In the entire history of mankind, has there ever evolved a more supreme irony?
The (still, though perhaps not too much longer) majority of US residents call themselves "Caucasians" or even "Aryans". The state of the educational system inn the culture is in such a shambles that the great majority of them have never even heard of the Caucasian Mountains and couldn't find them on a globe if their lives depended on it.
Even fewer of them recognize the roots of their own supposed core philosophies/theologies. While the name "Zoroaster" or more commonly, "Zarathustra" may evoke faint recognition, there can't be more than one american in a thousand who can state that it was he who definitively first introduced the dichotomy of "good and evil" into man's thinking (the proverbial bite of apple). Fewer still recognize that his life predated the captivity within Babylon whereupon most of the Old Testament was first written down.
From his day forward, the history of mankind became the struggle between those who believe that life is a struggle between good and evil, and those who don't.
(Needless to say, those who ascribe to the first party have been "winning", up until recently. They have labelled all those who don't to be "savages", aborigines", and other such debasing terms, they have enslaved them, massacred them, or simply overrun their homelands and taken everything away from them that they need for survival. It goes without saying that every person who believes that life is a struggle between good and evil believes himself to be aligned with the forces of good,no matter his actual impact upon the world. Hitler believed that.Joseph Stalin believed that. Jesus believed that. Lloyd Blankfein, Jamie Dimon, et al believe that.)
The very core beliefs which US residents hold to be so dear, the "moral values", their fundamental compass, all of those ideas happened to originate with the ancient Persian people. According to ancient recordkeeping, the very first bankers in the world, loaning money at interest in return for collateral such as slaves and land were Jews in captivity in the city of Babylon, thriving in the Persian Empire. The first astronomers, the first mathematicians came from the same "golden age", discovering the paramount utility of the number zero and the theorem of squares later falsely claimed by Pythagoras.
In governments, the concept of "Freedom of Religion" which some supposed was invented by Thomas Jefferson, actually was first put into practice by Cyrus the Great and first applied in allowing the remnant to return to Israel and even giving them the funds to rebuild their temple. Cyrus also generated the theory of annexation and full rights; his system of satraps and satrapies was the model for Roman and later US annexation and empire-building, wherein each new conquest came under the same rights, privileges and taxes as all the older ones.
The label "Pharisee" is perhaps much more familiar to the majority who label themselves "Christian" Whether or not any of them obey their own rules and laws is immaterial, they simply believe that they have the right to persecute others for failing to do so but can do whatever they choose themselves with impunity because God forgives them. But though so many know the word, so very few understand where it came from ... for the rules and laws of the Pentateuch were encoded by Ezra into the governing "laws of the government" in the language of the Persians which is still today known as and pronounced with an "f" instead of a "p", i.e. "Farsi" or "Pharisee".... and while Jesus belittled their importance, the tradition has only gained more and more favor and impact since then.
now that we have reached and passed "peak oil", though there are still a fair number of folk in denial, now that virtually all of our ruling, intellectual class recognizes that along with it "peak civilization", "Peak technology", "Peak science", and of course "Peak Population" have come and gone, now that the collective knowledge of the body of citizens of the supposed world superpower is hurtling towards idiocy, the said government of the said dominant world economic and military power is marching relentlessly towards war, towards devastation and destruction, with its very own cultural and philosophic and, yes, moral, beginnings... the City of Rage, now called Tehran, nestled in the foothills of the Caucasian Mountains ....
from a distance, its pretty funny .....pretty damn funny ....