Archive for October, 2010
What destroys an established religion in our latter days is not being wrong, it is being SILLY. In Nietzsche’s day, the various churches had fought vaccination, the idea that earth was over 4500 years old, the idea that the earth was not the center of the universe, and in fact worn a dunce hat over and over and over again for all to see.
When Nietzsche said God is Dead, he meant for intellectuals, real ones, not Mommy Professors. He meant that at the top of the idea chain, the God Industry had made a laughing stock of faith.
The Religious Industry lives entirely in THIS world. For a millennium and a half it had dictated all reality. The idea that His Kingdom is not of this world was absolute heresy.
I did a review of a Galbraith book many years ago for National Review. Posing as an intellectual biography, it was the same crap he had put in the hundred books before it. It had the usual supply and demand don’t work in it.
My statement was, “Galbraith is still talking about leftism in theory. Leftism is collapsing because it has been put into practice.”
Faith in the next world cannot be proven by discrediting evolution here.
This is a routine lesson no one has learned: You win power on theory, but once the theory is tried out, you are in deep trouble.
That’s what happened to the religion decided on at Trent and that’s what happened to the main line Protestant faiths invented by Luther and Calvin. Until competition from the Pentecostals made them toe the line more, they were actually on their way to the complete collapse European Protestantism has accomplished.
Exactly the same thing happened to the left with the trying out of Communism in the real world. You won’t see much real difference between how a Marxist today argues and how anti-evolutionists argue.
When the Soviet Empire collapsed FROM PURE SILLINESS, the whole leftist charade was exposed. No Christian wants to talk about the Christianity Industry’s battle against smallpox, and no leftist wants to talk about the fall of Communism.
Why not? Because any discussion of these things shows how SILLY they were. Not how their theories had imperfections, but just plain dribble-mouth silliness. I remember right after the USSR fell, one after another leftist commentator congratulated a respectable conservative on his understanding that liberalism is NOT Communism.
Actually Kennedy had been working with the Communists to undermine Reagan. The KGB files are filled with the people McCarthy called Communists. The last desperate bid to save the Soviet Empire by defeating the Strategic Defense Initiative they called Star Wars took out all the stops, all the pretense that the entire left was on the same side.
Joe Sobran noticed that, and wrote an article for National Review called “Congress’s Red Army.”
With new advances in knowledge about real animal behavior, the whole BASIS of leftist theory has been swept away. As it is tried out in practice it really shows its nonsense.
The Obama election has been a shouting example of this reality.
None Dare Call it Silly. That is, none who want to make a living in the kept opposition.
Things will look a little rough over the next couple days, but I think you will enjoy the new theme.
Threaded comments are now available as well as adjustable text size and screen width.
Born Again Christianity has reached its stagnation phase. In my youth it was growing wildly, and now it has stopped or the curve is reaching the asymptotic stage.
There are a couple of clear reasons for this. First of all, Born Again Christianity has become an industry. Those who control it now depend upon it for their livelihoods.
Secondly the same thing has happened to evagelicalism that brought down the Mainline Protestant churches in North America and the Catholic Church in South America: it put its cards in THIS world, and it LOST.
I asked before, what part of “My Kingdom is not of this world” do Bible-thumpers have trouble understanding? When the main Catholic church threw itself into being a tool of big landowners in South America and a major part of the priesthood sided with the Communists in the name of Liberation Theology, everybody had assumed it had Both Sides covered.
But both Communism and the big landowners have been discredited.
While the Catholic Church was seeking power on both sides in South American politics the evangelicals were out there conquering the next world. I saw a documentary on a back area of Bolivia or Peru, the announcer said “We are the first Westerners here,” and at that moment they came on a lake some Born Again missionaries were doing baptisms.
I used to get my ammunition reloaded in the dormitories of our local Born Again theology school. Out in the African bush you would often find that the only people were mercenaries and missionaries.
Christianity in Europe has simply collapsed. Someone will write in that “they have proven” this is no longer true, but it is routine for a giant church to have a tiny group of people sitting in the front.
What caused Nietzsche to say “God is dead” was that the churches had taken on Galileo and lost, and then they had taken on every new theory in the eighteenth century and lost.
There were still lots and lots of healthy churches in America, but at the top of the intellectual ladder, from which ideas filtered down, it seems to Nietzsche that it had doomed itself.
This is of interest to us because this whole section of moving toward how or PRESENT established religion is dooming itself.
Born Agains are now more interested in Pro-Life than they are in the next world, where Jesus said HIS Kingdom is. If they had had their way, the tens of thousands of babies born from in vitro fertilization, babies who were wanted, would never have been Born.
For the moment, Pro-Life is a boon to Born Again Industry. You keep your congregation contributing and you don’t go where learning to reload ammunition is a survival skill.
Christianity survived because it backed down from crap like this.
Every church in London denounced Jenner’s satanic practice of putting germs from cows into human beings. But as their congregations began to die or come into church disfigured for life, they somehow totally forgot their theological objections.
Those objections are as valid today as they were then. But an industry drops any product that becomes enormously destructive to its very existence.
Prohibiting abortion is no longer on the Born Again list of possibilities, so they have branched out into crippling any research that they decide involves embryos. Eventually, as in the case of vaccinations, they will get in the way of people in wheelchairs walking and replacing diseased or aging body parts.
Then this silly crap will be seen as silly crap.
You see, the nice thing about these social issues is that they make the preacher or priest feel he is being realistic and practical. It gets him off the simple fact that either Heaven and Hell are real or he is a guy who lives on nonsense or even a guy wearing a dress for no reason.
When the church sticks to all or nothing, Heaven or Hell, not of this world, it can grow. But if the fight is over THIS world, and it goes beyond doing to others what they do to you, it goes to stagnation, and then on down.
If I were a doomed embryo I would be happy if I could be used to get somebody out of a wheel chair. But any discussion of the Golden Rule in human affairs is denounced today as Humanism.
So Born Again has stagnated.
Next I will explain my ideas as to how this is what is happening to the established religion we are under right now.
Almost a decade ago, when I first mentioned Zoroastrianism on Whitaker Online, there was a chorus of catcalls. It still seems strange, even to regular BUGS readers, that I talk so much about the history of religion.
Once again, people will agree that Political Correctness is our established RELIGION, but they don’t THINK about it.
Realizing this is a RELIGION makes it an entirely different thing from the Conspiracy of Geniuses or the Force of History that so many of us, tragically, think it is.
You see, every historical religion went under because it sought food for its priests and power in THIS world. Every religion becomes an industry, and like any other industry. Then another one comes and out competes it. That is what has happened to millions of religions.
In my lifetime, the Main Line Protestant religions were visibly disappearing. The Methodist Church membership consisted heavily of living people who had been raised in that church and never bothered to change to “agnostic.”
I remember when the one thing that distinguished evangelical Christianity from the industrial version was GROWTH. A major portion of the American population shifted into Born Again religion . Totally unnoticed by our media, South America had new millions of Born Again Christians every year.
Until they went political, Born Again Christians were on their way to conquering both Americas.
In discussing economics, I made the point that things don’t collapse visibly. It is simple arithematic: things stagnate, THEN they decline. Born Agains have stagnated. Economies have stagnated..
Historically this stagnation phase goes unnoticed.
Those who notice it are later called Prophets.
In fact the stagnation phase is the absolute peak level of the idea that this industry or this society will go on forever.
When Hadrian built his Wall, it announced two things:
1) the Roman Empire had reached the limits of its expansion, and 2) those limits were set in stone because they were meant to last forever. And in Hadrian’s time it was assumed that the Roman Empire would last forever and the Eternal City of Rome would be its omega just as it had been its alpha.
When Constantine moved his capitol to Byzantium, it was not a declaration that his Roman Empire had ended, and he did not resign his job.
In fact, the Holy Roman Empire was finally ended by Napoleon seventeen centuries after Hadrian. The actual direct line of Caesars only ended in 1453, when Constantinople fell to Islam.
Even after Napoleon, Russia called itself The Third Rome and Tsar, King, and Kaiser meant emperor in the Roman sense. The Pope is Pontifus Maximus, one of Caesar’s titles.
The point is that if people can’t even agree on when the Roman Empire fell, how can they possibly recognize the stagnation point?
But to us this is all a quibble. History tells us that the Roman Empire fell sometime in the first part of the first millennium, but you will play hell finding an agreed-one date.
The fact is that the collapse that everybody seems so obsessed with IS a quibble. It is the point of stagnation that really matters.
While hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on social science research and teaching, BUGS advances alone into the findings of the late twentieth century about how real societies work in nature.
All the ideologies we have today existed before these discoveries were made, and not a single one has made the slightest effort to adapt to the new realities.
Please note that I did not say they were doing it WRONG. I said they are IGNORING its existence. That is giant difference.
Right now we have Obama worshippers pushing programs that failed in the past, and an opposition fighting for less of it.
And everybody gets paid.
Don’t feed the bears.
Don’t reward failure.
History is entirely different with the new biology. Christians find their churches falling into the same old failures. They say “They’re not doing it right.”
Marxists are famous for dealing with their interrupted series of disasters with the words, “They just didn’t do it right.”
The Catholic Church has famously done all the things people bitch about.
Which part of “My Kingdom is not of this world” do they have trouble understanding?
When an institution exists in THIS world it will adapt or die. The new studies of real natural societies show that all the things Marxism and what calls itself Christianity want to abolish are part not only of human nature but of Meer Kats with spoon size brains.
What Marxism is trying to abolish and those who use their faith as a guide to social behavior is hard wired into human beings.
We know that now. It is time we started acting like we do.
A commenter made an excellent point about another illusion that handicaps Mantra Thinking: the illusion that people have as they grow old is that they are therefore Wise.
This is, in fact, twin with the problem of people who have been dealing with a problem unsuccessfully for decades at public expense automatically being declare Experts on solving it. But this one makes life especially difficult for me.
I am handicapped by the general image of a Leader and the general image of an old man who is writing. BUGsers are very kind to me, so they do not want to be disrespectful and they actually apologize for disagreeing with me.
That is good behavior if it doesn’t get in the way of what BUGS is all about. One new commenter was obviously uncomfortable contradicting me and one of our old hands told him that my reaction would be “So what?” I really appreciated that.
I tell you my view of the world. One reason you read BUGS is because you think I’m right often enough to be worth while. But I have a personal reason for writing here too.
As usual things in BUGS interrelate. Years ago I wrote a piece about a method of getting real information out of famous experts, real ones.
The problem is that someone who knows a subject has developed a standard set of answers. So if you take out time to go to a lecture or, worse, are seeing someone your boss has PAID you to go to, you get standard fare from him. The result is that you go back with something you could have just looked up.
My solution was simple. I found out what this guy really hated.
I would state a position in his field of expertise that he loathed.
Then I kept prodding that way and the standard stuff stopped. He began to give me examples and his actual opinions in the heat of getting me off that position that he hated so much.
When a person is Giving Advice, he is very guarded and he will have technique for handling all questions and he will be a lot like a lawyer who will not let you probe into certain areas. Make him mad enough and all bets are off.
Which is the reason you wanted to see him in the first place.
I want to dump out my thinking here so you can comment on it and look things up for me. I am not a Leader, I am not depending on my age.
Considering the world older people have left younger ones, it seems outrageous to me that they would have the cajones to say that young people should look to them for dealing with reality. While respect and courtesy is welcome, too much of that attitude would be fatal to the whole purpose of BUGS.
Think of BUGS as saying the only thing the older generation has any right to say to say to the people we have dumped all this on:
Where did we go WRONG?
My sister, who was a religious education director, taught me one good way to deal with problems: “If they keep bringing something they can’t agree on a solution to, appoint a committee.”
This obviously had nothing to do with the problem. What it did was stop two or three people from wasting hours arguing in meetings my sister had to attend, and let them yell at each other on their own.
We do exactly the same thing all the time, but we pay big money for the committee. The DEA is one of these committees. My sister’s committees cost nothing and made no problems. All of the committees, we form, the government organizations and lobbying groups, do a lot of harm and are hugely expensive.
More important, they get in the way of any rational approach to the problem. The DEA does a lot of public relations work with drug busts and politicians and respectable conservatives get to scream about he problem.
And the bureaucracy sprouts “experts.” People who have made a problem worse for many, many years become “experienced.”
I remember an interview with an expert, a judge who opposed minimum sentencing laws. He kept saying we should take his word for it, because he was “experienced.” He had been sentencing people for many years.
The interviewer tried weakly to explain to this imbecile that the whole minimum sentencing movement was directed against “experienced” people like him who were letting criminals off.
The judge didn’t even notice his point. The judge went in saying to the people, “YOU IGNUNT!” and he was experienced.
Never set up a program to deal with something if you don’t demand SPECIFIC results. Don’t set a program if you aren’t going to monitor it regularly and be willing to abolish it if it fails.
That not only does not deal with the problem, it creates a whole set of people who are paid NOT to deal with it. It licenses experts who will defend failure to the death.
It puzzles me why BBG thought my episode in the Pacific island during WWII was sexual in nature. But he was automatically defending the Catholic Church the way I automatically defend the South.
It puzzled me for a long time why Northern ethnics and I seemed to have something basic in common. It seems to me that we had in common the fact that we were loyal something and our enemies were united only in their hatred of identity.
I get tired of people looking cowlike and saying J. Edgar Hoover believed the Mafia was a myth. J. Edgar Hoover was not a cop, he was a public relations genius. He could put white trash sellouts into the Klan easily, but he couldn’t deal with organized crime, so he denied its existence.
Wordism cannot deal with races and real nations, so it denies their existence.
But those who don’t know the simple fact that Hoover called the Mafia a myth because he couldn’t do anything about it aren’t really able to think about the man.
The reason that J. Edgar couldn’t deal with the Mafia was largely because, like the police, he could only catch the little fish who got their hands dirty. Until the passage of RICO, which outlawed all actions in an organization that were criminal, nobody could touch the Mafia bosses.
The reason this is relevant here is because this is the exact problem the Catholic Church has today.
Any reasonable person sees the difference between someone pushing dope to feed his habit and what we called a “clean dealer,” someone who was not addicted and did it for money. You don’t send an addict to prison so easily, because there is usually no easier place for him to get drugs.
Also, an addict is simply less guilty than a clean dealer. Above all, it is the bosses of the drug rings who are guilty and in fact purely evil. Organized crime of any kind has the same problem. You couldn’t deal with organized crime as long as the only people who committed the actual crimes were the “soldiers.”
People who attack the Catholic Church are lot like J. Edgar Hoover. They scream for the lynching of the perverts, little fish one can condemn easily and freely.
Like Hoover, they cannot deal with the real problem, so they say the Church hierarchy are OK guys and then get kudos for denouncing perverts.
A bishop does NOT have to have a legal case against a pervert. He can AND DOES suspend priests on suspicion. Contrary to well-meaning defenders of the Church he does NOT have to send a man he knows is molesting children from one parish to another to continue to molest children.
When they broke up that meeting of Mafia bigwigs in the 50s and the Mafia became front page news, Hoover was forced to recognize that the Mafia was NOT a myth. This was very hard on him because he had to admit that his All Powerful FBI was a paper tiger.
The bottom line: You can’t deal with a criminal conspiracy by only prosecuting those who actually follow the orders of the bosses and get caught doing actual crimes.
But we are dealing with the real world here. We are Mantra thinkers, not theologians. We do not stop with moral outrage. In fact, we go beyond the moral outrage and THINK.
Whitaker’s Rule on Moralists is this: The moralist says that something must be done, sets up a government organization to do it, the government program can’t do it but it is a government program, which is what the Idealists and Intellectuals are after, and it is someone to blame as the problem gets worse.
Last part of this rule: the problem always DOES get worse. Why? Because the effort that should have been expended on dealing with the problem has been wasted on getting another government program through.
The War on Drugs is another example of this Hoover problem on the political right. They want to Solve the problem by raising money to demand the DEA and so forth GET TOUGH.
Any professional in the DEA has long since known that the whole thing is repeat of Prohibition, but worse. So they run around like J. Edgar Hoover did, giving their equally professional reporters dramatic pictures of drug busts.
The first alternative when you have a problem is to fix it. But Mantra Thinking says that if you CAN’T fix it, then stop claiming you are doing something until you are willing to fix the problem itself, not to show you are Doing Something.
Doing Something makes the problem worse. Doing Something earned two thousand years of Medical Professionals a good living while they quoted Galen, did horoscope charts for their patients and bled them to death.
Doing Something and Addressing The Problem is what Mommy Professor and respectable conservatives make their living on. It protects you from having to get any RESULTS.
And no bureaucracy wants to be judged by RESULTS.