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Weblog, 2004-11-08
Why Democrats have been losing
DOMINION AND DOMINATION:  Bush's Faith and its Consequences for Freedom

Weblog, 2006-06-11
Muqtada al Sadr - then and now

Permanent and Draft Materials

Weblog, 2007-04-27, Freya's Day

Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
At the point of our (early on the scene of the crime) exhaustion, we learn that some small part of the media elite is catching on, and has begun making dramatic announcements that "there has been a murder on campus".  Do I hear shots?  Have the exit doors been chained shut?


Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.

Naomi Wolf
Tuesday April 24, 2007


  • Naomi Wolf was a consulting editor at George Magazine. Her essays appear regularly in The New Republic, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Glamour, Ms., and other publications.
  • Her book "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot" will be published by Chelsea Green in September.

Weblog, 2007-03-13, Tiw's Day

Too dark a time for poetry?
Of course there is no time too dark for poetry.  Quite the opposite.  But somehow I am not up to finding, and certainly not to writing, any to post. 

I have, however, recently posted a couple of Diary entries at Daily Kos:

Weblog, 2007-02-13, Tiw's Day

The War on Iran:

I have received communications from the Democratic Congressional and Senatoral Campaign Committes asking for my congratulations that Democratic members of Congress have finally decided to exercise due diligence in examining the Bushite war policy, at least as that policy is expressed in the War on Iraq. 

Debate on Iraq is 5 years late.  The Democrats were as guilty, if not more so due to the obligations of their position as the loyal opposition, as the Republicans in acceeding to the Bush Administrations drive toward war on Iraq.

Now the Democrats have their eyes firmly fixed on the rear view mirror, debating the fringes of Bush's policy on Iraq, the so-called "surge" - an arguably defensible policy if it were to be soundly directed at suppressing the worst of Shia theocratic fundamentalism and restoring balance among ethnic and religious groups there - while stubbornly and irresponsibly ignoring the Bush drive toward a new and broader war on Iran.

The Democrats who are refusing to address and oppose the impending war on Iran cannot expect and will not receive my support.
reserved for citations and edits

Weblog, 2006-06-11, Sun Day

And I Quote:

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

If you are following Muqtada’s story like I am you would know that according to all the news and most of the press out there he accepted the government position by disarming his thugs and leave the Shrine. However, if you read what Al-Jazeera wrote earlier on their website, you would think that Muqtada did not accept the deal. On the other hand some of the Iraqi press is saying that Iran had a lot to do with Muqtada’s decision about accepting the deal. Take the deal now and save your guys because we need you later.

My take on this whole thing is, it is wrong to let Muqtada or any of his thugs go free just because they put their weapons down. This was the biggest test for Allawi’s government and I feel they failed miserably. Falluja got away with murder, Muqtada got away with murder, and God only knows who is going to rise up in the future and do what Muqtada did. I feel that by sparing Muqtada’s life this government is inviting all the thugs in and all around Iraq to come in and bear arms. This is the wrong message to send to all the terrorist groups out there because they will be viewed as weak and indecisive government.

I realize it is easy for me to say all this because I am sitting in a nice air conditioned office in a nice peaceful environment. And they are in the middle of the fire but I think you can not allow these group to control your destiny in life other wise might as well fold now and go home. The more I speak with people in Baghdad they say the same thing and that is please get rid of Muqtada. I called Baghdad yesterday asking about the situation and how they are doing, my older brother said to me, we are sitting and watching a volcano; if it erupts we are finished. And if does not erupts, it will in the future but we don’t know when. The situation in Iraq is fluid and it is unsafe for everyone however, the government can do something about it by winning these young poor people before someone like Muqtada recruit them all.

To be clear those are not my words.  They are more authoritative, and much clearer, than my own writing at that time and on that subject.  Tragically, they have proven accurate and prophetic, as well.  I tremble at the thought of what has happened since they were posted by an Iraqi blogger nearly two years ago.

What has happened - the enduring and perhaps irredeemable tragedy of what has happened - is squarely and exclusively the responsibility of the United States' administration of Iraq in the years since it decapitated the Iraqi government and depopulated its civil service.  At every turn the US administration in Iraq has made choices calculated to weaken Iraqi national cohesion and perpetuate and foment civil strife among Iraq's religious and ethnic groups.  It's handling of Muqtada al Sadre, and its failure to deal with al Sadre inspired militias, both in Baghdad and Basra, firmly and with finality early in 2004 has likely destroyed all hope for recreation of a viable and strong Iraqi national state, along with any prospect of either freedom or democracy, let alone both.

But, from the point of view of the Bush regime, this is what was desired.  Bush, himself afflicted with messianic delusions and aligned by personality, belief system, and political objectives with Christofascist theocrats and fundamentalist radicals in the US, has never sought a modern secular democracy in Iraq.  Rather, he and his regime have always sought to establish a weak state there, torn by conflict and riven by religious divisions. That is how he has justified the perpetuation of his long and profitable (for certain corporations, at least) war against terror, as well as the permanent occupation of Iraq. 

We are, after all, building immense "enduring" bases in Iraq.  We are building military superhighways in Iraq that bypass cities but permit the rapid movement of military materiel and personnel around the country.  And we are building the largest embassy complex in the world in Baghdad.  The Bush regime could neither accomplish nor justify these actions, were it not for the permanent destruction of Iraq's social institutions and the dissolution of Iraqi society that it has so successfully perpetrated.

We in the US are not conscious of these things.  Our media does not report them.  Our "news organizations" either do not know or pretend not to know the nature and significance of differences among major political groupings in Iraq, especially within the majority Shia population.  Even while permanent bases, highways, and military intelligence fortresses disguised as diplomatic compounds being are being built, at immense cost, they do not report on them or examine the contradiction between the facts on the ground (and in the financial accounts) and the lies the President, Vice President, and cabinet officers of the US government tell about our intention to "stand down as the Iraqi's stand up". 

The last thing in all creation, right now, that the Bush regime wants is for the Iraqi people to abandon their rending of their own flesh, the terrorizing of their own people, and the schismatic violence against their own religious institutions so that they can act as one people, one body politic, and take effective action to remove the United States and its enablers from their soil.

Weblog, 2005-07-21, Thor's Day

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The violence filled video game "Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas" has been found to contain embedded sexual content.  Somehow, that content us more upsetting to the media - and I presume the public upon which they feed - than the extraordinarily violent overt content which has made it the highest selling video game of recent years.  This is a game which has always concerned law enforcement officials and people working with teen agers, but which nevertheless somehow escaped the ratings process with a "mature" instead of an "Adults Only" rating. 

The game's rating has just been changed to "Adults Only" by the "Entertainment Software Ratings Board".   The ESRB obviously is responding to, and likely agrees with the popular and press judgment that sexuality is more pornographic and worthy of being censored and kept out of the hands of young people than is extreme violence, in which kids get to join gangs, steal cars, shoot up cities and kill cops.

Sorry my friends.  The idea that violence is somehow less pornographic than sexuality, and that depictions of overt sexual activity is more objectionable and more dangerous to our children than depictions of sexual acts is more than just plain wrong.  It is, in my judgment,  sick.  And an indication of the sickness of a society which is in serious danger of loosing its moral moorings, not because of any change in sexual mores and behaviors, but because of increasing acceptance and even approval of violence in media and in life. 

Sexuality is less dangerous, less immoral, less a threat to our children and our society, less worthy of censorship, and much less pornographic than is violence.  Until our media, politicians, and preachers get that simple fact through their thick skulls, we cannot hope to recreate a civil and secure society in this country of ours.  And we certainly cannot expect the producers of video games to stop recruiting our children into the army of the ignorant and violent who increasingly poison the life of our communities.

Weblog, 2005-04-07, Thor's Day

Bush Repudiates OASDI Trust Fund Debt!
By Caren Bohan

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (Reuters) - President Bush said on Tuesday that younger workers were counting on a fictional trust fund for their future retirement benefits, as he pressed his case for changes to Social Security in the face of continuing doubts among fellow Republicans.

"A lot of people in America think there's a trust," Bush told a forum here, shortly after he stopped off at the Bureau of Public Debt, the agency that keeps records on the nation's debt.

"But that's not the way it works," he said. "There is no trust fund -- just IOUs."

The NY Times
, in an editorial "Shameless Photo Op" notes that Shrub "
wants Americans to believe that the Social Security trust fund is a joke. But if the trust fund is a joke, so is the full faith and credit of the United States."  The editorial asks us to imagine Shrub in the vault at the Bank of Japan where $712 billion in US government bonds are stored, announcing "the bonds, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, are, in fact, worthless i.o.u.'s." 

Unfortunately the Times also claims that "the governments, institutions and individuals who hold United States debt can tell a publicity stunt from a policy statement." 

Anyone who thinks that they can reliably pin down the intent of the smirking chimp's public statements is sadly mistaken.  This man - this outlaw regime - is as capable of repudiating the debt of the United States to any other nation as it is of his bald faced and seditious repudiation of the government's debt to the OASDI trust fund.  Or of any other act that it feels will advance its medievalist social and political goals, at any time it finds such an act convenient and enforceable whether by military action or conscienceless lie.

Representatives Pelosi and DeFazio state the matter this way:
Pelosi:  So where does he borrow? He borrows from the Chinese. He borrows from the Japanese. He borrows from the trust fund. And what he is saying now to the American worker: "We will honor our debt to the Chinese and the Japanese, but we are treating you differently. We are not honoring our debt to you." These are funds that workers and their employers put in the account to have a trust fund to cover any shortfall that would be there to cover their retirement benefits. And this President is openly declaring that he has no intention of paying the trust fund back what he has taken from it.

DeFazio:  But the President did say today something extraordinary, in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and suggested something unconscionable. The President said, ``There is no trust fund.'' And then he went on to suggest that our Nation might not honor its debt to Social Security. This is what the President said does not exist.
Are we going to repay the Chinese but not the Social Security Trust Fund? Are we going to repay President Bush, he happens to have some U.S. Treasury Bonds in his personal portfolio, but not the Social Security Trust Fund? Are we going to repay other wealthy investors around the world and in the U.S., but not the Social Security Trust Fund? We are going to selectively default on our debt.

Suggesting something like that, if the bond markets believed the President, the dollar would drop to near zero tomorrow, and there would be an economic catastrophe, but they do not believe him.

OK, then.  How many of these repudiated government "IOUs" has Shrub's regime given the OASDI Trust Fund, in return for the privilege of spending your withheld earnings? 

Thanks to the folks at the Ruth Group we know that Max Sawicky has some answers

That's how much in "worthless IOUs" our President has given to the Social Security Trust Fund (FY2002-2005), in exchange for your payroll taxes.

Over the next five years, our President proposes to add another $1,061 billion to this crime spree. (President's Budget, Summary Table S-10)

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the projected ten year total Trust Fund swindle (FY2006-2015) is $2,554 billion. (CBO March, p. 2, Table 1-1)

What are these "IOU's," in truth?  William L. Watts at Marketwatch.com notes:
At issue are the special-issue Treasury bonds - now totaling around $1.7 trillion - that make up the trust fund. Paper facsimiles of the bonds, which like most modern-day securities are issued in electronic form, are held in a file cabinet at the Office of Public Debt in Parkersburg. That's what Bush visited earlier in the day.
As Dr. Irwin Kellner at Marketwatch.com notes

Critics claim that the trust fund has no real assets, since the securities it holds are IOUs -- nothing but empty promises. They point out that the system's funds have already been used to finance the operations of the government.

In may be true that Social Security's revenues have been commingled with the rest of the federal government. But it does not follow from this that the system has no assets -- it most certainly does, and they are in the form of government bonds.

. . .
(These bonds are) issued by the federal government to the Social Security system in return for its surplus cash.

The idea of putting Social Security's excess cash into government securities stems from the law that created Social Security. It stipulated that Social Security tax revenues could only be invested in government securities because they are the safest investment around.

(How is that for irony?  Apparently the folks who designed the system never considered the possibility that the President of the United States would unilaterally assert the intent to repudiate these securities, in order to panic the people who have paid their earnings into the Trust Fund into supporting his plans for the destruction of the Old Age and Survivors Disability Insurance system.  JP)

These investments earn interest just like any other government security. In 2004 the trust fund earned 5.7 percent on its holdings of government securities, says the Social Security Administration.

. . .
Some would say that these bonds are worthless because the government does not have the cash on hand to pay the trust fund when it redeems them. What they mean is that the government has a deficit in its budget, thus it has no spare cash.

So what's new about this? Since 1969, you could count on the fingers of one hand the number of years that Washington's budget has been in the black.

Lack of cash on hand has never prevented the government from paying off any of its securities in the past. What it has generally done was borrow from the financial markets here and abroad to make these payments.

The government will do the same for the bonds held by the Social Security trust fund, when and if the system needs the money.

What about the supposed "shortfall" in the flow of funds into and out of the Trust Fund?  Here is Marketwatch's William Watts again:

Revenues from the Social Security payroll tax currently exceed outlays. The Social Security trustees' annual report issued last month projected that the program would see outlays begin to exceed revenues in 2017. 
By redeeming the bonds, the trust fund would be able to continue paying full benefits until 2041. At that point, the trust fund would be exhausted, the trustees said, and the law would require an across-the-board cut in Social Security benefits to bring outlays into line with revenues, the trustees estimated. 
The supposed "total" shortfall of $10.4 trillion is both distorted and meaningless:
It's arrived at by projecting the system's shortfall over infinity, rather than the usual 75-year time frame - as if the system's finances 10,000 years from now are a legitimate policy concern. Moreover, no less an authority than the American Academy of Actuaries is already on record debunking infinite projections as conveying "little if any useful information about the program's long-range finances" and "likely to mislead anyone lacking technical expertise ... into believing that the program is in far worse financial condition than is actually indicated."  NY Times; 3-24-2005
Moreover - as has long been known - the trustee assumptions on which this shortfall is based, which would still permit payment of 74% of scheduled benefits, are far too low in their 1.9% per year estimate of economic growth.  In fact, they are about one half the rate that has occurred over the last 50 years and is actually expected to occur in the future.  Even a 2.7% average rate of growth, only three quarters the historical rate, would mean that the system would never run out of money!

Dr. Kellner notes that the date the system was supposed to run out of money has receded into the future with each new projection, and that:
The system's actuaries actually produce three long-range projections. The one that's been picked by the politicians, pundits and the press and turned into the conventional wisdom is their intermediate projection -- the one that expects the trust fund to be depleted by 2042.

But the assumptions underlying these projections are very pessimistic -- especially when it comes to economic growth.

The actuaries assume that the U.S. economy will grow by an annual rate of 1.9 percent per year over the next 75 years. This is far below the 3.6 percent average of the past 75 years -- a period that includes the Great Depression.

The system's actuaries have a somewhat more optimistic projection. It assumes, among other things, a slightly faster rate of growth of 2.7 percent per year over the same period.

While this, too, is below the economy's 75-year average, it shows that the system never runs out of money. That's right, never.
What's the bottom line, regarding the OASDI trust fund?
  1. There is indeed an OASDI trust fund.  Bush lied.  Again.  The man is amazing. 
  2. The "IOUs" are real financial obligations of the United States government, and will not, in the end, be repudiated, any more than the government bonds Bush hold in his investment portfolio will be. 
  3. The estimates of the growth of the US economy on which projections of shortfalls in OASDI receipts are based are far below the actual growth we have experienced in the past and which we can expect to experience in the future.  The truth about those projections is almost always concealed. 
  4. Statements that the system is on the verge of bankruptcy, is in crisis, or must be fixed immediately are at the very least misleading,  And usually they are purposeful lies through omission of known facts. 
  5. If the US economy grows at only three quarters the rate it has grown in the past, the OASDI trust fund will never be exhausted, and a reduction in scheduled benefits will never be necessary.
  6. The Social Security "crisis" as presented by the Bush regime is a falsehood - a pretext designed to scare the people of the US into permitting the destruction of the OASDI system. 
  7. The only "fixes" of the system needed are those that make it less possible to run these scams on the public, and make it even more clear that trust fund assets are real financial assets, embodied in real financial instruments.  A number of options to accomplish that are available<>.
  8. <>Bush's proposal is not among them.  "If there is a remarkable achievement of the Bush proposals, it is this: they simultaneously undermine the solvency of the Social Security system, worsen the fiscal deficit, diminish the security of the elderly and increase the incidence of poverty."  Joseph Stiglitz, University Professor at Columbia University; awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 2001

Reference URL's



Weblog, 2005-03-16, Wodin's Day

Coalition of the Willing
How the Numbers Are Adding Up

    STAYING: US 150,000 (military personnel); Britain 8,850; South Korea 3,600; Italy 3,000; Australia 900 (up to 1,350 by April); Romania 800, up to 900; Japan 600; Denmark 500; Bulgaria 380; El Salvador 380; Georgia 300, up to 800; Mongolia 180; Azerbaijan 150; Latvia 120; Lithuania 100; Slovakia 100; Czech Republic 90; Albania 70; Estonia 50; Tonga 40; Kazakhstan 30; Macedonia 30; Moldova 25

    GOING: Netherlands 1,500; Ukraine (1,650 leaving by October); Poland 1,700 (reducing by half)

    GONE: Spain 1,300; Thailand 460; Hungary 300; Honduras 370; Dominican Republic 300; Nicaragua 115; Portugal 127; New Zealand 60; Philippines 50; Norway 10

The Times Online; March 15, 2005. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,7374-1525997,00.html

Weblog, 2005-03-13, Sun Day

I knew - not well at all - a poet who kept a secret

Love, beyond all time, past all reason
Never spoken of to friend or family
Not to his child, of another woman
Nor to his sisters or brother
Not to his parents
To his love herself, seldom and too long ago

Yet love persists, informing all
The memory of one delicious
In every manner and part
Scent and taste, skin and hair
Voice, smile, eye and lip
Breath, mouth, and honeyed nectar

A thousand small memories
Quicken the heart's beat
Swell the lips with desire
Deepen the breath
Seeking again to breath
Breath of the beloved

This hidden source and center
Of peace, joy, smiles, pleasure
Abides, always and forever

And still I dream of love.

Weblog, 2005-01-31, Moon Day


    "United States officials were surprised and heartened today at the size of turnout in South Vietnam's presidential election despite a Vietcong terrorist campaign to disrupt the voting. According to reports from Saigon, 83 percent of the 5.85 million registered voters cast their ballots yesterday. Many of them risked reprisals threatened by the Vietcong. A successful election has long been seen as the keystone in President Johnson's policy of encouraging the growth of constitutional processes in South Vietnam."

    - Peter Grose, in a page 2 New York Times article titled, 'U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote,' September 4, 1967.
The New York Times article on the Vietnam election in 1967 was first located and published by patachon on the DailyKos blog forum.

Weblog, 2004-11-08, Moon Day


The piece which follows attempts to address one part of what is wrong with the red states - the matter of "faith" based repression by some people of others who believe or live differently. 

My sense is that the Democrats lose because, as Rove and his people keep saying, we "just don't get it".  Specifically, we come from the experience of winning the battle over the war in Viet Nam, where mass organization worked, and we are locked into the belief that that is some sort of indicator of what works.

I have long felt that the fight against that war worked for two reasons:  Teach-ins in the universities, and the draft.  The movement against the war was based on a very large, middle class, educated group of students and parents whose lives were threatened by the war.  And the participants were well educated, and interested in understanding the reasons for the war, and why it should be opposed.

Today the people directly affected by the war are volunteers, from backgrounds which value that mindset.   There are many fewer of them.  Fatality rates are lower, on the battlefield, so far.

But most importantly, the "teach-ins" are occurring, and have been occurring for twenty years or so, in conservative religious congregations.  These people understand intellectual history - from a peculiar point of view, admittedly - in a way that those of us attempting to oppose the Bush regime are mostly incapable of dealing with.

That is, they are involved in, care about, and are deeply committed to a set of ideas, which they study in a group setting - much as the students who opposed the war in Viet Nam did. 

I believe that Democrats and progressives have incapacitated themselves by abandoning the truth that ideas matter.  They matter because they exist in our minds and shape the way we experience reality.  So, if we are to regain our sense of "efficacy", our belief that we can have an impact and are morally obligated to have an impact, we have to restore our idea of what it is we believe in, and why it is worth fighting for.

But this cannot be simply understood - it has to be understood at depth, as it is affected by and threatened by opposing ideas current, even - in the US - dominant, today.   That is why I wrote the information about  Christian Reconstruction and Dominionism which is copied below.  If we do not understand these ideas as the source of our opponents' motivations and understandings, how can we oppose them effectively?

The other major intellectual current opposing  human freedom, justice, and survival today is referred to as Neo Conservatism.  That is more than a bunch of nuts in Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld land.  It is an intellectual force.  It has to be understood, and countered, directly.  It opposes and threatens the progress of the last 400 or 500 years of human history.  How many people who oppose Bush understand that threat and are capable of dealing with the people who believe - as a matter of personal faith and ideology - that the freedom of the enlightenment as expressed by Thomas Paine and his predecessors and contemporaries as they created the basis for our form of government is a giant mistake?

Until we begin to understand the ideological backgrounds, motivations, and the institutional tools of these enemies of freedom, we will not be able to effectively communicate that they are not the friends of liberty and democracy, but in fact mortal enemies.  They know that they lie about that every day.  And they believe, so far correctly, that we "just don't get it", and they can lie successfully until it is too late to do anything about it - the "dreadful gate" out of the slave pens of medieval serfdom will finally be shut, and the genie of the enlightenment will be back in its bottle.  Once again Princes and Kings - of oil and international corporations and immense landholdings - will be back in charge, where, in the minds of the neo medievalists, they have always belonged.

Until we understand the great lies of the NeoCons, the theocrat Dominionist Reverends, and the Bush regime, we will be helpless to oppose them.


DOMINION AND DOMINATION:  Bush's Faith and its Consequences for Freedom

If you have the opportunity and interest, I think that scanning the materials described here will give you a very good idea of the part "Christian Dominionism" has played in what has happened to our nation in the recent past, and even more scarily, what may be in store for us over the next four years.

It must be noted that not all people who consider themselves believers in or adherents to the religious movements briefly characterized here will express or accept every element of the system of belief that typifies the movement.  But this note is not intended to describe the beliefs of individual members of these sects, but to illustrate their effect on the character and policies of the Bush regime.  Some will believe that these descriptions are inaccurate, which I do not believe them to be.  Clearly, as they pertain to individuals, in such a brief format the descriptions seem over broad and oversimplified.  But please consider that the intent of this note is to lead readers to the more detailed information described and linked to here, and not to be used as an independent authority.

Christo-Fascism is an unorthodox version of Christianity that has its origin in several (roughly but not precisely synonymous) Christian heresies:
Christian Dominionism
Christian Reconstruction
Christian Revisionism
Premillenial Dispensationalism (var., premillenalism, dispensationalist, etc.)
Christian Zionism
Zionist Revisionism
(For a historical review of Darbyism and premillenial dispensationalism, try using Google and searching for links to "Plymouth Brethren")

Adherents to these sects typically consider all other Christian traditions to be liberal, in "error" and "backsliders".   The idea of "error" in interpreting Christian scripture is a very old one, but "backslider" gained currency only after the Reformation, during disputes among Protestant sects, as each accused others of "backsliding" from their own supposedly correct and suitably literal interpretation of scripture.

The term 'backslider' occurs even in scripture, at least in some translations, chiefly in the tale of the Prophet Jeremiah, from whom the term "jeremiad" is derived.  His use of the term gives these sects 'scriptural authority' for their own use, and precedent for the context in which they use it.  Currently that context is use as a basis for condemnation of people and groups who do not conform to the group standards held by the sect leadership to be correct, and for advocacy of theocratic influence over the form and activities of government.

For sources about these groups, besides Google searches on each of the terms I have listed, I would suggest the following:

http://www.intelligenceproject.org - http://www.splcenter.org/intel/  This is the best source I know of for tracking the most extremist of the U S's racial and religious hatred organizations, including some extreme forms of Christian Dominionism.  If you have a serious interest in this, I recommend you become a member and get the quarterly print "Intelligence Report" on extremist organizations' activities.

An article at http://www.splcenter.org/intel/intelreport/article.jsp?aid=376 outlines the sources of Dominionism in so called "Christian Reconstruction".  The movement has at its root the writings of Robert L. Dabney, a disaffected former Confederate military Chaplain, in the late 19th Century.  In the last 40 years Dabney's doctrine has been expanded on by Gregg Singer and Rousas John Rushdooney.  Much of what you hear on AM radio in the "heartland" is infected with doctrine propagated by Singer and Rushdooney, described in the article as "a merging of the theocratic idea of religious government and a view of the 19th-century Confederate cause as fundamentally right."

Another point worth noting is a tie to contemporary "Celtic romanticism" which has caused leading Reconstructionist propagandists George Grant, Steve Wilkins, and Douglas Wilson to be referred to  by J. W. Stiver as "part of a 'Celtic sunrise' within Christian Reconstruction".  I have seen shadows ('figures' in theocrat speak) of this in contemporary Celtic fantasy fiction. 

The cited article notes that Grant "once described his goals as 'world conquest,' according a 1998 article in the journal Reason. 'It is dominion we are after. Not just a voice, not just influence, not just equal time. It is dominion we are after.'"

"Dominionism" refers to this thread within Christian Reconstruction, Wilson's "Confederation of Reformed Evangelicals" (CRE) and other elements of theocratic Christian qua Christo-fascist movements.

Gregory Stephens' essay "Heartland Morality, American Politics" provides an "on the ground, walked the walk, talked the talk" discussion of "the nature of the private morality in the American heartland that is driving politics at home and abroad" from the point of view of someone born and living in Oklahoma.  His focus on the difficulty most people in "those blue oases" on the coasts have in understanding conservative mid America is invaluable, as is the context he sets for the vulnerability of people there to the attractions of Reconstructionism, Dominionism, and other extreme features of the religio-political scene.

Mark Crispin Miller's book "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order" is another good source of information on these movements, and their influence within the Bush regime.  Cover Image

Mark Crispin Miller.  August 16, 2004.  CRUEL AND UNUSUAL: Bush/Cheney's New World Order.  New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
"...as Mark Crispin Miller argues here with great clarity and effect, we are in fact living in a state that would appall the Founding Fathers: a state that is neither democratic nor republican, and no more "conservative" than it is liberal.  He exposes the Bush Republicans' contempt for democratic practice, their bullying religiosity, their reckless militarism, their apocalyptic views of the economy and the planet, and—above all—their emotional dependence on sheer hatefulness."

Miller captures the essential character of the Bush regime and its most conscious and purposeful adherents, noting that their war against the anti-democratic, anti-rational, and anti-modern tendencies of fundamentalist Islam - which Bush adherents love to call "Islamo-fascism" - are in fact straight up projections, mirror images, of their own fearful abreactions to democracy, reason, and contemporary world civilization.  See also interviews at:

In fact, these tendencies on the part of Islam have been imported, and amplified, from the same ideological sources behind the Bush regime and its program.  I think the best treatment of the sources, in the anti Enlightenment ideologies of neo medievalist, proto fascist European propagandists, of Islamic and other "Eastern" obsessions with the evils of Enlightenment civilization is found in the essay "Occidentalism" by Avishai Margalit and Ian Buruma, and the book which expands on that essay "Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies".

In essence, the Christian reconstructionists share with radical fundamentalist Islamists (and for that matter Hindu nativist fascism) a visceral opposition to the transformation of civilization that occurred over the last 500 or so years, known as the Enlightenment.  The period of transformation is sometimes referred to as "The age of reason".  But reason is not the only enemy of these groups - they also insist that the individualism, freedom of expression, and ethnic and religious pluralism fostered by the Enlightenment is antithetical to 'true' religion - in the case of the reconstructionists to true Christian belief.  Naturally, for these adherents, ending slavery was liberal enlightenment heresy, and the Civil War was an unjust war against god's people and the writ of holy scripture.

David Batstone, of Sojourner's, has an excellent brief introduction to the "dispensational" view of history and its (im)moral and theological consequences.
Are liberal Christians phony?   5-12-2004 and related essays including
The Right Stuff Sojourners Magazine, July, 2004
Take back our faith - successes and next steps   8-27-2004
Jimmy Swaggart tells congregation he'd kill gays   9-22-2004
Apocalypse now and then   10-27-2004

One remarkable feature of Christian reconstructionism is its peculiar relationship to the idea of "Truth".  For the reconstructionist, Darbyist, 'premillenial dispensation' Christian, there is no truth, except as they perceive the "truth of god". 

Accordingly, "reality based" truth, the truth of what one Bush regime staffer disparaged as "the reality based community" is not to be respected.  Quite to the contrary, a reconstructionist theologian has held that a known false statement asserted "as a matter of faith" by a Christian is ipso facto "true".  If a 'true Christian' wishes a statement to be true, then it is true. 

Here, I think, is the real source of GW Bush's certainty, and his ability to communicate confidence in what he says, no matter how irrational:  If he believes it, then it is so, just as in the days of Pharaoh.

Katherine Yurica's web site describes the influence of Dominionism in the Bush administration and the reach and direction of that movement's leadership. 

Chris Floyd references Ms. Yurica's work in an excellent article on the Dominionist "Constitutional Restoration Act".  A web search on [ chris floyd dominion domination ] will get you a set of interesting links. 

One of these is my own note on the subject, which has with it a copy of Mr. Floyd's article and his extensive bibliography of links to Dominionism materials on the web.  It also includes links (see also the table of links and URL's below) to "must read" materials on the ties between the Dominionism (Christian reconstruction) and Domination  (Straussian NeoCons).

You might also be interested in these pages from my web site and log:
The ultimate neocon lie
Bush's Black Friday
Creationism Redux
NeoMedieval  Dominion
    Leo Strauss and his spawn
    The neocons and Bush/Cheney
    The "religious" right
    The corporate media
Across a Great Divide - There are fundamental(ist) differences between Europe and the US.
The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism
Fundamentalism - "The battle for God" (aka "the dustup over God") by Karen Armstrong
NeoCon/Theocrat subversion of command authority and the rule of law
They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer - http://www.thirdreich.net/Thought_They_Were_Free_nn4.html
Additional information and links
Understanding Information Warfare by the Right
A War to Remake the World
Birth of the Enlightenment
Legacy of the Enlightenment

Pages addressing some of the relationships between Reconstructionist Christianity and Revisionist Zionism:
Challenging Christian Zionism 


Clearly, the temper of the Bush regime and its adherents, as well as its Islamic terrorist opponents, is focused on religious warfare, and not on the defense of freedom.  This warfare is actually that of a developing Christian reconstructionist theocracy in the US, against Islamic theocratic radicalism. 

In contrast to the false assertion by the Dominionists and Neo Cons that this war is in defense of freedom, this is a war of two forms of religious absolutism against other citizens and other religions within their own nations.  The warfare of the Islamic radicals against their own religious minorities is overt - a hot war in which no one is safe who is not aligned with the locally dominant group of radicals.

But in the US the war is a cold, secret war.  Its nature and significance are clear when studied, but are unreported, and nearly invisible to most Americans.  The secular, pluralistic, individualistic, democratic institutions of freedom which have created and supported modern civilization over the last four to five centuries are under direct threat, in this country, by the policies of the Bush regime, by legislation proposed in our Congress, and by violent and secretive Christo-fascist organizations in too many of our communities.

Jim Pivonka 
November 6, 2004
Table of Links and URL's:
http://www.intelligenceproject.org - http://www.splcenter.org/intel/
essay "Heartland Morality, American Politics"  http://www.dissidentvoice.org/May2004/Stephens0504.htm
book "Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order"  http://www.wwnorton.com/catalog/spring04/005917.htm
Occidentalism  http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=15100
Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1594200084/102-4047672-3580910?v=glance
the "dispensational" view of history  http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=040512#3
Are liberal Christians phony?  http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=040512#3
The Right Stuff  http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=magazine.article&issue=soj0407&article=040720
Take back our faith - successes and next steps  http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=040827#3
Jimmy Swaggart tells congregation he'd kill gays  http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=040922#3
Apocalypse now and then  http://www.sojo.net/index.cfm?action=sojomail.display&issue=041027#3
Katherine Yurica's web site  http://www.yuricareport.com/index.html
Dominionism in the Bush administration  http://www.yuricareport.com/Dominionism/TheDespoilingOfAmerica.htm
article on the Dominionist "Constitutional Restoration Act"  http://www.tmtmetropolis.ru/index.php?aid=131199
my own note  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#VoidWestCiv
External Links Included:
Bill Greider  http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030512&c=1&s=greider
More Greider  http://www.publiccitizen.org/trade/nafta/CH__11/articles.cfm?ID=6444
Drury on Strauss  http://www.historyamericas.com/Leo_Strauss_and_the_American_Right_0312217838.html
Leo Strauss  http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Leo_Strauss
Neo Conservative  http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Neo-conservative
More Strauss  http://home.earthlink.net/%7Ekarljahn/Strauss.htm

Francis Bacon  http://www.whitworth.edu/Academic/Department/Core/Classes/CO250/UK/Data/fr_bacon.htm
Tom Barry, "A Philosophy of Intelligence: Leo Strauss and Intelligence Strategy," http://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2004/0402nsai.php
More Barry  http://rightweb.irc-online.org/analysis/2004/0402pi.php
bibliography of links to Dominionism materials  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#annotations
The ultimate neocon lie  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#UltimateNeoConLie
Bush's Black Friday  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#BlacburnFriday
Creationism Redux  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#CreationismRedux
NeoMedieval  Dominion
    Leo Strauss and his spawn  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#NeoConsStrauss2
    The neocons and Bush/Cheney  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#NeoConsBush
    The "religious" right  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#XtianXtreme
    The corporate media  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#MediaCorps
Across a Great Divide - There are fundamental(ist) differences between Europe and the US.  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040323.html#Divided
EnlightenmentDivide.html  http://www.jimpivonka.com/pages/EnlightenmentDivide.html
The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism  http://www.jimpivonka.com/pages/ShrubbyismDefin.html
Carl Schmitt and Leo Strauss http://chronicle.com/free/v50/i30/30b01601.htm
Fundamentalism - "The battle for God" (aka "the dustup over God") by Karen Armstrong  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040519.html#godfightkarm
NeoCon/Theocrat subversion of command authority and the rule of law  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040519.html#neocontheocsubv
They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer - http://www.thirdreich.net/Thought_They_Were_Free_nn4.html
Additional information and links  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog030717.html#FreeIllusion-infolinks
Understanding Information Warfare by the Right  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog030717.html#InformationWarfare_Digby
A War to Remake the World  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog030717.html#Wartoremaketheworld
armageddon.html  http://www.jimpivonka.com/pages/armageddon.html
Darbyism&Israel.html  http://www.jimpivonka.com/pages/Darbyism&Israel.html
Challenging Christian Zionism  http://www.jimpivonka.com/weblogs/weblog040519.html#christzionism
PastisPrologue.html  http://www.jimpivonka.com/pages/PastisPrologue.html
040810LanguageofPolitics.html  http://www.jimpivonka.com/pages/040810LanguageofPolitics.html
focused on religious warfare

Contents of prior weblog file:
This index is chronological (earliest is first), while the the postings are in reverse chronology (most recent is  first).

Contents of next weblog file: (Not Yet Archived)
Contents of prior weblog file: (Archived)
Weblog, 2004-08-14, Saturn's Day
Oil prices, trade deficits, interest rates, and inflation - facts and fictions (Link) revised.
The "West Wing" Scenario: The Language of Politics and the 2004 Campaign (Link) reposted.
Weblog, 2004-08-15, Sun Day  
Najaf & Fallujah Update
Prior postings on Najaf & Fallujah (1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (8), (9), (10)

Weblog, 2004-08-16, Moon Day 
Another Sadr heard from

Weblog, 2004-09-04, Saturn's Day 
Terrorism's next attack

Weblog, 2004-09-08, Wodin's Day
Are we better off because Saddam Hussein was captured?

Weblog, 2004-09-28, Tiw's Day  
Leading Economic Indicators
The Internet Bubble

Weblog, 2004-09-29, Wodin's Day
Oil supplies are finite

Weblog, 2004-09-30, Thor's Day
Russian Oil:  ConocoPhillips
Economic Data

Weblog, 2004-10-01, Freya's Day
Mission Accomplished [NOT]
Economic Data

Weblog, 2004-10-08, Freya's Day 
Economic Data
Iraq Debacle

Weblog, 2004-10-11, Moon Day
When will people catch on?  Job Growth Slows Permanent and Draft Materials

Read my March, 2003, summation of the status and prospects for the war on Iraq: Http://www.jimpivonka.com/pages/PerpetualWar.html

Permanent and Draft materials follow: These may be reworked from time to time.

The weblog format distracts from and even interferes with  more structured writing by imposing subtle requirements to make notes for 'publication' - at least for this novice blogger.   While providing a useful recap of things discovered on the WWW or received in email, the weblog has not served as the place where I made notes for future research or work in progress.   These materials are not 'daily', but develop over days or weeks. In order to separate "Log" from "drafting" functions, daily log notes are at the top of the current weblog; while draft materials follow them. When a set of daily log notes is posted to the 'previous web logs' archive the draft materials will be deleted; only the daily log will appear in the archive. The draft materials remain in the current weblog page, until they are trashed as hopeless, consigned to the "unpublished" directory, or published in "pages" or elsewhere.

WarBlogging reprised:
The Daily Kos http://www.dailykos.com/ has been named the "Best Warblog" by Forbes Magazine - and it is not even a Warblog, as they note.
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/ Most highly recommended, with built in  BS detection and disclosure.
http://www.johnbrownlow.com/unintended/  An excellent  source. More on unintended consequences.
http://sgtstryker.com.cr.sabren.com/sparkey.htm   Tactical news, but well selected and informative.
http://www.singmind.com/singleminded/home.htm has a much more strategic and political view.
They even quote Lord Melbourne "Nobody ever did anything very foolish except from some strong principle."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/world/2003/reporters_log/ BBC war reporters' log.
http://www.agonist.org/ "Thoughtful, Global, Timely" Actually quite good.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A42614-2003Mar28.htmlis a Washington Post summary of Warblog activity

The Enlightenment and US Politics (Draft, March, 2004)

Perpetual War! A political agenda motivates the drive to perpetual war. 

The Past is Prologue: Resistance, Rebellion, Reaction - Viet Nam and its Aftermath

The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism

Whose anti war movement is it, anyway?

Nader (aka "Barf Nadir" in some quarters) is probably not an elitist, a Straussian NeoCon plant, who ran last time in order to get Bush elected, and is attempting the same thing this time.  But he might as well be.  
( http://www.nytimes.com/2004/02/23/opinion/23MON1.html ,
 http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-et-abcarian5mar05,1,2696374.story  and

Come Ride in My Corvair! Ralph Nader, the newest presidential candidate, has proven to be delusional at any speed. )

After the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago,  and two years of student action at Universities culminating in the May 4, 1970 Kent State killings, it was clear something had to be done.  Two tools were devised and used to divert the energies, physical and intellectual, of the people who made up the anti Viet Nam war movement.  One was New Age spiritualism.  The other is "(Don't) Think Globally, Act Locally" Environmentalism.   For three decades both tools (together with splinter parties) have been used to chip away at the people's political will and ability to accomplish any populist and progressive program.  

That form of spiritualism called "New Age" induced us to reject commitment to politics and the political process as meaningless or, worse, a source of troubling thoughts and emotions.   Local action "environmentalism" told us that we were to   focus on recycling our trash instead fighting corporate polluters, reading history and being politically aware, committed and involved.   Broader action to influence policy would, in this version of movement politics, be dissociated from real politics.  Instead, we would work through special interest organizations, which apply 'pressure point' lobbying to gain their objective.   Enthusiasts of both could drop out, and go back to the land - where they managed, some argue, to both start a process of gentrification in rural communities and to get a head start on the resulting boom in real estate values!  

Politics - real politics which focuses on the needs and aspirations of the the people and polity and on securing votes for bond issues, tax levies, and candidates - was, supposedly, irrelevant.  In this strange new world there was no difference between the political parties, and Al Gore and George Bush were viewed as clones.   But the corporatist and fundamentalist Right not only knew better, it funded - even created - much of that anti-political consciousness.

In this brave new century, both movements have aged, weakened, and deteriorated to the point that they are no longer a threat to either the fundamentalists or the oil companies.  The religious right is taking control of our free public school system or supplanting it with fundamentalist madrassahs to be supported with NCLB mandated vouchers.  Recycling programs are being found too expensive and being abandoned across the nation.   The post Viet Nam diversionary movements and their duped adherents can be dispensed with, and our government be put in the hands of Straussian Neocons.   All this WWW3 stuff, the MacNamara revisited stuff (you notice it is all recollection - no analysis, not guilt, no apology), is to keep "movement" people stuck in self analytical and self congratulatory mode while the stage is set for Act 3 of the NeoCon putsch. 

Now a similar tactic is distracting the remnants of Governor Dean's campaign support organization.   In large part it has already lost sight of the need to remove the Shrub NeoCon regime from power and reform the Democratic party.  Even as Shrub uses recess appointments to install far right wing judges,agents of disinformation and agents provocateur are working in Governor Dean's blog and forums to convince his supporters that they should let the 2004 election go and focus on "stopping Hilary" in 2008; that there is no difference between the toothless, failed liberalism of John Kerry and the aggressive, very sharply toothed extreme right wing NeoCons who occupy the White House and the Pentagon. 

If this tactic, in conjunction with Nader's candidacy, works "(T)hen, as Clint Eastwood gets to say in Don Siegel's Coogan's Bluff, "You won't believe what happens next, even while it's happening." "  We are living at the foot of a huge dam, and we are blind to how near it is to overtopping, failing altogether, and washing away 500 years of progress in human welfare and freedom.  

Jared Diamond's Lewis Thomas Prize Lecture: "Why Do Some Societies Make Disastrous Decisions?"

The threat originally comes, not from the arc of impoverished and desolated peoples running from Morocco to the Indonesia, but from worms boring away within the body of and consuming the heart of European civilization's greatest gift to humanity, the legacy of the Enlightenment.  This parasitic infection has, of course, broken out of the bounds of European intellectual life and infected the rest of the world, from where it is reflected back,
in the forms of terrorism and fundamentalism, onto the "West".


Birth of the Enlightenment

In Europe at the end of the 17th century a five century orgy of inquisitions, witch hunts, and religious wars begun at the end of the 11th century was slowly burning itself out.  

In that period between, hundreds of thousands to millions of victims of three Holy Inquisitions were tortured, hung, beheaded, and burnt at the stake for heresy.  As many as 900,000 accused "witches" were burnt at the stake between 1275 and 1894, of whom most (95% in some jurisdictions) were women.   From 1347 to 1350 around 27,000,000 died in the Bubonic Plague; in the accompanying panic between 15 and 20 thousand Jews were killed.  From 1618 to 1648 the Thirty Years War between Protestant and Catholic adherents finally dismembered the Holy Roman Empire; in Germany alone the war and an outbreak of Plague may have reduced the population by a third. 

Communal violence during this period had been largely ad hoc, but continuous. 
Nearly all was sanctioned by government or religious authority and often both.   It had focused on real or imagined religious heterodoxy and though a large part of the violence was directed at Jews (especially the Bubonic Plague panic) most had been directed at Christian citizens accused of witchcraft or heresy.    

By the middle of the 17th century the treasuries of European states were depleted by religious wars and increasingly dependent on growing commercial activities in their cities.  In contrast the power of feudal landowners was in relative decline.  The population and merchants were exhausted by wars and their support for additional religious strife was at an end, except for continued anti-Jewish pogroms in Eastern Europe.   Until the rise of the anti-Enlightenment fascist and Nazi ideologies in the 20th century European wars were between nations, rather than state sanctioned communal violence directed at populations within national borders.

The elements which were brought together in the creation of the broad and revolutionary cultural transformation known as the Enlightenment were not the sole possession of Europe.  Most were held in common with other civilizations, some older and more sophisticated in many ways than was Europe.   For the greater part of the period after the breakup of Mediterranean civilization at the end of the Roman Empire, so-called "Latin Christendom" was the least advanced of the three successor cultures, after Byzantium (Eastern or Orthodox Christianity) and Islam. 

There is no substantial agreement about why the outcome of a series of cultural trends in Northwestern Europe in the 14th through the 17th centuries was so dramatically different than in other parts of the world which were at a similar or more advanced state of development at the beginning of that period.  However, three distinguishing factors are suggested:

The impermanence of  state and empire.  Maritime Norse raiders who had only a few centuries earlier flooded into every part of the continent bounded by ocean or sea, and even into Asia Minor and Russia carried a tradition of loose and democratically organized confederations antithetic to central control, culminating in the
freehold.  The sufficiency of this tradition alone in providing the roots for democracy is demonstrated by the evolution of Icelandic governance.  

In Europe Norse influence was coupled with repeated fragmentation and reconstitution of the Holy Roman Empire and its loosely coordinated component states, which itself resulted from the Frankish tradition (contra primogeniture) of dividing the kingdom among the sons of the king.  This combination inhibited the growth of stable large states and centralized authoritarian control. 

Norse decentralization and Frankish inheritance practice were later c
oupled with the mythos of Greek Democracy and the Roman Republic rediscovered during the Renniassance.  All these together provided the historical and cultural basis for the creation of open and pluralistic societies and democratic forms of governance in Northwestern Europe.  

The secular preoccupations of the Church in Rome:  An historical antipathy of much of Christian tradition toward the state also limited the degree of coordination between the state and religious authority and discouraged the development of stultifying theocratic social organization.  (With a nod to a current cultural phenomenon - March, 2004 - it is necessary to note that, although this tradition originates in the persecution of the Christian churches by the Roman Empire, after the sudden conversion of the Emperor Constantine to Christianity a new tradition, which "washes the hands" of Rome and assigns "blood guilt" for the crucifixion to the Jews, appears in Christian culture.  How convenient for Rome and the Emperor!)  

For centuries the Holy See in Rome, Pope and Curia, had been preoccupied with regional politics in the Western Mediterranean.  Charlemagne had institutionalized the Church in the North in the form of the Holy Roman Empire, and until the Reformation there was little reason for Rome to concern itself with political or doctrinal matters there.   The relative freedom of this secularized environment that developed in Rome permitted the rise of the Italian Renaissance, and its export to the rest of Europe, where it merged with other cultural bases supporting the Enlightenment.

After the Roman church's powerful reaction to the Reformation at the Councils of Constance and Trent, and the creation of the Counter Reformation, it turned its attention to the suppression of these secular tendencies by blood and fire.   States in Catholic Southern Europe dealt with irregular books and people in the same manner - by burning - and from the time of the Council until the 20th Century Southern Europe declined relative to the North in thought, governance, invention, the arts, and economic vitality. 

Fortunately, the political structure if Northern Europe could not support such a monolithic response to the Reformation, and despite the desire of its initial creators to enforce various forms of doctrinal totalitarianism, the ferment of novel religious ideas there continued pretty much unabated until the mid 19th Century. 

The printing press.  The invention (1436) of the mechanical printing press made possible the rapid reproduction and wide distribution of  old and new knowledge and thought throughout European civilization.  This possibility, which could have been aborted in circumstances of centrally coordinated authoritarian government, was fully exploited in Northern Europe, though aborted in the South after the Counter Reformation.  The tensions among varied branches of Christian religious thought both increased the demand for printed materials and created religious justifications for their free availability - a pattern in sharp contrast to that experienced where ideological conformity was enforced by strong, empire wide government authority. 

The Legacy of the Enlightenment

In sharp contrast to the Enlightenment in Northern Europe, in the Eastern Empire of Byzantium and - after the fall of Constaninople and the rise of the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul  - in the Islamic world a pre-existing tendency toward empire building, and the strongly centralized and authoritarian religious and governmental structures required to support empire (esp. Ottoman and Mogul) aborted further development of once vital cultures there.  

By the end of the 17th century the Enlightenment had come to dominate the intellectual and cultural life of Northwestern Europe, and for the next 400 years it permitted the advances in science, technology, economic organization, governance, and military power that created the hegemony of the so-called "West" over the entire planet.

Draft materials removed.
Draft materials removed.

The Face of Totalitarian Shrubbyism

Every part of the Shrubbyist domestic and international agenda depends on perpetual war.
They have no economic plan other than war.
It is the Shrubbyist political agenda that drives their need for perpetual war.
It is not oil and not terrorism.
This is the Explanation for
The Shrubbyist Lust for War
This gun SMOKES!

The Religious Rightists and The Shrubbyist Lust for War
Two men driving Bush into war
The World Will Know the Truth

(Both articles are also HERE)

Shrubbyism might "more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power."  This under the management of those who control the corporation and benefit from the accumulation of power and wealth in corporate hands.  (Example)  In its organization of power corporatism  "has the following characteristics:

    • The state has the ultimate authority over production and distribution without (as in socialism) actually owning the means of production and distribution.
    • Control is generally accomplished through cartelization, the creating of industry-wide councils in which the representatives of the most powerful firms set policy in conjunction with representatives of government.
    But it is more than simple Corporatism, since:    (MORE)

Draft materials removed

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