Thursday, May 28, 2015

ISIS Runs from Amazon Warriors


Laina Farhat-Holzman

Even if you do not know the great Greek myths about the ancient women warriors, the Amazons, whom Plato described, most of you do remember Wonder Woman, that beautiful comic book heroine who was an Amazon warrior  princess. Plato's Amazons were fierce; they could fight as well as any men, and were so devoted to the art of war that they amputated their right breasts so that they could use a bow and arrow as men could. They lived communally, capturing men only to procreate,  dumping male children. This is indeed a fearful sort of notion in patriarchal societies! But Greeks comforted themselves that this was only a myth from the past.

Well, dear readers, it is no longer a myth from the past. The Kurds, a modern soon-to-be nation from the same part of the world as the mythical Amazons, have resurrected the women warriors, and ISIS warriors are running from them in horror.

Kurds are descendants from the Medes, a cousin tribe of the Persians (today's Iranians), a people who live spread from the Caspian region to the Black Sea, and are divided among Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Azerbaijan. They were promised a country after World War I but were betrayed by the British nation-shapers: too much oil there.

As the nation-states that the British and French created a century ago collapse into anarchy, the Kurds are the only ones who look ready to really create and hold a true nation state. They are fighting for it, and are not only united in their fighting, but Kurdish men are supporting an amazing anomaly in the Muslim world, a completely female Army Corps fighting side by side with the men.

These women are not amateurs either. As members of the PKK, they have long been fighting the Turks, no slouches as an enemy. The US had branded them as terrorists because Turkey demanded it. But as Turkey, once our good ally, looks less good and becomes more Islamist, the PKK is starting to look more like a friend, particularly its women! They are fighting ISIS, and we are wisely funneling weapons to them.

ISIS Muslim fanatics believe that if they die in battle, they go directly to paradise where 72 virgins await them. But if a woman warrior should kill them, they go directly to hell. How lovely for the Kurdish warriors! One beauty told a reporter on CNN that the ISIS fighters' knees turn to water at the sight of them. She also said that if the women fighters are captured, they commit suicide. They would never permit these fanatics to capture, rape, or sell them into slavery.

The warrior women have been capturing and freeing women taken by ISIS last summer, ending what has been a nightmare. More and more women are joining their ranks.

What is fascinating about these women's communities are their social views. They take an oath not to marry, not to have children, not to put themselves under the control of any men in any traditional situations until they have a free country and a completely reorganized society. This smacks of a total revolution against Islamic and tribal values.

It is also fascinating to hear the kind of support that they are getting from senior Kurdish military men. The men are proud of them, are giving them the military support that they need, and are themselves commenting on how little they themselves are interested in sustaining their Islamic past.

I wonder if the Kurdish experiences with the Shiites in Iraq, in Iran with the Islamic Revolution, in Turkey with the increasing Islamization of Turkish society, as well as the persecution of Kurds, and the utter fanatical craziness of ISIS, is playing a role in turning off Kurds to Islam altogether.  Could all this create a very secular Kurdish state when they create their new nation state?  If it does, it will be a very good thing for the women indeed. It will make these Amazons Founding Mothers of something wonderful in the Middle East.




Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law.  You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.

Marriage of One Man and One Woman, a Sacred History?

Pajaronian
May 16, 2015
Laina Farhat-Holzman

The Supreme Court has not weighed in on the issue of Gay Marriage yet, but plenty of people have had their say, in and out of the court. Even those who believe that it is time to recognize that a same sex couple should have the dignity of being recognized as a family with the same rights as a married couple do note that marriage has a long traditional history of being the sacred union of  one man and one woman.

However, I choke when I hear that one. Does it really? Do these sentimentalists really know the history of marriage, even marriage in Western Civilization, not to mention around the world? And please do not get me wrong. I am a very happily married woman, but that is because I am American, 20th and 21st century, and it took me two tries to get it right. I do have those luxuries. I dare say, the majority of women alive around the world today are not so blessed. When I survey the statistics of wife abuse around the world, the hostility toward women in the Muslim world, Africa, India, rural China, and Latin America, I do not have a rosy view of marriage in the world today.

Now, let us look at those words: a union of one man and one woman. We hear this mostly from those who are religious, and they surely must read their Old Testaments, realizing that although Adam and Eve were a monogamous couple, particularly since they were the first and only human beings created, their progeny were polygamous. The Bible stories tell of contentious marriages with competitive wives, concubines, half-brothers who were jealous and did not like each other, and they behaved as polygamous families notoriously behave to this very day. Remember the brothers who sold Joseph into slavery? Not nice.

The concept of monogamous marriage comes from the Romans, and it was unique to them. No other civilization to my knowledge had it. Jews picked it up when under Roman rule, but not under Muslim rule. Christians picked it up and eliminated the Roman custom of divorce, which protected some women but trapped others into permanent abusive marriages.

Until the late 18th century in Europe, marriage was never thought of as an institution of volition or affection; it was a family arrangement. Young people were not to have choices. If love came later, it was a matter of luck.

The purpose of this sacred union was to produce as many progeny as the woman's body would yield, until it either gave out or she entered menopause. A man could expect to marry several times and have several broods of children before his old age. During certain times in history, plagues, warfare, and just childhood mortality took care of surplus population, until the scientific revolution made possible an enormous population explosion that has only now begun to turn.

The 20th century has, for the first time, made it possible for women to have choices as never before. A women has the choice of mates, choice to select for love----and choice to leave a bad choice. She has choice to procreate or not, to select how many children to have, and when to have them.

The greatest transformation of our time has been in marriage. Marriage is no longer a matter of family corporations. It is a matter of two people merging their lives in pure volition, wanting to live together in mutual support, and in volition to have children together. They do not need to be of different genders. They need to be decent, not abusive, and have support systems of friends and family---the modern way that marriages are structured.

I certainly do not look back with nostalgia to the good old-fashioned marriages of the past. It is a short list. John and Abigail Adams are a rare exception. They were equals. The rest of the good marriages are 19th and 20th century, when people had choices and married for love.

Since the marriages of the past are nothing to sentimentalize, the Supreme Court should know better.


Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law.  You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.    

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Europe's Newest Invasion needs Tough Love

Sentinel
May 9, 2015
Laina Farhat-Holzman

As Europeans wring their hands over the arrival of desperate boat people swarming from an Africa that seems to be in death throes, Italy is being shamed into rescuing them. How can they not? How can anybody in Europe not be shamed to relive the last time they created refugees when Yugoslavia was in meltdown? Or before that, when Jews had to flee, or when that savior of refugees, America, turned away ships, sending Jews back to the Nazis who then murdered them?

But as a historian, I want to look further back. Europe has been peopled from the start by hordes fleeing ecological disasters, mostly from Central Asia. The Romans were forever holding off “Barbarians” until finally they could not. These fierce tribes overran Rome and settled in Europe in the 4th century, their leaders marrying into Roman nobility, converting into Rome's then religion, Christianity, along with their subjects.

They were rough, warlike, and savage, but they really wanted nothing more than to be new Romans. They certainly had no desire to replace Rome with their own cultures. As dark as the “Dark Ages” were, they never completely extinguished Rome. The Middle Ages ushered in the resurrection of Roman law, Roman values, and even Roman technologies, and thanks to pressure from the Muslim world, a complete revival of the ancient Greek and Roman learning that we call the Renaissance.

Huns invaded and became Hungarians, becoming European except for their language. Slavic tribes invaded, and they too became Christian, European, and settled in, alas, bringing with them hatred of each other (the unhappy history of the former Yugoslavia). But they were European.

Vikings were a barbaric group that overran northern Europe and gave much grief to the British, French, and Russians in the 8th century. They wound up as a ruling class of all three---but all three had cultures and languages that swallowed them up. The English made them British; French wives tamed the Normans; and the Vikings became the Romanovs. Viking culture didn't stand a chance.

So what of today's hordes descending upon Europe? The first wave is already there: Educated Muslims and Hindus from Pakistan and India as colonialism ended, elite Persians fleeing the Islamic Revolution, elite Afghans fleeing the Taliban, and elite Saudis and Gulf Arabs buying expensive property and educating their children in Europe. This wave mostly integrated and their children are European. We see their names as writers, actors, and university dons.

The second wave is something else. They are fleeing anarchy and chaos, civil wars and ecological disasters. Some are worthy of refuge, but others are not. When a boatload of Muslim men who reached Italian shores had thrown overboard fellow Christians, they were jailed. Such people cannot become Europeans! Others are eager Jihadis. Europe must make some harsh choices if it is not to founder. Sympathy must not become suicide. Africa's death must not become Europe's.

     o     Europe cannot take all these people in. It must do serious triage. It must ban militant Muslims, who cannot be assimilated. But they must admit Christian (Syrian, Egyptian, and Lebanese) families who will otherwise be murdered in the Middle East. These people can become European.

     o     The rest must be sent to Libya to refugee camps like those that housed the Palestinians 60 years ago. To avoid carnage, they must be separated: Syrians, Ethiopians, Somalis, Chadians, with the hope that these people can be repatriated after their national emergencies are eventually resolved. In the interim, they need to be fed, cared for, and their children educated and prepared for gainful employment. The money must come from Europe---the EU, which should be glad to pay it rather than have to pay for such settlement in their own countries!

     o     Those now living in European countries must be given immersion courses in the language, values, and cultural behaviors of their new countries. There must not be any acceptance of multiculturalism if Europe is to survive.

This invasion, if not handled right, could have disastrous consequences for the survival of 2,000 years of European civilization.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law.  You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.  

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Nation-State Idea is Not Cast in Stone


Pajaronian
Laina Farhat-Holzman
May 2, 2015

I remember trying to explain to my small children what a “country” is. They understood neighborhood because we could walk around those streets. They even understood city because we could drive around such a recognizable entity. It was a little more difficult to understand state and really difficult to understand country. When they were a little older, they played with geography puzzles and learned to recognize the states that made up “the United States” and later “the world” and eventually saw this concept on a globe. These, of course, were educated children.

But what of children who live in villages elsewhere around the world, children who have never seen anything other than their village, have never known people other than relatives (family and extended family such as clan)? Can they really conceive or care about country?

A century ago, people in the Middle East, most of whom lived in villages where they knew only family and clan and regarded others as potential enemies or the “other,” were told (by their European “liberators” from Ottoman rule) that they were citizens of new “countries.” They were “Syrian,” “Jordanian,” “Iraqi,” “Saudi Arabian,” “Sudanese,” “Lebanese,” or 'Libyan.” Their only neighbors with age-old identities as countries were Iran, Morocco and Egypt. The rest were new at this game.

From the beginning of civilization when human beings built cities, they organized themselves into kingdoms and empires. When kingdoms and empires could not protect their cities from barbarian attacks, people lived in anarchy until some new strongman once more organized a new kingdom and then empire. During times of anarchy, when it was every man for himself, the only safety that people had was family and clan. The strongest members of those families protected the rest and became warlords, whom the rest obeyed without question. Survival demanded this.

Warlords fought with each other until eventually the strongest emerged and a new king emerged. Kings fought until a new emperor emerged. This is the story of mankind until the 18th century when something new appeared in the world: three revolutions at once:  scientific, religious, and political, giving us the modern world we now have, along with its nation states, rule of law, and a global system that most of the world's countries have signed onto since the Bretton Woods Conference, hosted by the single superpower, the United States,  in 1944, near the end of World War II. This amazing system has held until now.

But now it is coming apart. The state system that was imposed on Middle East in 1918 is in meltdown. The region is descending into anarchy and country borders that looked permanent are wobbling. People are losing faith in their nation-states and their governments which are not only not able to protect them, but have become attackers (such as Syria and Iraq). When dictators, who kept various sects from each other's throats, are themselves taken down, the sectarian hatreds rise to the surface and nobody can control them.  Indeed, dictators are not the worst evil in the world. Anarchy is.

Those of us blessed by nation-states of long duration have forgotten that they are not natural systems, but systems based on institutions, customs, and history. Those in the Middle East do not have that. We handed “nations” to people along with democracy, which we thought meant “free and fair elections,” and told them all would be well. Alas, what a mess we made. We need to stop tinkering and see what emerges when the smoke clears.

For a start: Iraq will fall back into the three parts from which it rose:  a Sunni part connected to Sunni parts of Syria and Jordan; a Shiite part that will be absorbed by Iran along with the Alawites of Syria. And the Kurds will have a country of their own, as they should have had a century ago.

Libya will fall into three pieces too: Tripoli, Benghazi, and the Berbers in the mountains, who do not even speak Arabic. More surprises will follow.

It will be a new map indeed.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of God's Law or Man's Law.  You may contact her at Lfarhat102@aol.com or www.globalthink.net.  

Cher Colonel Landis;

by Andrew Targowski

How do you know what I think? I did not write that I do not believe in ET intelligence’s existence. Vice versa I wrote implicitly that I do believe it does. 
The decline of Western civilization as we know today does not mean that it will evaporate. I argued that it has been transforming into Global civilization. Is something wrong with that transformation? There are plenty of transformed civilizations. What about Classic civilization which had transformed into Western civilization, which applies Greek philosophy and art as well as Roman’s law and engineering today? 
Yes Cher Colonel, the well-being of working labor “hunts me.”  I would not like to live in labor-less economy. The role of the Internet in the transformation of civilization one can compare to the role of printed book invented 500+ years ago. The latter opened the époque of modernity, scientific knowledge, and advanced technology, which changed the civilization impressively. Yes, you are right. Many powerful practices of capital (like Robber Barons who however used capital for the sake of their own country) functioned before the Internet but its service today accelerated the role of stateless capital dramatically, and beyond our imagination. There are plenty of examples. Most important one is that we have democracy without feedback today (like Pacific Treaty Partnership, done by few for few).
No, Western civilization did not took “its élan during the Italian Renaissance.” It happened about 600 years sooner. But the developmental process of Western civilization was slow without printed books and the Internet.     
You asked me to expand the notion how Western civilization was swallowed by Global civilization? I told you already, please read my book on Global civilization in the 21st century (2014), and coming book on Western civilization in the 21st century (May 2015).
With respect
Andrew Targowski

DEAR DOCTOR TARGOWSKI

by Ben Landis

Welcome to the discussion.  I apologize for not replying more promptly, but I was between continents.
I would like to put to rest the issue of whether there are or are not other intelligent beings in the universe.  Professor Targowski believes that there are none.  I believe that there is a probability (I can’t say that it is low, medium, or high.) that there are other intelligent beings in the universe.  Professor Targowski cannot prove that there are none.  I cannot prove that there are.  There are no grounds on which to discuss this issue.  Therefore, let’s agree to disagree and move on to matters more directly concerning earthly civilization.
Professor Targowski’s paragraph beginning, “The Colonel does not like my line…”  His line was that the progress of civilized man has reached its climax because of the Internet.  He now states that, “In my view the Internet” (1) leads to strong globalization.  Globalization , however one wishes to define it, was well on its way before the arrival of the Internet.  I refer the curious to Dr. A.J. Toynbee, who articulated this phenomenon in the 1940’s at which time it was already moving forward.  (2) “leads to the decline of Western civilization due to minimalization of the middle class (through outsourcing)…”  First, Western civilization existed well before the development of a middle class.  Other civilizations have prospered with no middle classes throughout their existence.  Civilization per se does not depend upon the middle class.  The Internet did not create the economic activity of “outsourcing”.  Outsourcing as a means of maintaining the viability of a commercial enterprise began well before the Internet.  (3) “replacing Christian values by business values…”  Again, Professor Targowski places the blame on the Internet.  If Christian values have been replaced by business values it occurred a long time before the Internet.  Did the so-called “robber barons” who made fortunes during the industrialization of the United States economy in the last half of the XIXth Century operate their businesses on Christian, rather than business, values more than their modern equivalents?  The ghosts of the American labor movement may come to haunt you, professor.  (4) “growth of global stateless corporations…”  The Internet is not to blame.  This type of business enterprise well predates the Internet.  (5)  “unsustainable growth of production by cheap labor and mass volume of resources…”  The professor perceives an unsustainability of mass production that I cannot see.  In fact, production of all kinds will inevitably increase in order to meet the demands of the developing and emerging peoples.  I do not understand the reference to “mass volume of resources” in conjunction with “unsustainability of mass production”.  Again, how is the Internet to be blamed for this?  (6) “glory of super consumerism…”  Again the fault of the Internet.  If one looks at just the United States, the degree of consumerism as reflected in the part of the GDP created by consumerism (consumption), one finds that the percentage has not materially changed since the 1960’s, at least.  (7) “population growth…”  Caused by the Internet?  I ask for enlightenment, please.  (8) “…ignition of the ecological bomb, depletion of strategic reserves, vulgarization of culture…”  Again, the fault of the Internet per Professor Targowski.
Professor Targowski does concede that his claim that the use of mobile phones contracts the brain will not be able to be proved or disproved for “a few centuries”.  In my previous posting I understood Professor’ Targowski’s statement that “[the downplaying of social groups] is expressed by the detachment of politicians from the service of voters right after election…” meant 100% of politicians   I was wrong.  I therefore do not assume that the Professor means that 100% of mobile phone users will suffer a contraction of their cerebral power.
I am sure that the Professor knows that civilization (singular or plural) was the creation of a minority, a small minority, of the subsequently civilized population.  For example, if we assume that Western Civilization took its élan during the Italian Renaissance, only a very small percentage of the population was literate.  The same was even truer for earlier civilizations.  An élite (called a Creative Minority by Dr. Toynbee) created, developed , and sustained civilization.  The great mass of the population (Internal Proletariat per Dr. Toynbee) followed the lead of the Creative Minority.  That has been the case in all known civilizations.  The mass of the “civilized” population is in, but not of, the civilization.  Therefore, the possible contraction of the cerebral power of the mass of the population is of little consequence to the continuance of civilization, since there will always be an élite whose use of mobile phones is not sufficient to reduce its brain power.  There are, nonetheless, two problems staring us in the face.  (1) In all previous civilizations the Creative Minority has transformed itself into a Dominant Minority, thus creating a schism with the mass of the population and, consequently, dooming the civilization.  Is Western Civilization tending toward that point?  (2) One of the determining characteristics of contemporary Western Civilization is Democracy.  The question is, How do we maintain this Democracy characteristic, not in the face of a possible future deterioration of Western Civilization’s population’s mental capacities, but in the face of the separation of the mass of the population from its leaders and of a belief in the democratic form of government?  Are Western Civilizations going to become Plutocracies governed by a Dominant Minority?
Professor Targowski, in opposition to all the facts, maintains that the world is not being Westernized, but that Western Civilization is being “swallowed by Global Civilization”.  This blog is already too long to discuss this issue.  I ask Professor Targowski to take the time to write an article for the ISCSC Newsletter or for the CCR or another blog post to describe how this Global Civilization he proclaims is other than the westernization of the world’s other civilizations and to describe the salient features of this Global Civilization, particularly those that do not emanate from Western Civilization..
I encourage readers of these blog posts to join in the discussion.  Let’s talk!