While group affiliations by clan, tribe and nation have always created ingroups and outgroups, the bigotries we experience today can be traced through history by the demands of the trade economy. Women have been kept subservient to control ownership of their offspring in patriarchal structures for the last several millennia. The role of caregiving (but not necessarily womanhood) is vilified when less population growth is needed. The taboo against homosexuality is largely invoked only when population growth is being encouraged.
Religious affiliation was used to prevent Muslims from enslaving other Muslims, a humanitarian law which made the rest of the world an outgroup and vastly expanded the Islamic slave trade. The same ingroup restrictions on slavery were made by the Christian church when the Ottoman Empire was too powerful against Europe. In the melting pot regions near the Silk Road, ethnicities and nationalities were too mixed to establish clear divisions, so religions were used to establish ingroups and outgroups. The idea of genetic race, as opposed to national appearance, was invented only in very recent history and encouraged primarily in America, as a visual representation of class and to divide the lower classes, including women. The methods of outgroup vilification used began with the very literal demonization of women along the major Indo-European trade routes several millennia ago.
But regardless of the dangers magic posed, the bourgeoisie had to combat its power also because it undermined the principle of individual responsibility, as magic placed the determinants of social action in the realm of the stars, out of their reach and control. – Silvia Federici[cite]
For, as for witches, I think not that their witchcraft is any real power, but yet that they are justly punished for the false belief they have that they can do such mischief, joined with their purpose to do it if they can, their trade being nearer to a new religion than to a craft or science. – Thomas Hobbes, Leviathon[cite]
The religious obsession with removing witchcraft, particularly from the hands of women and indigenous people, was a fear of anything that interfered with control and free will for powerful men. The overwhelming fear of chaos was a fear of both women and nature. Both have been popularly associated for millennia with chaos, a word which originally was used to describe the primordial state. Pythagoras wrote, “There is a good principle that created order, light and man and a bad principle that created chaos, darkness and woman.”[cite]
The Babylonian goddess of primordial creation, Tiamat, described in the Enûma Eliš (sometimes depicted in a serpent form or as the mother of serpents) is one example of this ancient association. In this myth, her son Marduk murders her, the divided parts of her body become the heavens and earth and Marduk becomes the most powerful patriarch-god over his siblings. A related story specifies, “the deity above-mentioned took off his own head: upon which the other gods mixed the blood, as it gushed out, with the earth; and from thence were formed men. On this account it is that they are rational, and partake of divine knowledge.”[cite] Men were not only associated with the god, not the goddess or the earth, but chaos, women and nature were depicted as their mortal enemies which needed to be violently overcome.
This is an early (possibly 18-16th century BCE) version of many religious myths describing primordial chaos and darkness conquered and divided into binary good/evil, light/dark, male/female by a man-like god or a god-like man. Subsequent stories are reduced to the man-god fighting a serpent or dragon and are sometimes referred to as the chaoskampf theme in myths, legends and religious stories. This story is common to almost all Indo-European and neighbouring regions in stories ranging from Beowulf vs the dragon to Apollo vs Python to Christ vs Satan and Krishna vs. Kāliyā.[cite]
The more modern forms of this myth are the knights who battle dragons for the hand of characterless virgins, a too-perfect allegory for the subjection of female power. This transformation is echoed wherever trade spread Christianity and replaced the mother goddesses such as Pachamama with the virgin Mary. While Latin America still prays to the Mary-goddess and her figure is far more prominent than that of Jesus, she is now depicted as a characterless and castrated vessel for God-man instead of a direct source of life and power. This revision in women’s acceptable role is seen throughout history as powerful women from Trota to Elizabeth I have been accused of being male or, like Joan of Arc and Hildegard of Bingen, treated as solely empty vessels for God’s will. The men of their eras also claimed divine inspiration but were credited personally for their achievements.
In later years, many theologians decided to replace the idea of primordial chaos with nothingness or creatio ex nihilo, an early example of photoshopping anything considered female from history. The snake-like creature persisted however, and retained its qualities of being conquered by Marduk-God for the use of man. Psalms 74 of the Book of Psalms addresses God, “Thou didst break the sea in pieces by Thy strength; Thou didst shatter the heads of the sea-monsters in the waters. Thou didst crush the heads of leviathan, Thou gavest him to be food to the folk inhabiting the wilderness.” It is this chaotic force of nature in the form of the leviathan which Thomas Hobbes invokes in his 1651 treatise arguing the need for a strong absolute ruler (or man-god) to control our impulses under a state of nature.[cite]
The other aspect of the myth which persists is the division of a chaotic whole into an ordered binary, and the development of a Manichean worldview. With the addition of the Madonna-virgin figure to the chaoskampf myths, women themselves became a binary. As long as they were obedient to men (order) and not in control of their own power through sexuality and lifegiving, they could be on the side of light and good and order. In the last couple of centuries the ancient division between chaos and order, light and dark, and male and female was expanded in some regions by the creation of race. Now people are labeled as black and white and some are cast out with chaos and darkness and women while some are elevated with light, order and men. The virgin woman became the untouchable ‘white’ woman and the dark women were left to be cast as the whores, though both were still subjected to men. The preference of Circassian slaves as wives and concubines to the sultans of the Ottoman empire and the shahs of Persia while the cheaper Syrians and still cheaper Nubians[cite] filled the harems of the lower classes is an example of this new status.
A Jewish story describes Adam’s first wife Lilith as created before or at the same time as him and from the same earth. She refused to lie beneath Adam and flew away to become the baby eating, man raping, snake loving demon she appears as in many writings (under various names). Her appearance in the Alphabet of ben Sirach in the 8th – 10th century[cite] as a foil to characterless Eve entrenched the moral that women who were not completely subjected to men were pure evil. She, like primordial chaos, has been photoshopped from most current accounts of Adam and Eve. We are again left with only one acceptable form for women in the shape of Eve and the Lilith side is again now represented by a snake, also associated with Satan and evil. Still, Lilith’s role as the temptress of Eve is an early example of the moral to keep women isolated and not able to conspire together and to keep the good women away from the bad.
All of these ancient beliefs were used during the Inquisition to stir up hatred and increase the subjection of women. In order to create a class war against a population which was not an abstract thought but the family members and social structure men lived with daily, differences between men and women had to be exaggerated and presented as the result of evil. In 1486, the printing press began its illustrious career as a disseminator of mass hate propaganda for centralized power with the publication of the Malleus Malleficarum[cite] which saw 29 printings before 1669, second only to the Bible. Among the many edifying chapters in this extraordinary work are the following:
Concerning Witches who copulate with Devils. Why is it that Women are chiefly addicted to Evil superstitions?
Whether Witches may work some Prestidigatory Illusion so that the Male Organ appears to be entirely removed and separate from the Body.
That Witches who are Midwives in Various Ways Kill the Child Conceived in the Womb, and Procure an Abortion; or if they do not this Offer New-born Children to Devils.
How Witches Impede and Prevent the Power of Procreation.
How, as it were, they Deprive Man of his Virile Member.
Of the Manner whereby they Change Men into the Shapes of Beasts.
Of the Method by which Devils through the Operations of Witches sometimes actually possess men.
Of the Method by which they can Inflict Every Sort of Infirmity, generally Ills of the Graver Kind.
Of the Way how in Particular they Afflict Men with Other Like Infirmities.
How Witch Midwives commit most Horrid Crimes when they either Kill Children or Offer them to Devils in most Accursed Wise.
The Malleus Malleficarum summarizes the historical views on women as follows:
“Ecclesiasticus xxv: There is no head above the head of a serpent: and there is no wrath above the wrath of a woman. I had rather dwell with a lion and a dragon than to keep house with a wicked woman. … All wickedness is but little to the wickedness of a woman. Wherefore S. John Chrysostom says on the text, It is not good to marry (S. Matthew xix): What else is woman but a foe to friendship, an unescapable punishment, a necessary evil, a natural temptation, a desirable calamity, a domestic danger, a delectable detriment, an evil of nature, painted with fair colours! Therefore if it be a sin to divorce her when she ought to be kept, it is indeed a necessary torture; for either we commit adultery by divorcing her, or we must endure daily strife. Cicero in his second book of The Rhetorics says: The many lusts of men lead them into one sin, but the lust of women leads them into all sins; for the root of all woman’s vices is avarice. And Seneca says in his Tragedies: A woman either loves or hates; there is no third grade. And the tears of woman are a deception, for they may spring from true grief, or they may be a snare. When a woman thinks alone, she thinks evil.”
So the witch hunts decreed that a woman was neither permitted to think in the company of other women or in solitary, all of her thoughts must be guided by men. Network censorship in the name of terrorism is not a new thing.
Malleus Malleficarum then offers remedies for witchcraft including some of the most disturbed sexually deviant practices ever written, dressed up as law and order. It is however made clear that the power of witches was not their own, but rather came from a sexual act with the devil, women being far too weak of mind to have ideas of their own. “For as regards intellect, or the understanding of spiritual things, they seem to be of a different nature from men; … Women are intellectually like children…. No woman understood philosophy except Temeste.” As a model of professional sabotage, the Inquisitions and Malleus Malleficarum remain unequaled and the control they established over medical knowledge remained complete until the Internet allowed women and others to once more begin their gossip. Interestingly, one of the first and most panicked cries for Internet censorship was to prevent dissemination of medical knowledge by any except professionals.
The isolation of women was furthered by the dehumanization and the discrediting of all visible female emotion as trickery designed to use men for evil purposes. Men were made to fear any sympathetic attraction to women as being under her spell and resistance to association with women became a celebrated measure of piety. Female seduction was feared as a method of removing men’s free will, a premise still used today in rape justifications. Isolated from other women, feared and despised by men, their work reduced to slavery, their history erased, and their hereditary knowledge unattainable, women became outcasts of the very societies they still created and nurtured.
Both Lilith-type legends and Malleus Malleficarum warn of the dangers of women’s carnal natures:
“But the natural reason is that she is more carnal than a man, as is clear from her many carnal abominations.”
And of their natures in general:
“And as to her other mental quality, that is, her natural will; when she hates someone whom she formerly loved, then she seethes with anger and impatience in her whole soul, just as the tides of the sea are always heaving and boiling. Many authorities allude to this cause. Ecclesiasticus xxv: There is no wrath above the wrath of a woman. And Seneca (Tragedies, VIII): No might of the flames or the swollen winds, no deadly weapon, is so much to be feared as the lust and hatred of a woman who has been divorced from the marriage bed.”
All of the above opinions are reinforced by philosophy, in which Aristotle calls women “a misbegotten male”,[cite] and by science, in which Darwin wrote “males are more evolutionarily advanced than females”.[cite] Darwin also warned that “unchecked female militancy threatened to produce a perturbance of the races” and to “divert the orderly process of evolution”.[cite] It is little wonder that feminism spends all of its energy trying to convince both men and women that they are alike in every respect and denying any differences no matter how physically apparent.
In actual biological fact, women are obviously not equal to men though they certainly are equivalent. Whether or not men deviate more from the normative range (in both directions) due to their more vulnerable Y chromosome[cite], women deviate from their own norms through both a monthly cyclic cocktail of hormones and a lifetime of changing, personality altering hormones.[cite] This is not a weakness, it is a gift. Women are capable of far more diversity of thought within their own minds and lifetimes. We are not even beginning to understand the full effect of hormones on women (or men) because difference is not a topic of popular study in a world where safety and societal acceptance are found only in equality. One thing is certain; there are cognitive differences in women on the hormone altering pharmaceuticals sold to women worldwide as Feminism, their keys to acceptance into a male world.[cite]
No one can seriously think in this day and age that the best method of birth control we can come up with will necessitate women the world over being subjected to extremely dangerous pharmaceuticals[cite] that do everything from destroying the aforementioned carnal lust to eliminating the aforementioned natural will which these men found so frightening. The birth control pill is not just about birth control, it is Dolby sound for women’s hormones, a way to control that legendary fury which hell hath no greater than and a sacrifice of women’s own genius to make them a little closer to the masculine ideal. The fear of women’s hormonal changes is ancient and pervasive. It is predictable that it was women suffering post-natal depression that were a favourite target for brainwashing by Canadian intelligence services. What would be poetic justice if it were not an environmental catastrophe is those same hormones that are being used to declaw women globally are of course returning to the earth and combining with the simulated estrogen in plastics to create an excess of women’s hormones the world over.
Centralized medicine brought the industrialization of childbirth and removal of breastfeeding. The pharmaceutical industry has managed to conflate the pill with birth control almost completely and further conflate the pill with feminism. Feminists who feel their role consists of convincing the world that women are identical to men and preaching complete assimilation would rather deny that natural hormones exist and embrace any pharmacology that minimizes them. It is interesting that the exact same pills when provided to an ethnic group are a scandal[cite] but not when provided to an entire sex.
The desire to remove any variation in character from women goes back to earliest writings. In Indo-European mythology, women are frequently powerful wild cards with a passion for vengeance such as Nemesis, Nyx, Lilith, Eris, Calypso and many others. In science fiction, women are most often robots (frequently literally), predictable and characterless, with child bearing function removed or industrialized. The hoped for transition in character is hard to miss. In societal norms women must be heavily moderated, use endearments instead of (witch’s) cursing and any negativity or assertiveness is instantly condemned as hysteria or unacceptable anger. The need to constantly train women to be passive and subservient partly results still from a very real terror instilled by the relentless propaganda of the last millennium.
In matrilineal societies women controlled the home and were responsible for all of the child rearing as well as most agriculture. As descent could only be proven from women, they were the heads of families and men could be banished from the home and even shunned from the village if they offended. This shunning could equal a death sentence if the man had nowhere else to go. The terror of women’s anger may have had something to do with this traditional fear in some cultures. Centuries later, the same concerns about women’s property ownership and maternal rights and the same complaints about women’s natural character are being repeated by the masculinist MRA (men’s rights activists) group. Conversely, MRA also complain if property ownership is not available to women as they then are considered gold diggers, seeking possession of men’s property. The resentment of men who were made to purchase admittance into their own families by the creation of waged labour continues.
Religions were not such an obvious point of division as gender. All of the great Silk Road religions adhered to the same patriarchal ideology of autonomous and omnipotent men who were granted the right to use women, children, nature and weaker or more unfortunate men in any way they wished. Although they followed different prophets: Mani, Zarathustra, Buddha, Christ, Mohammed, and more, there was no serious point of conflict between theologies along the Silk Road. They all fit comfortably into the same patriarchal social structures, unsurprisingly as they shared both common myths and common economic structures. The religious conflicts of the region are and have always been based on trade. As in all group affiliation, religion was used to divide very similar populations and justify atrocities towards each other.
Islam taught that Muslims could never enslave other Muslims and non-Muslims could only be enslaved if they were prisoners of war or the children of slaves.[cite] For its time, this was an extremely humanitarian law. Unfortunately, the in-group differentiation of this law and the contemporary demand for slaves led to the Islamic region becoming a vortex for warlike raids on other regions and enslavement of their populations. Since any prisoners of war qualified as slaves, slave raids to fill the Islamic markets were conducted by varied groups of people throughout Africa, west Asia and Europe.
Judaism dictated that Hebrews had considerably more rights than non-Hebrew and originally they were to be treated only as servants and freed after six years as written in Exodus 21:2 “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years; but on the seventh he shall go out as a free man without payment.” and in Leviticus 42 “For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves.” The same strictures did not apply to outgroups: Leviticus 44 “As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you. 45 You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property. 46 You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.”
Although the above strictures were modified in other sources and certainly not always followed, there were consistently different statuses accorded to Hebrew and non-Hebrew slaves. If a Jewish man must sell himself into slavery he was instructed not to sell himself to a woman or a person from another faith and if he was sold to another faith it was the responsibility of all other Jews to redeem him.[cite] From the middle ages to the 19th century there were Jewish societies organized to free Jewish people from slavery.[cite]
Christianity reflected the Roman and Byzantine empires where it spread, and treated slavery as a well established fact of life, with not much said for or against it. As the slave raids spread from the Islamic markets and as those slaves began returning to Europe in the form of well trained armies, the Catholic Church started to issue edicts discouraging the enslavement of Christians and especially the sale of Christians to non-Christians. Besides prohibitions on selling to Muslims, from the 4th century forward there were repeated Christian prohibitions on Jews owning Christian slaves. Several sources state that Jewish involvement in the medieval slave trade was significant at certain times and places and several other sources say their involvement is grossly overstated. Most historians can agree however that the Christian perception of Jewish involvement was high enough to contribute a great deal to anti-Semitism in Christian communities. According to David Brion Davis in Slavery and Human Progress, “Medieval Christians … became obsessed with alleged Jewish plots to enslave, convert, or sell non-Jews.”[cite]
At various points in history, the religions of the book offered mutual protection from slavery to each other or mutual aid as go-betweens in the slave trade. Non-Muslim slave traders from Ethiopia, Spain and elsewhere carried out the horrific practice of slave castration for sale of eunuchs to Muslims who were forbidden to castrate them.[cite] Other religions were punished for interference such as the Manicheans who were condemned by the Synod of Gangra in 340 for encouraging slaves to revolt.[cite] Manichaeism between the third and seventh centuries became the most widespread religion in the world but it was driven out of the west first and then out of China by the 14th century, after supporting peasant rebellions.
While Judaism did not necessarily encourage conversion of slaves, both Islam and Christianity spread rapidly through the protection they each offered their ingroups from slavery and from conversion of slaves. Both Muslim and Christian communities also became wealthy by trading each other as slaves. While some Christian groups during abolition used Christianity as a reason to abolish slavery, others such as Jefferson Davis used it to justify slavery, saying the practice “was established by decree of Almighty God…it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation…it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts.” Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America.[cite]
None of the major religions encouraged slavery and all in fact tried to reduce its horrific nature, both by reaffirming the humanity of the slaves and by forbidding or restricting its use on their own ingroups. Indeed, the exhortations against cruelty to slaves may have been what partly attracted lower classes to these religions in a region dominated by the slave trade. The changing attitudes towards slavery now puts these religious texts far behind in a humanitarian role they once led. If the religious texts of two millennia ago were to occupy the same position in today’s society which they did when they were written, the groups they would be advocating for would include all of humanity and the passages on slavery would be for abolition. Sadly, the texts have been preserved instead of the spirit.
Despite their intent, the group affiliation nature of all religions only led to increased slavery and brutality towards each other, culminating in outgroup hatred. While it may be hard to believe that people would war with each other for centuries over scarcely differing religions, it is perfectly understandable in the context of the slave trade. Not only were there vast profits to be made by merchants in these wars, there would also be deep hatred to outgroups who regularly enslaved each other’s families and used horrific practices such as castration and forced marches which cost the lives of so many.
Those religions not of the book, whether from parts of Africa, America, India, or other regions, suffered from being the outgroups that all of the great trade religions were free to use as slaves. As trade exploration went overseas, indigenous people were also depicted as heathens to justify their enslavement, but this division did not work as well when they became converted to Christianity. A large population of labour slaves has also been a repeated danger for rebellion throughout history and the increasing amount of slaves being imported to America created a great risk of rebellion. When these slaves joined forces with indentured servants and others from the lowest classes, they were a constant danger to the ruling classes. It is in this context that race divisions were created.
By the time of widespread European overseas exploration, religious differences were causing extreme division throughout Europe. People were no longer divided simply by prophet or Eastern Orthodox vs Roman Catholic or Catholic vs Protestant, they had splintered into innumerable little sects which were being used to justify persecution of each other. Many people moved from Europe to the colonies in search of religious freedom. Religious divide was even more of an anathema in English colonies because it was feared that indentured servants would lead uprisings against their colonial masters in favour of other Catholics, as the Irish Saint Patrick’s Battalion (San Patricios) deserted the United States military to fight alongside Mexico in 1846 and Irish indentured servants on St. Kitt’s rebelled when France attacked the island in 1666. The United States particularly was founded on a principle of separation of church and state by a group of men highly suspicious of the church and their efforts to divide, so the United States particularly became the incubator of racism to justify slavery.
The same experts and rewriting of historical experts which were used to dissociate men from women were used to help establish racism in America. The concept of race doesn’t mesh well with myths depicting all of humanity as coming from one man and one woman but Christians have a story in Genesis 9:20-27 wherein Noah condemns Canaan to be a servant of servants to his brothers. The convenience of this myth had been recognized centuries earlier, around 1100 by Honorius Augustodunensis, who depicted serfs as the descendants of Canaan to justify their perpetual servitude.[cite] In the last couple of centuries this story was used again by both Christians and Muslims who decided, against all other information, that the descendants of Canaan were African and condemned to perpetual enslavement.[cite]
Around the late 17th century, the first attempts to divide people by race appeared. In 16th century Spain, Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda claimed that the indigenous in America were “natural slaves”.[cite] John Stuart Mill wrote in 1869 that “Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians”[cite] applying racism which Aristotle never intended to Aristotle’s view that “those who are as different [from other men] as the soul from the body or man from beast—and they are in this state if their work is the use of the body, and if this is the best that can come from them—are slaves by nature. For them it is better to be ruled in accordance with this sort of rule, if such is the case for the other things mentioned.” Even Mill spoke of barbarians as a transitory state which could be changed however. Racism started as nothing more than intellectual posturing to justify the theft of land in the Americas and the resurgence of slave trading by Europeans. Later, both racism and sexism were used to defend class barriers in general.
Like sexism and religion, racism was extremely helpful in dividing labourers and emphasizing non-existent divisions over the class reality they all lived. Slave traders used existing myths to create bigotries which could be used to entrench their use of other people. People were divided by gender, religion, and race to facilitate the slave trade initially and the resulting stratified society in later years. Long after the short-lived concept of race has been completely debunked, racism lives on. As long as there is a large bottom class and a tiny ruling class there will be the same motivations for keeping the bottom class divided and fighting each other. Groups like the United States Rainbow Coalition of the 1960s, who simply followed ideas instead of aligning by bigotries, are the biggest threat to the class system and will be disrupted by any means possible. (Video below.)
Bigotries allow different rules for different people, convince people to welcome the segregated cages they are put into, allow them to pay less for the labour of some, and give them a powerful tool to coerce people’s behaviour. Bigotries encourage people to lobby for benefits only for their own sect and ignore all others, ensuring that the most powerless remain isolated. Bigotry does not restrict itself to one sect or region. The evictions of Dominicans of Haitian descent from the Dominican Republic or the mass slaughter and expulsion of Rohingya people in Burma are just two examples where people will find almost imperceptible differences and use them to create division and mask economic motives.
All bigotries are expressions of class bigotries. Hatred of women is hatred of lifegivers and caregivers and it lessens when women refuse those roles. Hatred of indigenous people is hatred of ecosystem caregivers and it lessens when indigenous people refuse those roles. Hatred of those who are valued less or more is a protection of class. Hate is not based on appearance. It is based on the class associated with appearance. Hate will not end by achieving equality for all different sects in each class as long as the classes themselves remain. The classes will never be removed as long as the trade economy is profiting from them and the bigotries will never be removed as long as the top class is protected by them.
Excerpted from Autonomy, Diversity, Society. Citations will be transferred when I get a minute.