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A Philosophy - If You can Get One
The Ominous Parallels | 1980 | Leonard Peikoff

Posted on 02/18/2012 1:04:34 PM PST by Noumenon

The Germans of the Weimar period were increasingly frustrated, angry, disgusted with the “system,” and ready for change. So are Americans. The Germans, following their intellectuals, were disgusted with what they regarded as reason and freedom, and they were ready for Hitler. The Americans are disgusted with unreason and statism; but they are directionless. Without intellectual guidance, they do not know what went wrong with their system or how to prevent the country’s disintegration and collapse.  

Thus, by default – despite the profound differences between Americans and the pre-Hitler Germans – the similarities between the two nations, the similarities between their intellectuals and the social trends they shape, are growing. The most ominous aspect of the trend is that, if it is not reversed, it will ultimately change the character of the American people. It has already begun to do so.  

The philosophy that shapes a nation’s culture and institutions tends, other things being equal, to become a self-fulfilling prophecy: by creating the conditions and setting of men’s daily life, it increasingly establishes itself as an unquestioned frame of reference in most people’s minds. A society shaped by altruism, for instance – a society of chronic, politically enforced man-eat-man policies in the name of “the public welfare” – leads many of its victims to feel that safety lies in flaunting public service, that selfishness (the “selfishness” of others, who are draining them) is a threat, and that the solution is to urge and practice greater selflessness. A society shaped by collectivism, in which the only effective means of survival is the group or the state, leads many to feel that the ideas and the personal independence appropriate to an individualist era are no longer possible or relevant. A society shaped by irrationalism – a society dominated by incomprehensible crisis and inexplicable injustice and the constant eruptions of a senseless, nihilist culture – leads many to feel that the world cannot be understood, i.e, that their own mind is inadequate, and that they need guidance from some higher power.  

Thus, corrupt ideas, once institutionalized, tend to be continually reinforced (the same would hold true of rational ideas); and the unphilosophical men, however decent their own unidentified premises might be, eventually succumb. Across a span of generations they gradually relinquish any better heritage. In part, they are yielding to the explicit ideological promptings of their teachers and the universities. In part, they are adapting resignedly to what they have come to accept from their own experience as the facts and necessities of life.  

The American spirit has not yet been destroyed, but it cannot withstand this kind of undermining indefinitely. If the United States continues to go the way of all Europe, the people’s rebellion against the present intellectual leadership will be perverted, and re-channeled into an opposite course.  

Nonintellectual rebels cannot challenge the fundamental ideas they have been taught. All they can do by way of rebellion is to accept a series of false alternatives urged by their teachers, and then defiantly choose what they regard as the anti-establishment side. Thus, the proliferation of groups that uphold anti-intellectuality as the only alternative to today’s intellectuals; mindless activism as the alternative to “moderation”; Christian faith as the alternative to nihilism; female inferiority as the alternative to feminism; racism as the alternative to egalitarianism; sacrifice in behalf of a united nation, as the alternative to sacrifice on behalf of warring pressure groups; and government controls for the sake of the middle class, as the alternative to government controls for the sake of the rich or the poor.  

The type of mentality produced by these choices – activist, religionist, racist, nationalist, authoritarian – would have been familiar in the Weimar Republic.  

If it happens here, the primary responsibility will not belong to the people, who still reject such a mentality and are groping for a better kind of answer. The responsibility will belong to those who banished from the schools all knowledge of the original American system, and who would have finally convinced the nation that men’s only choice is a choice of dictatorships.  

No one can predict the form or the timing of the catastrophe that will befall this country if our direction is not changed. No one can know the concatenation of crises, in what progression of steps and across what interval of years, would finally break the nation’s spirit and system of government. No one can know whether such a breakdown would lead to an American dictatorship directly – or indirectly, after a civil war and/or a protracted Dark Ages of primitive roving gangs.  

What one can know is only this much: the end result of the country’s present course is some kind of dictatorship; and the cultural-political signs for may years now have been pointing increasingly to one kind in particular. The signs have been pointing to an American form of Nazism. [Peikoff was more correct than he knew - WD]  

If the political trend remains unchanged, the same fate – collapse and ultimate dictatorship – is in store for the countries of Western Europe, which are farther along the statist road than America is, and which are now obviously In the process of decline and disintegration. (The Communist countries and the so-called “third world” have long since fallen, or have never risen to anything.) A European dictatorship need not be identical to an American one; dictatorships can vary widely in form, according to a given people’s special history, traditions, and crises; in form, but not in essence. Most of the East is gone. The West is going.  

A German intellectual made the following statement after the Nazis fell from power.  

”In the early days of Hitler’s regime, he recalled, anyone troubled by the Nazi practices and concerned about Germany’s future was shrugged off as an alarmist. And you are an alarmist. You are saying that this must lead to this, and you can’t prove it. These are the beginnings, yes; but how do you know for sure when you don’t know the end, and how do you know, or even surmise the end? On the one hand, your enemies, the law, the regime, the Party, intimidate you. On the other your colleagues pooh-pooh you as pessimistic or even neurotic.”  

One can “know, or surmise the end” by knowing what cause produces what effect, i.e., what factor determines the fate of nations.

Today, the only nation still capable of saving itself, and thereby the world, is the United States. It can do so only by one means. [I think that there is only one way to remove the evil that has overcome us - WD]

The Constitution cannot stop the trend. A constitution, however noble, cannot stand the death or eclipse of its animating principle. 

Religion cannot stop the trend. It helped to cause it.   

The demonstrated practicality of the original American system cannot stop the trend. Practicality as such does not move nations.  

The profound differences between America and Germany – the differences in history, institutions, heroes, national character, starting premises - cannot stop the trend. After a century, a crucial similarity began to develop between the two countries, the similarity of basic ideas; and this one similarity is gradually overriding, subverting, or negating the differences, and consigning their remnants to the dead end the unappreciated, the undefended, the historically impotent.  

There is only one antidote to today’s trend: a new, pro-reason philosophy. Such a philosophy would have to offer for the first time a full statement and an unbreached defense of the fundamental ideas of America. [This is precisely what we are NOT hearing from ANY of the circus clown car Republican candidates; we hear its direct opposite from the monsters in the White House and their enablers - WD]  

The same German intellectual quoted above, looking back at Hitler's rise to power said,

 

"Most of us did not want to think about fundamental things and never had. There was no need to. Nazism gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about - we were decent people - and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the 'national enemies', without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful. Who wants to think?"
They Thought They Were Free, Milton Mayer, U of Chicago Press, pp 167-68.


TOPICS: Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: 0bamunism; philosophy; statism; tyranny
I thought it worthwhile to re-post this chilling piece form Leonard Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels. He could hardly have known just how correct he was. Peikoff's words should haunt those of us who have been paying attention - the evidence and the proof of his premises is written in the historical record - and its playing itself out right in front of the dazed and bemused eyes of the walking dead who think they're free Americans.

The foundation of this nation lay in the assumption that we were wise enough to control our own lives. Everything that the Founders wrote reflects this underlying assumption. They believed, without exception (even those with strong religious beliefs) that the Church should play no role in the conduct of government because of the Church's tendency to manipulate or otherwise usurp control of the populace's lives in ways the Founders found abhorrent. They were strongly pro-gun; firearms made it possible for a citizen to protect himself from encroachments upon his liberty, even by his own government. They desired a free press because they believed that as individuals, we were wise enough to make decisions that would ultimately be beneficial to the larger community. In short, the Founders produced the first nation ever in the history of the world based upon an idea – a philosophy, if you will - of freedom. This has largely been abandoned or ignored.

Once a nation such as ours loses sight of the philosophical principles upon which it was founded, it is lost. A man without a firm grasp of unbreachable and intransigent moral principles based upon reason is a man disarmed. We are a nation disarmed - morally, ethically, and philosophically. The silence of our alleged representatives concerning the encroachment on our fundamental rights speaks more eloquently than anything I can write. Don't you suppose that the real reason for the 'silence of the damned' is simply because they have nothing to say?  

"I heard no mention of the loss of personal freedom... Apparently this was not much of a sacrifice. They couldn't have cared less."
William Shirer, "Hitler and the Third Reich: First Impressions", from The Nightmare Years: 1930-1940 (Little, Brown, and Co., 1984)  

Those who deny the reality of the systematic abrogation of the rule of law and the destruction of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at the hands of both mainstream American political parties are whistling past the graveyard of history. Once it has become apparent that the rule of law no longer applies to the common man; once the application of existing law has become arbitrary and outcomes subject to the amount of money one can apply; once laws are made and applied in such a way that it becomes virtually impossible to exist without violating them - the party's over.

  Some of us are willing to acknowledge the indisputable and incontrovertible evidence that the rule of law is all but dead, and that the political process as it now exists is irretrievably corrupt. The rest of you cling to the fiction that the rule of law still governs, and that the first principles of human freedom upon which our nation was founded are honored and upheld, much less understood. And that's the dirty secret, isn't it? Too many of us are willing to look the other way, to deny the evidence, to pretend that it doesn't matter. The loss of our freedom is akin to the crazy uncle locked up in the basement - we all know he's there; we just won't talk about it. There is terrible price to be paid for this denial of reality. The butchers' bill is coming due - soon.

1 posted on 02/18/2012 1:04:40 PM PST by Noumenon
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To: Noumenon

Once it has become apparent that the rule of law no longer applies to the common man; once the application of existing law has become arbitrary and outcomes subject to the amount of money one can apply; once laws are made and applied in such a way that it becomes virtually impossible to exist without violating them - the party’s over.

Agreed. So now that the party’s over, what next?


2 posted on 02/18/2012 1:08:57 PM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: Noumenon
Merely seeking to slow our fall into chaos can not work. We need to go for the jugular of those dismantling our heritage; and that means attacking the absurd fallacy that people are interchangeable; that collectivist solutions for individual problems make sense; that "One size or one program can serve all."

The reality is--easily demonstrable--that Collectivist/Egalitarianism Sabotages Human Potential. Most of our social & economic problems spring from the failure of central planners to even understand the full context of the things they have wrought.

William Flax

3 posted on 02/18/2012 1:17:53 PM PST by Ohioan
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To: freedomfiter2

What’s next? Prepare to sell your life dearly, unless you’re prepared to repeat one of recent history’s horrible lessons.


4 posted on 02/18/2012 1:19:58 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Ohioan
Most of our social & economic problems spring from the failure of central planners to even understand the full context of the things they have wrought.

Some of them understand it all too well, and it stems from their conviction that human beings are nothing more than things, animals or machines. For monsters such as they are, the ultimate expression of their will to power is the desire to slaughter human beings without fear of consequence. And in reality, it's even worse than that. For that desire to slaughter is accompanied by a delight in sadism and cruelty that we as decent human beings simply cannot comprehend.

5 posted on 02/18/2012 1:25:26 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Noumenon
There is only one antidote to today’s trend: a new, pro-reason philosophy.

While the author's premises have merit, I question his conclusion (above). The French revolutionists embraced reason while simultaneously savaging the Catholic Church. Their attacks on the Church included theft, murder of the clergy, and more. In the Church's place, they literally erected a new "religion" based on Reason. Their revolution resulted in mass butchery, external and internal wars, and eventually the dictatorship of Napolean and contintental war. Millions died.

No, reason won't save us, but God might.

6 posted on 02/18/2012 1:33:05 PM PST by matt1234 (Bring back the HUAC.)
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To: freedomfiter2

Reading “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy” and it is a great book about the takeover of the churches by Hitler. You control the ideas and you can control the people. Hitler had total control over the press and Goebbels who would lie constantly in the press. They created all allowed “perceptions” and would “kill” the traitors—who were defined as anyone who would disagree with the State.
The evil SS did all the killing so the “moral” people in the regular military never saw the total depravity of the Nazis....but they heard the rumors and there were attempts to kill Hitler, but they knew it was much harder to get rid of all the SS and SA—for they would take over if Hitler was killed.

The depravity and brutality of the SS and SA can never be comprehended by good people. Even the depravity toward little children.

Solution? Cicero said as he saw the Republic of Rome ending—that the only way to survive was to be a nation of Rule of Law. We have to pronounce laws which are “obnoxious” to our Constitutional principles, “Null and Void”. All judges have the power to do this (John Marshall)—in fact, they have a DUTY to do it by their very oaths.

We the people need to force those judges who pass arbitrary laws to be held accountable-—all of them at every level. They need to be challenged and impeached if they do not use “Right Reason according to Nature” which is the definition of Just Law.

John Austin’s philosophy is taught in the Law schools of America and it teaches irrational thinking (is good) and that laws can be “arbitrary”.

It is a lie. Arbitrary Laws are always unjust laws—because they treat some people as “special” and others as less so and they give power to groups or persons over others. Rational people can easily see the flawed thinking in a government which PROMISES equal “justice” for all.

We need to impeach Sotomeyer and Kagan and Ginsberg-—they have stated things which let us know they have not lived up to their sacred obligation to uphold the Supreme Law of the Land-—and made rulings antithetical to it.
It can NOT be allowed in a Just system. You can never have “Justices” who do not believe in “Just Law”. It is irrational==postmodernist non thinking.


7 posted on 02/18/2012 1:35:58 PM PST by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: Noumenon
"It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of his nation; that the position of the individual ego is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole...that above all the unity of a nation's spirit and will are worth far more than the freedom of the spirit and will of an individual..."
Adolf Hitler

The Ominous Parallels, p.13

8 posted on 02/18/2012 1:40:11 PM PST by mjp ((pro-{God, reality, reason, egoism, individualism, natural rights, limited government, capitalism}))
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To: Noumenon
“To save the world is the simplest thing in the world. All one has to do is think.” -- Leonard Peikoff

So we've reached the point in our history where thinking has become virtually nonexistent. I suppose that probably less than 5% of our population actually thinks about anything at all of substance.

Of course we know that it has all been intentional and implemented by painstakingly crafty and patient design. Be that as it may, now we sit and watch it all unfold on a daily basis. Virtual all pretense and shadows have been eliminated, they openly carry out their plans in full sunlight and it barely draws a yawn from zombie masses.

Those of us that do notice and care to comment are almost universally derided as the paranoid (and perhaps criminally) insane.

9 posted on 02/18/2012 2:03:21 PM PST by zzeeman ("We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.")
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To: matt1234

God is reason. Reason and Faith can never be separated. We are a Nation under God-—our Natural Rights come from God, and so, unlike the French, we have a standard for Justice (Revelation and Natural Law). Reason is essential in all endeavors for Just societies.

Where God and Reason exist you get the USA which made it great. Leave the morality and Virtue out (God)-—is leaving Reason out, also. Faith is always present in every belief system-—but with God you are rational because you acknowledge your faith. Atheists never do—although their “belief system” takes more faith than Christianity and has just arbitrary standards where Justice can never exist.

The French Revolution ended up being irrational and emotional and with no intellect controlling those emotions. Evil—”Will to Power” always will rise to take the reigns of control during chaos. That is why zero is trying to divide us and create chaos. Christianity has supplied too much stability and wisdom and has to be destroyed to create arbitrary law and chaos. It is why he forced sodomy as “good” in our military—to destroy the Christian paradigm which has always existed up until the forced reeducation and destruction of Virtue. Sodomy is always evil and is against Natural Law. Even Machiavelli stated that militaries MUST be virtuous. Destroy Virtue by promoting obviously vile and evil acts as “good” and you will create corrupt, immoral units.

The Age of Reason is what made it possible for the Founders to write the Constitution and form this nation. God and Reason came together in the most beautiful way but since Christianity and Natural Law was joined by St. Thomas Aquinas—there is no conflict between the two. Islam is in total denial of Natural Law and is incompatible with our government—as is Marxism.

The millions of mutilated corpses result in all godless societies—they end up all being totalitarian societies—always. Never Just.

If you deny the Supernatural elements in nature—you deny Natural Law—which states there is a Designer of Nature.

Rational thinking encompasses the Law of Nature—it is where Common Sense comes from and why the US was so successful.


10 posted on 02/18/2012 2:03:25 PM PST by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: matt1234

In the case of the French Revolution, reason was hijacked in the service of tyranny; reason uninformed with with ethical considerations borne of an enduring of faith becomes a poor substitute for God. As history has so clearly shown.

We appear to be on the same track here. Leftists are obliged to abandon faith and reason to begin with. None of the worldview or outlook holds up against it. Power is their goal. The power to slaughter millions, even billions.


11 posted on 02/18/2012 2:30:39 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: zzeeman

It doesn’t look good for what remains of Western civilization, does it?


12 posted on 02/18/2012 2:46:40 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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All contributions are for the Current Quarter Expenses.
Plus, we need that new equipment!
Git R Done!


13 posted on 02/18/2012 2:49:26 PM PST by RedMDer (Forward With Confidence!)
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To: matt1234
The French revolutionists embraced reason while simultaneously savaging the Catholic Church.

Yes, and the Democrats embrace science.

The former were and the latter are lying.

14 posted on 02/18/2012 2:54:22 PM PST by BfloGuy (The final outcome of the credit expansion is general impoverishment.)
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To: savagesusie
I constructed a decision table because I like to analyze problems logically. You'll note that the the absense of faith or reason produces the two greatest threats to our republic: Marxism and extreme Islam.

Belief in God
Absent Present
Reason Absent primitivism extreme Islam
Present French Revolution, Marxism USA as founded

15 posted on 02/18/2012 2:56:55 PM PST by matt1234 (Bring back the HUAC.)
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To: matt1234

Nice graph-—exactly what one of my professors once said.

There was only a little window of time that a nation like America could have been founded-—it was quite unique in all history: The Age of Reason and before the atheism of Voltaire became dominant.

It took both God and Reason to form America.....neither of the two can be eliminated because both are required for a Rule of Law-—Just Law. You need Objective Truth (absolutes) for Just Law that only come from God who embodies the “Most Just”.


16 posted on 02/18/2012 3:36:32 PM PST by savagesusie (Right Reason According to Nature = Just Law)
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To: Noumenon

An excellent time to repost this gem, my friend.


17 posted on 02/18/2012 3:53:24 PM PST by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: Lurker

Yes, it is. The hour is getting late.


18 posted on 02/18/2012 3:59:44 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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To: Noumenon
As my paternal grandfather was wont to say: “It's getting darker and darker every day...”

My real fear is that they keep dragging this out to the point where I spend the rest of my life slogging through this decline. I'd much prefer a quick resolution so that we can help our children and grandchildren start the rebuilding process before passing (assuming I live through the denouement!).

19 posted on 02/18/2012 4:44:22 PM PST by zzeeman ("We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.")
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To: zzeeman

I suppose that probably less than 5% of our population actually thinks about anything at all of substance.


People can not progress in thought without the experience, wisdom and knowledge of those who came before them. Otherwise they are reinventing the wheel and fire.

American knowledge has been culturally cleansed by liberals...on purpose and in the name of change to Marxist “smart.” Who is to judge?


20 posted on 02/18/2012 5:41:40 PM PST by SaraJohnson
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To: Noumenon; All

Post/thread BUMP! Thanks.


21 posted on 02/18/2012 8:15:40 PM PST by PGalt
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To: SaraJohnson
I agree, the culture has been “cleansed” deliberately (via a very patient & cunning design). While government schools have played a substantial role in that as well as obliterating critical thinking skills, the media and entertainment forces have been all too willing to fill the void with a full menu of absolutely mind-numbing trash pumped out 24x7 that people are convinced they must keep up with to maintain their currency on what's “popular” and “important.”

I'm certainly in no position to judge which percentage are innocently led astray versus the willfully ignorant, and quite frankly it doesn't really matter all that much. However there will be a judgement at some point and it won't come from you or I. That judgement will come down the harshest on the ultimate planners and perpetrators of this monstrously evil plan; it won't be the sheep led astray that will suffer the most severe consequences of that judgement.

22 posted on 02/19/2012 9:43:49 AM PST by zzeeman ("We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality.")
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To: Noumenon

What we call Western civilization is to be found primarily
and essentially in the confluence of the autonomous rationalism
of classical philosophy and the faith of biblical religion….
The unprecedented character of the American Founding
is that it provided for the coexistence of the claims of reason
and of revelation in all their forms, without requiring or
permitting any political decisions concerning them. It refused
to make unassisted human reason the arbiter of the
claims of revelation, and it refused to make revelation the
judge of the claims of reason. It is the first regime in Western
civilization to do this, and for that reason it is, in its principles
or speech (leaving aside the question of its practice or deeds),
the best regime.410

410 Harry V. Jaffa, “The American Founding as the Best Regime,” The
Claremont Institute, July 4, 2007, accessed July 14, 2010,
http://www.claremont.org/publications/pubid.682/pub_detail.asp


23 posted on 02/19/2012 2:42:22 PM PST by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: Excellence
An outstanding summary and keen understanding of the role of faith and reason in the American founding. It's a quote well worth keeping. Quigley, in the conclusion of his definition of what he characterized as the Pakistani-Peruvian Axis offered the most eloquent and moving summary of he virtues and values of what we call Western civilization:

The ethical sides of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam sought to counteract harshness, egocentricity, tribalism, cruelty, scorn of work and of one’s fellow creatures, but these efforts, on the whole, have met with little success throughout the length of the Pakistani-Peruvian axis. Of the three, Christianity, possibly because it set the highest standards of the three, has fallen furthest from achieving its aims. Love, humility, brotherhood, cooperation, the sanctity of work, the fellowship of community, the image of man as a fellow creature made in the image of God, respect for women as personalities and partners of men, mutual helpmates on the road to spiritual salvation, and the vision of our universe, with all of its diversity, complexity, and multitude of creatures, as a reflection of the power and goodness of God – these basic aspects of Christ’s teachings are almost totally lacking throughout the Pakistani-Peruvian axis and most notably absent on the “Christian” portion of that axis from Sicily, or even the Aegean Sea, westward to Baja California and Tierra del Fuego. Throughout the whole axis, human actions are not motivated by these “Christian virtues,” but by the more ancient Arabic personality traits, which become vices and sins in the Christian outlook: harshness, envy, lust, greed, selfishness, cruelty, and hatred.

The excerpt form Tragedy and Hope from which this came is well worth a look.

24 posted on 02/19/2012 3:15:22 PM PST by Noumenon ("I tell you, gentlemen, we have a problem on our hands." Col. Nicholson-The Bridge on the River Qwai)
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