Tuesday, December 29, 2009

© Eso Antons Benjamins, a.k.a. Jaņdžs

68 Climbing Mt. Citheron (I)

“Not-Violent Terror” is a charismatic element more commonly known as death. I believe that the reader readily understands why death is not-violent at the same time that it is ‘terror’ at least to those who have not learned to accept it. One of the reactions against the ‘terror’ of death is well expressed in the words of Dylan Thomas, the Welsh poet, in his poem: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” However, for all that an individual may rage against death, it is the element that is essential in the creation-building and maintenance of all long-term communities.

Some anthropologists and philosophers call such community founding deaths “founding violence”. Most expect “founding violence” to be aggressive and violent and directed at an “enemy”. Such ‘cooked-up violence’ is evident in the Zionist settler movement which uses a fabricated myth to justify the use of violence against indigenous Palestinians. For my part, I focus on not-violent death, that is, a violence denying death, from whence the title of this series.

My understanding of “founding violence” includes demonstrative deaths by individuals who wish to impress on their community the importance of social consciousness and solidarity, at the same time as they demonstrate that solidarity is not a given matter. I already have mentioned the Greek philosopher Socrates and his demonstrative death as an example of what I have in mind. Another example that I have mentioned is that of Adolfs Buķis of Latvia. Of course, neither the death of Socrates, or Buķis (Buchis), or Gandhi, or Jesus was without an element of self-directed violence. All these men purposely left open one or many doors for violent attacks against them. While I have little respect for the neo-Christian church for its failure to acknowledge that it came to its influence by way of serving the interests of secular princes, I respect the current Catholic Pope for leaving himself open to the “bumping” he received recently while on his way to say mass. It may be a hint that the neo-Christian church is maturing and coming out of its centuries long nihilist phase, best known for justifying and supporting “just wars” in unjust causes.

I believe it is unconscionable to deny any human being a death that he or she wills and executes by his-her own hand—as long as it causes no physical harm to another. I grant the ‘saviors’ that I, too, am against ‘suicide’, especially by the immature young. The more than 32,000 annual deaths in America (from a total of about 130 million inhabitants) and 527 deaths in Latvia (from a total of about 2.3 million inhabitants) that are the result of ‘suicide’ are a terrible commentary on the stressed social structures in which we are forced to live. On the other hand, if these ‘suicides’ were willed by mature minds and exercised in the name of ‘politics’, I would carry a sign supporting these sacrifices as “political action” of the highest caliber.

With regard to the political situation in Latvia, I mention Adolfs Buchis’s death (1993) in protest of government corruption. Buchis’ death occurs also in the context of ‘founding violence’. He discovered that self-sacrifice was essential for a realistic success of post-‘refounded’ Latvia (1991). For Latvia and perhaps the world, its renewed status as a sovereign nation was a moment of major historical importance, because—as we shall see below—the manner in which a ‘refounded’ Latvia was wired together, and the way it has played out during these years, 1991-2009, not to mention the happenstance that the world as a whole is going through a similar social, financial, and economic crisis, presents Latvia with the opportunity to solve some of the problems plaguing the world by how it solves its own. The opportunity arises from the fact that it is easier for a small ship of state to maneuver on the waters than a ship called “Titanic”. This is not to say that all Latvians wish to seize the opportunity. Many surely do not, but some may think on it, because the dying of the light in Latvia will not reverse itself because of wishful thinking.

Though the state of Latvia was reestablished on the 4th of May, 1991, and five people (two bystanders, two cameramen among them) died from live fire by Omon on January 21 of that year, two years later, in 1993, it was clear to Adolfs Buchis, a tool and dye maker from Jelgava, that the founding violence of 1991 had not reached deeply and effectively enough into of the post-Soviet Latvian social fabric to prevent the “stealing” of Latvia for the benefit of oligarchic interests. No doubt, those in power celebrate ‘the days at the barricades’ with projections of heroic myth, for example, by portraying BearJawBreaker (Lahchplehsis/ Lāčplēsis) http://www.bank.lv/images/img_lb/naudas/images/barikades_rev.gif at the barricades, and reintroducing neo-Christianity, with the President of Latvia taking the role of a neo-Christian evangelist. Nevertheless, a less sentimental analysis of the months of 1991, show that while indeed the expectations of the people were great (as we can see in pictures here and here) and that demonstrations and the reaction of authorities prove a high level of anxiety, the pain was not nearly such that those with political connections in the bureaucracy (which was never shown the door) could not subsequently test, find the new political system wanting, and “steal the country” from under the noses of the majority of Latvians. The Latvian nation beyond the region of Riga (and even in Riga) had no imaginary inkling of what the days centering on January 21, 1991, demanded of them. Of course, the people were happy to be ‘free’, but the lack of sufficient breadth to the ‘founding violence’ left a gap large enough for Adolfs Buchis perception that further efforts to try close with the self-sacrifice of his life was necessary. Buchis no doubt meant not only to bring attention to the theft of the country, but hoped that others may join in similar protests. Not surprisingly, the authorities found Buķis to be ‘mentally unbalanced’. Though they promised an investigation, it never took place. The written note or notes in Buchis pockets were never published, because the Latvian media never pursued the matter further. Very likely the editors were warned by the government that to pursue the matter [originally there was considerable publicity, especially in the newspaper “Atmoda” (long ceased publication) and Jelgava media] risked rousing ‘populist’ sentiments [against the government (corruption)]. Hindsight suggests that the ‘mentally unbalanced’ label attached to Buchis by government (by way of statements from Police officials in Riga) was not a matter of gratuitous innocence such as governments tend to automatically project, but at one level or another served those who had ‘stolen’ the nation’s sovereignty to serve their interests.

This is why this and the next few blogs are titled “Climbing Mt. Cytheron”. Mt. Cytheron is the holy mountain on which Oedipus as a newborn was to be exposed to the elements to see if he was fit to live and be raised to become King. Oedipus escaped the risk through the interference of his mother. The mother’s motives may have been part of an effort to regain for the feminine gender its stolen kingdom. One may argue that the interpretation is far fetched, except when we remember what is at stake. (For the play "Tiresias' Revenge", see blogs 40-47.)

Which is why “not-violent terror” does not necessarily deny ‘violence’ (a deadly moment), but, paradoxically, emphasizes its centrality. It is one of the raisons de etre of this series. I write on the subject as much to discover my own thoughts as to bring along anyone interested in the journey. The difference from a writer of a book in longhand and a writer of blogs is that blogs are ‘chapters’ and occur almost simultaneously in, both, public and private space. Some may object to this exhibitionism, to which I can only answer that I hope they will ignore my foolish persistence and pass by. One thing though, if the material ever finds itself on a disk for sale, there are likely to be three books—the original copy on the internet at http://esoschroniclnes.blogspot.com/, as link at this site, and an edited copy on the shelves of bookstores.

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.

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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