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Friday, January 11, 2013

Spengler and the geography myth

In Form and Actuality, Spengler also appears to have anticipated my expressed doubts about the ability of non-Anglo Saxons to correctly grasp, let alone uphold and sustain, the Common Law-based Rights of Englishmen, on the basis of changes in their geographic locations:
"Today we think in continents, and it is only our philosophers and historians who have not realized that we do so. Of what significance to us, then, are conceptions and purviews that they put before us as universally valid, when in truth their furthest horizon does not extend beyond the intellectual atmosphere of Western Man?

"Examine, from this point of view, our best books. When Plato speaks of humanity, he means the Hellenes in contrast to the barbarians, which is entirely consonant with the ahistoric mode of the Classical life and thought, and his premisses take him to conclusions that for Greeks were complete and significant. When, however, Kant philosophizes, say on ethical ideas, he maintains the validity of his theses for men of all times and places. He does not say this in so many words, for, for himself and his readers, it is something that goes without saying. In his aesthetics he formulates the principles, not of Phidias's art, or Rembrandt's art, but of Art generally. But what he poses as necessary forms of thought are in reality only necessary forms of Western thought, though a glance at Aristotle and his essentially different conclusions should have sufficed to show that Aristotle's intellect, not less penetrating than his own, was of different structure from it. The categories of the Westerner are just as alien to Russian thought as those of the Chinaman or the ancient Greek are to him. For us, the effective and complete comprehension of Classical root-words is just as impossible as that of Russian and Indian, and for the modern Chinese or Arab, with their utterly different intellectual constitutions, "philosophy from Bacon to Kant" has only a curiosity value.

"It is this that is lacking to the Western thinker, the very thinker in whom we might have expected to find it — insight into the historically relative character of his data, which are expressions of one specific existence and one only; knowledge of the necessary limits of their validity; the conviction that his "unshakable" truths and "eternal" views are simply true for him and eternal for his world-view; the duty of looking beyond them to find out what the men of other Cultures have with equal certainty evolved out of themselves. That and nothing else will impart completeness to the philosophy of the future, and only through an understanding of the living world shall we understand the symbolism of history. Here there is nothing constant, nothing universal. We must cease to speak of the forms of "Thought," the principles of "Tragedy," the mission of "The State." Universal validity involves always the fallacy of arguing from particular to particular."
It would be a mistake to confuse Spengler's historical relativism with modern moral relativism.  Anyone who speaks more than one language is familiar with the phenomenon of the untranslatable word; how much more untranslatable are the concepts that cross temporal, genetic, and cultural boundaries as well as mere linguistic ones? What the Ancient Greeks meant by the term we translate as "barbarian" is very different than our concept of the word, while even words as seemingly simple and straightforward as "African" and "infringed" are today interpreted very differently by people living at the same time within the same political boundaries.

Spengler's observation underlies the problematic nature of mass immigration in general as well as the total madness of permitting mass immigration from non-European nations in a quasi-democracy in particular.  To expect any respect for the totemic foundations of Western civilization from those whose very structural worldviews are, quite literally, alien, is to defy both logic as well as millennia of recorded observations through history.  And even the modern fear of addressing the consequences of this madness beautifully illustrates Spengler's point; would the highly civilized Athenians who brutally butchered the Melians for the crime of remaining neutral in the Peloponnesian War, hesitate to act in seeing their agoras overrun by aliens?  Would the Romans, who went to war with their own socii rather than permit them to claim Roman citizenship? Would the Chinese, past or present?

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57 Comments:

Anonymous 上酒 January 11, 2013 6:12 AM  

As someone living Japan, its nice to see a society that has been getting it mostly right so far in this regard.

There is an ever present debate about whether Japan should relax its immigration policy in order to reverse its declining population trend or to let the economic base keep shrinking while keeping its culture in tact. So far, they've opted for the latter, and hopefully continue on that path. It seems they are much more aware here of the destructive consequences of immigration.

There are many Western ex-pats here who criticize the Japanese for the strict immigration policies and their so-called "racism". They never stop to think that those things are exactly what has enabled Japan to preserve so much of its widely appreciated traditions and other cultural heritage.

Anonymous HongKongCharlie January 11, 2013 6:22 AM  

It was great while it lasted, "That's all Folks!"

HKC

Anonymous HongKongCharlie January 11, 2013 6:26 AM  

In reality though I wonder what my grandchildren will have to suffer in order to survive. I firmly believe it's impossible for the USA to pull back from the brink.

HKC

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 11, 2013 6:28 AM  

"the problematic nature of mass immigration in general as well as the total madness of permitting mass immigration from non-European nations in a quasi-democracy in particular. To expect any respect for the totemic foundations of Western civilization from those whose very structural worldviews are, quite literally, alien, is to defy both logic as well as millennia of recorded observations through history."

Good speech. Of course, it needed to be made on the Senate floor in 1965, not here, now. Ah well, too late.

"Anyone who speaks more than one language is familiar with the phenomenon of the untranslatable word; how much more untranslatable are the concepts that cross temporal, genetic, and cultural boundaries as well as mere linguistic ones?"

I'm not a proponent of moral relativism, but I think this is more or less where both sides hit their bottom line: moral relativists would argue that morality is simply another one of those "concepts" that has difficulty crossing those lines, and chart their course accordingly. Moral objectivists simply think morality is a separate species of bird from all the other temporal and cultural baggage. I don't know that there's way under or over or around or through that mutual impasse.

Anonymous VD January 11, 2013 6:33 AM  

I'm not a proponent of moral relativism, but I think this is more or less where both sides hit their bottom line: moral relativists would argue that morality is simply another one of those "concepts" that has difficulty crossing those lines, and chart their course accordingly. Moral objectivists simply think morality is a separate species of bird from all the other temporal and cultural baggage. I don't know that there's way under or over or around or through that mutual impasse.

And thus we see another connection drawn between morality and religion. If morality is defined and imposed by an external higher power, it transcends temporal and cultural relativism. If it is not, it cannot. Therefore, those who argue in temporal and cultural terms in religious debate are not only logically incoherent, but are unwittingly sawing off the branch upon which they are standing.

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 11, 2013 6:34 AM  

"I firmly believe it's impossible for the USA to pull back from the brink."

Ultimately, white (meaning gentile, and only gentile) Americans and Canadians are going to have to either secede or dissolve these political entities, carve out a nice big chunk of North America as an explicitly whites-only territory, build a nine-mile-tall electrical fence around the whole thing, and start over. If they don't somehow acquire the nerve to do that, then they are simply going to sink into the ever-oozing brown blob, vanish and be forgotten. They don't really have any other options any more.

Well, I suppose a handful being exhibited in zoos and expensive brothels is another option, but it's not one that I'd recommend.

Anonymous MuayTyson January 11, 2013 6:51 AM  

I'm living in Korea. I agree with the commentor who lives in Japan. Expats bitch and moan endlessly about the rasist Koreans with out realizing that they are in Korea and it is the Korean's country.

I do see some cracks specifically from the churches and the NGOs Unicef will place kids in the subways to collect money for the starving Africans. When I ask about the starving Koreans they just turn their heads not sure what to make about the non-PC White man.

Anonymous DrTorch January 11, 2013 6:59 AM  

On topic:
http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3523/islamization-of-france

Anonymous aero January 11, 2013 7:19 AM  

Mix marriages of philosophical beliefs have a higher failure rate. Their children become socially confused. the procreation rate drops. criminal behavioral patterns increase.
The same thing happens in churches and to country's The immigration of philosophical beliefs can happen by electronic means that will have a faster adverse effect then by the immigration of individuals.

Anonymous Dr. Idle Spectator, Harvard Philosophy January 11, 2013 7:32 AM  

But how do you do both? Separate what is eternal and universal in humans as the foundation, from the more surface traits that form their own pillars side by side in the building. What is genetic, what is cultural?

What is relative, and what is universal? Can you study and catagorize both at the same time with a bird's-eye view?

Perhaps you can do what the Jesuits attempted, with tailoring the Catholic church to individual societies, and then also bringing it under a universal fold.

And how is globalization and technology like the internet going to affect all of this? Will the increase in technology and decrease in the general size of the world bring about an eventual worldwide syncretism? I'm thinking of what happened with Alexander the Great with Egypt, Bactria, and India, and regions like Tajikistan with the Silk Road blending things together.


I'm just thinking out loud here.

Anonymous Shutterbug January 11, 2013 7:34 AM  

A few years ago I overhear group of teenagers conversing about race. One of the teenagers was from Bosnia. He didn't appreciate being called "white," and made it very clear to the other that he... "isn't white. I'm Bosnian." Everyone just looked at him.

Anonymous Pablo January 11, 2013 7:44 AM  

He had me at "Today we think incontinence..."

Anonymous Idle Spectator January 11, 2013 7:49 AM  

Example: Google vs. China. One is an open system, the second closed.

Example 2: Mohammed cartoons in the west vs. Islamic world.

Example 3: Arab Spring instigated with the open internet.

Example 4: That stupid rap video that spread out of South Korea.

These things are no longer "contained" by geography. "Today we think in continents, and it is only our philosophers and historians who have not realized that we do so. Of what significance to us, then, are conceptions and purviews that they put before us as universally valid, when in truth their furthest horizon does not extend beyond the intellectual atmosphere of Western Man?"

That's not true anymore. Spengler needs to be updated.

Anonymous CatDog January 11, 2013 8:11 AM  

British is a better term than Anglo-Saxons here. Th founders of the nation were not purely English, they were Welsh, Scots-Irish and Scottish as well and there mainly Celts. British would be a better blanket term to include them all.

Anonymous Peter Garstig January 11, 2013 8:14 AM  

I think Spengler is right on target here, but I also think it's really not relevant here. I'm convinced that the Western progressives understand this. Their desire for mass immigration and the multi-kulti approach does not come from misunderstanding or ignoring it, but the desire comes from their self-hate and their inclination for (race-motivated!) self-destruction. "White man is to blame for everything and should be wiped out from this earth."

Anonymous Peter Garstig January 11, 2013 8:15 AM  

To put it in other words: for the progressives/liberals, it is GOOD and DESIRABLE that western culture dies.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus January 11, 2013 8:29 AM  

This is why language, much more so that even genetics, is the basis for ethnicity and the idea of "nation."

Anonymous Peter Garstig January 11, 2013 8:37 AM  

Idle Spectator These things are no longer "contained" by geography. That's not true anymore. Spengler needs to be updated.

You have it completely backwards. The fact that the world is getting smaller (fast journeys, instant messaging around the globe) does _not_ mean that these 'containers of things' will disappear, it means that they can be maintained with much more ease.

An Asian in a society consisting of 100% Westernes has not problems keeping his culture and traditions intact exactly because the world is getting smaller. I can pray with his kin every morning, he can get his food from his original places, etc. In ancient times he would have been absorbed.

Blogger tz January 11, 2013 8:47 AM  

It used to be called Christendom, but on Geography:

“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

Asia has civilization, as did the Americas, many passed away before we got here.

You are disagreeing with CS Lewis in the Abolition of Man. Either the natural law is written on the heart of every man, discernable from conscience and reason, or it is a creation exactly how Sam Harris is proposing we ought to follow some set of rules. Or some quasi-Calvinist view that God predestines us to civilization or barbarism.

It does not seem to be geography nor genetics. "Englishmen" were at the forefront of destroying the common law and rights. Most "Jews" honor the torah in the breech. Newly rich Asians have cut the intergenerational bonds.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance, and I would add virtue. Not That you were lucky to have the right father and mother or living in the right place. That is what it is turning into with the crony capitalism.

The west has rejected Christ's teachings, and thus Christ himself, the only power capable of sustaining civilization. The east is following - they only knew truth, the natural law, but God's promise is to those who obey the commandments, not those who merely honor him with their tongues. Those who do not reject it will win.

The New Atheists seem to all be of the right mix, yet aren't they - their ideas and values - precisely the cause of the destruction?

Anonymous Joe F. January 11, 2013 8:49 AM  

Vox: What is with the Newsmax Headlines blocking part of the text?

What is with the Newsmax Headlines? I always ranked them below WND before it went off the rails.

Anonymous joe doakes January 11, 2013 8:50 AM  

I wonder if "well regulated" used to mean "well equipped." That would explain a lot.

Blogger James Dixon January 11, 2013 8:59 AM  

> I firmly believe it's impossible for the USA to pull back from the brink.

Well, my knowledge of history isn't on par with some here, but I can't think of a culture/civilization which has. Can anyone?

> Perhaps you can do what the Jesuits attempted, with tailoring the Catholic church to individual societies, and then also bringing it under a universal fold.

There's no need. The Church isn't ours to tailor. Christ can reach any culture if he chooses to do so. Just look at the spread of Christianity in China.

Anonymous Stilicho January 11, 2013 8:59 AM  

And thus we see another connection drawn between morality and religion. If morality is defined and imposed by an external higher power, it transcends temporal and cultural relativism. If it is not, it cannot. Therefore, those who argue in temporal and cultural terms in religious debate are not only logically incoherent, but are unwittingly sawing off the branch upon which they are standing.

To what extent has Christianity, with its teaching of universal truths, influenced Westerners to think of mankind as being homogenous in all fundamental respects and not just in relation to God?

Anonymous Stilicho January 11, 2013 9:00 AM  

I wonder if "well regulated" used to mean "well equipped." That would explain a lot.

That is its exact meaning.

Anonymous Dot connector January 11, 2013 9:09 AM  

"An Asian in a society consisting of 100% Westernes has not problems keeping his culture and traditions intact exactly because the world is getting smaller. I can pray with his kin every morning, he can get his food from his original places, etc. In ancient times he would have been absorbed."

Yes and that's why they make excellent foot soldiers for the new world disorder, that and they get a little help from their libtard handlers in gooberment.

Anonymous JartStar January 11, 2013 9:17 AM  

The New Atheists seem to all be of the right mix, yet aren't they - their ideas and values - precisely the cause of the destruction?

Meh... they may be the shortest lived atheist movement of all time since its Atheism+ offspring has decided the first order of business is to devour its parent.

Anonymous Kickass January 11, 2013 9:21 AM  

@ VD
"And thus we see another connection drawn between morality and religion. If morality is defined and imposed by an external higher power, it transcends temporal and cultural relativism. If it is not, it cannot. Therefore, those who argue in temporal and cultural terms in religious debate are not only logically incoherent, but are unwittingly sawing off the branch upon which they are standing."

Very interesting point, of course if I am understanding it correctly. As I look for a Church, it keeps coming up over and over again that the things that it seems the Bible is teaching are not really laws of God but traditions of men.

For a simple example, women being covered. It is over and over argued that this is not so, it is simply what the Greeks did at the time. Same with women being submissive to men. It goes on and on. Anything that the current culture does not like is explained away as simply being from an archaic culture and easily done away with under the umbrella of the Grace of Christ.

The biggest example of this would be the insistence of local churches here to participate in Halloween, Easter and Christmas. Clearly either forbidden or not commanded to do so by the Bible, they claim they are being culturally relevant and that trumps the Bible. Even as the pagans become much more active on and are attempting to take back these holidays, hence the "war" on xmas. It simply makes these churches look ignorant or willfully disobedient to the religion they insist on others bowing down to in areas they do agree with.

So I guess we have to decide if the Bible is simply a collection of traditions of man to be chosen from ala carte, or the instructions of a Supreme Ruler who defines not only the limit and scope of those instructions, but the timeline for their existence.

And it would seem to me that it is Christians who are doing the self-destructive practice of cutting off the branch they are standing on. This is why apologetics suffers so horribly. The unbelivers have massive amounts of ammunition in the forms of believers own hypocracy.

Of course, they are joined in merrily by some atheist trolls who cannot see the illogical loop they are in regarding moral relativity

Of course, I am still drinking my coffee.

Anonymous Kickass January 11, 2013 9:25 AM  

@ Stilicho

I think you nailed it there. False Gospel evangelizers have used this means to not only destroy cultures but the ability of the True Gospel to adhere.

Most like due to feminism.

I don't see the Apostles being politically active anywhere. In fact, Paul sends a slave back to his master and simply asks the newly Christian master to forgive the slave. He doesn't command he free him. In other areas he give instructions to slaves on how to act.

Instead, the false gospel comes in an tells everyone they are the same because Jesus loves them and now everyone is free to live off those few productive people and no one can judge anyone about it.

Blogger The Anti-Gnostic January 11, 2013 9:28 AM  

This is why language, much more so that even genetics, is the basis for ethnicity and the idea of "nation."

But then you've got another question to answer. Why did people evolve such structurally and conceptually different languages? I think the hardware really is different. Not hugely different, but different enough, and more different between some than others.

Anonymous Daniel January 11, 2013 9:31 AM  

And thus might the world fall into shadow.

Anonymous Mr. Pea January 11, 2013 9:40 AM  

Start calling them exactly what they are. Globalists. Calling them progressives doesn't exactly betray them.

Interesting that when Jesus returns, He will rule the nations with a rod of iron.

Anonymous john January 11, 2013 9:43 AM  

Good point. Interesting link on Drudge between Pierce Morgan, who speaks Brit, and Ben Shapiro who speaks American.

Anonymous VD January 11, 2013 9:52 AM  

Vox: What is with the Newsmax Headlines blocking part of the text?

What text? The middle column? At what resolution are you viewing the blog?

What is with the Newsmax Headlines?

Sponsorship. They offered it after I ended the column. However, I'm going to switch it to Politics and Economics.

Blogger Good Will January 11, 2013 9:58 AM  

scoobius dubiousJanuary 11, 2013 6:34 AM
"I firmly believe it's impossible for the USA to pull back from the brink."

Ultimately, white (meaning gentile, and only gentile) Americans and Canadians are going to have to either secede or dissolve these political entities, carve out a nice big chunk of North America as an explicitly whites-only territory, build a nine-mile-tall electrical fence around the whole thing, and start over. If they don't somehow acquire the nerve to do that, then they are simply going to sink into the ever-oozing brown blob, vanish and be forgotten. They don't really have any other options any more.


Of course, this is where I chime in and say "Read the Book of Mormon to see how all that turns out."

Anonymous Emperor of Icecream January 11, 2013 10:37 AM  

*would the highly civilized Athenians who brutally butchered the Melians for the crime of remaining neutral in the Peloponnesian War, hesitate to act in seeing their agoras overrun by aliens? Would the Romans, who went to war with their own socii rather than permit them to claim Roman citizenship? Would the Chinese, past or present?*

Eventually the Greeks and the Romans did allow slaves and foreigners to overrun their cities and become their new citizens, which is part of Spengler's point.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus January 11, 2013 10:40 AM  

"I wonder if "well regulated" used to mean "well equipped." That would explain a lot."

It meant "well trained, drilled," in other words, ready for action. The militia was intended not to be a collection of yahoos gallivanting around in the forst in camo, but the body of the citizenry given at least basic training in the arts of war. the civilian population was intended to be more than just "civilians," so to speak.

Blogger Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus January 11, 2013 10:43 AM  

"But then you've got another question to answer. Why did people evolve such structurally and conceptually different languages? I think the hardware really is different. Not hugely different, but different enough, and more different between some than others."

Well, if I believed in evolution, I might think this was a relevant question.

Anonymous DCM January 11, 2013 11:01 AM  

"The desire for freedom resides in every human heart." -George W. Bush

Too bad Bush never read Spengler.

Anonymous VD January 11, 2013 11:03 AM  

Eventually the Greeks and the Romans did allow slaves and foreigners to overrun their cities and become their new citizens, which is part of Spengler's point.

True, but the Athenians had to lose a war first and it is important to distinguish between the Imperial and Republican Romans. And the Romans did give the socii the citizenship after defeating them; the point is that they didn't automatically accept their bid for citizenship even though they were Latin-speaking neighbors who had long been allies.

Anonymous Ten41 January 11, 2013 11:28 AM  

Titus Quinctius Cincinnatus

This is why language, much more so that even genetics, is the basis for ethnicity and the idea of "nation."


Like "The Laguages of Pao" by Jack Vance?

Anonymous Heh January 11, 2013 11:35 AM  

OT here is some red meat for Scoobius.

Low borthrate in California? Of course we need more immigration! So says Mr. Levy.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323706704578227920843309466.html?mod=WSJ_WSJ_US_News_5

"Unless the birthrate picks up, we are going to need more immigrants. If neither happens, we are going to have less growth," said Mr. Levy. The report wasn't optimistic, saying that "with migration greatly reduced…outsiders are much less likely to come to the rescue."

Anonymous scoobius dubious January 11, 2013 11:45 AM  

@Heh -- heh indeed. Well like Mister Zappa once said, The torture never stops.

"The desire for freedom resides in every human heart." -George W. Bush

I think what Bush meant to say was, "The desire for white people's stuff resides in every human heart."

"Too bad Bush never read Spengler."

Too bad Bush never read anything except the label of a bourbon bottle.

Actually, I'm not sure about that; had he been literate, he might have caused even more damage. Witness Obama, who is just barely literate (in all the right things, natch!) and who is an even greater one-man wrecking crew.


Anonymous Daniel January 11, 2013 11:53 AM  

Of course, this is where I chime in and say "Read the Book of Mormon to see how all that turns out."

In a gunfight in Carthage Missouri?

Sweet.

Anonymous DonReynolds January 11, 2013 12:02 PM  

Men can have what they can keep. If they cannot keep it, then it will soon belong to others. No men are remembered for what they gave up freely. They are known by the tenacity of their grip, regardless of their odds of survival. If we are to keep the land we hold, we must be prepared to defend that occupation against all comers, else we will have no home of our own, but will be an unwelcome guest everywhere we wander. There can be no compromise, or surrender, nor can we coexist in the same house for very long. Either this will remain our home or it will become someone else's.

Blogger Good Will January 11, 2013 1:03 PM  

DanielJanuary 11, 2013 11:53 AM
Of course, this is where I chime in and say "Read the Book of Mormon to see how all that turns out."

In a gunfight in Carthage Missouri?

Sweet.


No. Christian "Whities" (who "make") first separate themselves from pagan Whities and Darkies (who "take"). Christian Whities prosper. Pagan Darkies mostly don't.

Then Christian Whities undertake a "missionary effort" to save the mostly-pagan Darkies. Whities mix with, educate and embrace Darkies...only to have Darkies later out-breed, outnumber and overthrow Whitey government. Christian government is thus replaced with secular, socialist (mostly Darky) tyranny.

Christian apostates (both Whities and Darkies) lead the peopole into endless wars with each other and against those who are not "Christians" (like them). Whities eventually becomes so corrupt and anti-Christian themselves that they lose all technological military superiority over pagan Darkies. After that, Whities begin to lose their wars against Darkies.

On the social scene, secular Whities and Darkies form gangs organized to rob, murder and pillage. This evil "secret society" infects every tier of government. Entire cities are destroyed and people are constantly on the move. The people are taught by their leaders to hate. They revel in bloodshed and endless wars of retribution that lead, eventually, to rape and cannibalism of the vanquished captives. The last few remaining true Christian Whities and Darkies circle the wagons against the barbarians.

But it's too late. It's all hopeless.

Until the Son of Man returns.

I won't tell you how it ends.

Anonymous Daniel January 11, 2013 2:15 PM  

Good Will, I've actually read the book, but that's a nice accurate capsule summary that I wouldn't be able to pry out of any LDS member I know.

Totally OT: I do have a quick, but serious question for you or any of the other Mormons. Did Moroni follow God's instructions exactly?

Not an ambush question. I honestly did not understand if he did truly follow them or if he didn't quite follow them right, since he became an angel and not a god. My guess is that he didn't follow the instructions in some way that is explained elsewhere in Mormon church teachings, otherwise we'd talk about the god Moroni, not the angel Moroni. But it really wasn't clear to me at all which it was.

Anonymous Jack Amok January 11, 2013 2:17 PM  

"The desire for freedom resides in every human heart." -George W. Bush

I think what Bush meant to say was, "The desire for white people's stuff resides in every human heart."


No, the desire for freedom does indeed reside in (nearly) every human heart. The problem is, it doesn't always share it's domus with the desire to pay the price.

And by price, I don't mean the willingness to shoot someone else who's trying to take it from you (though there is that too). I mean the willingness to make decisions and be responsible for their outcomes.

Anonymous Outlaw X January 11, 2013 2:25 PM  

"But how do you do both? Separate what is eternal and universal in humans as the foundation, from the more surface traits that form their own pillars side by side in the building. What is genetic, what is cultural?

What is relative, and what is universal? Can you study and catagorize both at the same time with a bird's-eye view?

Perhaps you can do what the Jesuits attempted, with tailoring the Catholic church to individual societies, and then also bringing it under a universal fold.

And how is globalization and technology like the internet going to affect all of this? Will the increase in technology and decrease in the general size of the world bring about an eventual worldwide syncretism? I'm thinking of what happened with Alexander the Great with Egypt, Bactria, and India, and regions like Tajikistan with the Silk Road blending things together.


I'm just thinking out loud here."

Look Dr. Idle, Philosophy is simple. Firemen get cats from trees, the police help old people across the road and save little children from rabid racoons. That is Philosophy.

Reality is firemen tell you why your house burned down and the police tell you why they are giving you a ticket for rolling a stop sign.

Anonymous Emperor of Icecream January 11, 2013 2:40 PM  

Eventually the Greeks and the Romans did allow slaves and foreigners to overrun their cities and become their new citizens, which is part of Spengler's point.

True, but the Athenians had to lose a war first and it is important to distinguish between the Imperial and Republican Romans.

The rot began in the Republic, which is how the Romans ended up losing the Republic in the first place. Many socii and freed slaves emigrated to Rome during the Republic and the repeated attempts to remove them from the voting rolls indicates that them voting was a problem. I've read a number of authors, including classical ones if memory serves, who ascribe the growing 'bread and circuses' mentality of Roman Republican politics to a growing polyglot urban mob many of which had no real Roman roots and were servile or immigrant. Ancient demographics are incredibly hard to establish with any precision, but I'm inclined to think there's something to that narrative.

Blogger njartist January 11, 2013 5:21 PM  

@CatDog
"British is a better term than Anglo-Saxons here. The founders of the nation were not purely English, they were Welsh, Scots-Irish and Scottish as well and there mainly Celts. British would be a better blanket term to include them all."
The best term would be "Israelite."
http://www.israelect.com/ChildrenOfYahweh/Emahiser/irish%2520and%2520scottish.htm
and; http://www.israelect.com/ChildrenOfYahweh/Comparet/the_nation.htm

Anonymous PC Geek January 11, 2013 6:33 PM  

Very interesting point, of course if I am understanding it correctly. As I look for a Church, it keeps coming up over and over again that the things that it seems the Bible is teaching are not really laws of God but traditions of men.

For a simple example, women being covered. It is over and over argued that this is not so, it is simply what the Greeks did at the time. Same with women being submissive to men. It goes on and on. Anything that the current culture does not like is explained away as simply being from an archaic culture and easily done away with under the umbrella of the Grace of Christ.


That is correct...it is *key* to understand context and culture when understanding the Bible. It is the *underlying concept* and not so much the execution in the melieu of a particular culture and time.

Women were covered in Church due to teh culture environment...but the underlying principles regarding female modesty and keeping the testimony of the Church with regards to social/sexual propriety are universal, and the true 'take-away' for a Christian in the modern day when reading the passage.

It has nothing to do with the current culture not liking it, and everything to do with not reading the Bible like a newspaper but rather a document written in a high context, dyadic and agonistic Ancient Near East culture. Context is absolutely key - strict literalism, sans context and culture will never net you a deeper understanding of the Scriptures. You need to know what someone, living at the time, would have taken away from something Christ said, or something Paul wrote.

Anonymous PC Geek January 11, 2013 6:35 PM  

As a follow-up...

easily done away with under the umbrella of the Grace of Christ.

Actual morality/Christian discipline is as necessary and present now under the Grace of Christ as it was then...just to be clear I was just referring to the way certain ideas were implemented in the culture, such as covering women with veils and such. Or for example the prohibition on tatoos (although I think tats are stupid anyway).

Blogger Cogitans Iuvenis January 11, 2013 6:38 PM  

I've read a number of authors, including classical ones if memory serves, who ascribe the growing 'bread and circuses' mentality of Roman Republican politics to a growing polyglot urban mob many of which had no real Roman roots and were servile or immigrant

There certainly can be some truth to this. Once the empire fell the city of Rome which had once boasted a population over a million at its height to barely over 30,000. Once the splendor of rome, and the ability for the masses to suck upon its golden teet, dissipated, the city withered.

Blogger Good Will January 11, 2013 8:43 PM  

Daniel,

Seriously?

If Vox will allow it (and then I'll shut up):

When Moses and Elijah met with Jesus (and Peter, James and John) prior Christ's resurrection on the Mount of Transfiguration, Peter offered to build them (Moses, Elijah and Jesus) tabernacles.

For what?

For worship.

Did Peter and his buddies consider Moses and Elijah (together with Jesus) to be "gods"?

They certainly did.

After what they'd just seen, wouldn't you?

The psalmist wrote (under inspiration) that the LORD decreed: "I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High." (Psalm 82:6). Jesus Himself confirmed this scripture's interpretation when He quoted it Himself, saying "the scripture cannot be broken" (John 10:34).

Is Moroni now a god? I do not doubt that he is.

Nor do I doubt that each of us is a "god-in-embryo".

We are washed, cleansed, and redeemed by the blood and grace of Jesus Christ, the Lamb (ordained to be) slain from the foundation of the world on our behalf. He is our Redeemer -- if we will allow ourselves to be redeemed. By His eternal power and atonement we are saved and exalted (upon conditions of repentance) to sit with Him on His throne as He is exalted to sit on His Father's throne (Rev. 3:21).

If we are willing to follow Him.

Anonymous Homo Outlaw XXX January 11, 2013 9:04 PM  

Ice cream for every one

Anonymous Outlaw X January 11, 2013 9:16 PM  

We are washed, cleansed, and redeemed by the blood and grace of Jesus Christ, the Lamb (ordained to be) slain from the foundation of the world on our behalf. He is our Redeemer -- if we will allow ourselves to be redeemed. By His eternal power and atonement we are saved and exalted (upon conditions of repentance) to sit with Him on His throne as He is exalted to sit on His Father's throne (Rev. 3:21).

Damn it I thought we were saved by the Iphone-5.

Anonymous Dr. Idle Spectator, Harvard Philosophy January 12, 2013 1:15 AM  

Their desire for mass immigration and the multi-kulti approach does not come from misunderstanding or ignoring it, but the desire comes from their self-hate and their inclination for (race-motivated!) self-destruction. "White man is to blame for everything and should be wiped out from this earth."

Yes. In order to equalize the world, you FIRST have to undermine Caucasians, since they are on top of the pile due to them having the most talented populations. It's like a ptolemaic system, with white people as the Earth in the center with everyone else revolving around them. In order to liberate the rest of the people from their orbits, you first must take down the Earth.

You have it completely backwards. The fact that the world is getting smaller (fast journeys, instant messaging around the globe) does _not_ mean that these 'containers of things' will disappear, it means that they can be maintained with much more ease.

An Asian in a society consisting of 100% Westernes has not problems keeping his culture and traditions intact exactly because the world is getting smaller. I can pray with his kin every morning, he can get his food from his original places, etc. In ancient times he would have been absorbed.


No. They only can do that as a small expat population that is inconspicuous. Like Vox speaking English and communicating with us in Italy. Once the percentage reaches a critical mass value N, the cultures begin to blend together. The containers being mantained are artificial right now, being proped up with the current fiat wealth (not for long...) of the United States. I can't wait for the Aztec revolution in the Southwest.

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