Monthly Archives: September 2016

Are Shia True Muslims?

Shireen T. Hunter writes:

This widely held Arab belief that Iranians are not real Muslims is based on the premise that they never fully converted to Islam. Instead, they developed Shi’ism, which is allegedly nothing more than their old religion with a thin guise of Islam. Moreover, Arabs believe that the Iranians did so in order to subvert and undermine their true and pure Islam. In a Cairo bookshop near Al-Azhar several years ago, I saw a book for sale entitled Shia Conspiracy Against Islam. Since then, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others, along with religious figures such as the Egypt-born resident of Qatar Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, have sponsored many more books on Shi’ism’s threat to Islam and Iran’s plans to convert Sunnis to Shi’ism.

The idea of Shi’ism as an Iranian creation has, of course, no historical validity. The split that occurred within the Muslim community of Arabia immediately after the Prophet Muhammad’s demise and that eventually led to the Sunni-Shi’a divide, was a purely Arab phenomenon. At the time, Arab/Islamic armies had not yet conquered Iran. Later, some Iranians might have seen in the Shi’a split from Sunnism a reflection of some of their ancient values and rites. But they certainly did not invent Shi’ism. The first impetus for the Iranian embrace of the House of Ali came after the Arab invasion and the policy of ethnic discrimination practiced by Iran’s new Arab rulers, beginning with the first Caliph Omar, despite Islam’s claim to the racial and ethnic equality of all Muslims. The Abbasids even perpetuated this practice, although Persian Muslims had contributed considerably to their victory over the Umayyad dynasty.

If Iranians are non-Muslims then Islam’s edict that Muslims should not fight other Muslims does not apply to them. Therefore, you can kill Shi’a Iranians just like any other infidel without any twinge of conscience. In the current atmosphere of tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, spreading the view of Iranians as non-Muslims has considerable political ramifications. For example, it can help the Saudis enlist other Muslims in their fight, both overt and covert, against Iran. Already, groups such as the Taliban, the Islamic State, and al-Qaeda have internalized this Saudi view and view the Iranians as infidels.

It’s not surprising for the Saudi mufti, out of political expediency, to call Iranians Majus. What is sad is that present-day Iranians should see this appellation as an insult. But then Iran’s Islamists have been waging a campaign against the country’s indigenous culture for at least 60 years. Since their victory in the 1979 revolution, they have worked relentlessly to erase all vestiges of Iran’s indigenous culture and to subsume it under a state-sponsored, politicized, and ideologized form of Islam that is totally alien to Iran’s traditional Shia Islam, which is closely intertwined with Iran’s early civilization.

That’s very interesting to me. I have a book on Zoroastrianism, but it’s only portions of surviving texts. As I understand it, much has been lost.

This sounds like a potentially worse split than the Protestant-Catholic split of Christianity.


Zoroastrianism in Northwest China

From Dr. Farrokh:

This is the biggest excavation of the tombs of Zoroastrianism here in Xinjiang’s history. Some archaeologists say the excavation is likely to prove that this religion is originated from the Pamir Plateau, right here beneath of our feet.

Gary Johnson Shrugs Global Warming, Says Sun Will Destroy Earth Eventually

The latest bizarre story on Gary Johnson:

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate for president, takes what he calls the “long-term view” of climate change. “In billions of years,” he said in 2011, “the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future.”

The former New Mexico governor did acknowledge that humans are making the world warmer in the near term, too—but he doesn’t think the government should do much about it. In the same speech, he denounced “cap-and-trade taxation,” said we “should be building new coal-fired plants,” and argued that the “trillions” of dollars it would cost to combat climate change would be better spent on other priorities.

H/T: Justin Raimondo’s Twitter feed.

Baby Born of Three Parents

Exclusive: World’s first baby born with new “3 parent” technique

Zhang has been working on a way to avoid mitochondrial disease using a so-called “three-parent” technique. In theory, there are a few ways of doing this. The method approved in the UK is called pronuclear transfer and involves fertilising both the mother’s egg and a donor egg with the father’s sperm. Before the fertilised eggs start dividing into early-stage embryos, each nucleus is removed. The nucleus from the donor’s fertilised egg is discarded and replaced by that from the mother’s fertilised egg.

But this technique wasn’t appropriate for the couple – as Muslims, they were opposed to the destruction of two embryos. So Zhang took a different approach, called spindle nuclear transfer. He removed the nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs and inserted it into a donor egg that had had its own nucleus removed. The resulting egg – with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor – was then fertilised with the father’s sperm.

New Sam Francis Book

Dr. Wilson just mentioned a new book based on writings by Sam Francis. The kindle version costs but $10 at Amazon, and Francis’s original book (second edition) on James Burnham might be a more polished version of the same work.

Note: Francis did mention our elite struggling to absorb Muslims but also that our elite is at least as calculating as any in history. This is to say: it is unclear who will win between the two.

Also, unstated by Dr. Wilson is the coming identity crisis of biotech.

The solution to our situation is nationalism, faith, distributism, other third way economics (emphasis on decentralisation and balance of power). States should be pursued that care for their own people and pursue a harmonious but also well-functioning society, that is a focus on the societal level as an organism itself. This is simply a return to classical (sane) political science. And we seem to have need of a specialised ruling class, an aristocracy, for at least part of political power. Restricted democratic voting would improve the voter pool if wanting democracy (for example requiring property ownership). Also, modern monasteries, free from the pull of the outside market, could help guard our culture.

While it is useful to write on utopian ideals and also on plausible practical solutions that work for a particular situation, true change will only come from a raw pursuit of power. The powerful then influence how society is newly shaped, as is always the case in every society.

Reading on this subject is more exciting and fun than any other, but I’m rusty. I began writing at CHT in 2006, mostly condemning libertarianism as faith-like and praising distributism and Francis’s work. I originally posted here to “help” the site while planning my own book-like website. I really haven’t made much advancement other than scattered notes. Political science isn’t something that pays the bills, or at least it doesn’t pay my bills.

So, I don’t claim to be an expert. I think Dr. Fleming, James Kalb, and Chronicles in general are where to go to learn political science. The Alt Right seems to be a more racial break with the paleos, but I don’t see why a person couldn’t learn political science from the masters while valuing what he values. The Alt Right might also be an excellent place to learn; I have little familiarity with it.

I will say that almost everyone who writes on political science seems to be tricked by the classical liberals in some area. So, I recommend reading Aristotle, reading Dr. Fleming, totally ignoring those preaching “Austrian economics” until you’ve learned something real. Then you’ll be able to think outside the box and make use of the Austrian ideas where useful to your ends.

Also, I look forward to entry of the Asian political scientists, who are less beholden to the insane Enlightenment ideas of Europe. Just as classical European political science is excellent, so too do I expect other traditional political ideas to be excellent and also similar. While everyone loves Confucius, a Chinese blogger recently suggested reading: Historical Records by Sima Qian and The Book of Lord Shang.

The blogger wrote:

Social justice is meaningless BS. What has to be rationally discussed is the redistribution of income. It is an economic necessity which has nothing to do with social justice and whatever ideology, left or right.

Here is a recipe of how the government should regulate the economy: “The rich must be punished and become poor, whereas the poor must be encouraged to become rich”. This is a recipe for the economic dynamics which would maximise the GDP. It was written 2400 years ago by Shang Yang, the designer of the Qin dynasty.”

Now, I’m skeptical that such truly maximises GDP, but we have here a traditional teaching that is likely tried and true, works for a reason we might not understand. He believes it improves GDP; I believe it creates a stronger society. Note: This is not socialism.

I think the path forward is to forget the Enlightenment ever happened. Forget Marx. Forget Smith. Return to real political science.

There Are No Superfluous Workers

Alain de Benoist recently wrote an interesting article stating we’re at a turning point in the world, the fall of the American Empire. He fears war.

I want to criticise one point of his. Benoist writes:

The fact of the matter is that capitalism has become incapable of continuing the “development of its logic within the framework shaped ironically by the logic of its own development” (Francis Cousin). To offset its declining level of performance, capitalism must constantly increase the volume of its profit, that is to say, it must constantly expand the scope of its trade opportunities. In order to insure, however, the free flow of goods and commodities, it must raise its productivity level, which in turn means lowering the share of living labor that has been domesticated through the wage labor system. Hence the proliferation of “superfluous people” — i.e., the unemployed. How to sell ever more and more to customers who are being forced to earn less and less with their wages?

While he’s partly right that capitalism requires growth and that we’ve reached some limits, he is wrong to say there are superfluous workers.

The wealthy still desire goods and services and would hire the poor at some wage level. The argument for a large middle class is political, that such brings harmony, keeps voters content in a democracy. But a market economy would still provide jobs.

*So long as market wages remain above subsistence levels, there is no superfluous population.*

What is truly happening is this:

Europe and America are wealthy, we are sending our capital overseas, and we are importing unskilled workers and guest workers to lower domestic wage pressures. This is being done in pursuit of profit by the owners of capital, who are putting greed ahead of national interest and ahead of worker interests.

As a result, we are seeing market wages fall below the minimum wage, which creates unemployment.

Furthermore, what Benoist ought to say is that capitalism keeps citizens content with the promise of improving living standards. However, since we’ve reached limits, we now risk crystalising into a more conservative system that is less upwardly mobile and doesn’t trickle down. We risk entering a world of rentiers who own capital, live off the rent, while others do the work.

Ideally a nation-state is built to function as a unit, so the reformer’s focus should be on what works for a national unit, not on some poorly conceived concept of “freedom” as American classical liberals are inclined to do. For example, a nationalist will want the brightest to enjoy full opportunities (access to the best education), rather than only the rich. Whereas classical liberals tend to hold an almost religious reverence for individualism and the free market, regardless of the impact on society.

I think it is good to question capitalism, but the best criticisms I’ve seen come from the early conservative anti-capitalists. That’s why I’ve posted about monasteries here before. They provided an independent moral compass and guarded heritage.