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The Logos and War
Crackpot Mailbox: Carbon Mike and the Woke Devil Chew on an Ancient Anxiety
thought of you writing this
James LaFond
Mon, Jul 15, 8:37 AM (9 days ago)
Carbon Mike
9:49 AM (2 hours ago)
to me
God-damn, brother, that's a great piece. I'd like to hear more about what you think distinguishes the Indo-European tribes from, say, the Zulus in terms of being able to project the war shadow (excellent phrase!) forward through time. The Zulus were steeped in ancestor worship too—but as you correctly point out, their war shadow had a shorter lifetime that of other tribes. I'm wondering if writing had something to do with it. It seems to me that all the historical badasses who remained badasses for long enough, had a literary tradition in which they wrote poetry and prose—but especially poetry—about war and warfighters.
Maybe the secret sauce here is the Logos.That would certainly explain a lot about why the American slaveholding class lived in such terror of their chattels learning to read. Some of the history suggests that this was because of the fear of forged credentials, but I'm not sure that's the whole story. While it's true that literate slaves would have been able to forge documents like travel passes, they certainly couldn't have mass produced them. Maybe the motivating factor was an instinctive knowledge of the things written language can do.
CM
The Woke Devil Banks the Virile Coal Fire
My Elemental Opaqueness, thanks for jarring the cracked brain pan...
What follows are some thought threads concerning the life bread of our shared tradition. Although you are by blood Bantu and I Indo-European, we have been cultivated in mind by the same written tradition. This reminds me of the fact that in WWI African soldiers lead by German officers with respect outfought colonial Anglo and French troops as well as African troops lead by Anglo and French officers, reminding one that Plantation America was primarily English with French and Dutch influence and that both Africans and Germans were trafficked in huge numbers.In Plantation America, the slave-holding elites did fear literacy and had a deeper fear and hatred of their European slaves than the Africans they sought to replace them with. The fear of literacy went beyond forgery, for literacy was the legal bar, with any literate man able to bring cases in the king's courts.
And yes, the mind of the worded man is more fearsome than he who suffers from cultural amnesia.
Your asserted question strikes deep into the past into our shared war shadow.
But first, a modern example. Bare-knuckle boxing is being resurrected without an intact cultural memory and retired boxers are doing worse than washed up MMA fighters, because, even in the presence of bare-knuckle boxing method literature which I have data-mined in the past 20 years, boxers as a collective fraternity have forgotten how to box with bare fists, with recent lessons learned in MMA with small gloves providing more illumination than the long shadow of the extant parent art of both prize-fighting forms. The bare-knuckle aspirant who found me as a coach would be like Arthur having found Merlin on the eve of battle as the rest muddle in the amnesiac dark.
This fear, this mind spear that is the written word which may be held and shaped and passed from word-forger to word-burnisher like so many smiths crafting a sword of an idea to be wielded by yet another kind of man, goes deeper than the written word.
The fiercest war peoples were unlettered nomads who preserved their tribal ascent in verse, in lengthy oral revelations of a mnemonic sort in epic poetry, such as the Iliad and Gilgamesh and the Aeneid, keeping alive tales of means, fears, heroic themes and betrayal among other elements. These epics were preserved by societies of living, singing memory stewards—each bard a shard in the collective tribal crystal—who served the tribal blood computer much like software serves this machine as a mirror unto its inner self.
The hyper-masculine tribal societies who relived their ancestors' glory eventually did so, not in their war camps among carts around campfires, but in conquered palaces among the guttering candles lit by the slave races they had come to rule, simpering, civilized sluts and scribes who lent their crafts to their conquerors and weakened them in the process—yet planted the seed of renewal in the offal of decay. Note the severe inbreeding among Zulus compared to the profligate out-breeding of Aryans who yet share a mania for collecting exotic people in the babel-like ruins of their civilization. To my eyes, the Aenied and secondarily the odyssey and Gilgamesh, offers the best trace evidence for this manifest fear that the preserved ideas in writing might bring down the kin of the once mighty men who had first had their tales recorded, facilitating cultural corrosion in the same lyric breaths what offered a renewal in times come wickedly nigh.
The aim of Sons of Aryas and its three companion volumes is to lend a shape to the ancient fears of the men who propelled us down the savage stairs of Time to this curiously sissy place, and if not, at least cast a shadow worthy of their long vanished spears.
Thanks, Carbon Mike, for your helpful input.
Masculine Axis: A Meditation on Manhood and Heroism
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