“Book Burning” as Another Relic of the Anti-Nazi Cargo Cult, or If I Burned 100 Copies of “Twilight” in the Woods, Would Anyone Make a Sound?

“Burning Books”, a pithy alarmist phrased used to evoke Totalitarian regimes.  So pervasive is this image that it has become synonymous with oppression in the West, of course, because by “oppression” we almost universally secretly mean “..of the Intellectual Class”.   

The fear of book burning is that ONE’S OWN GOVERNMENT will BURN BOOKS containing ideas it wants to WITHHOLD from its OWN populace.  THAT’S why it is bad–it is not a Platonic Form of Evil floating around in space without regard to context.  If the government gathered old tattered library books and burned them to dispose of them no one would care.  It’s not the BOOKS, it’s the ideas contained in them and the motivations of the Burner that matters

The furor over this stupid Pastor’s plan to “burn Korans” is yet another example of modern synecdoche + Cargo Cult mentality.  The synecdoche comes in where any “book burning” is immediately condemned as  Fascist and “un American”, irrespective of who is doing it or why.  We all know that the current generation in power is obsessed with refighting the ideological battles of WW2 in perpetuity(the Cargo Cult) , so anything that can be remotely characterized as related to Fascism and Nazism must be publicly and self-consciously denounced in wild-eyed demonstrations of moral preening. 

But Fascism and Nazism were NOT characterized primarily by “book burning”, that is merely one action a totalitarian government CAN take to control its peoples minds.  A Pastor is a PRIVATE citizen, burning a book to demonstrate disgust for another belief system, one held by the people we are actively at war with.  He is not burning Korans out of fear his flock will read them and convert or rebel–the motivation behind GOVERNMENT “book burning”–but to let the enemy know clearly and concisely that he doesn’t respect them, doesn’t care about their tender little feelings, holds their religion in zero regard and is in fact openly hostile to it.  He is saying “We will NOT be bullied by your protestations of offense any more than you are by ours when you burn our flags and bibles”.

There is no relationship between this act of book burning and that of the totalitarian, other than the most shallow of “books” and “burning”.  The inability of modern people, usually liberals but increasingly the so-called “Right” as well, to discern the fundamental differences between actions and ideas is alarming. I can only imagine it is rooted in the campaign against “discrimination” that has been waged against our cognitive faculties for at least the last 30 years, if not longer.

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10 Responses to “Book Burning” as Another Relic of the Anti-Nazi Cargo Cult, or If I Burned 100 Copies of “Twilight” in the Woods, Would Anyone Make a Sound?

  1. PA says:

    Why call the pastor “supid” for wanting to burn a foreign artifact? We need more such pastors to couter this emasculating ubiquitous message that we must surrender our lands, culture, and nation to Muslims.

  2. dana says:

    you are right, but if you read closely, i am not calling him stupid FOR that, i meant stupid in the sense of when you tell a story and you say “i was buttoning up my shirt and one stupid button had to fly off! i had to sew it up and i was late”. the button isnt stupid, its more like the situation is stupid and the button is at the center of it, make sense? i admire his act and wish we would all burn korans every 9/11 in protest. oh, and nuke mecca and medina

  3. PA says:

    That’s more like the Dana I’m a fan of!

  4. I’m glad the idea of burning the Koran struck so many across this nation the last few weeks. I’m disgusted by the ‘protection of rights’ up for discussion these last weeks, regarding places of worship and religious texts.

  5. David Foster says:

    “The inability of modern people, usually liberals but increasingly the so-called “Right” as well, to discern the fundamental differences between actions and ideas is alarming”

    The main reason for this lies, I’m pretty sure, in the vastly increased % of people whose work lives are all about *words*….if you’re a farmer or a machinist or a railroad worker or even an electrical engineer, the difference between words and actions is pretty clear. But if you’re a writer or a lawyer or a professor (outside the hard sciences) or a think-tank researcher, not so much.

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  8. maurice says:

    Sure he has the right to do it, and the point about non-equivalency is perceptive and true, but the image of it sort of drags us down to an imitation of the worst parts of Islam (which historically has been rather tolerant of other Abrahamic religions, despite dramatic reversals in recent decades). We’re not really “at war” with Muslims; only with that tiny fraction of them that aren’t really any more “Muslim” in their actions of murder than the Christians who think they are more so because they bomb abortion clinics. (Inexact analogy, to be sure.) Also, it just makes us look ridiculous. Just remember how stupid the anti-Danish cartoon protesters looked to us.

    Maybe this is the wrong blog to make that point on- I expect a blast in return. Still, religious tolerance and plurality is a core Western value, hard-won by the wars of the Reformation and enshrined in law and custom.

    p.s. I would join you for the “Twilight” book burnings. Those would be just an expression of good taste and exasperation with the infantility and trashiness of contemporary mass culture. I’d throw on sheaves of the DVDs as well.

    • dana says:

      maurice, i would never “blast” a commenter for reasoned opinions i simply disagree with.

      i understand your position, i just think you are viewing us actions with a very western, liberal eye and not with a muslim eye. i am not concerned with what muslims think of us, i am concerned with stopping their collective mission to infiltrate and cow the west. you may not be at war with them but they are in a religious and spiritual war of conquest and conversion with us and ALL nonmuslims.

      religious tolerance and pluralism are fine and well but we are not required by our own morality to tolerate fundamentally INCOMPATIBLE belief systems to the extent that they can take over and destroy us. i am loathe to let islam walk the well trodden path the communists took to accomplish their gramcsian takeover of our institutions. id like to remind everyone that the constitution is not a suicide pact.

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