ingliz wrote:Vietnam and the 'body count', perhaps? The objective was not to hold territory or secure populations, victory was assessed by having a higher enemy body count.
Interesting observation. And what was it about Vietnam that changed this? That it was shown in a more televised form and that the moral ambiguity of this war was more pronounced than previous conflicts?
I watched WWII documentaries around a month or so ago and I saw that back then the Europeans were hard as nails, they really were very brave people, from all countries. That Europe compared to the Europe of today is almost like a parallel universe.
annatar1914 wrote:Yes, it is a dreary and pointless materialism, sterile, often childless in a purposeful sense, and very unsatisfying.
This is in fact no doubt a major source of all the increasing mental health problems in the West today. The society has become utilitarian.
Utility is not human, it is about counting coins and the trivial ephemera of life.
People need depth of feeling, experience.
THe problem of the West today is that every issue is reduced to that of utility, money. Sociologists dominate, it's all a measure of means to an end.
Politics is a means to an end, our politics have no existential dimension.
It is as though our very being is being deprived of its own existence, we are people without existence, mere consumers. We need honour, we need heart. But it's all been taken because our world has been reduced to the zero sum game of the capitalist's coins.
annatar1914 wrote:I agree, people in the West were always hyper-individualistic (selfish I might say uncharitably, and anti-social), but even here within living memory it wasn't too extreme. Now people live like the Cyclops in the Illiad, Polyphemus.
It was bearable until the 1970s, I know this from people who lived before then. I know someone who was a young woman in 1963 and she said it was beautiful.
You can trace the downward trajectory. In 1950 the West still had very established morals but there was stirring in the academic circles and intelligentsia to then infect the masses of the people with stupidity. By 1965 it was starting to go downhill. By 1975 it was well on its way and by 1979 the West was basically how it is now, that was the launching pad for the 80s, 90s 2000s, 2010s etc.
annatar1914 wrote:Or lack thereof.
Precisely. Because our post-modern Western existence is without belief in any creed or ideal. It's purely an exercise in consumerism, egoism and utility.
annatar1914 wrote:I think so, PI. It somewhat relates to me like what Jean Baudrillaud was saying about reality and symbols and ''simulacrum''; we become removed from immediate experience from real objects and sensations, receive our notions of natural living in a mediated filter of civilization.
We learn of our reality from books. Our experience becomes a type of virtuality.
annatar1914 wrote:I don't doubt it.
Both the Koreans and Turks, absolutely wonderful peoples with very solid social bonds. Very solid people with big hearts.
Verv will be able to tell you about the Koreans.
annatar1914 wrote:Indeed. Like my earlier illustrative comment about Alexander the Great cutting the Gordian Knot.
annatar1914 wrote:That is because modern war dehumanizes not only it's victims but also it's enablers and perpetrators.
And this is a problem for people who do not deal in concepts like honour or care for their own moral self-preservation. It is a tragedy that these people hold positions of leadership and yet their voice supposedly defines the Western voice, when really the common people are usually ignorant of such excesses but their identity as Westerners is defined by the moral inadequacy of the leaders.
annatar1914 wrote:So many today are not as their ancestors were, unfortunately.
No, and it kills me.
annatar1914 wrote:That's basically what the drone strikes are, a video game played by a generation of gamers desensitized to violence but detached from physical reality-the sort of ''soldiers'' who cry like babies when they stub their toes. I know, I used to see that sort all the time. Actual up close physical combat would send them into absolute shock and horror.
I read in a book an account of the battle Stalingrad. There were were soldiers who had to warm their fingers in the blood of their fallen comrades so as to be able to fire their guns.
And then last month I watched a very old British war documentary. It showed colour footage of a Japanese soldier who had been killed, you saw his internal organs hanging out of him in full uncensored detail. Such horror is alien to these virtual warriors.
Wellsy wrote:So you can’t just blow up your tv and mobile phone, you’d have to escape civilization entirely.
But we can escape, we can escape through our own emotions and our own hearts!
annatar1914 wrote:The bubble has to burst from the Outside, my friend. From the Other, the Barbarian. It's in Modern civilization that we are hooked up to the ''Matrix'', so to speak. There are many people in this world that aren't connected to It to a significant degree. Except maybe as it's enemies.
The West will realise this very soon.
Potemkin wrote:The irony is that the Franks (whose descendents later became "the West") were indeed the barbarian 'Other' to the civilised Byzantines, but even during their 'barbarian' phase our ancestors were already infected with the moral and spiritual sickness whose effects we see all around us now.
Was it so much our ancestors or was it their descendants and a particular trajectory the West took?
I do not think there was any inherent shame in our civilisation.
Europe is a great continent, as among all the other great continents.
It is not so much Europe that is inherently corrupt as much as it is certain trajectories that it has adopted.
annatar1914 wrote:With all that in mind, the decline of the West and of America in particular, barbarism and civilization, the real fault lines that are developing which will shape the coming decades and centuries are those between Islam and Non-Islam. And with everything that is weak and in decline falling, to become Islamic societies, one will have to ask why this is so.
Is Islam more ''barbaric'' or more ''civilized'' than some other religions? It has always been a religion of trade and of cities, of private wealth and earthly joys as a gift from Allah. Certainly Muslims saw the Franks and others during the Crusades as being barbarians in comparison. Perhaps they still do, and maybe the designations of ''Roman'', 'Jews'', ''Polytheists'' and ''Franks'' are useful descriptors as well to this day of Non-Muslims. Maybe, even more enlightening in some ways than categories like ''barbarian'' and ''civilized'', although I still think ''Hellenism'' and ''Judaism'' are still apt to some situations.
The world of Islam is itself very diverse. There are both civilised metropolitans and barbarians within the House of Islam.
annatar1914 wrote:One can construct very reasonable-appearing and elegant theories that intellectually satisfy the very human urge to hold to at least two contrarities at once. But the heart-and the conscience calling from within the semi-dormant heart- knows better, and rejects and rebels against such nonsense all the time.
So what does the heart say, the heart that is not seared into nothingness by modern life?
To learn what the heart says, a person has to take hold of Faith, of ''Pietas'', first, and then the truth begins to be revealed which informs the heart and then at last, the mind.
A lot of theories which make sense accordoing to the rational mind are rejected by the heart for no rational reason.
Maybe the heart simply informs the human person in a way that the rational mind cannot?
annatar1914 wrote:@Potemkin , @Political Interest , and @Verv ,
Some time back I discussed with you gentlemen about the virtues of Barbarism versus Civilization, and with that in mind I was reading about the famous magical sword known in history as the ''Sword of Attila'', also known as the ''Sword of Mars'' or as the Hungarians have called it; the ''Sword of God''. The story goes like this;
A Barbarian could and would believe such a story. A Civilized person would not, and their rejection would be greater than any natural skepticism because the civilized person would deny any right to rule the nations via one's claimed numinous magic sword as a ''sign'', made in heaven or not, regardless of the circumstances. Attila was recognized as the ''Scourge of God'' by Christians in the Roman Empire...
Furthermore, not only would a modern civilized person reject the story, they would likely think that Attila could hardly have been so credulous personally, to think that a sword found in a field by a shepherd was the Sword of God that conferred his right to rule an empire. They would automatically give Attila their own convenient cynicism in this as to other matters.
I suspect that he absolutely believed in the divine gift of the sword, and his followers would too. After all, this is the same Attila who took the offer of the hand of Honoria seriously, and demanded as dowry half of the Western Roman Empire.
Those who wish to delve deeper into the mystical meaning of Attila and his rule personally can search here;
And I note that every one of the words of the Hunnic language we have is either indeterminate Indo-European or actually Slavic. But anyway;
Is the real core or driving force of Civilization throughout the ages really lie in Atheism? In Materialism and skepticism?
Is the real core or driving force of Barbarism lie in the personal, in the real, the charismatic and vital?
Barbarism lies in non-rational thinking, non-empiricism. You don't need to think out concepts, you just know.
Verv wrote:It also makes me wonder if the desire to perfectly understand everything in a systematic way is itself folly. For we are either overly mundane and scientific, merely describing reality (inductive logic), or we are creating either tautologies or subjective truths masquerading as absolutes (deductive logic).
In my own life I have learnt that logical thinking, trying to create systemic and absolutely linear understandings of the world are futile. There will always be some caveat or hole in the logic, some type of negation that renders the entire theory futile. Rational thought, this is not what life is about. That is not to say we should reject rationalism completely but our contemporary Western civilisation is overly rational, it's a purely mechanical civilisation. Most of the trajectories of our post-modern West are based on theory, based on ideas and dogmas, dogmas that are largely rational. The rational idea always takes precedence, and yet it is in its own way a type of blind dogma devoid of rational relation to reality.