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vendredi, 22 juillet 2016

In Search of Fascism

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In Search of Fascism

Review:

Fascism: The Career of a Concept, Paul E. Gottfried, Northern Illinois University Press, 256 pages

Ex: http://www.theamericanconservative.com

The term “fascism” is employed with such regular enthusiasm by everyone from political activists to celebrities and academics that our pundits could be forgiven for assuming that fascists lurk behind every corner and at every level of government. MSNBC host Keith Olbermann accused the Bush administration of fascism. Thomas Sowell has called President Obama a fascist. A quick online search yields accusations that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are fascists. The term “Islamofascism” circulates widely, and groups as dissimilar as campus Social Justice Warriors and the leaders of the National Rifle Association have been dubbed fascist.

It’s clear why fanatics or dogmatists would label their opponents with the f-word: rhetorical play scores political points. But is there ever any truth behind the label?

Paul Gottfried enters the semantic fray with a clarifying and elucidating new book, Fascism: The Career of a Concept. His study is not based on new archival finds. It’s not narrative history. It’s instead a comparative study of different treatments of fascism in which Gottfried discloses his preferred methodologies and favorite historians. Despite the prevalence of allegations of fascism, Gottfried submits that the only indisputable example of fascism in practice is Mussolini’s interwar Italy.

“This study will examine the semantic twists and turns undergone by the word fascism since the 1930s,” Gottfried explains. “Like other terms that have changed their meaning, such as conservatism and liberalism,” he continues, “fascism has been applied so arbitrarily that it may be difficult to deduce what it means without knowing the mindset of the speaker.”

The term fascism, as it has gained currency in our radio-television lexicon, lacks a clear referent. Its use reveals more about the speaker than about the signified phenomenon: the context in which the term is used can determine the speaker’s place on the left-right spectrum. “Fascism” has become a pejorative and disparaging marker for views a speaker dislikes; it’s a name that relegates the named to pariah status, provoking censorship and shaping basic notions about political figures and policies. “Fascism now stands,” Gottfried says, “for a host of iniquities that progressives, multiculturalists, and libertarians all oppose, even if they offer no single, coherent account of what they’re condemning.”

Gottfried is frustrated by the vagaries and false analogies resulting from the use of “fascism” as rhetorical weaponry. He criticizes “intellectuals and publicists” who are nominally antifascist yet “feel no obligation to provide a historically and conceptually delimited definition of their object of hate.”

Tracing the evolution of the meanings and representations of this political ideology in the works of numerous researchers, Gottfried’s study can seem, at times, like an amalgam of book reviews or bibliographical essays—or like several synopses strung together with his own comparative evaluations. Academics more than casual readers will appreciate these efforts to summarize the field, although anyone wishing to acquire a surface-level knowledge of this deep subject will come away edified.

foro.jpgSo what exactly is fascism? This question, Gottfried insists, “has sometimes divided scholars and has been asked repeatedly ever since Mussolini’s followers marched on Rome in October 1922.” Gottfried presents several adjectives, mostly gleaned from the work of others, to describe fascism: reactionary, counterrevolutionary, collectivist, authoritarian, corporatist, nationalist, modernizing, and protectionist. These words combine to form a unified sense of what fascism is, although we may never settle on a fixed definition because fascism has been linked to movements with various distinct characteristics. For instance, some fascists were Christian (e.g., the Austrian clerics or the Spanish Falange) and some were anti-Christian (e.g., the Nazis). There may be some truth to the “current equation of fascism with what is reactionary, atavistic, and ethnically exclusive,” Gottfried acknowledges, but that is only part of the story.

“The initial momentum for locating fascism on the counterrevolutionary Right,” writes Gottfried, “came from Marxists, who focused on the struggle between fascists and the revolutionary Left and the willingness of owners of forces of production to side with the fascists when faced by revolutionary threats.”

Fascism is not necessarily a creature of the counterrevolutionary right, however. Gottfried maps an alternative tradition that describes fascism as a leftist collectivist ideology. Fascism promoted welfare policies and thrived on revolutionary fervor. In the United States in the 1920s and ’30s, the progressives more than self-identified members of the right celebrated and admired European fascism. FDR praised and imitated Mussolini. Such details seem to substantiate the claim that fascism was intrinsically leftist, at least in the eyes of U.S. citizens who were contemporaries of interwar fascism. But, Gottfried notes, “Fascism drew its strength from the attempt to oppose the Left while taking over some of its defining characteristics.”

Gottfried’s book may not be intended as an antidote for the less rigorous and nakedly polemical Liberal Fascism. Unlike the author of that work, Jonah Goldberg, who seemed genuinely surprised by his discovery of what was in fact a well-documented connection between fascism and the left, Gottfried is characteristically measured and careful as he compares research rather than selectively and pugnaciously repurposing it. Gottfried is taken seriously by those who reject his own paleoconservatism—including those on the left who find his views unpalatable or downright offensive—because he doesn’t smear opponents or resort to knee-jerk, grandiose claims to shock or surprise.

Gottfried concludes that fascism is right-wing after all, not left-wing, even if its concrete manifestations have been more militant than traditional conservatism. Like traditional conservatives, fascists did not believe that government programs could alter human nature, and they saw little value in the human-rights mantras extolling the individual’s capacity for self-government.

Today the managerial state carries out leftist projects on behalf of equality and diversity, but that was not true for interwar European governments. Fascism was a product of the 20th century in which conservative adoration for aristocratic hierarchy seemed anachronistic and pragmatically useless as a political stratagem. Without an established aristocracy in their way, fascists constructed an artificial hierarchy to control the populace: a mythical and symbolic hierarchy attracted to the aesthetics of high modernism. The interwar fascists colored brute force with nationalist iconography and aestheticized violence as a cathartic and regenerative force against decadence.

Probably all treatments of “fascism” as a cohesive, homogeneous philosophy held together by likeminded adherents are wrong, incomplete, careless, or dishonest. Gottfried believes that the term “fascism” has undergone unwarranted manipulation since the German historian Ernst Nolte conflated fascism and Nazism in a manner that enabled less astute critics on “the multicultural Left” to justify “their attack on their opponents as Nazis and not simply generic fascists.”

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The failure or refusal to distinguish between totalizing, exterminatory Nazism and other, less extreme forms of fascism may signal the intentional propagation of a political agenda. Gottfried cautions against such politicization of history. “History,” he warns, “is of immediate practical interest to political partisans, and this affinity has allowed a contentious activity to be sometimes grossly abused.”

The popular embrace of incorrect or highly contested notions of fascism has generated media sensationalism about an ever-imminent fascist threat that must be eradicated. The media trope of looming fascism has provoked demands for the kinds of censorship and authoritarianism that, ironically, characterize the very fascism that supposedly needs to be eliminated. Gottfried’s study is too particular, nuanced, and multifaceted to be reduced to simple correctives for these mass-media trends. It is, however, a model for the type of work that can earn the right a hearing from more attentive audiences. Critiques of fascism from the right must follow Gottfried’s lead, not Goldberg’s, to attain credibility.

Allen Mendenhall is an assistant attorney general for the state of Alabama and an adjunct professor at Faulkner University and Huntingdon College. Views expressed in this review are his own and do not reflect those of his employer.

Où va l’histoire (de l’homme)? La réponse de Rémi Brague

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Où va l’histoire (de l’homme)?

La réponse de Rémi Brague

par Pierre Le Vigan,

auteur , essayiste

Ex: http://metamag.fr

Pierre Le Vigan, est architecte, urbaniste, diplômé en psychopathologie et en histoire ; il est l’auteur de plusieurs livres et a participé à plusieurs ouvrages collectifs dont le Liber amicorum Alain de Benoist (2003 et 2014). Il a notamment publié «L’Effacement du politique / La philosophie politique et la genèse de l’impuissance de l’Europe».

bragueliv424a0de4ff102ff249de94.jpgIl n’y a qu’une chose qui ne soit pas très pertinente dans le livre d’entretien du professeur Rémi Brague avec Giulio Brotti, c’est le titre. Il ne s’agit pas de savoir « où va l’histoire ». Car l’histoire n’est pas un véhicule, c’est le réseau même des routes possibles. C’est la carte. Il s’agit de savoir, non où va l’histoire, mais où va l’homme.

Il s’agit de savoir où nous allons, juchés sur le véhicule que nous avons-nous même construit, et sur lequel nous avons décidé de nous arrimer, et qui est la modernité. Une modernité « tardive », comme disait Friedrich Schiller, mais qui tarde en tout cas à se terminer. Elle se retourne sur elle-même pour mieux reprendre de l’élan, et ne cesse de détruire ses propres fondements : la croyance en l’homme, au progrès, en l’universalisme. La modernité, tardive ou hyper, est une machine en apparence folle. Mais est-elle si folle ? Elle a sa logique. Elle est en fait autophage.

Dans les lignes qui suivent, nous serons moins dans la digestion, c’est-à- dire la paraphrase, que dans l’inclusion, c’est à dire le commentaire, que Rémi Brague qualifie comme « le modèle européen de l’appropriation culturelle ».

L’entretien avec Rémi Brague porte sur l’esprit de notre temps. Il déroule la question : pouvons-nous continuer l’homme si nous ne croyons plus en l’homme ? En d’autres termes, si nous ne savons plus quelle est la place que nous avons à tenir sur terre, si nous ne croyons plus à notre part de responsabilité, si notre présence au monde ne relève plus que du ludique, à quoi bon poursuivre l’homme ? On objectera que, justement, les hommes sont de plus en plus nombreux. Mais l’humanité est par là même de plus en plus fragile, et de plus en plus menacée de perdre son humanité.

Il y a de plus en plus d’hommes ? Mais ne seront-ils pas de moins en moins humains ? On peut appeler cela « oubli de l’être ». Il ne s’agit pas d’un énième « c’était mieux avant » ou de quelque chose comme « l’oubli de son parapluie », comme dit plaisamment R. Brague. Il s’agit de l’oubli de ce que l’être peut manifester. De ce qu’il peut dévoiler. D’abord lui-même. La question est : qu’est-ce que nous avons oublié ? Et nous pouvons déjà avancer quelques éléments de réponse. Que l’historicité de l’homme n’est pas seulement le « tout passe ». Qu’il y a des permanences, celles que les religions et les philosophies explorent, chacune à leur façon.

Pour comprendre la place de l’homme dans le monde, il faut tenter de comprendre le sens de l’histoire humaine. « Le sens de l’histoire » est le titre d’un livre de Nicolas Berdiaev. Cela ne veut pas dire que l’histoire n’a qu’une direction mais cela signifie qu’elle n’est pas absurde, insensée. Il nous arrive ce qui nous ressemble. Comprendre le sens de l’histoire nécessite de comprendre l’histoire de la pensée. Rémi Brague souligne que nous avons longtemps sous-estimé intellectuellement le Moyen Age. Nous sommes passés des Antiques aux Renaissants, directement. Or, comprendre la pensée nécessite de comprendre le moment central du Moyen Age. Au moins dix siècles. Car, comme le remarquait Etienne Gilson, la Renaissance est toute entière dans la continuité du Moyen Age. C’est « le Moyen Age sans Dieu », disait encore Gilson. Ce qui, à la manière de Hegel, doit, du reste, être compris non comme un manque mais comme l’intégration d’une négativité.

brague070408771.jpgJustement, sans Dieu, comment fonder la morale ? « Que dois-je faire ? » s’interroge Rémi Brague à la suite de Kant. L’idée du « bien faisable », idée d’Aristote, suffit pour cela. Mais comment hisser les hommes au niveau nécessaire pour que l’humanité ait un sens ? En d’autres termes, la morale n’est pas qu’une question de pratique. Il est besoin de ce que Kant appelait une raison pure pratique. Sa forme moderne pourrait sans doute être définie comme une esthétique de la morale, telle qu’on la trouva chez Nietzsche, ou encore, très récemment, avec Dominique Venner.

Pour cela, c’est l’idée platonicienne du Bien (difficile ici d’éviter la majuscule) qui est nécessaire. Cette idée du Bien rejoint celle du Vrai, du Beau et celle de l’Un : c’est la convertibilité des transcendances, expliquée par Philippe Le Chancelier et d’autres théologiens du Moyen Age. C’est leur équivalence, qui n’est pas leur identité mais est leur correspondance (l’analogie avec les correspondances de métro serait ici à la fois triviale et parfaitement adaptée). Le Bien, le Beau, le Vrai sont différentes formes d’une même hypostase, telle est l’idée néo-platonicienne que l’on trouve chez Flavius Saloustios, un des « intellectuels d’État » de Julien l’Apostat, le rénovateur du paganisme. N’ayant précisément pas eu lieu durablement, la restauration du paganisme laisse dissociés le beau, le vrai, le bien (ou encore le bon). D’où un malaise dans l’homme.

On rencontre parfois l’idée que la genèse de la modernité vient, avec Copernic, de la fin de la position centrale de l’homme. Ce n’est pourtant pas la même chose que la fin du géocentrisme et la fin de l’anthropocentrisme. Mais Brague soutient qu’il n’y a pas eu de fin de l’anthropocentrisme car il n’y avait pas d’anthropocentrisme. L’homme antique ne se voyait pas dans une position centrale, mais au sein d’un système du vivant. Voilà la thèse de Brague.

Est-ce si sûr ? « Mais que l’homme soit un animal politique à un plus haut degré qu’une abeille quelconque ou tout autre animal vivant à l’état grégaire, cela est évident. La nature en effet, selon nous, ne fait rien en vain, et l’homme de tous les animaux possède la parole. Or tandis que la voix sert à indiquer la joie et la peine, et appartient pour ce motif aux autres animaux également (car leur nature va jusqu’à éprouver les sensations de plaisir et de douleur, et à se les signifier les uns aux autres), le discours sert à exprimer l’utile et le nuisible et, par suite aussi le juste et l’injuste. Car c’est le caractère propre de l’homme par rapport aux autres animaux, d’être le seul à avoir le sentiment du bien et du mal, du juste et de l’injuste, et des autres notions morales, et c’est la communauté de ces sentiments qui engendre famille et cité » (Politiques I, 2).

A partir d’Aristote, n’y a-t- il pas anthropocentrisme même si l’homme n’est pas en surplomb, même s’il ne lui est pas demandé d’agir « comme maître et possesseur de la nature », comme régisseur du vivant, mais bien plutôt de le ménager, d’en prendre soin ? (le christianisme de François d’Assise ne sera d’ailleurs pas loin de cette vision). L’anthropocentrisme n’est pas la dévoration du monde par l’homme, tant que la modernité ne se déchaîne pas. Tant qu’elle reste « modérément moderne ».

Le contraire de l’anthropocentrisme, c’est l’homme dans le flux du vivant. Nous sommes d’ailleurs revenus à cela avec Michel Foucault et la fin de la sacralisation de l’homme et de sa centralité. Le paradoxe est que nous sommes dans une société du contrat au moment où notre sociologie et le structuralisme tardif nous expliquent que le sujet n’en est pas vraiment un et que, somme toute, l’homme n’existe pas mais est « agi » par des forces et structures qui le dépassent. Dès lors, nous quittons la modernité classique pour autre chose. Ce que met à mal la culture post-moderne (ne faudrait-il pas plutôt parler d’idéologie, terme nullement dépréciateur dureste ?) c’est, nous dit Rémi Brague, trois choses : l’historicité, la subjectivité de l’homme, la vérité.

braguegrec081217867.jpgNous avons aboli le monde vrai et la distinction entre vrai et faux, nous avons aboli le sujet et nous avons aboli le propre de l’homme qui est d’être un être historique. En d’autres termes, « l’homme est mort » – et pas seulement « Dieu est mort » (ce que Nietzsche constatait avec déploration, craignant que nous ne soyons pas à la hauteur du défi)). Dieu est mort et l’homme est mort. Et l’un est peut-être la conséquence de l’autre, suggèreRémi Brague. La sociobiologie a pris la place de l’histoire, la sociologie a pris la place du sujet (« les sciences humaines naturalisent l’histoire » explique Brague), la sophistique postmoderne a pris la place de la vérité, ou tout du moins de sa recherche. Les Anciens (on est Anciens jusqu’à la Révolution française, hantée elle-même par l’Antiquité) voulaient améliorer l’homme. Nous voulons maintenant le changer. Nous oscillons entre le rêve transhumaniste, qui n’est autre qu’un posthumanisme, et une postmodernité liquide qui relève d’un pur vitalisme dont l’une des formes fut, disons-le sans tomber dans le point Godwin ou reductio ad hitlerum, le national-socialisme. ( comme le montre très bien la confrontation des textes de Werner Best, doctrinaire nazi du droit, et de Carl Schmitt, in Carl Schmitt, Guerre discriminatoire et logique des grands espaces, éditions Krisis, 2011, préface de Danilo Zolo, notes et commentaires de Günter Maschke, traduction de François Poncet. On y voit que Best critique Schmitt au nom d’un vitalisme que Schmitt refuse d’adopter. Dont acte. Face à ce double risque de liquéfaction ou de fuite en avant transhumaniste, Rémi Brague rappelle le besoin de fondements qui nomme métaphysiques mais qui ne viennent pas forcément « après » la physique, dans la mesure où ils donnent sens àl’horizon même du monde physique. Rémi Brague appelle cela des « ancres dans le ciel » (titre d’un de ses précédents ouvrages).

L’image est belle. Elle contient par la même une vérité. Elle va au-delà de la révélation chrétienne, qui peut sans doute en être une des formes. Mais certainement pas la seule. Heidegger parlait de « marcher à l’étoile ». Une autre façon d’avoir une ancre dans le ciel.

Rémi Brague, Où va l’histoire ? Entretiens avec Giulio Brotti, éditions Salvator, 184 pages, 20 €

Source

 

mardi, 19 juillet 2016

Anglo-American Diversity

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Anglo-American Diversity

It is often said that Diversity is Our Greatest Strength™. It is also often said that White people have no culture. So it follows—by the logic of the left—that White people are not diverse, since diversity is largely used as a synonym for multiculturalism. We know of course that when people speak of diversity, however, it just means less White people. While it is debatable for the critical thinker to what degree diversity is useful and what kinds of diversity are in fact beneficial, there is no doubt on the alt-right that ethnic or racial pluralism is a source of tension and conflict in society and undermines cohesion and trust. We also reject the idea that the English-speaking European people of North America have no culture as rank bigotry. I cannot think of a single way one could reasonably define culture while excluding two hundred million people and the majority population of one of the world’s largest and most influential countries. To do so requires a radical re-interpretation of culture that is likely riddled with contradictions.

Even during the height of European imperialism—when it was broadly acknowledged that some societies were inferior to others—there was substantial interest in how otherized and primitive societies functioned and studies were undertaken to learn how they worked and how their people lived. In other words, some of the most prejudiced people to have ever lived could acknowledge that the people they deemed inferior had culture and found it valuable to study. It is really only our contemporary leftists aping as aristocrats who deem everything outside their ideological borders as nihil.

But to be frank, they are just stupid. Very stupid. I could form an argument about how there are (((cultural marxist))) influences at work here going back to the 1930s aimed at making us hate our folk and traditions, and New Left influences going back to the 1960s glorifying the struggle and identity of people of color against Whites, but that is old hat and too sophisticated a response to one of the most banal and canned responses that liberals have about White identity in the United States. It is sufficient to say that anyone who espouses the notion is probably more of an idiot than evil.

Furthering the idiocy hypothesis is the rampant historical illiteracy in this country among all races and the way in which our past is taught to us. In primary education, we learn a liberal, civic nationalist, and teleological interpretation of US history that goes something like this:

  • People fleeing religious persecution and looking for economic opportunity came to the New World.
  • The British were mean to them and they declared independence.
  • Also black slavery. Those racist colonists wanted freedom for themselves but not anyone else.
  • Not everyone could vote, because racism and sexism.
  • After the Civil War, when people who wanted slaves fought people who wanted trve freedom, the slaves were finally free, but not really because of racism and segregation.
  • Blacks get the right to vote but aren’t allowed to because racism.
  • Immigrants came to America and were treated badly, but they became Americans in the end so it was bad that they were treated badly since that was bad.
  • People from Asia were banned from immigrating to the United States at some point a while ago. That was racist. It took a long time for the ban to be lifted.
  • Women finally get the right to vote in the early 20th century.
  • America fought for freedom in the two World Wars but denied it to African Americans at home because of racism.
  • After the Civil Rights Movement and the election of our first black president, we have made so much progress from our dark and racist past! Such freedom very equality.

Civic nationalism and the march of progress are not ethno-national narratives. In terms of identity, very little attention is given to the base population of the United States, British people, and thereafter the broader White category, which assimilated subsequent European immigrant populations. These only matter episodically according to the civic nationalist, who doesn’t care about them being replaced, only that they became American (which of course has no definition beyond a set of shared values and no ethnic component). And to the leftist, White people are a collective of homogeneous scum who oppress people of color and deserve what’s coming. Race does matter, just not ours.

Even if you buy that White people are bad and diversity is good, there is still a powerful ignorance being espoused. Though the founding stock of this country was overwhelmingly British, within that context there was substantial cultural as well as ethnic heterogeneity that continues to have an impact on American culture and society. Ironically, we wuz diverse. And in a lot of ways, we frankly still are. This is something given very little attention in the Pilgrims–>taxation without representation–>American Revolution against tyranny–>African slavery—>Civil Rights movement narrative, but it is critically important to the history of the United States and Anglo-American culture. What are we meant to learn from history if not our origins? If the only answer to the question, “Who are you?” is “I am an American,” you are either ill-informed or were born before 1960.

The best book I have ever read on the subject of European diversity in the foundations of the United States is Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, which was written by American historian David Hackett Fischer in 1989. Briefly, I wish to provide a survey of the four classifications given in Albion’s Seed, to highlight the intra-racial diversity within the White population that created the United States, something which should theoretically not exist if White people are not diverse. It should be noted that like all classifications of human populations, these are more general than specific:

Puritans

Major areas of settlement: New England
Origins: southeast England (especially East Anglia)
Migration period: 1629–1640
General values: order, theocracy, legalism
Brief description: The Puritans came to build their own little Zion and build it they did. For over a century, this radical Protestant sect demographically dominated New England and built and controlled its institutions. Due to immigration, their region would ultimately become Catholic majority, but retained many features of the old stock. They believed in a concept of ordered liberty and broadcasting their values to the world (signaling), and their successors would carry that tradition on through movements like abolitionism, feminism and the “civil rights” movement. The parts of this country settled by Puritans or later settled by their descendants would form the core of Republican support in the latter 19th century and switch to Democrats in the 20th, largely remaining so to this day.

Cavaliers

Major areas of settlement: Chesapeake Bay / Tidewater, and expanding into the coastal South
Origins: south and west England
Migration period: 1642–1675
General values: hierarchy, honor
Brief description: To Virginia went many second sons of the nobility and their indentured servants (and later, African slaves), where a free man could hope to own vastly larger estates than he would in England and rule over a larger household. Aristocratic conceptions of social organization and liberty went with them; they were royalists during the English Civil War, and many were sympathetic to the Crown during the War of Independence. On the other hand, the region produced many of the nation’s Founding Fathers, who saw their liberty, i.e. property, as threatened by British taxes.

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Quakers

Major areas of settlement: Delaware Valley and Pennsylvania, later into parts of the Midwest
Origins: northern England / Midlands, Germany, distant Scandinavian roots
Migration period: 1675–1715
General values: equality, tolerance
Brief description: The “Friends” migrated to the Delaware Valley with the intention of building a society that would tolerate all Christian sects, especially their own. The Quakers became a minority in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Jersey fairly quickly owing to the odd combination of their openness to outsiders and strict religion. Many of their values survived and were adopted by the heterogeneous European population that came to inhabit their settlements and later expanded into the Midwest.

Borderers

Major areas of settlement: the former “backcountry,” Appalachia, the Southern highlands; later parts of Texas, the Southwest and California
Origins: generally “Northern Britain,” i.e. the English border counties, the Scottish Lowlands, and Ulster
Migration period: 1717–1775
General values: autonomy, honor, xenophobia
Brief description: Often self-identifying as “Scotch-Irish” in the United States to differentiate themselves from later waves of Irish Catholics, this mongrel tribe of Anglo-Americans was “diverse” from the outset. Upon landing in the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic colonies, they made their way west where they could live as far from central authority as possible and regulate their own affairs. Their homeland—along the fringes of England, Ireland and Scotland—had known a millennium of violence and they lived as a martial people who would not only become a buffer against the Indians of our continent, but ultimately subdue them. From the late 1600s until 1815, the Borderers experienced a war each generation. And they have since supported every war the United States has fought in, though not necessarily supporting starting the wars. Jim Webb, a former Democratic senator from Virginia who ran for that party’s nomination in 2016 before becoming swiftly disillusioned with where it had gone in the current, has written an excellent book on them called Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America.

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Now, one could argue that the origins of these peoples and the regional cultures of the United States don’t matter, since they all became “Americans” or “White people.” But that’s kind of like saying the ethnic and cultural groups of China don’t matter since they are all “Chinese” or “Asian people.” Imagine if this logic were applied to the hundred ethnic groups of Tanzania? Leftists would never say this about any group other than Anglo-Americans.

But of course, the origins of these people do matter; the origins of all people matter. At a population-wide level, they inform the general attitudes and behaviors of their members, socially, politically, culturally, aesthetically, economically, judicially, etc. They set standards that newcomers either acclimate to or clash with. To ignore origins and kinship, and reduce people to pure materialism or geographic determinism—or any other euphorically progressive canard that insists on the tabula rasa—is to signal status and profess ignorance. You are just so enlightened and brave for denying the existence of tribal in-groups (for White people). Ironically, deracinated White leftists are their own distinct ethno-cultural group, just not a very fit one in the Darwinian sense. In other words, White Mormons will survive the racial collapse of the United States while SWPLs will be hit hardest.

Anglo-Americans (in both the British sense and the Anglophone European sense) were heterogeneous in their origins, and retain substantial diversity today, especially with regard to culture, politics, and the like. If diversity is a strength, we certainly have it, and our regional and subcultural stereotypes confirm it. From SWPLS to WASPs, from rednecks to hipsters, from the Irish-Italian-German-Polish mishmash of lower and middle-class White city dwellers to the huwhyter-than-thou suburbs, from the Yankee to the Southron, we already have diversity, and lo and behold, it is a source of social and political conflict. Does anyone sincerely believe that on top of that intra-racial diversity that somehow increasing multi-racial diversity is going to build a better society?

The debate over diversity in America and White identity underscores the need for us to take our own side. No one else is going to stick up for us; not constitutional conservatives and certainly not non-whites. Anglo-Americans must stand up and assert collective racial interests like every other group does. Survival in a multi-ethnic and multiracial polity demands that we do this, not out of any desire to preserve the American empire but to ensure we have a future on this continent. When those hostile to us say stand and deliver, we must say no, regardless of our regional affiliations or differing European ancestries.

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samedi, 16 juillet 2016

From Churchill to Blair: How British Leaders Have Destroyed Iraq for Over a Century

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From Churchill to Blair: How British Leaders Have Destroyed Iraq for Over a Century

Ex: http://www.counterpunch.org

After seven years, the Chilcot report has delivered a damning verdict on Tony Blair’s role in the war on Iraq, but British Prime Ministers playing a destructive role in Iraq is a centuries old practice.

Britain has used its military might and commercial prowess to subjugate Iraq and control its oil resources for over one hundred years.

Churchill invented Iraq. The end of World War I left Britain and France in command of the Middle East and the allies carved up the region as the defeated Ottoman Empire fell apart. Winston Churchill convened the 1912 Conference in Cairo to determine the boundaries of the British Middle Eastern mandate. After giving Jordan to Prince Abdullah, Churchill, gave Prince Abdullah’s brother Faisal an arbitrary patch of desert that became Iraq.

Historian Michael R. Burch recalls how the huge zigzag in Jordan’s eastern border with Saudi Arabia has been called “Winston’s Hiccup” or “Churchill’s Sneeze” because Churchill carelessly drew the expansive boundary after a generous lunch.

Churchill’s imperial foreign policy has caused a century of instability in Iraq by arbitrarily locking together three warring ethnic groups that have been bleeding heavily ever since. In Iraq, Churchill bundled together the three Ottoman vilayets of Basra that was predominantly Shiite, Baghdad that was Sunni, and Mosul that was mainly Kurd.

Britain set up a colonial regime in Iraq. British oppression in Iraq intensified and an uprising in May 1920 united Sunni and Shia against the British. Winston Churchill, the responsible cabinet minister, took almost a decade to brutally quash the uprising leaving 9,000 Iraqis dead.

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Churchill ordered punitive village burning expeditions and air attacks to shock and awe the population. The British air force bombed not only military targets but civilian areas as well. British government policy was to kill and wound women and children so as to intimidate the population into submission.

Churchill also authorized the use of chemical weapons on innocent Iraqis.

In 1919 Churchill remarked, “I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes… It will cause great inconvenience and spread a lively terror”.

Churchill, saw Iraq as an experiment in aerial technological colonial control as a cheaper way to patrol the over-extended empire. Almost one hundred years since Churchill sought the use of aerial technology to cling onto influence over a restive Iraq, Blair’s government began flying deadly drones over Baghdad and Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

To Britain’s imperial Prime Ministers, aviation has always promised to be the trump card, the guaranteed way of keeping native peoples and their resources under control. Arthur “Bomber” Harris, who was to lead the aerial bombardment of Germany 20 years after bombing Iraq, boasted that he had taught Iraqis “that within 45 minutes a full-sized village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or wounded”.

The British Royal Air Force maintained its military control over Iraq until World War II, even after Iraqi independence in 1932. Despite formal independence, British political and economic influence in Iraq barely receded.

Britain’s relationship with Iraq has always revolved around the issue of oil. Churchill viewed Iraq as an important gateway to Britain’s Indian colony and oil as the lifeblood for Britain’s Imperial Navy.

Britain established the Iraq Petroleum Company (IPC) as the vehicle through which Iraqi oil would be exploited. British Petroleum (BP), or the Anglo-Persian Oil Company as it was known back then, was also heavily involved in plundering Iraqi oil.

British oilmen benefited incalculably from Iraq’s puppet regime until the Iraqi masses rose up against British influence. This led to the Iraq revolution of 1958 and the rise and eventual Presidency of Saddam Hussein.

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British and US intelligence helped Saddam’s Ba`ath Party seize power for the first time in 1963. Ample new evidence shows that Saddam was on the CIA payroll as early as 1959, when he was part of a failed assassination attempt against Iraqi leader Abd al-Karim Qassem. During the 1980s, the United States and Britain backed Saddam in the war against Iran, providing Iraq with weapons, funding, intelligence, and even biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction.

In 2003 the Guardian reported that a chemical plant, which the United States said was a key component in Iraq’s chemical warfare arsenal, was secretly built by Britain in 1985 behind the backs of the Americans. Documents show British ministers knew at the time that the $14 million dollar British taxpayer funded plant, called Falluja 2, was likely to be used for mustard and nerve gas production.

British relations with Saddam Hussein only began to sour when Hussein nationalized the Iraq Petroleum Company in 1972. As a result of Iraq’s oil revenues finally flowing directly into the Iraqi Treasury, the nation experienced a massive windfall when oil prices quadrupled in 1973.

battle4_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Iraqi nation grew increasingly wealthy, as oil revenues rose from $500 million in 1972 to over $26 billion in 1980, an increase of almost 50 times in nominal terms.

During the 1990’s, Britain supported severe economic sanctions against Iraq because of Saddam’s increasing resource nationalism. The United Nations estimated that 1.7 million Iraqis died as a result of the sanctions. Five hundred thousand of these victims were children.

The British and American sanctions on Iraq killed more civilians than the entirety of chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons used in human history.

Glaring similarities between Britain’s 1917 occupation of Iraq and the modern military debacle in Iraq are too salient to dismiss or to ignore.

They told us that Iraq was a nuclear threat; Iraq was a terrorist state; Iraq was tied to Al Qaeda. It all amounted to nothing. Since the 2003 invasion, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died and over a million have been displaced because of this lie.

Prior to 2003, Iraq had zero recorded suicide bombings. Since 2003, over a thousand suicide bombs have killed 12,000 innocent Iraqis.

Tony Blair recently admitted to CNN that the 2003 invasion of Iraq played a part in the rise of the Islamic State militant group, and apologized for some mistakes in planning the war.

It is important to note that Al Qaeda in Iraq did not exist prior to the British-American invasion and that terror organization eventually became ISIS.

Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means an abbreviation of “the database” in Arabic, was originally an American computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists, who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, in order to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan.

Blair’s legacy in Iraq is ISIS. Blair has recently called ISIS the “greatest threat” faced by Britain.

Shortly after British general Stanley Maude’s troops captured Baghdad in 1917, he announced, “our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.”

Almost a century later in 2003 Tony Blair said, “Our forces are friends and liberators of the Iraqi people, not your conquerors. They will not stay a day longer than is necessary”.

History has a habit of repeating itself, albeit with slightly different characters and different nuances. Iraq may well go down in history as Britain’s greatest longstanding foreign policy failure.

Garikai Chengu is a scholar at Harvard University. Contact him on garikai.chengu@gmail.com.

 
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vendredi, 15 juillet 2016

Les pilotes du Maréchal Pétain

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Les pilotes du Maréchal Pétain

La force aérienne de la France de Vichy

Par Erich Körner-Lakatos

On connait le destin tragique de la flotte française après la défaite de 1940. Selon l’article 8 de la convention d’armistice, Paris n’a pas été obligé de livrer sa flotte mais devait empêcher que celle-ci ne tombe en des mains étrangères. Winston Churchill s’était méfié de cette disposition et ordonna la destruction de la flotte française qui mouillait en Algérie. Le 3 juillet 1940, dans le port de Mers-el-Kébir, un combat inégal s’est joué qui coûta la vie à 1297 marins français. L’agresseur britannique n’a eu à déplorer que des pertes très minimes. En guise de vengeance, des escadrilles d’appareils de la marine française (80 avions en trois vagues d’assaut) couvrent Gibraltar d’un tapis de bombes. Le 24 septembre, Vichy lance une deuxième attaque aérienne contre le rocher aux singes.

La tentative allemande de s’emparer du reste de la flotte française, le 27 novembre 1942, se soldera également par un échec.

Mais qu’en fut-il de l’armée de l’air du gouvernement du Maréchal Pétain ? Depuis Mers-el-Kébir, les relations entre Londres et Vichy sont mauvaises, ce qui conduit à quelques combats acharnés contre les Britanniques ou les Américains, parfois aussi contre des pilotes rangés sous la bannière de De Gaulle dans les FAFL (les « Forces Aériennes de la France Libre »). Passons en revue quelques-uns de ces faits de guerre.

Les Britanniques voulaient prendre le contrôle de la Syrie sous mandat français. A la fin du printemps de 1941, les forces de Vichy affrontent les soldats de Londres. A la fin du mois de mai, Pétain ordonne le transfert en Syrie de l’escadrille GC-III/6 comprenant quelque vingt Dewoitine D-520 (l’appareil le plus moderne de son Armée de l’air). Ils quittent l’Algérie pour la Syrie en passant par la Turquie, où deux de ces avions s’écrasent au sol. L’escadrille est malchanceuse : elle perd son as, le Capitaine Emile Jacobi, abattu au combat le 10 juin.

Trois appareils britanniques de type Bristol Blenheim attaquent le 5 juin 1941 l’aérodrome d’Alep et détruisent au sol plusieurs Fiat CR-42 italiens, avant d’être mis en fuite par trois chasseurs Morane-Saulnier 406. Le 21 juin, la 4ème Brigade de Cavalerie britannique marque son intention de s’emparer de Palmyre. La première progression de cette unité est stoppée par des attaques virulentes de bombardiers Martin 167F de l’aviation de Vichy. Dans les combat pour défendre la Syrie, les forces de Vichy perdent 31 appareils, les alliés, officiellement, au moins 27. Pierre Le Gloan, as de l’aviation de Vichy dans la 5ème Escadrille du Groupe de Chasse résiste jusqu’au 5 juillet en enregistrant sept victoire confirmées et deux probables.

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A partir du 5 mai 1942, la colonie française de Madagascar fait l’objet d’une attaque britannique, parce que Londres craignait que les Japonais parviennent à s’emparer de l’île, à s’y incruster et à contrôler l’ensemble du territoire maritime de l’Océan Indien. Les combats seront acharnés et se prolongeront jusqu’au 8 novembre, jusqu’à la victoire des Britanniques. Les forces de Vichy, en charge de défendre l’île, sont commandées par le Gouverneur-Général Armand Léon Annet, à la tête de 8000 soldats dont environ 6000 Malgaches. Pour appuyer ces troupes au sol, Annet dispose de 17 chasseurs MS-406, de 10 appareils de reconnaissance de type Potez-63 et de quelques Potez-25. Entre le 5 et le 7 mai 1942, les chasseurs britanniques basés sur les porte-avions Illustrious et Indomitable descendent quatre Potez-25 et trois MS-406. Au moment de la capitulation des Vichystes, il ne restera plus qu’un seul MS-406 et un seul Potez-63 capables d’être opérationnels.

Le 8 novembre 1942, 107.000 soldats anglais et américains débarquent sur les côtes du Maroc et de l’Algérie, lors de l’Opération « Torch ». En quelques endroits, les Vichystes opposent une âpre résistance. Leur Armée de l’air est basé à Marrakech, Meknès, Agadir, Casablanca et Rabat : en tout, ils disposent de 86 chasseurs et de 78 bombardiers. Outre les appareils de production française, comme les MS-406, cette aviation du Maroc dispose d’appareils américains comme les bombardiers Martin et Douglas et les chasseurs de type Curtiss P-36. Ce sont souvent des modèles trop anciens mais ils sont servis par des pilotes expérimentés et demeurent, de ce fait, redoutables.

A 7h30, les appareils américains F4F Wildcat attaquent l’aérodrome de Rabat et détruisent neuf bombardiers français. Près de Casablanca, des appareils SBD Dauntless attaquent en piqué le navire de combat Jean Bart et lui causent de solides avaries.

Mais les Vichystes vont contre-attaquer : depuis Oran une escadrille de chasseurs prend à partie un groupe de bombardiers-torpilleurs anglais. Une unité de Dewoitine D-520 attaquent des avions de transport britanniques qui véhiculent des parachutistes américains. Trois C47 sont abattus, de même que six bombardiers-torpilleurs Fairey-Albacore et quelques chasseurs qui les accompagnaient. Les Français perdent quatre appareils. Quelques LEO (Lioré & Olivier) 451, des bombardiers légers, tentent une attaque contre les troupes américaines qui débarquaient. Mais ils sont interceptés par des chasseurs britanniques de types Hurricane et Seafire. Le bilan de ce 8 novembre algérien et marocain : les Vichystes perdent treize appareils et abattent officiellement 17 avions ennemis. Trois autres appareils anglo-américains sont perdus mais sans qu’une victoire puisse être revendiquée.

Le héros du jour est le Lieutenant Georges Blanck du GC-I/3 qui a eu trois victoires confirmées et deux autres probables. Quand les combats au Maroc et en Algérie cessent à la mi-novembre, les Vichystes ne disposent plus que de 37 chasseurs et 40 bombardiers.

Conclusion : l’Armée de l’air du Maréchal Pétain a pu revendiquer 125 victoires confirmées dans sa lutte contre les Anglo-Américains.

Erich Körner-Lakatos.

(article paru dans « zur Zeit », Vienne, n°25/2016, http://www.zurzeit.at ).

Les soucis de Pétain en Indochine

En Extrême-Orient, les Français sont restés jusqu’au bout fidèles à Vichy. En 1940, cependant, ils ont dû laisser les Japonais utiliser leurs aérodromes. Vichy ne disposait en Indochine que de quelques MS-406, auxquels il faut ajouter trois Potez-63, des chasseurs lourds, semblables au Me110 allemand, quatre bombardiers de type Farman F221 et trois avions de reconnaissance Potez-540. Le 25 septembre 1940, un combat aérien oppose Français et Japonais.

Laos_1941-46.pngLa Thaïlande, qui s’appelait alors le Siam, voit arriver, fin 1940, l’heure de la revanche. En effet, l’humiliante politique de la canonnière, pratiquée par les Français dans la région en 1893, avait conduit à la défaite des Siamois. Au début du mois de janvier 1941, les Thaïs attaquent avec deux divisions, soit 60.000 hommes et 130 chars. Les Français de Vichy sont commandés par l’Amiral Jean Decoux. Ils sont obligés de battre en retraite. L’aviation siamoise bombarde Hanoi le 11 janvier 1941. Les chasseurs de Vichy interceptent les avions thaïlandais et abattent trois chasseurs ennemis et un bombardier. Mais ils perdent également trois appareils.

Les Français ne sont vainqueurs que sur mer, lors de la petite bataille navale qui se déroule le 17 janvier devant Koh Chang, l’île aux éléphants dans la partie orientale du Golfe du Siam. Le croiseur Lamotte-Picquet a eu beau jeu avec ses huit canons de 155 mm.

Les Japonais jouent alors les conciliateurs et, lors du Traité de Tokyo du 9 mai 1941, Bangkok reçoit l’ouest du Laos, avec l’ancienne ville royale de Luang Prabang, ainsi que la province cambodgienne de Battambang, si bien que le territoire thaïlandais s’étendra, pendant la durée de la guerre, quasiment jusqu’aux ruines d’Angkor.

EKL.

jeudi, 14 juillet 2016

The Feminist Mystique

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The Feminist Mystique

Editor’s Note:

This is the transcript by V. S. of Richard Spencer’s Vanguard Podcast interview of Jonathan Bowden about feminism. You can listen to the podcast here [2]

Richard Spencer: Hello, everyone! Today it’s great to welcome back to the program our friend and contributor Jonathan Bowden. Jonathan, thanks for being back with us! How are things over on your side of the Atlantic?

Jonathan Bowden: Yes, a bit frigid, a bit cold these days, but probably nothing to what it’s like on your side. But otherwise well.

RS: Excellent. Today we are going to talk about another big and important issue for our movement, and that is feminism. It’s obviously an issue of major importance for the world as well.

Jonathan, what makes feminism so complicated and interesting is that it’s had all of these various waves, as they call them, and they’ve often put forward contradictory philosophies and objectives. But maybe that’s what’s made feminism so long lasting and powerful in a way.

To get the conversation started, just talk about that initial impulse towards feminism, where it was coming from, where do you think it cropped up first. What’s sort of the first first-wave, so to speak, of feminism? Do you think this was with women’s suffrage or was it with one of the many liberal revolutions that occurred in Europe over the course of the 19th century? Where do you think that original urge came from?

JB: That’s a complicated and quite a difficult one. Textually, it goes back to Mary Wollstonecraft’s The Rights of Women as against Tom Paine’s Rights of Man produced in a similar timeframe at the beginning of the 19th century and sort of coming out of the later end of the 18th century. She was part of a radical ferment of opinion around William Godwin and his extended family into which she was intermarried.

But the political drift of feminism in its first wave that’s discernible has to be in and around the Great War, 1914–1918 in Europe, and just after where you have a militant movement for women’s suffrage concentrating on the vote but often extending out into other areas and you have that split between two wings. Those who would pursue purely non-violent means, who’ve been largely forgotten by history, the suffragists, and those who were prepared to use direct action, and indeed even violence, to get their way, the suffragettes, who are the ones who history remembers. They are the ones who were force-fed in prison. They are the ones who chained themselves to railings. They are the ones who assaulted police officers. They are the ones who threw themselves in front of derby winners, and some were trampled to death on news reels of the time to great and extended excitement and social convulsion.

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So, that was the first wave, which then fed into the swinging 1920s as Europe and the West relaxed into a hedonistic decade after the slaughter of the Great War and prior to the coming depression of the ’30s.

Second-wave feminism, as it is called, is co-relative to the ’60s and has a whole new generation, skipping out several generations, in actual fact, between the first and the second waves. The second wave is notorious for its theorists and its polemics and its going outside the box of what is understood to be political and looking at all areas of life often in a rather caustic and adversarial way.

Culturally, the second wave, you could argue, had far more impact than the first wave, but it wouldn’t have amounted to anything without the first wave, and the first wave did genuinely convulse the society because nothing divided opinion like the issue of if women should get the vote, because it was axiomatic of all sort of other matters in the society. By giving them the vote, it indicated that women could do almost all jobs that men could do up to a point, and it opened the professions to them; it opened the universities to them; it opened higher educational institutions to them; it opened the world of politics and political representation to them, not just voting.

And so, in a way, it changed the world, and that’s why the dynamite of the vote was used.

RS: What do you think was the reigning philosophy of the early suffragists and suffragettes? Was it a liberal one? Do you think it could be connected with some of the early social democratic and Marxian movements? What do you think about that?

JB: Well, I think the honest answer is yes and no. The truth is that female politics resembles male politics pretty closely and that there’s a range of opinion Right, Left, and center. What surprised many sociologists when women got the vote, particularly bourgeois women, is they voted pretty much along the lines that men did and were perceived to have the same social and economic interests that men did.

There have been times when the gender gap has been one way and then the other. For example, today in the Western world, which is quite clearly Anglo-Saxon — the Anglophone world — there seems to be a marked preference for center-Left parties amongst women as against center-Right parties amongst men, and that drift and gap is quite discernible.

But there have been times when women have been much more conservative than men and on certain issues women remain a lot more conservative than men. On law and order issues in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, women often had much more conservative attitudes than men.

So, it’s debatable in a way. Certainly, a large number of bourgeois supporters of female suffrage just wanted the vote as a coping stone, as a sort of seal of approval for their admission into social life and once that happened they reverted to essentially a conservative tradition. Some of the first women to be elected, of course, into parliaments were on the conservative side, because it was inevitable that women from a very bourgeois background would be the best educated women and would be the women who, in some ways, wanted to protect the status quo, and all that the suffrage did for them was allow them to do so. In the past, they would have done that through men, really, then they had a chance to do it on their own behalf.

It is true that the vanguard movements were associated, for the most part, with liberal and with social democratic causes and with the culture of the Left, generally speaking. That’s because it was seen to be an out-of-left-field movement. It was seen to be a movement for radical change and it inevitably adhered to the Left rather than the Right.

RS: Just to add onto what you were talking about earlier. A good friend of mine often will tell a powerful anecdote about female voting, and if you’ll forgive me, I’m forgetting some of the details, but as with details it’s the essence of it that matters.

There was a revolutionary parliament in France, and they were actually bringing up the question of whether women should vote, and actually the people who most vigorously opposed it were the far Left of the parliament, and those who supported it with greatest passion were what we would call the Right and even the clerical Right. The reason for this — and I think in some ways that both were rationally correct to hold those viewpoints — was that if given the chance to vote, women would most likely vote the way that their priest told them to vote and that women in this sense were a kind of force of conservatism. They would maintain the existing religious and aristocratic order. The far Left didn’t really want women to vote in this way.

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We discussed a little bit last time about the idea of the majority strategy where you have the large White majority and it’s being dispossessed and attacked by a large rainbow coalition. The women are the kind of traitors or kind of wedge in this. Women, for whatever reason, maybe purely out of sentimentality, want to vote for center-Left parties, the parties that push the buttons about taking care of the children or whatever and they are kind of on the wrong side of the dispossession of America’s White historic majority.

So, again, it’s a very complicated issue and the social manifestations of women’s suffrage can occur in quite different ways.

Let me also ask another question about this. In some ways, I want to move on to second-wave feminism, because you find tracks that are at least more obnoxious, extreme, and things like this, but I want to stick just a little bit longer to pre-WWII feminism.

I’m thinking of someone like Margaret Sanger. She is in many ways a fascinating individual. Nowadays, she’s looked upon by many liberals as a wonderful, heroic, right-thinking woman who was fighting for the rights of women to use contraception and women’s rights in general.

But if we take a little closer look and you peel away a few layers of the onion, you find that she was a eugenicist of sorts, that she was afraid of the feebleminded and weak and so on and so forth overwhelming the healthier stock of America and that in a democracy something like that would be a truly terrible consequence. She would actually flirt with people like Lothrop Stoddard and Madison Grant, people who now would be considered totally beyond the pale, fascist, racialist types.

So, maybe in some of these first waves of feminism that we might think we know what it’s all about if we see it through the lens of modern Left-Right politics, so to speak, but actually it’s something quite different.

Do you have any thoughts on that? Some of the different strands of first wave feminism and how they’re kind of surprising when you look at them from our standpoint?

JB: Yes, I think that’s very true. I think first-wave feminism can’t be divorced from the class backgrounds of most of the women who advocated these positions. Although there’s been a careful pick and mix of the women concerned so that they seem part of a progressive continuum, there are many contradictions and (12:49 ???) that occur. It’s inevitable that these ultra-bourgeois women, for the most part, will often have radically conservative values and a few of them will have cross-fertilized Left-Right values and elitist values at that, despite the fact that they’re in favor of giving the vote to themselves.

This means that they’re not in favor of the vote for others. It also shouldn’t surprise us that when a lot of female literature is published in the late 19th/20th century — in a sense sort of elite literature — it turns out not to be Left-wing particularly. A lot of feminist publishing houses are bemused by the fact that a lot of the literature they publish from the early days isn’t really at all progressive, in their own terms and in the Left’s terms. That’s because the women who wrote it came from upper-class backgrounds. They were the women who were educated at the elite university level in all-female colleges during that era and their values and what they produced reflect that.

You also have a marked partiality for forms of ultra-conservatism among certain early female champions and it’s not for nothing that some of the political leaders who emerge first from the dispensation that gives women the vote turn out to be on the Right rather than on the Left.

Over time, eugenics and feminism have almost completely separated out, but because feminism is concerned with biological and reproductive health and wanted to give women control of it . . . Abortion, of course, cuts two ways. Although anathema to the Christian Right, abortion does feed into eugenics and gender. Indeed, without some concept of abortion you couldn’t have eugenics in a meaningful sense, because how are you to act to prevent these people that eugenicists believe shouldn’t be born or encouraged from being born in the first place? So, there’s an inevitable correlation between certain sociobiological and Darwinian ideas and certain evolutionary ideas and feminism of a particular sort, particularly un-ideological feminism.

So, it’s inevitable that the sort of Marie Stopes wing of the movement will come out of eugenics and family planning, and abortion and pro-choice movements are all deeply mired in feminism, on the one hand, and eugenics, on the other.

RS: Yes, actually the religious Right in the United States, and I assume in Europe as well, have picked up on this, and they’ll usually make inflated claims of abortionists. “They really want to rid the world of Africans,” or something like that or connect Margaret Sanger with Hitler and various things like that. Obviously, this kind of rhetoric is overdone, but it might actually have a kernel of truth to it. But it also points out the egalitarian nature of the so-called religious Right in the country.

Let’s move on to second-wave feminism and the 1960s. I would say that if you talked to the average Joe in the US or Europe who’s maybe a conservative-thinking guy with pretty normal good instincts when you say the word feminism he probably thinks of some woman who’s maybe tattooed and earringed and has totally outrageous views and hates men and probably got dumped at prom or the dance or something and became a lesbian and is driven purely by her resentment. He probably has that kind of man-hating feminist stereotype in his mind. In some ways, a lot of that is associated with that second-wave feminism that came with the New Left, which came with the ’68 revolutions and so on and so forth in the US and Europe.

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So, Jonathan, maybe you can give us an introduction to this movement and it obviously has a quite different vibe, so to speak, to it. It probably has a different philosophical grounding as well. It might not even be related to earlier feminism. But what are your views on the impulse behind feminism that arose in the 1960s and beyond?

JB: Yes, I think this is the feminism that most people associate the term by whatever their view. Feminism in the ’60s and thereafter and some of its precursors in the late ‘50s tends to be a movement that is concerned almost completely with revolutionary politics, particularly sexual and psychological revolutionism. It only just about fits into Marxism because it relates to biological or pseudo-biological and sort of quasi-biological theories. It’s associated with a range of alternative society and slightly madcap women like Germaine Greer, who wrote a book called The Female Eunuch which at one level was quite well done but is a hysterical rant about the role of women in society, most of which is utopian in a way. It wants the female role to be changed out of all recognition. To such a degree that you could argue that one of the subtexts is that women become men over time and men become women over time, which was one of the unstated psychological goals of second-wave feminism. To see a feminization of men, in relative terms, and a masculinization of women, in relative terms. And that’s not an entirely stupid notion when you look at the theories some of them were proposing.

RS: Well, they seem to have succeeded in this to a large degree.

JB: Yes, well, feminism is unusual in that it’s one of those revolutions that’s succeeded. In absolute terms, of course, it’s completely failed because it addressed itself to utopias that are not possible of realization. Things like radical feminism, the total separation of female and male lives. Women living separate beehive-like existences in communes. That’s all failed.

RS: I’ll jump in here and then you can get back to your thought, but Alex Kurtagić was suggesting that I read Valerie Solanas’ tract, The SCUM Manifesto, and SCUM in this instance means the Society for Cutting Up Men.

JB: That’s right. She was an American, of course, and a schizophrenic. But she was the most extreme feminist that there’s ever been. Other feminists partly regard her tirade as sort of exhibitionistic, Sadean, and tongue-in-cheek. But yes, it advocates physical attacks on men and, of course, she did attack Andy Warhol. She shot him in the stomach with a gun from which he later recovered, and she was imprisoned for three years because of that. She got off quite lightly because it was regarded as an act of insanity.

Yeah, she represent in some ways the lunatic fringe, even the lunatic fringe of the lunatic fringe, within that particular movement. Although there will be feminists who will defend her, because she represents a sort of nethermost position or a position that it’s not possible to get beyond, a virulently man-hating position. Misandrist, I think it is, a word that’s never used, really, but means female detestation of men. Misogyny being a male detestation of women, which is a quite well-known word.

If you take a book like The Women’s Room by Kate Millett [Note: Marilyn French wrote the book by that title. Bowden could be referring to French or to another book by Millett, perhaps The Basement] there’s as strong a detestation of men in that than anything in Solanas, but it’s not expressed in as grotesque a way. So, Solanas’ is a deliberately absurdist text.

But that wing of feminism, Radical Feminism as it’s called with a large R, which is counter-propositional biologically and yet is rooted in biology, because it wants a total separation of the sexes and in the end advocates lesbianism even for heterosexual women. Hence books like Lesbian Nation and that sort of thing which come out of this particular milieu.

Feminist groups had internal debates in the ’70s and ’80s about lesbianism when the vast majority of women had to confess that they were biologically heterosexual and therefore this wasn’t an option for them. And they had endless debates about whether they should have political lesbianism instead, but it never really got anywhere.

womlib_1800.jpgSo, that wing of feminism, the more lunatic fringe, radical elements of what is anyway a radical doctrine, has fallen by the wayside, although there are important theorists associated with the anti-pornography movement such as Andrea Dworkin and so on who come out of the radical wing who are still current.

Yet another odd reverberation is the association that anti-pornography feminism has with conservatism, particularly religiously motivated conservatism. Unlike libertarianism, for example, which would take a laissez-faire attitude towards commercial pornography.

RS: Yeah, let’s put some pressure on this. I actually had porn down as an important subject I wanted to discuss. It obviously didn’t, at least to my knowledge, come up with first-wave feminism, but you have an interesting anti-porn movement that did work hand-in-glove with the religious Right, so-called. You also had, I believe, porn’s first leading lady, Lovelace — I’m forgetting her first name — who was in Deepthroat, one of the early large pornography movies. I think it was the first feature film that was porn, and Lovelace eventually became part of the anti-porn movement and worked with Dworkin and people of this nature.

Again, it gets back to how I opened the conversation. What makes feminism this lasting movement is this ability to mutate and its ability to take on contradictory positions. Because you have now throughout the ’90s and 2000s, I’m sure it’s still going on,  whole courses at major universities in the United States, and Europe I’m sure as well, on porn as this way of female power or pure liberation or they probably have other terminologies to describe it that I don’t even understand.

In some ways, there’s almost a yin and a yang to this. There’s the evils of something like pornography, is it’s just expressing how men want to treat women as objects and want to abuse them and so on and so forth, but then porn might be seen on the flipside as this pure expression of a kind of Marcusean, id-driven society of pure liberation and social relations as an orgy and so on and so forth.

Maybe this is part of the power of feminism. It can kind of flip back and forth and radically re-evaluate its social positions.

JB: Yes, I think that’s true, but in a way it’s bound to be like that, because it is slightly ridiculous that half of mankind has a viewpoint. If there was a movement called manism, if there was a movement of men. They’d immediately divide into all the subsections, because men don’t agree on anything.

So, there’s a degree to which to expect women to agree on anything beyond a few superficials is fraught with difficulty. So, you have to frame the thing that women feel they’re in a subsidiary place and therefore that gives them an alliance with each other that then allows them to align around certain core issues. But even then they’ll still be divided on most other issues.

RS: And there’s the Marxian legacy where it’s almost like the female as the proletariat. They are oppressed by the current state of being and therefore they become a sort of world historical actor. They become the universal subject or something. It’s like a Marxianism gendered, so to speak.

JB: Yes, there’s a bit of that going on. Although amongst conservative women, and Dworkin once wrote a book called Right-Wing Women, which is about Right-wing women on the Right of the Republican Party because those are the most discernible Right-wing women that she could find, and they’ve always been a source of fascination to feminists. What makes women otherwise conventional and adopt what they consider to be a male-concentric view once they’ve achieved just civic equality in terms of careers and jobs and money and things of that sort?

Of course, there’s a large area of social conservatism which is part of the female view as well. The view that basically women have a different role in life to men and have different tasks in life to men, but they’re not particularly concerned if they’re allowed to do male tasks. So, if a woman wants to be a judge and goes all out to be one the general conservative female attitude now is, “Why shouldn’t she be one?” And she might be quite a tough-minded Right-wing judge at that when it comes down to it. But they don’t think the world should be up-ended so that women can be judges. It’s just an add-on to the female role that remains otherwise unchanged.

Feminism, like a lot of these movements, is a movement that’s only superficially touched the lives of the overwhelming majority of women. Still, after all the propaganda the other way, 67% of women, about 2/3rds of all women in most societies, want the traditional option. They want some sort of stable marital or other union and they want a family with children and that’s pretty much what they want. And feminism doesn’t really have much to say to those sorts of women, although it always postulates the notion that it never stops trying to address them.

So, the bulk of women remain uninfluenced by it, although they have taken advantage of the successes that feminism has scored because although it’s one of these movements that can be seen to have failed completely in its own utopian terms its effect on society has been so great and its effect on men has been so great that in a way it has succeeded far more than other radical currents far more than other ideological currents. It has succeeded because it has forced the law to maximalize those areas of female-male equality and to disprivilege areas of inequality that did exist in the social and civic space between men and women to the degree that now men who talk openly about opening those spaces up again are frowned upon by other men and are in a very small minority.

RS: Yes. You know, it’s interesting. Just to tell two quick little anecdotes. I did notice . . . I’m now involved in an oppressive bourgeois marriage, but when I was dating I did notice that it was still tacitly accepted that I would be paying for every meal, and if I happened to take a girl on a date and say, “Oh, do you want to split it down the middle?” or something like that I would probably get a very nasty look. At the same time, if during that date I ever suggested something like, “Don’t you think since men are the head of the household that maybe they should be paid more across the board, that that’s a good thing and it’s not really unfair? It’s actually fair because men have more financial obligations than women.” Again, I would probably get a horrified and disgusted look.

So, I think feminism succeeds in particular areas, maybe fails in a couple, but does succeed in general.

Let me talk a little bit about someone totally different than someone like Valerie Solanas, who I am sure most people in the population, even someone who would call themselves a feminist, would probably declare she was mentally ill, and maybe she was acting purely out of hatred. And that is the kind of modern girl feminism that represents a kind of compromise solution for women that is actually quite attractive and is about them playing with the big boys at work or having the ability to get a job. Even if they eventually might want to have a family a little bit later that they still have the opportunity to go become a stockbroker or something like this if they want to.

If you meet these women, they are otherwise normal and healthy. They don’t hold any views of men as evil or should be destroyed or anything like that. So, it’s a kind of acceptable compromise feminism.

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I don’t want to make this too much of a leading question, but I think it is worth pointing out that since the 1970s real wages have either stagnated or, probably more likely, declined. What I mean by real wages is the wage paid to the head of a household minus inflation. Essentially, the wage is not keeping up with price increases. What we had in the ’80s and ’90s was in essence “mom went to work.” Dad, if he had a normal job, he could no longer sustain a family of four. It was impossible, particularly with education costs, medical costs going up and so on and so forth. So, in a way, mom had to go to work and that dovetailed with this more palatable feminism that came out of all these waves of feminism.

So, in a way, one could say that the Gloria Steinems of the world are the central bankers’ useful idiots. What I mean by that is that due to things like inflation and economic malfeasance it was impossible for the single breadwinner to have a family and these women were out there thinking that they were suggesting something radical by suggesting that women go to work, but really they were just justifying and maybe even sugarcoating the economic decline of the Western world.

I guess that’s kind of my own take on it there, but you can pick up on that if you’d like to talk about that economic element to it. But maybe, Jonathan, you could just talk about that more palatable kind of compromise feminism which seems to be embraced by, I would say, a vast majority of women.

JB: Yes, it’s a sort of very practical solution and women have always bene a very practical sex at one level of consciousness. This middling solution, where you take a little bit of the small R radical feminism and kick the rest into touch and basically can see it as a conceit and as a way to move forward on the career front, is an eminently sensible way of looking at it. It’s not necessarily what men always wanted, but it’s a solution that in a sense neuters the more virulent aspects of feminism whilst retaining a considerable dose of it.

There was a theorist in the 1920s called Wyndham Lewis who wrote a book in 1926, I think, called The Art of Being Ruled in which he suggested that capitalism was the real motivating force behind feminism, because the whole point was that the family was an archaic and reactionary institution that was pre-modern and floated uneasily in the marketplace and dammed up any alternative lifestyle. All these producers and consumers that could be let loose, but they could only be let loose if women were prized out of the home and were treated as auxiliary men and were used in the workplace in that manner.

It’s a remarkably prescient analysis given that it was regarded as quite mad when he came up with it in the 1920s. It accords almost painstakingly with what’s actually happened.

RS: Yes, without question. Also, the welfare state benefits from it. You have women working, they’re paying more taxes. Divorce benefits certain economic groups. If you’re owning apartments, you’re going to benefit by the family no longer being intact. So, in a kind of horrible way, feminists are again the useful idiots of the banking system and American capitalism.

JB: Yes, and you see that in the cultural area as well. The sort of Sex and the City feminism totally divorced in many ways from the lifestyle and instincts of the Left, which can be quite puritanical, goes with a hedonistic market capitalism. You see this sort of combination of feminism and libertarianism and feminism and libertarian capitalism and the two going along together. You see this in the sort of females’ issues magazines like Cosmopolitan, which are the female equivalent of pornography in many ways motivated again by the market and what it is felt the market will bear and is quite distinct from the traditional romantic fiction, so-called female emotional pornography, which are endless stories fictionalized about romances between men and women which tend to adopt deeply socially conservative and sort of old-fashioned timbre.

Cosmopolitan and Sex and the City are the exact inverse of all of that and advocate an almost predatory and slightly sluttish sort of sexuality for women that traditional moralists were appalled by and women as a whole have tended to regard as a harmful lifestyle for women but is now a sort of market-tested to destruction attitude that’s favored on every newsstand.

RS: Oh, without question. I don’t want to sound too haughty by saying this, but I’m afraid that too many of the women who move to, say, London or Manhattan, they get a job and they’re little miss career gal and they live the Sex and the City lifestyle and at some point in their mid-40s they wake up alone and lonely living with cats. Again, I’m not trying to demean anyone. It just seems to be the case and there seems to be a hangover of the Sex and the City lifestyle, which is something I don’t think anyone wants.

So, Jonathan, expound a little bit, if you would, on how feminism has changed men. I think it’s something a lot more complicated than wussification or men have become like women. I think it’s something deeper and more varied than that.

JB: Yes, I think it is. I think what’s happened is that a whole storehouse or memory chain of male archetypes and types has gone down, has been sort of zapped and factored down. Certain types of raw heterosexuality in a relatively traditional and very Masculine, capital M, have gone away and gone down the memory hole, but so have elements of the dandy and the sort of over-stepping, flamboyant heterosexual. Those roles, which were quite marked and quite varied, and bohemian male roles as well of a traditional type. They’ve gone as well or they’ve been rather neutered and confined as well.

fem0154680235110702_1233227079_n.jpgThere’s a whole intermediate zone of masculine identities who had their card marked and have gone into the past. The question is why has this occurred? And I think the motivation is almost completely male and completely internalized. I think it’s many men do not feel that they can be successful in private life, do not feel they can attract the women they wish to attract or be seen as attractive to such women and certainly not get alongside of them if they are otherwise than the present sort of postmodern man. They feel like they’ve got really no chance in the private lifestakes if they remain loyal to traditional and rather heedless masculinities that are in conflict with the egalitarianism of the present order.

This is something where theory is all very well, but if you want to have a happy or beneficent life you have to do various things to make that turn around in the private area and men have basically just bitten on the bullet really and adopted a whole new set of masculine constructs in order to be successful with women and they think they’ve actually been quite clever because they’ve adopted an element of male feminist language, posture, and behavior in order to get on with women once equality was formalized in civics and in law and in social behavior.

Men haven’t changed deep down that much maybe, but behaviorally they’ve changed a great deal, and this goes to show that men don’t revert to something else when they’re on their own these days except very occasionally and under the influence of all-male banter or drink or whatever. But that’s pretty rare and it’s not the reversal that scandalized feminists would expect on the whole either.

So, I think that a lot of men feel that in order to have successful families, in order to have successful private lives, they need to downplay certain prior forms and play up certain attitudes and variants which are acceptable today. And I think that’s happened right across the board.

RS: Yes, as we discussed off-air, our side sometimes underestimates the importance of that 20% of things that is nurture as opposed to nature and, in the case of men, it’s almost as if the post-feminist man is a new, different biological species. I mean, he’s not exactly, but that nurture end of the equation is quite powerful.

JB: Yes, well, no one would engage in politics, no one would engage in any social ideology if the 20–25% of the things that is nurture as against nature was unimportant. So, it’s in some ways the crucial vortex through which everything becomes what it’s bound to be. If you just left it to nature, you would end up with a semblance of what nature wanted, but you would probably give the game away to all sorts of people who wish to denature nature as much as possible. So, nature on its own isn’t enough and men have not fundamentally biologically changed, but their behavior has altered out of all recognition.

If your average man in the 1920s looked at what happened today, he’d be baffled. And yet a part of him wouldn’t be, because he’d just perceive it as a tactic that is adopted in order to be successful.

RS: Do you think that’s all it is, a tactic?

JB: It’s a tactic that goes quite deep. It’s rather like learning a stage part in a play, but you learn it so well it sort of becomes your unguent. It becomes what you wish to be when you’re off set. I think it’s a part that’s been learned to such a degree that it’s become second nature now.

Maybe that proves that part of the prior masculinities were also slightly rhetorical that they’ve proved themselves to be so adaptable and so changeable. But I think it’s the pressing need to be successful in this area that is the prime motivator.

Also, I just think it goes with the egalitarian discourse. Because what is the alternative? Is the alternative a cult of male superiority? Many men would feel uncomfortable with that because the idea of superiority and hence inferiority in any area strikes people as axiomatically discomforting in present circumstances.

RS: To bring this conversation to a close, let’s talk a little bit about the woman question from a deeper and anthropological standpoint and that is the role of the woman in the West. Certainly, it’s no coincidence that many of these feminist movements were arising out of Europe writ large. Even if you want to blame it on Marxism, it’s arising out of the European milieu at some level. A lot of that has to do with the fact that, despite some of the horror stories told by Leftist academics, women are treated better in the Western world than they are in the rest of the world, quite frankly.

One likes to imagine the oppressive bourgeois marriage or something, but in comparison with most other gender relations around the world the oppressive bourgeois marriage is quite equitable. So, it’s probably no surprise that feminism would grow out of the Western world.

There seems to be a tension in the West between let’s just call it liberalism granting people more equality, thinking that people can transcend their biological or material rootings and kind of decide for themselves and then also another deep Western tradition, which is the family.

I should point this out. If one wants to be a crude Darwinist, in some ways the monogamous family is also a great victory for feminism. I mean, obviously, if we were going to live in a truly Darwinian atmosphere we’d have some sort of polygamy where the big man, strongest guy gets all the women, and all the weaklings are either killed or serve as slaves or something.

But in many ways this tradition of the family and monogamous relations, a very deep tradition, one that predates Christianity, that is also something uniquely Western. You don’t see a lot of monogamy in, say, the Old Testament or Semitic traditions. You see polygamy and tribal relations. But that monogamous family is something uniquely Western.

So, just taking up on some of these thoughts that I’ve put forward, Jonathan, what do you think from an anthropological standpoint is the role of the woman in our European culture?

feministes.jpgJB: Yes, I think it’s really the traditional role. It’s the role that predates ’60s feminism. I think it can be compatible with doing various jobs, but I think it is the mother’s role and traditional female roles extended out into the educational area, into nursing, into areas like that. But essentially the mother role, the Madonna role . . . Of course, there is a sexual role as well. And the scarlet female role is part of that continuum. It has to be because all areas have to be covered by it. So, that’s all part of the package.

All of those survive in the West quite markedly, actually, despite feminism’s impact. So, feminism’s changed everything, yet everything’s remained the same. All of the female lifestyles that pre-existed feminism co-exist with those that have been changed by it.

I think what’s really happened is that feminism hasn’t changed women at all. It’s changed certain patterns of female opportunity, but it hasn’t changed women one iota. What it has changed is it’s changed men a great deal.

I think men have been the real recipients of feminist ideology, and it’s men who have been transformed by it or have been reluctantly so transformed because they feel as though there’s no option but to accept a certain dose of it in order to have some successful private life.

So, I personally believe it’s feminism’s action on the male agenda that’s the crucial issue. Women have changed to a degree, because they’ve adopted some of its vocabulary, but men have had to adapt in a much, much greater degree because it was an alien vocabulary as far as they were concerned. They have adopted it, and they have had to get rid of or junk an enormous prior traditional male set of vocabularies, only a proportion of which are heard anymore even amongst men even when they’re on their own.

Feminism has bitten very deep and has changed men and probably not for the best. If you look at the way men are depicted in 1950s films, which is before the cultural watershed, and how men and women are depicted and allow themselves to be depicted, and depict themselves more is the point, from the 1970s onwards you notice a really radical transformation in the way masculinity is configured, the way heroic masculinity is configured, the way all forms of masculinity are configured. Certain traditional forms of masculinity where the Humphrey Bogart character slaps the woman because she’s misbehaving would now be regarded as so unacceptable as to cause a frisson if they were to occur in contemporary cinema, for example.

RS: Well, it’s interesting that there’s a deep ambivalence with all of this. I’ve noticed this with the success of the television show Mad Men, which in some ways represented men behaving badly so women could kind of gawk at the oppressiveness and outmodedness. So, you’d have men openly hitting on their secretary and lots of ass-slapping and having little affairs during lunch breaks and so on and so forth.

At the same time, if it were just that I don’t think it would be a successful show. It might be a successful show for men, you know, on the Spike network, the stupid jock all-men programming cable network. But the reason why Mad Men was successful was at some level that Don Draper figure, that tall, dark, masculine, strong, self-confident, willing to put someone in their place type of man is something deeply attractive to women, and it’s something they continually long for maybe even despite themselves, certainly despite feminism.

But, Jonathan, I think we have just scratched the surface on this issue. Thank you for being with us and I look forward to talking with you again next week.

JB: All the best! Bye for now!

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URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/07/the-feminist-mystique/

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mercredi, 13 juillet 2016

Bevor die Friesen Christen wurden

Bevor die Friesen Christen wurden

Wer denkt schon bei Sylt an eine „Insel der Toten", wer bei Helgoland an einen Göttersitz oder beim Anblick nordfriesischer Inselkirchen an „Heilige Linien" Michael Engler spürt die oft rätselhaften Kulte vorchristlicher Zeit auf und lädt zu einer Entdeckungsreise durch die Inselwelt zwischen Helgoland und Sylt ein von den steinzeitlichen Monumenten eines längst verschollenen Glaubens bis zu mittelalterlichen Sakralbauten über uralten Tempelorten. Da wird von großräumig in Landschaften angelegten Kalendarien berichtet, von geheimnisvollen Ringwällen und von jahrtausendealten exakten Berechnungen für astronomische Beobachtungen oder von ganzen Dörfern für die Götter. Das heute noch praktizierte -- und als touristische Attraktion genutzte -- Biekebrennen macht deutlich, dass manch ein „heidnischer" Brauch die Jahrhunderte überlebt hat, auch wenn der ursprüngliche Sinn längst verloren ging. Ein spezielles Licht- und Aufnahmeverfahren hebt die Kultstätten aus ihrem natürlichen Umfeld hervor und verwandelt auf den ersten Blick kaum wahrnehmbare Spuren in wieder vorstellbare Räume. Legenden und Chroniken -- mit nordfriesischen Landschaftsbildern in Szenen gesetzt -- versetzen den Zuschauer in jene Zeit, bevor die Friesen Christen wurden.

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Thomas Paine, un « citoyen d’honneur » haineux, intrigant et délateur

Né en Grande-Bretagne dans un foyer de corsetiers quakers, Thomas Paine (1737-1809) est matelot, fonctionnaire, révoqué à deux reprises en raison de son indiscipline et de ses indiscrétions, puis artisan, déclaré failli. Il rencontre Benjamin Franklin à Londres, en 1774, et passe en Pennsylvanie, où il entame une carrière de journaliste antiesclavagiste. En 1776, son livre antimonarchiste The Common Sense est un best-seller et devient le bréviaire des Insurgents.

En 1777, il est choisi comme aide de camp par le général indépendantiste Nathanael Greene, un dévoué collaborateur de George Washington auquel ce dernier ne rendit jamais l’hommage qu’il méritait, et publie quantité de brochures destinées à stimuler l’ardeur au combat des patriotes. Nommé secrétaire du Comité des Affaires Étrangères du Congrès (1777-78), il est révoqué en raison de ses intrigues et de la divulgation d’informations confidentielles.

Commonsense.jpgEn 1781, il passe en France afin de récolter des fonds pour la cause indépendantiste, puis se morfond dans la ferme que le nouvel État de New York lui a offerte pour ses bons services. En mai 1787, il propose à l’administration royale française, en grosses difficultés financières, un projet de pont métallique, qui sera réalisé en 1796, en Grande-Bretagne.

De 1787 à 1792, il séjourne à Londres, où il fréquente Charles Fox, le leader de l’opposition libérale, et à Paris, où il est très apprécié par le journaliste Brissot et l’académicien et marquis Nicolas Caritat de Condorcet. En 1791-92, il publie les volumes de The Rights of Man (Les Droits de l’Homme), qui se veulent une réfutation du pamphlet d’Edmund Burke contre la Révolution française.

L’Assemblée Législative en fait un « citoyen d’honneur » et il est élu député à la Convention Nationale, bien qu’il ignore la langue française : pour ses rares interventions à la tribune, il devra se faire aider du médecin et député « brissotin » François Lanthenas, comme traducteur. Il siège au centre (dans le « Marais »), mais vote systématiquement comme son ami Brissot, qui l’a fait entrer dès octobre 1792 au Comité de Constitution. Il est emprisonné de décembre 1793 à novembre 1794 comme « espion étranger », puis réintègre la Convention.

En 1796, il publie The Age of reason, où il fulmine contre toutes les religions révélées, clame sa haine de tout clergé et prône le déisme et la tolérance religieuse. Rentré aux USA en octobre 1802, il entreprend une campagne de dénigrement contre George Washington (mort en 1799), ce qui lui vaut un mépris quasi-général et meurt oublié dans sa ferme.

jeudi, 30 juin 2016

Racism, Eugenics, & the Progressive Movement

eugenics.jpg

Racism, Eugenics, & the Progressive Movement

Thomas C. Leonard
Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics & American Economics in the Progressive Era [2]
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2016

eugenics2book.gifIn many ways the Progressive Era embodies the best of white America. It was a period of compassion, community concern, attempts to raise the living standard of average Americans, a desire to achieve class harmony, to end (or at least reduce) capitalist corruption, and to create a workable, harmonious racial nationalism that would ensure the long-term fitness of American society. The concerns of the Progressives were as much for the future as they were for the present, something almost wholly lacking in contemporary American politics. These scholars, politicians, and activists thought deeply about future generations and recognized, almost to a man, the validity of race science and the crucial role race plays in the historical trajectory of any country.

Thomas Leonard, a research scholar and lecturer in economics at Princeton University, has written an interesting history of the interaction between race, eugenics, and economics in the context of the Progressive movement. It is broadly informative and happily lacking the willful opacity of much contemporary scholastic writing, thus making it accessible to a wide audience. Unfortunately, yet unsurprisingly, this book begins with a blatant lie upon which he constructs his narrative: “Eugenics and race science are today discredited” (p. xiv). As such, the book is fundamentally flawed. Dr. Leonard offers no evidence whatsoever as to why Progressive notions of racial health and eugenics were wrong but, in keeping with contemporary academic fashion, merely resorts to shaming words and moral judgments rather than even a cursory investigation into the validity of the claims.

The book provides a detailed history of the many important Progressive intellectuals who believed that race was a fundamental concern and how they thought it should be dealt with politically, socially, and economically. The Progressives are perhaps the best example of a genuine American attempt to transcend the awkward political dichotomy of Left and Right for the sake of the greater good and a vision of a better and healthier future. Progressive diagnoses and predictions of racial degeneration and a dystopian future were so accurate that one suspects this book, to the extent it is read by objective and open-minded readers, will emphasize rather than deemphasize the importance of these issues.

The first chapter, entitled “Redeeming American Economic Life,” the author sets the context for the development of Progressivism by describing their reaction to the cycle of boom and bust of the dramatically expanding postbellum American economy: the rapid industrialization and urbanization of American society; and the tensions between labor, farmers, and capitalists. Despite the range of attitudes within the Progressive movement towards possible solutions to the problems faced at this time, Progressives shared three things in common: first, discontent with liberal individualism; second, “discontent with the waste, disorder, conflict, and injustice they ascribed to industrial capitalism”; and third, a concern with the problems of monopoly (pp. 8-9). Their understanding of these issues drove them to believe in the necessity of an administrative state to remedy these root problems and their many offshoots. As Dr. Leonard writes, the “progressives had different and sometimes conflicting agendas” but “nearly all ultimately agreed that the best means to their several ends was the administrative state” (p. 9). Those intellectuals who would become Progressives began to turn their focus away from the traditional and reflective scholarly disciplines and towards active ones, i.e. economics, politics, sociology, and public administration (p. 11). This activist turn was integral to the movement.

The author traces some of this activist drive for public improvement to the “social gospel” wing of Protestantism, but as knowledge of science and the use of scientific language increasingly became a marker of intellectual sophistication, the two were eventually combined into a mutually-reinforcing reformist spirit. Following World War I, after which the West experienced something of an existential crisis, the specifically Christian reform rhetoric mostly faded, or, as the author terms it, was “socialized” (p. 13), and mostly replaced by the hard empirical language of the above-mentioned burgeoning “active” disciplines. However, the sense of missionary zeal and notions of secular “salvation” remained a hallmark of the Progressive movement. If salvation could be socialized so too could sin (p. 13). That is to say, those problems that had previously been seen at least partially as religious in nature became social. Laissez-faire capitalism, for example, was not rapacious and exploitative merely because it was a sinful system run by sinful people but because it was “scientifically” incorrect. The Bible could offer insights into social problems but ultimately the responsibility fell to the state to re-make society in accordance with Christian ethics.

In the second chapter, “Turning Illiberal,” Dr. Leonard describes the professionalization of economics, the turn away from British classical liberalism towards German economic theory, and the origins of tensions within the Progressive movement between those who believed in democracy and those who did not. Germany, by the late 19th century had become the premier destination for graduate students wishing to study political economy. Germans were on the cutting edge of this newly formalized discipline — one that was almost entirely nonexistent in American universities. In contrast to Anglo-American classical liberalism, Germans saw the economy as a “product of a nation’s unique development” and believed that its “workings were not unalterable natural laws, [but] were historically contingent and subject to change” (p. 17). The author writes:

The progressives’ German professors had taught them that economic life was historically contingent. The economy wrought by industrial capitalism was a new economy, and a new economy necessitated a new relationship between the state and economic life. Industrial capitalism, the progressives argued, required continuous supervision, investigation, and regulation. The new guarantor of American progress was to be the visible hand of an administrative state, and the duties of administration would regularly require overriding individuals’ rights in the name of the common good (pp. 21-22).

Germans had demonstrated to American students that economics could be a tool of statist reform with a sound theoretical basis. They also demonstrated that it could be a distinguished and respected career path (p. 18). Those students who returned from Germany came home with a very different conception of the role of the economy in relation to the state and, at the same time, had little competition in establishing themselves in American universities and think tanks. It was a powerful position from which to begin their activism, both in terms of knowledge and opportunity.

Just as the German view of the relationship between state and economy had informed American Progressives, so too did the German Historical School’s conception of the nation as an organism (p. 22). This, coupled with the tremendous influence of Darwinist evolutionary theory in all intellectual circles, caused a distinct shift away from American individualism. Richard Ely, founder of the American Economic Association and a highly influential Progressive, explicitly rebuked the notion that the individual comes before society. Washington Gladden, a charter member of the same organization, argued that American individualism was “a radical defect in the thinking of the average American” (p. 22). The concept of the autonomous individual was seen by Progressive economists as a relic of a soundly refuted, old-fashioned ideology. A new class of superior, scientifically-informed men had to take charge of society if it were to rid itself of such antiquated and backwards beliefs.

In the third chapter, “Becoming Experts,” the author delves deeper into the tensions between expertise and democracy, the differences between Left and Right Progressives, the building of the administrative state, and “war collectivism.” Progressives maintained that the good of the people could best be guaranteed by limiting the power of the people — or, expressed positively, by entrusting the care of the people to experts. Dr. Leonard writes: “Financial crisis, economic panic, violent labor conflict, a political war over monetary policy, and the takeoff of the industrial merger movement combined to generate a groundswell of support for economic reform” (p. 30). This convinced many important Progressive intellectuals that government service was a far more important use of their expertise than was the role of public intellectual. Activism was a crucial strategic and ideological element of their project. The future, according to Progressives, should not be left to chance. It had to be engineered, and someone had to engineer it. If one genuinely cared for future generations, a processes to guarantee their success had to be put in motion rather than simply theorized.

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In his discussion of the distinction between Left and Right, Dr. Leonard accurately dismantles the problems with this dichotomous analytical tool. He writes that “progressive” is a “political term and political historians tend to an ideological lens . . . Ideology is [a] useful tool of taxonomy, but when it is reduced to one dimension, it is the enemy of nuance” (p. 38). Rather than frame Progressives as either Left or Right, he usually prefers the term “illiberal” — the belief that, contra liberalism, society takes preference over the individual. Indeed, the very concept of “reform” is often tainted with a Leftism that isn’t always quite there. Many of the positions that modern progressives hold today would be abhorrent to historical Progressives, just as many positions that conservatives hold today would be abhorrent to conservatives of the era. For example, the Progressive Republican Theodore Roosevelt was no fan of laissez-faire capitalism and favored an increase in the regulatory powers of the government, while William Graham Sumner, a conservative opponent of Progressivism, was a believer in free markets but a staunch opponent of imperialism and big business (pp. 39-40). The political battle lines of today differ greatly from those of the past, a fact which seems to validate the 19th century Germanic conception of the relationship of state, economy, and law as being historically contingent. What we think of now as Left or Right was largely absent from Progressive discourse.

Dr. Leonard goes on to discuss the creation of what he calls the “fourth branch” of government (the administrative agencies). The quintessential example of the ascendancy of the fourth branch is the Wisconsin Idea — the integration of government and academic experts in Wisconsin in order to govern the state with maximum efficiency. Many involved in the creation of this integrated system credited its success specifically with the heavy German population of the state. In his 1912 book on the subject, Charles McCarthy described the architect of the Wisconsin Idea, Robert Ely, “as a pupil of German professors, who returned from Germany with German political ideals to teach German-inspired economics at a German university (the University of Wisconsin) in the German state of Wisconsin, where the young men he most inspired were, yes, of German stock” (p. 41). The state government was, to a previously unknown degree, put in the charge of Progressive experts who created on American soil what was in effect an ethnic German state. The Progressive movement, both in theory and in practice, was distinctly Teutonic in conception.

This “fourth branch” of government was established in Washington D.C. by Woodrow Wilson and solidified during World War I by the success of “war collectivism.” The hand of the federal government was greatly strengthened at this time in order to aid the war effort. This is the period in which the income tax was established and was soon followed by corporate and inheritance taxes as well as numerous other reforms and the creation of various administrative agencies (pp. 43-45). Having established themselves as experts, the expert recommendations of the Progressives usually included the establishment of permanent regulatory agencies — “ideally an independent agency staffed by economic experts with broad discretionary powers to investigate and regulate” (p. 43). The author credits much of this to personal ambition rather than idealism, which is doubtless true to some extent but is at odds with his earlier descriptions of the visionary reformist mission of Progressives. Perhaps writing a century later it is hard not to be cynical about such things, but little in his prior discussion would indicate personal ambition as a primary motivating force. And even if it had been the case, their efforts were consistent with their ideology. Personal ambition without value-compromise can hardly be seen as a negative. But throughout the book attempts to tarnish the images of Progressives by insinuating that they were somehow morally compromised (how else to explain their illiberal views?).

Toward the end of the chapter, the author begins his discussion of race, a central concern of Progressives. It was simply understood by Progressives (and most others of the time) that blacks were incapable of freedom. Woodrow Wilson wrote that blacks were “unpracticed in liberty, unschooled in self-control, never sobered by the discipline of self-support, never established in any habit of prudence . . . insolent and aggressive, sick of work, [and] covetous of pleasure” (p. 50). The sociologist Edward Ross, in a statement the author refers to as demonstrating contempt for his “imagined inferiors” (p. 50) wrote: “One man, one vote . . . does not make Sambo equal to Socrates” (p. 50). Such statements seem to contradict the Progressive belief in the elevation of the common man (as contemporarily understood) but as Dr. Leonard points out, the “progressive goal was to improve the electorate, not necessarily expand it” (p. 50). The whole of the country would be better off if its leadership could be entrusted to a superior piece of the American electorate. This was a fundamental tension among Progressives: “Democracies need to be democratic, but they also need to function . . .” (p. 51). American democracy could not function with unintelligent people voting but, given American history, the concept of voting was not up for debate. Thus began the deliberate disenfranchisement of blacks and others deemed unfit for equal rights in American society.

In chapter four, “Efficiency in Business and Public Administration,” the author details the Progressive push for efficiency, the influence of Taylorism, and the beginning of the scientific measurement of mankind for utilitarian purposes. Objective as possible in their approach to the economy, Progressives (with few exceptions) did not regard big business itself as a problem. Scale was, for them, unrelated to efficiency. Efficiency was a goal that could be handled by experts regardless of the size of the project. The classical liberal notion of market efficiency, even if it could be demonstrated to be true, was, like Darwinian evolution, a slow and haphazard process that could be sped up and forced in entirely desirable directions with proper management. Big business was simply a fact of the new economy. As such, it was not undesirable in and of itself, but required outside guidance to achieve socially acceptable results while avoiding “market-made waste” (p. 57). Progressives famously feared monopoly because it could produce political corruption as well as reduce innovation but, as the author writes, “progressives distinguished monopoly from size, and because of this, were not antimonopoly in the populist sense of the term” (p. 57). Indeed, big business was generally thought to be inherently more efficient than small business. As with everything else, proper administration was the key to success.

scientificmanagement.jpgThe 1911 publication of Frederick Taylor’s The Principles of Scientific Management was a watershed moment for Progressives. It offered a scientific method for improving workplace efficiency. By measuring and analyzing everything from workplace break times to the weight of shoveled material, industry would be able to maximize efficiency down to the minute and the pound. Taylorism has since become an epithet, used to describe the dehumanizing effects of the time clock, the oppressive nature of constant managerial supervision, and the turn away from skilled labor in the workforce. However, for Progressives it promised a new approach to the workplace that could make life better for everyone. Those experts who would take charge of industry would be able to maximize the public good while minimizing the power of capitalists and financiers. Men such as the Progressive political philosopher Herbert Croly believed that Taylorism would “[put] the collective power of the group at the hands of its ablest members” (p. 62). For Progressives, scientific management was a noble goal and a model to be followed. It fit perfectly with their basic beliefs and soon spread elsewhere, including into the home, the conservation movement, and even churches (p. 66-69).

The Progressive era was the era of social science. Scholars, commissioners, politicians, and journalists set out to understand the reality of American social life through scientific methods. Few reading this will be surprised with the conclusions of virtually all of these efforts. What this research — into race, into immigration, into domestic behavior, into social conditions — demonstrated was that there was a clear correlation between race and intelligence and the ability to function in American society. Intelligence tests and vast amounts of data collected from the military and immigration centers were collected and analyzed. For Progressives, race science was obviously and demonstrably real and had to be treated with the same scientific objectivity as the economy or any other facet of human existence. America was then, as it is now, being populated rapidly with provably inferior and/or inassimilable human beings. Progressives began to warn of the dangers of Jewish and other non-white immigration to the United States, as well as the problems stemming from rapidly breeding inferior American citizens.[1]

Chapter five, entitled “Valuing Labor: What Should Labor Get?,” describes how Progressives dealt with the question of labor. They sought to determine what labor was getting, how wages were determined, and what labor should get (p. 78). Dr. Leonard writes:

For nearly all of recorded history, the notion of laborers selling their labor services for wages was nonsensical. Labor was the compelled agricultural toil of social inferiors in the service and under the command of their betters. In the United States, this remained true well into the nineteenth century. The value of labor depended on what the worker was — free or slave, man or woman, native or immigrant, propertied or hireling — not what the worker produced or wished to consume (p. 78).

The thinking behind these categories is treated with contempt by the author, of course. The idea that the labor of a black man could be worth less than that of a white man based on something external to mere prejudice against “skin color” or that the labor of an immigrant could be worth less than the labor of a citizen to those who might feel a deeper affinity for their own countrymen was, to him, symptomatic of a “hierarchy that plagued economic life” (p. 79). He relates the claims of race science with contempt but offers no justification for his disdain. But, by simply ignoring the reality of race and sex differences, the author is able to trace the concept of inferior labor back to the Greeks — as if attitudes towards labor even between similar peoples are not themselves historically contingent.

The author sees two fundamental and separate approaches to political economy throughout history: “market exchange and administrative command” (p. 79). He notes correctly that in the centuries between Socrates and Adam Smith, the market was seen as a place of chaos, disorder, Jews (he uses the semi-cryptic “Shylocks” rather than Jews), and unscrupulous persons of various sorts. The Greek prioritization of the political over the economic is, for Dr. Leonard, the source of the various manifestations of human hierarchies in Western societies and economies.[2] [3] Greek men somehow just decided for no valid reason whatsoever that women should supervise the household, market services be left to foreigners, and labor relegated to non-Greeks. These were simply ideas that had “extraordinary staying power in Europe” (p. 80) and thus led to aristocracy and other unnatural hierarchies until Adam Smith blessed Europe with his belief in individualism and natural liberty. Again, the author deliberately chooses to ignore the very real biological bases for such facts of human social life. Command economies are, to the author, somehow “bad” because he sees them as having been based in ignorance and vaguely conspiratorial hierarchical social arrangements.

Enlightenment notions of individualism and liberty were, of course, central to the rhetoric of the American project. However, America did not practice what it preached (nor did it really preach “what it preached” but that is far beyond the scope of this piece): slavery existed in the South and was defended by Southerners as far more humane than the wage-slavery of the North; Northern abolitionists saw this as an absurd comparison and argued that at least free laborers could get up and leave if they were unhappy. But both saw the laborer in one form or another as being an inferior creature. This attitude was to carry through to the Progressive era. As the author puts it, “reformers still saw a bit of the slave in the wage earner, no matter how ubiquitous the employee now was” (p. 84). He goes on to note that when millions of women and immigrants joined the workforce, this reinforced the notion of the laborer as inferior.[3] [4]

If the laborer is inferior, what should they be paid? Progressives believed in the power of the government to change social conditions. As such, they believed that policies could be enacted that would enable laborers to live comfortably, with enough money to be upstanding citizens and raise healthy families. Differing theories existed for how fair wages should be determined, but Progressives tended to reject the idea that wages were anything less than a “worker-citizen’s rightful claim upon his share of the common wealth produced when the laborer cooperated with the capitalist to jointly create it” (p. 86). As is always the case among economists, vigorous debate ensued. The goal was for workers to receive a living wage but how this was to be accomplished was a matter of some controversy. The author discusses some of these theoretical disagreements but concludes that the one thing that united all Progressives in this matter was the belief that “work will always go to the lowest bidder . . . there was a race to the bottom, and the cheapest labor won” (p. 88). However, he pathologizes this as an “anxiety” rather than a real problem experienced by rational people so that Progressive concerns about the intersection of economy and race be seen by the reader as a kind of irrational social “disease,” a collective neurosis with deep roots in the American (read white) psyche.

eugenics3755357.jpgIn chapter six, “Darwinism in Economic Reform,” Dr. Leonard relates how Darwinism was used by Progressives to acquire the “imprimatur of science” (p. 105). Darwinism proved to be a very flexible conceptual tool. It allowed for incorporation into various fields of thought and, within those, still more differing points of view: it was used to advocate for capitalism and for socialism; war and peace; individualism and collectivism; natalism and birth control; religion and atheism (p. 90). Darwinism and related ideas (such as Lamarckism) provided Progressives with a scientific basis upon which to argue for both economic improvement and biological improvement. There was no consensus on which aspects of Darwinism to incorporate into their logic but something the vast majority had in common was the belief in the importance of heredity and that artificial selection, as opposed to natural selection, was the most efficient means of securing a healthy society comprised of evolutionarily fit individuals.

Social Darwinism was a concept championed by believers in the free market. As the author notes, it was always a used as a pejorative and Progressives had to distance themselves from it (p. 99). They did so by challenging laissez-faire using Darwinist principles, an idea that came to be known as Reform Darwinism. The Reform Darwinists, led by the sociologist and botanist Lester Frank Ward, challenged laissez-faire by asserting that capitalists thrived in the Gilded Age because “they had traits well adapted to the Gilded Age” but that these traits were not necessarily “socially desirable” (p. 100). They also asserted that society was an organism that “had a necessary unity” but “not an inclusive one” (p. 102). An organism must always protect itself from threats and an organism must also prioritize the whole over the part. This organic model of society influenced every Progressive concern. If, for example, a corporation was a legal person entitled to the same protections as an individual citizen, then surely “the state was an even larger organism, one that encompassed and thus subsumed corporate and natural persons alike” (p. 100).

Progressives also attacked natural selection as “wasteful, slow, unprogressive, and inhumane” (p. 100). Agreeing that robber barons and rich fat cats were an example of the degenerative tendencies of capitalism, society had a duty to protect itself from such people (p. 100). Natural selection did not always lead to progress. It was environmentally contingent. Richard Ely argued that “Nature, being inefficient, gives us man, whereas society ‘gives us the ideal man'” (p. 104). The free market rewarded those who could make the system work to their advantage by any means necessary, not those who possessed traits that were desirable for a healthy, moral society. Regulation could help fix this problem. Woodrow Wilson wrote that “regulation protected the ethical businessman from having to choose between denying his conscience and retiring from business” (p. 105). Combined with German economics, German historical theory, an activist sociology, and a commitment to the benefits of efficiency, the influence of Darwinism made the development of workable eugenics policies almost a certainty.

In the seventh chapter of the book, “Eugenics and Race in Economic Reform,” Dr. Leonard provides a brief overview of the history of eugenics. He also describes how it entered American intellectual discourse and how it was applied to race science. With roots as far back as Plato and popularized by Francis Galton in the late 19th century, eugenics was the obvious solution to many of the social problems that the Progressives were tackling. The author quotes Galton for a broad explanation: “what nature does blindly, slowly, and ruthlessly, man may do providently, quickly and kindly” (p. 109). The ideas of eugenicists gained mainstream traction rapidly. By the early 20th century, states were passing sterilization laws. By the end of World War I, concerns about the terrible death toll of white men had prompted many American intellectuals to worry deeply about the crisis caused by the loss of so much “superior heredity” (p. 110). American universities began teaching eugenics courses, textbooks on eugenics were written, journals were published, and societies devoted to encouraging the spread of eugenics programs and race science were created.

Francis Galton had gone so far as to declare a “Jehad [sic]” on the “customs and prejudices that impair the physical and moral qualities of our race” (p. 112). Influential Progressives like Irving Fisher and John Harvey Kellogg sought to make this a reality by creating a sort of religion out of eugenics (p. 112). Concern for the white race played an explicit part in Progressive thought. There was nothing coded about it. Like the social gospelers of early Progressivism, the eugenics movement evangelized very effectively. The concept of racial health was soon to be found virtually everywhere one turned, from women’s magazines, movies, and comic strips to “fitter family” and “better baby” contests at agricultural fairs across America (p. 113). Lothrop Stoddard published his classic The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy in 1920, and the famous Supreme Court decision in the case of Buck v. Bell in 1927 affirmed that the state had a right to sterilize individuals deemed a genetic threat to society. It is important to note that not all eugenicists were Progressives but the vast majority of Progressives were eugenicists. For them, things such as environmental conservation went hand in hand with racial “conservation.”

For Progressive eugenicists, the administrative state was the most effective defense against racial degeneration (the effects of adverse conditions on a race of people) and race suicide (the effects of a superior race being outbred by inferior races) (p. 117). Poor and uneducated whites were seen to be redeemable given the proper environmental conditions and thus genetically able to assimilate into American society. Non-whites were incapable of assimilation because of their lower intelligence and racially-specific habits and attitudes. Of particular concern was the American black population. White Progressives saw them, at best, as docile children who should be treated as such for the good of all, and, at worst, as a weight that would sap American energy and  character (p. 122). Even among the handful of black Progressives, such as W.E. B. DuBois and Kelly Miller, race was seen as a problem for America. Though they rejected the notion of the genetic inferiority of blacks, they recognized that the rapidly breeding lowest IQ blacks threatened to overwhelm the elite few — the “Talented Tenth,” as DuBois famously described them (p. 122).

But non-whites were not the only concern of the Progressive eugenicists. As indicated above, racial degeneration was of great concern. Literature on degenerate families became wildly popular at this time, bringing to the American lexicon such names as the Jukes and the Kallikaks. These families (given aliases by the authors of these studies) had their histories published as warnings about the dangers of what some would now refer to as “white trash.” The contradictions here are apparent: Progressives sought to improve the conditions of the white poor while at the same time wrestling with the question of whether poor whites were genetically unfit and simply irredeemable by external measures. The latter question, however, was also asked of the rich, who some Progressives saw as even better evidence of racial degeneracy. As with every other issue, there was a certain amount of disagreement among Progressives about specific questions and how to best administer solutions, but the concerns themselves were universal.

Perhaps the greatest concern was with the effects of immigration on the American gene pool. The author subscribes to the notion of an imagined “whiteness” and, as is customary, uses the Anglo-Saxonist tendencies of Progressives to call into question the validity of race science. This is to be expected and can be ignored. But it was indeed a concern of the era, especially as immigrants poured onto American shores. Some Progressives argued that democracy had its origins in the Anglo-Saxon race and that immigration from other areas of Europe was detrimental to survival of the American way of life. Walter Rauschenbach, a “radical social gospeler” (p. 124) argued that capitalism “drew its ever-increasing strength from the survival of the unfit immigrant” (p. 125). Rauschenbach was a committed Anglo-Saxonist and such views had long held sway in Progressive circles, from social gospelers to anti-Catholics to Prohibitionists. But it does not follow that concerns about immigration were irrational because one particular group of whites at the time did not like the customs of another group of whites. Nor do these antiquated distinctions invalidate the entirety of race science, however many times they are used in attempts to do so by this author and so many others.

Chapter eight is entitled “Excluding the Unemployable.” In it the author delves into how Progressives related racial inferiority and other traits deemed as markers of inferiority to labor and wages. He writes: “The Progressive Era catalog of inferiority was so extensive that virtually any cause could locate some threat to American racial integrity” (p. 129). Obviously, non-whites were seen as a threat, but so were white alcoholics, the poor, epileptics, and others. He argues that in antebellum America, laborers knew their place and stayed there. From slaves to women, strict social and sometimes legal controls assured the maintenance of this hierarchy. Postbellum industrialization and the emancipation of slaves threatened this order: “Inferiors were now visible and perceived to be economic competitors” and were either “portrayed as the exploited dupes of the capitalist” or “as the capitalist’s accomplices” (p. 130). Those who were literally incapable of work and those who were willing to work for lower wages than “superior” Anglo-Saxon stock were given the label “unemployable.”

citizens-l.jpgThese “unemployables” were seen as being parasitic. They undercut wages and threatened American racial integrity. The capitalist drive towards cheap labor was certainly seen as partly to blame for this problem, but Progressive discourse began to focus more on biology than economics. Blame was increasingly shifted towards the actual laborers themselves rather than the system that encouraged them to accept lower wages. In what was known as the “living-standard theory of wages,” the unemployables were seen as being able to live on less than the average American worker due to their willingness (either racially-determined or resulting from inferior minds) to accept poor living conditions. The white American worker, it was believed, would reduce his number of children rather than sacrifice his standard of living, thereby increasing the risk of Americans being outbred by inferior stock. This line of argument gained popular currency with the sometimes violent union activism against Chinese workers. Edward Ross wrote that “should wors[e] come to the worst, it would be better for us if we were turn our guns upon every vessel bring [Asians] to our shores rather than permit them to land” (p. 135). The notion of immigrants and others being regarded as scab labor was widely accepted across the political spectrum but was central to Progressive concerns because they were able to see it as symptomatic of multiple grave problems with American society. In order to correct these problems, better methods were needed to identify and exclude the inferiors who were threatening American jobs and lowering the American quality of life.

In chapter nine, “Excluding Immigrants and the Unproductive,” Dr. Leonard examines the methods used for exclusion. The most obvious method was the use of immigration restrictions. Numerous laws were enacted either limiting or barring entirely immigration from certain parts of the world. Restrictions were also imposed by those otherwise deemed a threat to the country, i.e. anarchists, polygamists, and epileptics (p. 142). In 1905, a law was passed that prohibited contract labor altogether (companies paying immigrants to come to America in exchange for labor). A literacy test was also proposed for anyone trying to enter the country, however the effort actually failed when Woodrow Wilson inexplicably vetoed the bill in 1917. Edward Ross blamed Jews for this loss. He wrote that they were financing the anti-restrictionist campaign and pretending that it was for the benefit of all immigrants but was actually “waged by and for one race” (p. 158). But does the author investigate this claim? Of course not. It is easier to label Ross an anti-Semite and move on. To do otherwise might turn up some uncomfortable facts.

Other restrictionist actions met with success: in 1907, the Expatriation Act required American women who married foreigners to surrender their citizenship; massive federal investigations were undertaken to study the problems of immigration; and various private organizations sprung up devoted to anti-immigration advocacy. (p. 143). For Progressives, the issue of race had become one of their deepest concerns. It was, generally, either considered the main determinant of historical change, for better or for worse, or at least an extremely important one. It comes as no surprise that the founding of the United States would be interpreted through a Darwinist lens by Progressives. The author spends some time critiquing their use of Darwinist concepts to defend the original colonists as pioneers and conquerors (that is, “fit”) and later immigrants as simply following a path already tread in opportunistic fashion (“unfit”). Never mind that this is quite obviously at least partially true. He even fails to see the distinction between a colonist and an immigrant, wholeheartedly buying into the ridiculous “nation of immigrants” theory of American demographics that is so popular today.

Progressive eugenicists saw the immigration problem as an opportunity to assert their particular interests. Interest in race science grew exponentially. Various classificatory systems were proposed, studied, and refined, each of which generally had the expected hierarchies: whites at the top, blacks on the bottom. Within each category were, of course, numerous other sub-categories. But almost all races (both in the contemporary sense and in older sense meaning “ethnicity”) was charted and described in great detail. It was crucial from the standpoint of the Progressive eugenicists to use this information to prevent the race conflict that they believed would naturally arise from the intermingling of dissimilar peoples from across the globe. Even the few Progressive intellectuals who were genuinely egalitarian in outlook believed that race-based immigration policies were crucial. John Dewey, for example, supported them because he believed average Americans were too primitive to adopt his supposedly enlightened view that race was a fiction, thus making race conflict inevitable anyway (p. 153). Unsurprisingly, those who opposed immigration restrictions tended to be Jews such as Franz Boas, philosemites such as Emily Balch, and/or laissez-faire capitalists. The motives of the restrictionists are called into question by the author — but not those of the anti-restrictionists, of course. They were simply uniquely informed and tolerant for their time.

The above also fueled the debate over the minimum wage. It was commonly accepted that a legal minimum wage would put some people out of work. Progressives tended to see this as a good thing insofar as it removed inferior laborers from the job market. Dr. Leonard writes: “It deterred immigrants and other inferiors from entering the labor force, and it idled inferior workers already employed. The minimum wage detected the inferior employee, whether immigrant, female, or disabled, so that he or she could be scientifically dealt with” (p. 161). Ways in which these inferiors could be dealt with “scientifically” included simple things such the return of formerly-employed women to the home and far more complex solutions such as labor colonies for the unfit and forced sterilization. As was the case with all internecine Progressive debates, however, the thinking was always keenly focused on future generations. One particular intellectual might disagree with another about a certain policy proposal or belief, but the goal was the same: a harmonious society and healthy race. And since neither can exist without women, it was natural for Progressives to consider the role of women in society.

In the tenth and final chapter of the book, entitled “Excluding Women,” Dr. Leonard examines the views of women’s employment and civil rights within the Progressive movement. Women were always an important part of efforts at labor reform and the drive to improve various aspects of social life. But most Progressives had very strong views on the proper role of women in society. Richard Ely argued that women should be barred from the workplace (p. 170). Many, however, did not go to quite to this extreme. Efforts were made to simply limit the number of hours women were legally allowed to work, for example. The idea behind this was, of course, that women were physically weaker and needed protection from exploitative employers. But there were other issues of importance to Progressives as well, including the desire to combat prostitution. This concern was sometimes used to defend the minimum wage. If working women could make more money per hour they would be less likely to resort to prostitution to make ends meet. The obvious problem here is that the minimum wage was supposed to make certain people unemployed, and this group included women. It was assumed, however, that unemployed women would be cared for by the men in their lives, thereby providing the benefits of higher wages to men, a more appropriate environment for women, and helping to guarantee the health of the race. Whatever limitations this placed on a woman’s individual rights were explicitly justified by concern for the race.

For some Progressive feminists, male social domination had had a dysgenic effect by punishing the race’s strongest women by confining them to the household (p. 179). Most Progressives, however, believed that motherhood was the duty of women and had to be encouraged and thought such ideas absurd. Theodore Roosevelt, for example, had special contempt for those women from privileged backgrounds who did not have enough children despite being able to afford it. Referring to them as “race criminals,” he believed that such behavior was the height of selfishness (p. 180).

The debate over birth control was related to this attitude. Birth control, then as now, was mostly used by the most privileged in society and less so by the lowest classes. It thus had an obvious dysgenic effect. The author sees the synchronic concerns of Progressives with women’s health, sexual virtue, economic competition with men, and health of the race as contradictory. He writes:

If she were paid very little, she was admonished for endangering her health, risking her virtue, and threatening hereditary vigor. If she commanded a slightly higher but still modest wage, she was condemned for undercutting men’s family wages and for neglected [sic] her maternal duties. If she were well paid, she was admonished for selfishly acquiring an education, pursuing a career, and thus shirking her reproductive responsibilities to society and the race (p. 182).

Though there is a superficial tension between these things, he fails to see that there is no necessary contradiction here. It is entirely possible for women to be economically exploited laborers whose employment lowered men’s wages and for their ideal place to be in the home, nurturing the future of the race. Progressives generally saw the employment of women as a precursor to starting a family or as a result of misfortune anyway (p. 178). Sex-specific protections in the workplace, as well as a minimum wage that would displace many of them, would be a perfectly sensible goal for any state that had the future of the race as a primary focus. Dr. Leonard’s concern with finding hypocrisy in every statement relating to race and sex blinds him to reasonable conclusions. The Progressives, however, were not handicapped by ideological taboos and ultimately rejected the small, internal strain of equal-rights feminism within their ranks in favor of protecting the race. Progressives fought hard against the Equal Right Amendment of 1923, but by the mid-1920s, the Progressive Era was winding down and within a few years the zeitgeist would change considerably.

We see in the Progressive movement the last explicit, mainstream advocacy for the white race on American soil. The author clearly realizes this and chooses to ignore every single claim made by Progressives that does not fit with contemporary notions of social constructivism. He quotes Progressives in order to mock them, not to investigate whether what they said had a basis in fact. One might object by saying that it is beyond the scope of the book to investigate race science itself in order to discuss its role in the Progressive era. But the book starts out with the lie that race science has been discredited and everything that follows is therefore either directly based on a lie or has a lie as its overarching context. The point of the book, however, is not to enlighten the reader about anything of substance. His goal is merely to frown upon “racists” and “sexists” with the reader, to roll his eyes at ignorant Progressives along with his academic colleagues, and pray that his book is assigned in universities across the country in order to further indoctrinate students into the secular religion of egalitarianism.

This is not to say that there are not important issues discussed in the book. Clearly, there are. Nor is any of the above meant to suggest that Progressives were correct about everything. Clearly, they were not. But one cannot help but wonder how different America would look today if the Progressives had been able to further investigate and discuss these important issues as a part of the mainstream. What would this country look like now if such ideas had not been turned into “thought crimes?” In so many ways what we see in progressives today is a complete about-face from the intellectual heritage they claim. And in so many ways what we can see in the real Progressive movement is profoundly, devastatingly prescient and of utmost relevance to the contemporary American sociopolitical landscape. These issues are just too important to be left to a hack.

Notes

1. As many readers will be aware, there was a distinct bias towards Nordics among American whites at this time. Many Southern and Eastern European whites were deemed inferior–a hammer used frequently to hit racialists over the head in arguments intended to “deconstruct” whiteness. It is also, unfortunately, still found in White Nationalist circles. Nordicism is dealt with very well by Greg Johnson here (http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/03/nordics-aryans-an... [5]).

2. One wonders how he might explain similar hierarchies in non-European civilizations.

3. How labor would have fared in the 20th century without the presence of millions of women and immigrants to bolster notions of their inferiority is a question that should be asked of every contemporary “progressive.” One might also ask why, if racial diversity is such a tremendous and obvious social good, how it is that highly-educated Progressives completely failed to realize this — especially considering that theirs was a mission to increase the standard of living in America.

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/06/racism-eugenics-and-the-progressive-movement/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IlliberalReformers.jpg

[2] Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics & American Economics in the Progressive Era: http://amzn.to/293MqYr

[3] [2]: #_ftn2

[4] [3]: #_ftn3

[5] http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/03/nordics-aryans-and-whites/: http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/03/nordics-aryans-and-whites/

Die Geschichte der Reconquista

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Die Geschichte der Reconquista

von Carlos Wefers Verástegui
Ex: http://www.blauenarzisse.de

Vor einigen Jahren kam im identitären Umfeld das Motto von der „Reconquista“ auf. Carlos Wefers Verástegui erklärt ihre historischen Hintergründe.

Die Reconquista, die Rückeroberung der iberischen Halbinsel von den islamischen Mauren, sollte Vorbild sein für einen ähnlichen europäischen Prozess. In diesem gilt es, dass die angestammten europäischen Völker sich selbst, ihre Identität und ihre Freiheit, ihre Ethnizität, sowie ihr damit verbundenes Selbstbestimmungsrecht, wiedererlangen.

Obwohl das mit der „Reconquista“ damals wohl mehr schlagwortartig gemeint, als klar durchdacht war, war es eine glückliche Wortwahl: Bereits die ursprüngliche spanische „Reconquista“ (7111492) hatte primär als Wiedererlangung eines verlorenen bzw. Erholung eines erschöpften Landes etwas mit Identität zu tun.

donpelf6c24b22fb_b.jpgDie islamische Eroberung verlief schnell

Die „Vorgeschichte“ der Reconquista, aus der sie allein verständlich wird, ist die Eroberung und Zerstörung des spanischen Westgotenreichs durch den Islam. Im Jahre 711 fielen nordafrikanische Berbertruppen im Auftrage ihrer arabischen Herren in Spanien ein. Der Heerbann des der Überlieferung zufolge letzten Westgotenkönigs Roderich wurde nahe der südspanischen Stadt Jeréz de la Frontera geschlagen. Die Muslime brauchten kaum ein Jahrzehnt, um die ganze iberische Halbinsel zu erobern. Die Hauptstadt des Westgotenreichs, Toledo, fiel noch im selben Jahr, 711. Gegen Ende des zweiten Jahrzehnts des 8. Jahrhunderts standen die Muslime an den Pyrenäen und machten sich daran, die südfranzösischen Besitzungen des Westgotenreiches sowie fränkisches Gebiet zu erobern.

Ausschlaggebend dafür, dass es zur Reconquista kam, ist also die enorme Geschwindigkeit, mit der Spanien dem Islam in die Hände fiel. Trotz des Widerstands und zahlreicher Abwehrschlachten stürzte das Westgotenreich wie ein Kartenhaus in sich zusammen.

Ein Bruderkrieg mit fatalen Folgen

Die Gründe dafür sind in einer totalen Krise der westgotischen Monarchie zu suchen. Eine Systemkrise hatte den Staat entscheidend geschwächt. Eine strukturelle Schwäche war das Festhalten an der Wahlmonarchie, während bereits Tendenzen bestanden, die jeweilige königliche Hausmacht zur Basis einer Erbmonarchie zu machen. Dieser die monarchische Verfassung betreffende Konflikt entlud sich in Form von Thronstreitigkeiten.

Die Wahl Roderichs wurde so zum Auslöser eines Bruderkriegs. Die Aufständischen, die Familie des vorherigen Königs Witiza und ihre Anhängerschaft, versuchten sich gegenüber Roderich durchzusetzen, indem sie den islamischen Gouverneur Nordafrikas um Hilfe baten. Als das berberische Expeditionskorps schließlich in Spanien landete, befand sich Roderich auf einem Feldzug gegen baskische Volksstämme. Diese hatten zum denkbar schlechtesten Zeitpunkt die Stadt Pamplona überfallen, so dass Roderich gezwungen war, die ihm treuen Kräfte im Norden zu konzentrieren.

Ein entkräftetes Reich

Auch wirtschaftlich und demographisch war das Westgotenreich zur Zeit der Invasion stark angeschlagen. Widrige Klimaverhältnisse, Heuschreckenplagen, Pestepidemien und Hungersnöte hatten die größtenteils unfreie Bevölkerung dezimiert. Zudem hatte das Vordringen des Islam im Mittelmeerraum zum Untergang des Handels geführt. Aber bereits die antijüdische Gesetzgebung davor hatte den Niedergang des Handels eingeläutet. Die Westgoten waren offiziell mit ihrem König Rekkared 587 vom Arianismus zum Katholizismus übergetreten. Die Christusvorstellungen, die die katholische Monarchie der Westgoten von nun an definierten, waren ein zentralisierendes und vereinheitlichendes Motiv. Wie zuvor schon die arianischen Westgoten mussten die Juden entweder zum Katholizismus übertreten oder sich ihre Unterdrückung und Verfolgung gefallen lassen. Als die islamischen Heere durch Spanien zogen, halfen ihnen die Juden oftmals bei der Eroberung der Städte. Das war nur verständlich, wussten sie doch von ihren Glaubensbrüdern in Nordafrika, dass die Verhältnisse unter dem Islam für sie erträglicher sein würden.

Letztendlich war auch die Heeresverfassung des Westgotenreiches zu plump und ungelenk, um schnell genug auf eine Invasion reagieren zu können. Sie befand sich mitten in einem Umbildungsprozess. Es kam also, wie es kommen musste, das Westgotenreich fiel mit einem Schlag.

Barbaren fingen die Reconquista an

Zehn Jahre bevor Karl Martell die über die Pyrenäen vorgedrungenen Muslime mit seinen „Panzerreitern“ zwischen Tours und Poitiers zurückschlug (732), wurde im nordspanischen Asturien der Grundstein zur „Reconquista“ gelegt. Der westgotische Adlige Pelagius war dort untergetaucht und leistete gemeinsam mit den Einheimischen und andern nach Norden geflohenen Spaniern und Westgoten (von nun ab „Hispanogoten“) Widerstand.

Nach einigen Scharmützeln, der legendären „Schlacht von Covadonga“ (722), konnte er für sich ein kleines Fürstentum behaupten. Die Muslime schenkten ihm und seinen Männern trotz der Niederlagen wenig Beachtung. Sie waren zu beschäftigt mit der Kontrolle des reicheren und für sie auch klimatisch angenehmeren Südspaniens und machten sich daran, ihre Eroberung in Richtung der französischen Provence voranzutreiben.

Es liegt durchaus im Bereich des Möglichen, dass Pelagius bereits von Anfang an, eine Rückeroberung ganz Spaniens von den Mauren angedacht hatte. Militärisch konnten sein Schwiegersohn Alfons I. und dessen Bruder Fruela die Uneinigkeit, die unter Berbern und Arabern aufgekommen war, ausnutzen, um den Nordwesten der iberischen Halbinsel bis zum Duero vom Islam zu befreien. Die christliche Bevölkerung, die sie dort vorfanden, führten sie nach Norden, um ihr Königreich zu stärken. Auch gelang es ihnen, die an Asturien grenzenden Gebiete ihrer Herrschaft einzugliedern.

„Neogotizistische“ Kulturoffensive gegen den Islam

Wichtiger noch als diese Konsolidierung des asturischen Nachfolgestaats des Westgotenreiches war dessen „politische Formel“: die Könige von Asturien und später León stammten nicht nur von den Westgoten ab. Auch rechtlich machten sie Anspruch auf die gesamte Erbmasse des Westgotenreiches. Dessen Wiederherstellung war deshalb sowohl Seins– als auch Rechtsgrund der jungen asturischen Monarchie: Sie wurde zum Grundbestandteil ihrer Legitimität.

Diese „neogotizistische“ Formel wurde noch Ende des 8. Jahrhunderts vom Klerus besorgt und stellte eine Art Kulturoffensive gegen den Islam dar. Später, im Hochmittelalter, diente sie der Untermauerung des spanischen Kreuzzuggedankens. Die Reconquista fand ihren eigentlichen Antrieb im Gefühl und in der Überzeugung, nicht bloß der Kontinuität, sondern der Identität zwischen Westgoten und asturischen Nordspaniern. Das germanische Element, das die kaum 200.000 Westgoten, die zudem noch romanisiert waren, nach Spanien gebracht hatten, erlebte eine ungeahnte kulturelle Blüte. Germanische Personennamen und Gebräuche erfuhren eine Verbreitung und genossen eine Popularität, die in keinem Verhältnis zur tatsächlichen numerischen Stärke der westgotischen Volksmassen stand.

Besondere Zugkraft bekam der Gedanke der „Wiedererlangung“ des Westgotenreiches durch mozarabische Mönche. Die Mozaraber waren in Al-​Andalus lebende, jedoch christlich gebliebene Hispanogoten, die infolge der kulturellen Vorherrschaft von Islam und Arabertum selbst in ihren Gebräuchen arabisiert waren. Die mozarabische Geistlichkeit verstand diese fortschreitende Arabisierung richtig als eine Vorstufe des Übertritts zum Islam. Um diesen Prozess zu unterbinden, gingen mozarabische Kleriker mit dem Islam auf Konfrontation. Ihr Opfertod war ein klarer Aufruf zum Widerstand.

reconquista.jpg

Um 1100 wäre die Reconquista abgeschlossen gewesen

Während der Christenverfolgungen des 9. Jahrhunderts flohen tausende Mozaraber nach Norden. Und mit dem mozarabischen Klerus zog eine auf der Höhe der Zeit stehende Geschichtstheologie mit nach Asturien-​León. Diese spitzte die traditionelle politische Formel der asturischen Monarchie noch mehr polemisch gegen den Islam zu. Die ursprüngliche Idee einer „Wiedererlangung“ oder „Zurückholung“ fand ihre endgültige Ausformulierung in einer apokalyptischen Geschichtstheologie. Diese bildete ein höchst wirksames Programm im Kampf gegen den Islam.

Mit ihr hielt die Reconquista bis ins 11. Jahrhundert hinein militärisch schritt. Ihre Prophezeiung einer Wiederherstellung Spaniens bewahrheitete sich so, mit jedem gegen die Muslime errungenen Erfolg, von selbst. Kriegerisch waren die Nordspanier dem Islam derart überlegen, dass, wie der Arabist Felipe Maíllo Salgado bemerkt, die Reconquista bereits im Jahr 1100 zu ihrem Abschluss hätte kommen können. Dass das nicht geschah, ist vor allem der Tatsache zu verdanken, dass das unermessliche reiche, nicht sehr wehrhafte und überfeinerte Al-​Andalus dazu einlud, sich Tribute zahlen zu lassen nach der Devise, dass eine Kuh, die sich melken lässt, nicht geschlachtet wird.

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Evola ’43-’45. Intervista a Gianfranco de Turris

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Evola ’43-’45. Intervista a Gianfranco de Turris

Ex: http://blog.ilgiornale.it

Evola-GdT2.pngÈ appena uscito per Mursia, firmato da Gianfranco de Turris, Julius Evola. Un filosofo in guerra. Il sottotitolo, 1943-1945, dovrebbe accendere qualche spia nei lettori del pensatore romano, essendo il periodo più misterioso della sua vita, quello di cui ha parlato di meno, con più lacune da un punto di vista biografico. Ora, finalmente, questo saggio ci svela ciò che fece in quegli anni, i viaggi in Italia ed Europa, la permanenza al Quartier Generale di Hitler e i nove mesi a Roma «città aperta», i rapporti con l’SD e il soggiorno a Vienna per studiare documenti massonici, il bombardamento in cui decise di saggiare il destino, interrogando tacitamente la sorte… Una trama che si sviluppa in un continente messo a ferro e fuoco da un conflitto mondiale, ricostruita con una minuzia storiografica esemplare: enorme la mole dei documenti citati, assieme a interviste e testimonianze personali. Ne abbiamo discusso con l’autore, domandandogli anzitutto quale sia stata la genesi di questo testo.

Il mio libro ha origine da una conferenza, tenuta a Milano alla fine degli anni Novanta, dedicata agli uomini della Repubblica Sociale, poi pubblicata in volume. Anche se Evola non può essere considerato in senso vero e proprio un “uomo della RSI”, ho scritto quel che si sapeva allora, sulla base dei suoi articoli pubblicati sul «Popolo Italiano» e riuniti sotto il titolo Con Mussolini al Quartier Generale di Hitler. Ho usato queste fonti come filo conduttore, aggiungendo altri particolari. In seguito, nel 2001, ne ho pubblicata una versione migliorata – ma non troppo – sulla rivista «Nuova Storia Contemporanea» di Francesco Perfetti. Da quel momento in poi, non ho mai smesso di raccogliere materiale.

Come si è mosso attraverso questo immenso corpus di fonti?

Sono state le parole di Evola a orientarmi, quel che diceva e che non diceva, ciò cui alludeva in quelle che possiamo chiamare le sue – pochissime – memorie. Ho messo insieme un mosaico d’informazioni e riferimenti – spesso indiretti – tratti da libri italiani e stranieri, insieme a testimonianze di persone che l’avevano conosciuto o che erano in contatto con altri protagonisti di questa storia. Ma spesso, devo dire, si è trattato anche di colpi di fortuna!

Le testimonianze raccolte hanno sostanzialmente confermato quel che si sapeva di lui in quegli anni, cruciali per l’Europa?

In genere hanno confermato tutto: i viaggi, gli incontri, gli spostamenti… Le uniche cose che sono state smentite sono tutte le leggende metropolitane, come, ad esempio, la questione della sua paralisi agli arti inferiori, avvenuta durante il famoso bombardamento a Vienna, che secondo alcuni aveva avuto invece origini “magiche”…! Ricordo che lui stesso rideva di queste dicerie… Ebbene, alcuni dei documenti rintracciati (come le lettere a Walter Heinrich che Hans Thomas Hakl mi ha messo a disposizione, insieme al rapporto medico allegato) hanno finalmente smentito tutto

Ma che ci faceva Evola a Rastenburg, al Quartier Generale di Hitler? E con il Duce, per giunta?

Evola parte da Roma alla fine dell’agosto 1943, con un gruppo di persone di cui non ha mai fatto il nome. Viaggia verso Berlino, per render conto ai tedeschi della situazione effettiva del Paese, ancora sotto il governo Badoglio. In Germania c’erano due tendenze: chi credeva in Badoglio, come il Ministero degli Esteri, e chi no, come l’SD e le SS. Questo contrasto impediva ai tedeschi di prendere qualsiasi decisione. Ebbene, Evola arriva in Germania, va a Berlino, parla con chi deve parlare. A quel punto, scopre che Giovanni Preziosi lo sta cercando, e va nella cittadina in cui risiede. Intanto, gli altri membri del gruppo tornano in Italia: quando decide di fare lo stesso, è l’8 settembre. Voleva partire il 9, ma la notte precedente sente l’annuncio dell’armistizio. Viene chiesto a lui e a Preziosi di parlare in radio, a nome di chi non intende sottoscrivere l’armistizio. L’annuncio non ha luogo, anche se alcuni storici affermano il contrario. I due vengono trasportati in aereo a Rastenburg, dove, mimetizzato in un bosco, c’è il Quartier Generale di Hitler. Vi giungono probabilmente il 9. Nel frattempo, Mussolini viene liberato dai paracadutisti di Student e dalle SS di Skorzeny e, dopo una o due tappe, arriva a Rastenburg, dove incontra una serie di personalità che si trovano sul luogo, tra cui il figlio Vittorio, Pavolini, Buffarini Guidi e Farinacci. Tra l’arrivo di Evola e Preziosi e la liberazione di Mussolini hanno luogo, come ampiamente documentato da storici come Attilio Tamaro, lunghe conversazioni su cosa si debba fare con l’Italia, ipotesi di governi diversi da contrapporre alla resa e al Regno del Sud, che si sarebbe creato di lì a poco.

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Gianfranco de Turris

Di questo incontro rimane la celebre scatola di sigari firmata dopo una serata di festeggiamenti da quasi tutti i presenti, poi conservata dal filosofo romano e riportata nel libro (©Fondazione J. Evola, qui riprodotta per gentile concessione).

I presenti – che risiedevano, assieme ad altre personalità italiane, nei vagoni di un treno, scrive Evola, «immobile» come la situazione politica del momento – firmarono una scatola di cubani Walter E. Beger, a ricordo del loro incontro. Dall’alto in basso le firme sono: Giovanni Preziosi, un nome tedesco incomprensibile, Alessandro Pavolini, Orio Ruberti, Cesare Rivelli, Ugo Valla, Angelo Vecchio Verderame, J. Evola, uno sconosciuto A. Zinay, Vittorio Mussolini e Renato Ricci. Manca la firma di Farinacci, in quel momento assente poiché, scrive Evola, convocato dal Duce in udienza privata.

Un altro documento molto particolare è quello selezionato per la copertina…

Questa immagine è stata scelta perché è quella più singolare, e sicuramente colpisce il lettore, per un libro di questo genere. Di solito è poco riprodotta: è una delle molte scattate il pomeriggio del 20 luglio 1944, dopo l’attentato di von Stauffenberg, avvenuto la mattina. Per un insieme di casualità della storia – dimostrazione del fatto che nulla è già scritto – l’attentato del conte non raggiunse il suo scopo. Nella foto, oltre al Duce e al Führer si distinguono Bormann, Göring e l’ammiraglio Dönitz. Alle sue spalle, in terza fila, si scorge il profilo di un uomo in borghese con i calzoni alla zuava, così sembra. Dalla Germania, anni fa, giunse la segnalazione che secondo alcuni si trattava di Julius Evola. Guardandolo bene, in effetti, è impossibile non notare una qualche vaga somiglianza – i capelli, il naso, eccetera eccetera – ma un esame dei fatti pratici dimostra che è impossibile. Il 20 luglio Evola era a Vienna, sotto falso nome. Ciononostante, si tratta di un’immagine molto curiosa, che analizzo nel libro.

Quanto rimane ancora da scoprire sulla vita di Evola di quegli anni?

Poiché di testimoni diretti non ne esistono più, occorre basarsi su materiali di archivio, pubblici o privati. Ad esempio, le lettere di Evola a Heinrich di cui ho già parlato, venute alla luce solo nel 2014, che hanno rivelato la data del bombardamento che l’ha travolto, il nome falso che aveva a Vienna e altre cose. Ma si può anche andare per induzione, integrando le lacune di alcuni documenti usandone altri. Certo, di cose da scoprire ce ne sono ancora. Ad esempio, se si riuscisse ad avere – ma penso siano andate distrutte o perdute – le lettere di Evola a Goffredo Pistoni, potremmo sicuramente avere dettagli aggiuntivi. Oppure le missive che il filosofo scriveva ai suoi amici quando era in ospedale: alcune le abbiamo recuperate, molte no. Altro non credo ci sia: ad esempio, da dove potrebbero mai uscire dettagli del viaggio che fece da Roma a Firenze e poi da Firenze a Verona, dopo l’arrivo degli Alleati? E cosa fece esattamente nella città scaligera?

Un mistero destinato a restare tale, insomma…

Sarà sempre così, proprio perché non ci sono fonti dirette su tutta questa vicenda, che può essere rischiarata solo a partire da deduzioni. Nelle linee generali e complessive, però, i fatti accaduti sono questi. Non credo che altre acquisizioni possano modificare sostanzialmente questa ricostruzione, che mi ha impegnato per anni ma che finalmente getta luce su uno dei periodi più enigmatici della vita di Julius Evola. Se il mio libro, pur con tutte le sue ipotesi, servisse a stimolare ricordi, indicazioni, nuove deduzioni, avrebbe già assolto parte del suo compito.

Les fanatiques de l’Apocalypse, de Norman Cohn

jinete apocalipsis.jpg

Les fanatiques de l’Apocalypse, de Norman Cohn

Ex: http://oratio-obscura.blogspot.com

Au nombre des méfaits commis par les figures dirigeantes du Parti socialiste, il convient d’ajouter la propagation de l’ignorance –ceci, non pas seulement en matière de réformes éducatives, mais également dans le dénigrement public de la science. Je pense en particulier à l’hostilité de nos élites vis-à-vis des effets de dévoilement produits par la sociologie qui, non contente de souligner les conditions matérielles et historiques permettant l’apparente majesté du pouvoir, dissout également l’apparente opacité des faits du monde social. Dans ces conditions, tous les pouvoirs qui aspirent à la peur des masses, afin se poser comme remparts (incritiquables) face aux ténèbres, n’ont qu’un recours : tuer le messager. Ainsi, de Lionel Jospin à Manuel Valls, les soi-disant progressistes qui passent leur temps à parler du social (« lien social », « dialogue social », « justice sociale », etc.), n’ont eu de cesse de rejeter toutes tentatives d’explications des causes sociales de phénomènes tels que la délinquance ou le terrorisme islamiste. Pour les politiciens paresseux et les intellectuels faussaires, il est en effet plus confortable de faire des individus des sujets à la Sartre, nageant dans la pure liberté. Et les petits constructivistes de gauche qui veulent, sous couvert de la laïcité, créer une société religieusement neutre, sont bien contents de faire de la religion la source de la violence, comme si la religion n’était pas elle-même un produit des conditions d’existence des hommes, comme si les diverses interprétations et pratiques religieuses n’étaient pas produites dans des circonstances historiques toujours particulières, pour répondre à des objectifs donnés.

norman82805900471FS.gifC’est pour rompre avec cet obscurantisme officiel que j’invite le lecteur à parcourir quelques extraits du premier chapitre de l’excellente étude de l’historien britannique Norman Cohn, Les Fanatiques de l’Apocalypse (1957). Au travers du cas particulier du millénarisme antique et médiéval, on peut aisément s’apercevoir que la religion n’est pas une force transhistorique flottant au-dessus de la vie sociale, mais au contraire un produit de l’activité des hommes, fluctuant dans les remous de l’Histoire.

« De la fin du XIème siècle jusqu’à la première moitié du XVIème siècle, l’Europe vit à plusieurs reprises les pauvres, désireux d’améliorer leurs conditions de vie, mêler ce désir au rêve chimérique d’un nouveau Paradis terrestre, d’un univers libéré de la souffrance et du mal, d’un Royaume des Saints.

L’histoire de ses siècles est, bien entendu, parsemée de luttes innombrables entre les privilégiés et leurs inférieurs : soulèvements des villes contre leurs seigneurs, des artisans contre les négociants capitalistes, des paysans contre les nobles. En règle générale, ces soulèvements ne se proposaient que des objectifs strictement limités –obtention de certains privilèges, abolition de certaines injustices- ou alors il s’agissait d’explosions de fureur destructrice suscitées par la misère pure et simple, et dont la Jacquerie constitue un exemple célèbre. Certains soulèvements revêtirent toutefois une portée différente. Le Moyen Age avait hérité de l’Antiquité –des Juifs et des chrétiens primitifs- une tradition prophétique qui connut un fantastique regain de vitalité. Pour parler le langage qui s’impose ici, celui des théologiens, il se constitua une eschatologie (un corps de doctrine concernant le sort ultime de l’univers) d’ordre chiliastique (dans le sens le plus large du terme, c’est-à-dire qui prédisait l’avènement d’un Millénium non pas limité à mille ans, mais pratiquement illimité, au cours duquel le monde serait habité par une humanité à la fois parfaitement bonne et parfaitement heureuse). Cette eschatologie, riche d’un réconfort que la doctrine officielle de l’Église médiévale s’interdisait de prodiguer, finit par exercer sur le peuple une fascination puissante et durable. Chaque génération s’adonnait, ne fût-ce que temporairement, à l’espoir fébrile de quelque événement subit et miraculeux qui entraînerait la transformation intégrale du monde, ou de quelque prodigieuse lutte finale qui, opposant les cohortes du Christ à celles de l’Antéchrist, constituerait à la fois l’apogée et la justification de l’histoire. Il serait certes simpliste d’assimiler le monde de l’exaltation chiliastique à celui de l’agitation sociale. Mais il n’est douteux qu’à maintes reprises les masses affligées et mécontentes furent séduites par quelque « prophète » millénariste. Des mouvements se constituaient alors qui, en dépit de leurs proportions réduites et de leur caractère éphémère, nous frappent rétrospectivement par l’analogie qu’ils présentent avec les grands mouvements totalitaires contemporains.

Ce rapprochement ne manquera pas de susciter certaines réserves. N’est-ce pas projeter sur une civilisation disparue des préoccupations qui n’appartiennent qu’à notre temps ? Je ne le pense pas. Je n’irai certes pas jusqu’à nier que dans cet imprévisible kaléidoscope que nous appelons l’histoire, chaque constellation éphémère possède son irréductible spécificité. Mais l’histoire des conduites sociales révèle certains schèmes récurrents, dans leurs grandes lignes du moins, et dont les analogies semblent très frappantes. Cela n’apparaît nulle part plus clairement que dans les mouvements de masse éminemment émotionnels qui constituent le sujet de notre étude. On ne compte pas les cas où les gens se groupèrent au sein de mouvements millénaristes d’une sorte ou d’une autre, et ceci à différentes époques de l’histoire, dans bien des régions et au sein de sociétés fort diverses du point de vue de leurs techniques, de leurs institutions, de leurs valeurs et de leurs croyances. Leur ton allait de l’agressivité la plus outrancière au pacifisme le plus doux. Leur but, de la spiritualité la plus éthérée au matérialisme le plus vil. On ne saurait dénombrer ni les différentes représentations du Millénium ni les voies pour y parvenir. Mais les analogies apparaissent autant que les différences, et plus l’on compare les explosions du chiliasme social militant de la deuxième moitié du Moyen Age aux mouvements totalitaires modernes, plus on est frappé par leurs ressemblances. Une tyrannie mondiale va succomber sous peu sous les coups du peuple élu guidé par une élite infaillible et inspirée. Ce conflit imminent revêtira une importance incomparable et unique, car il permettra de purifier à jamais l’univers du mal qu’il renferme et amènera l’histoire à sa consommation prévue de toute éternité. Ces chimères n’ont rien perdu de leur puissance de fascination. Même si les vieux symboles et les slogans d’autrefois ont été remplacés, la structure des rêves fondamentaux n’a pratiquement pas changé. […]

La genèse de cette eschatologie n’a fait jusqu’à présent l’objet d’aucune étude détaillée. Les sectes les plus strictement religieuses, qui naquirent et disparurent durant cette même période, ont au contraire été amplement analysées. L’histoire des cathares, dont la religion gnostique s’épanouit sur de vastes secteurs de l’Europe méridionale, et celle des vaudois que certains considèrent comme des précurseurs de la Réforme, ont suscité une littérature plus qu’abondante. On a beaucoup parlé également de ces chiliastes particulièrement ascétiques, les franciscains dits spirituels. Mais on s’est rarement interrogé sur la façon dont, pendant près de quatre siècles et demi, les doctrines apocalyptiques cristallisèrent les aspirations, les rancœurs et les angoisses sociales qu’elles dotèrent en retour d’un dynamisme nouveau. […] Ces différents mouvements ne peuvent être considérés (ils ne le furent pas de leur temps) comme constituant une secte hérétique unique dotée de caractéristiques propres. Les documents attestent plutôt l’existence d’une longue tradition salutiste populaire fondée sur des croyances pour la plupart tolérées par l’Église à une époque ou à une autre, mais qui, par l’interprétation qui en était donnée et la façon dont elles s’exprimaient, mettaient en péril l’ordre social existant. Le présent ouvrage se propose, dans la mesure du possible, de suivre l’évolution de cette tradition dans certaines parties de l’Europe au Moyen Age. » (p.7-11)

Norman Cohn (photo)

norman24566.jpg« Déjà les livres prophétiques de l’Ancien Testament, dont certains remontent au VIIIème siècle, décrivaient une immense catastrophe cosmique, dont émergeraient une Palestine qui ne serait rien de moins qu’un nouvel Éden, un paradis reconquis. Ayant négligé son Dieu, le peuple élu devait connaître la famine, la peste, la guerre et la captivité, avant d’être soumis à un jugement qui, par sa sévérité, effectuerait une rupture totale avec un passé coupable. D’abord viendra le Jour de Jéhovah, le jour de colère. Le soleil, la lune et la étoiles seront enveloppés de ténèbres, les cieux se replieront comme un parchemin qu’on roule, et la terre tremblera. Alors sonnera l’heure du Jugement qui verra les mécréants (c’est-à-dire les élus qui n’auront pas eu foi dans leur Seigneur et les païens, ennemis d’Israël) jugés et éliminés, sinon totalement anéantis. Mais ce ne sera pas tout : certains Juifs, « les restes salvifiques », survivront à ces châtiments et deviendront l’instrument des desseins de Dieu. Le peuple élu ainsi amendé et régénéré, Jéhovah renoncera à sa vengeance et se muera en Libérateur. Les Justes […] se regrouperont en Palestine et Jéhovah viendra s’établir parmi eux. Il sera leur Seigneur et leur Juge. Il régnera sur Jérusalem reconstruite, sur Sion devenue capitale spirituelle du monde, vers laquelle convergeront tous les peuples. […]

Les textes apocalyptiques, destinés aux couches inférieures de la population juive et qui représentent une forme de propagande nationaliste, frappent par leur grossièreté et leur démesure. Ceci, dès le premier texte apocalyptique, la vision ou songe du chapitre vu du Livre de Daniel, rédigé vers 165 avant Jésus-Christ, à une période particulièrement difficile de l’histoire juive. Après l’exil de Babylone, les Juifs de Palestine avaient joui, plus de trois siècles durant, d’une sécurité et d’une paix relatives sous l’égide des Perses, puis de la dynastie des Ptolémées. Mais la situation changea lorsque, au IIème siècle avant Jésus-Christ, la Palestine tomba aux mains de la dynastie gréco-romaine des Séleucides. Les Juifs eux-mêmes étaient en proie à d’amères divisions : si l’aristocratie mondaine adoptait d’enthousiasme les mœurs grecques, le peuple, lui, persévéraient avec une résolution accrue dans la foi de ses pères. Lorsqu’Antiochus IV Épiphane, de la dynastie des Séleucides, intervint en faveur du parti grécophile, allant jusqu’à interdire l’observance des rites judaïques, il se heurta à la riposte populaire : ce fut la révolte des Macchabées. Dans le Songe de Daniel, composé au moment où cette révolte faisait rage, quatre bêtes symbolisent quatre puissances mondiales successives : les Babyloniens, la dynastie mythique des Mèdes,  les Perses et les Grecs ; la quatrième bête : « sera différente de tous les royaumes et … dévorera toute la terre, la frappera et la brisera. » (Daniel, VII, 23). A la chute de l’empire, Israël, incarné par le « Fils de l’Homme », « vint dans les nuées des cieux… et il vint jusqu’à l’Ancien des jours… et il lui fut donné la seigneurie et l’honneur et le règne… et tous les peuples et les nations le servirent. Sa domination est une domination éternelle qui ne passera point… et les Saints du Souverain receveront le Royaume et y règneront jusqu’au siècle des siècles » (Daniel, VII, 13-14, 27). Aucun des prophètes n’était allé aussi loin. Pour la première fois, le royaume glorieux de l’avenir embrasse, dans l’imagination d’Israël, non seulement la Palestine mais l’ensemble de l’univers.

apocalypse.jpgOn retrouve là l’essentiel de ce qui allait devenir le thème central de l’eschatologie révolutionnaire. L’univers est dominé par une puissance maléfique et tyrannique dont la capacité de destruction est infinie, puissance d’ailleurs conçue comme surhumaine et démoniaque. Sous cette dictature, les outrages se multiplient, les souffrances des victimes deviennent de plus en plus intolérables, jusqu’à ce que sonne l’heure où les saints de Dieu seront à même de se dresser pour l’abattre. Alors les saints eux-mêmes, le peuple élu, ce peuple saint, qui n’a cessé de gémir sous le joug de l’oppresseur, héritera à son tour de l’hégémonie universelle. Ce sera l’apogée de l’histoire. Le Royaume des Saints surpassera en gloire tous les règnes antérieurs : bien plus, il n’aura pas de successeurs. C’est par cette chimère que l’apocalyptique juive et ses nombreux dérivés, devaient exercer une incomparable fascination sur tous les insurgés, sur tous les mécontents à venir. » (p.16-19)

« Baruch prédit l’avènement certain d’une ère de souffrance et d’injustice terribles, l’ère du dernier empire, celui des Romains. C’est alors, au moment même où le mal aura atteint son apogée, que paraîtra le Messie. Formidable guerrier, il sèmera la déroute parmi les cohortes ennemies qu’il réduira à néant. Il fera prisonnier le chef des Romains et le traînera enchaîné sur la montagne de Sion, où il le mettra à mort. Le royaume qu’il instaurera durera jusqu’à la fin du monde. Toutes les nations qui ont régné sur Israël seront passées au fil de l’épée ; certains peuples survivants seront placés sous la coupe du peuple élu. Une ère de béatitude s’ouvrira. » (p.20)

«Simon bar-Cochba qui mena la dernière guerre d’indépendance juive, en 131, fut encore acclamé comme messie. Mais la répression sanglante de ce soulèvement et la suppression d’Israël en tant que nation mirent un terme à la foi apocalyptique et à l’ardeur militante des Juifs. Si au cours des siècles suivant, un certain nombre de soi-disant messies surgirent au sein des communautés essaimées dans divers pays, ils ne prétendaient plus créer un empire mondial eschatologique, mais se proposaient seulement de reconstituer le foyer national. […] L’élaboration des prophéties messianiques, dans la tradition du Songe de Daniel, était passée des mains des Juifs à celles des chrétiens, et ce furent eux qui continuèrent à s’en inspirer. » (p.21)

« Comme les Juifs, les chrétiens réagirent contre l’oppression dont ils étaient l’objet, en proclamant avec une vigueur accrue, à la face du monde et d’eux-mêmes, leur foi dans l’imminence de l’ère messianique qui verrait les tors redressés et les ennemis de Dieu jetés bas. » (p.23)

« En 156 après Jésus-Christ, un certain Montanus de Phrygie se proclama l’incarnation du Saint-Esprit, de cet Esprit de Vérité qui selon le quatrième Évangile devait dévoiler les choses à venir (Jean XV, 26, XVI, 13). Autour de lui se regroupèrent bientôt un certain nombre d’extatiques qui s’adonnaient généreusement à des expériences visionnaires auxquelles ils attribuaient aveuglément une origine divine, et qui constituaient pour eux le Troisième Testament. Leurs illuminations avaient pour thème l’avènement prochain du royaume : la nouvelle Jérusalem allait descendre des cieux sur la terre phrygienne où elle deviendrait le tabernacle des saints. Ils appelaient en conséquence tous les chrétiens à se rendre en Phrygie pour y attendre la parousie –ou Second Avènement-, dans le jeûne, la prière et les larmes du repentir. […]

Rien n’était aussi propice à l’expansion du montanisme que la persécution : aussi, lorsqu’à partir de 177 les chrétiens furent l’objet de nouvelles persécutions dans nombre de provinces romaines, le montanisme perdit soudain son caractère local pour se propager non seulement en Asie Mineure mais aussi en Afrique, à Rome et même en Gaule. […] Tertullien, le plus célèbre théologien occidental de ce temps […] se joignit au mouvement montaniste. » (p.25-26)

« Irénée, originaire lui aussi d’Asie mineure, porta ces prophéties sur la terre de Gaule vers la fin du premier siècle. Évêque de Lyon et théologien émérite, il fit probablement plus que tout autre pour enraciner les croyances chiliastiques en Occident. » (p.28)

« C’est dans l’œuvre de Commodianus, très médiocre poète latin du Vème siècle, que ces chimères traditionnelles, où la vengeance est inséparable du triomphe, se résument pour la première fois en un appel aux armes, première esquisse de l’esprit de croisade chiliastique qui devait déferler sur l’Europe médiévale, puis à notre époque. » (p.29-30)

Nuremberg_chronicles_f_117v_1.png« Au IIIème siècle eut lieu la première tentative visant à discréditer les doctrines chiliastiques : Origène, le plus influent peut-être des théologiens de l’Église, assure en effet que l’avènement du Royaume se situera non pas dans l’espace et dans le temps, mais uniquement dans l’âme des fidèles. A une eschatologie millénariste collective, il substitue donc une eschatologie de l’âme individuelle. […] De fait, ce déplacement d’intérêt répond admirablement aux besoins d’une Église désormais organisée, jouissant d’une paix pratiquement ininterrompue et d’un statut universellement admis. Lorsqu’au IVème siècle, le christianisme établit son hégémonie sur le monde méditerranéen et devint la religion officielle de l’Empire, l’Église prit de plus en plus nettement ses distances à l’égard des théories chiliastiques. L’Église catholique, institutionnalisée, puissante et prospère, suivait une routine solidement établie, et ses responsables n’éprouvaient aucune envie de voir les chrétiens se cramponner à des rêves démodés et trompeurs d’un nouveau paradis terrestre. Au début du Vème siècle, saint Augustin élabora la doctrine correspondant à ces circonstances nouvelles. La Cité de Dieu explique que l’Apocalypse doit être interprétée comme une allégorie spirituelle. Quant au millénium, la naissance du christianisme en avait marqué l’avènement et l’Église en était la réalisation sans faille. Cette théorie prit rapidement valeur de dogme, au point que le Concile d’Éphèse (431) condamna la croyance au Millénium comme une superstition aberrante. » (p.32)

« Si les mouvements révolutionnaires d’inspiration plus ou moins eschatologique furent relativement nombreux en Europe au Moyen Age, ils furent pourtant loin d’être universels ou continus. Rien ne prouve qu’il s’en soit produit avant les dernières années du XIème siècle, et même par la suite (du moins pour l’Europe du Nord), seule la vallée du Rhin possède une tradition chiliastique révolutionnaire presque interrompue jusqu’au XVIème siècle. Une telle tradition marque, de la fin du XIème jusqu’au milieu du XVIème siècle, l’histoire de certaines régions de l’actuelle Belgique ou du Nord de la France, et de certaines parties de l’Allemagne centrale et méridionale, du milieu du XIIIème siècle jusqu’à la Réforme ; on la retrouve ensuite en Hollande et en Westphalie. […] Les régions où les prophéties millénaristes séculaires revêtent soudain une signification nouvelle révolutionnaire, et connaissent un regain de vigueur, sont celles où l’essor économique est particulièrement rapide et se double d’une forte expansion démographique. » (p.41-42)

« Si le dénuement, la misère et l’oppression […] pouvaient suffire à faire naître un millénarisme révolutionnaire, celui-ci aurait connu un essor considérable dans les rangs de la paysannerie médiévale. Ce ne fut que très rarement le cas. Des serfs souvent tentés de prendre la fuite, des efforts réitérés de communautés paysannes pour arracher certaines concessions, des révoltes sporadiques éphémères, tout cela relevait presque du quotidien dans plus d’un domaine seigneurial de l’époque. Toutefois, il est très rare que des paysans, nantis d’une terre, aient consentis à se lancer dans la quête du Millénium. S’ils le faisaient, c’est qu’ils se trouvaient entraînés dans un mouvement plus vaste qui avait pris naissance dans des couches sociales très différentes, ou que leur propre mode de vie traditionnel se dégradait, ou encore, et c’était le cas le plus fréquent, pour ces deux raisons ensemble. » (p.44-45)

« Le réseau des liens sociaux dans lequel le paysan se trouvait jeté dès sa naissance était si puissant et si solidement ancré qu’il rendait impossible tout désarroi radical. […] La notion même d’un bouleversement social était impensable. Dans une économie uniformément primitive où personne n’était extrêmement riche, rien ne venait susciter des besoins nouveaux ; rien, en tout cas, ne pouvait inciter à des rêves de puissance ou de faste. » (p.46-47)

cohn98292.jpg« Cet état de choses se mit à évoluer à partir du XIème siècle, plusieurs régions d’Europe bénéficiant d’une paix assez durable pour permettre l’accroissement de la population et l’essor du commerce. […] Dès le XIème siècle, le Nord-Est de la France, les Pays-Bas et la vallée du Rhin avaient atteint une densité de population telle que le système agricole traditionnel se révélait incapable d’en assurer la subsistance. Nombre de paysans se mirent à défricher des forêts, des marécages et des franges côtières, ou prirent la route de l’Est pour participer à la grande colonisation allemande des terres slaves : ces pionniers eurent généralement la vie plus facile. Restaient de nombreux paysans sans terre, ou que leur lopin ne suffisait pas à nourrir : il leur fallait donc se débrouiller tant bien que mal. Une partie de cette population excédentaire alla grossir les rangs du prolétariat rural. D’autres affluèrent dans les nouveaux centres urbains et industriels pour donner naissance à un prolétariat urbain. » (p.48)

« Aux XIème, XIIème et XIIIème siècles apparu une industrie textile florissante qui ne cessa de croître jusqu’à ce que l’actuelle Belgique et le Nord-Est de la France fussent devenus un district manufacturier unique, la région la plus industrialisée d’une Europe qui demeurait à prédominance agricole. […] Au XIIème siècle, les négociants flamands trafiquant le long du Rhin, rejoints aux XIIIème siècle par ceux de la vallée du Rhin elle-même, finirent par règner sans conteste sur le commerce international de l’Europe septentrionale. Ils transitaient le tissu flamand vers les marchés nouveaux de l’Allemagne centrale et méridionale, ou vers le Levant. » (p.48)

« L’industrie se concentrait dans les villes : or, tout serf qui cherchait asile dans une ville y recouvrait sa liberté. En outre, il y était infiniment plus facile pour un pauvre, surtout au début de l’expansion économique, d’améliorer sa condition. […] L’horizon économique et social s’élargissant, la misère et le dénuement cessèrent d’apparaître comme le sort inéluctable du peuple.

Nombreux, cependant, furent ceux qui se contentèrent d’acquérir de nouveaux besoins sans pouvoir les satisfaire. Le spectacle d’une munificence dont nul n’aurait osé rêver quelque siècle auparavant éveillait en eux un sentiment d’amère frustration. Dans toutes ces zones surpeuplées où l’urbanisation et l’industrialisation étaient fort avancées, une foule d’individus vivait en marge de la société dans un état d’insécurité chronique. Même à ses meilleurs jours, l’industrie n’était pas en état d’absorber cet excédent de population. Les mendiants pullulaient dans la moindre bourgade : ils erraient par bandes dans les rues, ou cheminaient d’une ville à l’autre. Un grand nombre se faisaient mercenaires […]. » (p.49)

« Le prolétariat urbain ou rural (paysans déshérités ou incapables de subvenir à leurs propres besoins, mendiants, vagabonds, journaliers et manœuvres, chômeurs et ouvriers menacés de chômage), tous ceux qui, pour une raison ou une autre, ne pouvaient parvenir à un statut stable et reconnu, vivaient dans un état de frustration et d’anxiété perpétuelles qui en faisaient l’élément le plus instable et le plus impulsif de la société médiévale. » (p.51)

cohnHans_Böhm_als_Prediger.jpg

« Cette population excédentaire et marginale eut toujours tendance à élire pour chef un laïque ou un moine défroqué qui s’imposait non seulement comme saint homme, mais aussi comme prophète et sauveur, sinon comme Dieu vivant. Arguant des révélations ou des pensées inspirées qu’il prétendait tenir de Dieu, ce chef assignait à ses disciples une mission collective d’importance cosmique. La certitude de cette mission, et de l’élection divine pour des tâches prodigieuses, dotait ces hommes déçus et désemparés de points de repères stables et d’espoirs nouveaux. Non seulement ils trouvaient ainsi une place dans le monde, mais cette place unique et rayonnante se situait au centre des choses. […] Ces confréries avaient conscience de constituer une élite distincte, supérieure au commun des mortels, sur laquelle rejaillissaient les mérites prodigieux de leurs chefs et leurs pouvoirs miraculeux. En outre, la mission qui fascinait le plus ces masses devait naturellement trouver son couronnement dans la transformation radicale de la société. Elles trouvaient dans les prophéties eschatologiques, héritées d’un passé immémorial et issues du monde oublié du christianisme primitif, un mythe social parfaitement adapté à leurs besoins. […] Ces hommes éprouvaient le besoin pressant de frapper l’infidèle afin de redonner corps, par la souffrance infligée aussi bien que subie, à ce royaume ultime où les saints assemblés autour de la grande figure protectrice de leur Messie, jouiraient d’une richesse, d’un confort, d’une sécurité et d’une puissance éternels. » (p.53-54)

-Norman Cohn, Les fanatiques de l’Apocalypse. Courants millénaristes révolutionnaires du XIème au XVIème siècle, Bruxelles, Editions Aden, coll. « Opium du peuple », 2011 (1957 pour la première édition anglaise), 469 pages.

Publié par Johnathan Razorback

mardi, 28 juin 2016

JMJ : bataille de Vienne reconstituée au programme?

husspol.jpg

JMJ : bataille de Vienne reconstituée au programme?

Ex: http://visegradpost.com

Pologne – Une reconstitution de la bataille de Vienne pour les JMJ 2016 à Cracovie ?

Par Olivier Bault

Pendant les Journées Mondiales de la Jeunesse (JMJ) qui se dérouleront avec le pape François à Cracovie du 27 au 31 juillet, le ministère de la Défense polonais prévoit plusieurs événements destinés à présenter aux pèlerins et autres visiteurs « l’armée polonaise à la lumière des générations au service de la défense des valeurs chrétiennes ». Parmi ces événements dévoilés par le journal Rzeczpospolita le 11 juin dernier, une reconstitution de la bataille de Vienne fait hurler la gauche laïque polonaise qui aimerait ne voir dans la chrétienté qu’une collectivité d’ONG tendant systématiquement l’autre joue à chaque claque qu’elle se prend tout en accueillant chez elle tous les arrivants sans trop se poser de questions sur leurs intentions ou sur les conséquences pour la communauté locale et nationale. Or la bataille de Vienne est le symbole d’une chrétienté à l’opposé de cette vision, avec des croyants qui avaient avec eux la force que donne le Saint-Esprit. Ce don de la force s’appelle d’ailleurs dans la langue de Sienkiewicz męstwo, ce qui se traduit généralement plutôt par « vaillance », « courage » ou même « virilité » selon les contextes.

Cette bataille du 12 septembre 1683 pour la défense de la capitale autrichienne a marqué le début du reflux du califat ottoman qui menaçait de s’étendre depuis les Balkans au reste de l’Europe. C’est en septembre 1683 que les troupes du Saint-Empire romain germanique alliées à celles de la République des Deux Nations (l’union du Royaume de Pologne et du Grand-Duché de Lituanie) mirent les Turcs, plus nombreux, en déroute sous le commandement du roi de Pologne Jean III Sobieski. « Venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit » (nous sommes venus, nous avons vu, Dieu a vaincu) écrivit alors le souverain polonais dans une missive au pape Innocent XI pour l’informer de la victoire militaire du christianisme sur l’islamisme.

L’idée du ministre de la Défense Antoni Macierewicz pour les JMJ 2016 n’est donc pas saugrenue, et elle est même courageuse dans le contexte actuel en Europe. On ne sait pas encore ce qu’en pense le pape François.

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jeudi, 23 juin 2016

Arnaud Imatz: “El catolicismo ha sido la gran suerte de España”

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Arnaud Imatz: “El catolicismo ha sido la gran suerte de España”

Ex: http://www.katehon.com

Nacido en Bayona, en 1948, en el seno de una familia de origen vasco-navarro, Arnaud Imatz es doctor en Ciencias Políticas, diplomado en Derecho y Economía. Ha sido funcionario internacional en la OCDE y fundador/gerente de empresa.

Autor de numerosos libros y artículos, ha publicado en España: José Antonio: entre odio y amor. Su historia como fue (Áltera, Madrid, 2006, 2007), Los partidos contra las personas. Izquierda y derecha: dos etiquetas (Áltera, Barcelona, 2005) y Juan Donoso Cortés: Contra el liberalismo. Antología política (Áltera, Madrid, 2014).

Publicará este verano, en París, una amplia síntesis histórica sobre el antagonismo derecha/izquierda, Droite/Gauche: pour sortir de l’équivoque. Histoire des idées et de valeurs non-conformistes du XIXe au XXIe siècle.

¿Qué empujó a un francés a interesarse a España, a sus pensadores y a su historia?

- Es una mezcla de razones familiares, generacionales y, por supuesto, también el imprevisto o la oportunidad. Hay dos ramas en mi familia: una carlista (la de mi abuelo materno) y otra republicana (la de mi abuelo paterno, héroe y gran mutilado de la guerra de 1914). Mi padre, campeón nacional de pelota vasca, excelente jugador de fútbol y rugby, me inculcó valores imprescindibles, hoy desgraciadamente burlados y pisoteados: la honestidad, la fidelidad, el respeto a la palabra dada, el sentido del bien común.

Empecé mis estudios universitarios en 1965. En plena rebelión estudiantil, mi sensibilidad política gaullista, un patriotismo abierto “ni de derechas ni de izquierdas”, me llevó a abandonar provisionalmente la universidad para cumplir mi servicio militar en el prestigioso 6º Regimiento de Paracaidistas de Infantería de Marina.

Admirador del Presidente Charles de Gaulle, gigante entre los enanos políticos franceses del siglo XX, no tenía ninguna simpatía por el freudo-marxismo de los extremistas o violentos sesentayochistas. Y en esto no andaba desencaminado. Hoy se sabe que estos pseudorevolucionarios de 1968 abandonaron muy pronto sus virulentas críticas al consumerismo capitalista, al productivismo y a la tecnocracia para defender el multiculturalismo, el individualismo de los derechos humanos y la lógica frenética del mercado. Las cosas, como son: mi generación fue mortífera. Sus mayores representantes, los líderes de los mal llamados contestatarios, contribuyeron decisivamente a nutrir la oligarquía o la casta corrupta de hoy. Casi todos se precipitaron sin la menor vergüenza en los pasillos del poder. En mi caso particular, ellos actuaron como revulsivo, como una vacuna definitiva contra la militancia política. A partir de ahí me convertí en un observador distanciado de la política. Simultáneamente, comprendí que no podía haber ciencias sociales sin un verdadero debate contradictorio, sin una lucha contra las ideas recibidas, sin un combate contra los maniqueísmos. Creo, desde aquellos lejanos años, que la objetividad es una meta que el politólogo o el historiador se deben esforzar de alcanzar. Por eso considero que los universitarios que se meten en política además parangonándose de sus títulos y de sus pretendidas investigaciones, son charlatanes, peligrosos barbaros.

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¿Qué le llevó estudiar la controvertida personalidad de José Antonio Primo de Rivera y a un olvidado Juan Donoso Cortés?

- Bueno, en realidad, mis primeros trabajos universitarios fueron sobre la Escuela de Salamanca (siglo XVI y XVII), famosísima escuela casi desconocida en Francia y muy mal conocida en España. Mi descubrimiento del pensamiento de José Antonio Primo de Rivera fue posterior y totalmente fortuito. Leí dos obras sobre él publicadas por la editorial antifranquista Ruedo Iberico: Antifalange del periodista y polemista marxista, Herbert Southworth y Falange: historia del fascismo español del historiador, entonces social-demócrata, Stanley Payne. Despertaron mi interés por José Antonio y años después, en 1975, defendí mi tesis doctoral. Se trataba de un doctorado de Estado, y no de Universidad, el mayor grado académico otorgable entonces por el Estado francés. Conste que a pesar de mi alejamiento de los convencionalismos, mi tribunal, compuesto de profesores liberales y socialdemócratas al “viejo estilo”, me dio la mayor graduación: summa cum laude. Una actitud honesta e independiente, inimaginable hoy en una universidad dominada por lo políticamente correcto. Esto fue mi primer paso. Luego me interesé por el liberal José Ortega y Gasset, y el tradicionalista Juan Donoso Cortés, y publiqué en Francia varios ensayos y antologías. Otro de mis temas favoritos ha sido la Guerra civil española. Di a conocer al público francés unos cuantos autores españoles absolutamente desconocidos en el Hexágono. También tuve la satisfacción de romper la omertà de 40 años, que había afectado a Stanley Payne, publicando y prologando su libro La guerre d’Espagne. L’histoire face à la confusion mémorielle (Editions du CERF, París, 2010).

¿España o Españas?

- Yo digo siempre España, como digo lengua española (y no castellana). Spain and Spanish language dicen, por cierto, y sin vacilar, los ingleses y los americanos del norte. Pero tampoco me parece algo fundamental. Muchos españoles creen que el concepto “Españas” es reciente y a menudo lo hacen remontar a la Constitución de 1978, con la institucionalización de la división de España en comunidades autónomas. Sin embargo, por citar un solo contra-ejemplo, recordaré que el catedrático de Filosofía del Derecho de sensibilidad carlista, Francisco Elías de Tejada, acostumbraba utilizar dicho concepto en los años 1940-1975. Ahora bien, si con este concepto de Españas se quiere esconder un proyecto de desconstrucción de España en tanto que nación, por supuesto, como historiador, discrepo totalmente. Dejo a los papanatas la admiración por intelectuales y artistas mediáticos como Savater, Sánchez Ferlosio, Javier Marías o Antonio Gala. Yo me quedo con la pléyade de autores famosos, de izquierdas y de derechas, unidos al ser y a la existencia de España: Feijoo, Cadalso, Balmes, Costa, Ganivet, Menéndez y Pelayo, Giner de los Ríos, Unamuno, Ortega, Maeztu, Baroja, los Machado, Marañón, Madariaga y tantos otros.

Según sus estudios y reflexiones, la crisis que sufre España, ¿participa de una más global, que afectaría a toda Europa, o subsumiría, además, problemáticas seculares jamás resueltas?

- En efecto, creo que “el drama de la España moderna” se ha dado, en gran parte, de manera similar al de las otras grandes naciones europeas (Francia, Italia, Gran Bretaña, Alemania, etc.). Indudablemente, la construcción de la España moderna y democrática se ha hecho sobre el rechazo absoluto de la dictadura franquista. Pero, como dicen los ingleses, se ha desechado el bebe con el agua de la bañera. Los estereotipos del pasado, la amplia memoria histórica (que no reciente) y la valoración de la continuidad han sido continuamente denunciados en la península. Un error. La oligarquía o las elites postfranquistas, imitadoras de sus maestros europeos, se han mostrado incapaces de generar un nuevo proyecto de vida en común, de suscitar un sentimiento de pertenencia a una unidad de destino. Los responsables son globalmente todos los mandos de los partidos de gobierno, tanto de derechas como de izquierdas, los neoliberales y los neo-socialdemócratas. Evidentemente, en este proceso se suman, como dice usted, problemáticas seculares jamás resueltas, o características específicas de España. Pero conviene subrayar, sobre todo, la incapacidad de las elites europeas mundializadas, desconectadas de la realidad, obsesionadas por la creación de una Europa librecambista, multicultural, avasallada, sin marco geográfico, histórico y cultural; una Europa hecha por y para ciudadanos zombis.

Catolicismo y España: ¿cemento o cortapisa? Al casi desaparecer aquél, ¿España tiene sentido?

- El catolicismo ha sido la gran suerte de España. Su eclipse, un desastre. Sólo desde 2015 se han cerrado 341 casas de religiosos en España. Una evolución terrible que va de la mano con el profundo deterioro del país. No olvidemos que para Maquiavelo, Montesquieu, Tocqueville, Lord Acton, y muchísimos más, es la religión lo que frena los apetitos y sostiene las virtudes (y sobra decir que estos pensadores se referían esencialmente al cristianismo). Mire usted, en nuestra Francia “Fille aînée de l’Église” tenemos una cierta experiencia del tema. Desde la Revolución francesa se ha luchado, a menudo brutalmente, contra la Iglesia y el catolicismo. Hemos conocido las persecuciones religiosas, el sectarismo laicista, el racismo republicano de base anticristiana y al final, una vez laminado el cristianismo, asistimos al triste espectáculo de unos políticos totalmente desarmados ante el desarrollo del Islam. Lo único que se les ocurre es manipular la opinión pública, repitiendo ad nauseam, y desde hace más de 30 años, que no hay reemplazamiento de la población, que esto es una fantasía, y que de todas formas habrá (se supone que gracias al milagro que ellos cumplirán un día) un nuevo Islam, modernizado, reformado, contextualizado, laicizado, democratizado, compatible con el modelo occidental, capaz de marginar a “la pequeña minoría fundamentalista vivero del totalitarismo islamista”. Una saga de mentiras y sandeces.

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Clase política y pueblo español, ¿tal para cual y viceversa?

- Como dice El Cantar de mio Cid: «¡Dios, qué buen vasallo, — si oviesse buen señor!»". Confieso que me he impuesto seguir a los principales líderes políticos de España, escuchando o leyendo algunos de sus discursos. El panorama es desesperante. Quizás nunca han imperado tanto la demagogia, la duplicidad y el engaño.

Una educación degradada, la pérdida del sentido trascendente de la existencia, individualismo acelerado por las nuevas tecnologías, el consumismo como estilo de vida, la atomización social como fruto y la consiguiente debilidad de la persona…, ¿comparte el diagnóstico? Tamaña revolución antropológica, seguramente universal, pero acentuada por el temperamento español, ¿es reversible?

- No lo sé, pero le recordaré el dicho maurrasiano: “La desesperanza en política es una estupidez absoluta”.

¿Por qué no existe en España una “derecha de ideales”?

- Creo que existe, pero no tiene la menor visibilidad en los grandes medios de comunicación. Sólo hablan los representantes de la derecha de intereses, obsesionados por las recetas neoliberales, por el economicismo, la competitividad, la reforma del mercado del empleo, la reducción de los déficits.

En España se tiende a buscar analogías entre Podemos y el Frente Nacional francés. ¿Encuentra razonable tal perspectiva?

- El éxito de Podemos se debe a su constante promoción en los medios de comunicación. Al contrario del Frente Nacional, un partido populista votado mayoritariamente por los obreros y los asalariados, que ha sido siempre marginado y boicoteado por los periodistas y los representantes de la oligarquía político-económico-cultural. Podemos tiene, ante todo, una herencia radical o extremista de izquierda: tesis ecologistas, defensa del multiculturalismo, rechazo de las fronteras, laicismo maximalista, federalismo y a veces separatismo, admiración hacia los movimientos populistas tercermundistas de Chávez y Morales (pero sin compartir sus patriotismos o nacionalismos). La ideología de Podemos es una mezcla de crítica virulenta del capitalismo (abogan por controles y represiones económicas) y de absoluta defensa del liberalismo “societal” (apertura de las fronteras, odio del Estado, generalización del aborto, lucha contra las discriminaciones, etc.). La contradicción insalvable de Podemos es querer hacer del individuo la norma de todo y a la vez querer una colectividad unida. A diferencia del Frente Nacional, Podemos cree en las recetas supranacionales, en una reforma milagrosa de la Unión Europea, lo que hace de él un partido desfasado y condenado a la impotencia. El caso de Podemos es atípico; paradójicamente hace eco al eslogan de Fraga Iribarne “Spain is different”. Podemos y el partido Syriza, movimiento desacreditado por su vergonzante sumisión a la UE, son dos populismos de extrema izquierda. Tienen muy poco que ver con los numerosos populismos europeos que se definen a favor de la justicia social y en contra de la globalización mundialista, del reemplazamiento poblacional y civilizacional. Incluso el Movimiento 5 Estrellas no comparte la ideología inmigracionista de Podemos, uno de los pilares del mundialismo, por no querer jugar el papel de los “idiotas útiles” como decía Karl Marx.

Como buen conocedor de la historia y la actualidad españolas, resumiendo todo lo anterior, ¿vislumbra un futuro para España o, según su criterio, esta nación sufre los espasmos de un fin cercano?

- Ya no creo que los pueblos europeos de Occidente se puedan salvar solos. Pongo mis esperanzas en los países del Este, que han sufrido durante tantas décadas el totalitarismo comunista. Quizás ellos nos ayuden a deshacernos de la oligarquía neoliberal dominante, a romper con lo políticamente correcto y a salir de nuestra dormición.

Vieja política versus populismos; oligarquía versus pueblos; mundialismo versus identidades colectivas; pensamiento progresista políticamente correcto versus tradición judeo-cristiana;…, ¿cuáles son los ejes decisivos, a su entender, de “la cuestión” de nuestro tiempo?

- La única división importante de hoy es la que opone, en el interior de las izquierdas y de las derechas, a los partidarios del apego frente los partidarios del desarraigo; la que levanta a los defensores de la identidad, de la soberanía, de la justicia social y del bien común, frente a los adeptos del mundialismo, del multiculturalismo y del gran mercado. Nunca se debe olvidar la lección política de Aristóteles, Rousseau, Jefferson y de muchos otros pensadores prestigiosos: para que una sociedad democrática pueda sobrevivir se necesita un territorio relativamente limitado y un alto nivel de homogeneidad de la población.

La Tribuna del País Vasco.

Emperor Maximilian & the Dream of a European Mexico

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Emperor Maximilian & the Dream of a European Mexico

 

One hundred and forty-nine years ago, on June 19, 1867, Maximilian von Hapsburg—Emperor of Mexico, brother to Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, and descendant of Holy Roman Emperors—was shot by a firing squad of rebels in Querétaro, Mexico. Maximilian stood six-foot-two, had blond hair and blue eyes, and was 34 years of age. He had been Emperor of Mexico for barely two-and-a-half years.

Maximiliano.jpgSo ended the short life of Maximilian, and the much briefer life of Imperial Hapsburg Mexico. Often viewed as a sort of black comedy out of Evelyn Waugh—aristocratic simpleton moves to the tropics and gets lynched by noble savages—the Maximilian story is a grave one that reverberates to the present day. Put simply, Maximilian’s rule was  a  valiant attempt to turn a perpetually bankrupt, disorderly Mexico into something else—an orderly, prosperous, Europeanized country. A transformed Mexico, newly planted with arrivals from Austria, Hungary, Germany, France and, perhaps most importantly, the Confederate States of America.

In 1865-66, Germans founded colonies in Yucatan. Confederates went to Monterey and Cordoba and the new town of Carlota, 70 miles west of Veracruz, where they farmed, built sawmills and freight companies, and helped construct the first-ever long-distance railway line between the Gulf Coast and Mexico City.[1][2][3] During Maximilian’s brief reign, Mexico’s international debts were settled, while trade and commerce revived.[4]

Not for long of course. Imperial Mexico got strangled at birth by its northern neighbor. The U.S.A. wanted a weak, unstable country at its southern border, so it armed and funded the guerrillas who overthrew and executed the Emperor.

Now, this is not the conventional, vague explanation one usually hears for Maximilian’s reign and collapse. The usual story blames it all on the French. We’re told Maximilian was no more than a puppet emperor installed by Napoleon III, and propped up by the French army and Foreign Legion (who were there originally for reasons to do with Mexico defaulting on debts, or something). Thus when those French forces withdrew, the Imperial regime collapsed.

There are a couple of serious problems with this potted history. For one thing, contemporary reports tell us Maximilian’s rule was fairly popular for most of his reign. The largely European upper classes—grandees, business people, clergy—liked him from the start (and cooled on him only when he proved to be a little too progressive and liberal for their taste).The indios and common people particularly welcomed him, seeing in this monarch an end to the constant upheavals that had colored the national scene ever since Mexico’s dubious independence in 1821.[5]

There had been at least 40 different governments in four decades; the exact number is indeterminable. Maximilian’s opponents — Benito Juarez, Porfirio Diaz, and their followers — were a ragtag collection of so-called “Liberal” bureaucrats and warlords, essentially the same sort of self-seeking politicos who had been exploiting the country since the 1820s. By the time Maximilian arrived in Mexico at the end of 1864, Juarez and Diaz, et al. had been chased to the banks of the Rio Grande, where they waited for succor from the United States.

It was not long in coming. The Washington regime had determined to sabotage the Imperial government however it could. This was far and away the determining factor in Maximilian’s downfall. As the American Civil War wound down in 1865, the Federals turned their sights on the Southwest, and gave the rebel warlords all the gold [6] and guns they needed to keep up their guerrilla campaign. According to reports, 30,000 rifles were deposited on the riverbank near El Paso by Gen. Philip Sheridan.[7] With the South now defeated, the U.S. Army had plenty of surplus. Sheridan also brought an “army of observation” of 50,000 men to the border, to support the rebels and threaten the Imperial and French troops.[8]  Whenever possible, the Federals prevented Southerners from embarking to the new colonies by ship.[9] Washington refused diplomatic recognition to Maximilian’s government, and went so far as to brazenly warn Austria and other European countries not to aid Maximilian. (The United States, warned Secretary of State Seward, “cannot consent” to European intervention and establishment of “military despotism” in the Western Hemisphere.[10])

Bizarrely, Washington continued to recognize insurgent leader Benito Juarez as Mexican president long after his term ended in 1864.[11]

LBM-525007df728e7a1594228f.jpgThe U.S.’s persistent and calculated support for the rebels shows that Maximilian’s fall was neither inevitable nor foreordained. Which makes it very compelling to imagine what might have become of Mexico had Maximilian’s cause prevailed.  Would Imperial Hapsburg Mexico have become a sort of Austria-Hungary of the tropics, full of ski resorts, opera festivals and retirement chalet-condos in the Sierra Madre? Perhaps the current Hapsburg heir would be Emperor of Mexico.

Or — to consider the Confederate heritage — might Mexico have become the fulcrum of an expansionist military/commercial empire, eventually encompassing all of Central America, much of the Caribbean, and perhaps even South America — a Knights of the Golden Circle dream, fulfilling its manifest destiny?

Either way, in order to survive it would need to crack its mestizo problem, which after all was the main cause of Mexico’s instability. Maximilian himself never seems to have explored racial matters or noted the connection between Mexico’s heterogeneous, mostly nonwhite population, and its tumbledown governmental administration; but no doubt his ex-Confederate advisors were no doubt ready to enlighten him. In any case, the clear policy of Imperial Mexico was to fill the country up with white people.

Extrapolating to the present day, one might speculate that the big racial discussion a century-and-a-half later would concern illegal immigration . . . particularly nonwhite aliens and immigrant from the north of the border. (“Decades ago we allowed some blacks to come down to work in the Konditoreien and Krankenhausen . . . We felt so sorry for them, the way they were treated in the U.S. of A. Those little negro girls in Little Rock! We didn’t know what they were really like. But now! Right outside Charlottenburg, the toniest suburb of Mexico-Stadt, there’s this ghastly slum that looks like the South Side of Chicago . . .”)

But to return to less whimsical musings . . .

Why Maximilian? Why was he there? For most people this is a complete conundrum. As noted above, the origins of Imperial Hapsburg Mexico are generally skimmed over in (American) history, dismissed as an incursion by “the French” for some vague purposes of empire-building or debt-collection. The whole adventure is known mainly through celebration of Cinco de Mayo, which commemorates a minor battle from 1862, years before Maximilian was anywhere on the scene.

In grade-school and high-school history, the Maximilian episode is often (or used to be) presented as an object lesson in the “Monroe Doctrine,” the 1823 promulgation that the United States must regard as “unfriendly” any “interference” by European powers in the political affairs of independent states in the New World. But even if you take the Monroe Doctrine seriously (and it’s pretty hard to, considering that it’s nothing more than a unilateral declaration of a nation’s supposed “sphere of influence”), the Doctrine does not strictly apply to the Maximilian case. Maximilian did not rule Mexico as an Austrian prince or satrap of France. He was ostensibly offered the Imperial crown by the “people of Mexico,” and however dubious that vox populi might be, Maximilian accepted the offer in good faith, and took it as a duty. As Emperor of Mexico he did not owe fealty to any other state or prince.

LEFM-10e75e132d5af4b88866.jpgThe many evasive characterizations of the Maximilian story—European interference, imperial aggrandizement, debt-collection, et al.—all avoid the fundamental reason why Maximilian was brought in. And that was the horrifying disorder and lawlessness that had characterized Mexico in the generation or so since independence. One can argue that disorder is just innate to Mexico. Regardless, the chaos had become particularly noticeable by the early 1860s, when after years of governmental corruption, the Benito Juarez administration announced it would default on the loans made by overseas investors. (The crisis that precipitated the 1862 military intervention by France, along with Britain and Spain.) A good example of this corruption, or incompetence, is shown by the Veracruz-to-Mexico City railway mentioned above. This had originally been planned, and concession granted, in 1837. But construction of the 300-mile route never really commenced till 1865, under Maximilian. At this time Mexico did not have a single long-distance railway.

The post-independence years had brought a complete breakdown of communication and law-enforcement through most of Mexico. Traveling any distance overland was a dangerous expedition, one that should only be taken only with armed guard. A fact of life celebrated in a popular painting genre of the period: the robbery of a stagecoach, or diligencia. Usually titled something like “Assault on the Diligencia,” these paintings display masked bandits having their way with stagecoach booty and despairing passengers.

The diligencia genre can be considered an ancestor of the film western, particular such examples as John Ford’s 1939 Stagecoach. (The Mexican title of which is, oddly enough, La Diligencia.) Thus the disorder of the Mexican outback was in fact the original Wild West. Its lawlessness is of great significance to Americans, because the background  of the western, in fiction and film — unpatrolled wilderness, distant towns, bandits around every mountain pass — is basically a legacy of the former Mexican rule. Or non-rule, rather. In this context Maximilian was the befuddled new sheriff, or dude from the East. He comes to town to bring civilization and order, and gets his hat shot off.

Notes

1. Neal and Kremm, The Lion of the South: General Thomas C. Hindman, Mercer University Press, 1997.

2. David M. Pletcher, “The Building of the Mexican Railway,” Hispanic American Historical Review, Duke University Press, Feb. 1950.

3. Carl Coke Rister,”Carlota, A Confederate Colony in Mexico,” The Journal of Southern History, Feb. 1945.

4. J. Kemper, Maximilian in Mexico, tr. by Upton, 1911.

5. J. Kemper, op. cit.

6. Besides supplying a munitions depot on the Rio Grande, the U.S. financed the insurgents by buying heavily discounted war bonds. Brian Loveman, No Higher Law: American Foreign Policy and the Western Hemisphere Since 1776. UNC Press, 2010.

7. NY Times, 2013. http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/04/maximilia... [3]

8. Loveman, op. cit.

9. (General Sheridan, again.) Rister, op. cit.

10. Loveman, op.cit.

11. J. Kemper, op. cit.

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/06/emperor-maximilian-and-the-dream-of-a-european-mexico/

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[3] http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/04/maximilian-in-mexico/: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/04/maximilian-in-mexico/

mardi, 21 juin 2016

« Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord » de Bernard Lugan

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« Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord » de Bernard Lugan

Recension

par Camille Galic, journaliste, essayiste

Ex: http://www.polemia.com

Depuis les prétendus printemps arabes et la paupérisation provoquée par la chute du prix des hydrocarbures en Algérie, déjà fragilisée par la succession de l’égrotant Bouteflika, le Machrek et le Maghreb connaissent également une extrême tension, qui provoque un exode massif vers nos pays.

C’est dire si Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord (Egypte, Libye, Tunisie, Algérie, Maroc) des origines à nos jours, de Bernard Lugan, vient à point.


Histoire de l'Afrique du Nord 1.jpgPour son dernier et très ambitieux ouvrage, l’historien africanologue, auquel on doit déjà une Histoire de l’Egypte (1) et une autre du Maroc (2), a étudié son et plutôt ses sujets non pas géographiquement, mais chronologiquement, comme l’avait fait il y a trente ans Jean Duché pour sa passionnante Histoire du Monde (3). Choix judicieux car les destins des contrées concernées, et qui, depuis l’Antiquité ont durablement été soumises aux mêmes maîtres, l’Empire romain puis l’Empire ottoman s’interpénètrent. Avec la lecture « horizontale » adoptée par Bernard Lugan, on discerne mieux les interactions, les similitudes mais aussi les contradictions entre les cinq composantes de la rive sud de la Méditerranée, avec une inexorable constante : le facteur ethnique.

Toute l’Afrique du Nord était en effet peuplée jadis de Berbères (selon l’égyptologue Christiane Desroches-Nobecourt qui ausculta sa momie, l’illustre Ramsès II aurait été un « grand rouquin »). Si, en Egypte, les clans nilotiques furent tôt unifiés par les pharaons, au contraire de ceux du désert libyque, redoutables prédateurs, ce sont les luttes tribales qui, de la Cyrénaïque à l’Atlantique, entraînèrent d’épouvantables carnages et favorisèrent tour à tour les successives occupations étrangères — romaine, vandale, byzantine, arabe, normande, ottomane et enfin française ou italienne —, les chefs locaux s’appuyant sur les nouveaux venus pour neutraliser et/ou massacrer leurs rivaux et les peuples d’iceux. Ces confrontations furent particulièrement sanglantes en Algérie et au Maroc où les différentes tribus ont longtemps joué le Portugal ou l’Espagne pour venir à bout des autres. Et n’est-ce pas la Communauté internationale qui s’est immiscée dans les rivalités tribales du cru pour éliminer le régime de Kadhafi avec ce résultat que la Libye a sombré à nouveau dans les haines ancestrales entre tribus de la Cyrénaïque et celles de la Tripolitaine, sans parler du Fezzan ?

Et quand le soutien étranger ne suffit pas, c’est le respect ou plutôt le non-respect de la religion qui légitime les carnages. Ainsi les Almohades misèrent-ils sur le fanatisme pour renverser la dynastie almoravide considérée comme corrompue par les plaisirs d’Al-Andalus (création berbère, et non arabe, insiste Lugan) puisque les femmes n’y étaient pas voilées et qu’on y écoutait de la musique.

L’arabisation, funeste révolution

Ce sont aussi les Almorades qui unifièrent tout le Maghreb sous la férule marocaine mais, auparavant, ces purs Berbères de l’Anti-Atlas avaient changé la physionomie de la région en ouvrant la voie aux Arabes, comme le rappelle notre auteur : « Sous le règne de Jacoub al Mansour (1184-1199), les tribus arabes Rijah, Jochem, Athbej, Sofyan, Khlot, Attej et Zoghba reçurent l’autorisation de s’installer dans les riches plaines atlantiques, alors peuplées par plusieurs tribus masmouda aujourd’hui disparues ». Ne restait plus aux Berbères restés sur place qu’à fuir vers les montagnes, pour y fomenter de nouvelles séditions, ou à s’assimiler « peu à peu aux Arabes, à telle enseigne qu’aujourd’hui, la plupart des habitants des Doukhala sont persuadés qu’ils sont d’origine arabe ».

Cette révolution, qui irradia dans tout le Maghreb, eut des répercussions aussi durables que funestes : l’agriculture, jusque-là pratiquée par les sédentaires et qui avait fait de la Numidie le « grenier à blé » de Rome, dut céder aux pratiques des nomades, ce qui entraîna des disettes endémiques car, de l’aveu même d’Ibn Khaldoun, « semblables à une nuée de sauterelles, ils détruisaient tout sur leur passage ». Des gigantesques étendues d’alfa qui remplacèrent les champs de blé, on peut tirer du papier ou des paillasses, mais pas du pain. Et le drame de l’Algérie contemporaine est qu’après l’indépendance, comme le rappelle Bernard Lugan, le FLN influencé par Nasser et le jacobinisme français se livra à une arabisation forcenée de ce qui était encore kabyle (« Nous sommes des Arabes, des Arabes, des Arabes », proclamaient dans les rues d’Alger d’immenses inscriptions après l’indépendance). Avec ce résultat que la Mitidja, cet immense verger naguère si prospère grâce à la colonisation et à l’assèchement des marais, si coûteux en vies humaines, s’est désertifiée et qu’Alger doit importer à grands frais l’essentiel des denrées alimentaires. C’est la « crise du pain » qui favorisa la montée du Front islamique du Salut et provoqua la meurtrière guerre civile qui ravagea le pays après l’annulation des législatives de juin 1990 gagnées par le FIS.

Mais comment les Berbères, par nature insoumis sinon libertaires, et où la christianisation avait été « intense » (600 évêchés identifiés en Afrique du Nord), avaient-ils pu accueillir si rapidement une religion aussi globalisante et dogmatique que l’islam qui, en 714, soit moins d’un siècle après l’Hégire, avait déjà soumis toute l’Afrique du Nord à la loi du prophète ? Du point de vue théologique et sociologique, l’islam est certes « confortable », qui après une profession de foi minimale, la chahada, n’exige l’adhésion qu’aux quatre « piliers », dont seul le ramadan est contraignant, et assure à ses fidèles un statut social et financier privilégié par rapport aux dhimmis. Mais s’y ajoutèrent des motifs économiques et politiques. Ainsi les chrétiens coptes d’Egypte, furieux de voir le concile de Chalcédoine consacrer la prééminence du patriarcat de Byzance sur celui d’Alexandrie avec pour conséquence la primauté de la Nouvelle Rome sur le grand port égyptien comme grande place économique de la Méditerranée orientale, versèrent-ils dans la dissidence, ce qui entraîna une reprise en main musclée sous Justinien et donc une grande rancœur chez les coptes se considérant comme occupés. « Ces luttes internes au christianisme préparèrent donc le terrain aux conquérants arabo-musulmans ».

Cette Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord apprendra – ou rappellera aux plus érudits – quantité d’événements marquants ou de faits moins importants mais révélateurs. Sait-on que l’armée fatimide chiite qui, en 969, marcha sur l’Egypte avant de s’emparer de Damas était « essentiellement composée de contingents berbères » partis de l’Ifrikiya-Tunisie ? Que les Mameluks, cette aristocratie d’« esclaves exclusivement blancs », Slaves, Albanais ou Caucasiens, qui régna plus de trois siècles sur l’Egypte, « méprisaient l’usage des armes à feu » qui « devint même le monopole exclusif des esclaves noirs », considérés comme « une horde méprisable » ? Alors que, comme l’a reconnu le ministre de la Défense Le Drian, « plus de 800.000 Africains attendent en Libye de franchir la Méditerranée » grâce à des passeurs qui leur font miroiter l’Eldorado contre des milliers de dollars, sait-on enfin que, depuis la conquête arabe, ce pays fut la plaque tournante de la traite négrière entre l’Afrique subsaharienne et la Méditerranée, par où transitèrent, selon certains auteurs, plus de cinq millions d’esclaves noirs, razziés par « des esclaves, qui n’étaient pas les moins sanguinaires, opérant au nom de l’islam » ? Une tradition multiséculaire, revivifiée par le catastrophique printemps libyen, auquel, pour notre plus grande honte, la France de Sarkozy cornaqué par Bernard-Henri Lévy apporta aide, subsides et armements.

Eclairé de très nombreux encadrés explicitant les points les plus divers (origine ethnique des anciens Egyptiens, piraterie contre lesquelles les puissances européennes multiplièrent les interventions armées, rôle des gouverneurs ottomans, drame des disparus d’Algérie, etc.) et d’un copieux cahier de 72 pages d’illustrations et surtout de cartes extrêmement bien faites sur l’Afrique du Nord depuis les Romains, les migrations, la progression de l’islam, des invasions et occupations, cette Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord est un indispensable livre de référence. En outre, ce qui ne gâte rien, ce gros livre se lit avec autant d’agrément que d’intérêt.

Camille Galic
15/06/2016

Bernard Lugan, Histoire de l’Afrique du Nord, éd. du Rocher 2016. 732 pages grand format avec index, bibliographie (des noms propres mais non des lieux) et cahier illustré couleur.

Notes :

  • 1/Editions du Rocher, 2001
  • 2/Critérion, 1992.
  • 3/Histoire du Monde, en cinq tomes publiés de 1960 à 1966 par Flammarion.

dimanche, 19 juin 2016

Bretoenen in de Groote Oorlog

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In memoriam Christian Dutoit, overleden op 18 juni 2016

Bretoenen in de Groote Oorlog

Christian Dutoit

Ex: http://www.meervoud.org

‘Vlamingen, herdenk de slag der Gulden Sporen’, zo spoorde monarch Albert I ons in 1914 aan om het ‘vaderland’ te verdedigen. De Walen werden herinnerd aan 600 Franchimontezen. Er mocht best wat regionalistisch patriottisme ingeschakeld worden in de propagandamachine voor kanonnenvlees. Maar dit was blijkbaar geen typisch ‘belgisch’ verschijnsel. Ook de Bretoenen werden overspoeld door propaganda en waren goed voor 130.000 slachtoffers in de ‘Groote Oorlog’. Om hen aan te sporen bediende de Franse jacobijnse republiek zich, merkwaardig genoeg, van allerlei verwijzingen naar Bretoense particularismen, zoals taal, kleding en folklore.

Alle affectie voor de Bretoense zaak, die van overheidswege vóór de oorlog onbestaande was, werd nu aangemoedigd om het Bretoense volk in te schakelen in de verdediging van het ‘Grote’ Vaderland, de Franse Republiek dus. Meteen werden affiches in het Bretoense gedrukt om mensen warm te maken voor een ‘volkslening’ (‘Emprunt de la Victoire’). Op an- sichtkaarten die aan het front verspreid wer- den zijn traditionele Bretoense kledij en muziekinstrumenten afgebeeld, de doedelzak werd plots populair. De Bretoense bard Théodore Botrel werd min of meer ‘chansonnier aux armées’, enz.

Maar al bij al was dit enkel oorlogspropaganda en veranderde er helemaal niets in de relatie tussen de Jacobijnse staat en Bretagne. Gevolg was wel dat de Bretoense beweging, de ‘Emsav’, versterkt uit de oorlog kwam.

Bretagne is van oudsher vrij katholiek en ook de kerk deed haar best om gelovigen op te roepen om naar het front te trekken. De aartsbisschop van Rennes verklaarde in augustus 1914 dat de oorlog een goddelijke straf was voor het anti-katholieke sectarisme en de afvalligheid tegenover God. De kerk spande zich in om via bedevaarten, gebeden, parochieblaadjes en prullaria het patriottisme aan te moedigen. Niet-katholieken verweten dan weer dat de Bretoense kudde zich liet beïnvloeden door paus Benedictus XV (1854-1922), geboren als Giacomo Giambattista markies della Chiesa, die opriep tot vrede en aldus de facto verdacht werd van Duitsgezindheid.

Tussen 1914 en 1918 werd 65% van de Bretoenen in de leeftijdscategorie 18-48 jaar ge- mobiliseerd (het Franse gemiddelde was 56%). De Bretoenen waren goed voor ongeveer de helft van de Nationale Marine. ongeveer de helft van de Nationale Marine Deze ‘overmobilisatie’ had grote gevolgen voor de economie, vooral voor de landbouw en de visvangst. Bretagne stond ook in voor de opvang van 80.000 vluchtelingen (in 1918) uit het noorden van Frankrijk en Vlaanderen. Vrouwen, vooral weduwen, werden ingezet als ‘munitionettes’ in het arsenaal van Rennes (5.200) en de kruitfabriek van Pont-de-Buis (2.900). Ze werden ook ingeschakeld in 800 Bretoense ziekenhuizen waar liefst 800.000 soldaten waren. In 1918 werden 4.556 arbeidsters van het arsenaal van Rennes terug afgedankt wegens overbodig. Maar ook kinderen werden bij de oorlog betrokken. Scholen werden gebruikt om soldaten te kazerneren. Alle lessen waren gebaseerd op de promotie van het patriottisme. Kinderen werden opgedragen gewonde soldaten te bezoeken en geldinzamelingen te doen voor gevangenen. Oorlogswezen waren de inzet van een weinig verheffende strijd tussen Kerk en Staat.

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Men schat het aantal Bretoense oorlogsslachtoffers op 130.000, althans voor wat soldaten betreft. In de jaren twintig werden die herdacht door separatisten die de mening toegedaan waren dat al die doden de kiemen waren van een breuk met de Franse staat. Ook regionalisten kwamen om die reden op voor meer autonomie. Voorstanders van de eenheid van de Republiek keerden de zaak om en eerden de doden die ‘voor Frankrijk’ hun leven hadden gegeven. Maar hoe dan ook, tijdens de oorlog was er al heel wat onvrede met de gevoerde politiek. Op 16 april 1917 weigerden honderden soldaten oorlogsbevelen op te volgen. Op 2 juni sloeg een heel regiment in Rennes aan het muiten. Van 2 tot 9 juni van datzelfde jaar gingen de ‘munitionettes’ in Brest staken. De gehele oorlog was een gruwel voor de Bretoenen. Van het IJzerfront over Verdun tot aan de Zwitserse grens stierven ze bij bosjes voor de Franse Republiek. Vaak met honderden tegelijk in zinloze oorlogsverrichtingen.

Na de oorlog werd er, in 1927, een officieel monument opgericht voor de gesneuvelde van de vijf Bretoense departementen in Saint- Anne d’Aurey. In nagenoeg elk Bretoense dorp is er ook een monument, meestal in de buurt van de kerk, vaak in de oude religieuze traditie vervaardigd. Enkel de monumenten in de steden zijn ‘naar Frans model’ gemaakt: burgerlijk, republikeins en zonder religieuze verwijzingen.

Nog steeds leven ‘oorlogshelden’ in de herinnering door, zoals Jean-Corentin Carré als republikeinse en vrijzinnige held, Pierre- Alexis Ronarc’h die in oktober 1914 in Diksmuide omkwam, of Jean-Julien Lemordant, schilder van het plafond van het theater van Rennes, die in oktober 1915 blind werd en tal van verwondingen opliep. Hij overleefde de oorlog en werd door de regionalistische pers geëerd als een held van een vernederd maar glorieus Bretagne.

Christian DUTOIT

jeudi, 16 juin 2016

Quand les Wahhabites massacraient les habitants de Kerbala (1801)

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Quand les Wahhabites massacraient les habitants de Kerbala (1801)

Par Jean-Baptiste Rousseau

(Extrait de "Description du Pachalik de Bagdad" - Treuffel et Würtz - Paris - 1809)*

Ex: http://www.france-irak-actualite.com

…(…)… Quinze lieues plus bas que Hilla, au-delà de l’Euphrate dans le Désert, on voit les ruines de Coufa, ville célèbre dans les fastes de l’Islamisme.

A l’occident de Hilla, et à six lieues du fleuve, se trouve Imam Hussein, qu’on doit considérer plutôt comme un gros bourg, que comme une ville bien peuplée. Ce bourg peut contenir sept à huit mille habitants, et ses murailles de terre sont entourées de jardines et de champs cultivés, qu’arrose et fertilise un bras de l’Euphrate, un zabet y commande au nom du pacha.

Ceux qui ont lu l’histoire des Arabes savent que Hussein, fils d’Ali, ayant été appelé en 680 par les habitants de Coufa pour s’asseoir sur le siège pontifical, partit de Médine avec sa famille, et eut le malheur de périr en route, victime de la fureur du khalife Yézid, qui le fit assassiner proche de la ville dont les citoyens lui avaient déféré les honneurs du rang suprême.

Il fut enterré dans la plaine de Kerbala où il avait expiré d’une manière si tragique. On lui éleva d’abord un simple mausolée, et quelques années après les partisans d’Ali bâtirent dans le même endroit une ville qui reçut le nom de Hussein.

Ce lieu si révéré par les Schias a essuyé en différents temps des outrages insignes ; et les Wahabis qui le surprirent il y a quelques années, comme le verrons tout à l’heure, y commirent des désordres affreux. En 851, le khalife Mutawakkel, protecteur de la secte des Sunnis, en avait fait démolir la majeure partie ; ses successeurs achevèrent de le détruire, et ce ne fut que sous les derniers pontifes arabes qu’on le vit sortir de ses ruines, lorsque la mémoire de Hussein fut rétablie et remise en vénération. Depuis cette époque, Schah Ismaël fondateur de la dynastie persane des Séfévis (vulgairement appelés Sofis) , ayant introduit dans ses états la secte de Schias, ordonna par un édit solennel, que la ville et le tombeau de l’Imam fussent réparés et embellis. Les autres souverains de la même race qui occupèrent le trône après Ismaël, entretinrent avec un égal zèle la dévotion de leurs sujets envers Hussein.

Ce pieux exemple a été suivi par les derniers monarques qui ont régné en Perse : chacun d’eux à l’envi a voulu manifester par de riches présents son extrême respect pour le petit-fils du prophète, de façon que la chapelle sépulcrale de Hussein est devenue le dépôt de tout ce qu’il y avoit de plus précieux dans le trésor de ces princes. On sait que l’eunuque Aga Mohammed khan employa, il y a environ douze ans, cinq millions de piastres, pour revêtir de briques de cuivre doré, les minarets ainsi que la coupole de la mosquée d’Imam-Hussein.

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Les richesses immenses qui s’étaient accumulées dans le sanctuaire d’Imam Hussein faisaient depuis longtemps l’objet de l’insatiable cupidité des Wahabis : ils en méditaient sans cesse le pillage et comptaient tellement sur le succès de leur projet, que quand ils voulaient parler d’un jour heureux et solennel pour eux, ils désignaient celui qui devait les rendre maîtres d’une place si attrayante par la quantité de trésors qu’elle renfermait.

Le jour tant désiré arriva enfin. Ce fut le 20 avril de l’année 1801, qu’ils surprirent la ville, au moment où la majeure partie des habitants l’avaient quittée pour aller à quelques lieues de là, faire leurs dévotions sur le tombeau du père de leur patron. Ces barbares mirent tout à feu et à sang : et après avoir fait un butin immense, tel que les plus grandes victoires n’en procurent jamais, ils se retirèrent fort tranquillement, sans que le gouvernement de Bagdad qui fut informé à temps de leur désastreuse apparition, osât troubler leur retraite ; ils étaient venus au nombre de quinze mille. Les cruautés qu’ils commirent sont inouïes ; vieillards, femmes, enfants, tout périt sous leur glaive impitoyable ; on les vit même dans la fureur qui les animait, éventrer les femmes enceintes, et mettre en pièces sur les membres sanglants le fruit qu’elles portaient. Des gens dignes de foi qui ont eu le bonheur d’échapper à cette affreuse boucherie, m’ont assuré à Bagdad, avoir vu quelques-uns de ces hommes féroces se repaître du sang de leurs infortunées victimes.

L’on évalua dans le temps à plus de quatre mille, le nombre de personnes qui avaient péri dans cette affreuse catastrophe. Les Wahabis emmenèrent, à leur sortie d’Imam-Hussein qu’ils saccagèrent pendant deux jours et deux nuits, deux cents chameaux chargés de riches dépouilles. Non contents d’avoir assouvi leur rage sur les habitants, ils rasèrent les maisons, et firent de la riche chapelle de l’Imam un cloaque d’immondices, et de sang ; ils endommagèrent aussi les minarets et les coupoles de la mosquée, dont ils avaient pris d’abord les briques pour de l’or massif ; mais ayant reconnu ensuite qu’elles n’étaient que du cuivre doré, ils ne crurent pas devoir perdre leur temps à démolir totalement ces édifices dont les décombres ne leur eussent été d’aucune utilité.

Depuis cette malheureuse époque, le roi de Perse a fait réparer le lieu sacré, et le pacha y entretient aujourd’hui une division de Lavends, pour le mettre à couvert d’une nouvelle invasion. Tous les ans il y vient de la part du monarque persan un khan, dont l’emploi est de protéger les pèlerins de sa nation, qui accourent de tous les points de l’Empire pour recevoir les bénédictions de l’Imam, en échange des dons précieux qu’ils font à la chapelle.

La ville d’Imam-Ali, presque aussi grande et aussi peuplée que celle d’Imam- Hussein, est à six lieues de cette dernière, dans une plaine aride où la nature ne versa jamais ses bienfaits. C’est le lieu de la sépulture du gendre de Mahomet, d’Ali, que les Persans révèrent jusqu’à l’idolâtrie, et en l’honneur duquel ils ont bâti une superbe mosquée dont les minarets et les coupoles sont recouverts comme à Imam-Hussein, de briques de cuivre doré. Les Persans regardent le favori intime du Très Haut, et l’appellent la Force ou le Lion de Dieu. Le territoire d’Imam-Ali est d’une stérilité dont on ne saurait se former une idée, et n’offre que des aspects hideux, et des morceaux de sable que la chaleur du soleil enflamme en été. Autrefois les habitants de ce lieu étaient obligés d’aller jusqu’à l’Euphrate pour se procurer de l’eau ; mais depuis environ une quinzaine d’années, le frère de l’Empereur du Mogol y a fait construire un canal qui a coûté des sommes immenses ; on n’a pas pu cependant le perfectionner à cause des tourbillons de sable que la violence du vent y verse sans cesse, et qui le combleraient totalement, si on n’avait pas le soin de les nettoyer tous les ans. Quant aux vivres, c’est de Hilla et de plusieurs villages des bords du fleuve qu’on les exporte pour approvisionner la place.

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Imam-Ali n’était pas moins renommé qu’Imam-Hussein, pour la grande quantité d’objets précieux que la pieuse libéralité des Schias avait accumulés dans son enceinte ; mais depuis le sac de cette dernière ville, on a transféré toutes les richesses qui se trouvaient accumulées ici, à Imam-Moussa près de Bagdad, afin de les soustraire à l’avidité des Wahabis. Malgré cette précaution, ces brigands n’ont pas manqué de se présenter à diverses reprises devant Imam-Ali avec l’intention d’en faire le pillage ; mais soit que l’Imam les ait fait repoussés constamment par une force invisible, comme le prétendent les Persans, soit que les mesures des Wahabis ayant été mal combinées, ils n’ont jamais pu venir à bout de leur entreprise.

*L’orientaliste Jean- Baptiste Rousseau (1780-1831) fut consul de France à Bassora en 1805. Il y avait pris la suite de son père Jean-François appelé Rousseau de Perse, ancien directeur de la Compagnie des Indes et consul à Bassora et Bagdad.

mercredi, 15 juin 2016

The Ancient Greeks: Our Fashy Forefathers

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The Ancient Greeks:
Our Fashy Forefathers

Nigel Rodgers
The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece [2]
Lorenz Books, 2014

“Western civilization” is certainly not fashionable in mainstream academia these days. Nonetheless, the ancient Greek and Roman heritage remains quietly revered in the more thoughtful and earnest circles. Quite simply, virtually all of our social and political organization, to the extent these are thought out, ultimately go back to Greek forms, reflected in the invariably Greek words for them (“philosophy,” “economy,” “democracy” . . .). Those who still have that instinctive pride of being European or Western always go back to the Greeks, to find the means of being worthy of that pride.

Thus I came to the Illustrated Encyclopedia produced by Nigel Rodgers. Life is short, and lots of glossy pictures certainly do help one get the gist of something. Rodgers does not limit himself to pictures of ancient Greek art, though that of course forms the bulk. There are also photos of the sites today, to better imagine the scene, and many paintings from later epochs imagining Greek scenes, the better show Greece’s powerful influence throughout Western history. The Encyclopedia is divided into two parts: First a detailed chronological history of the Greek world, second a thematic history showing different facets of Greek life.

GST2.jpgThe ancient Greeks are more than strange beings so far as post-60s “liberal democracy” is concerned. Certainly, the Greeks had that egalitarian and individualist sensitivity that Westerners are so known for.

Many Greek cities imagined that their legendary founders had equally distributed land among all citizens. As inequality and wealth concentration gradually rose over time, advocates of redistribution would cite these founding myths. (Rising inequality and revolutionary equality seems to be a recurring cycle in human history.)

Famously, Athens and various other Greek cities were full-fledged direct democracies, a kind of regime which is otherwise astonishingly rare. This was of course limited to only full male citizens, about 10 percent of the population of this “slave state.” (Alain Soral, that eternal mauvaise langue, once noted that the closest modern state to democratic Athens was . . . the Confederate States of America.)

The Greeks were individualists too, but not in the sense that Americans are, let alone post-60s liberals. Their “kings” seem more like “chiefs,” with a highly variable personal authority, rather than absolute monarchs or oriental despots.

In all other respects, the Greeks were extremely “fash”: misogynistic, authoritarian, warring, enslaving, etc. One could say that, by the standards of the United Nations, the entire Greek adventure was one ceaseless crime against humanity.

The most proto-fascistic were of course the Spartans, that famous militaristic and communal state, often idealized, as most recently in the popular film 300. Sparta would be a model for many, cited notably by Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adolf Hitler (who called the city-state “the first Volksstaat). Seven eighths of Sparta’s population was made of helots, subjects dominated by the Spartiate full-time warriors.

The Greeks generally were enthusiastic practitioners of racial citizenship. Leftists have occasionally (rightly) pointed to the fact that the establishment of democracy in Athens was linked to the abolition of debt. But one should also know that Pericles, the ultimate democratic politician, paired his generous social reforms with a tightening of citizenship criteria to having two Athenian parents by blood. (The joining of more “progressive” redistribution with more “exclusionary” citizenship makes sense: The more discriminating one is, the more generous one can be, having limited the risk of free-riding.)

In line with this, the Greeks practiced primitive eugenics so as to improve the race. The most systematic in this respect was Sparta, where newborns with physical defects were left in the wilderness to die. By this cruel “post-natal abortion” (one can certainly imagine more human methods), the Spartans thus made individual life absolutely secondary to the well-being of the community. This is certainly in stark contrast to the maudlin cult of victimhood and personal caprice currently fashionable across the West.

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Athenian democracy was also known for the systematic exclusion of women, who seemed to have had lives almost as cloistered and private as that of pious Muslims. The stark limitations on sex (arranged marriages, the death penalty for adultery) may have also contributed to the similar Greek penchant for pederasty and bisexuality. Homosexuals were not a discrete social category (how sad for anyone to make their sexual practices the center of their identity!). Homosexual relationships, in parallel to wives, were often glorified as relations of the deepest friendship and entire regiments of male lovers were organized (e.g. the Sacred Band of Thebes [3]), with the idea that by such bonds they would fight to the death.

To this day, it is not clear if we have ever matched the intellectual and moral level of the Greeks (and I do not confuse morality with sentimentality, the recognition of apparently unpleasant truths is one of the greatest markers of genuine moral courage). Considering the education, culture (plays), and politics that a large swathe of the Greek public engaged in, their IQs must have been very high indeed.

Some argue we have yet to surpass Homer in literature or Plato in philosophy. (In my opinion, our average intellectual level is clearly much lower and our educated public probably peaked in consciousness and morality between the 1840s and 1920s. Our much superior science and technology is of no import in this respect, we’ve simply acquired more means of being foolish, something which could well end in the extinction of our dear human race.)

Homer’s influence over the Greeks was like “that of the Bible and Shakespeare combined or to Hollywood plus television today” (29). (Surely another marker of our catastrophic moral and intellectual decline. Of course, in a healthy culture, audiovisual media like cinema and television would be propagating the highest values, including the epic tales of our Greek heritage, among the masses.)

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Homer glorified love of honor (philotimo) and excellence (areté), a kind of individualism wholly unlike what we have come to know. This was a kind of competitive individualism in the service of the community. They did not glorify individual irresponsibility or fleeing one’s community (which, to some extent, is the American form of individualism). If the hoplite citizen-soldiers did not fight with perfect cohesion and discipline, then the city was lost.

Dominique Venner has argued [4] that Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey should again be studied and revered as the foundational “sacred texts” of European civilization. (I don’t think the Angela Merkels and the Hillary Clintons would last very long in a society educated in “love of honor” and “excellence.”)

Plato, often in the running for the greatest philosopher of all time, was an anti-democrat, arguing for the rule of an enlightened elite in the Republic and becoming only more authoritarian in his final work, the Laws. Athenian democracy’s chaos, defeat in war with Sparta, and execution of his mentor Socrates for thoughtcrime no doubt contributed to this. Karl Popper argued Plato, the founder of Western philosophy, paved the way for modern totalitarianism, including German National Socialism.

The Greek city-states were tiny by our standards: Sparta with 50,000, Athens 250,000. One can see how, in a town like Sparta, one could through daily ritual and various practices (e.g. all men eating and training together) achieve an incredible degree of social unity. (Of course, modern technology could allow us to achieve similar results today, as indeed the fascists attempted and to some extent succeeded.) Direct democracy was similarly only possible in a medium-sized city at most.

The notion of citizenship is something that we must retain from the Greeks, a notion of mutual obligation between state and citizen, of collective responsibility rather than the selfish tyranny of ethnic and plutocratic mafias. Rodgers argues that polis may be better translated as “citizen-state” rather than “city-state.” The polis sometimes had a rather deterritorialized notion of citizenship, emigrants still being citizens and in a sense accountable to the home city. This could be particularly useful in our current, globalizing age, when technology has so eliminated cultural and economic borders, and our people are so scattered and intermingled with foreigners across the globe.

The ancient Greeks are also a good benchmark for success and failure: Of repeated rises and falls before ultimate extinction, of successful unity in throwing off the yoke of the Persian Empire (with famous battles at Thermopylae and Marathon . . .), and of fratricidal warfare in the Peloponnesian War.

The sheer brutality of the ancient world, as with the past more generally, is difficult for us cosseted moderns to really grasp. Conquered cities often (though not always) faced the extermination of their men and the enslavement of their women and children (often making way for the victors’ settlers). Alexander the Great, world-conqueror and founder of a still-born Greco-Persian empire, was ruthless, with frequent preemptive murders, hostage-taking, the razing of entire cities, the crucifixion of thousands, etc. He seems the closest the Greeks have to a universalist. (Did Diogenes’ “cosmopolitanism” extend to non-Greeks?) The Greeks thought foreigners (“barbarians”) inferior, and Aristotle argued for their enslavement.

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The Greeks’ downfall is of course relevant. The epic Spartans gradually declined into nothing due to infertility and, apparently, wealth inequality and female emancipation. Alexander left only a cultural mark in Asia upon natives who wholly failed to sustain the Hellenic heritage. One Indian work of astronomy noted: “Although the Yavanas [Greeks] are barbarians, the science of astronomy originated with them, for which they should be revered like gods.”

One rare trace of the Greeks in Asia is the wondrous Greco-Buddhist statues [5] created in their wake, of serene and haunting otherworldly beauty.

The Jews make a late appearance upon the scene, when the Seleucid Hellenic king Antiochus IV made a fateful faux pas in his subject state of Judea:

Not realizing that Jews were somehow different form his other Semitic subjects, Antiochus despoiled the Temple, installed a Syrian garrison and erected a temple to Olympian Zeus on the site. This was probably just part of his general Hellenizing programme. But the furious revolt that broke out, led by Judas Maccabeus the High Priest, finally drove the Seleucids from Judea for good. (241)

No comment.

There is wisdom: “Nothing in excess,” “Know thyself.”

So all that Alt Right propaganda using uplifting imagery from Greco-Roman statues and history, and films like Gladiator and 300, and so on, is both effective and completely justified.

Article printed from Counter-Currents Publishing: http://www.counter-currents.com

URL to article: http://www.counter-currents.com/2016/06/the-ancient-greeks-our-fashy-forefathers/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/WarriorStele.jpg

[2] The Complete Illustrated Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece: http://amzn.to/1tfxVr3

[3] Sacred Band of Thebes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Band_of_Thebes

[4] Dominique Venner has argued: http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2016/04/the-testament-of-a-european-patriot-a-review-of-dominique-venners-breviary-of-the-unvanquished-part-1/

[5] Greco-Buddhist statues: https://www.google.be/search?q=greco-buddhist+art&client=opera&hs=eHN&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiyte7tipvNAhWKmBoKHfcVCaAQ_AUICCgB&biw=1177&bih=639

[6] Image: http://www.counter-currents.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/IdentityEuropa.jpg

lundi, 13 juin 2016

Ten Fascinating Theories Regarding The Ancient Sea Peoples

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Ten Fascinating Theories Regarding The Ancient Sea Peoples

Benjamin Welton 

Ex: http://www.listverse.com

Between 1276 and 1178 BC, a confederation of pirates known collectively as the Sea Peoples terrorized the coastal cities and civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean. For the most part, these pirates, who were the Bronze Age precursors to the Vikings of Scandinavia, preyed upon Egypt, which at that time was in its New Kingdom period.

What followed was a series of destructive raids that culminated in two major battles—the Battle of Djahy and the Battle of the Delta. The former, a land battle, was won by the army of Pharaoh Ramses III. The latter, a naval battle, not only repulsed one of the last major invasions by the Sea Peoples but may very well have saved ancient Egyptian civilization.

Despite their important role in history and the widely held notion that they were responsible for the Late Bronze Age Collapse, a near-catastrophic decline in civilization throughout the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean, the Sea Peoples remain the subject of controversy.

Although there are many areas of consensus, some historians and archaeologists continue to discover new interpretations. The following 10 theories present a spectrum of the many different theories regarding the Sea Peoples.

10 The Philistines

Depicted as the archvillains of the ancient Israelites in the Old Testament, the Philistines settled the southern coast of Israel (which today includes the Gaza Strip). After establishing settlements, the Philistines formed a confederation of city-states that included Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gath, and Ekron.

The Philistines came into conflict with the Israelites once they started expanding their power beyond their coastal domains. Because of this conflict, the Israelites not only demonized the Philistines but made actual demons out of their gods, including the fish god Dagon. Elsewhere in the Bible, the Philistines were synthesized in the form of the giant Goliath, a proud, loutish warrior who is bested by the small and humble fighter David.

Outside of the Bible, the Philistines are mentioned in several Syrian, Phoenician, and Egyptian letters. While it is generally considered that the Philistines were a group of Sea Peoples who settled the area, not everyone agrees on their exact origins.

One of the more common theories is that the Philistines were originally from the Aegean Sea region, with many more people claiming that the Philistines were Mycenaean Greeks. Archaeological digs near the ancient Philistine city of Gath uncovered pieces of pottery that bear close similarities to ancient Greek objects. Furthermore, a red-and-black ceramic bear taken from one of the excavations almost certainly points to the influence of the Mycenaean culture.

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9 The Sardinian Connection

In the Medinet Habu, a mortuary temple dedicated to Ramses III, there is carved into the stone the most famous depiction of the Sea Peoples. Showing several battles, the relief closely identifies the Sea Peoples with several different types of headwear.

The most striking group is depicted wearing horned helmets. It is commonly believed that these fighters belong to the Sherden, one of nine groups named by Egyptian records. Again, because the ancient Egyptians were mostly interested in fighting and defeating the Sea Peoples, they did not keep detailed records concerning their origins.

However, several researchers have concluded that the Sherden people were from Sardinia. Specifically, the Sherden are considered part of the island’s Nuragic civilization, a little-known civilization that left behind numerous stone sites, including towers, houses, and burial complexes. The Nuragic people (so named because of their stone structures, or “nuraghe”) also left behind statues, including Bronze Age figurines showing Sardinian warriors wearing horned helmets.

8 The Sicilian Connection

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Photo credit: Soprani

Following the age of the Sea Peoples, the island of Sicily was divided between three major tribes—the Elymians, the Sicani, and the Siculi (sometimes referred to as the Sicels). While the Sicani were indigenous to the island, the Elymians are believed to have originally come from Asia Minor and had deep connections to the Greek city-states of the Aegean Sea.

The Sicels, on the other hand, were likely an Italic tribe from the mainland. All three tribes may have connections to the Sea Peoples, but it is believed that marauders from Sicily were part of the invasions by the Sea Peoples. Specifically, these Sicilian pirates were called the Shekelesh by the Egyptians.

For their part, the later Greek conquerors of ancient Sicily believed that the Sicels had fled to Troy after being defeated by the Egyptians. From there, they traveled to southern Italy and finally to Sicily. Modern historians seem to corroborate this belief that the Sicels and the Elymians were both defeated members of the Sea Peoples confederation who found shelter in Sicily.

7 The Etruscans

Few European civilizations remain as mysterious as the Etruscans. These inhabitants of northern and central Italy left behind a still mostly indecipherable alphabet and language, thereby forcing historians to rely for further information on Roman records as well as the colorful tombs that the Etruscans built for one another. The question of Etruscan origins is far from new because the ancient Greeks pondered the issue themselves.

While some ancient Greeks believed that the Etruscans were related to the Pelasgians, an Aegean tribe who spoke a dialect of Mycenaean Greek, Dionysius of Halicarnassus claimed that the Etruscans were in fact the native inhabitants of Italy. The most often repeated assertion comes from Herodotus, however. Herodotus (and later Virgil) believed that the Etruscans came from the Anatolian region of Lydia and were led to Italy by King Tyrrhenus.

Interestingly enough, one of the Sea Peoples were the Teresh, whom some ancient historians also called the Tyrrhenians. According to this theory, the forefathers of the Etruscans were originally Greek pirates who sacked and settled Lydia before being pushed out of Anatolia by a famine. This origin might explain the similarities between Etruscan and Greek religions.

6 Connection To The Balkans

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Photo credit: Bratislav

While most of the Sea Peoples came from either the Aegean or the wider Mediterranean, many historians argue that groups from the Adriatic Sea also joined the migration. Specifically, Austrian historian Fritz Schachermeyr asserted in 1982 that the Sherden and Shekelesh were originally from the Adriatic and had connections to the ancient Illyrians.

Today, little is known about the Illyrians besides the fact that they were a tribal confederation that ruled much of modern-day Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Serbia, and Albania. Furthermore, it is also believed that certain Illyrian tribes settled the Italian peninsula and intermixed with local Italic tribes. Recently, two researchers with Vienna University dispelled another notion about the Illyrians—that their language directly influenced modern Albanian.

Although Schachermeyr’s theory is not commonly held among students of the Sea Peoples, there are those who continue to believe that a famine in the Balkans drove several tribes, including the Illyrians, to migrate over land and over water.

5 The Battle Of Troy

The Battle of Troy is the heart of The Iliad, one of the Western world’s oldest works of literature. The epic poem describes the protracted siege of Troy by several armies representing the many different tribes of Greece. Three of these tribes—the Danoi, the Teucrians, and the Achaeans—may have participated in the Sea Peoples invasions.

In the Great Karnak Inscription and the Merneptah Stele, these Greek tribes are called the Denyen, the Tjeker, and the Ekwesh, respectively. However, none of this is set in stone, even though the Aegean region certainly provided a majority of the pirates involved in the Sea Peoples confederation.

Insofar as the Trojan War is concerned, many believed that Homer’s poem was a fictional rendering of a real confrontation between a Greek confederation and the native inhabitants of Troy (who may be the ancestors of the Etruscans). Tantalizingly, the Tawagalawa letter, which was written by an unnamed Hittite king (generally believed to be Hattusili III) to the king of Ahhiyawa (an ancient Anatolia kingdom just south of Troy), speaks of an incident involving Wilusa.

Specifically, the letter tells of a recent war between the Hittites and Ahhiyawa over Wilusa. Many believe that Wilusa, which belonged to the kingdom of Arzawa, was the Hittite name for Troy while Ahhiyawa was the name the Hittites gave to the Mycenaean Greek civilization of Asia Minor. This isn’t mere speculation because archaeological evidence recovered from western Turkey certainly points to the fact that Bronze Age Greeks developed city-states not far from lands claimed by the Hittites.

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4 The Minoan Connection

Although a majority of the Sea Peoples may have come from the Greek mainland, it has been speculated that the island of Crete, which was then home to the powerful Minoan civilization, also produced raiders who participated in the conquests of the Sea Peoples. At times, Crete has been connected to the Tjeker and Peleset peoples, both of whom were lumped in with the Sea Peoples confederation by ancient Egyptian authors.

Prior to the Late Bronze Age Collapse, the Minoans traded widely with the Egyptians and the civilizations of the Levant. Furthermore, in the Amarna Letters, Crete, which is called Caphtor, is included as one of the great regional powers that suffered under the constant attacks of the Sea Peoples. That being said, Minoan pirates, along with Mycenaean colonists who had settled both Crete and Cyprus, may have joined the Sea Peoples to capture livestock, booty, and slaves.

3 The Dorian Invasion

Although it has been argued that the Sea Peoples undertook their voyages for plunder, some historians have claimed that the Sea Peoples were fleeing from invasions in their own homelands.

Regarding Mycenaean Greece, Carl Blegen of the University of Cincinnati proposed the idea that the Greek people of the central coast were forced to flee their homes due to the Dorian invasion from the mountainous south. While most contend that the various Mycenaean city-states collapsed due to natural disasters, there are many who still contend that Mycenaean Greeks fled burning city-states and joined the Sea Peoples confederation to find new homes.

The entire concept of the Dorian invasion comes from ancient Greek legend, specifically the Heracleidae, or the sons of Hercules. In the story, the exiled descendants of Hercules, who had been promised all of Greece, started a war to recapture their father’s lost land.

From this, certain historians proposed a theory concerning the successful conquest of Mycenaean Greece by Greek-speaking tribes from Laconia. Accordingly, Doric Greek, which was spoken by the inhabitants of Sparta and Pylos, became the ruling language of post-Mycenaean Greece, better known as the Greek Dark Age.

There are many problems with this theory, especially considering the dearth of archaeological evidence supporting it. But it does offer an interesting answer as to why the once-powerful city-states of Mycenaean Greece collapsed.

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2 A Greater Indo-European East

Considering that most of the Sea Peoples came from Europe, it has been proposed that their incursions into the eastern Mediterranean form a sort of Indo-European migration period. Although it is not certain, it is likely that most of the Sea Peoples spoke different Indo-European languages, from Mycenaean Greek to the various Italic languages of Italy and Sicily.

Similarly, the degree to which the Sea Peoples created permanent settlements in the eastern Mediterranean is in dispute, but they were likely joined by a concurrent land migration coming from both Europe and Asia Minor. Some have proposed the dubious theory that “Land Peoples” from as far north as the Carpathian Mountains joined this migration, while others have noticed that the Lukka, one of the named Sea Peoples, seem similar to the Lydians or Luwians, two Indo-European peoples from western and central Asia Minor.

Indeed, the Anatolian kingdom of Kizzuwatna, which is today located in southwestern Turkey, may have included settlers from both Phoenicia and Mycenaean Greece. Furthermore, Hittite records may point to some Indo-European migrations predating the Sea Peoples, such as the conquests of Attarsiya, a Mycenaean Greek general who not only helped to establish the Greek kingdom of Ahhiya but also invaded Cyprus and various Hittite vassal states, including Arzawa.

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1 Outsized Influence On Greek Mythology

As previously mentioned, some scholars believe that The Iliad recalls an ancient war between the Mycenaean Greek state of Ahhiyawa and the Hittite Empire. Similarly, The Odyssey details the attempts of the Greek general Odysseus to return to the island of Ithaca after serving in the Trojan War. Although these are the most famous examples of Greek legends dealing with the eastern Mediterranean, other legends point to a possible Greek memory of settlement in the Near East.

For instance, the story of Zeus, the chief god of the Olympians, and his battle with the monster Typhon likely comes from Cilicia, a kingdom in southern Anatolia controlled by the Hittites. Before the collapse of Mycenae, Greeks settled Cilicia in large numbers. From there, the Greeks absorbed Hittite and Cilician legends, including the story of a sea dragon defeated by a thunder god.

The Greek story of Teucer, one of the heroes of the Trojan War, similarly showcases a familiarity with the ancient Near East. It is said that Teucer and his men settled Crete and Cyprus and then set out on many voyages that took them through Canaan and Phoenician cities such as Sidon. It is possible that the story of Teucer, as well as other stories concerning the travels of Greek heroes following the Trojan War, may be parables about Mycenaean Greek settlement in the Near East during the age of the Sea Peoples.

Benjamin Welton is a freelance writer based in Boston. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, Listverse, Metal Injection, and other publications. He currently blogs at literarytrebuchet.blogspot.com.

dimanche, 12 juin 2016

Drieu fin analyste politique

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Drieu fin analyste politique

par argoul

Ex: https://www.argoul.com

Retour aux années 30 ? 2013 = 1933 ? Drieu, surréaliste tenté par le communisme avant de suivre Doriot (devenu fasciste) avait diagnostiqué la situation de son époque. elle ressemble à la nôtre par les hommes (aussi médiocres), mais pas par les circonstances (l’histoire ne se répète jamais).

Dans Gilles, Drieu passe une volée de bois vert aux politiciens et autres intellos tentés par le pouvoir. « La politique, comme on le comprend depuis un siècle, c’est une ignoble prostitution des hautes disciplines. La politique, ça ne devrait être que des recettes de cuisine, des secrets de métier comme ceux que se passaient, par exemple, les peintres. Mais on y a fourré cette absurdité prétentieuse : l’idéologie. Appelons idéologie ce qui reste aux hommes de religion et de philosophie, des petits bouts de mystique encroûtés de rationalisme. Passons » p.927.

drieu82841006021.jpgL’idéologie, domaine des idées, est la chasse gardée des intellos. Ceux-ci alimentent les politiciens ignares par des constructions abstraites, vendables aux masses, autrement dit une bouillie où l’on se pose surtout ‘contre’ et rarement ‘pour’. « Il y a les préjugés de tout ce monde ‘affranchi’. Il y a là une masse de plus en plus figée, de plus en plus lourde, de plus en plus écrasante. On est contre ceci, contre cela, ce qui fait qu’on est pour le néant qui s’insinue partout. Et tout cela n’est que faible vantardise » p.1131. Yaka…

Pourtant, le communisme pouvait être une idéologie intéressante. Déjà, « la foi politique fournit aux paresseux, aux déclassés et aux ratés de toutes les professions une bien commode excuse » p.1195. De plus, l’instrument du parti est appelé à créer une nouvelle noblesse d’État : « Qu’est-ce qui le séduisait dans le communisme ? Écartée la ridicule prétention et l’odieuse hypocrisie de la doctrine, il voyait par moments dans le mouvement communiste une chance qui n’était plus attendue de rétablir l’aristocratie dans le monde sur la base indiscutable de la plus extrême et définitive déception populaire » p.1195. D’où le ripage de Jacques Doriot du communisme au fascisme, du PC au PPF. Il y a moins d’écart qu’on ne croit entre Mélenchon et Le Pen.

Mais les intellos n’ont pas leur place en communisme, ils préfèrent le libéralisme libertaire des années folles (1920-29), et ce n’est pas différent depuis mai 68. Ils ne sont à l’aise que dans la déconstruction, la critique – certainement pas dans la création d’un mythe politique (voir les déboires actuels de l’écologisme), encore moins dans l’action ! « Il y avait là des intellectuels qui étaient entrés niaisement avec leur libéralisme dans le communisme et se retrouvaient, l’ayant fui, dans un anarchisme difficile à avouer tant de lustres après la mort de l’anarchie. Quelques-uns d’entre eux cherchaient un alibi dans le socialisme de la IIè Internationale où, dans une atmosphère de solennelle et impeccable impuissance, ils pouvaient abriter leurs réticences et leurs velléités, leurs effarouchements et leurs verbeuses indignations. A côté d’eux, il y avait des syndicalistes voués aux mêmes tourments et aux mêmes incertitudes, mais qui se camouflaient plus hypocritement sous un vieux vernis de réalisme corporatif » p.1233. Vous avez dit « indignation » ? Toujours la posture morale de qui n’est jamais aux affaires et ne veut surtout pas y être.

Les meetings politiques ou les congrès sont donc d’une pauvreté absolue, cachant le vide de projet et d’avenir sous l’enflure de la parole et le rappel du glorieux passé. François Hollande et Harlem Désir font-ils autre chose que causer ? Proposer des mesurettes dans l’urgence médiatique (tiens, comme Sarkozy…) ? « Mais au bout d’une heure, il lui fallait sortir, excédé de tant de verbiage pauvre ou de fausse technique. Il était épouvanté de voir que tout ce ramassis de médiocres à la fois arrogants et timorés vivaient avec leurs chefs dans l’ignorance totale que put exister une autre allure politique, une conception plus orgueilleuse, plus géniale, plus fervente, plus ample de la vie d’un peuple. C’était vraiment un monde d’héritiers, de descendants, de dégénérés et un monde de remplaçants » p.1214. »Remplaçants » : pas mal pour François Hollande, désigné au pied levé pour devenir candidat à la place de Dominique Strauss-Kahn, rattrapé – déjà – par la faillite morale.

Il faut dire que la France majoritairement rurale de l’entre-deux guerres était peu éduquée ; les électeurs étaient bovins (« des veaux », dira de Gaulle). La France actuelle, majoritairement urbaine, est nettement mieux informée, si ce n’est éduquée ; l’individualisme critique est donc plus répandu, ce qui est le sel de la démocratie. Rappelons que le sel est ce qui irrite, mais aussi ce qui conserve, ce qui en tout cas renforce le goût.

drieularochZ2BWZNL.jpgOn parle aujourd’hui volontiers dans les meetings de 1789, de 1848, voire de 1871. Mais la grande politique va bien au-delà, de Gaulle la reprendra à son compte et Mitterrand en jouera. Marine Le Pen encense Jeanne d’Arc (comme Drieu) et Mélenchon tente de récupérer les grandes heures populaires, mais avec le regard myope du démagogue arrêté à 1793. Or « il y avait eu la raison française, ce jaillissement passionné, orgueilleux, furieux du XIIè siècle des épopées, des cathédrales, des philosophies chrétiennes, de la sculpture, des vitraux, des enluminures, des croisades. Les Français avaient été des soldats, des moines, des architectes, des peintres, des poètes, des maris et des pères. Ils avaient fait des enfants, ils avaient construit, ils avaient tué, ils s’étaient fait tuer. Ils s’étaient sacrifiés et ils avaient sacrifié. Maintenant, cela finissait. Ici, et en Europe. ‘Le peuple de Descartes’. Mais Descartes encore embrassait la foi et la raison. Maintenant, qu’était ce rationalisme qui se réclamait de lui ? Une sentimentalité étroite et radotante, toute repliée sur l’imitation rabougrie de l’ancienne courbe créatrice, petite tige fanée » p.1221. Marc Bloch, qui n’était pas fasciste puisque juif, historien et résistant, était d’accord avec Drieu pour accoler Jeanne d’Arc à 1789, le suffrage universel au sacre de Reims. Pour lui, tout ça était la France : sa mystique. Ce qui meut la grande politique et ce qui fait la différence entre la gestion d’un conseil général et la gestion d’un pays.

En politique, « tout est mythologie. Ils ont remplacé les démons, les dieux et les saints par des idées, mais ils n’en sont pas quittes pour cela avec la force des images » p.1209. La politique doit emporter les foules, mais la mystique doit aussi se résoudre en (petite) politique, forcément décevante. Les politiciens tentent aujourd’hui de pallier la désillusion par la com’.

Drieu l’observe déjà sur le costume démocratique : « Il vérifiait sur le costume de M. de Clérences qu’il était un homme de gauche. Clérences avait prévu cela depuis quelque temps : il s’était fait faire un costume merveilleux de frime. ‘La démocratie a remplacé le bon Dieu, mais Tartufe est toujours costumé en noir’, s’était exclamé à un congrès radical un vieux journaliste. En effet, à cinquante mètre, Clérences paraissait habillé comme le bedeau d’une paroisse pauvre, gros croquenots, complet noir de coupe mesquine, chemise blanche à col mou, minuscule petite cravate noire réduisant le faste à sa plus simple expression, cheveux coupés en brosse. De plus près, on voyait que l’étoffe noire était une profonde cheviotte anglaise, la chemise du shantung le plus rare et le croquenot taillé et cousu par un cordonnier de milliardaires » p.1150. François Hollande est aussi mal fagoté que les radicaux IIIè République. Il en joue probablement ; il se montre plus médiocre, plus « camarade » qu’il ne l’est – pour mieux emporter le pouvoir. Et ça marche. C’est moins une société juste qui le préoccupe que d’occuper la place… pour faire juste ce qu’il peut. « Une apologie de l’inertie comme preuve de la stabilité française » p.1216, faisait dire Drieu à son père spirituel inventé, Carentan.

Mais est-ce cela la politique ? Peut-être… puisque désormais les grandes décisions se prennent à Bruxelles, dans l’OTAN, au G7 (voire G2), à l’ONU. La politique n’est plus la mystique mais de tenir la barre dans les violents courants mondiaux. « (Est-ce qu’un grand administrateur et un homme d’État c’est la même chose ? se demanda Gilles. Non, mais tant pis.) Tu n’es pas un apôtre » p.1217.

Est-il possible de voir encore surgir des apôtres ? Drieu rêve à la politique fusionnelle, qui ravit l’être tout entier comme les religions le firent. Peut-être de nos jours aurait-il été intégriste catholique, ou converti à la charia, ou jacobin industrialiste, autre version nationale et socialiste inventée par le parti communiste chinois depuis 1978. Drieu a toujours cherché l’amour impossible, avec les femmes comme avec la politique, fusionnel dans le couple, totalitaire dans le gouvernement.

livre-drieu-la-rochelle.pngMais la démocratie parlementaire a montré que la mystique pouvait surgir, comme sous Churchill, de Gaulle, Kennedy, Obama. Sauf que le parlementarisme reprend ses droits et assure la distance nécessaire entre l’individu et la masse nationale. Délibérations, pluralisme et État de droit sont les processus et les garde-fous de nos démocraties. Ils permettent l’équilibre entre la vie personnelle de chacun (libre d’aller à ses affaires) et la vie collective de l’État-nation (en charge des fonctions régaliennes de la justice, la défense et les infrastructures). Notre système requiert des administrateurs rationnels plus que des leaders charismatiques, malgré le culte du chef réintroduit par la Vè République.

Nos politiciens sont tous sortis du même moule. Du temps de Drieu c’était de Science Po, du droit et de la coterie des salons parisiens ; aujourd’hui presqu’exclusivement de l’ENA et des clubs parisiens (le Siècle, le Grand orient…). Un congrès du PS ressemble fort à un congrès radical : « Ils étaient tous pareils ; tous bourgeois de province, ventrus ou maigres, fagotés, timides sous les dehors tapageurs de la camaraderie traditionnelle, pourvus du même diplôme et du même petit bagage rationaliste, effarés devant le pouvoir, mais aiguillonnés par la maligne émulation, alors pendus aux basques des présidents et des ministres et leur arrachant avec une humble patience des bribes de prestige et de jouissance. Comme partout, pour la masse des subalternes, il n’était point tellement question d’argent que de considération » p.1212. Pas très enthousiasmant, mais le citoyen aurait vite assez de la mobilisation permanente à la Mélenchon-Le Pen : déjà, un an de campagne présidentielle a lassé. Chacun a d’autres chats à fouetter que le service du collectif dans l’excitation perpétuelle : sa femme, ses gosses, son jardin, ses loisirs. Le je-m’en-foutisme universel des pays du socialisme réel l’a bien montré.

Dans le spectacle politique, rien n’a changé depuis Drieu. Les intellos sont toujours aussi velléitaires ou fumeux, les révolutionnaires toujours aussi carton-pâte, les politiciens tout autant administrateurs fonctionnaires, et les militants dans l’illusion permanente avides du regard des puissants (à écouter le syndicaliste socialiste Gérard Filoche aux Matins de France-Culture, on est consterné). Même s’il ne faut pas le suivre dans ses choix d’époque, Drieu La Rochelle reste un bon analyste de l’animalerie politique. Il n’est jamais meilleur que lorsqu’il porte son regard aigu sur ses contemporains.

Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, Gilles, 1939, Folio 1973, 683 pages, €8.64

Pierre Drieu La Rochelle, Romans-récits-nouvelles, édition sous la direction de Jean-François Louette, Gallimard Pléiade 2012, 1834 pages, €68.87

Les numéros de pages des citations font référence à l’édition de la Pléiade.

Tous les romans de Drieu La Rochelle chroniqués sur ce blog

lundi, 06 juin 2016

Quand Tocqueville découvrait l’Amérique

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Quand Tocqueville découvrait l’Amérique

 
tocq03089488.jpgPour son premier album,Tocqueville, vers un nouveau monde, l’auteur nantais Kévin Bazot adapte en bande dessinée, avec brio, le récit d’Alexis de Tocqueville Quinze jours dans le désert.

New-York, Été 1831. Alexis de Tocqueville et Gustave de Beaumont, jeunes magistrats, sont envoyés aux Etats Unis pour étudier le système pénitentiaire américain. Mais ils préfèrent découvrir l’Ouest américain à la recherche des indiens. Ils se rendent compte que la frontière vers l’Ouest recule très rapidement. Ils traversent des vallées et des fleuves portant encore les noms donnés par les tribus indiennes. Mais partout où ils passent, les Iroquois ont fait place à l’homme civilisé. Arrivés à Buffalo, ils croisent leurs premiers indiens, des clochards en haillons qui ont bradé leurs terres et passent leur temps à boire. Ils comprennent que la conquête de l’Ouest fait son œuvre destructrice avec une bonne conscience à toute épreuve. Tocqueville se demande où sont les Indiens fiers et sauvages. Au-delà de Detroit, petite ville de pionniers, la forêt devient omniprésente. Alexis de Tocqueville et Gustave de Beaumont découvrent des terres vierges et grandioses que l’homme n’a pas encore violées. C’est alors qu’ils rencontrent, enfin, d’authentiques Indiens. Les Indiens vont les aider face à des Yankees sans scrupules…

Kévin Bazot a entièrement réalisé le scénario, le dessin et les couleurs de son premier album Tocqueville vers un nouveau monde. Il relève le défi d’adapter Quinze jours dans le désert, récit d’Alexis de Tocqueville.

Né dans une famille légitimiste de la noblesse normande, Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) est connu pour ses analyses de la Révolution française et des démocraties occidentales. Licencié en droit, il est nommé juge auditeur en 1827 au tribunal de Versailles. Il publie en 1835 le premier tome de son ouvrage De la démocratie en Amérique (le second en 1840), œuvre fondatrice de sa pensée politique. À la même époque, il entame une carrière politique en devenant, de 1839 à 1851, député de la Manche. Ce libéral-conservateur est une personnalité éminente du parti de l’Ordre. Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte devenu président de la République, il accepte le ministère des Affaires étrangères. Opposé au Coup d’État du 2 décembre 1851, il vote la déchéance du président de la République. Incarcéré à Vincennes, puis relâché, il quitte la vie politique. Retiré en son château de Tocqueville, il entame l’écriture de L’Ancien Régime et la Révolution, paru en 1856, dont le sujet porte sur le centralisme français. Il exprime sa crainte que la démocratie devienne la dictature de la majorité.

Mais qui sait qu’à 25 ans, Alexis de Tocqueville était parti un an aux États-Unis, en compagnie de son ami Geoffroy de Beaumont ? Il en tira le carnet de voyage autobiographique Quinze jours dans le désert, que son ami Gustave de Beaumont publia deux ans après sa mort. Toute son œuvre est fondée sur ce voyage aux États-Unis.

Adapter Quinze jours dans le désert est ainsi délicat. Kévin Bazot y parvient à merveille. Habitant Nantes depuis 6 ans mais Charentais de naissance, aujourd’hui âgé de 23 ans, Kévin Bazot a découvert la bande dessinée à travers Tintin et Astérix. Il a appris pendant quatre années le dessin à l’école Pivaut de Nantes. Passionné par l’histoire et les récits de voyages, il a commencé par réaliser des illustrations pour ArKéo Junior, un magazine jeunesse de découverte historique et archéologique.

Le brillant coup de crayon de Kévin Bazot nous fait découvrir des paysages denses et majestueux. Ses personnages aux traits expressifs dégagent une vraie force. On ressent la stupéfaction de Tocqueville face à ces superbes contrées sauvages.

L’aspect carnet de voyage est bien mis en valeur par Bazot qui retranscrit le parcours, les rencontres, les dialogues et les aventures de Tocqueville. En effet, Tocqueville recherche le désert : la nature sauvage et l’absence d’êtres humains. Mais il s’agit également d’un livre de réflexion politique et philosophique. Bazot respecte également l’esprit de Tocqueville. Bazot nous amène à réfléchir sur notre civilisation occidentale qui a fait disparaître celle des Amérindiens. Un véritable choc de civilisations !

Kristol Séhec

Tocqueville, vers un nouveau monde, Casterman, 18 €.


[cc] Breizh-info.com, 2016 dépêches libres de copie et diffusion sous réserve de mention de la source d’origine

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samedi, 04 juin 2016

Die Nordseegermanen

Die Nordseegermanen

Die Nordseegermanen sind eine seit dem Altertum bekannte Gruppe von germanischen Stämmen, die vielfach mit den Angeln, Chauken, Friesen, Sachsen, Warnen, Jüten, Kimbern und Teutonen identifiziert werden.

In Anlehnung an die bei Tacitus und Plinius als Ingaevonen bzw. Ingvaeonen bezeichnete Stammesgruppe hat sich in der germanischen Sprachwissenschaft der Terminus Ingwäonisch für eine Gruppe von an der Nordsee verbreiteten Sprachen etabliert.

Kaum etwas hat das Leben der Nordseegermanen so sehr beeinflusst wie die Nähe zum Meer. Dabei ist die Nordsee ein junges Meer. Dort, wo heute Schiffe fahren, lag am Ende der letzten Eiszeit noch trockenes Land. Spätestens in der Bronzezeit waren die Marschen dauerhaft mit Menschen besiedelt, die einer Vorstufe germanischer Kultur zugehörig waren.

mardi, 31 mai 2016

Karl Marx en José Antonio

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Karl Marx en José Antonio

Por Mario Montero
Ex: http://soldadosdeunaidea.blogspot.com

Cualquiera que se acerque con un mínimo de interés a la atractiva figura de José Antonio Primo de Rivera como hombre de política, habrá podido observar la radical evolución ideológica que sufrió, en tan solo 3 años, desde la fundación de Falange Española en 1933 hasta su muerte en la cárcel de Alicante en 1936, el Marqués de Estella. Una evolución ideológica que fue propiciada, según algunos, por la escisión de Ramiro Ledesma Ramos de Falange Española de las JONS en 1935 y las lecturas de distintos sindicalistas revolucionarios y la de algunos de los "no conformistas" franceses de la época.

Y si en esta evolución en el pensamiento de José Antonio hubo un filósofo, político o ideólogo que lo influenció marcadamente, ese fue, sin ningún género de dudas, Karl Marx -o Carlos Marx como él prefería llamarlo-. En sus dos últimos años de vida, de 1935 a 1936, se pudo ver reflejado de forma más clara, en sus diversos discursos, las influencias, a parte del ya mencionado Marx, de Ramiro Ledesma Ramos, Ortega y Gasset y los sindicalistas George Sorel y Hubert Lagardelle. Conocida es ya la relación de gran amistad que mantenía José Antonio con el líder sindicalista Ángel Pestaña o sus palabras en 1936 en las que decía que "Donde  Falange  logrará  más  pronto  avivar  las  corrientes de  simpatía  es  en  las  filas  del  viejo  sindicalismo  revolucionario  español". (1) 

faaff.jpgSi bien es verdad que en la Falange más embrionaria y en los primeros pasos de José Antonio en ésta se puede observar un marcado antimarxismo considerado por algunos como un "residuo" de su pasado monárquico y reaccionario, esta característica fue progresivamente desapareciendo y llegó a declarar en el diario La  Voz  de  Madrid el 14  de  febrero  de  1936: "Los  antialgo,  sea  lo  que  sea  este  algo,  se  me presentan  imbuidos  de  reminiscencia  del  señoritismo  español,  que  se  opone  irreflexiva, pero  activamente,  a  lo  que  él  no  comparte.  No  soy  ni  antimarxista  siquiera,  ni anticomunista,  ni...  antinada.  Los  anti  están  desterrados  de  mi  léxico  como  si  fueran tapones  para  las  ideas".

Pese a lo que generalmente se cree, Primo de Rivera no citaba a Marx exlucivamente para descalificarlo a él, a su pensamiento y a sus camaradas sino que reconoció en él, al hombre que supo preveer con una cierta exactitud las consecuencias de un sistema, el capitalismo, y criticarlo. Un sistema que ambos -tanto Jośe Antonio como Marx- consideraban injusto e inhumano y al que ambos criticaron con dureza. Tanto es así que en 1935 José Antonio diría, "Desde  el  punto  de  vista  social  va  a  resultar  que,  sin  querer,  voy  a  estar  de  acuerdo  en más  de  un  punto  con  la  crítica  que  hizo  Carlos  Marx.  Como  ahora,  en  realidad  desde  que todos  nos  hemos  lanzado  a  la  política,  tenemos  que  hablar  de  él  constantemente;  como hemos  tenido  todos  que  declararnos  marxistas  o  antimarxistas,  se  presenta  a  Carlos Marx,  por  algunos  –desde  luego,  por  ninguno  de  vosotros–,  como  una  especie  de  urdidor de  sociedades  utópicas.  Incluso  en  letras  de  molde  hemos  visto  aquello  de  "Los  sueños utópicos  de  Carlos  Marx".  Sabéis  de  sobra  que  si  alguien  ha  habido  en  el  mundo  poco soñador,  éste  ha  sido  Carlos  Marx:  implacable,  lo  único  que  hizo  fue  colocarse  ante  la realidad  viva  de  una  organización  económica,  de  la  organización  económica  inglesa  de las  manufacturas  de  Manchester,  y  deducir  que  dentro  de  aquella  estructura  económica estaban  operando  unas  constantes  que  acabarían  por  destruirla.  Esto  dijo  Carlos  Marx  en un  libro  formidablemente  grueso;  tanto,  que  no  lo  pudo  acabar  en  vida;  pero  tan  grueso como  interesante,  esta  es  la  verdad;  libro  de  una  dialéctica  apretadísima  y  de  un  ingenio extraordinario;  un  libro,  como  os  digo,  de  pura  crítica,  en  el  que,  después  de  profetizar  que la  sociedad  montada  sobre  este  sistema  acabaría  destruyéndose,  no  se  molestó  ni siquiera  en  decir  cuándo  iba  a  destruirse  ni  en  qué  forma  iba  a  sobrevenir  la  destrucción. No  hizo  más  que  decir:  dadas  tales  y  cuales  premisas,  deduzco  que  esto  va  a  acabar  mal; y  después  de  eso  se  murió,  incluso  antes  de  haber  publicado  los  tomos  segundo  y  tercero de  su  obra;  y  se  fue  al  otro  mundo  (no  me  atrevo  a  aventurar  que  al  infierno,  porque  sería un  juicio  temerario)  ajeno  por  completo  a  la  sospecha  de  que  algún  día  iba  a  salir  algún antimarxista  español  que  le  encajara  en  la  línea  de  los  poetas. Este  Carlos  Marx  ya  vaticinó  el  fracaso  social  del  capitalismo  sobre  el  cual  estoy departiendo  ahora  con  vosotros.  Vio  que  iban  a  pasar,  por  lo  menos,  estas  cosas: primeramente,  la  aglomeración  de  capital.  Tiene  que  producirla  la  gran  industria.  La pequeña  industria  apenas  operaba  más  que  con  dos  ingredientes:  la  mano  de  obra  y  la primera  materia.  En  las  épocas  de  crisis,  cuando  el  mercado  disminuía,  estas  dos  cosas eran  fáciles  de  reducir:  se  compraba  menos  primera  materia,  se  disminuía  la  mano  de obra  y  se  equilibraba,  aproximadamente,  la  producción  con  la  exigencia  del  mercado;  pero llega  la  gran  industria;  y  la  gran  industria,  aparte  de  ese  elemento  que  se  va  a  llamar  por el  propio  Marx  capital  variable,  emplea  una  enorme  parte  de  sus  reservas  en  capital constante;  una  enorme  parte  que  sobrepuja,  en  mucho,  el  valor  de  las  primeras  materias  y de  la  mano  de  obra;  reúne  grandes  instalaciones  de  maquinaria,  que  no  es  posible  en  un momento  reducir.  De  manera  que  para  que  la  producción  compense  esta  aglomeración  de capital  muerto,  de  capital  irreducible,  no  tiene  más  remedio  la  gran  industria  que  producir a  un  ritmo  enorme,  como  produce;  y  como  a  fuerza  de  aumentar  la  cantidad  llega  a producir  más  barato,  invade  el  terreno  de  las  pequeñas  producciones,  va  arruinándolas una  detrás  de  otra  y  acaba  por  absorberlas. Esta  ley  de  la  aglomeración  del  capital  la  predijo  Marx,  y  aunque  algunos  afirmen  que  no se  ha  cumplido,  estamos  viendo  que  sí,  porque  Europa  y  el  mundo  están  llenos de  trusts,  de  Sindicatos  de  producción  enorme  y  de  otras  cosas  que  vosotros  conocéis mejor  que  yo,  como  son  esos  magníficos  almacenes  de  precio  único,  que  pueden  darse  el lujo  de  vender  a  tipos  de  dumpimg,  sabiendo  que  vosotros  no  podéis  resistir  la competencia  de  unos  meses  y  que  ellos  en  cambio,  compensando  unos  establecimientos con  otros,  unas  sucursales  con  otras,  pueden  esperar  cruzados  de  brazos  nuestro  total aniquilamiento. Segundo  fenómeno  social  que  sobreviene:  la  proletarización.  Los  artesanos  desplazados de  sus  oficios,  los  artesanos  que  eran  dueños  de  su  instrumento  de  producción  y  que, naturalmente,  tienen  que  vender  su  instrumento  de  producción  porque  ya  no  les  sirve  para nada;  los  pequeños  productores,  los  pequeños  comerciantes,  van  siendo  aniquilados económicamente  por  este  avance  ingente,  inmenso,  incontenible,  del  gran  capital  y  acaba incorporándose  al  proletariado,  se  proletarizan.  Marx  lo  describe  con  un  extraordinario acento  dramático  cuando  dice  que  estos  hombres,  después  de  haber  vendido  sus productos,  después  de  haber  vendido  el  instrumento  con  que  elaboran  sus  productos, después  de  haber  vendido  sus  casas,  ya  no  tienen  nada  que  vender,  y  entonces  se  dan cuenta  de  que  ellos  mismos  pueden  una  mercancía,  de  que  su  propio  trabajo  puede  ser una  mercancía,  y  se  lanzan  al  mercado  a  alquilarse  por  una  temporal  esclavitud.  Pues bien:  este  fenómeno  de  la  proletarización  de  masas  enormes  y  de  su  aglomeración  en  las urbes  alrededor  de  las  fábricas  es  otro  de  los  síntomas  de  quiebra  social  del  capitalismo. Y todavía  se  produce  otro,  que  es  la  desocupación[...]". (2)

Para meses más tarde, añadir, "Pero  hay  otra  cosa:  como  la  cantidad  de  productos que  pueden  obtenerse,  dadas  ciertas  medidas  de  primera  materia  y  trabajo,  no  es susceptible  de  ampliación;  como  no  es  posible  para  alcanzar  aquella  cantidad  de productos  disminuir  la  primera  materia,  ¿qué  es  lo  que  hace  el  capitalismo  para  cobrarse el  alquiler  de  los  signos  de  crédito?  Esto:  disminuir  la  retribución,  cobrarse  a  cuenta  de  la parte  que  le  corresponde  a  la  retribución  del  trabajo  en  el  valor  del  producto.  Y  como  en cada  vuelta  de  la  corriente  económica  el  capitalismo  quita  un  bocado,  la  corriente económica  va  estando  cada  vez  más  anémica  y  los  retribuidos  por  bajo  de  lo  justo  van descendiendo  de  la  burguesía  acomodada  a  la  burguesía  baja,  y  de  la  burguesía  baja  al proletariado,  y,  por  otra  parte,  se  acumula  el  capital  en  manos  de  los  capitalistas;  y tenemos  el  fenómeno  previsto  por  Carlos  Marx,  que  desemboca  en  la  Revolución  rusa. Así,  el  sistema  capitalista  ha  hecho  que  cada  hombre  vea  en  los  demás  hombres  un posible  rival  en  las  disputas  furiosas  por  el  trozo  de  pan  que  el  capitalismo  deja  a  los obreros,  a  los  empresarios,  a  los  agricultores,  a  los  comerciantes,  a  todos  los  que,  aunque no  lo  creáis  a  primera  vista,  estáis  unidos  en  el  mismo  bando  de  esa  terrible  lucha económica;  a  todos  los  que  estáis  unidos  en  el  mismo  bando,  aunque  a  veces  andéis  a tiros  entre  vosotros.  El  capitalismo  hace  que  cada  hombre  sea  un  rival  por  el  trozo  de  pan. Y el  liberalismo,  que  es  el  sistema  capitalista  en  su  forma  política,  conduce  a  este  otro resultado:  que  la  colectividad,  perdida  la  fe  en  un  principio  superior,  en  un  destino  común, se  divida  enconadamente  en  explicaciones  particulares.  Cada  uno  quiere  que  la  suya valga  como  explicación  absoluta,  y  los  unos  se  enzarzan  con  los  otros  y  andan  a  tiros  por lo  que  llaman  ideas  políticas.  Y  así  como  llegamos  a  ver  en  lo  económico,  en  cada  mortal, a  quien  nos  disputa  el  mendrugo,  llegamos  a  ver  en  lo  político,  en  cada  mortal,  a  quien nos  disputa  el  trozo  de  poder,  la  parte  de  poder  que  nos  asignan  las  constituciones liberales. He  aquí  por  qué,  en  lo  económico  y  en  lo  político,  se  ha  roto  la  armonía  del  individuo  con la  colectividad  de  que  forma  parte,  se  ha  roto  la  armonía  del  hombre  con  su  contorno,  con su  patria,  para  dar  al  contorno  una  expresión  que  ni  se  estreche  hasta  el  asiento  físico  ni se  pierda  en  vaguedades  inaprehensibles. Perdida  la  armonía  del  hombre  y  la  patria,  del  hombre  y  su  contorno,  ya  está  herido  de muerte  el  sistema". (3)

falangeforozk2.jpgAdemás de aceptar, como era de esperar, las teorías marxistas sobre el devenir del capitalismo -¿Acaso no se han cumplido la gran mayoría, si no todas, las "profecías" marxistas sobre el capitalismo?- José Antonio recogió de Marx, también, la crítica a la propiedad capitalista. Prueda de ello fueron aquellas palabas de Primo de Rivera en 1935,"Pensad  a  lo  que  ha  venido  a  quedar  reducido  el  hombre  europeo  por  obra  del  capitalismo. Ya  no  tiene  casa,  ya  no  tiene  patrimonio,  ya  no  tiene  individualidad,  ya  no  tiene  habilidad artesana,  ya  es  un  simple  número  de  aglomeraciones. [...] La  propiedad  capitalista  es  fría  e  implacable:  en  el  mejor  de  los  casos,  no cobra  la  renta,  pero  se  desentiende  del  destino  de  los  sometidos. [...]mientras  que  ahora  se  muere  un  obrero  y  saben  los  grandes señores  de  la  industria  capitalista  que  tienen  cientos  de  miles  de  famélicos  esperando  a  la puerta  para  sustituirle. Una  figura,  en  parte  torva  y  en  parte  atrayente,  la  figura  de  Carlos  Marx,  vaticinó  todo  este espectáculo  a  que  estamos  asistiendo,  de  la  crisis  del  capitalismo.  Ahora  todos  nos hablan  por  ahí  de  si  son  marxistas  o  si  son  antimarxistas.  Yo  os  pregunto,  con  ese  rigor  de examen  de  conciencia  que  estoy  comunicando  a  mis  palabras:  ¿Qué  quiere  decir  el  ser antimarxista?  ¿Quiere  decir  que  no  apetece  el  cumplimiento  de  las  previsiones  de  Marx? Entonces  estamos  todos  de  acuerdo.  ¿Quiere  decir  que  se  equivocó  Marx  en  sus previsiones?  Entonces  los  que  se  equivocan  son  los  que  le  achacan  ese  error. Las  previsiones  de  Marx  se  vienen  cumpliendo  más  o  menos  de  prisa,  pero implacablemente.  Se  va  a  la  concentración  de  capitales;  se  va  a  la  proletarización  de  las masas,  y  se  va,  como  final  de  todo,  a  la  revolución  social,  que  tendrá  un  durísimo  período de  dictadura  comunista. [...]también  el  capitalismo  es  internacional  y materialista.  Por  eso  no  queremos  ni  lo  uno  ni  lo  otro;  por  eso  queremos  evitar  –porque creemos  en  su  aserto–  el  cumplimiento  de  las  profecías  de  Carlos  Marx.  Pero  lo queremos  resueltamente;  no  lo  queremos  como  esos  partidos  antimarxistas  que  andan por  ahí  y  creen  que  el  cumplimiento  inexorable  de  unas  leyes  económicas  e  históricas  se atenúa  diciendo  a  los  obreros  unas  buenas  palabras  y  mandándoles  unos  abriguitos  de punto  para  sus  niños. Si  se  tiene  la  seria  voluntad  de  impedir  que  lleguen  los  resultados  previstos  en  el  vaticinio marxista,  no  hay  más  remedio  que  desmontar  el  armatoste  cuyo  funcionamiento  lleva implacablemente  a  esas  consecuencias:  desmontar  el  armatoste  capitalista  que  conduce a  la  revolución  social,  a  la  dictadura  rusa.  Desmontarlo,  pero  ¿para  sustituirlo  con  qué?[...]". (4)

Porque como decía Adriano Gómez Molina, en el pensamiento de José Antonio, "La plusvalía es una columna vertebral del análisis marxista del capitalismo. La inclusión de la plusvalía en el programa de la Falange se sitúa junto a otras propuestas de porte izquierdista, pero entraña una importancia suprema. A pesar de su gran calado ha quedado desvaída. Cuando se habla de la radicalización de José Antonio, que ciertamente se produjo, no se suele enfatizar la asignación de la plusvalía al trabajo. Pero es ahí en donde está la radicalización decisiva, muy por encima de la nacionalización de la banca, de la sindicalización de la economía o de la «reinstalación revolucionaria del pueblo campesino»". (5)

No he creído necesario profundizar en la aclaración de que, pese a la fuerte influencia de Karl Marx en José Antonio, éste no fue nunca marxista ni aceptó nunca las soluciones propuestas por los marxistas ante el capitalismo.

Por otra parte, sí veo necesario aclarar, que pese a ver en el marxismo un enemigo, José Antonio -prueba de ello es lo anteriormente expuesto- no combatió dialécticamente al marxismo desde una óptica conservadora y reaccionaria sino revolucionariamente, desde una óptica nacionalista alejada, claro está, de toda rémora zarzuelera y reaccionaria.

 Para terminar, citar de nuevo a José Antonio Primo de Rivera, "Pero hay algo más  que  hacer  que  oponerse  al marxismo.  Hay  que  hacer  a  España.  Menos  "abajo  esto",  "contra  lo  otro",  y  más  "arriba España",  "por  España,  una,  grande  y  libre",  "por  la  Patria,  el  pan  y  la  justicia". (6)


Por Mario Montero

Notas:

(1) Contestaciones que José Antonio dio a las preguntas que le remitió el periodista Ramón Blardony, por intermedio del enlace Agustín Pelaéz, en Alicante, el 16 de Junio de 1936.

(2) Conferencia pronunciada en el Círculo Mercantil de Madrid, el 9 de Abril de 1935.

(3) Discurso de clausura del II Consejo Nacional de la Falange, pronunciado en el Cine de Madrid el 17 de Noviembre de 1935.

(4) Discurso pronunciado en el Cine de Madrid, el 19 de Mayo de 1935.

(5) Adriano Gómez Molina, El Catoblepas, número 101.

(6) Discurso pronunciado en el Teatro Norba de Cáceres, el 19 de Enero de 1936.

Le corporatisme: genèse et perspectives

Le corporatisme:

genèse et perspectives

(entretien avec Jean-Philippe Chauvin)

Entretien du Cercle Henri Lagrange avec Jean-Philippe Chauvin

(professeur d'Histoire, animateur du blog nouvelle-chouannerie.com)

corporatisme,histoire,théorie politique,politologie,philosophie politique,sciences politiques