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Destruction of the Past

Reader comment on item: Islam vs. History

Submitted by Joel Raupe (United States), Jul 3, 2012 at 03:54

Words fail when this kind of destruction is carried out, and we even use "a great library has burned" as a metaphor of the incalculable loss. We lack the mathematics to tally it, so we stare briefly, mouth agape, and understand the consciousness of lower animals.

Perhaps Eric Hoffer offers us a clue in his body of work regarding mass movements, the characteristics all of them have in common and the kinds of character traits common to those most likely to embrace them. In "The True Believer" Hoffer comments on the offer of an extravagant future sometimes, though not always, rooted in a glorious past. Always there is a denial of the present, a need to wipe Now away, to embrace a promised future not to be compared with past of present.

Always there is a readiness to die even when unaccompanied by a willingness to kill and destroy.

Anyway, I'll need to re-read TTB, once again, because I don't think anyone has topped Hoffer's analysis of mass movements written 60 years ago in making these sorts of actions at least in someway understandable and very human behaviors.

Submitting....

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