The last word

(Canscene) — The following passage is from Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs:
How does a culture reveal its concept of the purpose of life? Cultural purpose enables perpetrators and witnesses to regard horrific deeds as righteous. Republican Rome’s defeat of Carthage and is people…. was as gruesome a murder scene of helpless and innocent people as has ever been recorded; it was deemed glorious by Romans because they perceived it as a righteous act of presumptive protection or the state. Looting and massacres by sixteenth century conquistadores in South and Central America were justified by the same cultural drives for salvation of souls that justified the labours and risks of Spanish missionaries. The aggressions of crusading soldiers and kings against Muslim “infidels” in the Middle East and Christian heretics in France, the tortures and executions by Catholic inquisitors and Protestant witch-hunters; the persecution and forced conversions of Jews, the oppressions by Puritans in Britain and New England — these and other deeds that created hell on earth were all righteously justified as defeats of the devil and salvation of souls.

One Response to “The last word”

  1. Bill Says:

    Thanks for highlighting Jane Jacobs’ book, Dark Age Ahead. It’s a short but thought-provoking work that deserves a large readership, IMHO.