Unraveling the Fallacies of the Common Judeo-Christian Heritage

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Review of Yoram Hazony „The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture“, Cambridge University Press, NY: 2012

Well, not everyone is cherishes book review, so if you fancy a video instead, here is the talk between the author and the Chief Rabbi of the British Commonwealth, the flamboyant Sir Jonathan Sacks, chaired by STANDPOINT editor Daniel Johnson. But it doesn’t hurt to read this review afterwards. For Yoram Hazony is one of the founders of the Shalem Centre in Jerusalem, an academic research institute dedicated to the sustenance of the Jewish People and Israel. The book does not assume belief in God and also no previous background in the Bible and uses language accessible to everyone. This scholarly book is about the extended narrative of the ancient Hebrew Scriptures. It covers not only the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses, but all the additional biblical texts that make up the comprehensive History of Israel. The author is attempting to convince his readers that by looking at the context which the Mosaic Law is embedded into, we get a better understanding of the philosophy behind it. But above all it allows us to read the Hebrew Bible as a work of reason just like the great Greek philosophers.

Europe’s Union: Dictate Or Democracy

Duly Noted

About Bureaucracy, Regulators and Nation-Building.

It is difficult to overlook the emergence of an artificial “plastic” entity that its makers call “Europe”. The official press, media, culture, and parts of the political establishment cheer this development. This is true for Europe and the rest of our culture because the mutuality of elites is stronger than their national origins. More than that, the forces just named provide the propulsion that moves the project as it proceeds from fiction to reality. This makes it risky to formulate and to spread critical warnings about the unfolding process. Doing so might be, if only reasons are needed to advise caution, rather easy. However, doing so is also “dangerous” as any objection to the forging a centralized Europe will be used by the opinion makers to prove that you are a “bad person”. Accordingly, you resent and hinder the realization of the common good they propagate. If any proof is lacking for that one, then the recently issued Nobel Prize to the EU’s “apparat” can be invoked as evidence. 

Giving Europe What It Needs But Does Not Want

Duly Noted

The shifting focus of global affairs.

The current American administration has made an announcement that is beyond partisanship. Accordingly, America considers herself not to be primarily a country of the Atlantic zone but as a member of the Pacific’s community. With this, the USA reacts rationally to her interests and her location. Consequently, Europe’s priority is abandoned and the Pacific Rim becomes a core interest. The measure is justified on several levels.

They Are Still Digging

Duly Noted

No failed remedy is sufficiently threadbare not to inject it again.

Gresham’s Law is valid beyond the field of economics. As we know, bad money drives good money out. An international cabal uses bad fiction to drive good facts out of the mind of its credulous clients. Accordingly, even a few of those that do not support the cause served by the lie accept some inventions as facts. 

Why is skewed reality spread as the “real McCoy” version of what is an easily disrobed emperor. The generation of the 68-ers is now in power through its control of a multitude of institutions. Those whose once pursued revolution has failed responded by infiltrating the humanities departments of the universities and the media. In ’68, the “revolution” of the spoiled bored children of the middle classes, has failed. The sensible masses did not respond to the dreams of the kids that selflessly offered to lead them. The disavowed continued to be driven by their compulsion. It was to atone for the success of the generation that won a war and for the “economic miracles” of their elders. 

Islamophobia, The Concept And The Polemic

The attack against criticism of the Islamic religion continues. Like the Soviet Union of yore, the West along with the Islamic world treats critics of the privileged ideology as madmen suffering from a mental disease, an irrational fear, in this case a new-fangled disorder called Islamophobia. This is modeled on xenophobia, “fear of strangers”, and ultimately on genuine diseases like agoraphobia, “fear of public places”, and arachnophobia, “fear of spiders”. The crusaders (or rather the muhajedin) against this disease are not missionaries who claim to love the people they accuse of being devil-worshippers, they are simpler and more straightforward: they just hate these dissenters. They do not wonder why the “Islamophobes” disagree with the official appreciation, they have no time for such luxuries. They simply try to impose their own hatred on public opinion and on lawmakers, for, like Islam itself, they would like to institute laws everywhere prohibiting criticism of Islam.

Who Pays For What?

Duly Noted

Allotments create takers and supports well-paid bureaucracies.

A perceptive, inquisitive and respected friend inspires this week’s Duly Noted. Sam L., who manages his own business, heads a community level grass-roots organ of a Swiss political party. The material he sent circulated as a personal note and reveals a suppressed fact. His stumbling into a reality that PC asks us to handle by covering it up resulted in the consternation of the surprised engineer. The same pertains to the addressees of the note.

The “Master Spirit” Takes Charge: H. G. Wells on the Dictatorial Century

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In his monumental Experiment in Autobiography (1934), the English novelist and public intellectual Herbert George Wells (1866 – 1946) claims to understand the German dictator Adolf Hitler intuitively. The discussion will shortly come to that – but first some background.

Writing of his “mid schoolboy stage” at Thomas Morley’s school in 1878 and 79, and trying to reconstruct his thirteen-year-old worldview, Wells recalls, along with much else, his adolescent fondness for indulging in compensatory military fantasies rooted in a rebellious but invariably thwarted libido dominandi. “The flavor of J. R. Green’s recently published (1874) History of the English people had drifted to me either directly or at second hand,” as the autobiographer writes, “and my mind had leapt all too readily to the idea that I was a blond and blue-eyed Nordic, quite the best make of human being known.” Wells remarks that, “England was consciously Teutonic in those days, [and] the monarchy and Thomas Carlyle were strong influences in that direction.” Discussion of Britain as a romantic “Keltic Fringe” hung in the air, as Wells writes; “and the defeat of France in 1870-71 seemed to be the final defeat of the decadent Latin peoples.” The convictions that, “We English, by sheer native superiority, practically without trying, had possessed ourselves of an Empire on which the sun never set” and that, “the errors and infirmities of other races” were compelling Britain towards “world dominion” fastened themselves unquestionably in young Georgie’s mind. The adult Wells would put it this way: “All that was settled in my head,” such that the array of associated notions informed the lad’s “active imagination.”

Contemporary Migration And Its Challenges

Duly Noted

In moments of levity, this writer presents himself as a “professional immigrant”. Indeed, by choice or driven by vainly resisted forces, his life had to be repeatedly relocated. The experience of starting anew is as unpleasant as it is also valuable. In the aftermath of the US’ election, the migration experience became a recognized topic of significance.

Migration is not only a force that determined the US’ election. A new movement of peoples is tied to the appearance of unwelcome immigrations throughout the developed world. This new immigration, its political impact and its social consequences, will serve as a subject of future discussions.

Preparing For The Coming Election

Duly Noted

After the choice, a new chance to return the merchandise.

Understandably, America’s election, lost by the Republicans, owns the front pages. The volume of the coverage suggests that all has been said about the event. However, by looking beyond the “immediate trauma”, several observations emerge.

The Tragedy Of The Euro

2012 has been a year of great turmoil for the euro. But our common currency is not the only thing that is in crisis. OUr economic theory is too, and even more so. For decades, macro-economic policy has been conducted within a Keynesian framework. And while no Keynesian economist has predicted this crisis, or is even able to explain its causes, we are still listening to them today to get out of the mess they brought us into. I would say that this is a problem of legitimacy.

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