Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Eso’s Chronicles 170
No Room For Me at Home (II)
© Eso A.B.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fascism as: (please read link) :

“1: often capitalized: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control “early instances of army fascism and brutality — J. W. Aldridge”; etc.

Anyone with some analytical ability will note that both 1 & 2 definitions are not definitions, but transparent  pejoratives and a priori denouncements dressed in a language tuned to imitate a definition.

Let us take a closer look at the 1st ‘definition’: “….a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition…

The second (2) ‘definition’ is no less propagandistic and serving those  (Merriam?) in whose interests it is to weaken and ultimately destroy COMMUNITY as a legitimate social phenomenon.

Let us look at the items separately and in the context that sees said ‘definitions’ as politically deliberate and pejorative redefinitions of a community of human beings:

1. A political philosoph:
Is ‘community’ a political philosophy or a necessity of the human condition? The reader should read the text at link to see that the enemies of the COMMUNITY are those who stand against it: 1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.

2. regime: Items 1. (above) + 2. should suffice for us to get the anti-community gist: 1. a mode or system of rule or government: a dictatorial regime. 2. a ruling or prevailing system.

3. exalts nation and often race above the individual:
synonyms: extol,  glorify, elevate, praise, raise. In and of themselves the synonyms are harmless, but put in combination with words such as “nation” or “race above the individual”, it instantly acquires a negative coloration in reference to the ‘known unknown’ COMMUNITY that inevitably stands just behind the curtain.

4. centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader:
a definition of ‘autocracy’: : An autocracy is a system of government in which a supreme power is concentrated in the hands of one person, whose decisions are subject to neither external legal restraints nor regularized mechanisms of popular control (except perhaps for the implicit threat of coup d'état or mass insurrection).

5. economic and social regimentation:
if this is the prevailing mode of communal existence, then COMMUNITY again appears in a negative light.

6. forcible suppression of opposition:

here we return to the Merriam Dictionary: fascism noun: Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state's authority, and harsh suppression of dissent. Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal and democratic values are disparaged. Fascism arose during the 1920s and '30s partly out of fear of the rising power of the working classes; it differed from contemporary communism (as practiced under Joseph Stalin) by its protection of business and landowning elites and its preservation of class systems. The leaders of the fascist governments of Italy (1922–43), Germany (1933–45), and Spain (1939–75)—Benito Mussolini, Adolf Hitler, and Francisco Franco—were portrayed to their publics as embodiments of the strength and resolve necessary to rescue their nations from political and economic chaos. Japanese fascists (1936–45) fostered belief in the uniqueness of the Japanese spirit and taught subordination to the state and personal sacrifice. See also totalitarianism; neofascism.

While it is true that the above mentioned states and regimes did use the stated methods for gaining and staying in power, it is just as clear that said governments had no or little understanding of the place of a community in the scheme of human society or the state as a mechanism for the facilitation of communal values. On the other hand, it cannot be said that the impulses that lead to the creation of a fascist state did not originate with a desire by a disintegrating community to preserve the community.

The question over what forces create a community necessarily lead us to consider the nature of human being, consciousness, the Superego, the subjective mind, primal times, and more.

Any attempt to look at the community leads one to look at the nature of human being. We begin as children, and as children our natures are as needful of parental protection and love as we as remain barbarous, anarchistic, and largely untutored in our behavior. As babes, we all insist that we are born billionaires, and the first billion that we own is attached to the nipple of our mother’s breast.

Because parents have gone through the experience of learning that the physical habitat we are born into does not offer us a cornucopia of everything we want, they must wean the child not only off the mother’s breast, but that instead of getting two pieces of candy, we may have to be satisfied with one, and sometimes none at all. This is when the cornucopia appears in heaven and the figure of God. However, ‘God’ and ‘heaven’ (or Paradise) are meaningless words until these are supplemented with images and stories that create the illusion that these promises are real. By the time the child discovers that a storyteller tells lies, he-she has reached puberty and discovers the pleasures of sex, which discovery may have been caused by parental sex education. Instead of being truly educational, it more likely lead to self-education through masturbation. Because for a man the desire of his penis tends to be stronger than the man himself, the penis provokes fantasies of women as cornucopias. Since a boy knows that the women of his own family are no cornucopias, his fantasies project to women of other families and/or tribes, and results in stealing for himself a ‘wife’.

It may be that the first communities began through the act of rape, which deed was resolved by the myth that women ‘enjoyed’ being raped. While today we seem to ‘unknowingly know’ that rape is an unmentionable, this was not necessarily so for our forebears. While the reason for rape for a man was sexual pleasure, its consequences were assured pregnancy culminating in the birth of a child. Another inevitable consequence was social turmoil: one small social unit, one family (in prehistoric days headed by a woman) had intruded into the space of another family. Conflict was always just short of being imminent, even though it was not always inevitable.

Imminent conflict could be avoided by following a number of simple tactics. One of these was rape, an immediate (asap) deflowering of the stolen-kidnapped maid. This fait accompli act defused the conflict, because the brothers of the maid, who gave chase (the father always was no one knew where) knew enough about ‘facts of life’ that a child could be the consequence. If a child was indeed the consequence, it was better for the families of the two women (one of the groom, the other of the bride) to live in peace. In other words, the custom that prevails to this day in pre-borgeois ‘organic’ communal life, which encourages the raped woman’s family to blame her rape on the woman, is not because it favors rape or wishes to besmirch one of their own, but to avoid mortal conflict between the brothers of the two families.

Another tactic employed was to carry the stolen ‘bride’ beyond easy reach of her pursuing brothers, such as carrying the maid across a natural barrier, say, a river. The barrier means that the pursuers will be delayed, during which time the sexual act will be consummated.

Yet another tactic is to take advantage of everyone’s desire to avoid death. Thus, both sides invented numerous excuses for avoiding conflict. In a Latvian folk song, after the maid is carried across the river, her brothers, still on the other shore, call their sister and urge her to come back, but the maid (no doubt already sexually compromised) shouts back: “Dear brother, I will not come back, your wife treats me harshly….”

Still, while direct conflict between the families has been avoided, a sense of humiliation may linger. Sometimes this results in brawls among the men-brothers at the next community festival, where inebriating drink may loosen tongues and resolve to control one’s self. If grudges result in conflict long after the original provocation, other tactics need to be exercised to avoid violence. It is these tactics that call for the involvement of elderly men, commonly known as community elders; and it is at this point that the Superego invents another story. The story may come by way of a dream (ever respected because its source is not one’s personal and wilfull consciousness) or may be consciously inspired and meet with communal approval. One may call the story, “Piece of Coal in the Cake”.

The elders of the various families who participate in the Festival, come together for a Salmagundi (a meal of peace*) at which they confirm that together they form one community, and all, do or die, stand as one. To confirm this resolve, the men divide among themselves a cake, into which has been baked a piece of black coal. Whoever gets the piece of cake with the coal in it will self-sacrifice himself on behalf of all, i.e., the community. In this way, he will overcome death and violence on behalf of all.

Incidentally, such an extended community avoids becoming centralized, but consists of autonomous communities. The bond among the communities is expressed and reasserted at festivals, which come together on the basis of habit and tradition. They often occurred on astronomically significan days: summer and winter solstices. The man who ‘wins’ the peace of coal, pays for the ‘win’ with his life, though in times of conflict, he may become the King or leader of the community and goes to repel the ‘outsiders’ or ‘unfriendlies’. By becoming the leader of armed men, the King is in no way forgiven death, but becomes the leader, because death is already his fate. If he survives the battle, he will fulfill his pledge perhaps at the next festival

The need to select a King in wartime may create Kingship as a centralized office for the entire community. The office does not lead to fascism or the dissolution of communal bonds in preference of a hunta or junda. The organic nature of the community continues to be confirmed through self-sacrifice.

*Salmagundi—while the dictionary informs us that it is a salad, the word ‘salma’ (like salam) probably stands for ‘peace’, while the word ‘gundi’ likely stands for a ‘gathering’.

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