RE: The terrorism meme

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Wed 06 Nov 2002 - 05:12:56 GMT

  • Next message: Wade T.Smith: "Re: Nigerian Con Meme"

    >You are thinking of Jews as being largely of European ancestry. These are
    >the Ashkenazim. What about the Sephardim or so-called "Oriental" Jews?
    >There are Jews who stemmed from Arabic countries who had to leave those
    >countries as a result of Israel's emergence (e.g.- Iraqi Jews). There's
    >also an interesting subgroup of African Jews from Ethiopia whom Israel took
    >in after the troubles that country suffered. Israeli Jews are not a
    >homogenous group. I'd suppose there's some ethnic and class problems
    >between these groups which would parallel similar problems seen in
    >countries like the U.S.
    >Thus Jews are not limited to those from Europe and Russia.

    That's true, but who are the people running the government in Israel today? Wars are between the people in power on the two sides, not between the entire population of both sides. Many people in Israel disagree with the government position. The groups you mention as being "also Jewish" are just people living in Israel, not the people who are making the decisions about what to do for the whole country. From what I see on TV, the faces and body types of the people in charge are mostly European or Russian. The philosophy of war and government are European in origin rather than Jewish. If not for its location, most people would consider Israel to be a European nation rather than a North African one.

    >>The memes that grew up around the Muslim conquest in the 1400s are also
    >>alive and continuing a struggle that grew out of the crusades.
    >Tell me something. How long did it take after Muhammed's death for Islam to
    >spread from the Arabian peninsula and sweep across northern Africa and into
    >Spain? When was it that Charles Martel asserted himself? Could Islam have
    >swept into England if someone didn't make a stand? Please explain to me me
    >the contrast of *dar al-Islam* and *dar al-harb* and how the concept of
    >jihad fits into this picture. I don't know that the crusades were the
    >proper reponse to Islam. Part of me is disgusted that my Norse Odin, Loki
    >and Thor loving ancestors in Sweden were subjected to the Christian
    >religion, but Islamic conquest would not have been much of an improvement.
    I'm not concerned with what would be better or worse. I'm more interested in what is driving the conflict. There was no "proper" response to the Muslim conquest in my mind. It was a war between the Greco/Roman memes and the Persian memes. It still is. The Persian empire was conquered by first Alexander and then by Rome. But the people who lived under the Persian empire continued to live by their own rules as long as they didn't conflict with Roman law. When the philosophical descendants of the Persian empire rose up again as a Muslim empire (using some of the ideas of Christ and John the Baptist in the process but ultimately adopting an imperial organization rather than a philosophical one) the Greco/Roman memes rose up again to defend their territory.

    Philosophically, the Christians and the Muslims are brothers rather than competitors. But the same thing happened to both. The memes of empire took over the memes of Jesus and Mohamed and turned their followers into soldiers and conquerors. Instead of governing by loving one's neighbor as one's self they took to conquering one's neighbor through force and terror.

    Stranger yet, the armies raised by these religious empires still use the words of Christ and Mohamed as the basis for the atrocities they commit. Christians adopted the whole of the Jewish bible into their own and every time they want to do something unChristian, they quote the old testament to justify it. But the things they do are the same things Caesar and Alexander did before them. They are not the things Jesus admonished people to do.

    Humans have this curious ability to take ideas or memes and assign them the status of territory. Once adopted, people will fight for them the same way they will fight to defend family and home. In a curious way, the wars between the Greco-Roman empires and the Persian empire are still being faught and the little war in Israel may some day boil over into a wider conflict that pits America, Russia and the European nations against the whole Muslim world. And afterward, people will sit around arguing about who was right or wrong in this or that instance.

    In my opinion, both are equally wrong because both are using methods (memes) based on a failed philosophy -- the philosophy of conquer and rule. The philosophy of empire. They have the words in their hands to change it, but the memes of conquest must be stronger than the memes of neighborly love. At least, that's how it looks if we use history as our guide.


    _________________________________________________________________ MSN 8 with e-mail virus protection service: 2 months FREE*

    =============================================================== This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing) see:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed 06 Nov 2002 - 05:17:05 GMT