Apparently (having never done it myself) folks who go ‘crabbing’ on various Atlantic beaches, in the moonlight, never have to worry about using lids, to keep track of the crabs being tossed into their buckets. And it’s because crabs in a bucket evince a peculiar dog in the manger attitude towards any of their compatriots, looking to escape by going over the side. They reach up, latch on, and haul them back in. Apparently, it’s a case of “If I’m not getting out of here, then neither are you.”
And while this zero sum game, between crabby rivals, is real handy for the ones gathering them up, it rather assures the crabs all make it onto someone’s dinner plate.
While I have no idea what spurs this response in crabs, I’ve often observed a closely related reaction, among members of extreme political sects, and members of all those other religious factions, as well. And – while I can’t authoritatively put my finger on the source of the response – I think fear has a lot to do with it.
Nowhere is this more evident in the world today, that in the Muslim world. Because, like any fanatical religious organization, where one might be denounced for sins – real or imagined – that routinely lead to loss of life or limb – the safety of those outlying others, can depend on their ability to quickly and automatically fold themselves into the crowd of those calling for the evil-doer’s head. And this response is practically a double-win, for the absolute hypocrites among them. Who are able to effectively pre-deny – as well as ward off – any possible accusations against themselves, by loudly denouncing the actions of those already accused individuals.
I point to the underlying stress of fear, at work here. Because, like certain agents used to produce foam rubber, fear often acts as a sort of giddy catalyst. Inducing this unthinking, crab bucket effect, in otherwise more ‘well-balanced’ people. But which all too often, characteristically manifests itself in sudden and vicious episodes of mob violence and brutality.
Being continually immersed in a particularly repressive culture, individuals can become overly observant – as well as overly sensitive reactionaries – to any perceived threat to the status quo. Religious shriekers. Quick to hysterically denounce neighbors – or members of their own families – while clamoring for their heads. And at the least infraction of Islamic religious ‘law.’
I suspect it’s really a variation of the Stockholm syndrome. Living under the constant threat of being denounced, or challenged to prove one’s religious commitment – on pain of you know what …
This is something the Christian religion went through, almost 600 years ago. And it fueled the Crusades, Inquisitions, and Witch Hunts of all kind. But it also represents a period of repressive religious imposition, that has LASTED almost 1500 years, in the Islamic world,
It is living under this continual threat, that seems to elicit this Dog in the Manger – or Crab Bucket – reaction. One of induced, base cowardliness, on the part of those inciting the mobs. Who are often the ones routinely calling for those ad hoc, Kangaroo Courts of Islamic ‘justice.’
Having just looked them over, the current 5 Pillars of Islam are completely boorish, and invite the kind of mindless hypocrisy I’m talking about. So, in the spirit of “Out with the old,” I’d like to suggest 5 NEW Pillars of Faith, for Islam:
- Confess that there is no God – except the one that exists within the superstitious vacuum, of that space between your ears. Where, if He exists at all, it’s as a pernicious parasite – of one in possible need of medical attention.
- Recognize that we are born individually unique, as human beings. Bound together in our all too brief mortal existence, by our common humanity. Which is best viewed on an evolutionary time scale.
- That, again, there is no God, to intercede – and save us from ourselves. It is, rather, for us to accept the responsibility of looking out for each other, and the health of this planet we inhabit.
- That any attempts to instill specific acts and patterns of behavior in others – beyond laws protecting Basic Human Rights, lawful commerce, and protecting private property – ultimately leads to the unbridled evil of religious imposition. By those looking to micro-manage and control the private and social lives of free citizens, by inhibiting their rights to free agency.
- Seek to arrive at a place of personal humility and good-will, towards your fellow man – AND WOMAN. Practice the Golden Rule. And honor, in your heart, that amazing spark of life, that 1st gave rise to all life as it exists on this planet today. And which we are all but a tenuous expression of.