30 September 2010


I. A modern trend: the growing prominence of books, articles, websites, radio broadcasts and television documentaries on the so-clalled "genius" or "greatness" of ancient pagan societies. More and more we hear about how the Egyptian pyramids were constructed such that their configurations aligned almost perfectly with star patterns, or about how Aztec temples acted as astronomical observatories for high priests. There are programs and essays on the "democratic" political systems of pagan societies. We are told about the "high productivity" of Mayan agricultural techniques. Something strange is happening here. Do you notice it? All of these cultures are pagan, or primitive, as I like to say so as to infuriate the language police of the Left.

II. Close examination of the sources and "experts" used by whatever group to popularize and glorify pagan cultures shows a manipulation of facts, if not omissions. You will also find a general anti-Western sentiment prevails, be it explicit or subtle. You will not hear much about the slavery, cannibalism and infanticide of pagan cultures, ancient and modern. Neither will you read about how some aboriginal tribes almost exterminated certain animal species, or of their widespread destruction of forests through "broadcast burning". You will, however, hear all about the follies of Christianity and the "evils" of industrial pollution.

III. All of this overblown attention given to pagan and/or non-Christian cultures is not so much a celebration of them or wonder at their accomplishments. More so, they are innuendoes that work to omit from view or to simply malign the superior achievements of Judeo-Christian civilization. Yes, that is correct: superior. It is hard to compare the Christian concept of "love your enemies" with the vengeance of the god Thor who slaughters all opponents with his giant hammer. It is preposterous to relate democracy with tribal elders deciding which of their multitudinous wives they are going to sleep with after the riotous feast of wild boar. It is ridiculous to even analogize the vaccines of Louis Pasteur (a devout Catholic) and the hallucinogenic potions of the Voodoo priestess. Call me what you will but, if suffering from some ailment, I would rather have a sterilized needle injected into my arm than to have the bloody leg of a yak stuck in my ear. Why? Not because of bigotry, xenophobia, and so forth. Neither is credit refused when it is warranted. This is said because I am civilized, or at least try to be.

IV. Civilization is a word that properly and fully belongs to Judeo-Christian society. Like it or not, that is the way it is. Don't like it? Tough. More than a culture, civilization reflects a wider scope of awareness and activity. Unfortunately, the word is being used by the Vulgar Left to popularize the idea that traditional Judeo-Christian society is really at core, in its principles, "decadent" (a popular word), "ethnocentric" (a misnomer), "close-minded" and all the rest of it. Its achievements amount to no more than another drop in the multicultural bucket.

V. There are many ways in which this prejudice is advocated. For example, you will hear statements that go something like this: “Long before so and so in the West developed such and such an idea or device, the [insert pagan culture] had discovered or constructed it thousands of years beforehand.” Wait a minute. If these ideas and devices were prototypical of those in modern times, why did they develop and advance further through time? Where’s the continuity? More generally, why did these pagan cultures decline into obscurity if their political and scientific innovations preceded those of the West? It is a hard fact of history that those paltry number innovative ideas and technologies from pagan cultures were fully realized, adapted and further developed only by the West. Was it, then, the "evils" of colonialism? I hold the view opinion that colonialism was a good thing and that, in the final analysis, non-Western countries gained greatly from it.

VI. Facts speak; and those facts say that only the West has been successful on all matters of interest to man. From philosophy and literature to politics and science, it has been Western civilization - sustained by life support system that is the Roman Catholic Church - that has reached the greatest heights. Now, of course, our ideologues of Multiculturalism, if reading this, would be at boiling point. How do I respond? Well, that's a simple one: Let me quote Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man: "I am glad. Oh, but, I am very glad".



Patrick Button said...

Well said TH2! I do have a minor quibble about colonialism. There are indigenous cultures that suffered terribly under colonial regimes, most notably the Congolese under the Belgians and French. Also, even though colonialism benefited some cultures, the act of making war on another people (even primitive people) for the purpose of territorial expansion is wrong. Anyway, nice piece and keep up the good work!

TH2 said...

Thanks, Patrick. It's good to have a counterpoint.

If I may, I'll use a quote from my previous post. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn: There is, of course, nothing evil and nothing extraordinary about colonialism. It is the inevitable result of a historical law according to which not only nature, but also political geography, does not tolerate a vacuum. Where no effective resistance can be expected, other powers, other nations, other tribes will occupy, dominate, and administer an area. Our history could not be imagined without the forces of colonialism constantly at work

Yes, it is a harsh statement - and I am not denying that all "colonialists" were noble and sinless. Bad things were done. The question then is, how will the area be "dominated" and "occupied"? And for what purpose? In the final analysis, it is the sinfulness of man that instigates the evils.

Mary said...

Allow me to add that an advanced modern culture that has been informed by the Catholic Church and enjoys Judeo/Christian values and morals will REGRESS to a pagan or primitive society when those values are abandoned.

Al said...

To build on what Mary said:
How many of those primative societies practiced human sacrifice, or cannibalism, or wriped out their enemies? A good number did at least 1 of them.
For instance, the Carib Indians were cannibal warriors. The Carib word " karibna" is where the word cannibal was derived.
Then there are the Mayans & Aztecs who both practiced human sacrifice.
At times the Innuit practiced infanticide.
Then there is this interesting commentary I read about Eskimos killing their elderly: "when food did run short, the old and sick were looked upon as drains on the community's resources. Sometimes they were killed - thrown into the sea, buried alive, locked out in the cold, or starved to death. Far more commonly they were simply abandoned to die." (http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2160/did-eskimos-put-their-elderly-on-ice-floes-to-die)
Well, now we can see where Obama got his inspiration for the death panels to manage Medicare costs.
I could go on, but the reality is these ancient cultures were not so perfect as they try to paint them. They know it. But when you want to destroy Christianity why let a little truth stand in the way. they sure aren't.

Anita Moore said...

Ah, yes. The wisdom and purity of pagan cultures. The wisdom of demon worship. The wisdom of making war on neighboring tribes in order to have victims for human sacrifice. The widsom of tearing people's still-beating hearts out of their chests in order to propitiate the sun. The wisdom of ritual suicide. And in our own time, the wisdom of sticking a burning candle in your ear to suck out bad vibes, or whatever it is burning candles in your ear are supposed to do.

To the question, where have all the great pagan inventions gone, the pagan wisdom people have a ready response: eeeevillll Christian missionaries, believing they were witnessing the works of the devil, destroyed them all. However, even if these alleged inventions did exist, probably they became lost due to their inventors being massacred in tribal warfare, or strung up in a sacred grove by Odin worshipers and then thrown into a peat bog.

TH2 said...

Mary: I was going to make that point, but forgot while writing up. Thanks for indicating.

Al: WHat you said about the the Inuit would never be spoken aloud by our national broadcaster - the CBC. It would ruin their romanticized view.

Anita: I will, in the near future, have an essay on the reasons for the lack of innovation and advancement on the part of Canada's aboriginal peoples prior to the arrival of our first European explorers.

Al said...

TH2 - I knew that what I put up about the Eskimo/Inuit wouldn't be welcome in PC Canada & esp on the CBC.
Interesting fact. In Alaska using Eskimo is OK but Inuit isn't used so much.
Speaking of PC speech, I remember some years ago when a bunch of PC sports journalists wouldn't use the word Cannuck when writing about the Vancouver Cannucks. they saw it as a perjoritive description of Canadians & thus a no-no.

Celestine said...

Even being the archaeology-lover that I am, I agree entirely. What's even more head-scratchingly funny, though, is when you get that they couldn't POSSIBLY have built those pyramids all by themselves, because we're so duuuuuuumb, and therefore...it was the ALIENS! (cue dramatic music) And it's usually the accompaniment to a certain variety of neo-paganism.

TH2 said...

Al: I very much like the term Canuck. Don't mind it at all when I am referred as such.

Celestine: Regarding alien "construction" of pyramids, one of the most famous popularizers of that idea is Erik von Däniken (rejected Catholicism as a young man), starting from his book Chariots of the Gods, but you probably know that already.

Anita Moore said...

Ah, Erik von Däniken and Chariots of the Gods. In fact, that was the first thing I thought of when I saw the title of your post.

I don't know, but: seems to me that when a man finds it easy to believe that the Pyramids and Stonehenge and the Nazca Desert drawings were created by beings whose existence is speculative at best, and hard to believe the obvious explanation that they were made by men...he is highly unbalanced.

TH2 said...

Anita: When I watch any TV documentary that interviews von Däniken, the term "unbalanced" is probably the first or second thing that pops into my mind.

Celestine said...

I've actually never heard of von Däniken; I was thinking more about Robert Bauval...but von Däniken himself sounds like a (cough) "fun" guy. I'll have to look into him.

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