John Sterman on the Consequences of Fundamentalism

“Fundamentalism, whether religious or secular, whether the unquestioning belief in an all-powerful deity, the all-powerful state or the all-powerful free market, breeds persecution, hatred and war.”

John Sterman (page 526 .pdf)

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3 thoughts on “John Sterman on the Consequences of Fundamentalism

  1. Be it religion or any other man made thing, most people need something to believe in to ward off their fears and insecurities.

    Whilst there are groups, any leader can take advantage of those groups which their different views have separated, and as a result, be able to set those groups against each other, resulting in one or the other of those groups being conquered.

    It’s not religion but the gullibility of the masses which enables their manipulation and subsequent wars.

    If you want to stop wars, the leaders need to be eliminated, but then comes the hard part. Who will replace the leaders, because 80% of people are followers, they’d never survive without someone to show them they way.

    Then we have the big question which starts it all over again. Which is the correct way? lol.

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  2. Yes, that’s an important point about an all-powerful free market. An all-powerful state or religious authority is a much more tangible thing, so it’s natural for us to worry about more about those things even when the political mood is not swinging in a small government direction, for instance.

    Another reason why it’s natural to fear an all-powerful government or religious authority is that government (and sometimes religion– remember the Taliban) with that much power is backed up by legal authority and an army.

    In the free market, immediate fighting doesn’t take place on a battlefield and it doesn’t involve armies. Fighting comes in the form of skirmishes between individual consumers and companies. Typically, the consumer’s only option is to take his business elsewhere. Often, it’s like David fighting Goliath with a slingshot but no stones. If the individual in the skirmish is an employee, her immediate opponent isn’t the company as a whole, but a single person or small group of higher-ranking individuals. Now that really does look like a mere skirmish, and the employee is free to leave– as if all jobs were fungible, let alone easily replaced. Once again, David’s slingshot is empty.

    Yes, there are sometimes protests by groups of individuals. There are sometimes union actions. These two things may escalate into violence. Still, these incidents are smaller consequences and often appear less direct than, say, learning which country aided and abetted the murderers who blew up the World Trade Center and going to war and sending in your army to take over that country post hast.

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  3. Mutabilities and nebolousities!

    I think I’ve done something unforgivable and turned adverbs and adjectives into nouns.

    “We are the clouds that veil the midnight moon;
    How restlessly they speed, and gleam, and quiver,
    Streaking the darkness radiantly!–yet soon
    Night closes round, and they are lost forever: ….” – Percy Bysshe Shelley

    Once a tiny whirlwind danced a feather before me
    And I saw how upon a time that feather had been a star…

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