Wisdom from the past

| November 26, 2008

I have recently been re-reading The Ancient State by Hugh Nibley and just this morning finished reading “The Hierocentric State” (originally published back in 1951 in Western Political Quarterly 4/2). The article itself suggests that key aspects of the vast nomadic cultures of Central Asia (e.g., the Mongols) were idealized and emulated by more sedentary civilizations to the east and west (e.g., China and Europe). But it was a passage in the final paragraph of the article that struck me as eerily reminiscent of the American political scene over the past year or two, particularly the Obama cult of personality. I’ve reformatted the text to better call out the separate links for each item (numbered in the original):

Men seem unable to leave the dream of a hierocentric state alone. To recapitulate the sections given above, we cannot blame people if they yearn for

(1) the granduer, color, and unity of the great assembly,

(2) the lofty and uncompromising certainty of universal kingship,

(3) the sense of refuge and well-being in the holy shrine,

(4) the high and independent life of a chivalrous aristocracy,

(5) the luxury of hating all opposition with a holy hatred, and

(6) the sheer authority of the institutions established and maintained by force. (pp. 133-134)

Food for thought.  ..bruce w..

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Category: 2008 Election, Commentary, Geopolitics, Main, US Politics

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

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