Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Anarchist Encyclopedia: Babel (Tower of)

BABEL (Tower of)

The Tower of Babel was an immense tower that, according to the Bible, the sons of Noah wanted to raise in order to reach the heavens. God then annihilated this mad enterprise by the confusion of tongues. The word Babel or Tower of Babel has entered the language to designate either a gigantic construction, a confused mass of objects, a rash idea or enterprise, or a place where many languages are spoken, etc... ― There have been attempts to identify the Tower of Babel with different ruins, like that of Babil, north of Babylon, or that of Borsippa, to the south of Hillah, but nothing has come to confirm these conjectures. ― As it has come down to us, the legend of the Tower of Babel can be a lesson to us. It shows us that it is necessary, above all else, that the peoples regard one another fraternally. And it is less their different languages that are an obstacle to that, than the shifty diplomacies of their leaders. The peoples must learn to commune in a common ideal, that they strive to understand each other, and that they banish or punish all those who would ignite national discords. This is why an international language would be useful, and serve to suppress many misunderstandings between the peoples. (See Esperanto, Ida, International language.)

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