Sunday, October 06, 2013

Covenant Theory and Antisemitism

I watched a Book TV presentation by Jonah Goldhagen, author of "The Devil That Never Dies" which reports a disturbing rise in global antisemitism.

Mr. Goldhagen presented several ideas about the cause of antisemitism such as wealth envy or the false perception that Israel is persecuting Palestinians.

I will present my pet theory on the cause of antisemitism:

The Bible establishes the Jewish people as The Chosen People who just happen to have a Covenant with God.

Power mongers love this structure. When people feel that an institution has a Covenant with God, they will give the institution fealty and do things they would otherwise find distasteful.

This idea that anything done for "the cause" is just is the heart of radicalization. The cause is so just that it justifies the use of destructive means to gain power.

If the end is sanctioned by God, then this end is so great that it justifies any means.

Here is the problem: In order to convince a group of people that one has a Covenant with God, one has to find a way to dispatch with the ancient Israeli covenant.

My pet theory is that Covenant Theory is the cause of antisemitism. Groups that want to claim a new covenant have to frame the Jewish race as sinful people who lost their covenant.

For example, the Divine Right of Kings claimed that the monarchy had a Covenant with God that stretched back to Ancient Israel. For the Divine Right of Kings to work, the kings had to attack the Jewish race. The advocates of the Divine Right of Kings portrayed Jews in the most unsavory light.

Islam presents various covenants, but has to dismiss the covenant of the Bible; so they teach antisemitic fantasies.

I live in Utah; So, I witness the LDS version of "Covenant Theory." The Book of Mormon starts by presenting a fantasy in which the Lost Tribes of Israel traveled by submarine to the New World. The group had a Covenant with God, but due to the character faults of the Jewish people, they broke the Covenant and were turned into red savages (Native Americans). The LDS Church issued a new covenant.

This is the same pattern as is in the Divine Right of Kings. To claim a new covenant, one has to dispatch with the ancient covenants of Israel.

I've come across Christian Groups that push that idea that the Covenant predicts that Israel will be the center of a great war and we have to arm Israel to the teeth. This view is not all that pro-semitic because it throws a group of people onto a battlefield.

The causes of religious antisemitism is clear. So, why is there antisemitism in Communism and other modern ideologies that hate religion.

This has to do with the origins of these theories.

This is important to remember: The Hanoverian Kings of England were German. The Hanoverian Kings funded the German University System in the 1700 and 1800s. The Kings of England tasked the university system with finding ways to frame the monarchy as progressive.

Hegel came up with a Modern Logic and Modern Philosophy of History which presented the Divine Right of Kings in pseudo-scientific speak. Hegel's Theory of philosophy has mankind evolving in history through a series of conflicts between nations representing different ideologies.

 Feuerbach realized anti-religion could work as well, if not better, at radicalizing people than religion.

Marx incorporated the dialectics of Hegel and the radical atheism of Feuerbach in a new ideology that kept and enhanced the racial aspects of Covenant Theory. (The wording of Hegel's dictate "From each according to his abilities to each according to needs" is very close to Commandments issued by Joseph Smith in the United Order of Enoch. Marx actually studied the Mormon experience.).

Modern intellectual history is pathetic.

The Hegelian Left convinced adherents that Jewish Cabals were behind Capitalism. The Hegelian Right convinced its adherents that Jewish Cabals were behind Communism. When, in fact, the Jewish people had relatively little to with either side of this great split.

Jonah Goldhagen pointed out the odd fact that antisemitism is often strongest in areas where there are very few Jews. IMHO, what is happening is that people were exposed to the ideologies built on the variations of "Covenant Theory" that appeared in the West. For example, Communist China would have learned that Jews behind capitalist conspiracies. The antisemitism comes from the fantasy at the heart of Communism.

The rise of global antisemitism is not just bad news for Israel, it is something that should trouble us all.

The rise of antisemitism indicates that there is a rise in the divisive ideologies that tore the world apart last century and led to two world wars and genocide.

Antisemitism is an irrational sentiment that has its origins in power mongers trying to claim divine authority for their institutions. A rise in antisemitism is a powerful indicator showing that the world is reviving failed ideologies of the past and that the world is headed in the wrong direction.

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