Firstly, a big thank you to those of you who have read, commented, and shared this blog. Special mention those who critiqued and challenged some of my points. It’s appreciated.
One such critic questioned that, based on my apparent blanket disdain of the politics, which, if any, of the Parties in the field I would recommend. And it’s a fair question. But it’s also not one I will answer, at least not as requested. It is not for me to recommend, this blog is all about encouraging self-determination, free will and promoting a probing of the status quo.
Which brings me to the Khazars…
Emerging in the 8th Century the Khazars were an immensely powerful and influential tribe, based across the Steppes in what is today modern Ukraine. It is said the Khazar Khagan (king) had twenty nine wives, one from each of the tribes that paid them tribute. Clearly friendship and favour with the Khazar’s was to be coveted.
Trying to woo a nomadic people in the 9th Century was no easy task. Tinder wasn’t available yet and Terry Prone’s Communication Clinic was not as popular as it was to become in the next millennium. All the major players (Christian Rome/Constantinople, Muslim Cordoba/Baghdad and Rupert Murdoch’s Empire) invested a lot of time, silk and silver in trying to bring them into their fold. The Auction Politics of promises of tax cuts, improved services and a free iPad for everyone just didn’t wash with Khazars.
Then around 860ce the Khagan summoned emissaries’ from the respective “empires” to pitch their Religion to the Khazar people; they’d only ever known Tengri. At the time Islam was in the ascent, Christianity* had the reflected glory of Rome and Judaism was largely dispersed. That’s not to mention Buddhists and Zoroastrian’s.
Unbeknownst to the emissaries, the Khagan had already devised his manner of selection and how to establish the “facts”. He asked the Christians which of Islam or Judaism was the better faith. The Christians replied quickly that while both were inferior to Christianity, Islam was certainly the worst of the two. He then asked the Muslims to choose between Judaism and Christianity. The Muslims, having strong links to Judaism all the way back to the Prophets time in Medina, lambasted Christianity and stated the religion of the Israelite’s to be the better option.
The Khagan then dismissed the delegations, circumcised himself (yes, circumcised Himself) and then ordered all his people to do the same. The Khazars were from that day forward Jewish, the best option as stated by the delegates themselves.
So, how to best establish the “facts” when selecting who to give your vote? Well, I think you could do worse than pitching Fine Gael v Fianna Fail to a Sinn Fein representative and People Before Profit v Social Democrats to an Anti Austerity Alliance Canvasser. Throw Renua against Independent Alliance to a Green Party door stepper, etc. Try the process of self-deselecting politics.
In other words: Think Like a Khagan. After all, You are the King of your Castle.
Tony Groves Jan 2016
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* To give you an idea just how lucrative the friendship of the Khazars was the Roman’s sent none other than Constantine – better known as Cyril and from whom the Cyrillic Alphabet came – to persuade them to the side of Christ. But clearly it takes more than great oration to woo a Khagan.