Richard Koenigsberg’s Succinct Summary of the Law of Sacrifice

Richard Koenigsberg: “The Proof of the Pudding is in the Dying”

  • The desire to die and kill–in war, genocide, revolution and terrorism–grows out of attachment to an ideology conceived as absolute
  • Dying and killing are undertaken with the purpose of validating an ideology (“proof of the pudding”).

  • Dead and mangled bodies on the field of battle testify to the “truth” of some entity or idea: that which is the cause of the dying and killing. People cannot conceive that dying and killing occur in the name of nothing.
  • The nature of the entity or idea for which people die and kill is fungible. People have died and killed for France, for Germany, for the British Empire, for the Communist revolution, for Allah, for the Emperor, for a Tamil homeland, to preserve the Union, and for “freedom and democracy.”
  • Each culture has its own preferred absolute. Rarely does a society believe that there is “nothing to kill and die for” (John Lennon).
  • The method of verifying the sacred ideal remains the same, regardless of the content of the ideal. Verification consists of demonstrating a willingness to die and kill.

the kuppi or cyanide capsule — emblem of total commitment to the cause –an act of “sacrificial devotion” in the conceptualization coined by Michael Roberts

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https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Richard_Koenigsberg

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Filed under accountability, authoritarian regimes, cultural transmission, heritage, historical interpretation, Hitler, Islamic fundamentalism, jihad, landscape wondrous, life stories, LTTE, martyrdom, meditations, nationalism, power politics, prabhakaran, religious nationalism, self-reflexivity, Tamil Tiger fighters, terrorism, the imaginary and the real, unusual people, vengeance, world events & processes, zealotry, Zen at war

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