Thursday, January 7, 2016

Trends just happen, right? Nobody ever was ever behind any trend, right?

C'MON! True, trends do happen. True, many are more moved by a trend than moving it. But never ever in all world history did a trend JUST happen without ANYONE EVER doing ANY choice.

If Scanian original retroflex R became uvular R, and that, unlike in Smaaland, before a retroflex R+S could become a retroflex S (=Engl. SH), so that in Scanian, like in Finland Swedish, R+S are still two separate sounds, this certainly was a trend. But it would NOT have happened, like the trend further North to blend retroflex R+S into SH, unless someone had chosen to think it sounded cool. In US there is a trend to pronounce the words "plenty" and "pretty" as "plenny" and "priddy" (or even "purdy"). That also would not have happened, if it hadn't been someone who thought it sounded cool.

Those someones may be people with overt, that is socially bourgeois-obvious, prestige, or they may be people with covert, that is paradoxical, prestige, the one an antisocial person enjoys among antisocial persons. But if all persons with any kind of prestige had stuck to - in Swedish language retroflex R + separate S, as still in Finland, in English "plenTy" and "preTTy" with real T sounds - the Scanian and certain US dialects would not have had these phenomena.

So, all prestige comes spontaneously, right? And all prestige is used in a spontaneous way, right? No. Especially overt prestige is manipulable by whoever in practise rules a society from the outside, has a position to put someone into it and into a position of overt prestige in it.

In the case of Scanian, it may be the case that the non-Swedish R started out as a way of maintaining a kind of Danish identity, despite the Swedish takeover after the peace in Roskilde. That is, if it had just started to get into Danish. In that case, the uvular R as such would have enjoyed a covert prestige, and if people were not actually avoiding it when enjoying overt such, they were at least not appointed for using it.

Or it may be some decades older, from when Scania was still Danish. In that case, it came woth very obvious overt prestige, as uvular R's were a 17th C. innovation going from Paris over most of France and Germany into Netherlands Denmark and Scandinavia's South tip. People marked themselves as the nobles they were by using it. People not nobles marked themselves as the wannabees they were by using it. People who were not nobility wannabees, but upper bourgeoisie wannabees, would imitate the upper bourgeoisie who were nobility wannabees. And so on until the retroflex R was extinct as far as Scania as well as neighbouring still Danish Zealand was concerned. Before the Swedes took over. Then it spread to Smaaland afterwards, when Scania was a more opulent part of Sweden than Smaaland. When R+S in Smaaland had already become an RS pronounced as English SH. But using Swedish as opposed to Danish vocabulary and as far as possible endings, that was certainly introduced (and has by now resulted in Scanian being a Swedish dialect, especially urban Scanian) very centrally, very intentionally, when Danish Church clergy were required to be Swedish Church clergy. Danish was persecuted out of Scania, as a written language and as the standard of the spoken language. University of Lund, founded in 1666 (!), which is also where I studied, was part and parcel of this process.

If uvular R came later, it was probably given overt status in Scania by an effort to maintain local patriotism, once the Swedification process had made them loyal Swedish subjects. Otherwise, it was maintained for such a purpose. This does not mean pronunciation of R was the main criterium for appointments, but it does mean that after a certain time, someone who came with a more central Swedish R would be considered as "affected" or even boorish, and get a carreer chance looked over. So, Scanian élite has both persecuted Danish grammar, and Swedish Rs. At least the former process was conscious and part of living up to the peace treaty of Roskilde and - when getting to the Riksdag - not looking too boorish in Stockholm (where Scanian Rs are boorish enough, but outright speaking Danish would have been worse). Even so, it was a clear trend, and a demographic one.

Why do I say this?

Because some Evolutionist* - one of the kind who thinks that Miacis Cognitus evolved into both cats and dogs by trends, no common creator at all - has just uttered a certain idiocy, as if proving sth is a trend would mean disproving it is, on some parts, intentional, or meant as a kind of discouragement.

Why try to understand complicated things like demographics for the decline of your faith when you can blame gays and liberals for waging a ‘war on religion?’

Demographics may indeed be complicated, but their trends do connect with (social as opposed to clearly military or police headed) wars on certain phenomena.

Why has this bizarre myth that Christianity is under assault in the most religious developed country on Earth been so successful? Because, in a way, it’s true. American Christianity is in decline—not because of a “war on faith” but because of a host of demographic and social trends. The gays and liberals are just scapegoats.

Well, no. Social trends do have voluntary causes. Scanian became a Swedish dialect because a concerted effort, and Christianity is declining in US because of a concerted effort.

And it is no big secret that liberals and gay movement are very much into this concerted effort.

The idea that Christians are being persecuted resonates with millennia-old self-conceptions of Christian martyrdom. Even when the church controlled half the wealth in Europe, it styled itself as the flock of the poor and the marginalized. Whether true or not as a matter of fact, it is absolutely true as a matter of myth. Christ himself was persecuted and even crucified, after all.

This is also not quite the case.

First of all, even when Popes were as mighty in Europe as Obama is in US, or as influential, poors (not all of them) did look up to them, and for a reason, just as much as blacks (not all of them either) do look up to Obama, and for a reason.

Second, "marginalised" was, as such, not a category in Christian Middle Age Europe. Marginalised because of what, St Thomas would have asked a modern, had he come in a time machine, once the word had been explained to him.

Third, persecuted the Church was. Think of how Obama fans may be persecuted in rural Texas or South Carolina, that kind of thing happened to the Catholic Church, more than once. And if you would like to cite McCarthyism, well, Papacy suffered a similar persecution during Investiture battle, it came out victorious, but before that there had been times when German Kings and Roman Emperors had funded Antipopes and when real canonical Popes had to be on the run in order not to be put in chains or forced to make concessions.

Also, there were martyrs. St Thomas Becket was martyred because one Henry wanted to control who was bishop, rather than let the Pope do it, as far as the Sees in England were concerned, and because St Thomas Becket duly opposed it. St Jan Nepomucký was martyr for the secret of confession, since the "Arthur" of Bohemia had less courtesy about the possible "Lancelot" and the "Guinevere" of Bohemia than the post-Roman British counterpart. He had wanted the Queen's confessor to be the King's spy. St John of Nepomuk had also backed another papacy than his temporal sovereign, and therefore suffered in a manner similar to that of St Thomas Becket. Sts John Fisher and Thomas More, plus about as many other Catholics as the Protestants claim martyrs of Reformation, were martyred among other reasons for having refused to call Henry VIII "Head of the English Church", later also for standing by the Catholic Mass, as opposed to new Protestant service. So, "controlling" or not half the wealth in Europe (in actual fact there was not a centralised control of all this wealth, whether the statistic be true or not), the Church remained a persecuted body. Yes, in the area of Albigensians too, Catholics had been persecuted before persecuting Albigensians back.

So, the supposed "victimisation" prior to that of Ted Cruz' supposed such, was not really one either.

Let us take one more quote, and see about the example:

Take, as an example, Christmas. The weird idea that there is a “War on Christmas” orchestrated by liberal elites—Starbucks cups in hand—is, on its face, ridiculous, even if it is widely held on the right. Shop clerks saying “Happy Holidays” aren’t causing the de-Christianization of Christmas—they’re effects of it. Roughly half of Americans celebrate Christmas as a cultural, not a religious, holiday: Santa Claus and Christmas trees, not baby Jesus in a manger. So that’s what businesses celebrate. It’s capitalism, not conspiracy.

Chesterton and Belloc would have replied that Capitalism is a conspiracy in its own right.

But still, the idea rings hollow that everyone backing a certain trend is ONLY the effect, and none of them EVER is actually bent on promoting it.

Unfortunately, even if the war on religion is fictive, the “defense” against it is very real and very harmful. This year alone, 17 states introduced legislation to protect “religious freedom” by exempting not just churches and religious organizations (including bogus ones set up to evade the law) from civil rights laws, domestic violence laws, even the Hippocratic Oath, but also but private individuals and for-profit businesses. Already, we’ve seen pediatricians turn children away because their parents are gay, and wife-abusers argue that it’s their religious duty to beat their spouses, and most notoriously that multimillion-dollar corporations like Hobby Lobby can have religious beliefs that permit them to refuse to provide health insurance to their employees on that basis.

Whether you consider turning away child patients because these are raised by gay parents or beating wives as typical, it would certainly hardly be arguable that the legislation of 17 states had in mind to promote precisely that.

Or, if you will have it so, why should that move suddenly be intentional, just because you see some of the movers in the news of media published this or last year, while the move being complained about may for instance have actors as stone age old as the Kitzmiller case?

Or, if you will say that Christians getting discriminated against in certain areas (say, NY or Los Angeles, urban districts, or Chicago) is just an unfortunate side effect of a trend, why not let these things be so too?

Well, obviously you are measuring by two measures!

We shouldn’t think of Kim Davis and her ilk as motivated by hate. Actually, they are motivated by fear, which is based in reality but expressed in fantasy. Christianity is, in a sense, losing the war—but the fighters on the other side aren’t gay activists or ACLU liberals but faceless social forces of secularization, urbanization, and diversification.

Sorry, but "social forces" are NOT faceless.

There’s not really a villain pulling the strings of social change, but like the God concept itself, mythic thinking creates a personification of evil who is fighting the war on religious liberty, the war on Christmas, the war on Christianity. These malevolent evildoers are like a contemporary Satan: a fictive embodiment of all of the chaotic, complex forces that threaten the stability of religious order.

OK, Barrack Hussein Obama promoting late pregnancy abortions or even partial birth abortions - a faceless social force, or a villain?

OK, judges in Kitzmiller vs Dover case, appointing one Ken Miller as witness representing at once "science" (he's a scientist and an Evolutionist, and represented Evolution in that case) and "traditional Catholicism"** (his Catholicism is anything BUT traditional, he may be practising, but in US that is no guarantee any more than in France of theological conservatism) - were they faceless social forces, or were they live villains? Ken Miller at least has his villainous name recorded.

OK, judges fining bakers who refuse to bake "wedding cakes" for gay weddings, and judges NOT fining bakers who refuse to bake wedding cakes inscribed with words referring to God's marriage (for marriages, real ones, which can be described as such), are THEY faceless social forces or are they villains?

OK, school masters who have hammered into children and into teens, perhaps even more so, that a CLEAR preference for NORMAL sex is "hate", are THEY faceless social forces or are THEY villains? Dito when saying Creationism is not science and when saying Billions of Years is.

And the gay men who entered anything from the Order of Chaeronea (Charles Kains Jackson, Samuel Elsworth Cottam, Montague Summers, and John Gambril Nicholson) to the Stonewall Inn (40°44′01.67″N 74°00′07.56″W - creds to wiki for both infos!) - were THEY faceless social forces, or were THEY villains?

And the politicians who catered to them by removing sodomy laws, were they faceless social forces or were they villains?

And psychiatrists who did so twice over, first by extending an insanity defense to sodomites by creating or accepting "homosexuality" as a mental disorder and then once again by removing it too, so as to spare them (but not everyone else concerned) the chore of mental hospital, were they faceless social forces or were they villains?

Jeremy Bentham, an early advocate for the decriminalisation of homosexuality. Also an advocate of the Thirteen Colonies INdependence movement, which was bloodier than that which made Ireland independent of England (excepting six counties, of course)*** - was HE a "faceless social force" - or was he a villain?

As Jay Michaelson mentioned capitalism - what about John Stuart Mill? Was he a faceless social force? Or was the man right who wrote of him:

John Stuart Mill
by a mighty effort of will
overcame his natural bonhomie
and wrote Principles of Political Economy.

I would say, whether living or dead, we are dealing with villains, not with "faceless social forces". Sometimes the author of a social trend is forgotten. Many good folksongs have the composer Anon. But that anonymous person to us, was really a person with a face and a name to those who first heard him. But when evil gets as efficacious as a folksong, perhaps it is faceless from the first?°

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre University Library
Coming Back of Boy Jesus from Egypt

* Richard Dawkins net : The Religious Right Is Right to Be Scared: Christianity Is Dying in America
Jan 5, 2016, by Jay Michaelson

From: The Daily Beast : Same title and author
The Devil You Know, 12.26.1512:15 AM ET

** Not sure if THAT misanalysis of his role should be blamed on the judges who certainly were not faceless in themselves but are to me, or to AronRa, in his acocunt of Kitzmiller case, where I have this description from.

*** So sorry, I got carried away and confused him with Benjamin Franklin! Perhaps because both are a bit too faceless to me!

° Like face under a hood, as in Ku Klux Klan ... but whoever went to such a meeting (Klan or other hooded or masked) and came back from it with a new social trend (whether burning crosses or parading gay pride), he was recruited to it by a man with some face, and he was acting on behalf of it also as a man with a face. Sometimes by pretending that the social trend he was trying to create alrady was one. Back before it actually was.

Update, excellent analysis:

The government, too, will no longer leave us alone. As I wrote previously concerning Ontario’s war over sex education, the government needs the ability to re-educate children into the values of their secular system, and will go to war with parents for the right to do so. In some European countries, children are being taken away from their parents because Christian beliefs could “harm” the children—and some academics are already suggesting that Christianity could, one day, be “treatable.” Conservatives want to be left alone to raise their children. The unfortunate fact is that we won’t be.

From:LifeSite: Dear Christians: It’s no longer enough to work hard, raise a family, and hope to be left alone
Mon Jan 4, 2016 - 4:07 pm EST by Jonathon Van Maren

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