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Re: [BKARTS] Telling of the Book Arts World
To clarify -
> I really wasn't going to get into a "but is it art?" discussion, much less
> political one. But a brief historical note...
> > Maybe. But as I look at the evidence of written history I
> > find that almost every conflict was generated by or
> > justified by religion. The most ghastly atrocities have been
> > visited upon mankind in the name of religion.
> Not necessarily. Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao each killed millions without
> invoking religion. Substitute the word "ideology" and you can cover them,
> but at that point we're straying from religion per se. And many of the
> conflicts that look overtly religious turn out to be, under the surface,
> merely tribal, and would have happened even if the two tribes shared a
Pol Pot was a result of Vietnam, which in a very serious sense was a
religious war, Wester Catholocism in the South vs. Northern Buddhism. But on
the whole a very real distinction can be drawn to show that it is the
monotheistic religions that tend to encourage religiously inspired wars
(Crusades, the Inquisition including witch hunts, the Conquest, Nazism
etc.); where the polythieistic religions tend to stand apart from wars which
are largely fought for resources alone ( resources in the broadest sense).
Even though Western holocausts are also perpetrated for resources the
justification on offer is often some religious idiocy of one sort or
That is the distinction worth noting, that even if all wars are reducable to
plundering resources the Western monotheisms are used in the most cynical
manner to maintain control over the right to dictate how mass populations
should think, especially when the need arises to convince large numbers of
otherwise sane people to go to war for reasons that would be of no
particular benefit to themselves.
The one case that is obviously not a matter of the a normal resource war is
the Inquisition. This was a war exactly analogous to the current War Against
Terrorism. It is not a matter of nation state against nation state over some
usual form of resouce. It is a war of some class against some other class,
neither of which are particularly associated with any nation state and both
of which are competing for a very peculiar resource: the right to dictate to
mass populations how to think.
It turns out that the best case for proving the validity of some version of
The One True God, is to kill everyone who thinks otherwise.
> > Are not prayers
> > said on both sides in Iraq or in any other arena in which
> > there is conflict?
> Yes, but that doesn't mean that the conflicts are over religion. It just
> means that people of faith are fighting (rightly or wrongly). Prayers are
> said over meals, births and deaths as well, without them being about
> to get at people of other faiths.
This hardly merits comment. It simply avoids the issue.
> > I don't think a paint brush or a book
> > press or a broad nib pen would erase conflict. Maybe. But I
> > personally don't believe it would.
> Perhaps, although one charge leveled at "the enemy" is often that they are
> insensate and uncultured to the point of being subhuman (this is where we
> get the idea that the Philistines were philistines). Then it is
> the duty of the judging culture to conquer them and bring
> civilisation/art/democracy to the savages. Having a viable and beautiful
> artistic tradition is one way of refuting that sort of lie.
>I don't think so. Read Chapter III of Frantz Fanon's "The Wretched of
>the Earth," in which he points out that the conqueror doesn't give an
>Iraq's ass about how "cultured" the conquered are.
History supports Fanon: the post-Bronze Age Dark Ages, Sparta conquered
Athens, Alexander's conquest of Greek Democracy and Persian high culture,
The Roman conquest of Hellenism, The Christian takeover of Rome, The Dark
Ages, the Islamic conquests, the Mongolian Conquest, Cortes conquers Aztec
Tenochtitlan, Pizarro conquers the Incas, The English conquest of India and
the Opium wars in China etc etc etc
In every case there was some thing, or most things, in the conquered culture
that far exceeded the culture of the conqueror.
Unfortunately for high culture and civilization, the Barbarian is always at
And we have found the enemy.
They is us.
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