Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

I have a friend, a Jew, who likes to joke that hillbillies are what white people would be without the Jews. Jews, in other words, bring to West. Civ. intellectualism and a cosmopolitan outlook.

This is amusing, if a bit of an exaggeration. But it led me to wonder, what *would* white people be without the Jews?

1. White people, minus the Jews, would be Romans. The two great antique cultures that joined to create Medieval, Renaissance, and Modern Europe (and European-derived cultures such as those of the Americas) are the classical civilizations of Rome and Greece, and Judaism. The latter joined with Roman civilization by way of Christianity, which is essentially a schismatic Jewish sect. If we had had no contact with the Jews via Christianity, we would still be Romans. The gods would have no interest in ethics, but care only about whether you worshiped them with precisely the correct ceremonies. Fathers would have the right to kill their children or sell them into slavery if they so desired. All the meat you bought at the butcher shop would have been slaughtered ritually by a priest of Jupiter. John Keats still might have written Endymion, but Milton would not have written Paradise Lost. The President and First Lady would have orgies, which would include skilled prostitutes of both sexes. We would keep slaves, of all races.

2. White people, minus the Jews, would be Vikings. The Roman Empire, by the time of the Caesars, had hit its peak and was headed south, every so slowly at first, but with increasing speed over the next few centuries. Imperial overreach, constant civil war between ambitious generals, weakness in the face of the Germanic tribes -- the celebrated 'failure of nerve' that doomed Rome. Without the vigor and optimism of a young Christianity, and without Christian missionaries, not merely the Roman imperial line, but the ideas of classical civilization might have been swept away entirely. We would today be making human sacrifices to Odin, our government buildings would be concrete imitations of wood-stave mead-halls rather than imitations of classical temples. Great lords would reward their servants with valuable rings. We would keep and sell slaves. (Slaving was the most profitable of the Vikings' various business ventures. Most were Celts, taken from Ireland, and Slavs, from eastern Europe, to be sold into Muslim Spain, and the Middle East.)

3. White people, minus the Jews, would be Muslims. Even if the weakening Roman Empire succeeded in resisting the Germanic tribes, it is doubtful it could have resisted the onslaught of militant Islam. If the tide had gone the other way at Tours, Europe today might well be Muslim, and in the words of Gibbon, "the interpretation of the Koran would now be taught in the schools of Oxford, and her pulpits might demonstrate to a circumcised people the sanctity and truth of the revelation of Mahomet." The events of 9/11 would have shocked a complacent Muslim America, as Tantric Buddhist terrorists trained in Afghanistan crashed airplanes into the Twin Mosques of New Cairo, intent on destroying a materialistic, worldly, tolerant post-modern United Emirates of America.

4. White people, minus the Jews, would be hobbits. In Appendix F of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien states that the hobbit names are translated into English and Celtic equivalents. As for the large Hebrew element in English names: "I have not used names of Hebraic or similar origin in my transpositions. Nothing in Hobbit-names corresponds to this element in our names." There you have it. The Shire is England, as it might have been in a world without Jews. Just a bunch of shiftless hobbits, oblivious to the world beyond their borders, smoking their pipeweed and hanging out at the Green Dragon.

Sort of the hillbillies of Middle Earth, you might say.
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