Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Eso’s Chronicles 223 / 9
Before the Polis
© Eso A.B.

When around the small ancient temples in the wood there began to congregate solitary wanderers and herders of forest animals, who eventually became the inhabitants of this new ground, there came a time when the new residents forgot that they owed their new abode, its ground and the surrounding wood special reverence. The reverence was by virtue of the fact that beginning with the temple http://ultima0thule.blogspot.com/2012_02_26_archive.html , which evolved out of the shaman’s shack, the succeeding city and landscape became a virtual, and no longer an organic entity.

When the inhabitants of the virtual city forgot that their home (a cave, a lean to, a tent) was built on what at its origin was believed to be sacred ground, they, noting the size of their congregation, puffed up with conceit, at first only to dangerous, later, to catastrophic levels. The catastrophe arose from the fact that as the city expanded—or as some say ‘sprawled’—it forgot that its origins were not organic, but were founded on a virtual space. In due course, mechanized vehicles, known as ‘cars’, small houses on wheels, radiated out of the city on roads which consumed the wood and the countryside, and persuaded the inhabitants of the wood to desire a city’s luxuries, which could be got only by moving to the city. In practical terms, this meant exchanging simple sandals for spit-shined shoes; because women were invited to support the army city-zens (zens=gens=jens=Johns*), their shoes were raised on high heels, so that the Johns could prick then more easily. Some of the saints castrated themselves in disgust.

However, the passage to the city even by a -zens had to be earned; first, by paying to the city’s king or prince taxes in the form of animal pelts (which meant slaughtering the reindeer cows which the wood people had heretofore herded only for the sake of their milk), later, by axing trees and replacing them with what was called ‘farm country’, where the reindeer were replaced with castrated buffalo known as oxen, and trees were replaced by stalks of grain, which, when compared to the wood, were easier to exploit and tax. The pet frog of the shaman, which he kept in the swamp because of its oracle-like croak and which he called The Sphinx, was driven from her abode and transferred to the desert that evolved out of the city’s dump in the image of a lioness cut our of sandstone rock.

As human beings were driven from the wood, they naturally wished to bring their form of political life known as polycracy (later ‘democracy’) to the city. It was not an easy thing to do, and indeed was never accomplished. As we know, as a consequences of such regimented structures, which some call ‘little boxes’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlSpc87Jfr0 and are taken advantage of by spy organizations such as the NSA, readily attach themselves as leeches to them, and writers of detective and spy novels gain popularity as they try to figure out how the murder was done. Of course, with the arrival of the ‘victorious’ NSA, we are witness to the death of spy stories. When a society reaches the point where a government installs an agency such as the NSA, it becomes a political failure. This is the situation facing us today: in the cities of our day neither democracy or urbanity are any longer possible--not even in our wildest dreams.

If my thesis is correct, must we now return to the wood? Yes, in a sense. Even some economists at the Rubini Ecomonitor blog argue that the Tea Party is made up largely of Old Confederates for whom the Federal Government remains the ‘enemy’ http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2013/10/the-decline-of-the-united-states/?utm_source=contactology&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EconoMonitor%20Highlights%3A%20Armageddon%20Here%20We%20Come%21  

The wood is the origin of democracy not only for human beings, but wildlife, too. Unfortunately, hunters from urban areas have never heard that the wood stands for humankind’s original home. In the area where I live, just a week ago some young men, on opening day of the hunting season—so I am told—shot two moose calves, and were so exited or ashamed of their ‘success’ that they so completely wasted themselves on alcohol that, fortunately, they did not go hunting the following day. However one thinks of such manifestations of barbarism, one cannot escape noting that violence continues to be acceptable to a significant element of Latvian society even though it has itself been repeatedly violated by wars and occupations. The long duree of history (also maladie longue duree) of culture apparently continues to believe that ‘progress’ can be had for ‘free’ with just a ‘little’ applications of violence. After all, hunting moose hurts no human beings, and what is the life of the calf of a moose or a Palestinian when compared to the life of a Latvian or Israeli? As yet—so the imbedded thinking goes—if a government claims itself ‘democratic’ and says that hunting is okay; it must be so, and I can play at being dumb without consequences.

Our response to such a attitudes ought be a prayer for catastrophe, because not a few wise men have said that significant changes occur only when humankind is faced by a catastrophe. At the time of this writing, such a catastrophe has two ongoing pathways, one signaling to the right, the other to the left: 1) through a war on Syria and then on to  Russia http://www.infowars.com/top-nuke-commanders-fired-following-missing-nuclear-warheads-report/ ; or 2) through the U.S. government not raising the debt ceiling, declaring the government bankrupt, http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-shutdown-of-the-u-s-government-and-debt-default-a-dress-rehearsal-for-the-privatization-of-the-federal-state-system/5354066 and therewith privatizing war. In the event of the last, some private corporations are likely to announce recruitment drives for a private army, promising to ‘pay’ only through plunder of ‘enemy’ assets. As the Syrian crisis appears to have abated as a result of Russian fears of war, it is not surprising that 2) is in ascent.

And then? I would opt for regress in time and a return to government led by a shaman, who when all his magic potions failed him, reversed himself and became a self-sacrificing king.

*zens=gens. Those who have followed my blogs will know that I believe these cognates to originally have stood for the name of God, re: Gans, Ian, Ivan, Jans, Jean, Gans, etc.


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