This article is not written to exonerate the Jews, or more insidiously, Christianity. For while Jews were outsiders, the Christians arose from within, and took their time destroying many of the greatest aspects of Europe, replacing them with a sheeplike dependence on a public pronouncement of something being "good" or "evil" - wise heads will ask, according to whom? Yet neither is the purpose here to indict Jews, or Christians, because as shortly seen, they are not causes but vanguards of the decay here.
Lest the outrage be lost, as nothing provokes greater horror these days than "anti-Semitism," it is important first to note that there is nothing agreeable about Judaism or Jewish culture. Some individual Jews are fine people, albeit ones who carry within themselves, no matter how sublimated, the odious Jewish culture, like a gene for retardation or cancer hidden behind a pretty face. Yet recognition of forensic data is a far cry from passing judgment in the form of blame.
To keep up that "anti-Semitism" charge, however, it's important to ask simple questions: if anti-Semitism is so obviously false, why must laws be made against it? If it is such a brazen lie, why does it recur, again and again, while other lies perish young? And finally, we must ask, if Jews are so wonderful, why have the fortunes of Europe and America waned after their acceptance into society? But still, you must trust your author here - even recognizing these truths, and far worse ones about populist Christianity, does not mean we're pointing the finger. Merely it means we recognize reality as it is!
If our problem were as simple as "the Jews" or "the Christians," it would have been solved long ago, as such things, while unpopular, can be recognized when the enemy is an active force - of course, both Christians and Jews prefer to operate passively, so there's a possibility this would never have been noticed, once the pacifying effects of Christianity took hold. However, one still must ask: could it be that simple? This does not negate the importance of carefully questioning these faiths, and the presence of ethnic Jews, although it does suggest that such blindside taboos on criticism of Judaism as our fear of anti-Semitism be banished.
Our problem is slightly more complex. Only slightly, because it is a level deeper in the hierarchy of confusion, but deeper enough that it has been dismissed as a subtle distinction and missed by the action-hungry crowd. In the West now we've gone through several changes of political system, and an equal number of philosophical changes, with one crowd - the counterculture, the reformers - crowing that their ways will make everything better, while those who oppose them prefer a return to something from the past. Yet both groups make the same mistakes and have failed, when given power, to render a better system. Could it be that the problem, like a virus, has infected at a lower level than that of a tangible idea?
We make a solid distinction between active and passive for a good reason when speaking about evils. An active evil is obvious; hitting someone on the head. A passive evil can take place over decades or centuries, and usually does not leave a bloodied victim but many people inconvenienced or deprived of wealth over time. When a landlord "saves money" on construction of new apartments; the disaster is not known until a fire hits, and the building collapses ahead of schedule. Or more likely, the cruelty is felt in the daily deprivation of those who live there of slices of their time, which is wasted in "working around" the defective assemblies.
The difference between active and passive is as follows: it is one thing to state a reason for doing something, and another thing entirely to have that reason be the actual motivation. An active crime is outright doing wrong; a passive crime is a lack of doing right, and thus allowing a subtle wrong, while maintaining a justification through reasons unrelated to the actual motivation for actions taken. It is this sort of crime that can remain unnoticed through the ages, especially as its cumulative effects result in a numbing and norming of the population.
For this reason, the problem before us has two aspects: first, a philosophical deficit at such a low level of cognition that it infects all levels above it; second, a physical effect on the population that both brainwashes them and, over the generations, breeds them into compliant ruminants. This means that not only is our infection insidious, but it is also nearly indetectable, since our population and its expectations are literally shaped by it. We face an ugliness of profound jurisdiction in this one.
And what of Mr. Nietzsche's comments about Christianity, much like Mr. Linder's earlier cited comments about Jews? If we must indulge a pathology of blame, let us include everyone. The third world populations blame Whitey; the liberals blame corporations; the far-right blames Jews and Negroes; the moderates blame dishonest politicians. Nietzsche in part blames the Christians, and many selectively blame "fundamentalists" or "organized" religion, as if it matters whether a corrupt philosophy has a formal entity behind it or not. Can all of these people be wrong at once? Or more importantly: can they all have a glimpse of the same truth?
Christianity remains one of the more enigmatic ideas to blame, although we will take each of these in sequence, for it has a mixed record. Indeed, as Nietzsche said, it did bring about a "slave morality" in the West, where those who were our leaders began to enforce an egalitarianism upon us that led to an ultimate decline in both our expectations and the quality of our populations. Christians perpetrated most of the great crimes of Western history, as well, whether the Children's Crusade or the hunting of "witches" (a fancy term for "independent thinker" or "atheist," depending on your view). However, many great people throughout history acted on their own interpretations of Christianity to create awesome works and deeds, and many have been comforted by this religion.
It's clear that there are problems with Christian theology. First, it explicitly divides mind (soul) and body, and promises along the same lines a second world to this one, which like a Platonic thought-impression is a pure world, without the ambiguity of this one. Further, Christianity provides a Jewish sense of binary morality, where there is an absolute "good" or "evil" classification imposed upon each act by an unerring power, a singular Perspective that dominates the universe without prevarication. Finally, as a result of this morality and its emphasis on emotion/thought over pragmatic recognition of reality, egalitarianism is fundamental to most interpretations of Christianity.
This division arises to the largest degree from a division between proto-Greek and proto-Vedic thought in Christianity. As the Greek empire was swallowed up by Asiatic and Persian elements during its dying days, much of Greek thought influenced the new scholars of independent Jerusalem. They extracted from Greek ideology a sense of the ideal, but translated it into the literal sense classic to Judaism, which ended up being materialism. Consequently, they had to form a pseudo-dualism based on the will of a deity as contrasted to the will of nature. Judaism thus had an original bias against nature's devices, which is expounded upon in their concept of "Tikkun Olam," or "repairing the world." Only something broken needs repair.
On top of this thought a half-breed prophet (son of god = son of the godlike race, that is to say, Aryan Romans) named Jesus Christ layered ideas he retrieved from his time studying with the Buddhists of India, where he was known as Issa and well-esteemed. From this ancestor of Vedic thought, Christ extracted a sense of idealism, or of a truth larger than physicality which related to the mechanism and not texture of physicality. In other words, a death may be unpleasant, but if it allows some positive change in the workings of nature and the world, it is positive - a parallel for this can be found in evolution, where the deaths of individuals strengthen both predator and prey species alike. This idealism hybridized unsteadily with Judaic thought, creating instead a duality between pure (mind) and impure (physicality).
In Christianity's favor, it overcame the crass materialism of Judaism, and returned toward a proto-idealistic system. To its discredit, it retained the binary morality and thus egalitarianism and duality of Judaism, which is the belief structure that had Nietzsche and others seeing it as a revenge of the weak. "Weakness" in this case refers to a spiritual weakness which prevents its bearer from acting directly, and requires him or her to instead snipe underconfidently through passive actions; it is not a physical weakness, nor an intellectual one, but a weakness of character. We can see in this weakness a fear of idealism, and in parallel, of evolution, by which the underconfident individual seeks to make survival egalitarian and thus "defeat" ("repair") death.
Because of this dual nature, Christianity was preferrable to Judaism, and in fact, many European Christians used it as a weapon against Judaism not from a Biblical command to avenge Christ, but because on a theological level, they saw materialistic Judaism as an undoing of the selfless, meditative and idealistic aspects of Christianity. In this they were right, and not surprisingly, the list of proponents of this idea includes some of history's smartest people: Arthur Schopenhauer, Martin Luther, Adolf Hitler. While some deride Europeans for re-interpreting Christianity, arguing that such acts obliterate its original significance, others acknowledge that its original clarity was lost but partially restored through European intervention.
Seeing Christianity in this light demonstrates to us how it alone cannot be culpable for our downfall, as like our own decay, its character demonstrates not only duality but the marks of a similar force. Blaming Judaism for this is only partially right, because, as we shall see, the same force was active upon Judaism, and shaped the people who are today's Jews. One might wonder where else such a force was active, casting a glance to pre-Buddhist Asia as apparently a turbulent place divided against itself. And what of the origin of the Jews?
History here is somewhat hazy. What we do know is that the original Jews were a Semitic population who over time became almost exclusively a trading population. Their origin was primarily Caucasian, but included a large degree of Asian and small degree of African admixture, suggesting to us that they were indeed the ultimate hybrid of all three races. The only sort of population at the time which would have all three races present and breeding, and be based upon commerce, would be one like our modern state: multicultural and egalitarian, motivated by individual wealth. Not surprisingly, a materialistic (meaning: concept of reality constrained to the physical) religion with a legalistic morality might be appropriate for such a tribe!
It is then possible, if we are willing to look at history poetically and not get caught up on the details - details of which our present conjectures are unreliable, and may never be fulfilled - that Judaism and the Jewish people were shaped by the same forces that we find working on ourselves now. In that light, we start to see these forces not as something with a foreign origin, but of a nature endemic to all peoples if allowed to flourish. A good comparison would be the tendency of committees, no matter how smart the people on them are, to destroy any forward motion and replace it with compromises: too many voices ruins any clear idea of what must be done.
(People now will protest this, of course, but they would rather object to a detail and thus remain unchanged in what they've been taught, primarily by their televisions, than admit that the overall shape of change throughout history supports this proposition. No matter - anyone thinking in such poor state of mind will not comprehend anything herein, and instructions for dealing with them will be found at the end of the third section. The fact remains that history is a logical progression, and therefore there are causal reasons for what happens, no matter how we try to explain them away as instantaneous emotional outbursts or financial schemes that somehow lasted for centuries and appeared in many locations.)
Boldly making the assumption that this is correct, and a disease is shared between the West and ancient Israel, we must then turn to this ailment, which must be of a vastly covert nature to hide from all of our efforts to excise it. One might see the modern fascination with deconstruction, and with a series of theses blaming everything from gender to language for all of our woes, as an attempt to claw past the surface and get at the tumor which, having infected the blood, can move freely and resist any attempt at removal. Remembering that this disease is not only philosophical, but also affects our breeding by its selection of who is favored and thus outbreeds the rest, we must look deeply into the major philosophical events of our history.
August 3, 2005