Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Peter Francopan’s The Silk Roads is a Bloody Waste

I’m very critical about this new book, but I’m not trashing the writer – I wouldn’t dare to insult a fellow author. However, with the greatest amount of respect, I still thoroughly dislike the ideas from his fashionable book as he presents them on tape – thankfully, I did not buy or read the tome.

Peter Francopan, a British professor of history with an Owning Class background, has written a new history “of the world”. He sees himself as enlightened (he just discovered cultural arrogance – well, well) but still argues in the name of others who did not choose him as their representative (“we are blind to other cultures”) – speak for yourself, my father would say.

Indeed, he looks with eyes not of this time – he has not discovered either of the Americas yet. In fact, he wants to show that we were wrong about the true center of the world – it should be the Caucasus. No one told him yet that Earth is a globe, so that we may put the center anywhere we want? He says that “we” have a bad habit of putting ourselves at the center of the world. That is more than an appeal to Western pious masochism, to somewhat wallow in guilt rather than go fight racism with our own pride about our own background in place. His accusation of self-centeredness must be autobiographic as he hails from … the Caucasus! Shocking.

We should dump our old dogmas – only to replace them by his new ones. “Understand what happens around you and adapt yourself but don’t try to stop it.” We see here how universities are still pandering to ideas comfortable to the current ruling class. Pf – try to sell such passivity to anti-Trump-activists!

We should rediscover the importance of China and see that Europe is finished? Here in Israel we just added India and China as countries to trade with, without any deep drama. But as long as China stays a dictatorship, it will stay behind and not co-lead the world. Especially once a new UN will be founded of only democracies and – I will add – representatives of oppressed Peoples (bypassing their rulers and oppressors)!

Do follow his audio and video presentations and read his book, I would say, if you want to familiarize yourself with the newest intellectual hype, but I think it’s all rubbish. Lots of overstretched theories and rationalizations and plenty of bluff. What a misuse of paper, time and effort.

Don’t just reflect –

Act!

Worse than waste: he calls for introspection instead of action. That must be the reason for the excitement. It’s always easier for comfortable people to just reflect than to act on what they think. Rather, join a group of activists if you want to do something useful with you precious time. The future lies in our hands.

About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. To see other blog posts by him, a second blog - under construction - can be found by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture.
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