vendredi 29 juillet 2011

Toward a New Crusade?

The mad or half-mad Norwegian mass murderer has turned our attention to a danger looming behind the European facade of political correctness and tolerant multi-culturalism. Not all cultures or cultural features are mutually reconcilable. To find a peaceful modus vivendi, a multi-cultural society cannot accommodate groups with militant religious views. The problem is not only the conflict between Christians and Muslims, but between the post-Christian, Englightenment-inspired Western secular society and some groups who do not accept the values of such a society: gender equality, rights of the individual as opposed to "family values", separation of religion and education, religion and jurisprudence, etc. Such values are in opposition with the values proclaimed and violently thrusted on people by Salafists and similar groups in the Islamic world. But they are also not accepted by many other traditionalist-fundamentalist religious groups, be it Christian, Judaist or Hinduist. Western liberal, secularist values that are the real fundament of any peaceful multi-culturalism, are under attack by newly invigorated conservative religious movements. If the religious conservatives succeed, we will see conflicts between various groups, between Christians and Muslims, Muslims and Jews, Muslims and Hinduists becoming more frequent and more violent. They all are fighting against one another, but sometimes even more violently opposed to what they consider to be the decadent, immoral Western culture. Essentially they cannot accept the view that humanist values are the most fundamental ones, and thus superior to religious values. We have two kinds of conflict, the conflict between religous groups and the conflict between humanism and fundamentalist religion. As the reconciliation between various fundamentalists has proven to be
nearly impossible, the weakening of Western secularism can lead us toward new crusades. The mass murder committed by the man calling for such a crusade is a clear warning sign of such a possibility.

In my opinion, the European Englightenment was greatly influenced by the Chinese Confucianism. Reading the Jesuit reports on life and culture in China, some European intellectuals realized that a great society can exist without any religious fundament, on a purely humanist basis, relegating religion completely to private sphere. They discovered that non-religious ethics is fully possible and can serve as a basis of a state that has withstood many historical vicissitudes and troubles. In many ways,
the Chinese society has also been able to survive the perpetual civil and non-civil wars and the cultural revolution of the twentieth century, and the Confucian heritage is still a force to be reckoned with in China. Perhaps we in the West should turn once our eyes upon the Confucian tradition, perhaps there is still something to be learned from it. Perhaps the Chinese and Western intellectuals should make a bigger effort to join their forces to combat the erosion of non-religous humanism in the present-day world.

dimanche 24 juillet 2011

Neo-Templars and neo-Crusaders

Reading about the murders committed in Norway by a fanatic who dreams of restoring the Templar Order to fight against Muslim and other hordes invading Europe, I cannot but recall a text I wrote about twenty years ago. It hasn't been translated into English, but exists in Swedish and Russian translation. It's called "Ice and the Titanic". A kind of a collection of prose poems and mini-essays inspired by the Titanic disaster in 1912. There I refer to a newspaper article by an Estonian theologian and military man, lieutenant colonel E. L. whose ideas were quite similar to the ones proclaimed by the Norwegian terrorist B.

I translated hurriedly a paragraph from my "Titanic" into English with some unavoidable mistakes. But I hope the content is understandable and can give readers something to think about.

My head was full of other thoughts on my way to Finland. I had just read an article in an Estonian newspaper. The author, who calls himself historian, writes that the mafia of international capital has resorted to a number of actions aimed at the destruction of the multi-ethnic European Christian culture. In order to achieve this, he claims, they make use of false ideology, initiate wars. In Germany the same financial mafia helped Hitler to power, to let him start a war and destroy the bases of European spirituality. Now it has unleashed wars in Vietnam, in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Balkans. These wars are not fought in order to find a military solution to some conflicts, but to drive on the move large numbers of refugees invading Europe, taking advantage of the masonic understanding of human rights forced upon the Europeans, the idea that everyone has the right to live in any country, and there he/she must at once have all the rights. These refugees bringing with them their alien culture will finally ruin the European culture. There is a war between races going on in the world. The financial capital wants to change the whole mankind into what he calls "infantile Homo americanus consumens" interested only in consumption and in whom, in his view, there is nothing human left.

In another article he says that our effeminate young men need more virility, more Viking and knight spirit.

Of course, there is a long distance from thoughts to deeds, but once the thoughts are there,

the probability that sooner or later there will also be the deeds, is increased.

I have always thought that Norwegians have often been the first in many fields, as explorers, rulers (in Middle Ages rulers in several European countries from England to Sicily and Russia) were of Viking origin, scientists, writers. Now a Norwegian has emerged as a first euro-terrorist, perhaps heralding the rebirth of something its adepts call the New Templar Order, and an attempt to restart something we can call the New Crusades. Of course,
these guys are not original. They have been inspired by Al-Qaida and other Salafists with their vehement "anti-crusader" rhetoric.

In many ways, war is theatre. It's even suggested by the expression "theatre of war". There is a lot of histrionics in war, in militarism, parades, even warfare itself. As in theatre, there are actors and spectators, although sometimes the borderline between them becomes fuzzy. There are total wars, totale Mobilmachung, there are attempts to stage total theatre, to force the spectators to become actors. But in any case, we need theatre, and we have reason to ask ourselves whether we need war, theatre of war too. Here, most of us prefer to be only spectators, but nilly-willy we are there to listen, to applaud, to approve or disapprove. We are an important element in the war games staged by neo-Vikings, neo-Templars, Salafists and others. They cannot play their games without us, without us publishing their speeches, printing their portraits, raising interest for their ideas.

The Norwegian B. (I refuse to quote his full name or to include his photo!) is a talented
actor. The play goes on. After the two first acts comes a third: the court where he can
give a speech, propagate his ideas, launch his call to arms. And I am afraid the Norwegian
liberal democracy gives him ample chances to do precisely this. And I am sure this fair-haired Viking-looking young man will have many admirers, and possibly imitators too.

vendredi 22 juillet 2011

Psychoanalysis of Gods

Reading the Bible and the Quran I cannot but think that the main dramatis personae there -- a certain IHWH and a certain Allah would be good subjects for a dedicated psychoanalyst or just a psychologist specialising in psychological portraits. My modest and superficial impression is that IHWH is a bit paranoid, as he says himself, he is jealous and revengeful, sometimes even sadistic, relishing in detailed descriptions of punishment of people who haven't observed his rules and loved him
enough. Allah seems to be less sadistic, but he is a megalomaniac who does not get tired of praising and glorifying himself in a way that is often quite tasteless and vain.

jeudi 14 juillet 2011

Безымянный Бог

Почему Бог не хочет, чтобы его называли по имени? -- Ему стыдно за то, что он натворил.

samedi 2 juillet 2011

На каком языке?

В Фейсбуке пишут о том, на каком языке эстонцам следует говорить с здешними русскими.

На каком языке говорить с русскими? В социальной сети Facebook появилась группа "Говорим с русскими в Эстонии по-эстонски" (Räägime venelastega Eestimaal eesti keeles). Основатели группы уверены в том, что русские, живущие в Эстонии, не говорят по-эстонски только потому, что сами эстонцы при малейшей возможности переходят на русский язык и не дают русскоязычным говорить с ними на государственном языке. "Задумывались ли вы о том, почему русские в Эстонии не говорят с вами на эстонском языке? Потому что мы сами говорим с ними по-русски", - гласит заглавное сообщение на странице группы, - Давайте будем в своей стране говорить на своем языке! Так мы сможем и другим задать верное направление".

А я говорю с русскими по-русски. Русский язык мне просто нравится и возможностей говорить не так уж много.