Good morning boys, girls and dragons. It is sweet to see your glowing morning faces.
What time is it at According to Hoyt? You’re right. It’s heresy time!
My husband has long ago learned that there are places it is not safe to take me, because he just ends up dragging me out while I’m still trying to get a last zinger in at the speaker. Yes, that has included churches. We don’t attend there anymore. But mostly it’s lectures or movies or theater performances, where the person in charge believes we’re in need of hearing just a little more of that ol’ time (what? He’s been dead a long time. And most of his adherents are either fossilized while living or brain dead, so….) Marxist religion.
Yesterday we almost added museums to that list. It came this close. You could smell its tail when it went by.
You see we thought it was safe to go to a WWI museum. And as you guys know I’m interested in the era. Partly because I think that’s when the wheels came of Western culture and we started skidding on dangerous ice. Without wheels. Downhill. And there’s fire at the bottom of the ravine.
In a way the visit was good — the exhibits are excellent, and we might go back because I didn’t get to look at all the guns as I would have liked to. I’m not an expert, no, but the national variations on light machine guns are fascinating, and I still have to write World War Dragon — because it solidified a) what went wrong. b) why lately — like the last three years — the history has been “tasting” as if it rhymes with WWI.
My talking back, though started with the introductory movie.
I’ve told you guys before the causes I was taught for WWI, which included fervent nationalism, militarization and idealization of the military, as well as Germany coming late to industrialization and feeling hemmed in. That last is probably true, btw. Though at this point I’m in no mood to give consequence to “historians” infected by Marxism and therefore prone to running headlong down stupid blind alleys towards brick walls.
I have bad news. In the forty years since they’ve pounded that arrant nonsense into my head, they’ve added more. To that list is now added “Social darwinism” (Talk back “Did they confuse it with the SECOND world war?”) “Which believed that evolution applied not only to organisms but to cultures and that the fittest culture would survive!” (Talk back “And you don’t? Why not? What the hell do you believe? Or are you confusing culture with race again?”) Income inequality (Talk back: “As compared to what fluff brain? ANY time before that the inequality was greater.”) And the terrible treatment of the working classes in cities (tb: “Again, compared to what? Have you been asleep while India and China industrialized?”) which led to socialism (TB: “I too love to blame socialism for just about everything. But for world war I it’s a step too far.”) which was sweeping the masses, so practically every worker was socialist (TB: Snort, Giggle “No, butt-brain. The intellectuals were socialists, and it’s not hard to recruit petty criminals and useful idiots to swell your ranks. But no. Most workers were not socialist.”) AND THEN the one that made everything click: “Imperialism. Those darn hyper nationalistic states of Europe were going to Africa and Asia and creating colonies.” And it clicked. Particularly since the next point in their description was about how the Balkans didn’t like being under the heel of the Austro Hungarian empire. (Not that I blame them. I mean, for a brief time Portugal was too, several centuries back.)
And the back of my brain went CLICK. And now I need to descend into heresy from everything you’ve been taught. Although note, I’m not going to rewrite history. I’m not one of THEM. I’m just going to challenge the way it’s been interpreted and force fed to generations of people.
There is a very stupid meme going around facebook that talks about how terrible it would be if Europe had ever been treated the way that Africa and Asia were treated, and partitioned and repartitioned at random by uncaring colonial powers.
It’s one of those that makes me faintly nauseous, (like the one that claimed the pilgrims had white privilege) because it betrays just how far our schools have gone into not teaching the kids any kind of history beyond “Europe bad” and “everywhere else good.” It would be less criminal if they simply didn’t teach them to read and write (wait, that’s true!)
Because of course, not only was tribal, mostly pre-historic Europe partitioned more or less blindly by conquering powers: Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians. But it was then repartitioned again and again at the whim of invaders (Goths — yes, their horned helmets were all black. Someone bop the comedian on the head and drag him out in the alley, please — Ostrogoths, Swabians, Franks, Alans and only Bob knows what — he’s very learned Bob — else.) In fact the “national” borders of Europe are no more “real” to the genetic make up of people’s than are national borders anywhere else. They are mostly where they ended up. The fiction that the things inside the walls are “races” or ethnicities is a creation of public schools and national poets and … well, fictionalizing historians. Something the left should be quite familiar with.
This is not to say there should be no borders — more on that later — but frankly if the rest of the world wants to have the same “inside border” cohesion as Europe what they need is not to redraw them and moan about colonialism: it’s a shameless and ruthless propaganda machine to convince school children of bullshit. That should be easy. Communists can do it.
Anyway, the point is that “colonialism” and the “unrest in the balkans” are not because of nationalism and “people becoming aware of ethnic differences” (I swear to Bob they said that. Do Historians nowadays know bloody nothing of history?) and dragging poor Darwin into that stew (fish stew. with heads in) is just purely mean.
Industrialization and the rapid change of ways of life does come into this because Man — and woman, child, infant and dragon — does not live by bread alone. Some wise Rabbi said that, and He was, as grandma would say, covered in reason (Hopefully the Reason of the Postrel era. It’s gone down hill.) I.e. men who can see time before and after their lives and whose lives are far too brief for their minds, need a narrative to fit into.
For a long, long time the narrative had been religion and a way of life. “I farm, as did my father, my grandfather, his father etc. etc. etc.” When you moved away from the village, where you could visit the graves of all your ancestors, you needed a narrative to be part of. Which is where nationalism and to an extent militarism fit in. (To the other extent militarism was always part of it, and now there were dime-novels talking of adventure, which is often in war or happens to military man.)
But there was real unrest at the time. And while we know of a few where socialists spoke, etc, I don’t believe it was at all “socialist” or “Marxist” even. I mean, look, I’m running on stories I heard from my grandparents who heard them from their parents (their being children during WWI.) And other people’s grandparents, too, in other countries.
Oh, sure, the intellectuals loved Marx. They still do. They’re a very conservative constituency. And the organized Marxists (which at the time flew under a number of banners, including gutting and wearing the skin of Anarchists. They also still do) were running as hard as they could to get ahead of the mobs that were getting pissy.
But the mobs weren’t getting pissy because they wanted socialism. Socialists just happened to be the only organized ones who could claim credit/responsibility/ stir things their way.
The unrest had more to do with a lot of dislocated people living in a large group than ever and running around without a narrative to fit their lives into.
But there were other things….
Glanced by in the presentation is the fact that most of the ruling class of Europe was related to Queen Victoria. They didn’t talk about it, but here’s the thing, the other problem is that the vast empires of Europe had been vast for a long time, but not really centralized. It’s possible Americans don’t know this, but large European countries (Sometimes you can swing a cat not needing a passport for the cat) were “one country” only in name. The regional variations in everything from dialect to cuisine, not to mention the administration of local laws, and even local laws imposed by the local grandee made them effectively several tiny, locally-administered countries overseen/protected by an overlord.
In the nineteenth century that changed. Not only was the ruling class running in possession of faster means of transport, and the wealth from the industrial revolution, but heaven help us, most of them had IDEAS. (A lot of those ideas very similar to Marx’s.) They, by gum and golly were actually going to govern ALL of their holdings. Down to the smallest village. (This had started with Louis XIV, may his name never be sufficiently damned, but in the 19th century they had the ABILITY as well as the desire to stomp on every peasant face forever.)
So what that presentation never connected (they had drunk too much Marx) but should is this:
Just before WWI people were rebelling against distant and often dogmatic rulers, who frankly didn’t know anything and cared even less about local needs and conditions. This applied equally to European villagers and to Congo tribesmen.
And the European Elite, basically one family, was about as clued in and with it and insulated from the consequences of their bullshit as out would be world elites today.
So, yeah, they were having the equivalent of tea parties and yellow jackets outbreaks, which of course the socialists infiltrated and tried to claim — stop me when it sounds familiar — which explains what actually happened where the presentation used all sorts of passive voice “the respect for established monarchy was broken.” Uh no. People were sick and tired of distant rulers who didn’t get them trying to tell them how to wipe their behinds.
So yeah, things were breaking down and the ruling hierarchy found something to distract the people: a long, and bloody war. Although to be fair, they were probably trying to grab more territory to mis-administer from afar. It just all came together in a perfect storm.
And afterward the Marxists blamed…. nationalism and the free market. And tried to force internationalism — aka more control from afar — on people and treating people as faceless members of nations, with the guilt and victimhood ascribed to groups, not people. And when that blew up in WWII… they doubled down.
We’re now in the middle of a massive, new revolution (Call it the digital revolution, though I don’t think that’s exactly right) in the way people live and work, and the old narrative doesn’t fit. Unrest is breaking out all over, and the socialists, who are now, by and large the ruling elite, keep trying to appropriate it, and ascribe it to the same old same old.
If we double down and prescribe more internationalism, which they do, it might kill civilization and humanity with it.
And to be clear I am for borders. I see the point of larger countries (commerce and military mostly) but the administration must be as local as possible. When it comes to government it should always be as small, local and personal/adaptable as possible. Because people aren’t groups, or widgets that fit into groups, be the groups race, cultures, or nations. Or even villages (trust me.) And because if the local government is doing something particularly idiotic, you can go and have a talk with them. While if — oh, at random — all of Europe is governed from Brussels, you can’t even vote the bastards out, much less go and have a pointed, finger to sternum, conversation with the worst offender
What we’ve been doing for 100 years now is doing the same thing over and over again (A war? Let’s erase national barriers, and have people governed by impersonal groups far away! That will cure it!) and expecting a different result.
And we all know what that means.
If we don’t break out of this loop, we’re headed to World War Three and afterwards the socialists will try to set up ONE government for the whole of the Earth, because that will stop wars (they never heard of civil wars, the idiots.)
Let’s stop this, shall we. Do not buy the narrative. Speak up, talk back, disrupt the “accepted causes.”
Disrupt the story of the accepted causes of everything really. And keep talk back. Because everything has been infected with Marxism. And we must drive this heresy train all the way.
Good thing it has no brakes.