May 27, 2019

"I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation, but the mystery of the social order; religion attaches to heaven an idea of equality that stops the rich from being massacred by the poor."

Said Napoleon, in 1804. I'm reading Napoleon quotes, just because Napoleon came up as part of the random jumble in the previous post.

41 comments:

Sebastian said...

"I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation, but the mystery of the social order; religion attaches to heaven an idea of equality that stops the rich from being massacred by the poor."

So really Napoleon was a prog avant la lettre?

SJW/dictator. It's connected.

chickelit said...

This is an interesting Napoleon quote:

I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of the Quran which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness.

Hitler admired the Muslims as well. Contrast that with Jefferson:

We took the liberty to make some enquiries concerning the ground of their pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.

The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.


I think Trump is more Jefferson than Napoleon.

rhhardin said...

He hasn't discovered the virtue of property rights. Enforced property rights reduce transaction costs in that physical defense is no longer necessary in doing business.

A poor person with property rights can mortgage his home to get capital. Without property rights he has no capital (because the lender is not protected by collateral) and stays poor.

alanc709 said...

Has it ever been determined whether Napoleon converted to Islam? I know the British used that as a propaganda item against Napoleon during the wars, but I've never seen anything conclusive either way as to the veracity of that claim.

Bay Area Guy said...

In that same vein, Napoleon also said that history was the lies we agreed upon.

William said...

I read through some of the quotes. He was pretty shrewd,but consider this: at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, thirty percent of the male population of France between the ages of eighteen and forty five were either dead or disabled. He was a blight.

Fernandistein said...

Also from the wiki page -

"The Mohammedan religion is the finest of all."

"I am a monarch of God's creation, and you reptiles of the earth dare not oppose me. I render an account of my government to none save God and Jesus Christ." -- Addressing members of the Catholic clergy

"Jesus calls himself the Son of God, and yet is descended from David. I prefer the religion of Mahomet — it is less ridiculous than ours."

Mike Sylwester said...

The first Christians believed that a Cosmic War was imminent. The Earth would be destroyed soon in the Cosmic War, but some of the Christians would be raised up onto the Firmament to fight in the Cosmic War.

(The Firmament is the dome that covers the sky. When you look upwards, you see the bottom, translucent-blue side of the Firmament.)

A few of the Christians who fought on the Firmament would survive the Cosmic War, and those few survivors eventually would rise to Heaven's top level, where they would blissfully and eternally praise God.

All the people on Earth were like tiny, insignificant ants in comparison to all the other supernatural beings -- angels, serafim, cherubim, etc. -- that likewise would perish massively in the Cosmic War. It did not really matter that some human being -- even a Christian -- would perish on the Earth or on the Firmament during the Cosmic War. Only God's eternal glory was important.

The main problem with the first Christians' belief was that decades and centuries passed, and the Cosmic War never happened. Therefore, the Christian Church gradually adapted that belief to other doctrines that are more familiar to us now.

Bay Area Guy said...

Also, Happy Memorial Day to all our brave fallen heroes who fought for our Liberty. We are indebted.

rhhardin said...

Housing in heaven is a problem owing to rent control.

rhhardin said...

The regular news staff is off at the local Rush affiliate so all the news is traffic fatalities and arrests. No Trump bashing.

narciso said...

Interesting in the second stainless rat tale, napoleon is revealed to have been a traveler from the far future.

narciso said...

If you've read winiks the great upheavals perhaps the least sjw, but the revolution did bring forth a great war. The Russian and Iranian wars brought forth proxy conflicts.

Crimso said...

A richly complex person. Perhaps a genius in the literal sense. IIRC, it was in Chandler's "Campaigns of Napoleon" where I read that Napoleon was really only responsible for a few military innovations, that much of his success was a result of implementing pre-existing ideas (many of which were only theory up to that point). Favorite Napoleon quote, on great people: "Is it because they are lucky that they become great? No, but being great, they have been able to master luck." Applies to virtually every area of human endeavor, and played out time and again in his battles.

AllenS said...

Sounds to me that someone removed Napoleon's brain before they removed his penis.

buwaya said...

Chandler's "Campaigns of Napoleon" is in my permanent library.

A good liberal arts program would make that required reading.

BamaBadgOR said...

All part of the Roman template of social hierarchy, that all parts of the social body were need to preserve society, which Paul put a reverse spin on? See Prof. Dale Martin, The Corinthian Body.

buwaya said...

Napoleon was a genius, in a straight intellectual sense.
He had a near photographic memory with superb ability to recall facts.
He was a historical "great man", the sort of individual who could on his own turn the collectively driven course of events to another channel. For a while anyway.

Howard said...

Religion boils down to crowd control.

narciso said...

I imagine he was the model for asimov's mule in foundation.

Down Valley Scum said...

God Bless the Duke of Wellington!

rightguy said...

I had no idea that Mr. Bonaparte was an Islamophile. Multiple quotes, here, where he expounds about it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Typical popularised Englightenment thinking of the time.

Which is one reason we should snigger that they called themselves "enlightened." Not that they were arrogant or anything.

Wa St Blogger said...

I think some of you are missing the wisdom behind the statement on the OP. I don't see it so much as a rejection of religion but of the risk of social disorder in its absence. Look at what is happening in our own society. As progressives eschew faith and the belief in an afterlife, they are looking to create heaven on earth and the mob soon WILL rise up and kill the wealthy in the name of income inequality.

mandrewa said...

In these Napoleon quotes, or if we take him in context, is there any explanation of what was the appeal of Islam to him?

I can get why Hitler would like Islam. Hint: it's about much more than being anti-Jewish.

But I don't know much of anything about Napoleon's ideology.

buwaya said...

Narciso, yes exactly that. That was Asimovs point.
The unpredictable individual that upsets systemic analysis.

buwaya said...

In case anyone has not seen it, look for Bondarchuk's "Waterloo".
Rod Steiger does a very plausible Napoleon.
I know our salonniere despises historical movies, but this one is not stilted, or if it is it is stilted in a way that seems accurate for the place and time.
They probably did talk like that.

buwaya said...

Napoleon/Steigers dialogue in "Waterloo" are mainly his own dictated correspondence or quotes, as in the link.

mandrewa said...

My naïve interpretation of Napoleon is that he is an egoist or a narcissist. And there is no larger story of ideas behind him. He was a man of his time and reflected the French revolution, which was in part about overthrowing the aristocracy, which was a huge thing in context but we don't really understand it today because we are so far from this, that we don't even know what it really means.

But for Napoleon this is the background. It's the canvas on which he fought his wars, the excuse for own glorification. And Napoleon's successes caught the imagination of a great many men, including especially young men, of the time and they all hung upon his every word as if he was a genius. And of course he was a military genius.

But one can be very successful in one area without being profound in anything else, and in fact that is the normal thing.

But given this context I imagine that Napoleon was always looking for clever things to say that were a bit unusual to impress his audience, and thus whatever he may have said about Islam may not actually signify that much.

narciso said...

Napoleon saw himself as the new Alexander, and currying favor with the ummah was key.
If Nelson hadn't defeated him at the mouth of the Nile?

Robert Cook said...

"'I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation, but the mystery of the social order; religion attaches to heaven an idea of equality that stops the rich from being massacred by the poor.'

"So really Napoleon was a prog avant la lettre?"


No, it just shows how astute he was.

Narr said...

What if Nelson doesn't destroy the French fleet at the Nile?

One almost-forgotten aspect is Bonaparte's side-expedition to "the Holy Land" and his defeat by Turks and Brits in a nasty little siege at Acre. And he was at Acre largely because he had little else to do with Brueys' fleet gone, and it was a year before he left those parts.

So I don't know; I'm not sure what else he might have accomplished in that year, even with a fleet.

I didn't see this one in the wikiquotes list, TTE that all the greatest empires are in the east.

And as a soldier, he had a lot of respect for Mohammed the warleader; no real surprise to me. IIRC he called General Menou(?), who did convert to Islam, a fool.

Narr
He was jake with Mother Church at the end

Narr said...

My public library has Bondarchuk's War and Peace on three or four DVDs. I've seen various butchered versions, so this was an opportunity to get a good look at the sixty thousand Red Army troops used as extras (or whatever the claim was).

It looks like maybe there were 10K in the Borodino scenes. I noticed a lot of background troop staging, platoons and companies trying to look like battalions and brigades. (Fucking Reds lie about everything.)

But Steiger! He was so great. Assante caught something of the man I think in that awful miniseries a while back.

Narr
"Why do they not sue for peace?"

narciso said...

well he could have been resupplied, and break the siege at acre, it's important to consider that napoleon's vision was something like the eu today,

narciso said...


https://worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/16752/what-would-the-consequences-in-the-napoleonic-wars-be-had-napoleon-conquered-egy

William said...

Any religious sentiment Napoleon ever expressed or felt was secondary to his own self worship and aggrandizement. So were the revolutionary ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity. It never occurred to him to free the slaves in Egypt or the serfs in Russia. He did give the male citizens of France the vote. They were allowed to vote in several referendums that gave Napoleon plenipotentary powers. The Napoleonic Code removed all the property rights of women. They could not buy, well or transfer property without the consent of a male guardian of relative.

The Godfather said...

Napoleon? You mean the loser?

William said...

King George III had his religious ideals. When Pitt the Younger proposed giving (propertied) Catholics the vote. George refused to sign the bill. Pitt resigned in protest. George refused to allow Catholics to hold commissions in the British army even when the army was understaffed. Napoleon looks good when you compare him to the Bourbons,Hanovers, and Romanovs....However, if you compare him to Pitt, Wilbeforce, Nelson and even Wellington, Napoleon is a man of remarkably small stature.

Narr said...

Yes, Godfather. That one.

Narr
Vass you dere, Charlie? Vass you dere?

narciso said...

that's why there were the Peterloo riots, in the 1780s, he was strikingly a wrong headed monarch, luckily there were officials like warren hastings who prosecuted the mysore war, and his reward was to be forwarded for impeachment charges by Edmund burke, who still struck out,

Narr said...

A bit more on Boney. I doubt he could have made much of that Levantine lunge even if he'd had a fleet. There's no assurance that the folks at home would be able or willing to throw more resources his way (what had he gained for France there?) Recall, a predicate of the whole affair was that the French could raise and mobilize revolutionaries there, convince the Muslims that they were making Jihad against Britain or even the Turks, and threaten the Company in India--or some mashup of all three. He had no fans or friends left in Paris that mattered by this time, IIRC.

It just illustrates how grandiose he could be . . . and how lucky in his timing when he finally got back to France.

Narr
Child of fortune indeed