“Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Our Czech correspondent Gemini sent me this email today:
Speaking of formative books in the field of history, recently I have found one that i find crucial. It is an academic work dealing with one social phenomenon that covers all eras, cultural memory namely. It can be fully applied also to what has currently been happening when it comes to islam. It was written by the German egyptologist Jan Assmann in 1990 and not long ago it was also translated into English. I appreciate it dearly!
Below is my reply.
Thanks for the recommendation. That kind of cultural-anthropological reflection on what Jung would call our collective unconscious fascinates me.
Why do those books have to be so very expensive?
What makes the new world — particularly the North American continent — different is the up-close encounters/clashes/amalgamations that have taken place in the last 300+ years. And what a long strange trip that has been. Not to mention the mass destruction of the indigenous peoples.
Also, the effect of large genocides — the Armenians are but one example — on the Old World’s collective memory has to be taken into account. There are the ones we permit ourselves to know about and those which have fallen into The Oubliette…
…this German scholar: does he mention the massive collapse of Egyptian culture and commerce due to the repeated invasions of Arabs over generations?
Egypt was the breadbasket of the Mediterranean; its cheap papyrus allowed widespread literacy to spread; it fostered commerce (and peace) throughout the Mediterranean. Its prosperity spread thru North Africa, and all that was wiped out by a repeated barbarity of monumental proportions.
The nomads who invaded Egypt permitted their animals to graze on the wheat shoots and trample the complex terraced irrigation infrastructure of the Nile farmers. In Egypt, as elsewhere, the wheel was UNinvented. The tribal warriors’ “justice” system allowed any Muslim to take from any non-Muslim to the point that it became futile to continue building carts in any area controlled by the Arabs. Or to do much of anything.
If he doesn’t cover the desertification of MENA, then he has missed the main point of the Middle East and North Africa: that its culture was exterminated by Arab depredations over the course of centuries.
The same goes for Persia and India.
The so-called Dark Ages of Europe were caused by the flight of Mediterranean coastal peoples into the mountains and fortified redoubts. This happened due to the Arabs’ insatiable appetite for slaves to do their work. Even the Norse sold them slaves from their own incursions into Russian territories.
The rise of the Cosa Nostra in coastal Sicily and surrounding areas was a response to exposure to Arab methods of control of property and women, and so on, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
The harrowing of civilization by Arabs has yet to be fully told. It is being unearthed to some extent — literally — by archeology. And what is being revealed is not only artifacts but also what isn’t there; for example, in the digs in Spain they are finding no evidence of the so-called Andalusian splendor of the Moors. It turns out they built nothing — their effects can be seen in some minor modifications to already extant churches, which they converted into mosques. No splendid baths, no palaces, etc. Just brutal occupations.
Arabs and Arab-dominated countries hate history. It’s un-Islamic. That’s why they’re so busy destroying the oldest edifices in Medina and Mecca — history is idolatry. They’ll get around to the Egyptian monuments eventually — when they can figure out how to destroy them.
The history of the Arabs is one of horrific destruction of peoples, places, artifacts, and memory. The real history of India has yet to be written but it is, again, one of repeated mass destruction and genocide.
So unless this scholar has taken into account those elements — beginning in both the country of his origin and that of his expertise — his collective memories will have walled off a significant amount of information. Being human, he has to look away, avert his eyes, or die of despair.
The more I learn, the less do I like the sinkhole of Arab “culture”. Eventually we’ll understand the extent to which the Arabs directly influenced Hitler’s genocides.
I don’t see much TV — we got rid of ours decades ago. But our son brought home the whole collection of the Firefly series, including the movie. The depiction of the Reavers in that series reminded me of Arabs, at least in outline. There is something in desert tribal living that erases normal human feeling very early in the children. This is what I think happens: the common and condoned widespread use of infants and young children as sexual objects insures that each new generation will grow up deeply crippled and destructive.
Early on, the Jewish tribes were able to curtail and then eliminate the use of children as objects, turning them instead into projects for the future. Ritualizing circumcision walled off that urge to destroy and turned it into a measure of belonging. The development of writing (was that due to exposure to the Egyptians during their servitude?) also permitted further distancing from destructive primitive urges. More use of ritual: animal sacrifice in place of child sacrifice was another giant step toward civilization (“civilization” here being defined as beginning with careful attention to the children. It has to begin there).
And, of course, from that crucial beginning of slavery to the eventual codification of moral behavior in the Ten Commandments put them just a step ahead of the Greeks. However, the flowering (and preservation) of Greek/Roman mythology was also crucial to the development of the mature Western psyche.
Oh dear. I do rattle on. But looking at the editorial and the reviews of the professor’s book just kind of opened the faucet.
The more I watch our Western culture deteriorate, the more I am convinced of the Arab Effect. I’m sure you’re aware of the glorification of homosexuality here and in Europe. It is unfortunate particularly because it has led to a new plague of modern pedophilia every bit as bad as the old Roman Imperium permitted its children to suffer. Always, we must begin by protecting the children.
My prediction is that western culture will go the way of Japan, that the next logical step after homosexuality is asexuality. I am seeiing an increase in this movement toward asexuality in the generation coming up. The children imbibe culture’s strengths and weaknesses, and when they process them via their sexuality, we are given a clear and obvious reflection of what’s going on in the culture’s collective unconscious, which is where our past and future are contained. (The collective unconscious is not tied to temporality in the same way we think of time.) What is occurring now is a kind of die-out via asexuality.
Despite our concerns, it is probable that the Arabs will not prevail. They’re not intelligent enough; sheer brutality isn’t enough. But I do think the Chinese will prevail eventually. They are buying up much of European and North American and South African real estate. Heck, they own the Panama Canal and a lot of port space on both sides of the North American continent. It’s likely that if ‘hostilities’ ever break out it will be the Chinese who win the whole enchilada.
Why? Because their very old culture is also very adaptable — for example, a state-controlled version of Christianity already exists since Christian doctrine and practices placed within a Chinese framework ensures the productivity and usefulness of its adherents. And there is the educational edict that children must learn Western musical notation and play the piano.Again, for utilitarian reasons: internalize Bach and Mozart at a young age and math intelligence increases. Yes, the Chinese are great cultural borrowers and they’re not borrowing anything from the Arabs, are they?
So get out your Chinese syllabary and start practicing. Just imagine the many varieties of patois that will develop (though I think they will be like the Romans and leave local customs in place). In the hierarchy of inherited intelligence the Asians are above the Negro and Caucasian. Only Ashkenazi Jews are ahead of them.
Given the way China respects intelligence, I predict they will colonize heavily wherever the Ashkenazi mutation is prevalent (as opposed to Sephardic Jews, whose DNA wasn’t affected by that mutation. Nor do the Sephardic Jews suffer the genetic malformations that came with the Ashkenazi change, either — there’s a price for everything).
China knows it doesn’t invent much, but it’s a very good thief and preserver of others’ useful innovations. That’s why they’ll “keep” the Ashkenazis — to the point of preserving the most congenial habitat for them, though I have no idea what that environment will be. Part of their respect for the Jews will entail their mutual endogamy.
Again, I’m sorry for going on for so long. But it’s your doing — exposure to that book did it. 🙂
by Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.