The Cunning of Reason

Picture of Hegel with reference yo his theory of the cunning of reasonReading Hegel requires a reader in perfect health. The alternative is to attempt but a little at a time, which, after all, is the secret of all learning.

In the instance, Hegel says that history is but the realization of the idea of Reason – a proposition that, without further elucidation, may prompt many to wonder if Hegel said so while drunk. For a quick look at the ways of the world proves that he who places his hopes in reason, lives like a drunken sailor on a mast, ready with every nod, to tumble down into the fatal bowels of the deep.(1)

But Reason, says Hegel, does not show itself in a way that we can reasonably recognize. Rather, it works indirectly and therefore cunningly. The tools of Reason are the passions, the irrational elements in human nature, arising from a private interest to which all others are sacrificed. In the end, however, the Idea of Reason manifests itself in the national spirits, as represented through the deeds of heroes, for example, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Alexander the Great, and others.

As frequent in this and similar cases we meet a semantic challenge. A reason that works unreasonably bumps into the principle of non-contradiction, unless we give it another name. Or, in the instance, by capitalizing the ‘R’ as in ‘Reason.’ That, however, does not solve the problem. Because if there is more than one reason, there can be not only two but as many as the imagination bodies forth.(2)

My unabashed philosophical littleness prevents me from challenging a master. Besides, philosophy is not the subject of this post. Rather it is an attempt at an interpretation of the massacre at the Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

That the author of the deeds was mad requires no explanation, for to define true madness what is it but to be nothing else but mad. (3)

Nevertheless, Hegel’s concept of the oblique ways of reason leads to another semantic curiosity, linking the words ‘action’ and ‘reaction,’ with their respective histories. For action and reaction are engines through which Hegel’s Reason cunningly shows itself.

The history of ‘action’ and ‘reaction’ shows us intriguing developments. Considering, setting Hegel aside, that we can often find the secrets of the world in the life of words. For the history of language reflects the history of societies. Hence it becomes a kind of index or key, to interpret or better perceive actual events and changes in the state of the collective mind.

The word ‘reaction’ seems as obvious and easy to understand as ‘action,’ its natural parent. Therefore, we do not pause to question its origins. But, as with the word ‘action,’ what interests a historian of words are birth, development, variety and changes in its semantic functions.

At first glance, the nearest lexical relative of ‘reaction’ is ‘action.’ And it would seem that, right when the word ‘action’ was born, ‘reaction’, its verbal offspring, was inevitable. It seems but it isn’t.

‘Act’ and ‘action’ are derivatives of the Latin verb ‘agere.’ In turn, the original suggested action referred-to by the verb, was ‘to push forward,’ to cause a spatial advance, as in moving forward a flock of sheep. Something associated with a pastoral or agricultural setting.

But soon the metaphor was lost and only its abstract meaning remains. To be sure, killing people at random with a machine gun is a concrete event, but ‘action’ is the abstract verbal container of the factual occurrence(s).

In Latin, the antonym of ‘action’ is ‘pati’, infinitive of the verb ‘patior’, which means ‘to suffer’ or ‘to endure’. From the same route we have ‘passion,’ in the sense of a mental pain demanding to be removed.

For example, in a 1413 writing titled “Pylgrim Sowle” we find “Thine was the action, and I nought but abyl for to suffer.” (Yours was the action, and I can do nothing but to suffer.)

We find a timid baptism of ‘reaction,’ in its psychological implications, in Thomas Browne, a 17th century English writer whose major work is “Religio Medici” (A Doctor’s Religion.” (“It is the method of Charity to suffer without Reaction.”) But this happened when ‘reaction’ was already establishing itself as a successful partner of ‘action’ in the realms of physics, alchemy, medicine and mechanics. To secure its triumph and immortality was Isaac Newton (1643-1727) with its third law of motion, “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts.“ (Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi.”

In Germany, Kant describes history as a theater where actions and reactions play out. They are the empirical reality of a plot. To uncover the plot is the task of the historian. However, today, he who disagrees with the anointed historians’ description and development of the plot is a conspiracy theorist.

Bringing ‘action’ and ‘reaction’ closer to their current use them was the French Revolution. At the beginning the word ‘reaction’ its meaning was neutral. It is/was the contrary action of an oppressed faction in a contested cause. The “Dictionnaire de l’Academie, 1798” defines ‘reaction’ as “a word used figuratively of an oppressed party, which, in turn, acts.”

But, following the polarization of the political space, the lexical pair ‘revolution/reaction’ acquired a sharper meaning,

In its neutral sense, ‘reaction’ was any violence caused by a preceding violence. But the revolutionaries conceived the French Revolution as a new era, a religion without a religion. Therefore their adversaries would or could only act in defense of their ideas or in revenge against the revolution – and their ‘actions’ could only be ‘reactions.’

The “Friend of the People” (“Ami du People”) of Aug 10, 1792, in saluting the capture of the Tuileries and the arrest of the royal family writes, “Fear the reaction – I say it again. Your enemies would not spare you, should they gain the upper hand…. None more than I abhors the shedding of blood. But to prevent blood from running in rivers, I incite you to shed a few drops.”

That a “few drops” meant a civil war with hundreds of thousands dead and wounded, a heap of headless corpses and finally a tyrant, is an option that the ‘Ami du People’ did not contemplate, nor – by and large – did most subsequent revolutionaries and revolutions.

But where is the link between Hegelian ‘Reason’, ‘action’ and ‘reaction’, revolution, counter-revolution and the Pittsburgh massacre?

Before continuing, it should be clear that history, intended as an explanation of the past, is not a scientific deduction, but an imaginative guess at the most likely generalizations. In the instance, it is easy to associate the madness of the perpetrator with the innocence of the victims and declare the event as an extreme case of anti-Semitism. But even the New York Times sets aside such logical explanation and, instead, assigns to Trump the responsibility for the massacre. An interesting deduction from a newspaper that routinely labels dissenters as ‘conspiracy theorists’ or insults them as ‘truthers.’

Arbitrarily, I assign the beginning of the train of events that ended with the madness of the Pittsburgh murderer, to Pope Callistus II, who, in 1120 AD, issued a papal bull establishing the official position of the Church regarding the treatment of Jews – “Sicut Judaeis” (“As for the Jews.”)

Why not sooner? Because the historical information from the end of the Roman Empire to about the year 1000 is complicated by the action, interaction, conflicts, invasions and superposition of peoples of different cultures, religions and even civilizations. But we know with reasonable certainty that, in the main, Jews were merchants, at times gaining favor and at times ill-will from the various feudal lords they interacted with.

Now, independently of religion, ethnicity or belief, in a buy-sell transaction, the seller is usually the winner. And money being power, with every sale, the seller acquires some measurable degree of additional power. It sounds silly to say it, but we know that ‘laughing all the way to the bank” is the seller much more frequently than the buyer. This is important, I think, to frame the perception of the Jews in the collective mind, independently of religious, ethnic and other issues.

But around the year 1000, trade, manufacturing, technical innovations, artisanship and wars, required more gold and silver than were available. That is when lending at an interest (also referred to as usury, depending on the religious-ideological point of view), came into being on a grand scale. And due to their mercantile skills, tradition and experience, it fell to the Jews to become the proto-capitalist European bankers or usurers. Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” gives us an imaginative and convincing profile.

We know that gold can make black white, foul fair, wrong right, base noble, old young and cowards valiant, irrespective of the origins, politics or religion of its handlers. Furthermore, at the onset of the first crusade in the 11th century to recapture the Holy Land, a widespread belief convinced Western Christians that Muslims and Jews made one block. Considering that the Jews were allied with the Moors in the conquest of Spain, and that the French King Charles Martel had stopped their advance to Northern Europe at the Battle of Poitiers in 741 AD.

Skipping many intermediate steps, out of Moorish Spain, along with the translations of the Greek and Latin classics came the awareness of the Talmud, the equivalent of the New Testament for the Jews. Its translation by converted Jews was the metaphorical bombshell. Most readers will be aware of the ignoble Talmudic treatment of Christ and of the sacred icons of Christianity, coupled with the utter contempt of goys and ‘shiksas.’ Where ‘shiksa’ means ‘foul animal,’ a label applied at large to all Christian women.

In summary, the circumstances of their trade and the acquired notions of their religion inspired an endemic and widespread wave of hatred and persecutions against Jews.

At this point, Callistus II intervened, and the content of his bull can be summarized as follows. The Jews are entitled to live undisturbed and to practice their religion without interference or hindrance from Christians. In turn, Jews must not interfere or corrupt the civilization and moral norms of the places where they reside.

This was the essence Callistus’ deliberations. Nine other subsequent bulls and encyclicals followed along the same lines, up to the last in 1937 by Pius XI. But as we know, the ample propositions that hope makes fail in their promised largeness or expected results. In the 1200 King Edward I expelled the Jews from England, in the 1300 they were banned form France and in the 1400 from Spain. In Italy they were confined to live in their own quarters. Venice called the quarter assigned to Jews ‘ghetto,’ and the term became a universal name for Jewish quarters in a city.

In 1227 the Synod of Narbonne decreed that, “So that Jews may be distinguished from others, we decree and emphatically command that in the center of the breast (of their garments) they shall wear an oval badge, the measure of one finger in width and one half a palm in height.”

Banned from Spain, the Jews moved to Italy, Holland, Greece and Turkey. In Holland, they were instrumental in the revolution that detached Holland from the Hapsburg Empire. And from Holland they financed Cromwell in the English Civil War (1642-1649). He rewarded them by removing the banishment enforced by Edward the First.

The French Revolution resulted in their emancipation in France, and during the XIX century they began to develop their plan for a Judean homeland as the hub for a world revolution (globalization). This is accurately described by Coudeneuve-Kalergi, the founder of the European Union, in his book “Praktischer Idealismus.” What is happening in Europe (and America) shows what they had and have in mind, with the promoted and actually enforced mass migrations.

During the XIX century and at the beginning of the XXth, they allied themselves in various forms with the nobility-laden but cash-strapped English aristocracy, even leading to the first Jewish prime minister of England (Disraeli). By the end of the XIX century new Jewish English baronets were a common event. Even in the widely popular “Downtown Abbey” the wife of Grantham, lord of the manor, is the American daughter of a wealthy Jew. “Title for cash” even became part of the language of the time.

The Rothschilds financed the heavily gambling-indebted Churchill family. And on November 2, 1917 Foreign Secretary Balfour wrote to Lord Rothschild as follows:

“His Majesty’s government views with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use its best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

We know what happened to the Palestinians. Lesser known is that in 1903 the English Government made an offer for a Jewish homeland in Uganda, which the Zionists refused.

Jewish money and their role in the Bolshevik Revolution is now universally acknowledged. On the 2018 anniversary of Marx’ birth, a large page title of the New York Times said, “ Happy Birthday Karl, You Were Right.” Which, the reader may agree, sounds paradoxical, when proclaimed by the acknowledged shaper of American public opinion. And, along with the Wall Street Journal, a pillar of neo-liberal economics and winner-take-all capitalism.

Zionism’s determinant role in WW1 and WW2 is sufficiently documented. And after WW2, the Plan hatched by the Jewish Harry Morgenthau, Secretary of the Treasury in the Roosevelt administration, called for the annihilation and the actual sterilization of the German race.

From its inception, Jews occupied Hollywood, as proudly recognized by their official media. The Motion Pictures Production Code was abolished in 1954. From then on, a barrage of filth has been unleashed on the American screen and the American mind. In 1965 strong Jewish political pressure eliminated all restrictions to immigration. The Cultural Marxist revolution of the 1960s, along with the students’ revolution opened the way to “sexual liberation,” leading to the legalization of sodomy and homosexual marriages.

When Jews fell in disfavor in the Soviet Union, Russia became an enemy. Their role in its collapse can be observed in the number of Russian Jewish Oligarchs who acquired the most valuable resources of the USSR for the proverbial pennies on the dollar.

Their role in the destruction of Iraq and Libya is universally recognized, for by now, in its foreign policies, the US acts as the secular arm of the Jewish state.

Still, the great majority of Americans, and I suspect of many in other nations, were almost if not completely unaware of the Jewish role in critical historical developments. Who writes here was equally ignorant. What triggered my curiosity was my having worked in Iraq at length – so that I could compare the false Western Zionist narrative, with the reality of a civilized and in many ways a prosperous state.

That the Internet would develop into a new source of information that could demonstrate the mendacity of the Zionist narrative, was probably unpredicted and maybe unpredictable. In this, perhaps, a philosophical analyst may find some evidence for the Cunning of Reason. It’s no wonder that a new wave of Internet censorship has been unleashed in Europe and the United States. An emblem of the current Zeitgeist is Ursula Hauerbach, an 85-year old woman, jailed in Germany for daring to assert publicly that not all that is said about the ‘Holocaust’ is true.

While from the Zionist controlled academia, Noel Ignatius, professor at Harvard calls for the “abolition of the white race.” I quote but one example because listing more would unduly strain the reader’s patience.

What written and said above is now well known by many. The overwhelming majority of whom reacts rationally, but some – and fortunately very few – do not.

In one of his novels, writer Arnold Bennett speculates on the thoughts of a condemned man, as he hears the blade of the guillotine descending towards his neck.

But we can only imagine what went through the mind of the Pittsburgh massacre perpetrator. Historical and literary lore informs us that between the acting of a dreadful thing and its first motion, the interim is like a vacuum or a hideous dream. The mind, the center of power, and the body, the instrument of action, are in conflict, and the state of man, like a little kingdom, suffers then the nature of an insurrection. (4) That is, reason and unreason hang in precarious balance. What tipped it in Pittsburgh is unknown.

Still, the New York TImes, and other venues and networks of the same ilk, ownership and patronage, found in the event a source of absurd political capital, naming Trump as a facilitator.

Absurd because, for decades now, president, senators and congressmen vie with each other as to who is the greatest friend of Israel. Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is an example, along with the continued program of regime change in Iran. Plus the stony silence at the ongoing massacre of Palestinians, armed with burning kites and stones against the army of those who stole their land. Not to mention the ordinary Israelis who, safe on the Israeli side of the border wall, set up elevated picnic chairs and tables to cheer the shooting and death of Palestinians, as if they were but live bowling pins.

As for a domestic example, Trump just awarded the Medal of Freedom – the equivalent of the French ‘Legion d’Honneur’ – to Miriam Adelson, wife of Sheldon Adelson, a Las Vegas multi-billionaire casino-mogul and his most generous contributor. Miriam Adelson – so we learn – is a great philanthropist who directs her philanthropy to Jewish schools, Holocaust memorial organizations, Friends of Israel Defense Forces, and Birthright Israel. The latter being a large program intended to finance free trips to Israel for young Jews of marriageable age, who can prove the genuineness and authenticity of their Jewish blood. So that they can bring back to America an Israeli bride or groom.

But maybe the New York Times has a point. For the news from the corporate media, which is called true, is so like an old tale, that the verity of it is in strong suspicion.(5) In other (Trump’s) words it is “fake news” – a verbal pair whose semantic worth transcends the meaning of its lexical components, and has anchored itself in the imagination of many. Maybe a contemporary Hegelian can spot in this semantic development a glimpse of the “cunning of reason.”

In the end, whether the Pittsburgh massacre may induce more than a few to meditate on the history behind the event, and to draw their independent conclusions, is uncertain. On one side of the equation there is an inarticulate accumulation of historical resentment – on the other, innocent victims of that resentment.

If we extract madness from the equation, indiscriminate murder may quench the lust for revenge but it does not satisfy, and actually obstructs, the claims of justice. Though in a degenerate way, the episode conforms to the criteria of a murderer’s ‘reaction’ to an ‘action’ of which the victims were not responsible, and certainly not directly.

But abstract and historical considerations are unappealing to most, and capitalistically unproductive. For ours is a society of trifles in need of a perpetual fund of merriment. Spectacular trifles that require exuberance of ornament, for the building that has no strength can be valued only for the showiness of its decorations. The pebble must be masked with care, which hopes to be valued as a diamond; and the empty words of paid pundits are bound to gain prominence when they are intended to replace nothingness.

 

References:

** 1 King Richard III
** 2 Midsummer Night’s Dream
** 3 Hamlet
** 4 Julius Caesar
** 5 Winter’s Tale

 

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