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And, yes, I DO take it personally: All state societies be they French, be they American, be they any, are by definition violent systems
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

All state societies be they French, be they American, be they any, are by definition violent systems


the musée du quai branly in paris is hosting an exhibition of ceramics from the peruvian moche culture that flourished between the first and eighth centuries... i have actually seen some of these many years ago during a trip to peru and was stunned at the explicit sex acts depicted... in the news article describing the paris exhibit, the exhibit curator, steve bourget, makes one of the most cogent observations i've yet read about the power of states and organized religions to exert control over people's lives...
Originally interpreted as evidence of a decadent culture, Bourget says the sexual acts should be seen as a visual discourse on the power of the Moche elite.

It's a story that has parallels with modern debates from the burqa to the death penalty.

"All state societies be they French, be they American, be they any, are by definition violent systems," Bourget said.

"The state gives itself the right to kill, to put people in jail, to control them."

In places where the ideological pole is strongest — from the Moche sacrifices through Ancient Rome to modern day Texas — the state tries to magnify its power through ritualized violence.

He says the Moche religion is not the only one to seek to control sexuality. The burqa is a form of control, as is the Catholic aversion to condoms, he says.

"You control sexuality, you control access to it, and in the process you give yourself power over groups, over people and you embed this power into values and you disseminate the values as being part of the population," he says.

"The population accept this because they believe its part of their values. They don't think they are being controlled."

i've been aware for many years that the essence of both state and religious control is based on convincing people that the source of authority and truth lie outside of themselves as individuals... "truth," "normalcy," and the definition of what is "right" and what is "wrong" must not be left to the individual but instead must come from the so-called "legitimate" - socially, religiously or institutionally sanctioned - holders of authority...

the very last thing a state or religious power structure can tolerate is people deciding for themselves what's right and wrong... the belief that we must abdicate our individual power to determine our own truth is succumbing to humanity's biggest lie, a lie that has been used over countless centuries right up to today to keep people in thrall to their masters... when that lie is finally laid to rest, we will finally be on our way to true civilization...

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