Click to Subscribe
▶  More from Histories Video Reviews Plantation America
The Middle Sea
Notes on Encrypting Truth in a Gas Lit World: Impressions of Victor Davis Hansen’s lectures
Like other standard historians of the past hundred and fifty years, Mister Hansen is left believing in mysteries and magics about America, such as the metaphysical urge to manifest destiny expressed in travelling ever westward. To Hansen slavery is a purely racial ill that was cured through sacrifice in war. He does point out that most of the southern men slain by Grant were not slave owners and that the northern men they killed were also conscripts. He declines to point out that a conscript, is a slave, a man forced to kill and die against his will. Free soil and the fact that a free man of European ancestry was ever driven west by the owners of African slaves and the industrial machine that added value to those inequitous harvests is not discussed by the war historian who focuses on military operations. For a historian who is not a leftist, it is a subject best left alone and alluded to as something that was cured by war.
Perhaps his best of the half dozen lectures I viewed this week—none of the titles can I remember—was on the role that the Mediterranean Sea played in the formation of Western Civilization, and how this propelled Western Man to world dominance. This was the best answer to Jared Diamond’s rather childish environmental determinism argument in Guns, Germs and Steel. I listened to an NPR moderated discussion between Diamond and Hansen where Diamond exposed himself as knowing zero about warfare culture and operations, assuming it was always purely a technological-biological weapons race, when even today war culture is the greatest arbiter of victory. For instance, the lack of war culture in the U.S. resulted in a surrender to a sham media plague and the lie that more of one kind of man are killed by cops than another kind of man.
What follows is a way of using a standard academic’s lecture and supporting side show to read between the lines of the lie we call Western History, which has ceased to mean inquiry at all.
Hansen points out that the great value of the Middle Sea was that rivers drained into it from the hinterlands and that the transport of goods by land is ten times as expensive as transport by water.
This makes sense.
He neglects to mention that few Middle Eastern Rivers drain into the Med, almost none east of Anatolia which was, in antiquity, more closely related to Europe than Asia in language and population. Only one significant waterway drains into the Middle Sea between Syria and Morocco—the Nile. The other rivers are essentially short coastal drainages and do not access the hinterlands. The main European drainages in the ancient world are into the Black Sea, via which the primary commodity of the Ancient World was got, before the Romans built their road net and emptied Gaul and other western nations of its humanity. The importance of the Black Sea drainage in terms of shipping slaves out of Eastern Europe continued into the late 1600s to such an extent that the term Slave originates in Arabic as denoting a Slav—an Eastern European. Hungary alone seems to have lost a million people to the Non-Christian slave trade every hundred years between 1400 and 1700.
The produce of three continents, as Hansen pointed out, may be exchanged in the Middle Sea, effecting a great synthesis and exchange of ideas and commodities, using water borne commerce instead of land caravans. Then, in a brazen omission, slaves are not mentioned as a European commodity, when Hansen knows that they were the focal European commodity, which is attested to by his mention that they had nothing material to contribute in terms of innovation, science and technology. Hansen does then list slaves as virtually the only commodity supplied by Africa, glossing over the 1,000 mile hike through the Sahara, and ignoring the fact that significant trade in Sub-Saharan Africans was not achieved until the Arabian camel was introduced in the 400s to the Sahara and the southern “coast” of that “sea of sand” called the Sahel. Not until Islamic conquerors on horseback colonized the southern margins of that desert in the Middle Ages, and the coastal lands of North Africa, was the trans-Sahara slave trade to the Middle Sea, finally developed.
Interestingly, Sub-Saharan African slaves never became a significant commodity in Christian Europe. Was this due to lack of gold, unsuitability of tropical slaves in a temperate region, or the fact that virtually every European Christian was a serf, literally a slave attached to the land owned by the master than directly to the master, to exempt his Christian owner from the charge of holding a Christian slave through a semantic technicality?
As Hansen glossed over reality with geographic piety, I snorted at the obscenity of the lie, and the man I was viewing the video with said, “Well, old Victor has to keep his job. He can’t very well go against that narrative.”
Then, we noted, that the side-show pictures of humans in chains as commodities, were all of Europeans. So the old cuck slid some truth mines into his field of lies.
Islam would eventually transport up to 80 million African souls to their doom across the Sahara. This had three contextual drivers:
-1. While coastal Europe and the eastern borderlands in Europe were ravaged for European slaves—which, since they were largely sought for sex and technical facility with firearms and ocean going technology were the most highly valued slaves with their primary ethnicity the origin of the very term—the interior of European nations did not offer their lower classes to Islam as slaves like they had to Rome. Therefore, slaves for the very lethal labor market, had to be found elsewhere, and Africa was organized along tribal lines just like Europe had been when it’s slaves did the work of Rome, making it easy to buy slaves from one tribe got from another.
-2. Arabic maritime culture had spread Islam down the East African Coast to Zanzibar and its horse culture had placed Sultans as far afield as Nigeria, who would provide slaves as payment for their Haj expenses to Mecca and Medina.
-3. Once gold was mined in West Africa, it was transported in caravans across the Sahara to Morocco and other North African sultanates. This gold was used largely to buy European slaves and weapons and was accompanied by massive trains of lower value slaves from West Africa, who would be employed largely as guards and executioners of European slaves, and also as a military force to counter balance the European slave soldiers who served as gunners, with 10 to 20 African slave spearmen employed for every European slave musketeer.
Thus is the Lie maintained, when even a dissenting conservative historian like Hansen must agree to the foundational falsehoods of the nation he worships.

Etymology Notes
Mediterranie(c. 1400)
Latin Mediterraneum mare "Mediterranean Sea" (7c.),
from Latin mediterraneus "midland, surrounded by land, in the midst of an expanse of land"
"the sea in the middle of the earth"); from medius "middle" and terra “land, earth"
prev:  ‘The Mighty Geat’     ‹  histories  ›     next:  A Request from the Gaslit East
eBook
cracker-boy
eBook
all-power-fighting
eBook
the greatest lie ever sold
eBook
yusef of the dusk
eBook
logic of steel
eBook
buzz bunny
eBook
triumph
Add Comment
Bryce SharperSeptember 11, 2020 4:16 PM UTC

Exile,

I'm confused. Thucydides lived between 460 and 400 BC. Julius Caesar, Livy, and Scipio lived roughly 100 BC. How can you say the Greeks learned from the Romans?

The "Plantation America" concept is much closer to reality as explained by the Bible than the myths VDH believes. On the whole, the USA has been freer and more prosperous than most other civilizations in human history, but everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end.

It certainly didn't start out free for the millions of slaves of all colors who were brought here to work the plantations, and it won't end free. The world and its system is, on the whole, a prison run by the Devil, its chief jailer. There are periods of liberty but they always give way to slavery and strife.
responds:September 12, 2020 12:12 AM UTC

I have always, with my every breath regarded this life as a prison.
ExileSeptember 10, 2020 11:29 PM UTC

VDH always struck me as a true believer in the "Western tradition" flavor of civ-nattery. There's an authenticity in his writing you don't see with the obvious grifters he rubs elbows with in Con, Inc.

And there's more than a hint of race-realism in his recognition that you can't have Reagan-era White California when it's full of Mexicans.

But he can't bring himself to accept "Plantation America" level reality. He will cling to the myth of the noble Founders as he clings to Hellenism.

Of the two, at least the Greeks were less apt to delude themselves of their noble intentions. Thucydides is much more honest in his reflections on the Peloppenesian War than any of the Founders or their succesors have been about their motives and deeds. They learned their history-craft from Caesar's propagandistic works or from Livy. Even Polybius, writing to please his master Scipio, was more honest.
responds:September 10, 2020 11:40 PM UTC

Thanks and I agree unreservedly.

he does have a wonderful command of his material and does not seem to read prepared lectures which I like.
C8September 10, 2020 11:45 AM UTC

Well, given that VDH is still living on his family's raisin farm in the San Joaquin, increasingly isolated, surrounded by a burgeoning Aztec population, and bearing witness to the worsening pollution, trash, noise, and drunk driving, as well as encroachments on his land, fencing and crops, I guess he has reason to see parallels with the decline of Rome and the West. He's living it! At this point he probably has to be conscious that to much truth-telling might filter through to his new neighbors, who might not take kindly to such impolitic erudition. His mother was a Cali superior court judge, his father sort of a gentleman farmer who taught at the local college. So fallen American tweedy class. Unlikely that any of the Mexicans encamped on his perimeter care much about a "traditionalist approach to the classics."

Quoting Wiki: "In Mexifornia (2003)—a personal memoir about growing up in rural California and an account of immigration from Mexico—Hanson predicted that illegal immigration would soon reach crisis proportions, unless legal, measured, and diverse immigration was restored, as well as the traditional melting-pot values of integration, assimilation, and intermarriage." So he looked out his kitchen window, saw trouble a-brewin', and wrote a book.

But some irony that one of his earliest disputations involved the importance of warfare to the demise of Greek agriculture. VDH argued (per Wiki), that the "irrevocable harm" theory was overestimated. Now he is seeing with his own eyes the inexorable process that befell Rome: hordes of slave/serf ag workers who, over time, without a single military campaign, but merely by drunken copulation, succeed in replacing the host nation.

Pertaining to the importance of slavery to world history, E. Michael Jones notes how Prague, the most important Jewish center of central Europe, was a key node of the slave trade, occupying midway point for the German/Slav shuttle of human wares to Venice and thus to Cordoba and points south. More forbidden knowledge.
responds:September 10, 2020 8:01 PM UTC

Very well put.

I like watching that big-brained tweed twisting in the winds of change on his gallows of assimilation.

I will avoid looking to closely into that last sentence until the last Plantation America book is near completion.

I am a coward on that pointy point.
Bryce SharperSeptember 9, 2020 12:32 AM UTC

VDH's target market is "conservatives" who aren't Christians. They want some Western heritage to claim and VDH provides it in the form of glossed-over Hellenism.

The Greeks had a huge effect on our civilization but Christianity had a far bigger effect as Vishal Mangalwadi proves in "The Book that Made Your World."

Still, the West has been guilty of monstrous atrocities such as slavery and genocide even after it was transformed into Christendom. I'd still prefer to know about its warts rather than have smoke blown up my ass.

I don't quite know what to make of VDH. We can't say that he has successfully conserved anything. Then again, neither has the rest of Conservatism, Inc. I don't think his ideas represent a way forward for anyone. Mostly, like the rest of COnservatism, Inc, he just describes decline.
responds:September 9, 2020 1:17 PM UTC

I regard him as a well of contradictory wisdom.

Yes, agnostic conservatism is the most contradictor aspect...