Sociopathy as the Winter of the Western Supra-Individuated Man’s Discontent

Thought I’d share an email I wrote this morning to my Italian friend Roberto Quaglia, the science fiction writer and 9/11 researcher and author.


Greetings, my friend. How are you? How is life in rustic and laid-back Romainia? I hope life is treating you well there.

Sometimes I wake up inspired with an idea, and don’t ask me why, but this morning, it involved you! I had been thinking about your very interesting insight into the fact that (if I understand and paraphrase you correctly), there comes a point where the sheer volume or quantity of hypocrisy brings about a qualitative change in that a person (or culture) who acts sufficiently hypocritical or incapable of abiding by his own professed values and beliefs initially starts to display but ultimately becomes indistinguishable from a sociopath. That, at least, is what the empirical phenomenology indicates. 
The thought I had about this, this morning, is that I connected it with Dostoyevski’s point that if God is dead, everything is permissible.
And with its other (atheistic) existentialist corollary, Nietzsche’s Will to Power.
Lastly, I also connected it with a French movie I saw, oh, about 10 years ago I guess, which left a deep impression on me at the time. It is translated as “With a Friend Like Harry” and it is about a man who runs into an old school chum of his, who embodies Nietzsche’s Will to Power and uses this will to grant favors to his friend, so that, for example, if the man complains to him about his parents, that they are old and sick and are in constant need of attention, and it is a drag on his time, etc., Harry simply gets rid of the problem for his friend by getting rid of his parents for him. He is a sociopath, in other words. Here is a link to the film’s details.
So I wanted to recommend this movie to you. And if you end up writing a review of it using your original insight, I would love to read it. 
My contention based on all of this is that not only is the West acting sociopathically as a whole (in its foreign policy double standards, etc., as you keenly pointed out), but that its individual members are more or less acting in this way also, save only for the absence of their Will to Power. And that, in time (on a sociological and not individual scale, of course), (and this is my prediction), their squeemishness will abate, and more and more numbers will be less and less demure about their visceral and libidinal desires, and so, will display attributes of sociopathy more and more, feeding into the viscious cycle of the police state at a geometric or hyperbolic pace. This is the price of supra-individuation and social fragmentation and atomization at the expense of commonly held sacred beliefs, the traditional definition of society, in other words – at the expense of society itself. This is the price and the ultimate destiny of the Enlightenment project.
Zhou Enlai was once asked what he thought of the French Revolution and famously quipped that it was “too early to tell”. I beg to differ, I guess.
Best salaams,

Moslem Identity Database


Well, it’s finally finished. A database of over 2,000 titles in various formats (mostly pdf, but also epub, mobi and MS Word), all within the framework of the sacred community of Emami (‘Twelver’) Shi’a Islam. 

First I gathered as many titles as I could (with the help of my friend Mr. Mohammad-Hossein Haqiqatkhah, who did a couple of big mass downloads for me and has been the technical inspiration and main mover for the project). Then I renamed them all, with author last names first. Then I classified them by subject, so that people can find what they are looking for according to the subject matter they are interested in. And lastly, I uploaded the whole database onto my skydrive, so that people can download at will. 

Here is the link to the database:


Now that this database is done (up to this point), Mr. Haqiqatkhah is working on building a website where each book will have a page of its own where comments can be made on it, like a blog entry. We hope that the site, when up and running, will be visited frequently and people will leave comments and mini-reviews etc. about each of the books. 

There is still a lot of work to be done. There are many works which have yet to be added to this database, as well as other things that can be done to improve it. If you are interested in helping to improve this database, send me an email ( Ditto if you have a file or files which you think should be added. Just send them to me by email (or if there are more than five, say, then open a skydrive account and email me the link so that I can download them).

The idea was to get to know the lay of the land, as it were, as to what works have and have not as yet been translated (and where the voids are which need to be filled).  Also, I thought and continue to think that our main function here in the Shi’a Citidel (Iran) is to act as a support base  for the Shi’a diaspora, as any translation effort, no matter how good the translation, is still going to be flawed in so far as the original suffers from what I call maladaptive cognitive syntax, so that it is only you pioneering Shi’a whose mother tongue is English, who can come up with works that hit the bulls-eye of our intended da’wa (and apologietcs) audience. Inshallah, this small effort will help you in your research efforts.

Conversation #4: Tradition and Modernity

Tradition and Modernity
This issue is probably the most difficult and at the same time the most important one, because it is the tension between tradition and modernity that is at the root of most if not all of the tensions that exist in the world today. And our panel is eminently qualified to discuss this important topic: Michael Jones, who represents the traditional Catholic position; Rashid ben Isa, French Islamologist and former advisor to UNESCO, comes from the Perennialist founded by Rene Guenon, and Kevin Barrett who is a convert to Islam from Christianity. We start the discussion with each participant giving a definition of tradition and modernity.

Michael says that tradition is a literal handing down of knowledge, where the priesthood literally laid hands on initiates as a ritual of the passing down of sacred knowledge from one generation to the next. Modernity is an inversion of this tradition. Quoting Augustine, Michael says that there are thus two choices open to man. The City of God, which is the love of God to the extinction of man, and the City of Man, which is the love of self to the extinction of God. And the rejection of the former necessarily entails the adoption of a negative culture: the rejection of tradition necessarily results in what Michael characterizes as “enslavement to the Jews”.

Rashid makes a distinction between Tradition with a capital T and traditions with a small t. Tradition literally means to perpetuate, and modernity, which comes from mode, means to change. Hence, the challenges is the reconciliation of the two: perpetuation in change. The Perennialist tradition attempts to do this by providing a framework that is inclusive of all traditions, and enables a dialogue between all traditions without judging any one. The task at hand is to preserve the truths of each tradition unsullied by the flow of changes and the ravages of time.

Kevin said that it was interesting to note that the study of religion in American academe has, until the recent Neocon-inspired backlash, been dominated by the methodology of the Perennialist tradition, which was founded by and elaborated by a bunch of European crypto-Moslems. They felt that Islam was the best preserved tradition and the one which was most open to the idea of multiple traditions. Kevin defined tradition as the passing down through the ages of trans-human wisdom, and he emphasized the prominence Islam gave to reason in both its revelation and in its tradition.

Mark stated that there are perspectives other than the Abrahamic or revealed traditions which must be taken into consideration in this discussion. He mentioned the Chinese tradition, which is a very old one indeed, and told an anecdote about Cho En Lai who, when asked by Henry Kissinger what he thought about the French Revolution, said that it was “too early to say”. Mark went on to say that the crisis of modernity is ultimately about the fact that the way moderns live now is fundamentally different than how humans have lived throughout most of human history. And these changed conditions affect the way we relate to one another. The key questions, according to Mark, are Where do the rules governing social relations come from? And What should they be based on?

I pick up on this point and say that different worldviews (cosmologies and anthropologies) lead to different values and value priorities, which in turn lead to different value systems, legal foundations (sources of law and constitutional laws), which in turn lead to different legal systems, types of communities and indeed, civilizations. A modernist/ materialist/ atheist worldview will lead to an entirely different set of values and laws than a traditional/ spiritual/ theist one. And so one cannot and should not be judged by the yardstick of the other and vice-versa. For example, one of the important differences between these two societies is that one is communitarian, directed and purposive, whereas the other is libertarian, individuated and lacking in a common purpose. This difference alone will make all the difference in an evaluation of all of the hot-button issues such as the rights of minorities, religious or otherwise, women’s rights, gay rights, punitive criminal law, etc.

Rashid adds that good and bad are not scientific concepts; science cannot help us here. Science is descriptive, not prescriptive. It does not tell us how to act. Questions as to how one is to act fall within ‘the Great T’, Tradition. Other names have been given to it, the Absolute, sacred science (to distinguish it from empirical science), and higher wisdom, to name a few. Furthermore, there are shared values common to all traditions, that make fair trade, for example, possible: to give full measure, etc. Now the conflict between tradition and modernity occurs when there is something new that goes against all tradition. In France, there is already something in the law that allows for homosexual union, pact solidaire, it’s called. But the gay pride movement is not satisfied with this. They want to take pride in it, and they want it to be recognized as marriage proper. And this is something that is against all traditions, and is, in fact, counter-cultural.

Michael: Gay marriage is a product of reform Judaism. It would not have happened without the efforts of Rabbi Saperstein. His wife was the head of the news room at NPR (National Public Radio), so they orchestrated a propaganda campaign to destroy the social order, using the homosexual as the new avant-guard of the revolution.

But let’s go back to the distinction between descriptive and prescriptive modalities and the use of science as an alternative magisterium. So what happens when you decide, as Henry VIII did, that you are tired of the authority of the magisterium? England is the classic example of this because of the Reformation, which was, in essence, a looting operation, followed by the theological explanation, which came later. And once the new order was in possession of the loot, i.e. the property of the Church (which owned 40% of the property in England which was put to social use), then the authority of the magisterium become intolerable. Hence, the need to come up with a new source of authority. And as there was no source of authority, the Elizabethans had to come up with a police state, which was headed by Walsingham. This begat a Puritan reaction in the 1640’s, who in their turn instituted their own new order. But that dominion had no legitimacy either, and lasted only ten years, before the people revolted against the Puritans and brought about the Restoration. In fact, the people were so sick of the Puritans that they dug up Cromwell’s body and hanged his dead body, losing his head in the process. But the sovereignty of the ancien regime still had no moral authority or legitimacy, its Restoration notwithstanding, because the powers that be were still in possession of the massive amount of wealth and property that had been looted from the Catholic Church, and they did not want to restore that to its rightful owners, and submit to the authority of the magisterium, so they needed to come up with a new source of authority, and this was the moment of the Glorious Revolution (1688), when they came up with a new magisterium, and the new magisterium was science.

Arash: [38:27] Yet, the new magisterium purported to be merely descriptive and not prescriptive…

Michale: The thing you have to realize about English culture is that it is always duplicitous. This is why they call it perfidious Albion. Because it is always Masonic and it is always duplicitous, so there is always going to be two truths. So what purports to be descriptive is really prescriptive. Newton claimed, “I frame no hypothesis” hypotheses non fingo. I’m just describing things as they are. There are two forces: inertia and gravity, and if it was just inertia, things would just shoot off into space, but since there is gravity, things go around in a circle. And what is a circle? A circle is perfect motion. Now this is where it enters into the prescriptive realm, and not just any prescription or normative system, but it is basically a reversion to the ancient system of Empedocles, which Newton obtained, because he was an alchemist and was heavily involved in alchemy. The two giants of the English Enlightenment, John Locke and Isaac Newton, collaborated on alchemical experiments.

Kevin: [39:52] How is [Newton’s theories on] gravity and inertia prescriptive?

Empedocles said there is love and strife.

But what is prescriptive is perfect or circular motion. This is where we get to the prescriptive element, because now we have a universe that takes care of itself all by itself. And then the next step [in the transformation of the magisterium from the old to the new is to take that deism] and apply it to the economic order, which is what Adam Smith did. And so what you now have is self-interest [inertia] and competition [gravity]; and guess what? When you put these two together, you get perfect circular motion. Again, you get a self-regulating system. And this is the essence of modernity: the rejection of the only authentic magisterium, which is the Catholic Church.

The Anglican Church’s failure to establish an alternate magisterium [led to] the new magisterium of modernity, which is nature itself, which is science, which is perfect motion, which means that you don’t have to intervene, which means that you don’t have to take back the stuff that I stole from the Church three centuries ago… So the first corollary to this is: do not interfere in the economy: do not impose the moral law on the economy. The Invisible Hand will straighten everything out, and this will eliminate the need for any moral intervention in life. And there is a straight path from there to gay marriage! And modernity and science are the vehicles that allow that to happen. [42:13]

Mark [44:18] I am concerned that the analysis thus far has been too West-centered.

Michael [47:33] The essence of the modern crisis is science [as we know it], and its contradiction of tradition. You have to have a sophisticated understanding of science and how it was used by Newton to destroy tradition. [In other words, science as the] New Magesterium. As a matter of fact, it is not merely Western; it is English!

Rashid: It is not science [in itself] but the misuse of science, its ideological use and extrapolation.
Michael: there is no history of science without the misuse of science. Newtonianism is an ideology!


Rashid [49:38] What kind of institutions are we to build if we are to be true to our claim of being linked to our tranditions? Iran makes such a claim. Rashid then goes on at some length to describe the Iranian system of Velayat-e Faqih, and how it is different from other so-called “Islamic Republics”, and its unique role in the world today. [54:05]

Mark gives an excellent summation of the current political situation and the crisis that we are in, starting with the destruction of the Ottoman caliphate, the Hapsburgs, the Romanovs, etc., at the end of the First World War, the failure of the Soviet Marxist model, and the fact that the other alternative, liberal democracy, is also obviously in a deep crisis. And this, he says, is why the alternative Iran offers is important. [56:33] Everyone says tradition is good; no one disagrees with that. But if tradition is to be maintained, it must be overtly defended and implemented, and not just taken for granted. But the American system takes tradition for granted and does not legislate to maintain it; rather, its laws foster individualism at the expense of community: the pursuit of happiness of each individual.

In such a society, Mark continues, it is impossible to hold on to tradition. If tradition is not defended with concrete laws, then it will be done away with. And that is why things like gay marriage and so forth are inevitable. If you say that the most important thing is the happiness of the individual, then the question becomes, Why shouldn’t men be able to marry other men? Why shouldn’t women be able to marry other women? Why shouldn’t brothers and sisters be allowed to marry? Or Mothers and sons? Or whoever? Everything that makes an individual happy should be permitted.

Rashid interjects that polygamy is of course excepted from this general rule, to everyone’s amusement.

Mark: But this is why Iran is so interesting, because Iran doesn’t just say it is an Islamic republic, it is acting on it. Iran takes tradition seriously, because Iran says that if tradition is important, it has to be defended with laws, not just words. And this is also why Iran is intolerable to the United States, because it tells it that its whole model of society is wrong. [1:00:05]

Iran puts a premium on the criterion of whether a decision or action is morally right. Kevin and Mark enter into an exchange where they talk about how people in the US don’t even understand this. Kevin cites the example of Ayatollah Khamenei’s fatwa against nuclear weapons, and how Americans simply assume that this is just more talk coming out of the mouth of just another politician, because they do not understand the concept of traditional authority and its parameters, and so they end up projecting their own mentality onto the incomprehensible Other. Mark added some historical depth, saying that a similar crisis occurred in the 1930’s and 1940’s, where Hitler or Mussolini said things that they meant, and Americans would not believe them because they equated their words with the words of Franklin Roosevelt, whose words they could not count on as representing anything he really meant. And the same thing is true of George Bush and Obama: no one takes them seriously.

Kevin: [4:45] This has practical and strategic significance in the real world of power politics. You can see the same paradigm played out in the Lord of the Rings trilogy where everyone wants to grab that ring and rule the world, and the good guys want to grab hold of the ring in order to get rid of it, and this puts the bad guys at a disadvantage because they cannot imagine that anyone would ever want to destroy the Ring of Power. So the good guys end up winning because the bad guys’ failure to see that anyone can actually act in this way. Likewise here, I think that Iran actually has a strategic advantage, paradoxically, because of its morality which can’t be understood, so that in the game theory of its opponents, no allowance is made for Iran acting in the way that it actually does. So morality acts to add a paradoxical twist to game theory, which normally assumes that the most duplicitous and selfish person always wins the game. But this turns out not to be the case because the immoral person cannot see or is blind to the way the moral person behaves, whose behavior, therefore, is unpredictable to the immoral party. [5:51] A similar phenomenon can be seen in the 9/11 truth movement, where the planners did not believe that there would be anybody with the moral character to risk his career and his livelihood to speak out about what they did on that fateful day. [6:54]

Mike [12:10] The problem here is that we are dealing with a totally exploded, failed system in the United States. It is every bit as failed as the Communist system in its inability to act in accordance with its own principles. So we are in a situation which Cicero was describing in Rome, where everyone is complaining about the disease, but nobody wants to take the remedy. That’s the situation; that’s the crisis: the United States regime is nothing but pure hypocrisy! Pure hypocrisy top to bottom! [12:57] Mike then goes on to cite the example of Obama giving the Kennedy Medal award to the members of Led Zeppelin, despite the fact that they were notorious for having sex with underage girls. He then asks, would they give such a medal to a priest who had sex with an underage girl? No, they would not. This, Michael says, is just one example of the utter hypocrisy that pervades America today.

So the whole system is bankrupt. But what’s the remedy then? Well, the Ayatollah (Khomeini) has proposed a remedy that works. It works because you have ethnic and religious solidarity: an actual nation-state. [15:07] When I tried to articulate a position about the moral order and how to restore it in America, my “fellow Americans”, as Lyndon Johnson used to say, jumped down my throat the minute I talked about it, because they wanted to know who the moral authority was. Who is the Archon?! Well we don’t want an archon!! We don’t need an archon in America because we live in a self-regulating mechanism where the Individual and the Invisible Hand and all these other fictions collaborate to bring everything out.

I venture: “Because America has become so atomized by its radical individualism that it is no longer a society in the proper sense of the word.

“So what are we going to do about it?” Mike continues? “We’re going to preserve that fiction of the narcissistically-empowered individual, when really they’re really totally atomized nothings who are ruled over by the plutocratic powers. So it’s plutocracy is what it comes down to. And truth, in America, is just what Thrasymachus said, it’s the opinion of the powerful. And that is what the American experiment in ordered liberty has landed us. In other words, it failed! [16:23]

The discussion takes on a less theoretical bent at this point, and everyone starts to give their opinions about what the most likely scenario is for the future of the United States. Rashid says that Guenon’s theories allow for each people to go back to their own tradition. Michael thinks that Catholicism is the only possible way forward for the US. I state that Catholicism in particular and Christianity in general have failed, and that Islam is the only way forward (but that this will be a slow and painful process). And Kevin says that one of the strengths of the US is its ability to accommodate religious pluralism, at which point Michael says that pluralism has failed, and that it is tantamount to hypocrisy. And then the discussion veered into whether the United States and Europe is more likely to go back to its Christian roots, to become traditional Catholics, or to become Moslem. [31:54]

Mark: [32:07] Everyone seems to be conflating tradition with religion, and that is not accurate. Mark then brings the matter of nationalism into the picture, stating that he thinks nationalism is a stronger force than religion, with which assertion Mark and Rashid disagree. Mark then makes his larger point that the essence of the conflict between tradition and modernity is the conflict between humans as social beings and humans as individual beings, and the fact that individual choices transcend familial traditions, national traditions, religious traditions, etc. And the question is on what basis do communal interests trump those of the individual’s, and the discussion here has mostly indicated that the basis is religious. But it is possible that non-religious traditions or traditions not rooted in the revealed religions can offer alternate ways of resolving the community-individual conflict.

Break [42:42]

After the break, a general discussion breaks out in which various issues that are on the fault-line between modernity and tradition, including women’s rights, the roles and responsibilities of women in the family, women’s presence in the universities and the workforce, birth control policy and the promotion of birth control, the reality of gay relationships and its extreme promiscuity and the stark realities of single-parent families vs. its portrayal in Hollywood.

Next up for discussion is the issue of gender identity and the functions that each gender has performed traditionally (child-rearing and homemaking being the main ones), and the difference between these roles and the functions which modern women who are highly educated chose to perform.

We end with a foray into the realm of Dostoyevsky’s famous quote, “If God does not exist, everything is permissible.” The unthinkable becomes not only thinkable, but possible. Incest; cannibalism… Everything is reduced to an economic exchange.

Conversation #3: Judaism and the Jewish Question, Parts 1 & 2

Judaism and the Jewish Question, Part 1
This Conversation was conceived because the topic is a very important one (which is even more relavant today than in the past two centuries), yet, it is never talked about. Thanks to the Hollywoodism Conference, we had three writers, researchers and intellectuals who have each spent many years working on this very issue, and so I thought it would be good to talk to all three of them together. These were Mark Weber, Michael Jones and Herve Ryssen. I asked my friend Kevin Barrett to join the conversation in case a moderating influence was necessary, and to play the role of “the Devil’s Advocate”, if you’ll pardon the expression. He did not do too well, as you will see.

Mark began by asking the question as to why anti-Semitism existed? It is a question which we would come back to throughout the Conversation. But Herve said that we need to know what Judaism is first, before we can answer that question. He quoted a Jewish historian who says “We crossed the centuries and survived while other nations died because we have a goal that others don’t have.” Thus, it is important to know their aim, which Herve characterizes as: the encouragement of multi-ethnic societies, the promotion of democracy, tolerance of everything, and always, Peace on Earth: Shalom. When peace is restored, the Messiah will come: Jewish Messianism. A world of peace is a world without conflict. And in order to suppress war between nations, one must militate for the suppression of nations and borders.
In order to suppress conflict between religions, one must militate for the suppression of religion.
In order to suppress social conflict one must militate for the suppression of social classes and the natural social order (as in Marxism). To bring about peace between the two gender results in feminism and the apology of homosexuality and pornography – in short, the leveling of all functional differences between the two genders and all differences in sexual identity. When everything is equalized and destroyed, what will remain? Judaism.

Mark goes back to attempt a topology of the Jewish Question. He states that Jews focus on what has happened and ignore the question of why it has happened, claiming that they are persecuted for their virtues and not for their vices. George Wills says “it has something to do with Christianity. It is not what they do but what they are [that is our problem with them”. Mark characterizes this evaluation as absurd and “an obfuscation and mystification of the issue”, stating another absurd take, this one by Jean Paul Sartre: “Jews would not exist except that non-Jews think of them as being different”. Mark observes, “It is difficult to get clear answers to this question”.

Michael states that the Jewish Question began with Napoleon’s emancipation of the Jews, granting them equal rights to citizenship when citizenship had a greater significance than it does today. Mark counters that anti-Semitism existed in Roman times in Alexandria; in Persia (citing the Book of Esther); and is clearly seen to be pervasive by reading such texts as the Acts of the Apostle, so that Michael’s characterization is ahistorical. Kevin raises the important question as to why the phenomenon did not exist in the in the Islamic world; and Herve states that it was mainly associated with usury and that it therefore has very concrete causes. Michael states that there was no usury in the Islamic world, and Kevin reminds us that Islamic Spain was the best situation the Jews had in history (except their situation in the US today). I mention that the Jewish Question did not arise in the Middle East as Jewish power was checked in the Islamic world, to which Mark responds by saying that religion is the primary element of identity in the Islamic world, not ethnicity or nationality and that Christianity has not been as successful in checking Jewish power due to their ambivalence on the issue of the separation of church and state; and that national identity has been predominant over religious identity in the West.

Michael states that the crux of the issue is bound up in economics and in the relaxation on the constraints on usury; in 1890 Catholic Church stated in an analysis of the French Revolution 100 years on that any country which turns against Christian laws will end up being ruled by Jews. Ratzinger’s book of the same period, Jewish Business Practices, makes the case that the Jews will take over if Christian laws against usury are not enforced. At this point, Kevin, playing the Devil’s Advocate, asks: how can Jews be successful if their business practices were so bad? I take the opportunity to nudge Michael back to the basic underlying cause, which in Michael’s mind, I know to be the Jewish “revolutionary spirit”. Is this cause ontic? I ask. “The Jew is at war with being because of his rejection of Christ; and so he feels the constant need to have to “correct” being (reality), and this is the Tikkun Olam (healing the world) that you mentioned.” Michel continues, Rabbi Lucas Israel Noyman has stated – this is a rabbi talking now, not me: “the Jews have supported every revolutionary movement in European history”.

Mark answers the question as to why the Jewish character is unconformist, and whether it is a cosmic constituent element of their character: Theodore Hertzel, in The Jewish State, answers the question as to why anti-Semitism exist: Jews consider themselves separate to the people among whom they live, and therefore promote interests that are different than those of the peoples of their host countries. The solution he proposed, therefore, is that they should be a normal people and have a country of their own.
Herve adds Norm Goldman’s explanation of what Judaism is: it is not a race, because there are Jews of various races; it is not a religion, because there are theist, atheist and agnostic Jews; and it is not a merely culture, because it is obviously more than that. Herve: “Every Jewish intellectual says that it is mystery; and they add that maybe, we are chosen by God. Herve goes on to talk about Jewish psychology and Jewish identity, citing, for example, Polanski’s Chinatown, and its projection of incest and the oedipal complex onto the goyim.

The Devil’s Advocate: Rabbi Yisroel Weiss, the anti-Zionist rabbi, says that ‘the Chosen People’ means that they are held to a higher standard. Jews have sometimes succeeded at achieving this higher standard, and sometimes not. I asks the panel to respond to Kevin’s point in terms of Jewish practice today. Mark makes the compelling point that Israel compels Jewish people around the world to take a position regarding the question of Palestine and that this results in the Jewish Question becoming a World Question. Herve responds by saying the existence of the Jewish state is better and worse for the Jews: worse for the reasons Mark stated, but better because it is a refuge for Jewish scoundrels and criminals, as Israel does not extradite to other countries. I say that the good Rabbi Weiss’s position does not even address the issue of actions of the Jewish people as a whole (though it might be that it is true on an individual level…)

Michael chimes in, saying the Cohen Brothers film, A Serious Man, which is about living in a Jewish ghetto in Lithuania, makes the point that the rabbis are the enemies of the Jewish people as they keep them in bondage. Michael continues, “The Jews are thus in a dilemma: kill the rabbi and your damned, don’t kill him and he will lord it over you. The Jews are in a bad situation. And the fundamental cause of this situation that they are in is the Talmud, which is the basis of their religion. And the Talmud is a wicked book. There is something fundamentally wrong, and you either wake up to it or you don’t; or, alternately, you dedicate yourself to the evil that is codified and institutionalized in the Talmud.” Michael also states that “the shelf-life of Zionism is about to run out,” citing Norman Finkelstein’s latest book as an example, in which Finkelstein claims that Jews are turning against Zionism. Mark reminds Michael that the conflict predates the Talmud as is already extant in the Old Testament, which places the Jew in a special position relative to the rest of humanity. Michael tells Mark he is “arguing with God”, making the logical error of responding with scriptural rather than rational proofs to a non-believer (of the Bible being the infallible word of God), and the discussion degenerates into a debate between theistic and agnostic positions which confuses rational and scriptural evidence, but not before Kevin asks Michael whether it is not just possible that the Moselms have it right on this one, and that the Bible has been corrupted when it gives the Jews this special status? Michael says that he “has to” believe that the Bible is the word of God. How it is possible for the custodians of the Old Testament to maintain it in its primordial purity, yet be able to come up with the Talmud which is so “wicked” and corrupt is a question that I do not give voice to, as Michael has to leave for another engagement.

I try to have the experts satisfy my curiosity on Satanic Cults and Freemasonry and their ties, if any, to Judaism. Mark says that those are not as powerful elements in society as they were in the 18th and 19th centuries, and advises me not to dwell on this aspects. Instead, he prefers to talk about “a pattern of lies and deception that is erected by Jewish power, but this power will not last, and that will mean a lot of suffering and death.” My paraphrase. Mark continues, “We live in a society that demands a Judaeo-centric view of the world… the whole notion of a war on Iran would serve no one’s interest other than that of the Jews…. The whole world knows that this threat made by Jewish leaders serves only the interests of the Jews and that it would be a catastrophe for everyone else in the world.”

But Kevin, who has been itching in his seat, abdicates his anointed role, and takes up the topic of Satanic cults again. According to the Devil’s Advocate, the Church of Satan and other satanic cults have penetrated the highest levels of the US military using pedophile blackmail rings; J. Edgar Hoover who ran the US was in turn run by his blackmailer, Mayer Lansky; the Devil’s Advocate reveals Skull and Bones initiation rituals in the Crypt in Yale University for Bush and Kerry, the details of which I will spare you, gentle reader, but which you can hear and watch in Technicolor coming right out of the horse’s Advocate’s mouth, who also adds into the mix Christopher Bollyn’s contention that Freemasonry is indeed pulling all these strings and that it is ultimately controlled by the B’nai B’rith, which is a Jewish Freemasonic lodge in New York.

Mark recovers from this broadside by stating that the agenda of Jewish power is not a secret (though there could well be secret machinations over and above what is discussed openly), and it isto increase their power. This agenda invariably includes policies which entail the destruction of everyone else’s cultural heritage, racial heritage, ethnic heritage, and religious heritage; policies which, even if the intent is unconscious, has the effect of reducing people to atomized individualistic people who are easily controlled, and who cease to be human in any real sense because they have lost their essential human social nature and dimension.

I then nudge Kevin into telling the story of Colonel Aquino, a high-ranking US Army psy-ops officer, and the man who was kicked out of the Church of Satan for being too evil.

Mark then returns from this levity to agree with Hertzel on the Jewish Question: Jews regard themselves as different than other people, and therefore have interests that are different and at odds with those of the people in whose countries they live. Herve then talks about Jewish paranoic messianism. Making money is the best means to increase Jewish power, and Jews feel it is necessary to have this power so that they can engage in pre-messianic activity which will usher in the coming of their messiah. The Conversation ends with an open discussion on various Jewish issues, mainly led by Herve: Incest and Freudian psychoanalysis. The Simon Weisenthal Center’s outrageous lies. Soap and Lampshades (you bet!). The Koran’s excoriation of (certain?) Jews. Jewish hatred for humanity and their agenda of destruction. Mark ends with the Jewish obsession with themselves, and its projection onto the US, equating this to a hijacking of a nation’s psychology and spirituality.

Judaism and the Jewish Question, Part 2

The idea behind this little session was to have a continuation of the discussion which we had in The Jewish Question, but getting deeper, with just two participants, Michael Jones and Herve Ryssen. Though it is not without its high points, some of which are important in themselves, it cannot, I think, be said to have been entirely successful. I take full responsibility for this, as I was not as familiar with each participant’s oeuvre as I should have been.

We begin with Michael recounting a funny story about William Kristol’s tongue-in-cheek piece talking about the Neocons, where he says that “Neo means new and Con means Jew.” On a more serious note, he goes on to tell us what the impetus was for his 1,200 page opus, The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and its Affect on World History: “[…I realized that] the entire foreign policy apparatus of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth is in the hands of a few people belonging to a tiny minority of people in the US…”

So what is a Jew? Michael: “A rejecter of Christ; liars; members of the Synagog of Satan (1 Rev. 2); by rejecting Christ, the essential character of the Jew became revolutionary.” Herve: Judaism is a culture but not just a culture; a religion but not just a religion, an ethnicity made up on many ethnicities. They say it is a mystery, an enigma. And – they always add this – maybe… we are chosen by God. Essential characteristics: Paradox; Revenge; destruction of the social order: revolutionism; hope and expectation of the messiah; peace (shalom); Iconoclasm; encouragement of multiculturalism, immigration and race-mixing; healing the world (tikkum olam); Ambivalance. Herve continues: the Jew is always talking about Peace (Shalom). They really want peace. No more war between nations, religions, races, traditions, genders, social classes. And so, [this is the key to understanding the Jewish dynamic:] if you want to prevent war between nations, you need to eliminate nations: no more borders… one currency; the suppression of religious tradition, functional gender equality, feminism, class equality. So the Jewish project is Shalom: Peace on Earth. And it is an activist messianic project, because it is only when this peace is realized on Earth that the Messiah will come. It is an ushering in of the Messiah, or, to use Eric Voegelin’s phrase as popularized by William F. Buckley, it is a project to “immanentize the eschaton”. The essence of Judaism is to destroy everything that is not Jewish, and when all will have been destroyed, what will remain is Judaism.

Michael talks at some length about the creation of the NAACP & the Black-Jewish Alliance; about how the NAACP was run by Jews, as was Martin Luther King (with “Jewish money”); and about the conflict that the NAACP had with Marcus Garvey. And how the whole edifice of the Black-Jewish Alliance came crashing down when Harold Wright Cruse’s The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (1967) was published. And how the homosexual was chosen as the negro’s replacement by Jewish power as the new revolutionary avant-guard. “Whenever you weaken the majority [culture], the minority is stronger; that’s the Jewish policy. And that’s the purpose of homosexual marriage… the weakening of everyone else’s marriage.”

I ask Michael to discuss the Jewish definition of freedom. Michael responds by saying that one cannot and should not expect there to be such a thing because “There is no Jewish [positive] philosophy. The Talmud is the absolute antithesis of reason. There is nothing rational about it. It is negative and corrosive.” He then goes off on an aside about his friend and Jewish convert to Catholicism, Israel Shamir on the Jewish control of the Art world, which is a sham, because “they know nothing about art”. Herve says he likes Jewish art because it is a window into the Jewish psyche; it mirrors Jewish ambivalence and the absence of order. Then he talks about their messianic mission of the unification of the world, and various neuroses which he detects in the Jewish psyche at clinical levels: megalomania, selective amnesia, hysteria.

Michael says that now that the Jews have destroyed every aspect of Christianity, they are going after the natural moral order: man and wife uniting in marriage. “Because the more we destroy your world, the better we feel. The weaker you are, the more secure we feel.” “Extrapolate that to Iran,” he says. “Iran is not playing by the rules. Your women have to be turned into prostitutes and wage slaves. You have to promote homosexuality as the ideal form of behavior.

And so on, for about another fifteen minutes, until we are all exhausted and break off.

Conversation #2: The Decline of the West

The Decline of the West

I conceived of this Conversation in order to provide a forum to elucidate the many contradictions that are inherent in the system of Western liberal democracy. There are so many disconnects between what the West says it believes in and in how it actually acts, and the divide between the two is so large in many of the instances, that it seems to me that the characterization of the phenomenon merely as hypocrisy is no longer adequate and does not serve. But that is a story for another Conversation…. Here you will find a more conventional general pathology, with some exquisite detail. The panel consists of Mike Gravel, William Engdahl, and Darnell Summers, who are joined later by Michael Jones.

Mike starts by talking about the Patriot Act, and how it came to be written over a number of years by the Neocons and why it passed through Congress so quickly and easily (in a matter of 24 hours after 9/11), thanks to the climate of fear (of being charged with being unpatriotic) that existed in the wake of 9/11. William adds that this event was a total surrender of the Bill of Rights and the fundamental guarantees of the US Constitution without any public debate whatever; MG, WE and AD agree that 9/11 was planned by the Neocons as their “New Pearl Harbor” as espoused in the Project for a New American Century (PNAC) white paper and website.

Mike regrets and laments the loss of the lives of 500,000 Iraqi children. In a bitterly sardonic remark, I state that “but it was worth it” (quoting Madame Secretary Madeline Albright). Mike moves the conversation on to the use of drones as instruments of legal extra-judicial murder, as one example of how the Patriot Act has changed everything, and uses the case of Sami al-Ariyon to illustrate his point. The case of Awlaki remains unstated, but is implicit in the discussion of murder by drone. Mike also wants to let the audience know that the sanctions cannot be done away with by executive order as they are enacted into law. Darnell adds thatextra-judicial governmental executions are not a new thing; “they would just round people up”, he states, adding that “they have been committing these crimes since the very inception of the US government.”

William talks about the agenda of the Military-Industrial Complex, the Wall Street “Gods of Money” (the six major financial houses) and the Neocons is “Full-Spectrum Dominance” and Michael Ledeen’s “Universal Fascism” and the making of the US into the New Sparta, whose primary aim is to make war. He goes on to touch on various topics, including eugenics and population reduction, Monsanto Round-up herbicide, the FDA/ Monsanto executives’ ‘revolving door’, Rockefeller support for eugenics as far back as 1926- 1939, and the roles of the Bill Gates foundation, the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, and George Soros.

Darnell and Mike then talk about US Army desertion and suicide as reactions to the cognitive dissonance that they feel deep inside. Mike states that private interests control the US economy and government, and talks about the existence of secret prisons, “extra-ordinary rendition” (i.e. kidnapping) and torture, and the fact that “this is US policy”. William states that economic control of the nation was “hijacked” by
The Federal Reserve Act of 1913, which was a “coup d’état of the financial houses of JP Morgan, the Rockefellers, the Schiff and the Rothschilds, which allowed the House of Morgan to finance WWI in England and France. He goes on to posit 1914 and 1945 as a global battle to determine who should succeed British empire.

Mike cites a study in which it is claimed that a group of 1,300 corporations owns 60% of the wealth of the world, and concluded that “there is a new world order, and it is a corporate world order, and that corporate world order controls all the governments in the world” [except Iran’s,and a few others] which is why Iran is in the cross-hairs of the World Government.
Michael Jones joins the conversation, giving a history of British Liberalism and tying it in with lassez-faire economics and Adam Smith’s “Invisible Hand”. He goes on to describe the Scottish Enlightenment as a “suppression of the moral order”, and having made the connection between the economic and moral order, concludes: “What I think is the genius of your system of Waliyic Islam is that you understand that you need an archon. The ultimate fiction of classic liberalism is that the world is a self-regulating machine”. Michael characterizes the Irish Potato Famine of 1846 as the beginning of the end of classical liberalism, because this event obviated the fact that Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand project (1776 – 1848) did not work. The benefit of the doubt given to it ran out in 1846, followed by the Crash of 1847 and the Revolutions of 1848.

Michael continues: “Capitalism begins with theft. Karl Marx stated that capitalism is theft. It began with the theft of Church property, and after that, it continues with the systematic theft of human labor… Chattel slavery (its crudest form) is less effective than wage slavery.” Alas, all was not lost for capitalism, however. Marxism was a shot in the arm for capitalism: “The best thing to happen to capitalism was Karl Marx” because it was “a cure that is worse than the disease.” The general populace clung onto capitalism because they preferred it to the destruction of the family, the expropriation of their property by the state, the abolition of religion, etc. After the interregnum of 1848 – 1989 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, capitalism “comes roaring back with the Neocons”, who, it is not often realized, were “ferocious” proponents of capitalism, in addition to their insane foreign policy advocacy.

So where are we at now with Western liberal democracy? Mike Gravel says that liberal democracy is a failed model because it transfers power in the name of the people to the elites of society, so it is not a democracy, but representative government, which is actually plutocratic. William says and Darnell agrees that the structure of debt has reached breaking point, and it will either take the world down with it into a global form of fascism, or, we will somehow learn to live with each other with brotherly love and respect for each other. Michael Jones concludes that democracy is unsustainable as it ends in plutocracy; that capitalism is unsustainable as it ended up in unrepayable debt; and that both of these are the result of the unsuccessful experiment of the separation of church and state which has its roots in the Peace of Westphalia and the Enlightenment.

Conversations at the Hollywoodism Conference

Here’s a report I wrote on the ‘Conversations’ which were held at the Third International Hollywoodism Conference in Tehran. I am editing the videos with my friend and documentary film-maker, Saber, and hope to have the actual videos posted before too long, inshallah.

The Conversations

The idea behind the Conversations was to try to get more out of the conference than just the usual fair, where one person speaks and everyone else listens, with perhaps a few minutes of Q&A at the end. There were so many people of a high caliber invited, so many with whom I would love to have a conversation with about their areas of expertise, that I thought, why not make an allowance for this during the conference itself (rather than on the sidelines or in the evening hours, where time is limited and people are tired anyway). So we rented a few extra suites, arranged furniture and lighting and microphones and cameras and cameramen in them, and before we knew it we had a few well-equipped improvised studios in the Azadi Hotel, right where the conference was being held. I have transcribed all of the conversations which I lead, some of it being exact word for word transcriptions, other passages being fairly loose paraphrases, and other passages still being extrapolations and elaborations of the ideas talked about by the participants. You will find the common thread in all of these conversations to be radical or deep critiques of the current paradigm, together with possible approaches to forging new ones. The conversations which I led and for which I have written synopses (see below) were the following:

The Decline of the West
Judaism and the Jewish Question
Tradition and Modernity

Other Conversation topics included:

Traditional Ethical Values versus those of the Dominant Hollywood Paradigm
Activism and Alternative Media as Catalysts for Change
9-11 Ten Years On
Comparative Shi’a and Catholic Dogmatic Theology

Full biographies of the participants are given at the end of the Conversation overviews.  


I was really looking forward to this Conversation, because here I was in the presence of two giants of geopolitical analysis, William Engdahl and Mateus Piskorski, as well as the world’s leading authority on Binary Economics and new paradigm thinking, Professor Rodney Shakespeare. The Conversation naturally lends itself to a tripartite division: Part 1: Overview; Part 2: Color Revolutions (Mateus’s expertise); and Part 3: Geography and the Political Economy.

Part 1: Overview
William starts out by giving a brief history of geopolitics. In 1904 Halford Mackinder gave a paper on “‘The Geographical Pivot of History” at the Royal Geographical Society, where he asserted that there was a relationship between a nation’s geography and its ability to project political power. And this, William says, was the beginning of the science of geopolitics. His next major work, Democratic Ideals and Reality: A Study in the Politics of Reconstruction, appeared in 1919. It presented his theory of the Heartland and made a case for fully taking into account geopolitical factors at the Paris Peace conference and contrasted (geographical) reality with Woodrow Wilson’s idealism. The book’s most famous quote was: “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland; Who rules the Heartland commands the World Island; Who rules the World Island commands the World.” The inverse of this thesis is that sea-power, or the British, must prevent the Heartland, or Russia, from controlling Eastern Europe and the World Island.

Mateus took up the story of geopolitics, talking about the Swedish geoanalyst, Rudolf Kjellen, and his notion of the state as a living organism, which needs, among other things, lebensraum. He also talked about the Russian expatriate Eurasianists and their doctrine about Russia’s unique position, adding cultural, spiritual and civilizational dimensions into the geopolitical mix. Mateus also mentioned the Marxists who, although rejecting geopolitics on ideological ground, nevertheless did not fail to take it into account, as in the case where Stalin decided he could not have Greece despite the strong presence of the Communists there, because he knew that Britain as the predominant Sea Power could not afford to abandon Greece, which naturally falls in the ambit of the Periphery rather than the Heartland, to Russia. Mateus finished his opening by ridiculing the Neocon Francis Fukuyama’s thesis of the end of history, stating that everyone knew that the fall of the Berlin Wall was actually the beginning of history, and the beginning of a renaissance of geopolitical thinking.

Having heard this Heartland theory and the distinction it draws between the Heartland and the Periphery, the “carving up” of what was then known as “Persia” into a Russian and British spheres of influence modus vivendi became clear to me. Another point that Mateus made which I found to be fascinating is that Novosibirsk, the third most populous city in Russia, is located in the center of gravity of the geographical landmass which Mackinder called the World Island, and that a proposal had been made at one time to move the capital there for this very reason. Furthermore, according to Mateus, the missile batteries of the main Russian missile defense system are arrayed around this very center.

I move the conversation on from general definitions to the distinction between an independent power, a protectorate (which has control over its internal affairs, but falls under the suzerainty of a greater power when it comes to international relations, and a colony. I state that it seems to me that Iran is the only power “from the Hindu Kush to the Mediterranean” with any strategic depth and independence, to which the panel agrees. William continues the story of geopolitics using the examples of the Darcy Concession and the Berlin-Baghdad Railway as examples of geopolitical projects. Mateus picks up where I left off, stating the whole notion of statehood and independence which was defined by the Peace of Westphalia (1648) no longer obtains, and it is certainly legitimate to ask whether the United States itself is independent in the classical sense of the term, or are there those who control the decision-makers? Mateus cites the US-China relationship of co-dependence as another example of the new emerging paradigm, and closes by stating that the possession of nuclear weapons is an important factor in a nation’s independence.

I ask a rather general and long-winded question: Has Iran been playing its geopolitical cards well? Is Iran in the vanguard of the fight for justice and equity in the world, or is it merely a lightning rod, attracting static to itself? How is it that Venezuela is able to get away with thumbing her nose at Uncle Sam in his back yard and not only not have any sanctions levied against her, but is able to sell her oil directly at the retail level with its nationally-owned chain of Citgo gas stations, whereas Iran is in the terrible state that it is in? Is it because of Iran’s Pan-Islamic ideology and support for Hamas and Hezbollah? Would it make a difference if Iran gave up such support, as some seem to think? Should Iran just keep to strengthening the Shi’a Fortress of which she is in the center, and let the Sunni world alone? After all, the leader of Hamas, Khaled Mash’al, left Syria when the going got tough there, and ended up in Doha, Qatar, rather than in Tehran, Iran…

William takes this first. He says that the first thing we have to realize is that since the fall of the Berlin Wall, US foreign policy has been following the policy spelled out by Brzezinski in his book The Grand Chessboard. The foreign policy establishment, furthermore, have been pursuing a policy of Full-Spectrum Dominance since the Neocon takeover. Thus, although there are serious issues and obstacles to a full-blown cooperation between what he calls The Iron Triangle of Moscow, Peking and Tehran, there is the common interest of all in resisting a single hegemon. William concludes by stating that he does not believe that Iran is playing its cards and its role as a center of resistance as consciously as it could be.

Mateus picked up my question next and answered by pointing out firstly that Iran’s geographical location is almost exactly in the center of what Brzezinski calls the ‘Greater Middle East’, i.e. the area from Morocco to the West, to North-Western China in the East, or the Islamic World, basically. He then went on to state that Brzezinski’s policy prescription for the Greater Middle East is Balkanization and chaos. Why? He asks, and proceeds to answer his own question. Because such a policy would wreak havoc with the interests of the only three powers that are possible rivals to United States ascendancy: Europe, Russia and China. Libya and now Syria have wreaked havoc on Europe already due to the influx of illegal immigration, drugs, crime and terrorism. Georgia and the north Caucasus are cited as examples of interference in Russian affairs. And support for the Hezb ot-Tahrir in the Xian Yang region of China is the US’s attempt at destabilization of its greatest rival. Iran as a portal to the soft underbelly of Russia, and also as the main obstacle to this policy of destabilization puts her in the US’s cross-hairs.

Part 2: Color Revolutions

I start off this section asking if the panel believes that the Brzezinski Doctrine of Chaos for the Greater Middle East is actual US foreign policy? To the vigorous nods of Mateus and Rodney, William responds with the statement that the Arab Spring is this policy at work, and that the plans for it had “been sitting in a drawer in the Pentagon for nearly two decades.” What evidence do we have for that?? I ask, incredulous. “Oh, ample evidence.” William says, then goes on to list the NGO’s active in Tunisia nad Egypt such as the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House, crowd manipulation using Twitter and Facebook technologies, the fact that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of the Egyptian armed forces was at the Pentagon on the first day the Egyptian demonstrations started and remained there for three days, and the involvement of Gene Sharp, George Soros and the CIA. William adds that Iran was a victim of such manipulation in its 2009 presidential election cycle.

Mateus states that Gene Sharp is the theoretician behind the color revolutions and so-called non-violent warfare. His thesis is that it is cheaper in terms economic and diplomatic terms as well as in terms of human lives, and it is a method that can be used where the projection of hard power is not possible, such as in the Warsaw Pact countries after the fall of the Soviet Union. William states that its name of non-violent warfare notwithstanding (which garners images of Gandhi and Thoreau), what it actually is, is the “weaponization of human rights NGO’s. These NGO’s are private, but at the same time, funded by the US Government, giving plausible deniability to the CIA.

Sanctions, it is noted in passing, are defined by Joseph Nye as projections of hard, not soft, power. I talk about the “revolving door” that exists for executives of these “human rights” NGO’s and positions in the State Department, White House, UN, and Pentagon, even. William agrees and adds something about the “swarming” techniques used to create “spontaneous” demonstrations using Twitter, Facebook and teletexting. Mateus talks about his being a personal eye witness to these techniques being used, the “command and control centers” being laptops in a Kiev café.

William continues his litany of evidence for the Arab Spring being a Pentagon operation by citing the comical example of the head of the “Syrian Observatory of Human Rights” being a London-based street vendor of kebabs who was not even aware that his identity was being used for this nefarious purpose. Another blatant example cited is the case of Novalni, the “hero” of the anti-Putin movement, who just happens also to be on the payroll of the National Endowment for Democracy.

Part 3: Geography and the Political Economy

Rodney starts off the discussion with a brief definition of capitalism and the origins and history of fractional-reserve banking, starting with the Bank of Amsterdam in the mid-17th century, and the Bank of England later in that same century. He then poses the questions: Who creates money? For what purpose? Is justice a consideration in the process?

One important distinction becomes clear very early: the difference between the role of nationally-owned central banks, as is the case in William’s Iron Triangle of Beijing, Moscow and Tehran, and those of privately-owned ones, as obtains in the capital of Europe and the United States. It is stated with a heavy dollop of irony that central banks must be “independent”… of the people. Rodney adds that it is the misnomers that the capitalist system is (a) efficient, and (b) just that allows the system to sustain itself.

I wonder aloud whether, with the demise of Anglo-American liberal democratic capitalism, we are transitioning from a system that is based on privately-owned (elitist) central banking and a geopolitics based on the tension between Heartland and Periphery, to one based on publicly-owned (autonomous) central banking and a geopolitics based on William’s Iron Triangle of the Heartland. Rodney says that we are not there yet, but that certainly we are transitioning from a unipolar to a multi-polar world. William says that undoubtedly the dollar-based system is bankrupt, and Mateus, in affirmation, quips that IMF and World Bank policies are not “shock therapy”, as is claimed, but “shock” without the “therapy”! and ends on a note of optimism that countries such as Iran, Belarus and Venezuela are countries searching for alternative systems wherein national political considerations and interests trump international and economic ones, and that public interests outweigh private ones.

William also ends on an optimistic note, stating that Chuck Hegel’s nomination as Defense Secretary is a harbinger of a geopolitical shift in US policy, and signals a de-escalation of US projects such as the Arab Spring, al-Qaida operations (which might even mean regime change in Saudi Arabia), and a de-emphasis of the whole jihadist-based destabilization project and a shift of emphasis or a pivot toward east Asia. I say that I certainly hope he is right, as China can take the heat and God knows we in Iran have been taking it for far too long.

Tissue of Lies/ On the Baha’i Question

I gave a little speech at the Hollywoodism 3 Conference here in Tehran a couple of weeks ago. We are hard at work trying to convert the taped footage into uploadable videos, and that will happen, inshallah, in due course. But I thought I’d post the text of my speech here for those who are interested. The context is that we had a panel which I had called Tissue of Lies, the aim of which was to address any and all of the hasbara lies told about the Islamic Republic, from the Nuclear Dossier issue and the Sedition of 2009 (the CIA/ Soros putsch following the 2009 elections), to issues such as the Sakineh Ashtiani and Ja’far Panahi memes, with the hope of disabusing the brainwashed masses of their erroneous positions. (OK, so we were aiming too high!) We had such luminaries as Mohammad Marandi, Foad Izadi and Nader Talebzadeh on the panel, who could address specifics much better than I ever could; and so I thought I would limit my contribution to the foundational differences that exist between our Islamic civilization and culture and that of the West’s. Once this theoretical distinction is understood, all of the “issues” can be processed more fruitfully within the new framework, including, for example, the Baha’i question, or the question of the rights of minorities more generally, religious or otherwise.


On the Baha’i Question

Different worldviews or cosmic orientations will naturally provide different perspectives on the nature of reality and answers to questions such as who we are, where we came from, where are we going, or indeed, whether it even makes sense to pose such questions (to which the logical positivists answer in the negative). Different cosmogonies and anthropogonies necessarily entail different cosmologies and anthropologies, eschatologies, psychologies and so forth, which in turn give rise to different values, value priorities, and different ethical and legal systems.

If we believe with the materialists that we each are a collection of atoms and molecules whose random motions bring about an illusion of being and existence in its modern adumbration of a skin-encapsulated egoic Tension between libidinal and super-egoic forces, an epi-phenomenon floating on the fringes of the Big Bhang, if you will, then our approach in forging our foundational or constitutional law will be one wherein our conception of freedom, for example, will play a determinative role, as it will be defined and guided by the criterion of that which minimizes this Tension); whereas if we hold, on the other hand, that we are a creation of an all-powerful and all-wise Creator, Who in His Wisdom, has set a Veil before us between the Two Worlds of His creation (that of this world and the world of the hereafter) as a temporary Cloaking Device which effectuates the ability and the freedom of will to choose between right and wrong; and having set this Veil, has positioned man as His Vice-Regent within a universe that has a moral texture and basic nature – a universe which works according to Sacred Laws which He has determined we are to live by, just as the manufacturer of an automobile determines that its engine runs best with a certain grade of motor oil; and that the Maker of this universe with a social moral order has sent its User’s Manual to His creatures through the ages by way of perfect beings called prophets which He created as such so that they can act as conduits to channel His Will to the rest of His creatures who are made as fallible and imperfect beings who are in need of Guidance from the Beyond; if we believe all this, then obviously, that which will play a determinative role in the forging of our constitutional law will be, to stick with the earlier metaphor, the ‘User’s Manual’, that is, the Revelation of the Will of our Maker as to how we are to conduct ourselves, both individually and as a community. Thus, differing Sources of law will obtain, given different cosmologies and anthropologies, and these Sources will give rise to legal and ethical social systems whose precepts, tenets, creedal bases and values will be at variance with each other.

Traditional societies have understood this, and while Christendom and the realm of Islam were frequently at war with each other, they understood that each culture and civilization revolved around its own sacred pole or axis mundi, and there was a de facto recognition of the multi-polar nature of sovereignty in the world, with authority being absolute within each domain or compass. The problem that modernity has confronted traditional societies with (besides species extinction, rainforest depletion, weapons of mass destruction, and so on), is its dynamic to impose its ethical system, which is based on the Enlightenment and Age of Reason fallacies of universally and eternally valid values on others, irrespective of the religions or ways of life of other cultures and civilizations. At root, it is these two fallacies (of the universal and eternal applicability of one’s values to other cultures) that gave rise to and is the dynamo of such institutions as the League of Nations (which morphed into the UN), NATO, the IMF and the World Bank, and other ancillary establishments such as the Royal Institute for International Affairs, the Trilateral Commission, and so on, with their impossible fantasy project of One World government.

Different value systems will process issues differently. So with regard to the issue of minority rights, for example, one of the important differences between religious communities and modern society is their level of purposiveness. In other words, a “community” truly worthy of the name is actually united not just around a common heritage, ethnicity, race, or creed, but it is one which shares a joint purpose and goal (such as living within the Sacred Law given by God to man as the User’s Manual which enables him to conduct himself in such a way as to return back to his Maker). Or to put it another way, religious communities share a telos as well as an ethos. The religious community is a purposive community or a nation united under a common purpose, and from its perspective, the term ‘community’ is properly applied only to a society who not only has an ethos or culture, but to one which also has a telos or purpose. Having an ethos is a mere prerequisite of having a telos, intention, resolve, purpose, will and direction. Not all societies are purposive, but all purposive societies have a culture.

So now. Everything changes in the “religious rights” or “human rights” or “Women’s rights” equation when you allow for this one variable among many, because the entirety of the presumptive framework is different in a purposive community. In modern societies, everyone is going in their own direction, and in their self-definition, the moderns characterize this as latitude and freedom of movement. But from the perspective of Islamic civilization, it is the difference between, say, a Zen Buddhist monastery that is intent on a long-term spiritual exercise that requires silence and intense concentration, and a kindergarten full of screaming kids or a coed schoolyard full of teenagers pumped full of testosterone and estrogen, Ritalin and high-fructose corn syrup.

Now if a bunch of unruly punks went pussy riot in the kindergarten or schoolyard, to use the metaphor from Michael Jones’s speech on Monday, it would not make much difference to the achieving of an objective in the schoolyard or kindergarten playground, as there is no objective there to speak of; but if these same punks went pussy rioting all over the purposive community’s face, that is a different proposition altogether. The Baha’i pseudo-religion was to Shi’a Iran as the disruption of the “feminist punk-rock collective” Pussy Riot was to the services in the Russian cathedral or at St. Peter’s. The Baha’i quote “religion” went pussy riot all over our face, to the imperial beat of an English snare drum, using Her Majesty’s amplifiers cranked full blast. Her majesty also donated the road crew and threw in a couple of crew sluts for good measure. For the benefit of the uninitiated, the crew sluts are also known as the BBC Persian and Voice of America satellite networks. Now in Zen Buddhism there is a concept called ‘No Head’. And I don’t know if you are aware of this… but in Islam, when someone says ‘No Head’ it usually means that a sword has been drawn. Caveat Vendor!