Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ribaldry at the End of Time

Hell, as illustrated in Hortus Deliciarum (Garden of Delight)
DDGD July 24, 2016
For speaking opportunities, interviews, op-eds, book-signings, art exhibitions and ways to support my work as a blogger, author, a budding digital artist, and a pro-democracy activist, please reach out to me through this contact form.

Brought to you by…

The League of Anti-Christ Wannabes: Celebrating the end of days together. After all, where will we be without traditional values?

Index of Global Delirium
The Index reflects the state of delirium in a particular country using a 1 to 10 count, with 10 denoting the highest level of delirium. Levels of delirium change on the basis of current development in said country, such as instability, terrorism, elections, sports events and the like,  as well as relevant global developments such financial meltdowns, certain leaks, and stock market indices. Countries shown above are among those where fluctuation in the national and local indices have a greater global impact than is the case with other countries. Note: levels of violence and delirium do not always coincide. Indeed, a country can have a high delirium level even though it is relatively stable. 

The IGD score has never been higher, as the world seems poised on the edge of a major delirial implosion. 

Featured Quote

"The (Obama) administration has put its bet on the good faith cooperation of the Russians, with so far very disappointing results." Basma Kodmani, member of the main Syrian opposition High Negotiations Committee

The Deliricon

(The) TrumPutin: A nightmarish creature whose birth was first prophesized by the Keepers of the Holy Deliricon at the end of 2015 – a prophecy that, in the aftermath of the 2016 Republican National Convention, can be said to have been officially fulfilled. The TrumPutin is a shapeshifting vampirical creature known to feed on the dreams, desires and aspirations as well as the fears, prejudices and delusions of its avowed followers. To stoke the levels of fear and delusions present, the TrumPutin is known to enter into secret, and occasionally even open, alliances with the known enemies of its followers in a macabre symbiotic relation that keep their peoples’ brains in a perpetual state of mushiness allowing for their continued enslavement.

The Delirica

The Moment: In the world today, there are competing forms of imperialism and a slew of large corporations with global reach representing the interests of the powerful elite from every nuke and cranny in this world. Moreover, below the surface, another struggle is taking place as well pitting the advocates of modernity, human rights and liberal democracy against followers of traditional authoritarian parochialism whose willingness to modernize their methods and their discourse has been accompanied by a vehement rejection of the need to modernize their minds.

In this context, protesting corporate greed and imperialism under the assumption that they represent an exclusively Western malaise becomes a rather cynical and meaningless exercise, especially when it fails to coincide with clear rejection of authoritarianism and strong endorsement of modernity, democracy and human rights. Indeed, denouncing American and Western hypocrisy, real or perceived, represents a hypocritical activity in itself when not coupled with equally strong denunciation of authoritarian and corrupt predilections of the ruling elite in countries such as Russia, Iran and China, among many others. In attempting to reform the ways of Western democracies and corporations, one should beware not weaken their stands in the ongoing faceoff with their authoritarian, parochial and anti-modern counterparts.

The Daily Delirynth

It is not that Islam radicalizes but that radicalization has been Islamized, as Olivier Roy argues. While a reformation is needed, it is of modernity, not Islam, in light of a globalized, post-colonial world. Islam has enormous potential to be a force for good, peace, and reconciliation. But, in order for this good altruism to be achieved, a critical re-evaluation of globalization, colonialism, and modernity is needed. An appeal to Islam’s inherent compassion is not enough, unless these ideologies are also unpacked.

If you believe that colonialism, nationalism, modernity and globalization are to blame for the ills of contemporary Muslim communities, then, basically, you are portraying Muslims as ultimate victims, and shifting the onus of leading change to others – the advocates of these other isms, and you are absolving yourself from the responsibility of critically reviewing your heritage and traditions. So, in order for Muslims to be better off in this world other people have to change their ideas, ideologies and attitudes.

I can see how that can feel very liberating.

Personally, however, I prefer, to examine things from a slightly different perspective. To me, the real problem is found more in our continuing inability to come up with successful adaptation strategies to help us deal with the challenges posed by the impact of colonialism, nationalism, modernity and globalization than in the mere reality of these phenomena. In the social sense, these phenomena have been part of our existence since time immemorial. They are no less objective than sunrise and sunset. You cannot blame sunrise and sunset. Their dynamics may shift and change, but, one way or another, they will remain parts of our ongoing dynamics.

Migration is, in some ways, a form of modern-day colonialism, one that seems to reverse the traditional power dynamics involved, allowing for the disinherited and dispossessed to pose problems for richer societies, rather than the other way around. Nationalism is the new tribalism. Globalization is another manifestation of how seemingly disconnected societies can become dependent on each other and influenced by each other’s seemingly independent social and political dynamics. Even modernity is an old phenomenon in the sense that it essentially represents a change in values, outlooks and behaviors resulting from the particular historical experiences of particular peoples and whose impact is coterminous with the reach of these peoples, and the inability of ideas to recognize geographical borders.

Moreover, I find the call for a reformation within modernity to be rather baffling. While some seem to embrace modernity uncritically and ideologically, a critical evaluation and reassessment of ideas and institutions is one of the hallmarks of the modern intellectual debate, and the influence of this debate on the public sphere is enormous, albeit not necessarily always positive. In other words, reformation is an ongoing phenomenon in modern democratic societies.

Back to the beginning, it’s the Muslims’ understanding of their faith that needs to be modernized, and that does indeed require rejecting elements of their traditional belief system, even those enshrined in the holy books. This is what followers of other traditional faith systems had to do. Those who insist that Islam should be an exception in this regard are, in effect endorsing gender inequality, second-class status to members of other faiths, death penalty for those considered heretics and apostates and slavery, among other horrible practices that are definitely anti-modern, and are in no way conducive to helping Muslim societies achieve the kind of parity they want with Western societies. If we want to call out Western hypocrisy we have to stop being so hypocritical ourselves.

Pages from the pro-IS Jihadi Magazine, Dabiq.

The Jihadi International & the Wahhabi/Khomeinist Establishment: The bombings in Medina and Baghdad should not be surprising at all. The Jihadist International (ISIL, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Abu Sayyaf Group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, etc.) seeks above all to subjugate all other Muslims to its ways. Its war is mainly a war against other Muslims. The reason the West is occasionally targeted and is often at the center of JI’s propaganda campaign is because its culture and ideals are often blamed for leading other Muslims astray. Also, its central role in guiding current global transformations is seen as a de factor usurpation of the position of the Muslim Ummah. The fact that its global interests often lead it to adopt policies that are at odds with those of Muslim states reinforces this perception.

The Shia branch of JI led by Hezbollah with funding from Iran is much more controlled due to Iranian control and sponsorship, which also extends to supporting select Sunni groups, and sleeper cells within ISIS and Al-Qaeda. 

There is a Wahhabi Establishment with an elaborate hierarchy, perhaps not as elaborate as the Shia Twelver Establishment in Qom, long hijacked by Khomeinism and the followers of the Wali Faqih Doctrine, but sufficiently so to ascribe an element of distinction on Wahhabism that makes it stand out from mainstream Sunni Islam, and to call for treating Wahhabism as a separate sect of Islam from academic and political perspectives.

The Kater Llulla mosque in Prishtina (also known as “Hasan Beg” mosque). Built with funds from Saudi Arabia, the mosque has the reputation of being a hotbed of radical Islam. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

It’s actually important to understand this matter, because it explains a lot about Saudi foreign policy, which has always had a strong component of Wahhabi missionarism in it. Ideologically speaking, JI owes much of its existence to Wahhabism. The rise of Khomeinism, however, (which one could argue is itself a sect within sect) created a Shia undercurrent in it, in addition to giving Iran an ability to manipulate the Sunni groups affiliated with as well be it through the use of embedded operatives, the establishment of sleep cells and/or diplomatic engagement with certain Sunni figures, movements and governments. So long as the political establishments in Iran and Saudi Arabia continue to derive their legitimacy from their adoption of a particular ideology, calls for “moderation,” respect for human rights, democratization, and renunciation of missionary activities and hence foreign entanglements, especially when it comes to the affairs of their neighbors will continue to fall on deaf ears.

Meanwhile, taking Saudi Arabia to task for behavior similar to that adopted by Iran, even while engaging Iran and trying to bring it out from the cold, is bound to push Saudi Arabia towards adopting more adventurist and radical policies. Saudi royals might need to weaken the influence of the Wahhabi establishment as a necessary part of their ongoing policies to modernize the kingdom and open it to foreign investment, but that’s exactly why they cannot take a head on confrontational approach with it, and why, when pushed to do so, they are bound to resist.

The Do Little Administration That Wrecked the World: Obama proposes new military partnership with Russia in Syria. Let’s be clear here, the U.S., the UK and other western powers did plenty in Syria since the beginning of the march 2011 Revolution. But the things they did were so minimal and confused in scope and so infused with risk-aversion that they ended up making the situation worse. Indeed, the guiding ethos behind most steps taken in this regard seems to reflect a desire to create the semblance of action in order to avert growing criticism and pressures both at home and from regional allies, rather than engage in action that can influence the course of battle.

On occasions, however, the Obama administration and its European allies seem to have pushed towards influencing facts on the ground, especially in the course of the conflict’s second year, 2012. Their efforts in this regard included the creation of the CIA-led program aimed at supporting rebels operating in the southern parts of the country, as well as allowing regional allies to provide more regular arms shipments to rebels in the north. This strategy, as minimal as it was, was at one point mere weeks away from brining about regime collapse. But, since this was not the aim of the Obama Administration’s minimalist strategy, the program was practically put on hold for months during the course of 2013, and Russia and Iran were allowed to provide enough support to the Assad regime to shore it up, in effect, saving it and, in the process, prolonging the conflict. The move also had the unintended consequence of allowing for Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria, Al-Nusra Front, and later for the Islamic State in Iraq to fill the vacuum created on the rebel side. The Obama administration has not envisioned nor planned for this. They simply did not want to see state collapse in Syria, which by itself is quite the noble intention indeed. In practice, however, this allowed for the conflict to continue to metastasize until it hit levels of violence that no one in the administration seems to have foreseen.

This might also explain why minimizing the levels of violence rather than ending the conflict is what’s driving the administration’s calculus on Syria at this late stage. The administration never approached the Syrian conflict with the goal of preempting or ending the conflict. This has never been a realistic goal, as far as the administration was concerned. Containing the conflict was deemed a far more realistic goal, while exploiting for a couple of years as the talks with Iran over its nuclear program unfolded were deemed as legitimate expression of realpolitik. But even by this standard, the administration’s policy on Syria was a failure. Rather than minimize the violence and contain the conflict, the policy ended up supporting the rise of the worst humanitarian tragedy since the end of the Cold War, and the emergence of a global terrorist threat that even the administration is willing to describe as generational in nature.

Beyond the Middle East, the policy produced shock waves that revealed the structural failures of the current global order and brought about Brexit and the impending collapse of the EU. But in the administration’s ideological mindset these developments only reinforce the legitimacy and correctness of their policy of minimalist engagement in shaping global developments. As such, the next few months are bound to bring more of the same.

For failure has always been an option for the Obama administration, that s, so long as it could attributable to others, especially the previous administration.

Her. In normal times, the email scandal would have been sufficient for me to withdraw my confidence in Hillary Clinton, but when the alternatives are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump these are not normal times. I am with her with eyes wide open, as should be the case with any politician.

Them. The distance between the EU decision-makers in Brussels and local communities is too big. The optics of bureaucrats in the EU making decisions on a variety of issues that affect local communities all over Europe create the perception of lack of accountability and transparency, and make people feel powerless. It’s not that local concerns are not represented. They are through a variety of channels, from MEPs to the different conduits linking European institutions and different national governmental agencies in member states. Decisions made by EU officials in Brussels are not really theirs, but reflect the result of long negotiations between the different relevant institutions from member states. EU officials are professional negotiators, and their executive powers are pretty limited. In other words, they are not autocrats, and their “decisions” reflect negotiated agreements between national governments. Through their elected national governments and their MEPs, local communities from all member states are fairly represented.

So, populist politicians who seek to make representation as the issue are simply put lying. But their ability to convince their followers is greatly enhanced by the optics surrounding the entire decision-making processes in the EU which create the false impression that the European Parliament is as empowered as national parliaments and that decisions made by the European Commission are equivalent to those made by national governments rather than reflections and endorsements of agreements reached by these governments. The optics need to change. One way or another, EU officials as well as the national governments of members states need to show to the local communities that their concerns are not absent from the discussions, and that the process of decision-making in the EU is not “elitist,” as some so many populist politicians and activists contend, it’s simply too technical, cumbersome and long to be broadcast live. But for those interested, it’s actually well-covered in the press. Still, it would help immensely if events that allow local communities to communicate with EU institutions in Brussels are held on a periodic basis. The narrative championed by populist politicians need to be countered, and defeated.

It also should be noted that making representation of local communities as the main rallying cry can actually work in favor of seeking a stronger and more centralized federal system in Europe, and not only separatism. Europe is not ready for either.

Vice President Biden kisses the head of University of Colorado sophomore Emma Beach in April after hearing her speak as part of the "It's On Us" campaign about sexual violence on campus. Photo by: Jeremy Papasso/Daily Camera via AP

Conduct Unbecoming: Biden and Obama rewrite the rulebook on college sexual assaults. At a time when collages ae so enamored with creating safe spaces for their students, the callousness with which the issue of sexual assault on campus, saying nothing about the phenomenon of sexual harassment, is being handled is deplorable. True, the phenomenon might too complex to be treated from a purely legal and criminal perspective, but this logic should guide our efforts at preemption, once “something happens,” or is reported to have happened, the law should not be sidestepped or diluted. Being a graduate of the American University system, I long realized that the microcosm that is the Campus … 

A two-week orientation course, pass-fail, provisional pass, some parents invited to attend. This would underscore psychologically the fact that entry is not simply premised on grades, but also on commitment to certain rules of conduct.

Course focused on tackling issues related to drug and alcohol abuse, sexual relations, hate speech, emotional maturity reflected in the ability to handle having your views and beliefs challenged by professors, other students and student groups, as well as faculty members, etc. students rights, professors rights. Etc.

Using conduct as criterion for admission and graduation might seem problematic at first, considering that conduct has been a fluid concept for so long and remains so. However, I am not proposing anything new here. The rulebook and the rules are already there: there are laws and regulations regarding alcohol consumption and drug abuse, and there are laws and regulations regarding sexual consent and hate speech. The idea is find ways to stress their importance and relevance. The laws have to make sense, which is why I was never in favor of raising the legal age for alcohol consumption to 21. The law is unenforceable and often goes unenforced. Attempts to enforce it create problems and antagonisms within the student body, especially considering that those tasked with enforcing it (RAs or Residents Assistants) are themselves students, and are often more than willing to break it when they are not doing the rounds. This situation undermines the sanctity of the code of conduct on campus. How can anyone respect a code that everyone is busy breaking all the time, and everyone knows it? Considering the intimate link between alcohol consumption and sex, especially within the context of campus life, it’s easy to translate the lack of seriousness on one issue to the next.

The Exotic Observations & Propositions of Delirian Mundi
Known to those of his followers seeking his canonization and entry into the Valtheon of Deliriology, as Agnus Mundi, and to his detractors as Ranae Dei and even Capra Satanae, Delirian Mundi’s writings, mixing satire and philosophical reflections, continue to be polarizing, inspiring both adulation and ridicule. Bearing this in mind, we, the editors at DDGD, continue to publish these previously unknown series of “exotic observations and propositions,” as Delirian himself referred to them, as part of our continuing commitment to instigate debate over sensitive issues.

* We surrender ourselves to the inevitability of our own folly, and we call it realism. It’s defeatism actually. For when our folly is not the very thing against which we are fighting, then, the thing that we are busy tearing apart is our own sense of humanity and decency. And that’s the quintessence of both folly and defeatism.

Featured Tweet(s)

Featured Video(s)

Cartoons: The Cauldron

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please stick to the topic(s) being discussed in this particular entry. Hate speech will not be tolerated.