Re: Words and memes

From: Dace (
Date: Tue Feb 26 2002 - 02:16:20 GMT

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    Subject: Re: Words and memes
    Date: Mon, 25 Feb 2002 18:16:20 -0800
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    From: Scott Chase

    > >Keith,
    > >
    > >I readily concede that the cattle killing involved a delusion, as did the
    > >Jews at Masada. But the inaccuracy of a belief doesn't necessarily
    > >make it "mutant." Myth is universal among pre-scientific cultures and is
    > >extremely important at binding communities. The idea that the Xhosa
    > >would regain in paradise all that they had destroyed on earth helped
    > >them to resist their absorption into an alien culture. It enabled them
    > >control their demise, to retain their human dignity to the end, just like
    > >Masada. This is a healthy meme. If everyone resisted enslavement to
    > >the death, there would be no imperialism, no systematic injustice and
    > >inequality. We would indeed be inhabiting paradise.
    > >
    > >
    > Isn't Masada still a big component of the Israeli-Jewish cultural milieu?
    > _The Complete Idiot's Guide to Middle East Conflict_ (by Mitchell Bard,
    > 1999, Alpha Books, Indianapolis) refers to a "Masada complex" and says
    > that Israeli soldiers swear an oath ("Masada shall not fall again") at the
    > Masada site. Hopefully I'm not reliving the mosque/mosquito thing here.

    Yet another example of the degeneration of culture to cult.


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