|The Bully Religion Emerges|
We noted that Orwell had detected a spirit of bullying that was manifesting itself during his day, which also was enthusiastically supported by a network of followers or participants.
In his day Orwell made an attempt to show that bullying was associated with governments who wanted to lord it over others, and in some cases were willing to make war to do so.
That is not unlike the meaning of this concept in today's world:
"Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power."(Wikipedia). It is interesting that Orwell also saw that the universal bully religion actually has some of the patterns of some of the traditional religions:
"Upon enlistment, the first act of a Roman soldier was to pledge obedience and devotion to the emperor. Absolute loyalty to authority and to fellow soldiers was the cardinal virtue, and the Mithraic religion became the ultimate vehicle for this fraternal obedience. The Mithras worshippers compared the practice of their religion to their military service."(Bully Worship: The Universal Religion). To bring it down to current events a bit more, notice the overall glossy photo version of the pattern which we call Jingoism:
Jingoism is extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy. In practice, it is a country's advocation of the use of threats or actual force against other countries in order to safeguard what it perceives as its national interests. Colloquially, it refers to excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others – an extreme type of nationalism.(Wikipedia). Bully worship involves three types of people or entities, the first being the bulling entity, the second being the bully's allies who are worshipfully impressed by, or fearfully respectful of, the various machinations of the bully, and the third type is, of course, the victim of the bully (see The Mother of All Enemies).
The bullying entity can be an individual person or a meme complex, i.e., a group that thinks alike (compare Dawkins a Bully? with Religionist Bullies?).
In this episode we will focus on the politics of bully worship, including how it affects U.S. presidential election campaigns.
We can get the gist of how the bully mentality works within the mind of those affected by the syndrome by considering one egregious example in recent history:
In 2003 while lobbying leaders to put together the Coalition of the Willing, President Bush spoke to France’s President Jacques Chirac. Bush wove a story about how the Biblical creatures Gog and Magog were at work in the Middle East and how they must be defeated.(The Dogma of The High Priest In Chief, @ICH link, emphasis added). The religious based invasion of Iraq in 2003 (conducted by the greatest military power on Earth against a militarily weak nation) is the epitome of what Orwell saw as the bully religion.
In Genesis and Ezekiel Gog and Magog are forces of the Apocalypse who are prophesied to come out of the north and destroy Israel unless stopped. The Book of Revelation took up the Old Testament prophesy:
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle … and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”Bush believed the time had now come for that battle, telling Chirac:
“This confrontation is willed by God, who wants to use this conflict to erase his people’s enemies before a New Age begins”.The story of the conversation emerged only because the Elysée Palace, baffled by Bush’s words, sought advice from Thomas Römer, a professor of theology at the University of Lausanne. Four years later, Römer gave an account in the September 2007 issue of the university’s review, Allez savoir. The article apparently went unnoticed, although it was referred to in a French newspaper.
The story has now been confirmed by Chirac himself in a new book, published in France in March, by journalist Jean Claude Maurice. Chirac is said to have been stupefied and disturbed by Bush’s invocation of Biblical prophesy to justify the war in Iraq and “wondered how someone could be so superficial and fanatical in their beliefs”.
The pattern of the bully religion is also showing up in the current presidential campaign with Romney aggressively refusing to do what he should, that is, to show his tax returns to those he wants to vote for him ("you don't need no stinking tax returns, have faith in me, believe!!!").
Also, his budget and the budget of his running mate Paul Ryan would allow the 1% power-elite class to harm their economically weak fellow citizens, the 99% class, by cutting taxes to those 1%, cutting social security, medicare, education, food stamps, while increasing the military budget and invading Syria and Iran.
That evinces the pure dogma straight from the bully religion, whose patron saint and their mentor is Ayn Rand (Ayn Rand: Patron Saint of The Plutocracy).
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.
Music and photos from a land they want to bully: