Previous posts in this discussion:
PostRic Mauricio Reflects on Indoctrination (John Eipper, USA, 05/08/19 6:34 am)
Ric Mauricio writes:
Oh, there is obvious indoctrination in the world. Boys play with boy things and have boy colors. Girls play with girl things and have girl colors. If you are born into the Muslim world, you are educated in Islamic doctrine. Likewise for the Christian world. And more so, the Catholic world. And of course, Jewish and Hindu and the myriad of other religions.
I attended Catholic elementary school from the 6th grade to the 8th grade and Catholic high school from the 9th to the 12th, educated by the Marianists. And yes, I was an altar boy, but I was lucky to not have met any priest who made untoward movements towards me. Oh, would I have been excommunicated for clobbering a priest?
Today, I call myself more spiritual than religious. So neither agnostic nor atheist. In fact, I find that atheists can actually be as religious in their beliefs than religious people. They avoid or ignore evidence just like those brought up in a "religious" upbringing, aka indoctrination. They indoctrinate themselves by only listening to other like-minded people. Oh, isn't this very similar to those of particular political persuasions? Once again, there is the indoctrination: people listening and thinking to viewpoints that only support their own viewpoints. Oh, it is so easy to manipulate people. Ah, sounds a bit like Star Wars, doesn't it? Yeah, George Lucas was pointing that out, wasn't he?
Some bits of religious logic that confound me: If one is very happy in heaven, how does one reconcile that someone they love went to the other place and still be happy? If one doesn't rebel against leaders because they are God-chosen, as the apostle Paul teaches, then one should not question the leadership of a Mao, Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot. So logic says that God has enabled evil by choosing these leaders. It just goes on and on.
One, of course, will follow a certain religion, because they want to belong. Also, peer and family pressure comes into it. Gotta reeducate this person because they are straying. And, of course, some go along because it is so much easier not to think. Like electricity, they follow the path of least resistance. It's only natural.
JE comments: This is not Ric Mauricio's point, but pink for girls and (light/sky) blue for boys is not as timeless as we would assume. The "rule" was only codified in the 1940s. The Ladies' Home Journal in 1918 argued exactly the opposite--that pink is a strong, masculine color, and blue gentle and dainty:
Reading "Das Kapital" in Secret
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
05/09/19 3:44 AM)
Regarding our discussion on indoctrination, I would like to relate a personal experience.
When I was 16 I was in an Oratorio and a new priest arrived. He was quite a character, ready to fight for his beliefs. As a seminarian in 1948, he joined the Catholic armed forces in hiding, ready to fight against the Communists had they taken over after the 18 April 1948 elections. The communists were stating that one way or another they would have wiped out the Church and all anticommunists. At that time the menace was real and the communists still had a great deal of arms in hiding. A couple of years ago a large cache was found in a cave near my town (Savona).
Anyway in 1952 after he became a priest, we became friends. By the way, he is still in very good shape and we are still very good friends.
Anyway he was rather strict. At that time I decided I wanted to read Karl Marx's Das Kapital. It was a blow for him and we quarreled a lot, as he did not want me to read such an ill-famed book (for the Catholic Church at that time; now the priests have, unfortunately, changed a lot).
I risked being sent away but I stuck to my plan; I got the book and read it. Of course I judged Das Kapital to be BS from my point of view, as there is no homo oeconomicus alone, but both homo oeconomicus and homo spiritualis. Poor Karl did not understand such a clear truth while someone else had clearly understood it.
JE comments: "Cited by many but read by none": this is the common summation of Das Kapital. Eugenio Battaglia is an exception! Probably the best way to motivate young folks to read any book is to forbid it.
I've already mentioned to WAISers that my mother-in-law in Chruslanki found the perfect use for Kapital: as a doorstop in the warmer months. Kapitalism in its purest form?
Eugenio, what more can you tell us about Italy's Catholic militia in the postwar years?
Italy's Post-WWII Catholic Militia
(Eugenio Battaglia, Italy
05/11/19 4:30 AM)
Commenting on my post of 9 May, our esteemed moderator asked, "Eugenio, what more can you tell us about Italy's Catholic militia in the postwar years?"
Really I do not know much. My friend never wanted to talk about this militia, which under the direction of the "Carabinieri" was ready to fight any communist insurgence.
We had the beginning of an insurgence following the attack on the Italian-Russian leader Palmiro Togliatti on 14 July 1948, when he was badly injured. This tentative insurgence resulted in 16 deaths and more than 200 injured.
In spite of the thirst for a bloody revolution among the Communist base, the Party leaders realized that the chances of success were slim following their recent electoral defeat, which showed the great strength of the anticommunists, as well as the Yalta Accords and the presence of US troops. Therefore they cooled down but then tried, with success, to dominate "cultural life"--schools, media, the arts, and the judiciary system. This is still the case today.
The Catholic militia was later absorbed by the "stay-behind" and Gladio organizations which unfortunately were completely under the command of the CIA. They therefore were not necessarily working in the interests of Italy. There are rumors that the terrorist acts during the "anni di piombo" (lead years) 1968-1988 were directed by the CIA.
JE comments: Eugenio, I cannot let this one slip by. What interest did the CIA have in promoting terrorism in Italy? And do the rumors suggest there was a Mafia connection as well?
A "stay-behind" organization refers to the contingency plans in place in the NATO countries, in case of a Warsaw Pact takeover. I know very little about them, but we've just found a great topic for WAIS discussion.
- Italy's Post-WWII Catholic Militia (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 05/11/19 4:30 AM)