Vengeance is Ours

 
unsmoked
 
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unsmoked
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05 August 2008 11:13
 

‘VENGEANCE IS OURS - What can tribal societies tell us about our need to get even?’ by Jared Diamond

Read complete article in the April 21, 2008 New Yorker Magazine:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/04/21/080421fa_fact_diamond

Diamond is the author of bestsellers, ‘GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL’ and ‘COLLAPSE’.

Here is anthropology that brings to mind the Charles Bronson vigilante movies, ‘DEATH WISH’.

http://www.reason.com/news/show/33768.html

Quotes from Diamond’s New Yorker article:

“The original cause of the wars between the Handa and Ombal clans was a pig that ruined a garden . . .”

“Though we might wonder how Daniel’s society came to revel in killing, ethnographic studies of traditional human societies lying largely outside the control of state government have shown that war, murder, and demonization of neighbors have been the norm.”

 
 
LogicAndReason
 
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LogicAndReason
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05 August 2008 11:41
 

Wow…to be a piglet in New Guinea Highlands sounds sweet.  Diamond is a great mind and writer.  Thanks for the link.

 
zelzo
 
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zelzo
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06 August 2008 11:18
 
unsmoked - 05 August 2008 03:13 PM

Quotes from Diamond’s New Yorker article:

“The original cause of the wars between the Handa and Ombal clans was a pig that ruined a garden . . .”

“Though we might wonder how Daniel’s society came to revel in killing, ethnographic studies of traditional human societies lying largely outside the control of state government have shown that war, murder, and demonization of neighbors have been the norm.”

Inevitably, there   always seems to be a degree of martyrdom when vengeance is sought in tribalism.  I don’t think that is typically the case in state-sponsored wars.

Likewise, demonizing one’s neighbor explains the on-going and incessant continuation of fighting and warring between the factions and the immense convoluted nature of it.

Interesting article.

 
 
isocratic infidel
 
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08 August 2008 12:46
 

Diamond’s observations buttress James Marone’s observations made in his book, Hellfire Nation: The Politics of Sin in American History:

“... religion seems to be the excuse [men] used to justify abusive behaviour. I would contend that if it weren’t religion [the] same men would [find] another vehicle to rationalize their own violence.”

Whether it’s a pig ruining a garden or the call for a “flowery death” from the Aztec warrior god Huitzilopochtli (circa 1500 CE), or the love of country, it seems men are psycho-pathologically wired to war against one another for one reason or another.

Perhaps humankind doesn’t deserve the “glorified monkey” status I gave it after all… petulant primates seems more accurate.

 
 
unsmoked
 
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08 August 2008 13:46
 
isocratic infidel - 08 August 2008 04:46 PM

Whether it’s a pig ruining a garden or the call for a “flowery death” from the Aztec warrior god Huitzilopochtli (circa 1500 CE), or the love of country, it seems men are psycho-pathologically wired to war against one another for one reason or another.

Perhaps humankind doesn’t deserve the “glorified monkey” status I gave it after all… petulant primates seems more accurate.

. . . petulant primates with weapons of mass destruction.  Can this propensity for violence and vengeance be channeled into sports, video games, paintball battles, Jerry Springer theaters - or a modern version of the medieval tournament?  Did Sadam Hussein really challenge George W. Bush to a duel or is that a folktale?

These days, assault rifles are for sale everywhere.  Is it possible to keep a lid on WMD’s?  Let’s say a major city is destroyed sometime this century; will such an event usher in a new age of Big Brother - everyone tagged, and monitored at all times?

Although Al Quaida may be trying to get their hands on nuclear weapons (probably by buying them from sympathizers in Pakistan for example), I heard an interview on NPR a few days ago in which it was debated whether they’d use them or not.  The backlash from such an attack is easily imagined.  However, with billions of people on the planet, the chance of nuclear weapons getting into the hands of some kind of religious fanatic, crazy person, or Pol Pot type seems inevitable.

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 14:02 by unsmoked]
 
 
isocratic infidel
 
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08 August 2008 15:02
 

Jeez, thanks unsmoked, now I feel much less pessimistic about the state of the modern hominid.  confused

unsmoked: “Did Sadam Hussein really challenge George W. Bush to a duel or is that a folktale?”

Actually it was the Vice President of Iraq, Taha Yassin Ramadan who “suggested” a duel between Sadam and Georgey boy… he even put himself up as a potential dueler against Cheney (vp vs vp) with UN Dude, Kofi Annan supervising on “neutral” ground… needless to say, Ari Fleisher nixed the idea… how many Iraqis, Americans, Brits, etc., would be alive today if they’d only accepted…

Kurt Vonnegut called WWI and WWII “The planet’s unsuccessful attempts at committing suicide.” Sadly, it seems some petulant primates want to aim for Part III.
We are in fragile times. Thomas Paine had no idea how much more trying to men’s souls times could become, aye?

 
 
unsmoked
 
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08 August 2008 17:07
 
isocratic infidel - 08 August 2008 07:02 PM

Jeez, thanks unsmoked, now I feel much less pessimistic about the state of the modern hominid.  confused

unsmoked: “Did Sadam Hussein really challenge George W. Bush to a duel or is that a folktale?”

Actually it was the Vice President of Iraq, Taha Yassin Ramadan who “suggested” a duel between Sadam and Georgey boy… he even put himself up as a potential dueler against Cheney (vp vs vp) with UN Dude, Kofi Annan supervising on “neutral” ground… needless to say, Ari Fleisher nixed the idea… how many Iraqis, Americans, Brits, etc., would be alive today if they’d only accepted…

Kurt Vonnegut called WWI and WWII “The planet’s unsuccessful attempts at committing suicide.” Sadly, it seems some petulant primates want to aim for Part III.
We are in fragile times. Thomas Paine had no idea how much more trying to men’s souls times could become, aye?

As someone who thinks there is intelligent life on many other planets (based on the Law of Averages X 2) I think to myself, “How many of them were able to get past the point where their technological power of destruction got ahead of their mental/moral evolution?” 

How ironic that so many religious people equate the teachings of their saviors with peace, compassion, humility - as they go at each other’s throats over which one is the real savior!
“Mine is the true religion!  You are going to hell unless you accept my way as the only way!”

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 17:14 by unsmoked]
 
 
zelzo
 
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10 August 2008 05:41
 

I.I.

Perhaps humankind doesn’t deserve the “glorified monkey” status I gave it after all… petulant primates seems more accurate.

I think Dostoevsky might agree with you.  His character, Ivan Karamazov   said, “No animal could ever be so cruel as a man, so artfully, so artistically cruel.”

Any newspaper or history book would verify this is true.