico, and a lot of this attack was supported from Anglosphere. Per Belloc, the American money was vital in Bolshevik consolidation. And nobody should forget exultation of President Wilson at the success of February Revolution.
Gian, this does not appear to be pertinent to this thread.
Or perhaps these abominations are an illustration of my point that things in the "atheist" camp were different before the mid-twentieth century. The Anglospheric support for, say, the Nationalists in Spain came out of belief. Belief in false religions such as socialism.
And it was real belief. Socialism is a sort of Christian heresy, in which helping the poor was perverted into hating the rich. And they would fight and die for it.
The equivalent people of today will never do anything big or sacrificial for the causes they wear as disguises. Mothers no longer have to worry that heir "leftist" children will enlist in the International Brigade.
If I may add my two cents' worth, even if it helps hijack the thread....
You write: "Or perhaps these abominations are an illustration of my point that things in the 'atheist' camp were different before the mid-twentieth century."
I've said it before, and I'll say it again-- collectivism (call it socialism, communism, Nazi-ism, what-have-you) had no way to put its ideals into motion before the advent of Taylorism. Once the Progressives adopted Taylor's methods of industrial organization and started applying them to whole societies, the gates to the most thorough-going and appalling tyrannies were thrown wide open, because there was now some way to organize them, a way to formulate and execute the Plan.
Seventy-five to a hundred years ago, the Progs at least had the courage of their convictions and acted on them. Their present-day successors are more like a cargo-cult-- going through the motions, imagining that if they say the right things and make the right "moves", the good old days of yore will return.
Like I said, my two cents' worth, and a broken-record at that. [wry smile]
Weren't Incas quite collectivist though?
Along with the technique, a change in the spiritual atmosphere was essential. Maybe the 19C Europe was still vital such that collectivism had no chance.
I wish people won't lump Nazis with Socialists. The Nazis were sui generis. As John mentioned, Socialism is a Christian heresy but Nazism is sub-pagan.
"The Anglospheric support for, say, the Nationalists in Spain came out of belief. Belief in false religions such as socialism."
You mean Communists. The Nationalists were supported by the Fascists.
Oops, got it wrong. The Nationalists were the Franco faction, It was the Republicans who the West's leftists went to fight for.
"Like I said, my two cents' worth, and a broken-record at that. [wry smile]"
Hale, don't be embarrassed. You are hitting the same things I am and others here are--just from a slightly different angle. The 29th century tyrannies were very much creatures of the Industrial Age... and Taylorism gets close to what they were and how they thought. It seems a better fit the more I think about it.
Richelieu or Robespierre would have had their own Gulags, if they had had the power that the Industrial developments of the 20th century gave us.
Orwell never repented his approval of Republican persecutions of Catholics and burning of a hundred Churches in Barcelona in a single day. He was only sad that Stalinists persecuted his beloved anarchist/syndicalists.
I find Hemingway far superior in For Whom the Bell Tolls.
All true about Orwell, Gian. The man hated religion, or at least its use as an organ of the state. Orwell could be very foolish. I suspect that he learned contempt for religion in boarding school. Mandatory chapel with lessons that emphasize the need to preserve the social order and know your place in it does not create a pious man, especially if that man holds the social order in contempt.
There are hints in 1984 that Orwell was beginning to see that his world view was untenable. In the interrogation episodes with O'Brien, Winston seems to realize that although Big Brother is not really capable of defining truth, he, himself, can not define truth either. He may be mad, after all. Although Smith was not able to resolve this dilemma, Orwell the man may have done so in time.