Respect implies attention and awareness. Respect is not the same as worship.
Respect is also quite distinct from contempt, which is rooted in fear and distress. Respect does not preclude complaint or even protest, but respectful complaining is distinct from contemptuous protesting.
We can say things like “respect tradition” or “respect the law” or “respect authority.” Let’s take a moment to respect our ancestry and the origin of the physical organism of a human (before we get in to “religious politics”).
English: Deciduous mandibular central incisors in a baby (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A primitive human in a remote setting may be raised from newborn to adult and in that entire time may only meet several dozen people. Like with any other mammal, the mother of a newborn human will typically be the one to nurse the newborn and otherwise interact most with the baby.
With some mammals, the mother typically goes in to seclusion to give birth and then takes actions to provide for the safety and nourishment of the newborns with no outside assistance. However, with humans, pregnancy can leave a woman extremely vulnerable, so it is common during and after pregnancy for a human woman to be assisted and supported by other people, such as her husband, her parents, her extended biological family, and even her community of “familiar” associates.
In modern civilizations, there may be a much larger network of individuals who contribute to any mother’s ability to nourish their offspring. There may be small groups or huge industries with specialized expertise at housing, warming, feeding, clothing, and organizing many people, including the mothers of newborns and those newborns.
Using an amazing development called human language, even primitive adults may organize in to small groups that accompany each other in gathering food, perhaps sharing in the bounty. For instance, they may organize together to hunt animals that would be dangerous or impractical for an individual to hunt. One participant with special experience and intelligence may successfully instruct the other participants to perform a variety of tasks, with each task contributing to the effectiveness of the entire process.
So, individuals are born in to an existing society. The society may have already developed a culture of typical behavior patterns including certain complex patterns of interpersonal behavior called spoken language. Through language, humans may organize to cooperate in furthering the well-being of themselves and their associates. Further, two or more groups of humans cooperating through the use of language may encounter each other and may even merge together or compete with each other.
Of course, competition is not limited to groups of humans. With many mammals, it is not unusual for one pregnancy to produce several offspring at once. If the mother does not have enough milk (or enough teats) for all of the offspring to thrive, then there may quickly be a sorting of the offspring from the healthiest and most physically strong (typically the firstborn) to the least competitive: the runts of the litter.
For modern humans, such competition is not typical from birth. Human infants are generally incapable of much physical competition. Further, most human pregnancies result in only one offspring.
However, the ability of a newborn human to cry is taken as an important sign of health. The reason is simple enough. Realistically, one of the first ways that a human infant will compete with other humans for the attention of their mother is by crying. The crying may not be to compete against any twins or triplets born at the same time, but to compete with other human demands and requests for the attention of the mother.
So, to the extent that a growing infant depends on the mother, the infant may compete for her attention and nurturing (nursing). The nurturing supplied by the mother may be quite adequate such that there is no demand for competitiveness to develop in the infant. Or, the nurturing supplied by the mother may not satisfy the physiological demand by the infant, producing a relatively high frequency of crying and other adaptions. More intense crying goes with more severe nutritional issues.
Nutrition 103 (Photo credit: Andrew Simpson)
While many modern women may not be aware of this because of the rarity within modern civilization, it has been reported that in many primitive cultures, it is not typical for a well-nourished newborn to wake up several times per night to nurse. Why? One factor is that a well-nourished mother produces milk that is nourishing enough for a newborn to sleep soundly throughout an entire night. The major difference between a calm, happy, alert baby and a sleepless, distressed, hungry baby may be the quality of nourishment from the breast milk of a well-nourished mother. That makes sense, right? Well, it is almost true, but not quite.
In researching this topic, I found that for a healthy sleep, the quality of the breathing is several times more important than nourishment. Note that people who do not sleep on their backs with heads raised tend to breath through their mouths and snore. They also tend to experience nightmares and wake suddenly at night to find their mouth dry. Why is their mouth dry? Because they have been breathing through their mouth all night. This “starves” the brain of oxygen. Nightmares (and the vibration of intense snoring) are nature’s signal to shut the mouth (to properly elevate the head before falling asleep).
So, consider the typical facial expression associated with idiocy/drowsiness/dopiness/dope abuse: a mouth hanging open, slack jaw, eyebrows slightly raised. Do not sleep like that! Let your sleep be restful (restorative), not “restless” (further depleting you in to a metabolic condition of “chronic fatigue”).
Human brain (Photo credit: EUSKALANATO)
So, let’s return to the subject of culture. Obviously, there are cultures which are so prosperous that huge populations can be supported, even if the health of those populations is far below that of the typical primitive. The large populations have the advantage of advanced language development leading to intricate divisions of labor and an “economy of scale.”
Within the life of any modern individual human, there is typically a huge network of other humans involved in the everyday life of each one: such as networks that gather and distribute food, water, and even electricity. Even with a remote rural ranch on the outskirts of civilization, there may be many materials created by other humans (housing, vehicles, tires, batteries, solar panels, wells, shovels, tubing, glass windows, propane appliances, propane tanks, etc…).
There may develop a culture of contempt: not just a lack of respect for the vast network of biology and humanity supports each individual organism, but an ironic rage toward the human portion of the network. The rage tends to be ironic (as it was in my own case) because of the intense “pro-ecology” subculture. What is ironic about that? Systems of human economy are not outside of ecological systems. Systems of human economy are the most recent innovation within the ecological system on this planet. To condemn human economies as unecological is like condemning the letter z for being unalphabetical.
So, shall we then have contempt for cultures of contempt? That would only be another irony. We can respect the emphasis of each culture of linguistic behavior (“thinking”): the culture of infantile ignorance (which is the essential stage of reflexive development prior to any others), then the culture of adolescent rebellion, experimentation, arrogance, and contempt (like withdrawing from society through travel abroad or “dropping out” so as to develop an appreciation of rudimentary principles of ecological interdependence), and finally (?) a culture of respect and dignity, recognizing all systems of human economy as systems of ecological interdependence.
Do human groups compete against each other? Yes, and they compete with intricate cooperation through armies and political parties and court systems and other businesses.
Note that from an ecological perspective, all governing operations are fundamentally commercial- rooted in currency systems of involuntary tax extortion rackets. This is not a condemnation, but a recognition.
Further, all religious institutions and rituals are also fundamentally economic. In fact, there is no human activity that is outside of the realms of ecology and economy. Every linguistic pattern is a development in neuro-chemistry. Neuro-chemistry is fundamentally ecological.
Each religious practice develops in the context of specific conditions for which it is adaptive. All of them involve language. In cultures which do not have any religious practices originating directly from native speakers of that language, there may be other institutions fulfilling the functions typical of “religion.”
In the extended British Empire which has spread the English language so widely across this planet, governments serve the primary functions typical of primitive religion. Government officers, not tribal elders, give official power or authorization to marriages, to birth, to death, and so on. Government officers perform rituals of human sacrifices (executions), with any unauthorized practices of ritual human sacrifice being regulated and, in some cases, punished by government bureaucrats.
Religion was the first advance in human ecology to create bureaucracy. Language was more fundamental than religion. Modern civilized bureaucracies have advanced technologically so far that some of them are prosperous enough to ignore the cultural variations of language groups and religious denominations.
Consider how unusual it is within human history that there is so little concern for the activities of an individual. Individuals within huge civilizations are not valued as they would be in a small tribe or village facing intense issues of scarcity and inter-group competition. Individuals who are unable to contribute might either be abandoned or sacrificed (killed). Consider that throughout all forms of life- not just humans- while a father might sometimes sacrifice his own life for his only child, a mother might not sacrifice all of her healthiest children in order to save the one least reproductively viable offspring.
While some religious hierarchies might teach the lower class to sacrifice themselves like that, that is against the instinctive rules of evolution. Note that those religions tend to train celibate males as the vehicles or agents of their systems of indoctrination, inquisition, torture and crusade (“holy” wars by “holy” empires). Note also that the economic supporters of those institutions may not practice behavior that complies with the training given at mass (the ritual gatherings), through mass media indoctrination, or public education of mass propaganda rituals.
However, in many developed civilizations, there is currently incredible prosperity and tremendous practical respect for the individual, with extensive accommodations for individuals who are not fluent in the dominant language, as well as extensive accommodations for individuals unable to support themselves economically, such as children, retirees, and the severely disabled and mentally “handicapped” (“developmentally unable”). Modern civilization prides itself on it’s prosperity and generosity. Perhaps that is a psychological compensation or distraction for the patterns of behavior promoted by the global elite (the 1% of humanity earning $34,000 per year or more) in their organizing of the economic activities of the other 99%, who produces so much of the exclusive luxury of the elite (food, clothing, electronics, etc).
We may be most concerned about what we see in our midst: the treatment of the local minority populations. Why? They are physically close to us and their loyalty is much more economically relevant than that of distant peasants thousands of miles away.
In developed cultures, the elite direct the attention of the middle classes toward being charitable toward the lower classes. The most able of the dependent lower classes are then recruited for the activities of military imperialism in developing nations (mostly) that allow for the developed culture to prosper through the economic “development” of those foreign regions (industrial resources, agriculture, textile manufacturing, etc). The media can be instructed to stir up controversy and conflict about outsourcing of “our” manufacturing jobs.
The ecologist and economist can agree completely on the above patterns of actual behavior. Of course, publicizing such obvious and clear distinctions is not economically advantageous to the sustainability of the system of inequity. These “inflammatory” patterns of language must be either openly censored or at least loudly ridiculed and quietly silenced.
Mythology and propaganda about how the systems fights economic inequality (or at least should) must be instilled in the middle classes. The elaborate systems of involuntary wealth redistribution prosper through organized coercion. The more effective the propaganda, the less value there would be for costly expenditures of direct coercion against the domestic populations for criminalized behaviors such as the consumption of alcohol or marijuana, or the performance of homosexual acts, or whatever other behaviors can be vilified through the various instruments of public influence.
Typically, the elite may be the most frequent practitioners of the criminalized behaviors, but because of their personal connections, as long as they are valuable, loyal participants in the systems of secret influence, they would either not be prosecuted or would be given official pardons after conviction. In other cases, fringe members of the elite who are not sufficiently loyal can be scandalized through mass media accusations that may or may not have any connection to actual historical events.
The modern mass media is the primary instrument of organizing the behavior of the masses. Due to technological advances in printing, radio, TV, and recently the internet, the value of in-person indoctrination through religious ritual has diminished considerably.
Celibate male missionaries and priests are still popular in expanding the empire of the militant Holy Roman bureaucracies in to the third world. However, within the developed world, the primary agents of ritual indoctrination for over 100 years have been public school teachers. Note that while the popular mythology is of course in favor of public schooling, it is still compulsory in most if not all of the developed world (with non-compliance punishable by criminal prosecution, fines, and incarceration).
The success of the system speaks for itself. Large population increases have manifested within the developed world as well as immense population expansions within the more distant parts of the Holy Roman empire, especially the Asian branch of British influence (Indo-China). However, the sustainability of the system may be in question.
Was there a time in the last few centuries when there were no conspiracy theories about an elite plot to reduce some or all human populations? Are those conspiracies only theoretical or quite obvious? For several hundred years, certain groups with notable concentrations of economic influence may have contrived conflicts of various size for the specific purposes of advancing their economic interests and simultaneously reducing the population of able-bodied lower class males who might grow in to revolutionaries and criminals and so on.
Did Machiavelli invent politics? Thousands of years before him, did Sun Tzu invent deceptive methods of governing human behavior (“politics”)? Well, many religious traditions are much older than that. You can consider for yourself whether commentaries about being good for Santa Claus and eternal torment in hell for the disobedient are deceptive mythologies or sacred principles to argue over and to be defended to the death through suicide bombing of unresponsive foreign infidels who arrogantly resist liberation by the mercenaries of the Holy Empire of ritual militant bureaucracy.
Respect the holy mercenaries of organized coercion. When their propagandists publicize inflammatory controversies to incite protest and rebellion, thus justifying the next advance of tyranny, respect that as well.
If you are reading this, you are probably the beneficiary recipient of an immense technological prosperity of economically developed civilization. You probably only have the luxury of reading this and having the intelligence to comprehend it if you are among the top 1% of the global elite who receive at least $34,000 per year in revenues.
You have been trained to practice contempt. Do you dare to rebel against rebellion by respecting the interests and methods of the enormous concentrations of economic affluence that lead the advance of civilization?
Respect the power of contempt. They do.
Cultivating contempt may be the single most important method of the modern propagandist. To be able to arouse contempt and then direct it toward certain accused enemies or accused traitors is the essence of “religious politics.”
“Here is who you must fear: ________ (AKA the Devil). Here is who you must allow to protect you from the one you must fear: ________ (AKA the Savior, The Hero, the Holy Candidate, the Super-friends League of Justice etc). Here is how we are going to protect you from the one you must fear: _________.”
Contempt is not rooted in anger so much as fear, from which frustration, blame, anger, and contempt arise as more and more dense concentrations of fear. Contempt is a very extreme form of fear, including self-contempt.
When a global empire is preparing to supplant an existing system of militant bureaucracy, demoralizing the masses is an essential step of the process. The faith of the masses must be converted to shame. The existing system must be demonized, vilified, and even criminalized by “a higher law” (such as international laws, courts, treaties, and conventions, all declaring the language of “basic human rights,” as defined by the leading propagandists of the Holy empire of organized governing, such as the League of Nations or United Nations or Council for Global Peace or whatever names the propagandists may use).
I’m certain that one of the most basic human rights promoted by any decent propagandist must be the right of all humans to be completely liberated from the dangers of fraudulent deceptions involving the use of language. Fortunately, the upright, authorized agents of the Holy empire of the global police state will be happy to assist you in promoting all of your fundamental human rights, and indeed they require a small contribution under penalty of law, the precise amount of which you will be promptly informed and then of course compelled to provide.
Of course, a certain amount of rebellion must be cultivated, directed, and then publicized with all of the fake contempt that is relevant, if any. The masses must be trained in the proper targets for their contempt.
Within the lower classes, a snitch is a primary target of contempt. Within the middle class, a white-collar criminal (like for tax evasion or fraud) is a primary target of contempt. Within the upper bureaucracies of the Holy Empire, disloyalty is a primary target of contempt.
New Agers must be trained to have contempt for competition. Pregnant mothers (except of the ruling class) must be trained to have contempt for primitive cultures, especially their respect for developmental physiology.
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