Thursday, July 14, 2005
Jesusism-Paulism, Part III: Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
Something is strange in the heart of Christianity
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus."
Paul (Galatians 3:28)
"I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent."
Paul (1 Timothy 2:12)
If we wanted an easy answer, we would say Paul (or "The Bible") is contracting himself. Or that two different people wrote it. Or that it was just meaningless rhetoric. But Paul is followi Jesus's pattern. In spite of reaching out to women far more than others around him, Jesus notably did not choose a single woman as a disciple. His inner-circle was a diverse lot -- a tax collector, a Zealot, various fishermen, even a non-Galilean (Judas Iscariot) -- but not one woman. What is going on?
If we view Paul objectively -- as the hyper-lingual ex-State-Church secret-policeman with training in history, science, politics, philosophy that he was -- we can see what he saw. We can read the tactics and strategies he devised and published so plainly, like Mao and Ho after him.
Paul saw what the 20th Century feminist Rebecca West famously saw while researching her magnum opus Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, and captured as
"The main difference between men and women is that men are lunatics and women are idiots." Rebecca West (Black Lamb and Grey Falcon)
Black Lamb and Grey Falcon is a travelogue of ex-Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Kosovo) immediately before the Nazi invasion. Over and over again she saw the same pattern: men were swept away by far-away schemes and ideas (like lunatics), while women were so absorbed by families and personal relationships they ignored those same forces (like idiots). To Dame Commander West, men were idiotically refusing to focus on the real details of daily living while women were foolishly refusing to focus on the fate of their nation and culture. In other words, men are idiots for not engaging in long-term coalition building on a family level (in "tight" or "dense" networks) while women are fools for not engaging in long-term coalition building on the national and ideological level (in "loose" or less "dense" nets).
Rebecca's West breakdown of mankind:
To an anthropologist this might be interesting. To a feminist, troubling. But to a netstruggle strategist, it is a description of the warriors and an opportunity.
Paul built his population of Christian warriors -- what he called "wrestlers" -- on this difference. Men would be maneuver-warriors. Women would be occupation-warriors. And together they would build a Christian future worth creating.
Paul's breakdown of mankind:
Where else do we see the same breakdown?
Maneuver Warfare + Occupation Warfare = Victory
"PISRR" is an acronym invented by Col. John Boyd to describe the steps to victory. It stands for Penetrate-Isolate-Subvert-Reorient-Reharmonize. In netwar or "4GW" PISRR, like China with Mao or Vietnam with Ho, guerrillas build up from small cells in a very loose network to ruling and controlling a dense network. We can apply this to a Christian "attack" on a family:
Preacher converts small number of family members
Converts denormalize old beliefs
Converts co-opt family (mini Roman takeover)
Family power relationships further new beliefs
Parents raise children in Christian home
The latter in the attack, the dense the network. It is no surprise then that the later in the attack, the more "feminine" the attack becomes. The first stage, Penetration, would be done by a preacher who finds a convert. The last stage, Reharmonization, would be done by mothers who raise their children to think of Christianity as natural.
It may help to think of the Christian take-over of a Family like the Nazi takeover of France.
Blitz shreds French lines, occupying little
Mop-up attacks separate French troops from friends
Collaborators co-opt nation (Petain's Regime)
French economy geared to German economic union
New generation grows up “Vichy” (ABORTED!)
The Germans did not have the same force-structure conquer France as ruled France. As Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett said
It's time to admit that you can't have the same 19-year-old kid doing all these things
Indeed, and the Germans did not. The first weeks of the war were fought by panzers and other high-maneuverability low-density fighting machines. When we think of 1940, we think of tanks and the style of war that Erich Ludendorff created. But panzer brigades could hardly pacify France! Soldats -- Germans in charge of walking-the-beat-style policework did that. Maneuver war needs panzers, but occupation war requires soldats.
What Paul's ideas did for Christians, and the Ludendorff's for the Germans, was to deconflict the elements of the attacking force. A PISRR victory requires two different forces fighting in two different battlespaces. The panzer-soldat deconfliction is what Dr. Barnett means when he talks about the separate "mixes needed for front-half [war waging] and back-half [peace making] portions."
When forces for very different battlespaces are combined -- when an attacker foolishly becomes "joint" -- that attack loses. The French had "better" tanks fighting jointly with "better" soldiers, France lost her army to inferior tanks and nearly lost her history to inferior soldats. Like the Germans, the Christians started out weak, poor, and oppressed. Like the Germans against France thousands of years later, the Christians in Rome deconflicted the components of their movement, exploited each to its maximum comparative advantage, and won.
(Sidenote: The economic version of the easier victory an appropriately deconflicted force has over an inappropriately joint force has be known since David Ricardo, Spanish-Jewish-Britain, invented the doctrine of "comparative advantage" in the early 19th century. An extremely good introduction to this, leading up to point "R" on " Figure 16: World production possibilities curve," is available at http://www.econ.iastate.edu/classes/econ355/choi/ric2.htm).
So now Paul's words aren't so strange or contradictory at all. He was setting up two different forces for two different struggles in two different arenas. Paul recognized and exploited the natural differences in men and women to further Christianity. Indeed, the grand strategist Tom Barnett makes almost the same distinction as Paul, for almost the same ends. Talking about his front-half force (the "Leviathan") and his "back-half" force (the "System Administrator"), Barnett writes
That's why I call the Leviathan your Dad's military ("Don't make me come in there!") and the Sys Admin force your Mom's military ("Oh, you make me so proud when you do that for yourself!").
We can see the basic Panzer-Blitz-Leviathan-Fast-Father / Soldat-Police-SysAdmin-Slow-Mother divide as so...
... just as we can see that the feminization of religion is as self-defeating as the French joint tank-soldier method of losing the Second World War.
Centuries later, Paul's creation would deform under the frictional heat of Islam. But such is a post for another time...
Update: Feministing links to an article that focuses on pitch and harmony processing instead of network density.
Jesusism-Paulism, a tdaxp series in six parts
1. Love Your Enemy As You Would Have Him Love You
2. Caiaphas and Diocletian Did Know Better
3. Every Man a Panzer, Every Woman a Soldat
4. The Fall of Rome
5. The People of the Book
6. Embrace and Extend
Outstanding post Dan ! Admirably well-done. You should sent it in to Tom and Critt.
Re: Jesus inner circle - what of Mary & Mary Magdalene ?
If TM is out there reading this perhaps he'll chime in on this point too
Posted by: mark safranski | Friday, July 15, 2005
Very kind words, Mark. Thank you.
Mary is the archetypical SysAdmin. Jesus explicitly tells John that Mary /is/ John's mother too:
'When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home."'
Mary was neither a preacher nor a bishop. She was a superb back-half player. While the Catholic Church has only recently proclaimed her as the "Mother of God," the geogrpahically closer eastern churches recognized her as such within three centuries (http://www.cin.org/jp2/jp961127.html).
Now that's a reharmonization!
Mary Magdelene was classic low-tempo. She never preaches. Mary Magdelene...
* stands at the foot of the Cross
* saw Christ laid into the tomb
* grieved at the tomb (and so saw Christ's resurrection first)
As a model, these actions don't penetrate other families or networks. But they strengthened both Jesus' "family" (Mary, John &c), and the early Christian network. The thickened and strengthened the bonds that held the early Christians together, by showing that love for Jesus did not end at His death. She used the same social forces that makes any family stronger after the death and funeral of a loved one.
Again, the analogy to both Paul and Barnett. Paul could breeze in and out, supporting himself by making a few tents. Very Rumsfeldian fast in-out work. But just as Barnett's SysAdmin is "never coming home," Paul's female converts never extracate themselves.
The Acts of the Apostles gives a good example of the Father-Leviathan-Panzer / Mother-SysAdmin-Soldat division in action:
'Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, "These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved." She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned around and said to the spirit, "In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!" At that moment the spirit left her.
When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities..'
(Acts of the Apostles 16:16-19)
The high-tempo work is done by Paul - penetrating the family to create one convert. This is the front-half force that can win in an hour. But to create a Christian home can take a lifetime (or more!) of work. Again, the ideological Leviathan / ideological SysAdmin split. Christianity would have withered without this two-half team. In the same way, Christianity would have withered if Paul had instead argued in favor of an inappropriately "joint" approach, with a Leviathan that can't penetrate and a SysAdmin that can't reharmonize.
Posted by: Dan | Friday, July 15, 2005
Nice follow through....
I'll send a link in to Dr. Barnett today.
Posted by: mark safranski | Friday, July 15, 2005
The religious parts I won't even pretend to be able to comment on. The political/military parts. . .
Thinking on the people I've known in my life, if I was in an occupied land, I'd DEFINITELY prefer male occupiers to female!*shudder* Likewise, if I was in an occupying army, I'd prefer to fight a male resistance movement to a female.
'course, I've tended to keep contacts with some pretty strong (in various senses of the word) women over the years; I might be biased.
Posted by: Michael | Monday, February 05, 2007
Thanks! Glad it only took Tom 19 months to get around to reading the series :-p
I appreciate your comment. The female fighting force is much more of a spiritual (child-rearing, educational, long-term) one and Paul wasn't presaging Boudica. Yet you're right -- Machiavelli wrote that a country hard to take is easy to hold, but a country easy to take is hard to hold. A people whose women are the main resistance force would clearly be in the second category -- a nightmare for occupiers (such as Caiaphas and Diocletian found out...).
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Hmm. Actually wasn't thinking in terms of either spiritual warfare OR the Boudica model (though I've known a few women who could do well in those situations). The mental image (influenced, no doubt, by too much anime) was more akin to terrorist cells or Mafia families: tightly knit, low key, careful, precise, capable of using their femininity as a weapon, and potentially much nastier than their male counterparts.
Posted by: Michael | Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Ah, gotcha. A violent rebellion could have been processed easily by the Romans, whether lead in an open field, through terror assaults, or mafia networks. The Empire was quite adept at the "kill or expel everyone" style of Systems Administration, but was hesitant to use it.
The persecutions were designed to either decapitate the Church or at least force it to fight violently. To use the "eating soup with a knife" metaphor, Rome was trying to either evaporate or solidify the resistance, so that it either becomes irrelevant or blocky. Instead, Christianity remained liquid.  Thus the victory. And thus Rome's defeat.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, February 06, 2007
I think you're reading more into my first comment than is actually intended; for the most part, I was cracking wise and coming off an overdose of NOIR and GUNSLINGER GIRL (both highly recommended if you haven't seen them already). I fully agree with you that the Romans probably would've made short work of any violent resistance movement. In fact, I can't help but notice that this isn't so very different from what Dr Barnett keeps encouraging, only aimed in the other direction.
To the extent my posts on this thread have been serious, it's because
A) this raises some interesting notions for the future of crime and terrorism. If these groups start recruiting women as full members, not just as chattel, recreation or suicide bombers, they could get tougher, nastier, and more resilient.
B) the notion of women as THE key to culture continuity is one I hadn't run into before, but it makes a lot of sense.
It puts the importance of women's rights and the resistance of conservatives to such in a whole new light. The menfolk can fight and die from now until doomsday, but as long as the women are passing the same values and ideas along to their kids, the culture will survive. But if they start opening up to other ideas and values, then it's game over. It also suggests one reason why some cultures get obsessed with purity; if your wife/mistress/date isn't of "the people" then she's less likely to pass the culture on to any kids you sire.
Posted by: Michael | Wednesday, February 07, 2007