The Corner

Superstition Watch

One of the more absurd aspects of multiculturalism is the way that we are in the West are now meant to revere the ‘authentic’ wisdom of those parts of the world still mired in the backward traditions of the past. We swoon at the feet of shamans – basically conmen dressed in twigs. We look for enlightenment from the cults and superstitions of societies that are tens of thousands of years late in escaping the Stone Age.

Well, from the Independent, here’s a contemporary reminder of the barbarism from which the West has emerged (warning: the full text makes very unpleasant reading), albeit imperfectly:

“The practice of muti provides a disconcerting counterpoint to the contemporary image of the new South Africa. Dr Gerard Lubschagne, who heads the investigative psychology unit of the South African police service, conservatively estimates lives lost to ritual murders at between 50 to 300 every year.”

Time, I think, to dust off once again my copy of Lord of the Flies, to my mind one of the finest summaries of human nature ever written. And then there’s wise old Tom Hobbes…

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