Thursday, February 02, 2006

Leftists, Islamists, and Failure to Launch: It's a Peter Pandemic

Failure to launch is a big problem for humans. Not just on an individual basis--as in the case of the adolescent in an adult body who is still living with his parents, trying to figure out what to do with his life--but with mankind as a whole. Why are human beings--who have such incredible potential--such persistent underachievers?

To a certain extent, people remain stuck in adolescence because they can. It’s amazing what human beings can achieve when they don’t have a choice. Thankfully, when my father emigrated to the United States in 1948 after being discharged from the British Army at the age of 21, he didn’t really have any choice but to be an adult. Failure to launch was not an option. Although he had only an 8th grade education, he eventually became a corporate executive and sent all four sons to college.

Someone--maybe Petey--once said that “misery rises to the level of the means available to alleviate it.” This is one of the reasons why liberal programs don’t work. No matter how much better off people are, if they are unhappy and envious at their core, they will find a way to express it.

A corollary to this would be that “immaturity rises to the level of the means available to nurture it.” In this regard, historians now understand that “adolescence” is culturally constructed to begin with. You don’t have to go too far back in history to see that there was only childhood and adulthood, with nothing in between. Only when societies become relatively affluent can they afford a period of adolescence, during which time young adults toy with different identities and enjoy a life of leisure and extended learning before committing to an adult identity. But only when cultures become extremely prosperous is there no compelling reason for adolescence to end at all. You really can "die before you get old."

Today the transition to adulthood can be delayed indefinitely. In fact, children are not even taught that there is a “destination” or “goal” to life. Imagine, for example, a sex education class that taught children that marriage was the appropriate outlet and goal of sexuality--in other words, that sexuality had a meaning and an objective direction.

Of course, once you have chosen one option in life, all of the others are forever foreclosed. If you choose one career, it means all the other possibilities are ended. If you marry one woman, you are really denying yourself the rest of womankind, and who would want to do that? It seems that many people would prefer to live in the realm of infinite (but unrealized) potential rather than finite, but real, existence.

Could this be part of what drives the pornography obsession? Now, for the first time in history, human beings have access to this infinite storehouse of alluring images that provides a perverse illusion that the ideal is real. It is a pathetic state--an inherently adolescent one. Whenever someone is acting on a dark compulsion of this nature, it provides an exhilarating sense of spurious freedom. But because it is spurious it must be repeated again and again. It is entirely circular and self-enclosed. It goes nowhere.

But I am actually more interested in the more general failure to launch that afflicts mankind at large. What is the cause of this? For example, there is no question that this is the problem we face in the bulk of the Arab Muslim world. Something in their cultural DNA has left them mired in an historical and developmental eddy, sitting on the launch pad below, just where we left them 700 years ago. What happened? Why didn't they launch?

As I have discussed in a variety of contexts, humans inhabit a horizontal and a vertical world. Among other things, the vertical world is the world of psychological and emotional development. We are the only animal that comes into the world with an infinite potential that may or may not be fulfilled in this lifetime (actually, being infinite, it is never completely fulfilled). Other animals--assuming that they aren’t eaten or die prematurely for some other reason--inevitably reach their developmental goal and achieve maturity as defined by their species. But not humans. Yes, barring some kind of unusual disease, all humans grow to physical maturity. But it is fair to say that the vast majority of human beings down through history--right through to the present day--do not make it to psychological maturity: they do not come close to fulfilling their developmental potential.

This is a question that has always intrigued me, because it goes directly against the grain of any facile Darwinian explanation. That is, I believe that human development is guided by a telos or an end state that we are supposed to achieve. But unlike other animals, there is no way this end state can be accounted for by natural selection, because it never existed in the material world--it remains latent unless or until it is realized. In short, while we certainly have our genetic blueprint, we also have some sort of nonlocal “archetypal blueprint” that draws us toward it. But any number of personal, cultural and historical conditions can conspire to prevent us from realizing this blueprint. For example, if you are a woman in Saudi Arabia, what are the chances you will have the opportuntiy to become who you are? Approximately zero. But if women can't become who they are, neither can men--which is why there are so few adult men in the Arab Muslim world.

Another way of saying this is that human beings alone among the animals are somehow built for transcendence. Not only do human beings have the capacity to rise beyond and surpass themselves, but this is our essential nature. No one looks at a pig and says, “Why don’t you grow up and start acting like a proper pig?” But we ask this of humans all the time. In fact, it is the question that answers the question of what a human being is.

Failure to launch is ultimately failure to transcend. As Meister Eckhart wrote, “When the higher incorporates the lower into its service, the nature of the lower is transformed into that of the higher.” But it also works the other way around: when we fail to transcend, the higher is incorporated into the lower, creating a perverse version of itself. Thus, we have the counterfeit transcendence represented by radical Islam, which thoroughly conflates the higher and lower, so that the most bestial acts are celebrated as divinely inspired.

Likewise, here in the United States we have an entire political party that has been hijacked by children suffering from FTL syndrome: Dailykos, huffington post, the Hollywood crowd, Air America, Howard Dean, Michael Moore, Ted Kennedy, Cindy Sheehan, the perpetual adultolescents of leftist academia--all are in one way or another living in the bubble of immaturity that our affluent society provides. They are failures to launch, and they hate the symbolic parents that remind them that it’s time to move out of their childhood room, get a real job, and grow up.

ADDENDUM--

That's a coincidence. Today is Groundhog Day, the illustrious film of that name being one of the great meditations on emotional and spiritual Failure to Launch.

31 Comments:

Anonymous hoyden said...

I believe this world is a very large classroom. I also believe that each of us contains aspects of God, or Higher Self. These aspects are hidden by our distortions and misconceptions. We must consciously choose to seek God in ourselves through our interaction with our environment, or classroom.

Since God gave us free will we are free to participate in this classroom or play hookey.

In prior human history religion played a much larger role by enforcing spiritual principle from outside ourselves. Our evolution is towards finding God within and, like pendulum motion, we swung to the other extreme: we are free to do as we please, mostly outside the traditional religous structures.

When people discover that this extreme does not bring the desire result then they will return to the lesson of finding God within.

2/02/2006 08:48:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bob
In advance of getting an international money order to you for signed copy of book, I wonder if you would be so kind as to give a foretaste of what 'mind parasites' are in your definition.
I've got an awful feeling that I'm infected with a few potent strains!
Regards
Nic

2/02/2006 09:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hoyden--

You're right. People are adrift in the horizontal and mistake it for "freedom." The way out is up.

2/02/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Gang of One said...

this one hit too close to home, although I'm not a leftist liberal.
Very sobering insight, Bob.

2/02/2006 09:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Bilgeman said...

Gag Bob:

" the perpetual adultolescents of leftist academia--all are in one way or another living in the bubble of immaturity that our affluent society provides."

It seems that the GOP is finally waking up to this feature and is beginning to cut the Federal subsidy upon which the Leftist political parasites thrive:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/sfl-zkristof17jan17,0,5005004.column?coll=sfl-yourmoney

No subsidy money for the neo-Marxists...the horror!

Regards;

2/02/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no ftl on the religious right and some of the rest of the right?

we know god's position on any variety of social/political issues. Therefore this must be policy and other ideas/art don't deserve a decent hearing/exposure .

cf the recent nbc tv program that "inappropriately" portrayed Jesus. Response: don't tell your followers not to watch it, drum it off the airwaves - successfully.

or the young UCLA alum that had a "hit list" of (all left wing ) professors who should be taped (for a fee to students) to monitor how much they talked politics instead of the subject matter. An attempt to get politics out of the classroom or an attampt to get "failure to load" politics out of the classroom.

btw i'm not talking gross indecency or pornography

and of course Michael Savage and Ann Coulter (talk to a liberal w/ a baseball bat)

evidence of maturity there ?

2/02/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Anonymous hoyden said...

gagdad bob,

Fasure, the way out is up. The best idea I have right now for inspiring folks to pursue this work is to live life fully and fearlessly--the power of example.

My own experience was that things had to get so bad that the only choices seemed to be up or out.

Up was the right answer.

2/02/2006 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger LiquidLifeHacker said...

IMHO, I believe that to be born a female into Saudi and under their sharia law would be a curse. I truly feel sorry for the female child and the obstacles that they have to overcome in that atmosphere. Its very sad how the men in that society treat their women. One can only hope and pray that they have a change of heart for things to change for them. IMHO, I see Islam more as a generation after generation that has chosen their pagan god and chosen to be the number one enemy of Israel by use of that pagan god. In time, like every other tribe on this earth, we all have reaped what we have sown and we will continue to do so. We are either fruitful or we dry up. Can you imagine what the middle east is going to look like when their oil dries up? What will those millions and millions of people do then? Who will feed their hungry then? What will the leaders of those tribes have to blackmail the global world with then if their is no oil?

Everything has it's time and purpose. What we do when the harvest comes in is our responsiblity. We need to be fruitful with our potential and our blessings!

"I am the vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.... If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned..." John 15:2,6

2/02/2006 12:20:00 PM  
Anonymous mature liberal lady said...

what could be more immature than calling for a boycott of spongebob ?
insisting that non science be taught alongside science because "both sides should be presented",
taking your view on global warming from a novelist when the Presidential science adviser tells you global warming is a fact ?

and btw believing "democracies don't make war"

tell that one to the israelis

2/02/2006 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Bro. Bartleby said...

At the monastery we call this Abbot Eastley's 'comfort theory.'

First and foremost, in all nature everything seeks equilibrium, in the human realm, we think of this as comfort. It is the basis of evolution -- life seeks comfort (or an equilibrium).

Seeking comfort is the driving force of modernity -- modernity is creating physical comforts. Creating comforts is what capitalism is all about. The failure of socialism (and all the other isms) is the failure to create enough comforts to offset the lure of what capitalism can create.

And the evolution of creating comforts is the history of humanity. Hunter-gatherers discover a tribe living in some huts and growing some crops, and they marvel at the 'comforts' that the farmers have created. The farmers going to market to sell their goods find comforts in the village that don't exist on the farm, and the farmer's children seek jobs in the village. The villager visits the city and is lured by the comforts there, and so it goes. Modernity and comfort go hand in hand.

And today we see that fight for equilibrium in the Muslim world. The West offers comforts to the Middle East, and the price? A very high price, a price that many of the West have already paid -- for comfort, they gave their spirit.

2/02/2006 01:50:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

what could be more immature than calling for a boycott of spongebob ?
Believing that that kind of silliness represents any significant portion of those of us on the non-left.

Last I looked, no one was insisting that non-science (now gee, would that be intelligent design?) be taught alongside science. No one claims I.D. is a "science". I.D. is a conclusion one might reasonably arrive at given the information provided by science.
Global warming? Gosh, back in the eighties it was global cooling. And I figure the last warm spell the earth had (sometime around the rennaissance) was also due to SUV's and fossil fuels.

When was the last time the Israelis started a war? Here's a clue: they didn't.

JWM

Bob, you gotta' get a better class of trolls.

2/02/2006 01:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

That just goes to show you, every Peter Pandemic has a Wendbag.

2/02/2006 01:54:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Bartleby--

I hear what you're saying, but Occidents don't just happen. There are psychospiritual reasons why democracy, liberty, individualism, science, and free markets only developed in the West.

Markets don't creat equilibrium but constant change and flux. That's why historically people have been afraid of them--especially intellectuals. They would prefer to impose some static system from on high, but that just generates chaos and want below.

And capitalism doesn't just create creature comforts. It is a superior system because it is the system of natural liberty that allows each person to freely discover his unique potential. Again, that's a very dynamic process. In the past, cultures had more or less caste systems in which your identity and place were fixed at birth.

Capitalism is much more than just an economic system. See Hayek & von Mises for details. It's an entirely new way of being that had dramatic consequences for our spiritual and psychological evolution.

Put it this way: before the discovery of the scientific method and the widespread development of free markets just a few hundred years ago, humans had made almost no progress for the previous few thousand years. Truly, capitalism is one of the keys of post-biological evolution.

2/02/2006 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger Bro. Bartleby said...

Bro. Bob,

I do think the dear abbot was addressing individuals, as in you and me and whoever, we all seek comfort over discomfort. Even our bodies are hardwired with an alert system, pain, to guide us to comfort. Under the microscope you will see critters avoiding other critters that are trying to create discomfort -- eating them. Pets are excellent examples, all they want is a calm master with food readily at hand. A baby also, a wet diaper is discomfort, a dry diaper is comfort. A corporate tycoon may create discomfort for other folks, but of course so that he may enjoy more comfort/security. St. Francis recognized this, that is why Franciscans will not accept money, for Francis accepted discomfort over comfort, for the greater goodness. For him and his followers, this was an attempt to follow Jesus as the apostles followed Jesus, in total faith.

2/02/2006 03:04:00 PM  
Anonymous mature liberal lady said...

clueless jwm

My obvious point was it's the israelis that are learning that the new "democracy" to their south - with the victor allowed to participate due to W/condi's insistence is not going to be much of a "democracy that doesn't make war"

and as in iraq the most likely outcome will be one man one vote one time

and why is it that cindy sheehan who plans to run against mainstream dem feinstein, represents the dem left but..

dobson who called for a boycott of spongebob and boycotted disney for years and got first notice of harriet miers nomination (and declared her a good nominee because of her church affiliation) doesn't represent the "non left".BTW afraid to call yourself "right" even here ?

and did the WH science advisor and hundreds of articles in refereed scholarly journals, and CEOs at BP, GE and other corps who have major initiatives to deal with global warming, believe in "global cooling" ?(a term i assume you made up)

ftl = resistance to contradictory incoming information can't launch out of the comfortable cocoon of self reinforcing propaganda

2/02/2006 03:20:00 PM  
Anonymous "talk radio fan" said...

the maturity of
savage
oreilly
hannity
coulter
malkin
john (war on christmas) gibson
drudge

is ?

their launch date was ?
their "real job "is ?

2/02/2006 03:23:00 PM  
Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

mature liberal lady and Anonymous 11:24

It's tough when you try to hit all those buttons at once, but let's have a go.

First, your facts are at best slanted, and at worst wrong. For example, Crichton as "novelist" is technically accurate but leaves out "science writer" and "Harvard educated." Why would you leave such things out except to spin, rather than try to arrive at the truth? And the president has more than one science advisor, who have a variety of opinions, in and out of their specialties. You are setting up a false dichotomy.

Get the full story on the spongebob and Disney boycotts. You still might not agree with Dobson (not sure how he got into this -- random neural firing of yours when someone says "religion?"), but you will at least see that it is not as is commonly presented.

As to Christians not permitting other artistic points of view to be heard, I am surprized that you are nonetheless able to encounter them. Huh. Wassup with that? I think we should make distinctions between complaints about occasional objectionable material that is way over the top and some sort of blanket censorship of ideas they don't like. Boycotts are not my thing, nor is complaining to networks when outraged, but they are both legitimate forms of protest. NBC was not made to pull the show, but decided it was too costly a business decision for them to go forward. Big difference there. Unless, of course, your aim is simply to show how stoopid your opponents are, in which case it's Exactly The Same Thing.

Why exactly is wrong with taping the lectures at a public university by those who are being asked to contribute or are already footing the bill? If you take a class on Marxism, you might expect exposure to some left-wing ideas, and I don't hear that folks are objecting to that. But the politicising of other less-related fields, and worse, the punishing of students for their beliefs, is worthy of comment.

You might try looking up on the web what the possible other sides to your argument are before you lay it out publicly.

2/02/2006 03:48:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Mature Liberal Lady & Talk Radio Fan--

I make it a policy to never arrgue with leftists who are doing my job for me. As long as the left continues to believe what it does, it will continue to alienate normal people and lose national elections. That's entrierly accpetable to me.

2/02/2006 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

MLL:
1: Your first point was not obvious at all. Your statement on Israel was vague. If you were referring to the Palestinians, you should have mentioned them, and I'd probably agree.
2:Iraq- we'll see, won't we?
3: What office was it that Dobson holds? Refresh my memory. And he thought well of Harriet Myers because she's a church goer. Pretty insidious stuff.
And who had Michael Moore in a box seat at their national convention? Who invited Cindy Shehag to the State of the Union? Republicans?
By the way, if you want to hear a transcript of the rocket scientist congresswoman (D-California) who invited the Shehag, click on the link to Lileks and go to the Screedblog. Very impressive- not.
Global warming again- stand there flat footed and tell me you're worried about it. Agenda driven junk science.

I used the term non-left because not everyone here identifies with the "Right-Wing". Some are centrists, some apolitical. Myself- registered Republican.

JWM

Oh, and get acquainted with Mr. Shift Key, and his Punctuation Pals. They make writing fun!

2/02/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous primal_john said...

Not just a failure to thrive, but even a failure to launch, huh, Bob?
You're just full of -- quotable aphorisms. Beautiful!

2/02/2006 03:58:00 PM  
Anonymous mature liberal lady said...

fact checking

crichton is an MD he is "self taught" in environmental science i guess. And as far the harvard degree, i'm shocked a degree from the king of the pinko lefty institutions

the president has person that holds the tile of Chief Presidential Science Advisor with an office in the WH. That is the person to whom i was referring.

Apparently quite a few people the young UCLA alum thought were his allies had a prob with his scheme. More than half his board quit and he shut down his program. Apparently there were also legal issues with regard to copyright protection.

but failing to launch means failure to confront facts

that talk radio ftl list looked impressive to me

"nbc was not made to pull the show"if they wanted to run it with no sponsors(sponsor boycott)

"nobody was made to watch the show" either

2/02/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Blogger D. Vision said...

MLL:

Don't argue the ends against the big middle. You'll soon find yourself in a statistical avalanche. Bob's original post isn't diminished by the existence of opposite ends (Dobson and Coulter). That's a classic example of binary thinking, or its continuous cousin, restricting the debate to a continuum between left and right. The fact that some people on the right are immature doesn't establish that most people on the left are immature.

Just look what happens when Sheehan makes comments like "Bush is the biggest terrorist" or when Kerry says our troops are "terrorizing" Iraqi families in the middle of the night. The best you get from the left and the media is a stunned and uncomfortable silence, and that's rare, as most of the time they're falling all over themselves to agree.

When Robertson makes some ridiculous pronouncements, what happens? Conservatives everywhere dismiss him as a dolt--rightly.

2/02/2006 05:33:00 PM  
Blogger D. Vision said...

on the left >>aren't<< immature. Excuse me.

2/02/2006 05:34:00 PM  
Blogger D. Vision said...

The real problem isn't that some people on the left are immature, whining children. They'd be rightly shunned if the left wasn't narcistically in love with the sound of an echo, regardless of its source. The infantile fixations of the left--equality over quality, personal liberty over personal responsibility, feelings over reason, pleasure over progress--are manifested in the specific policies that they propose and support. Universal healthcare, instanteous disaster relief, welfare programs, progressive taxation, government regulation and control of the economy, centralization of authority in the federal government and the United Nations--are all just representations of the same immature theme that humans are perfectable, all inequalities are the result of injustice, and that everyone is entitlement to the wealth and services of others.

They all rise out of that same inability to grow up, take responsibility, compete--to recognize your own flaws and achieve in spite of them. It's an expectation that others will provide services for you, and that, reflexively, if you provide services for others, then you are a better person. But it turns out to be hard to actually work for yourself and others at the same time; that's where the government comes in--you can legally take from your fellow countrymen in order to give it to others because it makes you feel good.

So really, we would ask that you would grow up and stop taking my shit to give it to others so you can feel good about yourself.

2/02/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger D. Vision said...

The real problem isn't that some people on the left are immature, whining children. They'd be rightly shunned if the left wasn't narcistically in love with the sound of an echo, regardless of its source. The infantile fixations of the left--equality over quality, personal liberty over personal responsibility, feelings over reason, pleasure over progress--are manifested in the specific policies that they propose and support. Universal healthcare, instanteous disaster relief, welfare programs, progressive taxation, government regulation and control of the economy, centralization of authority in the federal government and the United Nations--are all just representations of the same immature theme that humans are perfectable, all inequalities are the result of injustice, and that everyone is entitlement to the wealth and services of others.

They all rise out of that same inability to grow up, take responsibility, compete--to recognize your own flaws and achieve in spite of them. It's an expectation that others will provide services for you, and that, reflexively, if you provide services for others, then you are a better person. But it turns out to be hard to actually work for yourself and others at the same time; that's where the government comes in--you can legally take from your fellow countrymen in order to give it to others because it makes you feel good.

So really, we would ask that you would grow up and stop taking my shit to give it to others so you can feel good about yourself.

2/02/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Anonymous mll said...

d vision

yea man rise up take responsibility and line up for

your tax credit for your health savings and retirement account

your corporate tax holiday in 2005 for repatriating profits from abroad

your tax credit and subsidy for oil exploration (since it's too risky to do otherwise)

your new drug benefit which prohibits medicare from demanding competing bids from drug companies

your proposed tax deduction for health insurance

your corporate ability to declare bankruptcy, stick the govt with the pensions and then start all over and go public today (united airlines)


your no bid government contracts in iraq, and don't worry if you're under investigation, you can still get new contracts

your compensation 100+x that of the average worker in your public company which is voted on by a captive board and is (thankfully soon to change) kept secret

your soon to be doled out subsidies to research alternative energy

stand up and take responsibility !!

2/02/2006 08:51:00 PM  
Anonymous jwm said...

Hey MLL:
What's with you leftoons that you all write like text-messaging teenagers? Did someone declare the internet a grammar/spelling/punctuation free zone? Or did you just have to drop English 52T because of that five page term paper?

JWM

2/02/2006 09:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Petey is getting a real fan base - too bad for Bob!

2/03/2006 06:05:00 AM  
Anonymous dilys said...

"Truly, capitalism is one of the keys of post-biological evolution."

Having inadvertently ended up living in former Yugoslavia just after USSR went over'n'out, I will confirm that getting a battery for the radio, buying a ticket to take a trip, or renting a car (NOT!!) in countries unacquainted with the morality, verve, optimism, and flexibility of the market, is an eye-opener.

The market, with all its imperfections and excesses introduced by imperfect (yes, astonishingly, even MLL might not be yet crowned with perfection...) humankind, is a petrie dish for soul, an emergent miracle. Alive rather than dead. And that's a basic binary schema it's nice to stay on the right side of.

And, really, let the trolls roll out their preserved-in-amber talking points. They do indeed serve Gagdad by making his points for him, by eloquent if illiterate illustration of slow-motion conceptual and practical disaster, repeated by rote into irrelevance and the dark end of the binary landscape. I do not wish this on them, and as a MCL, I imagine if MLL took a breath and punctuated her sentences, we could enjoy a crochet or two in good company.

2/03/2006 12:07:00 PM  
Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

fact checking is usually better substantiated than vague references to "probs."

As for your other references, I think you are making my points instead of refuting them. Thanks

2/03/2006 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger wildiris said...

Gagdad Bob, you said…

“But I am actually more interested in the more general failure to launch that afflicts mankind at large. What is the cause of this? For example, there is no question that this is the problem we face in the bulk of the Arab Muslim world. Something in their cultural DNA has left them mired in an historical and developmental eddy, sitting on the launch pad below, just where we left them 700 years ago. What happened? Why didn't they launch? “

I will try and propose an answer for you. I suspect that you have found in your quest for root causes, the same thing that I have. That is, an endless loop of mutually re-enforcing social and cultural forces. In other words, the classic “which came first, the chicken or the egg” problem. The concept that I find most useful when thinking about Islam and its attendant culture is one that has been used before; that of an ESS, an evolutionarily stable strategy. How ESS’s get established and how in the end they find their termination is a subject that is probably worth its own blog site. But for our purposes, all ESS’s have one thing in common. There must be social/cultural force(s) to conformity that meet or exceed the forces of social/cultural drift. (start humming Carly Simon’s song “you’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you”) One of the vanities of the political liberal left apologists for the Islamic terrorists and their attacks is that they think every bomb and attack is about them. Viewed from the perspective of an ESS, the stratagy of Jihad is just as important in enforcing conformity in the Muslim communities as they are attacks against Western Culture. If we in the West are waiting for the “moderate Muslims” to come to the forefront, then we have a long time to wait. Not until the Muslim communities themselves fell free from the threat of Jihad will this happen.

Creativity and its twin Curiosity are virtues of the individual. To paraphrase Nietchze, there is no such thing as a creative society, only creative individuals. Only societies that elevate the individual over the group can be creative in their endevors, and the natrual outcome of a creative society, a productive society as well. Socialist societies that elevate the group over the individual can never be creative, and as a result must be parasitic on the productivity of others. The Islamic cultures are of the latter type and as an ESS, Islam is probably closer to the Borg of Star Trek than anything we in the Western world are familiar with.

Viewing Islam as a parasitic ESS, the question then arises, “what was the host that it had been sustaining itself on?”. Historically, parasitic ESS societies have been with us as long has humans have been civilized (i.e. city-dwelling). But parasitic ESS cultures/societies that live off of the fruits of others don’t last very long. Once a host society’s resources have been exhausted, such parasitic ESS cultures/societies must move on by conquest to the next available society (mongols) or stay and assimilate (vikings). But what host has the Muslim world been sustaining itself on? One historical fact about the Muslim world, that has been completely ignored in all of the discussions I hear/read these days, is that for centuries it sat astride all of the trade routes, both land and sea, from east to west. While the Crusades, which affected geographically probably less than 5% of the Muslim world at that time, have been given all of the attention, the economic affects of being able to control trade between east and west has been given no notice at all. It is no coincidence that the Muslim world’s decline from its cultural peak, beginning around the end of the late Middle Ages, correlates exactly in time with the discovery and development of ocean going trade routes from Western Europe to the Far East that bypassed the Middle East completely.

In the beginning, Islam grew as all parasitic ESS societies do by conquest of its neighbors. But it had the great historic fortune to find itself a host (east-west-trade) that was strong enough to sustain it through the many centuries that followed. It was the discovery of oil in the Arab lands and the money that brough in that pumped life back into a culture that had all but fallen back into a backwater-third/fourth world status.

And as a parasitic ESS society/culture, it is no wonder that it is finding ready and willing hosts to sustain itself on in the welfare states/economies of Western Europe.

2/05/2006 05:45:00 PM  

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