Tuesday, April 7, 2009

© Eso Anton Benjamins

1 What is terrorism?

The term “terrorism” originated with the Jacobins  during the “Reign of Terror” of the French Revolution. “Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible,” said Robespierre, Jacobin leader.

The word “terror” comes from (see Wikipedia) Proto-Indo-European tre-, meaning to shake, tremble, which reached Latin as terrorem (fright, fear).

However, fear and trembling are not synonyms for terror in all languages. In Finnish and Chinese, it is kauhu and kongbu respectively, which is closer to the English word combat. Since one often fights for one’s rights—rights that one believes to be one’s just claim—Robespierre’s definition is closer to the original meaning of the word than Latin. Of course, this is not to deny that the death sentences ordered by the Revolutionary Tribunal under Robespierre’s direction not only made thousands tremble, but the phrase “reign of terror” did indeed come to signify fright, fear, and a settling of accounts with but cursory procedures and verbally vague charges. To repeat Robespierre: “…promt, severe, inflexible”, a decision by man not inspired by presumed laws of God, but by man in full bloom of subjectivity polished by rhetoric.

Today, however, the word “terror”—familiar to society as a result of frequent wars, literary references, and more recently through the phrase “war on terror”—reflects back on many “legitimate” governments as being institutions in the “business” of sowing paranoiac fear among the public to increase their power beyond the limits of any Constitution. President Bush’s statement that the Geneva Convention did not protect “enemy combatants” at the Guantanamo Base detention camp, made it apparent that the United States wished to legitimize terror as a tool of government. http://tinyurl.com/ddacl4 In this sense, the Bush administration was a Jacobin as they come.

The threat of terror has served as a scare tactic for a long time. The Catholic Inquisition (beginning about 1184) used terror to persuade so-called “pagans” to convert to the Catholic version of Christianity, what this writer calls neo-Christianity. If one assumes (the whyfores anon) that “pagans” had a religion of greater virtue than the kind brought to them by the Inquisitors, then it makes good sense that only tactics of fear and persistent intimidation may break the hold (for dear life!) arch-Christians had on their virtues. Which raises the question, why—inspite centuries of reassurances to the contrary—would the Catholic Inquisition represent neo-Christianity and not its predecessors, the more virtuous arch-Christians?

The answer may beg belief for some, but is rather plain. “Pagan” religion never was just about fertility gods, thunder gods, dragons, the goddess of fate, and their like. That is a fiction created by the neo-Christian Church.

From the beginning, societies that were larger than life—that is, groups of people larger than a family of a mother and her children and perhaps a father or two—were obliged for their cohesion to self-sacrifice. While self-sacrifice may be said to be an every day experience (often imbedded in some tradition, as when, for example, the Chinese give the best morsel in their soup to their guest), the ultimate sacrifice was always necessary. It seared self-sacrifice as a value and virtue into the society’s mind. It was obvious to arch-Christians that their leaders must lead by example, and the example of ultimate self-sacrifice leaves no doubt that the sacrifice (necessarily by a leader of the community) puts the community’s interests above his own.

While neo-Christianity has its explanation of how Christendom or Christian society came into being, we should note that it has never been at peace with itself. It is of course wrong to argue that aboriginal societies practicing self-sacrifice are without problems, nevertheless, the “Christian sphere” has consistently found it necessary to resort to physical coercion and violence to assure hegemony.

This is why it is necessary to look behind the neo-Christian façade maintained with the support of violence, and pose the question whether neo-Christianity was preceded by what we may call arch-Christianity. Arguably, arch-Christianity would have shared its creation myth with—and, thus, been linked with—its aboriginal past.

What is arch-Christianity, the thing hid in the cellars of neo-Christianity?

Arch-Christianity would not have found it possible to imagine that it could send its founder to an imaginary Heaven to lose himself, and that the “people” could do without being a frequent witness to self-sacrifice or live within the psychic consequences of it. Arch-Christian leadership in and of itself could not have imagined that it could exist as a body outside the body of the people. The leadership of an arch-Christendom would necessarily have led a largely non-violent society by having it and themselves join frequent witness to self-sacrificial acts.

It has not been easy however to look behind the façade of “modern” (and post-modern) times, because, for one thing, it looks upon ultimate self-sacrifice—other than an exception in which case it is “good”—as sacrilege. Why is this? The answer is clear. The charisma that emanates from self-sacrifice comes with a command: Thou shalt love Thy community with thy life. Indeed, the charisma that attaches itself to the sacrifice both before and after death, threatens any power that rules by means that, as one American president had it, “speak softly but carry a big stick behind your back”. It is in this sense that we may begin to see the advantages of a society that does not carry either a stick or a gun, but governs through the not-violent terror of self-sacrifice.

Of course, today human sacrifice (by one’s self or others) has become a topic almost exclusively associated with “primitive” tribes. Ultimate self-sacrifice is not discussed unless it has some connection with the ultimate sacrifice made by a soldier in the nation’s military. For the neo-Christian man or woman, the topic appears only in the context of ancient or medieval times, and then only as a revolt against the king’s once sacred authority. [A sideline: No doubt the Catholic clergy wept when the French Revolution took not only the head of the last sacred king (presumed), but confiscated most of its real estate holdings. Well it might weep, because its long service to secular governments ended with the implicit replacement of neo-Christian disbelief with belief in what we today know as neo-liberalist economic solution.] It is not surprising that large segments of society in our day feel that the king was more often than not a traitor.

Asterisk & Notes of Interest:

1. This writer agrees, more or less, with the new chronology of history as proposed by Anatoly Fomenko.

2. A once common way of self-sacrifice. Look for the word “endura ”.

3. There are other ways to explain “Christianity” than the explanations given by orthodox authorities. For the latter explanation, see Acts 11-26, where we find the supposed first mention of “Christians”. However, the word has no certain chronology and words such as “very old” and “ancient” are appropriate. The word “Christianity” may be read as consisting of two parts: cross + yan; perhaps “cross” standing for here, this place, this individual; and J(Y)an standing as a name of an individual or the name of a place. Thus, the name Krishyan—still common in central Europe—used to stand for the name of a priest, i.e., Krish (likely a variation on the word “cross”, but Yan (likely derived from “gans”, herder, perhaps of geese) the Priest.

The second part of Krish-yan was deliberately obscured by neo-Christians (of the English-speaking variety in the English variant of the word) by replacing “Yan”with “ian” in order to cause the public to forget “Yan”. The name was likely associated with self-sacrifice. Similarly constructed words: Rama-yana; Mande-yana; Krish-yana.

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