Wednesday, December 23, 2009

© Eso Antons Benjamins, a.k.a. Jaņdžs

66 The Future of The Wuerzeltod (IV)

Whenever an Omega man (a rickshaw owner is a candidate for comparison) is ‘emerged’ (—it usually is not of his own doing, but a happenstance, therefore he is ‘emerged’/thrust forth), he overcompensates for his former lowest of social rankings and poverty by wishing to become a millionaire or in some other way reaching a status of equivalency with the high-end of society known as “old money”. There is a word in French for such emerged men and women: nouveau riche.

Sometimes some elements of the old nobility, though coming from a generally well educated class, make fun of the nouveau riche, thus letting everyone who has eyes to see see how arrogant and out of touch with reality some of the old class have become. Ideally though, the old nobility has close links (from way back when) with the temple, because the latter gains its wealth not for its high priest, but for the upkeep of the temple and for the high priest to redistribute a surplus of gifts as he sees it fit. One such person of ‘old nobility’ was Socrates, the Greek philosopher. While renowned as a philosopher, what is particularly striking is Socrates’ attitude toward and acceptance of death. He believed that by dying rather than trying to escape from a death sentence (which he received and had the opportunity to escape), he helped cement his society with greater bonds than can be done by mere law.

Sometimes however the nouveau riche emerges in such great numbers and accumulates such power in political circles (one way to gain equivalency with ‘old money’ is to overwhelm it by seizing control of politics) that they overwhelm both society and culture. That for the most part means the end of leadership of the old aristocracy (visualized in these blogs as a college of Johns) and its substitute with a pseudo democracy. The pseudo democracy is a ‘democracy’ that no longer exists among the common people, but operates among the nouveau riche or, as pointed out above, the heads of corporations. These millionaire upstarts, with a battalion of lawyers in tow, settle their differences ‘democratically’ in the court of law. While technology—originating in wealth making schemes—accelerates, the people of the land are neglected, deprived of a better education, and are ‘dumbed down’ (what an unpleasant but accurate phrase) to the function of laborers and consumers. At the same time, the ‘democracy’ now under control of the nouveau riche describes the peoples’ yearnings for justice and fair politics as populist. In countries like Latvia, words such as ‘populist’ and ‘populism’ are interpreted as synonyms of ‘harm’ and ‘harmful’ which harmful naming serves the interests of the nouveau riche “uzņēmēji”, i.e., producers, investors, anyone with a scheme to exploit nature and people at full throttle.

Currently Greece is in a similar situation as Latvia, except it has many more people and thus is able to expresses its unhappiness through greater social unrest. Furthermore, as one “anonymous” writer at another site put it (I hopeZeroHedge forgives me the steal): “Yes, the Greek public debt situation is unsustainable, but... if a country is idiotic (or captured, or likely both) enough to allow for the opportunity [it is old news].” Another “anonymous” observer writes: “…you can't live [in Greece] on the basic pension anymore. It was true for a long while, but now it's impossible…. Families largely make up for it—thankfully the social fabric is still largely intact in the sense that people feel obliged to cater to their own. But it's getting progressively harder for the average Yiannis (as in ‘average Joe’).”

We know that over the centuries Greek society has changed (like Latvian society) a number of times. First there was, so our history books tell us, “ur(very ancient)-ancient Greece”. This period goes back to the days before Homer, who sang a long poem to those ur-ancient times. Some researchers say that it may be that Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey is sourced in the Baltic area, that is to say, north of present-day Greece. Then comes ancient Greece proper with Socrates, Plato, Thucydides, et al. Then there is the Greece of Byzantium home of Basil, the holy man, whose death so closely parallels that of Jesus that it served the writers of the New Testament as a prototype to the Jesus story. Basil’s executor, Alexius I Commenus was an Alpha male (and one of many princes) emerged from and subject to the high-end lumpenprolitariat (‘Commenus’ by another name?) of his time. Commenus stands out as a crossroads from a community and temple oriented culture to one that robbed the temple for personal ends. Following the destruction of Jerusalem (then located in Constantinople) and the elimination of the Church of the Children of Johns in 1204 as a religious-political force, [John] Basil was replaced with Jesus, who was removed to a nonexistent place trick-a-treated into existence with ‘Heaven’ its name and other sweets.

Jerusalem, too, was relocated first to any land some bishop decided on (Bishop Albert and Riga, for example), later pushed further away from its homeland to Palestine. Of course, the Church of the Children of Johns, known as the Eastern Church today, was forced to take on a Western character, because John, transformed into Jesus in Heaven, could not oppose the secular princes as former Johns could and did. All these changes in “Greek” history had their echoes in the territories of the Slavs and the Balts. After the Eastern Church of Johns was forced to take on a Western cast, that is, after it was taken over by Westerners and/or their influence, the Children of Johns happily “converted” to (actually were coerced to) the worship a figure far removed from realities of life on Earth.

It is telling that eight hundred years after the princes secularized the temple, we have liberal capitalism become a ‘religion’. Its progress is seen in how “it's getting progressively harder for the average Yiannis (as in ‘average Joe’)” to survive not only in Greece, but also in Latvia. The scam known as “globalization”, while it confuses the poor and uneducated folk it addresses with high idealism, actually spells ‘pauperization’ not only for Yiannis, but Jahnis, Jean, Johammed, John, Johan, Han, Huan, Xian, etc. If I may put it bluntly, all these populist names and their bearers have been turned into rich g[y]uano (bird droppings) for the corporate powers that own the governments of our time. This is also why the name Jānis—once the most popular male name in Latvia—may soon disappear from popular names lists. Indeed, Janis (John) no longer appears one of the top ten names for baby boys. Such forgetfulness is the consequence of a cultural demoralization. Such was not imaginable a half a century ago. This tells us of great changes happening and yet to come.

Asterisk & Notes of Interest:

On material depravation in Latvia.

On the theme of “more-equal-than-others”, see Animal Farm.
Of great interest to me this and like articles. It presents some of my reasons for supporting the cultivation of Johns Grass in Latvia.

My most unappreciated work—so far, re “Tiresias’ Revenge”, my reinterpretation of Sophocles’ “Oedipus Rex”. I believe that Sophocles had to hide the true meaning of his play for political reasons. It is apropos of the political situation in the world today, also in Latvia. The play may be found at blogs 40 through 47. Start from Blog 40.

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 Latvians Online + 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

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