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  1. #31
    Sniffles
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alwar View Post
    Elites declaring their despotism as rational does not make it rational. One could imagine an Emperor who justifies his authority as divine right this week, changing his justification next week to his authority being "rational" because popular sentiment shifted to reason. Today we call it the Age of Reason primarily because of the underlying value of using reason to understand phenomena and make decisions, not as a reflection of the minority views of cherry picked despots who interpreted reason to mean anything that favors what preserves their privilege. Politicians still to this day claim their policies are reasonable and grounded in scientific reasoning and evidence, that doesn't mean that they are.
    If I remember correctly, you were the one arguing about the supposed benefits of Enlightenment ideals, which included Enlightened Despotism.

  2. #32
    Riva
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    The Quran should be rated as pg17 or adults only, due to its massive amount of violent and hate advocacy.

  3. #33
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    Yes it is related to the Enlightenment itself, due to its insistence on reason being the basis of governance. This meant that government had to have more centralized control in order to better organize and efficently run society.
    Funny, I seem to recall living in a country that interpreted the Enlightenment to mean that the most reasonable government was one that respected man's natural rights, and that in order to protect this, devolution of powers was necessary.

    Medieval Political Theology, by contrast, was based upon the concept of original sin, ie the flawed nature of man. Thus it's a bad idea to give too much power to any one person or institution.

    That's why the power of Medieval monarchs were always constrained by the rival powerblocks of the aristocracy, the Church, communes, etc. As far military matters goes, this meant Medieval armies were largely ad-hoc formations and participated in relatively small-scale wars. There was brutality at times, especially with Mongol looting, but again it always a more haphazard affair than say Sherman's march to the sea.
    That's a particularly English concept - France, even before Louis XIV, still had a fairly centralized state structure with the Church hierarchy included as one of the estates. Feudalism was fairly centralized within the various fiefs, in many senses - everyone had a superior, and if your superior called you up, you went. The Holy Roman Empire, on the other hand, vacillated in control not because of any theological concept, but because of the nature of German geography making it nearly impossible to control a large area directly, and the Church desiring political control over an area that's across a freaking mountain range. Italy only shifted based on who had the most money at the time - either the merchant families or the Church. It wasn't really based so much on theology - the Ghibelline and Guelf conflicts were about the pope as a political leader, rather than a spiritual leader (which no one questioned).

    I don't think you'll find many who would say that the Hundred Years' War was a small scale event - stretched out over many skirmishes, yes, but huge chunks of land were shifted around in the conflict.

    It also bears mentioning that Spain was particularly bloody for 7o0 years, less so when the Muslims were in control.

    Finally, I question whether it had to do with theology and political philosophy that things were as small scale in the Middle Ages as much as it was technological and natural effects. In regard to the latter, two factors primarily weigh heavily. One is the Black Death of course; it's rather hard to form mass armies when you have to fear a third of your force being annihilated within months from disease. The second is the Medieval Warm Period - because there was much more arable land for much longer during the year than in the Roman period, feudalism made much more sense economically than the previous model, which combined slavery with seasonal workers. Not only that, but it made the cities even more fetid and horrifying, which deterred the population density necessary for centralized control in the modern sense.

    Technology-wise, it was still the Dark Ages. There was very little in the way of disseminating information, and even then, the info would be suspect at best. Memeplexes were almost impossible to spread outside the centralized Church hierarchy. The printing press cleared that mess up.

    The systematic organization of resources, manpower, and killing power needed to wage a modern war simply was incompatible with the Medieval political mindset. With Enlightenment rationalism, it makes perfect sense.
    I would say not so much because of Enlightenment rationalism, but more because of the technological developments that occurred at the same time. Controlling armies became much easier when 5,000 copies of the same orders could be distributed fairly easily. Not only that, but the colonization of the Americas basically taught Europe how to do supply chains. The end of the Black Plague and increasing urbanization stemming from population density also helped the dissemination of information that's vital to mass armies.

    As Clausewtiz famously noted, war is the continuation of politics by other means. The nature of warfare and armies is a reflection of the kind of political mentality you're operating under - which in turn is a reflection of the kind of presuppositions you adhere to concerning ultimate matters.
    While Clausewitz is well-known for that statement, it belies an understanding of politics that perhaps isn't as discrete as it could be. Politics answers the simple question of "who gets what", or resource distribution. In the medieval period on the continent, the King got taxes. Why? Because he had the biggest army. The Church gets tithes. Why? Because if you didn't, you were a heretic and executed. Vassals get portions of crops. Why? Because if you didn't, they had strong men who would either throw you off the property or kill you outright. It was all the politics of force. War isn't the continuation of politics - war is politics (this group gets that because they killed the people in their way).

    Two final points: one, it's unwise to forget that there existed mass armies of Napoleonic scale in China and India much prior to Bonaparte's era, and without any sense of the European Enlightenment. Two, Sherman's war philosophy was much more existentialist than rationalist - he came up with his "hard war" concept not by asking what worked best, but what war was, and based on that, how it was best prosecuted. Plenty of other generals at the time were trained in rationalist (Napoleonic) thought, but Sherman was the one who made the jump from how war was conducted to what war actually was. Napoleon may have said that an army marches on its stomach, but Sherman actually understood the implications.

  4. #34
    The Architect Alwar's Avatar
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    "Enlightened Despotism" is despotism that took place during the Enlightenment. Not despotism that reflected Enlightenment ideals. The popular ideals that developed during what we now call the Age of Reason or various Enlightenment's in Europe, threatened existing despotism, so despotism adjusted by claiming it was grounded in reason. Ultimately it was marginalized or forced to take on new forms. You are reversing the chain of events to say that Emperors and Monarchs claimed that their authority was grounded in reason and then all the sudden the Enlightenment took place.

  5. #35
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alwar View Post
    Suicide attacks are nothing new or unique to Muslims.
    Quite right.

    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    The problem is that the Koran teaches jihad and martyrdom. It teaches domination of dhimmi and the conversion or killing of infidels.

    And the Koran is the word of Allah.
    Can you tell me what the principle teaching is of resorting to Jihad, in accordance with the Qur'an?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fingers Superstar View Post
    I'm not a Muslim, I'm not inclined to religion in any way, but i've got to say the bible is full of genocide incest and rape. The old testament god was a raving loony, technically you could use it to justify all sorts of things.
    "Suicide attack" in the Old Testemant - by a servant of God (Samson) against the Philistines. I.e., he killed more in his death than in his life.

    Judges 16:22-30

  6. #36
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    I am still amazed that after every Islamic mass murder, muslims come out in defence of Islam.

  7. #37
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    I am still amazed that after every Islamic mass murder, muslims come out in defence of Islam.
    Why is that? Do those of us of European descent have to constantly apologize for imperialism and subjugation of most of the planet? Do the mass murders of the past invalidate the good things of European culture and its descendants?

    Islam is their family. It's what brings them solace in life. It's what connects them to more than a billion worldwide. It's their great hope for the future, and the guidepost for their present. It's also immanent and present in a way that Christianity isn't in modern developed nations - ask anyone who's been on the Hajj and circled the Kaaba if they didn't come away profoundly affected.

    It's just like the Ashes, for example. If an Australia batsman went and smashed the England bowler in the gut with the bat, would that invalidate Australia cricket as a whole? (not saying you're a cricket follower or anything, but sports and religion are way more connected than people give credit for).

  8. #38
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    There are two groups in Australia that defend Islamic mass murder.

    The first are muslims and the second are marxists.

    These are odd bedfellows as muslims are theists while marxists are atheists.

    And we know that where the muslims take power, the first persons they kill are atheists. And vice versa.

    Yes, what muslims and marxists have in common are totalitarian ideologies that reject the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The Organization of Islamic Conference, consisting of 57 Islamic States, has publicly and openly repudiated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    And I understand one of the first rights in the Universal Declaration is the Right to Life.

    However under Islamic law dhimmis lose their right to life if they do not accept their domination by muslims.

    And under Islamic law infidels lose their right to life if they do not convert.

    And it is crystal clear to everyone of the 57 Islamic States that Islamic law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are incompatible.

    And that is why the 57 Islamic States have rejected the Univeral Declaration of Human Rights.

    And this is why Islamic mass murder will continue and muslims will continue to see any self-defence by the victims as an attack on Islam which obliges muslims to defend Islam.

  9. #39
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Can you see how a Muslim country would find the so-called "Universal" declaration of human rights to be an instrument of Western Imperialism? Especially when their objections were completely ignored?

    There are many articles that run contrary to Arab civilization. Why would they think they are the wrong ones, particularly when the West just got done slaughtering 60 million people?

    I'm not saying I disagree with the declaration - of course I don't, as they express the best of what my civilization has to aspire to. I just think that dismissing their objections due to different cultural norms and historical context is a bit closed-minded.

  10. #40
    Senior Member Tiny Army's Avatar
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    So wait, we're not considering the Iraq war an act of terrorism in itself? Bizarre.
    Anger is also a feeling.

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