[ExI] Islamic culture (current) was Religions and violence >

darren shawn greer dgreer_68 at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 12 13:44:26 UTC 2010

> I find it strange how Hitler expounded about a "master race," and then
> tried to wipe out the Jewish people! I think the Jews, in terms of
> their accomplishments over the millennia (in business, the arts,
> religion, politics, science, etc.) are perhaps closer to being a
> master race than anyone else.

Memetically, perhaps. Genetically, and as Hitler usually meant it, not likely. Adaption through genetic mutation seems to take a lot longer than inter-species differentiation through cultural memes, and Hitler was very specific about how he thought the Aryan race had adapted and specialized.

Modern art is a good example. He hated it, preferring his own style of German kitsch and declared that artists like Paul Klee and other modernists had a genetically "degenerative" eye.  I saw a TV show once that traced the role of evolutionary theory on twentieth century politics, including Nazism, Stalinism and Capitalism. It was very interesting. Hitler used it to his own ends, as he did most science. He accepted natural selection, but denied the role of genetic mutation and the adaptive power of a varied gene pool in fueling it. Stalin did his best to suppress evolutionary theory, as natural selection was antithetical to Leninist doctrine. He championed pseudo-sciences like Lysenkoism and as a result held Russian genetic science back thirty years.

But I get your point. And it is otherwise well taken.

>And the sometimes very painful forces of social and biological evolution refined them into what they are today.

In his A Passionate Mind Eric Hoffer said that oppression, provided it is not too harsh, sometimes acts as a powerful catalyst on a culture, and can produce originality, ingenuity and a prolific volume of arts and science that might not other-wise exist. In the same book he also said that being unable, or not allowed, to compete in mainstream culture can cause you to express yourself in alternate ways, forcing originality in form and idea and expression outside the cultural norm. I was in the closet at the time and barely more than a boy, looking for positive ways to express my sexual identity in a culture that was extremely hostile to the idea of it. I adopted this theory to explain why my own "Diaspora" were so creative and culturally prominent. A few years later I decided the same thing was probably applicable to Jewish culture.

Humorous (I hope) aside: A Jewish friend and I were sitting in a cafe in Vienna enjoying a cup of coffee. It was a rough place, and there were two Viennese men in work-coveralls at a table near by us, swilling beer. My friend speaks German and over-heard one say to the other that we were two "Juden" touring Europe. My friend was offended.

"You don't look smart enough to be Jewish," he said. "And I know for a fact you buy retail."

True story.

Thanks for answering my questions, John.


"There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance - that principle is contempt prior to investigation."

-Herbert Spencer

> Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2010 21:49:04 -0700
> From: possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
> To: extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Islamic culture (current) was Religions and violence>
> Darren wrote:
> I always thought that the majority of antisemitism in the middle-east
> came from the occupation of parts of Palestine and the six day war.
> But then I looked into it a bit more, and realized the hatred was
> there long before, and has been present in the world since hellenistic
> times and the byzantine empire. Jews have accused of everything
> throughout the ages from poisoning wells to sucking the blood of
> babies to trying to take over the world. Why? I often try to look at
> things through a sociological or evolutionary lens, but this
> particular phenomenon baffles me. Jewish culture has been particularly
> beneficial to the world as a whole. So why the hatred?
> I think part of it came from the Jews being seen as being very
> different from the local mainstream populations in terms of religion,
> and their general desire to stay distinct people religiously and
> culturely, & not blend too much with the larger society. When it
> comes to humanity's darkside, appearing different can unfortunately
> sometimes be fatal...
> Finally, their great success in banking (in Medieval times Christians
> were barred from money-lending, and so the Jews stepped in and greatly
> succeeded in this niche) , business, writing, academia, various
> crafts, etc, lead to definite jealousy and envy (especially against
> those Jews who had become very wealthy). And so especially when times
> get tough, people will look to "outsiders" to blame their problems on
> and persecute. We all know how much the world loves a scapegoat!

> John
> On 8/11/10, Mike Dougherty  wrote:
>> 2010/8/11 Gregory Jones
>>> --- On Wed, 8/11/10, Sabrina Ballard  wrote:
>>> Isn't the cold war over? Or did we just put it on ice? (sorry>< I'm
>>> rusty)
>>> Like antisemitism, communism never dies, but rather only sleeps, and then
>>> only lightly.  Twentieth century communism came to an end on 9 November
>>> 1989.
>>> Modern China is what happens when communism discovers the power of
>>> capitalism.
>> I thought modern china was coated with nanoparticles to resist
>> staining and be dishwasher safe.
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