Re: The terrorism meme

From: Dace (
Date: Tue 05 Nov 2002 - 19:15:28 GMT

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    > From: Douglas Brooker <>
    > > The power of this meme depends on its exploitation of the collective
    > > narcissism and paranoia of the Israeli people.
    > >
    > > Ted
    > >
    > the word narcissism has crossed by mind thinking about tendencies in
    > Israeli politics and behaviour. Is is appropriate? where does the
    > narcissism come from?

    Narcissism is universal to human societies and is harmless so long as it means, "I'm special and worthy of respect." It's pathological only when it becomes, "I'm always right, and whoever disagrees with me is obviously out to kill me." The pathological narcissism of Israel stems from centuries of abuse at the hands of Europeans, culminating in Naziism, of which contemporary Zionism is a perfect mirror image. As Said points out, the Jews were the first people to be labeled "terrorists." Now they're doing to others what was done to them. Hitler planted the seed, Britain got it to germinate, and the US has brought it to fruition. To indict Israel is to indict Western civilization. Ultimately, Israel is just another Wild West, with the settlers killing off the natives.

    > can we understand it without understanding the
    > role of religious zealots who are largely kept from western view?

    The zealots are pathologically narcissistic on a personal level. The rest of Israeli society is merely partaking of a memetically-driven collective disorder.

    > I'm interested in the ways in which cultures shut out (ignore)
    > information. is there a meme-specific way of talking about this?

    This is precisely the function of pathological memes, to prevent the mind from entertaining various viewpoints and arriving at a reasonable conclusion. The key is that a pre-existent psychological condition is exploited by the meme. Without that, the meme will die off and be replaced by others that take hold because they make sense.

    > From: "Scott Chase" <>
    > >From: "Dace" <>
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >This article by Edward Said on the Palestinian crisis demonstrates that
    > >it can't be comprehended except according to the model of memetics. As
    > >usual the existence of self-replicating ideas is best demonstrated when
    > >those ideas are pathological and whose widespread success cannot be
    > >accounted for by logic alone. In this case the pathological meme is
    > >"Palestinian terrorism." That Israel is clearly attempting the
    destruction of
    > >an entire people never enters our minds as long as we remain in thrall to
    > >the terrorism meme.
    > There are settlement movements in Israel like Gush Emunim and there's a
    > national religious undercurrent committed to the land of Judea and Samaria
    > being integral to Eretz Israel. There have been extreme elements like
    > Moledet and Kach that have stood for "transfer" of Palestinians. I
    > generalize these sentiments to the Israeli populace though.

    Taken as individuals, Israelis are as sensible and compassionate as any other people. But collective pathologies aren't made of people. They're made of memes.

    > >As Said observes, "the daily, minute occurrences of what Palestinians
    > >have to live through are hidden and, more important, covered over by a
    > >logic of self-defence and the pursuit of terrorism (terrorist
    > >terrorist nests, terrorist bomb factories, terrorist suspects -- the list
    > >is infinite) which perfectly suits Sharon and the lamentable George Bush.
    > >Ideas about terrorism have thus taken on a life of their own, legitimised
    > >and re-legitimised without proof, logic or rational argument."
    > The 9-11 destruction of the WTC and the almost daily reports of suicide
    > bombings against Israelis are proff that terrorism exists

    Yes, it does exist, and it's wholly in response to the overwhelming terrorism inflicted by the West on Palestinians and Iraqis, not to mention military occupation of the sacred lands of Saudi Arabia. When you oppress a people, some of their more alpha-type males will react violently, providing the perfect excuse to intensify the oppression. Blaming the victim is an age-old memetic strategy to placate the conscience of the aggressor.

    > >The power of this meme depends on its exploitation of the collective
    > >narcissism and paranoia of the Israeli people.
    > There's two sides here.

    That's right. And one of them is insane. Memetics offers a method of scientifically demonstrating which side is dealing with reality and which side is not. It's a matter of identifying a virulent meme and tracing it back to its psychopathological source.

    Israel is occupying and oppressing Palestine, not the other way around. Israel has all the power, and Palestine has none. Israel kills four Palestinians for every Israeli killed in response. Yet Israel sees itself as the victim. That's not rational.

    > There's a lot of should'ves that emerge from that conflict. The original
    > Zionists shouldv'e appreciate the extent of the native Arab population of
    > Palestine.

    They did. That's why they went to so much trouble to terrorize the Palestinians and drive them out.

    > The Palestinians and their Arab cohorts should've accepted the
    > terms of UN resoluion 181 that partitioned Palestine and the existence of
    > Israel as a state.

    The Palestianians officially recognized Israel in the mid 70s and have repeated this recognition ad infinitum ever since. They are clearly willing to live with Israel. Yet they're still viewed as a nation of terrorists. The problem is that no amount of counter-evidence can remove a meme once it's dug in.


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