It is no sin being a barbarian. But it’s no virtue either. And if it’s not changed, you and your culture are in for a world of pain.

I’m going to blame this on a friend’s post on facebook A Renowned Archaeologist Is Calling on European Museums to Return the Rosetta Stone and Other Historic Treasures.

My answer — more polite than the Renowed Archeologist deserves was as follows:

Don’t give toys to the barbarians. The end.
That applies to everything: Guns, precious artifacts, Art.
“But we’re not barbarians” They’ll say.
“Oh, you’re not? Have you stopped calling for the death of people who believe in a different religion? Have you stopped killing women for talking to strangers? Have you stopped hanging or dropping walls on gay people? No? YOU ARE BARBARIANS and you don’t get toys.”
When MMike establishes his reign of terror, I want to be in charge of foreign affairs

Yes, I am snooty, and yes, sometimes my Greco Roman ancestors march behind my eyes like a migraine, looking down on all the barbaric folk. Or as I told someone I once dated, “Yeah, sure, my people are backward. Dude, my people built the Colosseum while your people’s greatest achievement was rubbing mud on their bellies.”

So, what is barbarism? Well, I’ve given some examples above, but yeah, it changes with times, okay. My Greek ancestors were quite okay with beating a disobeying woman black and blue, and heck as one of my kids who was living in a heavily Hispanic area said “In most places in the US, beating your wife is something to hide. In this area it’s just something you do on a Saturday night to let off steam.” (He could hear it.) I can confirm that in my childhood, in Portugal, this was the “normal” and having a man who didn’t beat you was a dream. I suspect this is still the same in much of the world.

And yet, these people are “civilized” compared with much of Islam or the tribal areas of Africa, where people are still openly bought and sold, and where albinos can be killed for their body parts which are considered to have curative value.

And those parts in turn are “civilized” compared to most of our ancestors and/or certain very primitive tribes. And if you’re under the impression that primitives are peaceful, you have merely swallowed the noble savage bullship. I advice you to run not walk to buy and read War Before civilization. Yes, I do actually realize it’s expensive as heck, but trust me, it’s worth it. And any culture that doesn’t go about wearing the parts of a vanquished enemy to prove they’re victorious is to an extent already somewhat civilized.

Again, civilized is relative.

But it’s time for us to stop conceding, and agreeing that “everyone is civilized” or some such nonsense, much less “celebrating all cultures.”

We are Americans and whether the Europeans admit it or not, we are the pinnacle of human civilization, by comparison to whom they’re all barbarians.

And it’s time we stopped encouraging the barbarians, both those coming over the border and those in Academia and other mentally damaged fields who believe in noble savages and want to hand the precious patrimony of mankind to barbarian crazies who might decide to go on a rampage like civets with a Koran shoved up their rear and destroy them to prove how holy they are.

It’s time to praise and prize civilized behavior, American style: we allow individuals to be themselves so long as they’re not stepping on anyone else. We speak our minds whether you want us to or not. We don’t respect your barbarian sensitiveness (Barbarians are always terrified of words because they know they’re barbarians). You can become civilized or be left in our dust when we go to the stars.

And until then? No guns, no art, no priceless artifacts.

Heck, if we had a real government composed of Americans and not Barbarians, we should conduct specialized raids to save the priceless patrimony of mankind (Yes, mankind, deal. Mankind has two sexes. But It’s called Mankind. I’m tired of catering to the precious sensitivity of barbaric fools) to Barbaric children who might destroy it tomorrow.

As it is, the best we can do is not give them anymore. And tell our own barbarians to grow up or be pulled from any position of power until they do.

No more barbarism. There is no honor in barbarism. and it destroys everything around it.

221 thoughts on “Barbarism

  1. We have our own barbarians here. They’re those that insist upon rewriting our history and culture and pulling down our statues because they are statues of men and not statues of saints.

    1. Ah yes. Reminds me of that one barbarian woman of color who recently dissed a woman for dancing in the rain, calling it black cultural appropriation. or some such nonsense.

        1. A bar, bar, bar, bar. Bar-bar-ian.
          Bar, bar, bar, bar. Bar-bar-ian.
          Bar, bar, bar. Bar-bar-ian.


          Nah. I’m not going to redo that entire song.

          I’d have to carp myself.

            1. heh. One of the alternate characters I run in EQ2 is a barbarian troubadour named Amerdjinn Mac’Mhuirich. Basically blending the names of two famous bards from history.

      1. Perhaps these folks claiming cultural appropriation should have a look at a film starring on Gene Kelley called “Singing in the Rain”.

          1. 😆

            That stuck in my head because it was on the day that ancient Greek earrings showed up on the history Shiny Stuff feed.

            ….yes, they were hoop.

  2. Of course, to the Ancient Greeks a Barbarian was anybody that didn’t speak Greek (ie a foreigner). [Crazy Grin]

    Mind you, I can’t quote it right now but H. Beam Piper in “Space Viking” has some interesting comments on Barbarism vs Civilized.

    I’m going to find my copy of “Space Viking” to see if I can quote him.

    1. I think I found the section you’re talking about in my very early paperback copy of Space Viking:

      [Captain Otto Harkaman of the Corisande II]“Our grandchildren, if any, will probably be raiding Marduk.”

      [Prince Lucas Trask of Tanith] “You think it’ll be like that?”

      [Harkaman] “Don’t you? You were there; you saw what’s happening. The barbarians are rising; they have a leader, and they’re uniting.”

      “Every society rests on a barbarian base. The people who don’t understand civilization, and wouldn’t like it if they did. The hitchhikers. The people who create nothing, and who don’t appreciate what others have created for them, and who think that civilization is something that just exists and that all they need to do is enjoy what they can understand of it — luxuries, a high living standard, and easy work for high pay. Responsibilities? Phooey! What do they have a government for?”

      “And now, the hitchhikers think they know more about the car than the people who designed it, so they’re going to grab the controls. Zaspar Makann says they can, and he’s the Leader.”

      Harkaman poured a drink from a decanter that had been looted on Pushan; there was a planet where a republic had been overthrown in favor of a dictatorship four centuries ago, and the planetary dictatorship had fissioned into a dozen regional dictatorships, and now they were down to the peasant-village and handcraft-industry level.

      [Trask] “I don’t understand it, though. I was reading about Hitler, on the way home. I wouldn’t be surprised if Zaspar Makann had been reading about Hitler, too. He’s using all Hitler’s tricks. But Hitler came to power in a country which had been impoverished by a military defeat. Marduk hasn’t fought a war in almost two generations, and that one was a farce.”

      [Harkaman] “It wasn’t the war that put Hitler into power. It was the fact that the ruling class of his nation, the people who kept things running, were discredited. The masses, the homemade barbarians, didn’t have anybody to take their responsibilities for them. What they have on Marduk is a ruling class that has been discrediting itself. A ruling class that’s ashamed of its privileges and shirks its duties. A ruling class that has begun to believe that the masses are just as good as they are, which they manifestly are not. And a ruling class that won’t use force to maintain its position. And they have a democracy, and they are letting the enemies of democracy shelter behind democratic safeguards.”

      [Trask] “We don’t have any of this democracy in the Sword-Worlds, if that’s the word for it. And our ruling class aren’t ashamed of their power, and our people aren’t hitchhikers, and as long as they get decent treatment they don’t try to run things. And we’re not doing so well.”

      [Harkaman] “You know why? Our rulers are the barbarians among us. There isn’t a one of them — Napolyon of Flamberge, Rodolf of Excalibur, or Angus of about half of Gram — who is devoted to civilization or anything else outside himself, and that’s the mark of the barbarian.”

      [Trask] “What are you devoted to, Otto?”

      [Harkaman] “You. You are my chieftain. That’s another mark of the barbarian.”

        1. The barbarians have taken over the institutions of civilization. They can pull the levers, twist the knobs and meddle with the valves, but they don’t know what the hell they’re doing!! They don’t have a clue how any of the mechanisms of civilization work. They’re like a crate of monkeys that have gotten loose and taken over the controls of a jumbo jet.

          How did Piper know, 60 years ago? It’s like he’s speaking to us from the past.
          Erik: “It’s reassuring to find that the world is crazier than you are.”

          1. Piper knew people, and he knew what makes a civilization work. And it’s not welfare or “easy work for high pay”, or shirking the personal responsibility to contribute to the maintenance and advancement of that civilization.

            The barbarians aren’t at the gates; they’re inside and doing their best to tear down what they’re incompetent to build or maintain. A society of envy.

  3. “… who didn’t beat you was a dream.”

    I forget the author and the work has been pulled from (normal, upstanding, -cough-) web, but a fellow was writing a trilogy about a War between Earth and Hell, then Earth and Heaven, and then.. well, the third didn’t happen far as I know.

    I do recall in the first, when Dis was conquered/liberated there was the disgusted reaction that someone considered themselves fortunate for being a slave whose owner “did not beat them that often” or such.

    Yeah, if your society makes another’s version of Hell seem normal or even a step up, it has some issues.

    1. “The Armageddon War”. 2nd book was “Pantheocide”

      It was pretty good, I may even have a copy of it saved somewhere.

    2. The Salvation War, I forget who wrote it, but it was posted to an alt-history forum instead of published.

  4. The missionary our tiny church helps sponsor has some words about “machismo,” which is endemic in Honduras and elsehwere (lots of elsewheres). The men don’t like her words. At last count, the assassination attempt count was at five.
    And while the women are, in theory, good with the idea rape victims are victims, they are only good with it until they discover the rapist is their brother/husband/uncle. Then the dirty b****h got what was coming to her.

      1. The severe cases are, “All cultures are better than ours, we are the cesspool of all evil.”

      2. They lack knowledge of any other culture and they lack the imagination necessary to put themselves in another’s place. They are arrogant narcissists, you know, todlers

      3. Is there any culture in which people assume the worst of their nearest and dearest and uncritically accept what is said against them?

        Well, some parts of the US. It’s not pretty. Innocent men can suffer horribly because of it, on top of false charges.

      4. There’s an important qualification there–equality of outcome, or equality of opportunity?

        I will readily accept the possibility that all cultures have the possibility of being equal. But I have no intention of living sharia law so someone else can prove theirs is superior.

        1. Sorry, but I do not accept that a culture which embraces Sharia law is even partly civilized, and such cultures cannot be equal to one such as the US, in which everyone has (theoretically, but at least we try) equal opportunity to succeed. Forced equality of outcome is an unrealizable chimera espoused by incompetent losers, and they never include themselves in that outcome; they’re far too superior (in what passes for their minds) for that.

    1. And while the women are, in theory, good with the idea rape victims are victims, they are only good with it until they discover the rapist is their brother/husband/uncle. Then the dirty b****h got what was coming to her.

      Soooo, seems to me this can be solved in a highly poetically just way that forces their ideology to break on its own contradictions.

      Preferably without the rape part.

      1. It isn’t really a contradiction: their first loyalty is to their tribe.

        My self against my brother,
        My brother and I against our cousin,
        The three of us against the world.

        1. The way I heard that the first time was:

          Me and my nation against the world.
          Me and my tribe against my nation.
          Me and my clan against my tribe.
          Me and my family against my clan.
          Me and my brother against my family.
          Me against my brother.

            1. Latin America got it from the Spanish, who conquered Latin America after spending four hundred years fighting their way out from underneath the culture of which you speak. There is a connection.

  5. I mentioned Is been listening to a lecture series on the American west. While the lecturer clearly sympathized with the Amerindians, and how the US pretty consistently made agreements that it promptly violated, he did explain a lot of why the colonists feared and hated them.

    He read a description of one tribe’s coming of age trial for its boys. A trap per or explorer (I forget which) was i respected by the tribe, so they invited him to watch, and he wrote it down.

    One thing that stuck with me was the part where they’d burn holes in the boys skin, feed cords through them and then hang them from trees until they passed out. The objective was for the boys to endure all of this without showing any discomfort.

    Thing is, this wasn’t even a particularly war-tribe. It was merely that if one was captured one must expect to be tortured to death, and to be a man of the tribe one must be able to endure such a thing without shaming yourself or your tribe.

    Once beyond civilization, anything you meet, no matter how gentle it may present itself, can and will be capable of killing you at the drop of a hat, or less. Because if it wasn’t, it would already be dead.

    That tribe later got wiped out by a smallpox outbreak.

    1. Mandan, I think. The artist George Catlin painted a picture of that ritual.
      When it came to making war, and torturing captives after a victory, I’m afraid that our American Indian tribes were psychopathically brutal. No way to put cultural lipstick on that pig…

        1. Oh, and the Mandan did the Sun Dance while attached by cords to a pole, or attached by cords to a buffalo skull that they dragged along the ground behind them. It fulfilled vows by adult men, stuff like that.

            1. Well, the women didn’t have that happen.

              The women simply got passed around, because they reportedly believed that she would collect some of the strength or wisdom of strong or wise men that did it with her, which would be available for the next guy who had her.

              Anyone who says that was a matriarchal society has no clue how they used women.

              1. Or the tribes where household goods belonged to the wife, until the husband died. Then the minor children were taken in by other relatives, the women of the tribe descended on the woman’s goods and took them. The woman was left with nothing. It was up to a brother or other male relative to take them in. Often that didn’t happen. The woman was often outcast and left to die.

                1. For a moment, given how much raiding for women the tribes seemed to do to each other, why some other tribe didn’t just scoop her up and add her to their pile, but I realized, we’re probably talking about the old women past prime child bearing age.

                  I do remember the nomadic herders leaving their old and infirm on the far side of the bank every year. That was no less harsh, but it seems less cruel.

                  1. Generally. A younger woman, of child bearing age, and proven fertility, would likely quickly be remarried, to her chosen warrior, before her children and belongings were snatched away. But a woman past child bearing age, depended on her siblings, and married children, if she had any, to take her in.

                    1. Sometimes orphans or tribal newbies were “matched” with widows who didn’t have kids, and became their kids who helped support them. Depended a lot on the tribe.

                      If a tribe was strong, had self-respect, did lots of trading, etc., they often also had a healthy culture with lots of lifelines for the oddballs and the unlucky. But a lot of times, that went side by side with some really unhealthy practices.

                      I mean, the Shawnee were pretty good eggs, but (historically, not now) they also had both male and female torture the prisoners religious societies. If you lived through it, you might have gained respect… but sheesh, no, not very nice.

                      OTOH, it seems like a lot of tribes really did need people, and did have incentives to help fellow people and welcome newbies, even if they were prisoners and slaves. But a lot depended on who had more push on a given day, because you could easily end up dead for all kinds of reasons.

                      And marriage customs were really diverse. Some tribes were monogamists, some hardly bothered. Some tribes had arranged marriages, some had all kinds of family butting in, and others let kids please themselves.

  6. You know something? It turns out that Carce, the capital of Witchland in The Worm Ouroboros, has a name very similar to Hebrew karse, throne.

    Argh argh argh argh. I’ve read that so many times, and didn’t get it!

    1. What Hebrew word is that? The only word for “throne” I know of is כסא מלכות, kisei malchuth (no ‘r’), literally “royal chair”. And Carce-kisei is too great a stretch.

      1. Oh, thank you for pointing that out! I misspoke/miswrote. Let me link. It’s from Daniel 5:20 and Daniel 7:9, and apparently it’s an Aramaic loanword or just plain Aramaic. It’s pronounced more like korse… at least in this dialect, maybe not always. (Aramaic, I really don’t understand but I know there’s lots of dialects.)

        I really really have to do Hebrew, if only so I can understand these notes better. But I’m terrible at shape recognition, argh.

        1. The word is כרסא, which I would pronounce korsei; seems to be the direct equivalent of the Hebrew כסא kisei, “chair”. In Daniel 5:20, there’s the explicit phrase korsei malchuthei, the additional word meaning “royal”—so “royal chair” or “royal throne”. In the two used in 7:9 there is no such additional word, so the translation should perhaps have been “chair”; but since this is the chair of God, “throne” is reasonable in this context.

          So the word simply means “chair”; but the three times it’s used in the Bible, it happens to mean “throne” in context.

          I’d guess that “Carce” is very unlikely to be an attempted reference to this word.

          1. I have been criticized (on another forum) by a regular here for not being willing to commit myself to any specific translation. I hope this example makes it clear why—just because something is a correct translation in one context, does not mean it’s accurate in other contexts.

            1. It’s also why direct translations, especially between unrelated languages (Hindi and Navajo, for example, or Basque and Japanese) are “a snare and a delusion”. A really competent translator (no, not me; I have trouble with English 🙂 ) who is fully fluent in both languages and the cultures in question including culture-specific connotations can do a good transliteration and preserve the meaning as well as possible, but that’s about it.

              1. I can do a good and competent transliteration. Or could when I was fully fluent in 5 languages.
                BUT the first thing we learned in translation class was the French proverb, which I can no longer remember in French (I hate my brain.) “To translate is to betray a little.” Most of the time,I’ll be fair, it’s to betray a lot. Or why I wasn’t hired by the CIA. We’ll talk about it at a con or somewhere sometime.

                1. Thanks; I knew you started as a translator and figured you’d be familiar with the issues.. That’s pretty much how I understood it (the problems of translation, especially when cultural connotations get into it, which is essentially always). And I think it’s worst, and most likely to cause problems, when the languages are essentially identical (US and Brit English, for example) but the cultures aren’t (ditto).

                    1. No surprise; you almost have to grow up from infancy in a culture to “get” it, and even then many still don’t. You seem to have done really well in that respect.

                      And of course, the US is a conglomeration of cultures, most mutually incomprehensible. I suspect the same holds true elsewhere; I know people in the Camargh, Marseilles and Paris don’t “get” each other, or have any real desire to. Hopefully that’s the fact that will continue to trip up all the “people are widgets” collectivist scumbags.

                    2. When people ask about this strange name we gave older son (Robert Anson) and ask “Was he named after a grandfather?” We just say “Yes.” Because it’s simpler.

                    3. And by the way no, you don’t have to grow up from infancy. Even the idiot linguists who say you can never write artistically in your second language, set the date at the age of six.
                      They are obviously wrong and so are you.
                      Is it easy? HELL no. I wrote about it. Acculturating as an adult is very akin to going insane. BUT it is possible.

                    4. Since 4… Well, that ‘splains it 🙂

                      And good on the “Robert Anson”. I agree; it’s simpler to just say “yes”.

                  1. You are of course correct; my father managed to acculturate quite well, and he came here in his early 20s (he was French/Corsican). As for “from infancy”, I’ve told myself a billion times not to use hyperbole, but I never seem to learn. 🙂

                    1. LOL. Honestly, it’s rare. And even for me, nurtured on Twain and Heinlein it was a bit like going mad. I suspect there’s still something … odd about my movements and how I speak. Then again, as an Odd perhaps there would always be.

                    2. America is pretty good about having Allowances for family/nonlocal culture, to the point that places that get prickly about it are noted as being jerks. 😀

                    3. It’s no surprise that it feels like insanity; being forced (or forcing yourself) to change all your basic beliefs and attitudes is bound to feel that way. But you managed to power through it, as did my Dad; others can as well, even though it’ll never be easy.

    2. Sometimes one misses these things. I think I was into the second book of Weber’s Honor Harrington series after his introduction before my brain abruptly clicked on Robert Stanton Pierre = Robespierre. I mean, the parallels with the French Revolution were very obvious, but it wasn’t until “Flag in Exile” when the name was written out as Rob. S. Pierre that suddenly the name clicked. I groaned. It was loud, long groan. And then I chuckled maniacally for like two minutes straight.

      1. I groaned aloud too, but rather because it threw me out of suspension of disbelief.

        It’s as if writers don’t think that their readerships know any history. After about the fourth time going, “Oh, this character is Belisarius. Again”, or “Oh, it’s Rourke’s Drift. Again” I start to wonder about just how creative writers actually are. Seriously, you can’t just file the serial numbers off; you at least have to do some cosmetic work as well.

        1. looks at Colplatschki books, looks up thread, looks at Colplatschki books OK, I futzed the numbers on the battles in Blackbird pretty hard. And a few others.

        2. I didn’t catch the Robespierre pun until the end of “Short Victorious War,” but when Pierre held a clandestine meeting in a tennis court, I had a hunch where the story was going.

          Though frankly, I rather liked how all the French Revolution references set me expecting the Napoleon character to succeed at her coup, only for the story to make a sharp turn into unprecedented territory.

          1. Interestingly enough David Weber has said that the “Napoleon” character was introduced before “McQueen” was introduced.

            What character did was to restore (or help in the restoration) of the original Republic Of Haven (the one that was prior to the People’s Republic of Haven). 😉

            1. I’ll grant that Theismann is who Napoleon wanted to be seen as: the man who restored the glory and freedom of the Republic. McQueen, however, was far more like who Napoleon actually was: a dangerously ambitious person who used the language of republicanism to disguise a lust for power.

      2. The problem with allusions that the readers will catch but mean nothing to the characters is that they break the fourth wall.

  7. You owe Barbarians an apology. Barbarians just don’t know any better.

    These wankers have been taught what civilization and civilized behavior are, they just don’t feel like constraining their behavior to live within those limits. Therefore, civilization itself must be Eeevul, because if it’s not, that means they are wrong, and they can’t be wrong, oh no, uh-uh. Everybody else must be Eeevul.

    So, everyone wanting people to be free from the government’s intrusive power are fascists, and the ones turning the power of giant business and financial monopolies against people who defy the government are ‘protecting democracy’.

    When the FICUS was maundering on about how the ‘Ultra-MAGA fascists’ are going against ‘The Will Of The People’ last week, I wanted somebody to holler, “We ARE The People, asshole!”
    “Excuse him, Excellency. He is a barbarian, and believes the customs of his tribe to be the Laws Of Nature.”

          1. Yes. It’s quoted on the opening pages of Glory Road. But the words are slightly different:

            Pardon him, Theodotus. He is a barbarian, and thinks the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.

              1. There are so many one-liners from the classics which have become part of the common heritage, from the aforementioned admonishment (damn, two four-syllable words; I’m on a roll! 🙂 ) to Theodotus, to Horatius’ speech at the bridge (one of my favorites):
                “Then up spake Horatius, the Captain of the Gate
                ‘To every man upon this Earth death cometh soon or late.
                But how can man die better than facing fearful odds
                For the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his gods?’ ”

                …a much better sentiment than Hamlet’s soliloquy, IMHO.

        1. Howard generally had greater respect for barbarians. But his comparisons of barbarians versus civilized people tended to focus more on how the latter often discarded the things that allowed their society to function.

          1. If I’m remembering correctly, the line was spoken by one of Howard’s “Civilized” characters regarding Conan. I believe the context was Conan was (falsely) accused by the speaker of breaking into, and Conan had gotten mouthy when whatever bigwig had happened upon the scene ordered his guards to haul Conan off to prison without even giving the barbarian the courtesy of being able to defend himself from said accusation.

      1. It’s from ‘Caesar and Cleopatra’ by George Bernard Shaw.

        (Confession: I had to look it up)

        Theodotus: “Forgive him, for he is a barbarian, and believes that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.”

  8. I think the issue lately has been more about whether we are “human” or “animals”. I remember in Dune when Paul Atreides must face the Box with the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother and the poison gom jobbar. He passes the test and is deemed a “human”. We all have animals inside us. The problem is do we have enough inner strength to tame them and be human.

    1. And the difference between the Box and stringing boys up by their skin is… ?

      I always hated that scene. Dune is an amazing work, but as I get older I find more and more of its philosophy to be hateful.

      1. I don’t believe we’re supposed to be sympathizing with the Reverend Mother in that scene. There’s a later point where Paul says something about “humans,” and Jessica tries to correct him, saying that those people weren’t necessarily human because they hadn’t passed the Gom Jobbar test. Paul snaps at her and at the whole idea that the Bene Gesserit have the right or even the ability to determine who’s “human” and who isn’t.

        Admittedly, I don’t think Dune ever quite made up its mind on that point. I think Herbert was trying to eat his cake and have it too by simultaneously declaring, “Isn’t this an awful thing, and aren’t these women horrible for doing it,” while at the same time wanting us to exclaim, “Wow, Paul endured more pain than ANYONE EVER. Doesn’t that just make him the coolest thing?”

      2. The difference is the pain box is neural induction, not physical destruction. Since the testee doesn’t know what’s actually happening in the box, their imagination of what’s causing the extreme pain, and their personal reaction to it, is what they have to control. Mother Moram’s (sp?) comments indicate that they know full well what others would do with that technology (horribly misuse it) which is why they hold that secret close.

  9. Have you stopped destroying art in the name of your barberic cult that masquarades as a religion?

    1. What is a ‘barberic cult’? One that reveres a particular hairstyle? 😀

      Or just the process of cutting hair? Are combs and scissors their Holy Symbols?

        1. Just like with Communism, when they said “peace” they meant after they took over everything.

          Never mind that violence between sects (literal for Islam, figuratively for Communism) is hardly unheard of… 😛

          1. That’s not a secret, if you look at the etymology. The root meaning of the word is “submission” or “surrender.” Submission to the God (al-Lah) or to Muslims is just a particular case.

  10. Sometimes the Barbarians are ahead of “civilization”.Genghis Khan, and his successors praticed religious toleration in an age when European knights were putting Albagensian heretics to the sword. In point of fact, that toleration was written into the Yasa, Genghis’ legal code. Eventually [by the rule of his third grandson, Kubilai], that went by the wayside. But it stood through the reign of Genghis, Ogadai, Guyuk, and probably, Mongke.

    And civilized people can be just as barbaric, if not more so, than the Barbarians. [ See: Caesar in Gaul, the Armenian Massacre at the hands of the Ottomans, Leopold of Belgium in the Congo, the Germans in SW Africa,the Japanese in WWII, the Holocaust, the Gulag, the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution.]

    1. The Reader believes that the history of the 20th century pretty much disposes of the notion that barbarian equals primitive. In fact, it would be fair to say that today only occasionally do humans not equal barbarians.

      1. Indeed, civilization means very nearly the opposite of pacifism. Civilization is a very sophisticated luxury that only continues to exist because of the sacrifice and toil of men who stand ready to utterly destroy any who threaten it. You cannot have it for more than an instant without such, as there are always barbarians envious of the fruits of civilization.

        Barbarism is the natural state of man. Always has been. It lurks beneath the skin of every mortal man and woman, no matter how placid and pious they be. Those who are truly pacifist in the face of extreme provocation must exercise immense restraint to train the beast that is man to quietude.

        There have been no civilizations, not one, that did not stand upon a hill of corpses. This is not a condemnation of civilization, it is simply what is. Houses have walls and towns have defenses for very good reasons, and if you think your town does not, what are police again?

    2. Part of the Albagensian Crusade was a power struggle between the Counts of Toulouse and the “king” of France. That parts of the Church had also gotten to be less-than-ideal role models for the faithful didn’t help, but a lot of the “kill them all and break Occitan” was the then “king” of France trying to shatter a very strong rival power center, and the Counts of Toulouse trying to hold on and to keep the Frankish northern nobles out of their business. (Note, this is what I read and was told while in the region. I’m not a specialist in this bit of history.)

      1. King is in quotes because power was far more diffuse in what is now France than the official monarch would have preferred. A lot of nobles liked it that way.

            1. True. But the Knights who slaughtered the heretics were the ‘flower’ of their culture, it wasn’t a war [at least from the Albagensians’ view], and both sides were “civilized”

              1. I have a hard time with people who simultaneously excuse (or praise with faint damns) the people who slaughtered the Albigensians, and also damn the people who kill, well, anyone, really, in the name of jihad.

                Either killing people of a different religion or religious interpretation is okay, or it’s not. Which religion is doing the killing and which is being killed makes no difference at all. Full stop.

              2. The Albigensians (more correctly Cathars) were not pacifists, whatever you’ve been told. They would probably have told you that they were fighting a defensive war, but they certainly did fight.

                If you’re talking about the famous massacre of Beziers, that started as a ill-advised sortie* by the Cathars against the crusaders and their routiers (mercenaries), that escalated quickly when the Cathars killed one of the routiers, and the routiers followed the Cathars in through the open city gates. The routiers slaughtered and burned their way through the town (while leaving enough people and buildings to where it continued as a major population center), with the crusaders intervening once the routiers got to the “loot and pillage” stage, because they wanted the loot. (The famous “kill ’em all, let God sort ’em out” line appears to be apocryphal).

                None of that is good, but it’s indistinguishable from any number of other horrible stuff that happened in medieval wartime.

                *The chief nobleman backing the Cathars had retreated to the larger stronghold of Carcassonne, apparently believing that the locals of Beziers were equipped to hold out until enforcements were sent. Due to the circumstances, we’ll never know if he was correct.

        1. “Eep” is appropriate. So is “Oh god oh god let me die first!”

          …Don’t get me started on the Mongols or Manchu. They had a lot of good points, sure, but… well. So did the conquistadores, in their way.

          1. And sometimes it does become a matter of picking your poison.

            The Conquistadores were not saints or even often nice people, but the folks they made war on were even worse. There is a reason Aztec religion was pretty completely erased, while most of the North American tribes, despite largely not having writing, are still known.

            1. But that was an accident. The Conquistadores would have been just as awful facing the Bushmen of the Kalahari or Australian Aborigines or in point of fact the Taino. They were so awful that several of their own broke ranks and complained to the King of Spain about it.

              This is akin to saying Yes the Soviets were awful but they were fighting the Nazis. No, they were just awful with a capital Aw; the Nazis don’t enter into it.

              “The Mongols destroyed entire nations and literally piled up millions of skulls, but they had religious toleration, sort of” is damning with faint praise indeed.

              1. The Spaniards were actually MARGINALLY better than the Aztecs, because they uploaded a different hardware in head and stopped the … Noogan that had taken over the people.
                As people they might have sucked — many did — but as a culture they were still more functional.

              2. I generally turn the comparison around. I’ll say, “Think about the conquistadores. You know how awful they were? Well, think about the fact that every one of the Aztecs’ neighbors allied with the conquistadores instead of the Aztecs. That’s how awful the Aztecs were: everyone who knew them, and had met Cortés, preferred to ally with Cortés. Because as awful as he was, the Aztecs were way, way worse.”

  11. Don’t confuse intolerance with politics. The mongols practiced religious tolerance because it wasn’t important to them. Terror and scapegoating are very good tools for tyrants.

    1. Mongke Khan’s mother, Sorgetani Beki was a Nestorian Christian, as was the wife of Hulegu Khan. So were various members of the royal family. She paid to build and support Churches in Mongolia and the empire. Genghis Khan was an animist. The Mongols spared religious communities from taxation, conscription, and other responsibilities. They were only required to pray for the Khan’s health. Whatever their reason, or non-reason, the Mongols were WAY ahead of their ‘civilized’ brethren.

      1. I agree the mongols were ahead of some others, as long as you submitted to them. If you didn’t, well you had Baghdad or Kiev or Kaifeng or, of course, Merv.

        The Mongols well understood the art of ruling through terror.

        Sorry, I firmly believe that religious intolerance by the state is political and has nothing to do with religion at all. Witness the budding intolerance among the ruling classes today.

    2. Religion was important to the Mongols… for themselves. They didn’t care what people did, as long as they submitted, followed common law, and didn’t rebel. But there were a lot of different steppe peoples with different beliefs and languages, so Mongols didn’t expect everybody else to worship their god Tengri. It was just too bad for other people.

      Now, when Mongols started converting to other religions, that was more of an issue. But as long as people kept obeying the Khan, that was just “Bob had some weird vision quest,” and they really didn’t care.

      1. Basically, other Mongol policies were similar. They were used to giving a lot of leeway to people under their rule, because you need initiative to survive out on the steppe, and because your neighbors did weird things.

        1. Same reason the Jewish community in India did reasonably well.

          “You are your own case with your own weird stuff.”

      2. They’re still pretty tolerant of all religions. Modern Mongolia has a wide range of religions present within the country, all co-existing alongside each other. My understanding is that it’s been that way for a long time.

          1. Mongolia has China on one side and Russia on the other. It has a democratic government. I don’t thinking the *looking” that you mention is just in one direction.

            In any case, afaik modern relations between Mongolia and the PRC are peaceful. The PRC abandoned all claims to Mongolia after the ROC went into exile. The claims haven’t been reinstated. And if there have been border disputes with Mongolia, I haven’t heard about them. My guess is that both China and Russia see Mongolia as a likely wild card combatant (for obvious reasons) if a war were to break out between Russia and China, and so neither country wants to openly antagonize the Mongolians. The last thing China would want in a war with Russia is for Mongolia to ally with the Russians. And given Mongolia’s unusual border situation (a very large country land-locked between two massive countries), Mongolia would be very tempted to get involved.

            By the same token, both Russia and China have an interest in making sure that the other nation doesn’t gain too much control in Mongolia. So being nice to Mongolia is probably seen as a good idea in Beijing.

            1. Mongolia was basically a one-party “socialist” satellite of the USSR from 1924 to 1990. China giving up its claims was probably a settlement between Communist brother nations.

              1. Yeah, but the important thing is that the CCP didn’t renew the claims after the Mongolian communists let themselves be voted out of power back in 1989. Further, relations between the two nations have remained friendly. If there’s been any skirmishes between border guards after the communists left office, I’m not aware of it. This is notably different than pretty much everywhere else China has a border, where the Chinese throw their weight around. All indications are that the Mongolians are getting along well with both of their neighbors.

                Again, part of this friendly attitude might be because Mongolia is stuck between two regional rivals. Ticking off the Mongolians will pretty much force them to grow closer to the other regional rival. Mongolia’s odd geographic location means that playing nice with the country is in the best interests of both Russia and China. An attempt to bully the country by one of the two is all but guaranteed to draw a sharp response from the other.

                1. Mongolia is the classic buffer state; without Mongolia separating them, there would that much more of a lengthy border for Russia and China to fight over, and fight they would and will.

                  1. And it’s a very long border. Mongolia’s border with China is longer than Russia’s border with China. It’s only if you add in Russian ally Khazakstan (which is conspicuously staying out of the war with Ukraine…) and other ‘stans that you start to deal with more border than what Mongolia by itself shares with China. Similarly, Mongolia also shares a very long border with Russia. And while it’s not quite as long as the border with China, it’s fairly close.

        1. @ junior > “Modern Mongolia has a wide range of religions present within the country, all co-existing alongside each other.”

          I was unaware of that until Number 3 Son wrote home from his LDS mission in California, in the late nineties, and told us his new companion was from Mongolia. A good friend of ours, about Son’s age, served his mission IN Mongolia.

          “You are your own case with your own weird stuff.” – Amsel

          1. I know two Mongolians who are LDS. One recently converted here in LA County. But my understanding is that the other was LDS before she left Mongolia.

  12. Absolutely…The Elgin marbles would have been used for building materials if lord Elgin hadn’t paid a huge ransom for them, which was used to finance the Greek independence rebellion against Turkey..They wouldn’t exist otherwise…

    1. Or burned for lime. Elgin rescued them. The Ottomans had little tolerance for a bunch of pagan graven images.

  13. The best thing that ever happened to me as an adult was the experience of actually living for several years in another country. In this case, West Germany. A supposedly “western” country.
    Compared to America, they live like abused, obedient paupers.
    I was always treated quite well. It’s just that their lifestyle compared to ours is ghetto.
    When I came home I became aware that “Europe” was held up as something to aspire to. WTF? You kidding me?
    And they will be treated as such. Let them foam.

    1. Most Americans have no idea just how wealthy we are compared to everyone else. It helps to live abroad but the simple fact is that Germany and Sweden would be lower tier US states on per capita GDP and even Norway despite the oil wealth has such high prices and tax that the standard of living is fairly low.

      1. I once saw a standard of living comparison that ranked the most “advanced” nations of Europe down around Mississippi in this regards. How the the less “advanced” nations fared… [shudder]

        1. But but but … they have so much more quality of life, doncha know, with all their romantic buildings and romantic museums and romantic trains and romantic cafés!

          — spoken, inevitably, by some American who spent a year abroad there during college, when they could live in downtown $CAPITAL_CITY and all their bills were being paid by Daddy and they didn’t have to get a job and their only comparison to apartment size was their erstwhile dorm room.

          1. I lived in a dorm that would not have passed much muster back in the states. Groceries cost a lot and I had to shop almost daily because the ‘fridge I could use was the size of two shoe-boxes end to end (group fridge divided into locked compartments.) Doing the wash cost a lot, and utilities were painfully expensive. This was the early 1990s. I didn’t have a TV, radio, or computer, so I was spared paying those fees. As it was, Germany, even living in the dorm, cost a whole lot more than back home, with fewer amenities, and that was in a “cheap” town. I shudder to think what I’d have been able to afford in Frankfurt, or Bonn, or Munich, let alone Berlin! A walk-in closet, maybe, if I lived way away from campus and commuted? Maybe?

            1. My daughter did grad school in Germany and made some close friends who visited us after she returned to the States. These were mostly children of the elite, whose fathers were executives of large corporations. All of them were blown away by our 1200 sf house on a 0.4 acre suburban lot. “So much room! Your garden is so large! You have two cars and two bathrooms!” They could not believe that a schoolteacher and a freelancer writer/editor could afford such luxury.

            2. And our elitist wanna-be masters believe Germany’s standard of living is too high. That they have to ‘sacrifice their luxuries for the greater good’, live in stack-a-prole tenements or human Ant Farms like that glass box they want to build in Dubai.

              They won’t live in the tenements, oh, no. They deserve better, because they just care so very, very much.

              Like I always say, under communism Walt Disney would have spent his life working in a State factory and living in one of those stack-a-prole tenements.
              G’Kar: “Weep for the future, Na’Toth. Weep for us all.”

            3. On business trips to the Netherlands in the mid-2000’s through the mid-2010’s, I was always so glad the company was paying, and that only partially helped. With my sleep schedule disrupted by the trans-Atlantic flights, I would sometimes just come back from the office and sleep for a few hours – and one night I slept too late and the hotel and nearby restaurants closed. I started to get in the habit of grabbing a few things from the local supermarket just in case, but the local supermarket had such limited hours as compared to the US.

              I think I had two nights like that my first week, before I was able to get to the market over the weekend. I tried earlier in the week, but I didn’t find out the hours were so limited until I was coming back from the restaurant and found the supermarket closed at not quite 8 pm. One of the nights dinner consisted of crazy overpriced junk food from the gas station convenience store located a short walk from the hotel, because that was the only place open nearby. That happened the first night on one of my later trips, because I went straight into the office from my flight in early morning and crashed around 3 PM and woke up sometime around midnight.

              It all cost so much more than the US, even without the exchange rate factored in. Selection, cost, hours, convenience – everything was just so much simpler in the US. My colleagues homes that I saw had smaller refrigerators than we’re used to here, though not as small as that dorm fridge. And there was no air conditioning in a lot of the buildings, even in summer.

              1. “But none of that matters, because the Europeans are just so sophisticated!”

                /gauzy reminiscence

                If you mean they act like Hans Gruber when they know you’re an American, sure, I guess “sophisticated” might work, and when you’re young and inexperienced that might seem impressive. But I was a kid from a tiny city on the ass-end of the country, and NYCers tried to pull that crap on me. I wasn’t having it from them, and I sure as hell wasn’t going to have it from Eurotrash. And besides, in my twenties I met a whole bunch of European au pairs (long story), and they were some of the dumbest young women I’ve ever seen.

      1. It’s because of socialism. The most “free market” country in western Europe is more socialist than free market; of course the Democrats are really trying very hard to pass them and go straight towards the communist end of the scale, albeit using nominally private companies as instruments of the state (in essence a communist state using fascist economic structure-somewhat like the current CCP).

        Eastern Europe of course has been there, done that, gotten the t-shirt and wants to burn it because they are not going to be forced down that road again.

    2. My standard comment for years was that Western Europe, economically, was Alabama with history theme parks. This is unfair – to Alabama.

      1. There was an article I read quite some time ago that pointed out that the median incomes in all but a couple of the fifty states was higher than in any country in Europe.

        And people living in those last couple of states were still better off than the Europeans once you adjusted for cost of living.

        1. My parents are upper middle class (No, they weren’t while I was growing up) My brother is one step up from that. Call it upper-upper middle class.
          We’ve trawled somewhere between low middle and middle-middle (Our house was usually a step above where we were, because it was both place to live and investment)
          We live probably (EASILY) two levels above my brother, without counting imponderables like how much free entertainment and information we can access at the flick of a finger, how reliable our services are, etc.

  14. There’s the Tribesman, Barbarian, Citizen editorial of John Campbell.

    As a rough guess, it’s highly probable that the next stage of cultural evolution will appear, to us, to be Barbarism, and be a horrible, degenerate, loathsome system indeed.

    Just as the Civil system appears, to the Barbarian, to be the Tribal system, in which the individual has no dignity, and a man is not a Man, for he lacks the courage to express his individual worth and will.

    My own guess is that our current domestic barbarians (and tribesmen), if introduced to this idea, will claim to be those post-Citizen New People. And that the people who actually will be those post-Citizen neo-barbarians will arise from the Deplorables – those nasty inferior barbaric people who refuse to understand and accept the blessings of Government Almighty and its anointed aristocracy.

    1. I remember that editorial. It made quite an impression on me. I found Campbell’s categories useful in understanding human behavior. My screen name is actually a compliment to it.

  15. read Joel Rosenberg’s not for glory – it has an exellent parable about why I identify as a barbarian

    1. “I’m a barbarian. You said so yourself.” – Captain Kirk in “A Taste of Armageddon” because he refused to let the leader of Eminiar VII kill his crew to keep the “clean” computer war his planet had been maintaining with their neighboring colony for 500 years.

      If Kirk is a barbarian, I want some of that action.

  16. OK, without going farther than the first few sentences in the article: Oh gads, it Hiwass again. Sheesh. For a while he had to be involved in almost every dig, grant, exhibit, what have you in Egypt, or there were “problems.” He staggered a bit after the Arab Spring, when he was removed from his cushy office, but has obviously rebounded.

    1. Beat me to it by a minute- I was just about to say that, too. This isn’t the first time he’s reinvented himself to get back in the news again. He’s always been a bit of an insufferable bastard, in my opinion.

    2. The person in question came up on OldNFO’s livestream today when I mentioned Egypt wanting some of the artifacts Napoleon looted back. Ian went on an epic rant and referred to that person as something like “that guy with the cowboy hat.” Can’t disagree with his points, though – Ian’s points, that is, not Hawass’.

      1. I refer to him as “chambray shirt” because in ALL the Egyptology shows for a while, he was wearing a blue chambray shirt, with or without hat.

        1. I couldn’t remember his name, but I knew exactly who Ian was talking about. And then lo and behold, he pops up here in this thread, same day. Synchronicity?

  17. “I advice you to run not walk to buy and read War Before civilization. Yes, I do actually realize it’s expensive as heck, but trust me, it’s worth it.”

    It really isn’t that expensive, either. under $20 for the kindle or paperback. This is book has many good citations in it, like any scholarly work, and it does help to have some background in the history that he writes about, but all in all, it is a very good book for what it intends to teach:

    That the whole “noble savage” rot was and is utterly without foundation in fact.

    I need to give this one a think and try not to write a wall of text on it, though. I think I understand what Hawass is trying to do here, but he’s making some fundamental errors along the way.

    1. Zahi Hawass is the Lindsay Graham of Egptology. Okay, that may not be fair… to Lindsay Graham. Fair warning, I personally think the guy’s an insufferable prick, so I might have a bit of a case of the ass on this one.

      The dude dresses like Indiana Jones and anywhere there’s Egyptology happening or especially in the news, he’s going to be there, trying to monopolize the spotlight. He has opinions about anything and everything remotely connected to Egyptology (he treats it like any professor’s pet project). He’s openly anti-semitic- (happens a lot in Egyptology, and I wonder if his influence isn’t there, too.

      After getting the boot when Mubarak got the boot in ’11, you’d think he would catch a clue. Maybe his ego got in the way, though. He’s a bit of a patriot for his homeland. I get why he wants all artifacts back in the Great Museum of Egypt. He wants that control back.

      He doesn’t seem to get that the whole world saw the ignorant little asses that pulled down ancient temples and leveling historic sites when they were romping around the Middle East back before 2016. The point is not that Hawass is like that.

      The point is that Hawass lives in a place where those sort are in power.

  18. Grumble Grumble

    Something is messed up.

    I’ve gotten several thousand emails from According to Hoyt.

    These are old posts and I know Sarah didn’t Do It To Me! 😉

  19. Love it. American, not so-called “Progressive” (really re-heated aristocracy), ideals are what we need. The thing that helped us win WW2, put men on the Moon, and survive Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, to elect Trump is what we need.

    Sniffy Puddingpants doesn’t count.

  20. Every Major Hassan is a barbarian admitted into our midst to turn and gore us like Arminius at Teutoburg. Thank goodness the Resident isn’t admitting unvetted, unvaxxed barbarians by the brigade.

    Fight to survive until Libertycon!

  21. Unless they carry their civilization on the inside, it doesn’t take long at all for civilized people to jettison the external trappings like so much trash. The slow erosion of internal civilization has been going on for a long time, and the decline of its external signs is proceeding at frightening speed. To take just a few examples from the headlines, How many campaign cycles is it going to take the governor of New York from saying that Republicans aren’t true New Yorkers and should move out to forcing them out at gunpoint? How long is it going to take for deplorables to start being treated as enemies of the state and the President to call out the F-15’s against his own citizens instead of merely speechifying about it? How long will it take to go from hinting that parents who protest at school boards are ‘domestic terrorists’ to arresting them as such? I don’t dare believe such things will never happen: Things that would have been considered unthinkable as recently as ten years ago are happening weekly if not daily. Once you start treating the ‘other’ as ‘the enemy’, all becomes fair in war and nothing is too brutal. If our “governing classes” don’t want to be considered barbarians, they should stop talking and acting like them.

  22. I understand the need for wolves. And, I do not go into their woods to look for a fight with them.

    I will not tolerate wolves at my walls, demanding the feed from my granaries or the meat in my larder for no other reason than “we could bite.”

    And, the wolves will understand-in the only way that they know how-that to enter my keep is to be bound by my rules and my law.

    Or I shall give my wife a lovely wolf-skin cloak to wear this winter.

          1. WOLVES? Too easy. LIONS. Very hungry lions.
            Why are all of you staring at me? Look, I have a lot of Roman ancestors, and I never let them crucify anyone. Can we make a small offering of Congress eaten by lions.

              1. Just no rhinos. It didn’t work. And not having a Hannibal, I suspect we may not have as much luck with elephants.

                Bears? Bears.

                They’re native, and we can blame either climate change or the Russians.

            1. As long as none of the four legged critters are harmed, I’m okay with lions, tigers, bears whatever.

        1. I’ve always felt the deer population should be controlled by releasing tigers. Tigers are an endangered species and more room for them to roam seems a good idea. I think using tigers or wolves to control Congress seems cruel. We’re trying NOT to harm the Tigers/Wolves. The tiger/wolf that got Nancy Pelosi would keel over from alcohol poisoning. And no tiger/wolf should have to eat something as wholly unappealing as Chuck Schumer.

                1. It shows up when you come on-line but It Did Not Show Up via email.

                  Word Press Must Die! 😈

                  1. Chome on my chrome book sees it no sweat. Firefox on a 16.04 Ubuntu laptop not so much… Will have to try my 20.04 machine out of curiosity.

                2. On lions, oh my, a good read is “Death in the Long Grass” by Peter Capstick, a retelling of stories of Africa, hunting, and lions, including the pride of man-killers that stopped the building of the Nairobi railway for months.

            1. I’m still not sure thats not fair to the hogs. Although my tiger solution could then deal with the congresscritter fed hogs. Well maybe, feral hogs get BIG if they’re anything like domestic hogs. Certainly wouldn’t want those hogs for human consumption, any Hogs that had consumed congrescritters would probably have a bitter taste…

    1. I think their destruction was a good thing, for values of “good.”

      It defines who the barbarians are, who the quislings are that will sell out to barbarians, and how we define the terms for the stakes. Long for the barbarians, for many of them do not know what they do. Short for the quislings, because they do

  23. But who exactly are the barbarians?

    The Greeks thought the Egyptians were barbarians.
    The Persians thought the Greeks were the barbarians.
    The Romans thought… a lot of people were barbarians.
    The Chinese thought most of the world was barbarians.
    Robert E. Howard thought that “Barbarity is the natural way of mankind. It is civilization that is unnatural, it is a whim of circumstance, and barbarism will always triumph.”
    I’ll admit that I always want to put Communism in the part regarding unnatural, but I digress.

    1. Sure. Communism SHOULD be unnatural. It’s not. It’s just barbarism with a pseudo scientific face. Barbarians are for tribe and multitude, for the power of the despot but ignore the individual.

  24. A question, and a point I think needs to be raised:

    The question: Does this apply to the Elgin Marbles? The Greeks are very butthurt about those…they get tired of people chanting “The Greeks lost their marbles! The Greeks lost their marbles!”

    The point: The vast majority of Muslims consider the Taliban (who do do the things you mentioned) to be barking-mad nutcases. While I’m not in favor of returning these things, it’s not because the people asking for them “back” are barbarians.

    1. The vast majority of Muslims consider the Taliban to be barking-mad nutcases.

      The above might be correct, but IMO many Muslims (especially in the Middle-East) are “barking-mad nutcases” by the standards of most Americans including Conservative Christian Americans.

      On the other hand, Sarah might not like this to turn into a Religious “Discussion”. 😉

      1. I will only say this: As a Catholic, but not a barking mad ultra-traditional one (no, trust me. I DO KNOW barking mad) of the kind that won’t even associate with other Christians, while I recognize they’re barking mad, I always feel somewhat guilty I’m not like that, because you know… That’s the tradition.
        I UNDERSTAND non barking mad Muslims, who nonetheless might support the barking mad ones, and feel guilty they’re not them. The end.

      2. It’s complicated. By the Kuran, they (even those in the US) live in a sort of theocratic pure democracy, where the balance of power could shift at any moment and put the crazies in power. Those who are not barking mad are also aware that when this happens (not if, by both policy and doctrine) those who have shown themselves to be less than fanatical will be killed. Those I have spoken to keep their heads down, not daring to speak up because some fanatical group halfway across the country might decide they also have jurisdiction.

        Reading their book was interesting, to say the least. I have some sympathy for those born into it. They live under a set of rules that make our liberals look sane.

  25. I saw the Taliban was calling for aid for their peoples in Afghanistan, in their time of need after a few natural disasters including at least one earthquake and major flooding. My response was ‘you mother fuckers wanted to live in the dark ages? congratulations. you got it.’ I have exactly ZERO sympathy. Sadly..I have very goddamn little of the milk of human kindness left in me and my bad side comes into play more and more, especially in my internet dealings.

    1. I pity the people of Afghanistan, but not enough to support the Taliban in any way. I know the innocent will suffer, and the guilty will not, but rewarding the guilty won’t help the innocent.
      Negotiating with an enemy that can’t be trusted is just plain stupid.

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