Welcome to EarthColony.Net: The Myth of Noah’s Curse, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

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Chapter 3

Friedman puts the epic of Noah and the Great Flood in Genesis under both the ‘J’ (Yehweh) and ‘P’ (Priestly) accounts.  The two accounts have two or more different authors and as a result the two stories differ in many respects.[1]  For our purpose it is important to note that in the first story or the ‘J’ (Yahweh) account there is no mention of Noah’s sons by name.  However, in the second account or the ‘P’ (Priestly) account circa 485 B.C.E. there is mention of Noah’s three sons by the names of Ham, Shem, and Japheth.[2]  One can clearly see that the two stories were written by two different authors.  In one story, Noah sends out a ‘black raven’ to determine whether the flood waters had subsided; in the second account, Noah sends out a ‘white dove’ to see if the flood waters had subsided.  Further, in the ‘J’ and ‘E’ account, Noah takes a pair of each species of animal whereas in the ‘P’ account, he takes seven pairs of each species of animal.

 

There is another problem with the Noah epic; circa 2650 BCE an earlier epic called Gilgamesh had already been written. It, too, had a flood account.  It also has a ‘Plant of Life’ analogous to the Genesis ‘Tree of Life’ in the ‘P’ or Priestly account of the Garden of Eden.  The geographical origin of the epic Gilgamesh is in or around the city of ‘Uruk’ (Erech). Thousands of Jews were captives in Babylon and subsequently, Persia. They were influenced by Babylonian myths and they also restructured their religious hierarchy to conform to the priestly hierarchy in Babylon.[3]  Thus, it is reasonable to infer that probably the writers of the epic Noah plagiarized parts of the epic Gilgamesh.

 

In the Biblical account of the great flood, Noah is said to have cursed Ham for what ‘Ham had done to him’.[4] According to this myth the Canaanites, Egyptians, and Nubians, et al, are the descendents of Ham; the Greeks and Medes or Aryans are the descendents of Japheth; and the Semitic peoples which include Arabs and Hebrews are the descendents of Shem.  Biblicists, historians, and anthropologists would take these three proper names and divide humanity into three distinct races.  The Hamite, Semite, and Japhetic or Aryan peoples would come to represent the three racial spheres.

 

There was no attempt to incorporate the Asian peoples into one of the preceding categories. That represented yet another fault line in the theory derived from myth. Those classifications are not used today because modern research uncovered obvious contradictions inherent within that classification scheme. No credible anthropologist would use them because they do not conform to the root language families of Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic. For example, all of the Semitic languages fall under the Afro-Asiatic language group as defined by Greenburg, et al. The Afro-Asiatic language group includes the Egyptian, Nubian, Ethiopian, Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic as well as many other African languages.[5]  This would rule out the category ‘Shem’ leaving only the two racial categories of Hamite and Japhetic.

 

No one knows what Ham supposedly did to Noah. The myth does not say. Noah’s curse only says that the descendants of Ham would be servants (slaves) to the descendants of the other brothers.[6]  There are no other characteristics identified by the curse which would set the descendants of Ham apart from others. However, that would all change by the 7th century A.D. when a nation of eastern European converts to Judaism called ‘Khazars’ would limit the Noah curse to African people or ‘black’ people.

 

By the 7th century A.D., the Babylonian Talmud expressly identified black skin color, swollen lips, kinky hair, red eyes, and elongated male genitals as ‘signs’ of Noah’s curse.[7]   Later, in the 12th century, Moses Maimonides (circa 1135) would reinforce those characteristics when he wrote the ‘allegory of the King’s Palace’ in his book Guide for the Perplexed. He used the term Hamite and suggested that under some conditions it was proper for Jews to exterminate Muslims and Hamites (Cushites).[8] Even more, we have the first evidence of ‘dehumanizing’ language. No longer are we dealing with just a curse, but with degeneration of one group from humanity based upon their physical characteristics. This type of anthropological categorization was pervasive in the United States from its founding in 1789.  The Mormon leader Joseph Smith took it even further to the extreme when in his doctrine they associate ‘Negroes’ with Satan in a pre-earthly rebellion against God.[9]

 

For centuries, the Noah myth has reinforced the myth of white supremacy in the western world as well as the Varna caste system in India. It continues today in the form of thousands of stereotypes propagandized through mass media owned by the descendants of the people who originated the myth.

 

 

 

 



[1] Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible, Harper San Francisco, 1987, pp. 54

[2] Ibid, pp. 54

[3] See: Torah, Ezekiel’s dry bone metaphor. It was customary for the Persians to leave the dead in an open pit thus resulting in a dry bones burial site.

[4] “And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” Genesis 9:24, 25, 26, 27

[5] Joseph H. Greenburg, The Languages of Africa, Bloomington, Indiana University, 1966; Christopher Ehret, Reconstructing Proto-Afroasiatic (Proto-Afrasian) Vowels, Tone, Consonants and Vocabulary, University of California Press, Linguistics Volume 126, 1995

[6] Genesis 9:25-27, (NIV): “Cursed be Canaan! The lowest of slaves will he be to his brothers…May Cannaan be the slave of Shem…May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japheth live in the tents of Shem, and may Canaan be his slave.”

[7]  Edith R. Sanders, “The Hamitic Hypothesis: Its Origin and Functions in Time Perspective, Journal Of African History, Cambridge University Press, Vol. 10, no. 4, 1969  Original source: The Babylonian Talmud, Sixth Century A.D.; also see: Midrash Rabbah 1:292-293, Babylonian Talmud

[8] “…I consider these as irrational beings, and not as human beings; they are below mankind, but above monkeys, since they have the form and shape of man, a mental faculty above that of monkey. But those who hold false doctrines within the country (the followers of Muhammad and the supposed descendents of Ham ) recede more as they appear to proceed…under certain circumstances it may be necessary to slay them…” Moses Miamonides

[9] “There is a reason why one man is born black and with other disadvantages, while another is born white with great advantage. …All took sides with Christ or Satan…The Negro, evidently, is receiving the rewards he merits.” Joseph Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, pages 66-67

Welcome to EarthColoney.Net: “…IF ONLY THEY KNEW THEY WERE SLAVES”, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

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Traceable through the history of western and middle-eastern intellectual work  is a particular line of reasoning about humanity based upon race.  That line of reasoning stems from a set of assumptions about humanity and social hierarchy. They have been and are destructive to the inherent dignity and rights of all human beings.

In this book I will, in the following order, cover its ancient historical roots in Torah mythology, Platonic mythology and philosophy, Aristotelian anthropology and philosophy, and Enlightenment anthropology.

All four of those sources and the hinge assumptions they turn on have turned into powerful modern theories which have become inextricably embedded into our modern social structures, statutes, court decisions, social policies, and individual and collective subconscious.  Indeed, those assumptions are the skeletal system of our society while government is the muscle.

harriet tubman

More specifically that particular line of reasoning has been both intentionally and collaterally expressed throughout our social  institutions because that particular line of reasoning was institutionalized as the ‘law of the land’ from the inception of the United States in its Constitution.[1]  It filters down all institutions and to every individual. Harriet Tubman once shared for us an insight of hers about the psychology of a slave. She said: “I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.” Therein lies the problem at the heart of the issue.

 

Through educational and religious establishments the slave mentality has  been correspondingly embedded in the deepest recesses of our subconscious as a set of assumptions that are unquestionably valid. As such those assumptions have also served as a psychological defense mechanism used by Euro-Americans to effectively preempt human social inclusion and justice on a national scale.

 

That line of reasoning in fact describes a 2,400 year old downward spiral in relation to the quality of human reasoning about social justice. This is so because the few who do benefit from such a line of reasoning cannot benefit from it in the absence of extreme social injustice and its consequent unequal distribution of wealth.  Further, the few who benefit must also establish and maintain conditions of oppression to further  their world order.  It is like nuclear radioactive fall-out. You can’t see it, you can’t smell it, you can’t touch it, but it permeates everything and destroys all living creatures.

 

The ‘fall-out’ from their line of reasoning describes a global canopy of  assumptions  above and beyond which few are able, daring enough, or willing to rise up to challenge.  As such, it has caused a narrowing of the mindscape and thus our field of vision. It even causes African-Americans to frame their social justice movements upon the same set of assumptions which are used to maintain social injustice.  So, the vernacular of our civil rights movements has not been truly antithetical to the white supremacist assumptions which cause injustice.

 Malcolm X

The welding together of such glaring contrarieties as the appeal for justice in the language of injustice has doomed every social justice movement from the turn of the 20th century to the civil rights movement of the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. That is why the socio-economic conditions of African Americans are worse today than they were 60 years ago.  That is echoed in what Malcolm X said:     

“It is incorrect to classify the revolt of the Negro as simply a radical conflict of black against white or as purely [an] American problem. Rather, we are today seeing a global rebellion of the oppressed against the oppressor, the exploited against the exploiter.”

White supremacist assumptions about race gird up a definition which is today the dominant force shaping what we know about the origin, history, statuses, roles, social rights and obligations expected by and of every person on earth.  It also serves the manifest function of maintaining the economic status quo.

“As a man thinketh, so shall it be”

Our language frames our  thoughts. Pictures are embedded in the words as metaphors.  Language is also laden with metaphorical assumptions about other people. Most of us never dig deeply into the etiology or nature of the words we use in everyday speech to help us comprehend those assumptions. We are casual in our use of such words, in our reasoning with them, and on the sentences we make up by such words. That means we’re ignorant about how words work on our collective sentiment and the collective sentiment of all.

Words and sentences merge with the natural world and have a powerful descriptive effect on our mindscape and social relations. They are forms and sound embedded with assumptions.  They are linked together and  through categorizations are welded together into real actions. They come alive such that we participate a social construction foundationally set to make us closer to or farther from  ethnic groups different from our own. We pass that meaning on from one generation to another usually subconsciously but also consciously. That is the purpose of culture.  It engenders casual habitual behaviors.

We are verbally casual in our interpersonal interactions but we can also be very logically fallacious in our reasoning, too, because we don’t scrutinize the nature of what we say. Neither do we scrutinize the classical literature which still makes up our popular  religious and liberal arts education and which shapes our world view.

Further, those same religious and liberal arts world views  dominate our substantive and procedural law as well as scientific bodies of knowledge. If we were to become more conscious and critical of our language, then we would discover those bedrock assumptions which drive both the rationalizations of oppressors as well as oppressed persons as they are actively and or passively concretized into political policy, social classes, castes, roles, rights, obligations, and statuses.

 digging into the mind

CAN YOU DIG IT?

Whether or not we do ‘dig deeply’ into our subconscious to question those bedrock assumptions, which trigger our social responses to others who are ethnically different, depends in part upon the amount of advantage one gains in society or our lack of competing on a level playing field.  The assumptions I  explore do give advantage to some groups and do make other groups socially disadvantaged.

 

The ruling classes or castes never question the ‘bed-rock’ assumptions as long as those assumptions as applied in society have worked to get them a disproportionate share of social benefits. For them it’s the proverbial saying which rings true: ‘if it works, don’t fix it.’ In the Americas, it works for ‘White’ people, so they don’t fix it and as long as it does work for them they don’t intend to fix it.  The white supremacist’ world view has been and is very effective on maintaining the order they want.

 

During the twentieth century circa 1930, a sociologist by the name of Emory Bogardus did a study called the ‘Social Distance Scale’. His bipolar questionnaire asked persons specific questions about how they would feel working with, living near, or marrying into other ethnic groups. What resulted from his study was a ranking of social distance determined by individual’s preferences and between different ethnic groups. In short, most persons ranked English and American ‘Whites’ as the most acceptable groups to work with, be ‘near’ socially and marry within while at the bottom were conspicuously non-Caucasian ethnic groups such as Indians (India) and Africans.

 

I posit in this book that the subconscious assumptions for making social distance real is an ‘offense’ mechanism as well as defense mechanism for plutocrats.  Whether one is offensive or defensive depends upon the circumstances. For example, the institution of slavery was purely offensive in nature whereas affirmative action law instigated defensive reactions to subconscious assumptions held by racist Caucasians.

 

Some persons are true believers in the ideology of race and so rationalize ‘racism’. In that case those persons evaluate and judge according to their assumptions about others and in so doing convert their beliefs into a ‘state of mind’  which is then acted out as discrimination.

 

That discrimination is the social distance in real space and time between one person or group and another. Persons acting affirmatively on their prejudice and by the distance they cause by their prejudice they stigmatize and criminalize, i.e., discriminate (krima: to condemn-Greek) other persons and ethnic groups. Such is what we mean by social marginalization, segregation isolation, and poverty.

 

All of these mental mechanisms condition a knee-jerk reflex by individuals and  have both the psychological and social effect of lowering the esteem of some persons in society at large.  By these mental mechanisms, the bedrock subconscious assumptions are consciously rationalized as cult, ideology, or belief and even ‘pseudo-science’.

 

One of my other premises is that no understanding of the ‘race’ problem can be had without a knowledge of the history of its development in Western culture.  Exactly, what is ‘Race’? In order to answer that question I shall critically examine that idea and how it has been rationalized as ideology and ‘pseudo-science’.  Furthermore, I shall examine how the idea of race was intended to be used as a social construct to further the aims of economic, cultic, and political repression and exploitation.

 

Another premise of my book is that no solution to the so-called ‘race’ problem can be had through conversation using the very categorical concepts and words which carry stigmata and krimata onto other groups and which are the cutting edge of fallacious racial assumptions.  What simply happens during intellectual discussions which employ terms like ‘black people’ and ‘white people’ is that everyone is reinforced in their ideology of race.  In such circles, the expectation of a race premised conversation to end the disastrous effects of racism on our society is a logical reduction to absurdity.

 

 

 

 


[1] United States Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, Clause 3

Welcome to Earth Colony: A PARTICULAR LINE OF REASONING

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Chapter 11

SECRET BROTHERHOODS AND POLITICAL CLUBS

Fundamental to Plato’s theory of knowledge is the premise that nature does not manifest truth to human senses through ‘appearances.’ So, building upon his theory of knowledge Plato argues that political science turns appearances to useful art. That premise turns on one of Plato’s greatest questions: ‘How do we get them to believe?’  For Plato, all of the extrinsic characteristics of government are illusory and thus turn on deceit. The ‘useful lie’ which is propagandized in myriad forms by politicians cannot be exposed to the masses as a lie. The masses must ‘believe’ or at least have the ‘opinion’ that what they are told is actually bone fide. Therefore, the existence of cohesive secret societies or networks who do know that the truth promoted is a lie and are bound not to tell the ‘truth’ that it is a lie are necessarily at the core of the successful operation of a political state and the implementation of its policies.

For example, in 1910 a secret cartel of bankers met to establish the Federal Reserve Bank and the 26th amendment. Both Acts of Congress were promoted by a U.S. Senator who belonged to that secret cartel.[1]  Under President Woodrow Wilson who was vetted by the secret cartel, both the Internal Revenue Service Act and the Income Tax Amendment were signed into law in 1913.  The American people did not know that it was the result of a secret society of bankers:  the Meyer Rothschild family, J.P. Morgan, and John D. Rockefeller.  The American people did not know that their attorneys and representatives would be placed on Presidential cabinets throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. That is just one example of what Plato meant by ‘secret brotherhoods and political clubs’.  The American people did not know and generally don’t know today that those financial interests control all aspects of the United States government.

Plato does not name a specific ‘secret brotherhood’ or ‘political club’ he merely argues that they are necessary so that upper castes plutocratic families and owners of financial institutions can coordinate all agencies of government to promote their economic and caste, i.e. race interests.[2]  It is they who would be the guardians of the state.[3]  Despite the fact that he does not name old established secret brotherhoods, there are some existing secret societies in our own society which fit the form described by Plato. Usually, the influence these groups have is ignored by institutional scholars because it is the money from their secret societies which finance scholars in educational centers. No doubt many scholars belong to one or another of such groups or want to advance in their academic careers.  The absence of scholarly treatment of the confluence of secret societies and our government preempts a full understanding of the political process in our society. Two other examples of secret societies are the Society of Freemasons and the ‘Skull and Bones’ establishment which were incorporated circa 1832.  We shall examine Freemasonry to illustrate Plato’s theory.

Freemasonry is an old and established secret society with modern roots in Scotland and France. It was common throughout the colonies by the time the colonists rebelled against the East Indian Company of England and its major share holder, the king of England.  In fact, the many lodges which existed in the colonies were given their charters by the grand lodge of England presided over by King George the IV.  Their land grants were also conveyed to them by the King of England.  Presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, Franklin Pierce, Andrew Johnson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt just to name a few were practicing Freemasons. Most of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Congressional representatives who ratified the Constitution were Freemasons, too.

In the colonies, aside from their cosmological beliefs the Masons had a political purpose. Their purpose was to establish a secular form of government immune from political tyranny and the controls of religious dogma and religious leadership. To achieve such a purpose they borrowed a constitutional formula from Aristotle and fused it with the political theories of John Locke and Charles Montesquieu. With it all they devised a constitution which divided power among three branches of federal government and separated it and its functions from state governmental powers.[4] Their fraternity would be the opposite complement of the new constitution; it would not be open nor would it be democratic in nature. Its counter-act to schismatic religious affiliation by individuals would be to impose an allegiance upon their individual members to universal brotherhood by their promotion of what they considered to be the true and ancient natural religion, race identity, and secularism.

They considered themselves a ‘secret society’ dating back thousands of years. They did not and do not allow females and ‘blacks’ entry into their society.[5] They did not allow Catholics to become ‘brothers’. There society was not a ‘religious’ one, but rather it was based upon naturalism and deism with an orientation to sun worship. Therefore, except for Catholics, one’s religious affiliation did not matter though most of the members were Protestant. They made entry into their group by males dependent upon another Freemason ‘vouching’ for an initiate’s entry and an oath from the initiate that the secrets he learned from the brotherhood would not be made known publicly.

The secrets involved their rituals and the sign codes with which they used to communicate to one another secretly in public.  Most of their symbols are Nubian-Egyptian, e.g., the Obelisk, one of which is called today the Washington Monument, the builder’s plummet and square, the eye of Horus as depicted on the one dollar bill above the pyramid, the colors red, white, and blue which are the color patterns on the columns of great temple in Karnak, the sacred lake of Karnak in Egypt which is replicated by the Reflecting Pool in Washington D.C. In fact, the city of Washington D.C. is laid out in such a way that its streets geometrically describe Masonic symbols and numerology.

Our concern here is not with Masonic beliefs but rather with what Plato hypothesizes in the Republic and how Freemasons applied his theory to concentrate power in their organization. He hypothesized that secret brotherhoods and political clubs are necessary for the furtherance of the status quo. His quest was to find a political solution to what Hesiod described in Works and Days as the inevitable cycle of cultural decay or change. For him a well managed state will need two governments. One will be the ‘apparent’ government. That he argues is the government for and by the people, the demos.  But keep in mind Plato’s theory of knowledge, for here the government which ‘appears’ is no more true than what appears naturally to the senses. On the contrary, it is the hidden government which is actually the power which drives social mechanisms.

The intent of the founders was to insure by virtue of their hidden power that neither religious zealots elected as congressional representatives or mob rule would evaporate their new state and their growing economic empire.  By the careful appointment of their own members in key positions throughout federal, state, and local institutions they proceeded on the theory that they would be able to control government without cessation. For them, governmental power was exclusive and was centered in the Grand Lodge. Their network would be the hidden capstone of the social hierarchy. Their members would filter down throughout society according to graded degrees providing their leadership with the political control they needed in every part of the new state.

Understanding the nature and function of dual government as posited by Plato is important for another reason. It allows us to understand how the Ku Klux Klan originated and by whom.  Further, we can know what the Ku Klux Klan aimed at doing when it was founded circa 1867 and how it gained immense political, police, and judicial power by the mid 1920s.[6]  It, too, is a secret society and was originally established by Freemasons in the southern states. A famous early twentieth century race historian named Walter L. Fleming states regarding the relation between Freemasonry and the Ku Klux Klan: “General Albert Pike, who stood high in the Masonic order, was a chief judicial officer of the Klan.”[7] Albert Pike was an ex-confederate general who not only became the Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite for the southern states from 1859 to 1891 but formulated the rituals and costumes of the original Ku Klux Klan.  It was Pike’s vision which both the novel ‘The Clansmen’ and the film ‘Birth of a Nation’ captured in print and on screen in 1915.[8]  His statue stands in WashingtonD.C. to this very day.

Pike makes clear what the aim of the Ku Klux Klan was to be when he wrote in his newspaper: “…We would unite every white man in the South, who is opposed to negro suffrage, into one great Order of Southern Brotherhood, with an organization complete, active, vigorous, in which a few should execute the concentrated will of all, and whose very existence should be concealed from all but its members.”[9] Here the Ku Klux Klan aimed to enlist men who were ex-confederate soldiers and sympathizers in the already existing society of Freemasons to exert secret political and police power through terror over liberal democrats and ex-slaves in the south.  This is exactly what Plato admonishes in his Republic when he claims that there is nothing more important than to guard the purity of race.  So, we may infer that at the nucleus of the political strategy of both Freemasonry and the Ku Klux Klan is the Platonic recipe for dual government aimed at the preservation of an elite race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Senator Nelson Aldrige

[2] Aristotle calls this kind of group ‘boule’ in his ‘Politics’ and he, too, suggests a role similar to that Plato describes.

[3] C. Wright Mill, The Power Elite, Oxford University Press, 1956, p.251

[4] Aristotle in Twenty-Three Volumes XXI, Politics, Book IV, section 11-12, with an English Translation by H. Rackham, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1932 On the three elements of government he states: “…one is what is to be the body that deliberates about common interests [legislature], second the one connected with the magistracies [executive], that is, what there are to be and what matters they are to control, and what is to be the method of their election, and a third is, what is to be the judiciary.” Brackets mine.

[5] However, some African Americans formed the ‘Boule’: Sigma, Pi, Phi fraternity in1911 to serve the powerful plutocratic secret societies.

[6] For example, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

[7] Walter L. Fleming, Ku Klux Klan: Its Origin, Growth and Disbandment, Neale Publishing Company, 1905

[8] Birth of a Nation by D.W. Griffith; Thomas Dixon, The Clansmen, New York Doubleday, Page and Company, 1905

[9] Albert Pike, Editorial, Memphis, Tennessee, Daily Appeal, April 16, 1868

GOVERNMENT AND THE NECESSITY OF LYING, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Book Cover Earthcolony

Chapter 10

A cosmological worldview governed by duality and proportionate justice is inevitably reflected in social relations between all governments and their citizens.  Since that theory of nature allows for no absolutes, i.e., truth.  It follows that lying is unavoidable, and thus necessary for the preservation of the State. In fact, it is the belief that the ‘lie’ in state-craft is absolute. Most of what the citizens know of the state is cosmetic or appearance or image; it is propaganda.  Plato emphasizes this again and again. The State operates on premises quite different than those which it promotes to the masses. In order for the plutocratic caste to accomplish the ends of government, Plato posits the importance of lying and secrecy which is a privilege solely possessed by their castes.[1]  One can never get to the truth in government because government is the lie that ‘government is necessary’. By deduction it follows that Plato’s reasoning leads to this conclusion.  Freedom is impossible in relation to government.  For freedom and government are mutually exclusive.  For that reason the State or Government is always idling on high anxiety; its enemies are everyone everywhere who impulsively struggle for wiggle room out of their bondage to the lie, to the State.

Again, and for our purposes, we trace his emphasis on the necessity for State duplicity to his basic theory of the division of existence into the three basic phases of 1) pure being, 2) becoming, and 3) non-being or nothing.  Now, corresponding to those three aspects of being is Plato’s epistemology, i.e., what is it that a citizen can know?  There are again three possibilities.  One can know the truth through pure being; one may have an opinion which is more or less truth mixed with more or less falsity through becoming and perishing; and, one can have an illusory kind of knowledge, i.e., one can be ignorant and thus know nothing.[2]

The kind of knowledge associated with each aspect of being follows necessarily as a result of his theory of degeneration from pure being.  The human form by virtue of its admixture with physicality or matter can only know some truth which is unavoidably mixed with untruth, i.e., opinion.[3]  So, for Plato the controlling principle of government must be deceit because it is the controlling principle of material being, i.e., the mixture of some truth and some falsity.  The premise is simple. Some truth and some falsity equal falsity. For him this rule of duplicity is manifest in the depths of human nature as a dialectical struggle between ego and instinct.  But that struggle is analogous to the point just made above and we are left here with this fact: some ego and some instinct equal instinct. Revolt of the masses therefore is inevitable. For the plutocrats, that means they must 1) repress, i.e., become increasingly totalitarian over the masses or 2) they must flee for their lives or 3) they must die.

We shall see in later chapters how the Platonic theory of deceit became an effective tool in the use of ‘treaties’ (lying) to set the stage for the alienation, suppression, and repression of Native Americans, the Hawaiian people, and finally the American people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Ibid, Book III, [382],[389] [414-416]

[2] Ibid, Book VII Allegory of the Cave [514-517], [532] also see Book VI, Plato uses an analogy: the good is to the soul what the sun is to the eye.[508][509] Lastly, for a full dialectical discussion see Book V {475-480]

[3] Ibid, Book VI, [508]: “…but when turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing, then she [the soul] has opinion only, and goes blinking about, and is first of one opinion and then of another, and seems to have no intelligence?” [Italics mine]

Misogyny and Sexism, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

Book Cover Earthcolony

Chapter 4.1

Though the thesis of this book is limited in scope to that of the origin of modern racism in ancient mythology and classical philosophy, it is necessary to examine a line of reasoning that runs parallel to that of racism and is also rooted in the Torah creation mythology as well as it being rooted in Aristotle’s theory of gender differences. To examine those sources is important.  It is important for the same reasons we stated concerning institutionalized racism; that is because it, too, continues to have deep and widespread influence on the status and roles of women and the behavioral responses to women in both the western and middle-eastern worlds.  It is misogyny (hatred of women).

We have spent some time examining the ‘Genesis’ creation problem.  First it is a myth or a fictitious account of the origin of Homo-Sapiens, but though the subjects are false it is argued logically by some persons even though they have no evidence to support it as fact.  Furthermore, the creation myth presented in the Torah is inconsistent because there are two accounts of the creation of the first man and the first women.[1]  According to Friedman, those accounts were written by different persons at different times.  In chapter one, the male and female were created simultaneously: “…male and female created he them.”[2]  In chapter two of the same book, there is yet another account of the creation man and women.  This time the writer states that the first man and first women were created serially (one after the other).[3]  The fact that the two accounts are mythological does not prevent us from scrutinizing them from a sociological perspective because what we want to know is whether or not such myths are determinative in the formation of socio-economic inequality between men and women in our society today.

The woman, Eve, is made to be culpable for the fall from grace.  Her culpability is central to our analysis of the institutionalization of misogyny (hatred of women) in modern society.  Without doing a detailed analysis, let us summarize the Genesis narration. First, the woman was approached by ‘the serpent’; secondly, she took the fruit and ate it; thirdly, she was blamed by the man for having mislead him; fourthly; God blamed her for having committed an unlawful act; fifthly, the woman’s sorrows are multiplied by God including her conception and pregnancy; God further makes her subordinate to her man stating that: “…he shall rule over thee.”[4] The status and roles of women in Jewish culture conformed more or less to the expressed and implied definition of the first woman, Eve, in the creation myth.  From there and through cultural diffusion, that myth began its slow but steady progression in Europe and the middle-east through Christianity.

One very influential conduit of the myth of the divinely ordained subordination of women was written in 1486 by two Dominican Monks named Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger.[5]  The thesis of their book is that Satan exist and that through human agency good person are seduced to evil.  The book defines the procedures for carrying out torture upon suspected witches.  We will not survey the entire work. For our purposes there are several sections which parallel the Genesis curse upon women and has become institutionalized in the Western world.

Let us first cite some quotations from the book and then analyze them. First in part 1 question 6 it states: “For learned men propound this reason; that there are three things in nature, the tongue, an ecclesiastic, and a woman which know no moderation in goodness or vice…”; “What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an un-escapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colors.” And, “When a woman thinks alone she thinks evil.”;“…women are naturally more impressionable, and more ready to receive the influence of a disembodied spirit;…”; “Women are intellectually children.”; “She is more carnal than a man as is clear from her many carnal abominations.”; “And, it should be noted that there was a defect in the formation of the first women, since she was formed from a bent rib, that is, a rib of the breast, which is bent as it were in a contrary direction to a man. And since through this defect she is an imperfect animal, she always deceives.”[6]  These quotes, if believed, can compel the inference that women are defective, intellectually stunted, and distrustful.  Over time, such premises grow misogyny or hatred of women in both men and women.

The book concludes that torture is the only means by which such women can be cured of their predisposition to evil.  Here the point being made is that beating ‘evil’ women is for their own good and the good of the community.  Little wonder that well into the colonial period of American history wife beating was sanctioned at common law as a method of correction. This is evidenced by a statement by William Blackstone that it was an ancient custom which was generally accepted which permitted men to moderately chastise their wives as they would their servants or children.[7]

The Catholic Church was a major player in the establishment of the modern European western nations. Its cannon law influenced the development of secular legal institutions.  It laid the cultural foundation which gives to those nations a common identity and if not a contemporary identity then at least a historical one.  The moral values it established between the 4th and 16th centuries became institutionalized and thus came to be accepted as truth without question for many year into the 20th century.  It developed the themes set forth in the book of Genesis that women necessarily occupy a lower status and subservient roles to men and that the line differentiating the two genders must be maintained by force if necessary. Yet, there is another argument for female inferiority which originates in systematic philosophy.  To understand that argument we must turn to Greek philosophy in the 4th century B.C.

A non-Judeo-Christian element which buttressed and reinforced the creation myth in the Torah was present in Greek philosophy.  If we accept Friedman’s theory, then both the origin of Torah mythology and Platonic/Aristotelian gender views were contemporaneous in time. In the Greek philosophies, we find the first attempt to systematically present a theory supported more or less by objective evidence that women are inferior to men.  Of course, the evidence is ‘physical’ and we need only look to Aristotle to find the first inkling of what would in time be morphed into a full blown scientifically determined argument for the inferiority of women.

Now, let’s identify some of Aristotle’s theses regarding the natural and social status of women and the premises in support of those theses:  “…for the male is by nature better fitted to command than the female…”[8]; “…the one is the courage of command, and the other that of subordination…”[9]; and, lastly, “For the free rules the slave, the male the female…”[10] Here is a simple sketch of gender hierarchy. Note that it parallels the Torah myth of the curse put open women: “…and thy [your] desire shall be to thy [your] husband, and he shall rule over thee [you].”[11]  What differs between Aristotle’s argument for the inferiority of women and the Genesis myth is that Aristotle ‘supports’ his theses with physical evidence.  However, they both come together in the same conclusion that a woman’s status and her roles in society are inferior to that of man by law of nature or necessity.  It can never be changed.

The physical evidence which Aristotle posits is laid out in his book: ‘History of Animals’.  Therein he lays out a biological function which relegates women to the lower tier of gender relations.  He regards menstruation as an ‘ailment’ in women. He calls it ‘catamenia’. The Greek word ‘cata’ means ‘thrown’ and ‘menia’ means menses or moon.  Aristotle’s argument for female inferiority is more cogent because he correlates a physical condition to the phases of the moon.  It is a simple model implying basic assumptions about women which will be used by modern naturalists and anthropologists to rationalize women’s less esteemed status and roles in modern society.

One modern scientist who makes a claim for female inferiority is Charles Darwin.  He states that women are analogous to lower races in that they are more emotional than intellectual. The superiority is the product of a higher intellect in man with corresponding less emotional orientation than what is in woman.  Thus, for Darwin there is a physical basis for the qualitative difference between men and women.  In fact, he says regarding woman’s intuition, imitation, and rapid perception that “…these faculties are characteristic of the lower races, and therefore of a past and lower state of civilization.”[12]  Darwin goes one step farther in his argument for a physical basis underlying woman’s inferiority to man.  Rather than resting his theory on ‘menses’ alone he joins with it specific neurological functions that are supportive of intellectual abstraction but in and of themselves are less than the intellectual power of abstraction.  He may now deduce as though following of necessity the claim: “Thus, man has ultimately become superior to women.”[13]  The political, scientific, and religious foundation for institutionalized sexism was thus established upon the basis of myth, political injustice, and pseudo science.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Richard Elliot Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible, San Francisco, Harper, 1987

[2] Genesis, 1:27

[3] Genesis, 2:7; 2:18-23

[4] Genesis, Chapter 3:16

[5] Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger, Malleus Maleficarum, Malleus Maleficarum; The Witches Hammer, translated by Rev. Montague Summers, 1486

[6] Ibid, part 1, question 6

[7] Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, 1765

[8] Aristotle, Politics  [BookI. 1259a1-2]]

[9] Ibid, [BookI. 1260a8]]

[10] Ibid, [BookI. v.5-8]

[11] Genesis 3:16

[12] Ibid

[13] Charles Darwin, Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection and the Descent of Man and Selection in relation to Sex,  Chapter 19,  pp. 566-567, Published by William Benton, Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., Great Books, 1952