“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cultural Vandalism - Nothing New Here

(Reuters) - Islamist militants destroyed two tombs on Tuesday at the famous 14th century Djingareyber mosque in Timbuktu, classified by UNESCO as a world heritage site, residents said.
About a dozen militants arrived in an armored four-wheel drive truck, armed with pickaxes and hoes. They fired in the air to intimidate people and started smashing the tombs, said Ibrahim Cisse, who witnessed the scene.
"They blocked the two main roads leading to the mausoleums. When they saw people gathering for a ceremony nearby, they began firing shots in the air," said another resident, Mahamad ould Ibrahim.
The new destruction comes after attacks last week on other historic and religious landmarks in Timbuktu that UNESCO called "wanton destruction".
Islamists of the Ansar Dine group say the centuries-old shrines of the local Sufi version of Islam are idolatrous.
Ansar Dine and well-armed allies, including al Qaeda splinter group MUJWA, have hijacked a separatist uprising by local Tuareg MNLA rebels and now control two-thirds of Mali's desert north, territory that includes the regions of Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu.
They have destroyed at least eight of 16 listed mausoleums in the city, together with a number of tombs and a sacred door at Sidi Yahya mosque, in their campaign to erase traces of what they regard as un-Islamic idolatry.
According to UNESCO, Djingareyber, together with the Sankore and Sidi Yahia mosques, are known as the three great mosques of the city. Djingareyber was built by the sultan Kankan Moussa after his return in 1325 from a pilgrimage to Mecca.

European Destruction Under Christianity

... the popes wantonly ruined more of ancient Rome than Goths or Saracens had ever managed.
Guidebook to Rome*
The true torchbearers during the Dark Ages were Arabs, Jews, heretics and pagans who kept alive pre-Christian teachings. In western Europe Christianity enforced a monopoly of thought, and the consequence of this was that Western Christendom spent the Middle Ages in abject ignorance, regarded by Byzantines and Muslims alike as hopeless philistines. Pope Paul II, a nepotist and murderer, epitomised Western Christianity at the end of the medieval period. When in 1466 the historian Bartolomeo Platina commented on his ignorance, His Holiness had him imprisoned and tortured. The same pope suppressed the Roman Academy, which he thought encouraged paganism, and also banned the reading of ancient poets by Roman children.
How great was Europe's cultural loss can be assessed by comparing the state of civilisation under the ancient Greeks with that of Christendom at the close of the Middle Ages, almost 2,000 years later. All of these areas of cultural endeavour had flourished under the Greeks — many of them are discussed in more detail elsewhere on this website.
AreaFate under Christian hegemony
Architecture:Stone buildings that had been built extensively for private and public purposes were now limited to military and ecclesiastical structures. Existing public buildings (forums, libraries, odeons, theatres, museums (names after the Muses), stadia, hippodromes, circuses, schools, gymnasia, temples, baths, Roman amphitheatres etc.) were often vandalised or destroyed. Many building techniques were forgotten.
Education:Where even the poor had been taught to read and write in pagan times, and the rich had been expected to build public schools, education became a Church monopoly, and was denied to all except prospective priests and sons of the rich. The syllabus was restricted to Christian indoctrination.
Dance:Dance was prohibited as pagan and tending to promote lust.
Democracy:Democracy was condemned as un-Christian, since the Bible presupposed kingdoms.
History:Factual history was replaced by fabrications and propaganda (such as “legends”), except for sympathetic chronicles that did not reflect badly on the Church. Unsympathetic histories were "lost".
Law:Law was converted from an instrument of justice to a system featuring trials by ordeal, frequently serving the interests of the Church and denying the principles of natural justice. Inequality was a fundamental principle of ecclesiastical law.
Literature:All literature, including the Bible, was banned to the population at large. The few who were allowed to learn to read were restricted to prayer books and Christian Legends presented as fact. Other books were generally destroyed or hidden away in monasteries.
Mathematics:This was limited within the Church to the arithmetic necessary to calculate the date of Easter. Otherwise it was treated with suspicion or hostility.
Medicine:All medical progress was halted. Illness was considered to be a punishment for sin. Hygiene and public health were abandoned as un-Christian.
Music & Singing:Music and singing were periodically restricted to Church music. Otherwise they were regarded as satanic. Classical opera died out under the Christian hegemony — it was re-introduced in the sixteenth century.
Natural history:The study of nature, popular in the ancient world, stagnated until the Enlightenment. Research was suppressed until then because the Church insisted on a literal interpretation of the Bible and its infallibility as a handbook of all world knowledge.
Painting and Art:All representation was first banned, then restricted to religious themes from the fifth century. Existing non-Christian art was destroyed. The rules of perspective, known in ancient times, were “lost” until rediscovered by Brualleschi at the dawn of the Renaissance. In 1563, the Council of Trent confirmed Art as a conformist naturalistic propaganda tool.
Philosophy:A Church monopoly was established. The subject was then reduced to scholasticism. Existing philosophical works were destroyed. No significant progress (except by “heretics”) was to take place until Cosimo de" Medici revived ancient philosophy with his Platonic Academy in Florence*
Public Service:The charitable endowment of public buildings (schools, libraries, theatres, sports stadia, baths, etc.) ceased almost completely when the Church enjoyed total control. Almost every village in Europe has a medieval church, generally built in better materials than any other local building. A vanishingly small number have comparable church built schools, hospitals or other useful public buildings. The first modern public library was founded by Cosimo de" Medici, “godfather” to the Renaissance*
Sculpture:Non-religious sculpture ceased to be produced. The best examples from antiquity were "lost". Inferior material was produced for the Church, generally for propaganda purposes. Nothing comparable in quality to classical work was produced until the Enlightenment.
Sport:Sports were suppressed, along with international sporting events. They were replaced by various kinds of animal torture and pastimes too local to be controlled by the Church.
Theatre:Acting was banned, except for propaganda purposes: religious ceremonies, mystery plays and morality plays.


  1. Religious fanatics are destructive and in denial of historic realities.

    Nothing new to be seen here, move along please.

  2. There is so much non sense and falsehood in parts of that list that I don't know where to begin, so I won't. And, I'm no big defender of Christianity.


    1. .

      Christianity caused the fall of Rome, the dark ages, and the plague?

      Hell, and I thought it was peak oil.


      Well, at least we got a new stream up before we hit the 200 comment level.


    2. Which isn't to say some of it isn't right, but I like this particularly well -

      "Factual history was replaced by fabrications and propaganda (such as “legends”), except for sympathetic chronicles that did not reflect badly on the Church

      Romulus and Remus might agree.

      And perhaps Rufus, too.

      The three R's.


    3. I thought some of it was caused by pagan invasions but what do I know.


    4. Global warming dun it, and George W. Bush.


    5. I know for certain them boys all three of 'em was suckled by a she wolf.


    6. And of course we know now through DNA that Rufus crossed the ocean leaving the bros to found Rome and the Cherokee is related to the old House of Rufus.


    7. .

      I know for certain them boys all three of 'em was suckled by a she wolf.

      True. But all three of them were pretty damned drunk at the time.


  3. So Obama falls off a 10 story building and Romney
    Tbone (Diary) Tuesday, July 10th at 11:15AM EDT (link)

    is climbing the stairs and they pass each other at the 5th floor and the MSM calls it a dead heat.

    Gotta love ‘em.

    Obama is toast, toasted I tell ya -

    In the new ABC News/Washington Post poll, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney extends his lead among Independents to 14 points, 53-39 percent. Two months ago, a POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground poll found Romney had a ten-point lead among the critical Independent voters.

    The mainstream media is touting the poll as showing the race is “dead even” — a 47-47 percent Obama-Romney contest among registered voters. Yet the new poll contains many more warning signs for the Obamacrats.


  4. According to several reports in the Arabic media, prominent Muslim clerics have begun to call for the demolition of Egypt’s Great Pyramids—or, in the words of Saudi Sheikh Ali bin Said al-Rabi‘i, those “symbols of paganism,” which Egypt’s Salafi party has long planned to cover with wax. Most recently, Bahrain’s “Sheikh of Sunni Sheikhs” and President of National Unity, Abd al-Latif al-Mahmoud, called on Egypt’s new president, Muhammad Morsi, to “destroy the Pyramids and accomplish what the Sahabi Amr bin al-As could not.”

    One can only hope they try via the individual in the suicide vest approach.

    Calls To Destroy Pyramids Begin


  5. OMG. The Christians destroyed Europe. Destroyed a civilization which to this day is nothing but ruin. And in northern Europe, fuggedaboutit, after the Christians the German people were left with nothing but dab and waddle. Not one trace of their former glory.

    1. After the Germans wandered off the Christian reservation, you got the Nazis, just as Heinrich Heine the Jewish German poet had predicted a hundred years earlier, and made "the French Revolution look like a picnic in the park."


  6. Those Germanic Pagans sure were fanatical about their religion, no doubt of that.

    The Catholics had their Inquisition, a real hoot for those on the Iberian peninsula and those ground down under the heel of the Italian boot.

    Ask Galileo.

  7. Those Germanic Pagans sure were fanatical about their religion, no doubt of that.

    Love of war, the old religion.


  8. Dresden had not figured on Boeing Company etal.


  9. The Latest Pew poll is out.

    Looking for WalMart in all the wrong places.