Tuesday, December 1, 2009

© Eso Antons Benjamins

60 The People of Johns (IV)

The proto-Latvians of Jersika—let us remind ourselves that Jersika may be colloquial Latvian for Jerusalem—were so to speak disassembled by the neo-Christian church under the leadership of bishop Albert, who was doing the disassembling and plundering in the name of any number of pauperized and not so pauperized princes of the West. As Caterina Bruschi writes in her book concerning the Crusade against Lanquedoc: “…the Crusaders, …effectively were leading a military campaign against the southern nobility….” (p. 184) In Livonia (yet to be), they were converting, robbing, killing, and instilling fear among the natives to last for centuries as per the following excerpt from Bruschi’s work:

“…on the Sunday in the Lent, in the evening, the aforesaid Bernard of Rival—detained for a long time and still held in prison in leg-irons, because he was found to have confessed less that fully—was found wounded in the head. And he acknowledged before me, Aton, the aforesaid notary… that he had hit and wounded himself in the head, wishing to die, and wanting to kill himself.” (p. 189)

After the proto-Latvians disappeared from the stage of history, pure chance took over the lives of the people who remained. We get an occasional low visibility glimpse of them in later chronicles. However, the center stage, to borrow a comparison from Marx, belongs to the upper caste lumpenproletariat, for the most part Germanic invaders. The native Latvian lumpenprolitariat of those days is the shadowy half of a glass globe, the lower part always touching the ground.

Among the first politically explicit and self-assertive signs of Latvians occurs in 1873 with the publication of Karlis Baumanis book of songs called “Lihgo”. The name and cover design of John (priest) officiating at an altar has an explicitly religious message. The book is named after the refrain (“lihgo”) of Johns songs, thus giving the book a celebratory and sacred significance. The tsar’s police confiscated the books and burnt them immediately upon publication. Only a few copies remain today. But the cover design and content give evidence of the direction the poet and his supporters hoped in their mind’s eye Latvians would take.

Not only did the book not reach its intended audience, but those of the consciousness raising movement who tilted toward the arch-Christian past were—under pressure of the neo-Christians—soon replaced. The neo-Christians had in their favour the fact that Latvian peasants had learned how to read by having only the Bible to read from. Thus, helped by woodcuts from Luther’s Illustrated Bible such as Samson cut by one of Cranach’s students and like this painting by Cranach himself, the Latvian country people created a “folk tale” that never was. In any event, such pictures served as prototypes for the Latvian Lachplesis, the image of the “new” neo-Christian Latvian.

Though Lachplehsis image remains in use—the commix-like statue of the hero in the niche of the Latvian Saeima building being proof—his charismatic days came to an end with WW2 and the second subjection (1945; the first in 1940) of Latvia by the Soviet Union. With the Soviet occupation of Latvia there came the 3rd version of the Latvian people: Latvian Sovieticus. Today, as suggested in blog 58, we are experiencing the 4th reincarnation of Latvians, but this time we are emerging as Latvians of the post-Latvian era.

Of course, the people of Latvia call themselves Latvians still, and they are still the majority of people in Latvia. Nevertheless, the Latvian population, due to low birth rates—caused by an absence of self-employment that can be provided only by jobs at the micro economic level—is in a demographic death spiral. A significant number of Latvians, especially the young, wish to leave Latvia. Economic emigrants number about 30,000 this year alone. Most of the emigrants and the majority of Latvians who remain behind believe that the country was “stolen” from them by their own lawmakers. And well they may think so. There is no evidence that the Latvian government understands that relative independence comes only by way of a micro economy. The government overemphasizes corporate macro economy, because that is where most of the money in an “envelope” comes from.

Whether the people of Latvia can recapture the country without some radical action is doubtful. Radicalizing the post-Soviet man/woman into a post-Latvian Latvian implies changes that even if it promises to bring “change for the better” (to quote Rainis, one of the few Socialists Latvians have made peace with) and the change is not violent, change cannot be guaranteed because of the spiritual and material desert it has to be built on. (The chainsaws are buzzing all around my country home as I write, as farmers in debt to the banks try to forestall bankruptcy.) If in King Visvaldis days his congregation went into the vast forests, today Latvia’s green treasure is fast disappearing accompanied by an orchestra of chainsaws.

Twenty years have passed since the reestablishment of the state of Latvia, and for twenty years the euphoria that greeted the downfall of the Soviet Union has served to prop up the “dreamtime” that served so well high end “job seekers” who used the people’s dreams to infiltrate the highest levels of government. Not all in the government are of equal blame in the failure of the state of course. Some have participated in elections driven by an honest desire to reestablish Latvia as a prosperous and just nation. However, the moral tone of those leading the nation is like that of President of Latvia, Zatlers, who deftly left out of his Independence Day speech (on the 18th of November) the word “sacrifice”. The absence of any mention of “sacrifice”—as far as I know unnoted by the media—illustrates the rhetorical nature of post-Soviet Latvia.

With reality replaced by virtual reality, it should be no surprise why the collapse of Latvia continues to be of little concern of its government. The “soft war”—now being waged by Swedish banks against the Latvian government in order to pressure it to squeeze water out of the stone that is left to the Latvian people—is being obliged by the Latvian government. All that the people hear from their government is that this is the “normal” state of being, legalized by a nonexistent European Constitution and sanctified by fait accompli of their own partidocracy. Never mind that the demographic death spiral differs from bloody casualties in a war of bullets in name only. In real terms, the year 2009 differs from 1949 and 1941 in name, not in its consequences.

I have been recommending that the “soft war” being waged against the Latvian people needs to be answered by raising the level of Latvian wit. One of the ways that Latvians may respond is by legalizing Johns grass, then inviting the Swedes to “come on over” and enjoy a steamy cup of Johns milk tea in the Latvian countryside. It is one way to rebuild the capital of the people that has been “legally” stolen from them. Johns Grass may even pull the country out of the demographic  death spiral, because for once it is micro, not macro economy that will be served.

Less it is said that by being unfriendly to Swedish banks, I am unfriendly to the Swedish people, let me remind the reader that all peoples’ of the West, the Swedes including, have for some time been looking at reality through the filters of newspapers, radio, television, movies, advertising, and not least their governments. This is one reason why first-hand knowledge of reality among Swedes and in the West has become so abstracted that such an abstraction is presumed unexceptional. For anyone to presume that to capture Latvia for the European Union by promoting “cheap” bank loans to later suck the country dry by pretending innocence is simply not acceptable to a sovereign people—even if they discover-awaken to the crime after the fact.

If the Latvian people have their excuses, the Swedes have fewer. The latter have indeed allowed themselves to become so abstracted by their media as to fantasize that they were helping Latvians escape poverty by yoking them to slavery of debt? Like it or not, the Swedes, too, must bear responsibility for the actions of their banks and of their moral inertia and torpor when it comes to understanding material realities.

Asterisk & Notes of Interest:

An interesting poll. Information on emigration figures .

On the theme of “more-equal-than-others” Orwellsfable.

An eyeball view of Latvia (and its forests) companymap ; satellite While some sources claim that Latvia is 47% covered by forests, none of it is old growth forest. The Latvian news media provides little coverage of the rapid pace of deforestation. Anecdotal evidence of deforestation in progress from a neighbor: “There were fewer mushrooms this fall than last year. Forests we used to visit are gone.”

If we substitute the word “trees” for “gold” and make them synonymous, then obviously “trees” come to stand for the “gold” of Latvia. If we then read Ayn Rand’s words from her book “Atlas Shrugged”, but substitute “gold” with “tree”, Rand takes us to a very interesting conclusion: “Whenever destroyers destroyers appear among men, they start by destroying money, for money is men's protection and the base of a moral existence. Destroyers seize gold and leave to its owners a counterfeit pile of paper. This kills all objective standards and delivers men into the arbitrary power of an arbitrary setter of values. Gold was an objective value, an equivalent of wealth produced. Paper is a mortgage on wealth that does not exist, backed by a gun aimed at those who are expected to produce it. Paper is a check drawn by legal looters upon an account which is not theirs: upon the virtue of the victims. Watch for the day when it bounces, marked, ‘Account overdrawn.’” My thanks to site and author here.

Of great interest to me: X. The article at this link pretty well presents my reasons for supporting the growing of Johns Grass to facilitate the tourist industry in the Latvian countryside.

These blogs tend to be a continuum of an idea or thought, which is why—if you are interested in what you read—you are encouraged to consider reading the previous blog and the blog hereafter.

Partial entries of my blogs may be found at LatviansOnline + Forum Home + Open Forum –
ONLATVIANPOPULISM vs LATVIJASLABEJIE. If you copy this blog for your files, or copy to forward, or otherwise mention its content, please credit the author and http://esoschroniclnes.blogspot.com/

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