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INTRODUCTION  to  SUBJECT


                             Contents:  What distinguishes a freethinker?
                                              Language rules our thoughts and habits of thinking
                                              State nationalisms as religions
                                              Total and totalitarian



 What distinguishes a freethinker ?

       
What does it mean to be a freethinker?  -  This word is used about persons who refuse to be bound by adopted and established dogmas and systems. So far the word has been used mostly about religious freethinkers. But the word should be quite as usable in other fields.
        Freethinkers take positions on free basis.  Freethinkers are independent in their attitude to propaganda and influence from those in power.  Freethinkers do not accept pressure and coercion in order to make us think in accordance with arranged and settled paths and patterns.  Freethinkers do not feel obliged to follow the ways that best suit conventions and traditions and the establishment.
        Freethinkers question and query so-called "established truths", which they examine and consider if they may be false or only partly true.
        Freethinkers are open to new thoughts and willing to change deep-rooted ideas and ways of thinking, which they find obsolete, false, or harmful and destructive.
        N.B.: Freethinkers may of course be either religious or not religious. But religious freethinkers are religious in their own ways. They never buy any ready-made religious packages.

        Freethinkers have always been a minority. They make up less than 10 per cent of the population where they live, and sometimes they are as few as only 1 or 2 per cent.
        There is a statement which can be quoted here:  "Most people do not think. They go about using the thoughts and thought-patterns which are already at hand, that is the public opinion".  -  This means that most people usually reproduce and repeat what others have thought for them, and they do not themselves create any new thinking.

        Traditionally, we have used the word "freethinker" about a person who does not accept the faith and doctrines of any (established) religious community, but who either composes his or her own religious outlook, or rejects all religion.  But what is meant by the word "religion"?
       
Most people associate the word religion with ideas of something divine that we cannot perceive with our "ordinary five senses". Sometimes we speak about "the great religions of the world", and refer to Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam, maybe also Judaism and a few more, like Confucianism in China. All those, except Confucianism, are primarily "celestial religions", non-worldly. But there are also "temporal religions", this-worldly religions, and among them Confucianism and Shinto(ism) in East Asia are NOT the most important.
        The dominant this-worldly religion of today is state nationalism. There are many variants, so we may use the plural: state nationalisms. It is the sort of religion which, beyond comparison, has the largest number of supporters and adherents in the present world, far exceeding the supporters of Christianity and far exceeding the adherents of Islam.  Other important temporal religions are Materialism, Marxism and other forms of dogmatic socialism, and some forms of non-statal nationalism.
        Freethinkers in our age can also be freethinkers in relation to worldly belief systems, and may question their rightfulness and their privileges. Freethinkers shall be able to criticize them, and freethinkers must especially be able to criticize the brainwashing state nationalism(s) which is/are so overwhelmingly dominant in this age.

        The Freethinker's wordbook is intended and well-suited as an eye-opener, and as the guide and inspirer to liberation from state nationalistic thought monopoly, dictatorship of opinion, brainwashing and stupidity. It will liberate us from falsification of our world view and of our images and ideas about nature, geography, biology, humans, peoples and societies.




Language rules our thoughts and habits of thinking

        Due to state nationalistic censorship and self-censorship for many generations, european languages (which are now national-political "newspeaks") lack many necessary and adequate words and concepts for a world view independent of state nationalism.
        Language habits, choice of words, and so on, influences our modes of thinking, and widens, or narrows, what we are able to think.
        In North America, in much of Europe, and notably in Scandinavia, people have been deprived of their ability - yes, most people have really lost their ability to think about the world in other terms than the jacobin / fascist / state nationalistic norm of "one state, one people, one culture", and so forth.

        Wherever alternative world views are suppressed, state nationalism forms stereotyped thought patterns, which  -  as indeed it seems  -  impairs some part of our inborn flexible brain capacity.  When meeting with other ways to look upon and to describe the world, many people of today say that they understand nothing.......

        Here we may repeat from the title page:
        State nationalistic newspeak has brainwashed our present-day "civilization" so thoroughly that only a few hundred learned people have acquainted themselves with the matter and the real process of change. Today only a very scarce minority react against the manipulation of language usage and the falsifying of the concepts and terminology that we are permitted to use when we try to describe the geographical, the biological, the ethnic and cultural, and the political world where we live.
        The manipulation and confusion has been deliberately created in english and french. The mental disease was then disseminated across all continents in the last two centuries. - In english, one can for example no longer distinguish properly between words like "nation", "state", "people", "ethnicity", "country", "realm", "union" and "territory".
        Read further in Definitions and fundamental concepts.




State nationalisms as religions

      
The first of the ten commandments in the Old Testament (Exodus 20:3) reads in the english NIV version:
             "You shall have no other gods before me."
       The word "before" = "in preference to" seems a bad translation. Compare with this norwegian version:
             "Du skal ikke ha andre guder foruten meg."
       The words "foruten meg" mean "except me" in english. Compare also the swedish version (of 1917):
             "Du skall inga andra gudar hava jämte mig."
       The word "jämte" translates "in addition to" or "together with".

       Especially do the protestant state churches (or former state churches) worship the state-nation as a deity, as if it were almost a fourth member or manifestation of the Holy Trinity. But some free and nonconformist churches rightly regard such practices as idolatry and devil-worship.
       Many scholars agree that nationalism should be called a religion,  -  or: "akin to a religion" (Boyd C. Shafer);  -  or: endorsing the state "with quasi-religious loyalty" (Arthur Schlesinger jr). -  (Modern) "states required a civic religion" (Hobsbawm);  -  "The nation is consecrated, it is ultimately a holy entity" (Peter Alter, in "Nationalismus", 1985).  And so on.
       In the French Revolution, cult of the nation supplanted Christianity. In the following two centuries, Nationalism has to large extent supplanted Chistianity as dominant religion of the christian world, even if not always as explicitly as in german nazism or the french "nationalisme intégral", which means all-embracing and total. This mystical cult of the soil of France etc. erected altars dedicated to the "fatherland".
       Nationalism can be seen as ONE religion based upon common and globally valid doctrines about state-nations, - and it can also be seen as MANY but closely related religions, or different cult sects of one basic belief system (cf. e. g. all the varieties of Hinduism - there are many "hinduisms").
       But state nationalism is usually an intolerant and totalitarian religion which as a rule forbids heresy and criticism against it, - such is the case e.g. in Turkey, Sweden, Norway, the USA, France, etc. etc.)
       Example:  Sweden is a state, but Sweden is also a religion with all its sacred myths, saints and other attributes (cf. below), its doctrines of infallibility, and an idea inherited since the early Modern Era that Sweden is/was divine, because it had been instituted by God who has a special plan for Sweden, - or, if modern people do not believe so much in that old god, - well, Sweden has been ordained by "universal reason", like by a law of nature. The old idea was modernized by the social democrats who propagated their (crypto-nationalistic) gospel version about their new Sweden as the way to salvation, - on Earth.
       ( But, - by coincidence, or by synchronicity of wisdom from the universe?? - Sweden's so-called "national day, i. e. state day 6th June (= 6/6) has been designed by christians referring to the Book of Revelation as "Satan's birthday"! - For several years satanists in Norway set fire to churches at 6 o'clock in the morning of that day. )
       To the danish reformer Grundtvig in the 1800s who also influenced on Norway and Sweden, what was popular ("folkeligt") and national was given by God. His slogan was "Danskhed og kristendom" - in this order - danishness first, christianity in the second place.

       Similar views were, and are, to be found in most european state-nations - and in the USA, and maybe even still in China. People are still being taught to believe that state-nations have been ordained by some kind of "Heaven".

       In this way, national wars could/can be regarded as holy wars, because they defend a divinely created order. The same idea is found in the Old Testament of the christian Bible about Israel's wars against its enemies, who were seen as God's enemies and therefore deserved to be slaughtered.
       The nationalisms all have their heroes/saints, be they warriors or poets or sports stars. Nationalisms have sacred rites (e. g. in sports), they have their sacred anthems and not least their sacred symbols: blasphemy against state flags is punishable by law in many so-called democratic states, and nowadays usually harder punished than blasphemy against celestial religions. (For instance, Norway had, until February 2008! - such a totalitarian law on flags including the flags of all other sovereign states in the world. In Norway you were fully permitted to destroy flags of Åland or Scotland, but you could be punished by law for spitting on a flag of North Korea.)
       Nationalisms also have their "articles of faith" and "confessions of faith", and even a kind of clergy (for example in sports). There are holy tombs, monuments, sacred places, sacred "national" food and other products. Some nationalistic schoolbooks, notably readers and songbooks tend to become "sacred" books. Eminent literature in the (state-)national language was and is used in schools as a kind of "holy national scriptures".
         The doctrines of nationalism are today the ubiquitous yardstick, "the sole binding agency of meaning and justification" (Peter Alter), "the measure of every human value" (Anthony D. Smith). State-national communities act according to similar principles as did those churches which used to condemn, persecute and even burn heretics. In large parts of Europe (e. g. Scandinavia) it is a totalitarian religion, not incomparable to what is told in european and (north) american media about islamic fundamentalism, - only that apostates and heretics are now only seldom physically killed. But... in nationalism it is simply not accepted to refuse to treat the state-nation as a deity. Like orthodox Islam, Nationalism follows the europeans from the cradle to the grave, and when individuals travel "abroad", state-nations require of them as mandatory that they represent and always speak well of "their" state-nations.
         It is not only a matter of human beings. There is the totalitarian nationalization of all nature, in which plants and animals, botanics and zoology, as well as geology and minerals are given national identities..... (Can they also have feelings of such national identity??)
       No doubt - Nationalism IS a religious faith and a religious doctrine. Its totalitarianism came instead of earlier christian totalitarianism, and then spread far beyond the boundaries of Christendom. When we consider nationalism, we find that there is very little religious freedom in the present world where Nationalism has become the most widespread and widely worshipped of all religions.
       In the 1900s, nationalism was also adopted as part of the other big modern worldly religion, namely socialism. You may think of the national socialist regime in Germany. But already in those years many thinking people observed similarities between nazism and stalinism = "socialism in one country". Social democrats too, and even many communists, became "national socialists" (in Roumania, China, Burma, etc. etc.) - (In the beginning, however, those two worldly religions were very different.)

       The judaic and biblical idea of God's "chosen people" / "chosen nation" has been copied and adopted by quite a number of peoples and state-nations of the christian world in the Modern Era since the age of the Renaissance. Well documented examples are (in alphabetical order):
             the "americans" = the usanians
             the english
             the french
             the germans
             the greeks
             the poles
             the russians
             the spaniards (or the castilians)
             the swedes.
       (Political sionism originated as essentially a secular movement. To sionists, the Old Testament of the Bible was/is a national and historic book which they used to legitimate the jewish claim for their ancient homeland. When the state of Israel was (re)created, it was defined in both ethnic and religious terms.)

       Liah Greenfeld's work "Nationalism, Five Roads to Modernity" contains lots of very valuable information, - but alas, also heaps of prejudiced nonsense derived from the anglo-french notion of "nations". From the valuable and reliable material, we may note, for instance:
       One heading reads: "England as God's Peculiar People and the Token of His Love". Greenfeld tells that bishop Hugh Latimer (later burnt at the stake in 1555 during the catholic regime of "Bloody Mary") was the first  to speak of "the God of England". And: "In 1559 the future bishop of London John Aylmer took up Latimer's astonishing claim that God had nationality." ... "God is English", and about England he stated that "God and his angels fought on her side against her foreign foes."
       John Milton, a century later, is better known to history as leader of the new religion of patriotism, as Liah Greenfeld describes him. Then in her chapter on France she correctly observes that "The ultimate result of the doctrine of Divine Right of kings was the deification of the french polity." And: "Sacred beings had sacred attributes; the deification of the king implied eventual deification of the king's state." Another well formulated observation is: "Absolute rulers, and their egotistical state, demanded absolute devotion. The political god was a deity more jealous than the God of Christians ...".
       Then came the era of the north american and the french revolutions. And because living in North America was even better than living in England, the conclusion must be: "If the English were God's own people, the American English were the elect of the elect."  Today, two centuries later, this arrogant belief has become profoundly rooted in the minds of usanian conservative christians.
       Herbert Tingsten described it in swedish in his book "Gud och Fosterlandet" (1969): "Through immigration and emancipation from England, God's will to create in America his elect people was revealed. In that way, America was proved to have divine vocation."
       In 1845, editor John Sullivan coined the phrase "Manifest Destiny", declaring it to be God's will that the United States control all of North America. The influential US-nationalistic historian Daniel Boorstin (* 1st Oct. 1914) described the United States as the "Nation of Nations".
       Tingsten studied the combined christian and state nationalistic propaganda in schoolbooks of several european states. Even if christian propaganda has now disappeared from the curriculum, the state nationalistic propaganda is omnipresent, e. g. in schools (think of schools in the USA, and of Norway and the children's nationalistic parades on 17th May), but not only in schools ... We meet it everywhere.
       In Scandinavia it is in reality forbidden to oppose and to criticize state nationalism. So, swedish and norwegian state nationalisms must be reckoned as totalitarian political doctrines AND fundamentalist religions.
       This unworthy rule must be ended and abandoned!

      


Total and totalitarian
        State nationalists have for decades and centuries deliberately confused a multitude of concepts that belong to the spheres of politics, natural law, biology, geography, ethnology, etc.
        The biggest and most effective promoter of nationalistic totalitarian and proto-nazi thoughts in our present world is the english LANGUAGE. The bad vocabulary and habits and norms of the english political etc. language have to be changed.
        For instance, the single words of "nation", "national" and "nationality" have become unusable, due to their having been abused in the english and french languages as well as in several other languages which have borrowed this pattern of abuse from french and english.
        See the word nation in Wordbook in english.

        The world system of (civic) state-nations is now often conceived as given by nature, axiomatic and eternal. This world view is of course very unhistorical. The modern system of totalist (sometimes democratic totalist, sometimes authoritarian) states, amalgamating and confounding territory, state and people in its "newspeak" usage of terms, has a rather short tradition.
        The allied victory in the second world war unfortunately did not lead to that totalitarian state nationalism was abandoned by the allies. It only meant that one kind of state nationalistic totalitarianism was replaced by another. When the german nazi and italian etc. fascist versions were ousted, the anglo-french version expanded instead. (And even racism continued in Britain and the USA.)

        The modern state (and state-nation, civic nation) is not necessarily totalitarian. But it is totalistic. It is all-pervasive, intruding our minds, disabling us from thinking in non-state terms and in other ways independently, making itself an axiomatic concept in all spheres and sections of human (or inhuman) life. And nationalities are obsessively and coercively conferred upon everything:  birds, flowers, foodstuffs, the weather, the whole of nature, and of course on every human activity, be it gardening, fishing, painting, nursing, or whatever you do. (State nationalities, that is. The modern states usually kill minority nationalities and regional identities, at least by cultural ethnocide.)
        The political and/or religious attributes of state nationalism overrun and inundate all of our civilization. There are flags, coats of arms, passports, anthems, parades, oaths, war memorials, ceremonies of remembrance for the national dead, "nationalized" heroes and heroines, commemorative postage stamps and commemorative "coins", folk costumes, museums of folklore, "national" fairy tales, "national" recreations, "national" characters of the landscape!!, "national" styles of architecture and town planning, of arts and crafts, of forms of etiquette, customs, mores and styles proclaimed to be "national" etc. etc.
        And there are symbols such as animals, like the russian bear, or in the form of "goddesses" and "gods" (Britannia, Hibernia, Marianne, Uncle Sam, Moder Svea), or personifications of the whole "people" into one, such as Ivan (Ivanovich), Svensson, and Ola Nordmann.
        When for instance someone wins the Nobel prize of literature, this is described as an honour for her or his so-called nation!!  And commentators may say things like "now it is time for a mexican/chinese/etc. winner".
        This is totalistic state nationalism. And because it is usually forbidden to criticize it, it is also totalitarian state nationalism.
        This unworthy rule must be abandoned and ended!



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