Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
RE: Fear wins. The world loses.
The English kicked the extreme memes out in the 1600's and 1700's and sent them west.
The roundheads' descendents were invited to leave in order to pursue their own virulent and oppressive religious views on their sect. Same with the Catholics. The roundheads went to New England and the Catholics to Maryland (Mary Land). Quakers to Pnnsylvania. and C of E most everywhere else. This helped the social fabric of England and Scotland by getting the restive riff-raff and thei weird religious ideas, out.
The intensity of the movements increased in the colonies for a generation or so and then abated such that the revolutionary colonies were probably about as secular then as we are now. A funny thing happened in the early 19th century in the USA--a religious re-awakening. I don't know why, but it was very intense and helped lead us to our own Civil War, in which some fanatical religious protestant sects felt compelled by God to abolition, not unlike John Newton's English. Interestingly, the slaveholder class was mostly C of E and Presbyterian, but also lots of other religions, depending on who settled where.
We entered another extended period of secularism up to about WW I. Part of the religious resurgence was manifest in the Scopes Trial, in which a school teacher was prosecuted for teaching evolution. Religion entered another decline from which it began to arise in the 1980's or so. IMO, its about 10-15 years from peaking.
I think the ebb and flow is attributable to a sort of harmonic of the meme concentration in the younger age groups. There's a pulse of resurgence beginning with the kid born in the late 1970's. They call upon the meme for direction. For 20 years in builds on itself like a mad pyramid scheme, but then, the children of the 1970's-1990's babies will do what all kids do--rebel against the authoritarianism of their parents. In this case, religious. The meme and that generation will be unsynchromised for 20-30 years and then it will start anew. The children of secularists will reject their secular parents and rediscover the meme.
However, its a damped oscillation. Each resurgence has a lower amplitude and an increasing wavelength. In Europe, the meme is just about evenly diffused and you no longer have well-defined generational cohorts--this dampens the oscillation.
Religion needs disaster or oppression to take hold of the psyche.