Wednesday, December 9, 2015

EC 495

Upon Whom the Ends
of the Ages Have Come…
a fantasy for an apocalypse

4 The West as Pseudo Progenitor of East

The West has managed to turn upside down quite a number of things.
Before the written word there was the oral word. It is obvious that the oral word had a very different influence in shaping a community than the written word. For one, an orally uttered word has only a subjective memory to remember it. Too, if you lied, you could lose your tongue.

In pre-literate times all could understand the logic of justice. Justice had not yet been put on the desks (as a baked piglet) of attorneys and prosecutors. Verbal one-upmanship was still won by words of ‘endearment’. In the languages of the Balts and the Slavs all words could be endeared. Insulting words went for the most part unused, except in the sense that one could tell (curse) another to ‘go break a leg’. There was no evil, which was understood as Mis-fortune. As a Latvian folk song has it: “I met my Misfortune (Nelaime) on a bridge; I pushed her into the river.”

The time before language was turned into ink was a time when subjective trust was the ultimate bond. If you broke your word with me after swearing on what the Germans called a ‘stone of trust’ (Wahrstein), you could lose—if a finger was not believed to be enough—your hand. The sacred makes no compromises.

It may be a harsh way of keeping the subjective word objective, but losing a limb keeps the bastards whose acts thingify the immanence of spirit in check. Such spunishment for belittling the sacred worked, and out of it emerged and would emerge even in our days new cultures that held social intercourse sacred. 

Though not always in everyone’s interests, small communities offer survival value by presenting variety of strategies for survival. Empires do not and cannot do so because of an oversupply of flab. Small entities, however, fight for their survival, and tend to be tightly knit. Empires fail to attract support from their people, because in their hour of glory, it is the corrupt elements of the Empire that benefit from it the most. When the straw breaks the camel’s back, good men and women delight in the ‘crack’, because it heralds the end of corruption. The People's failure to come to the aid of their empire is as intuitive as it is deliberate.

The diarrhea of positivist logic—suggested by some philosophers to be drinking water for the intellect—supports your presumption that I can trust you even if you are full of “dangerous hubris”, which insolence would in former times earn you a headstand in a vertical hole. Go figure how you can get out of it. I do not recall if it was the poet Dante who thought of this form of punishment, but perhaps soiling yourself is indeed a way of asking for mercy.

A ‘Wahrstein’, was also an altar where a man and woman got married, though in Latvija, a tree could serve the same purpose. At the site of a long abandoned flower mill and a disassembled dam--a short distance from where I live--grows a 300 year old (estimated) wild apple tree. I can see the day when a young couple ( she-Eve, he–Adam) planted it, and gave a poisonous snake* shelter in the mole hole at its roots, to serve as its guardian.

*The name for a poisonous snake in Latvijan is ‘odze’, which name derives from ‘oga’ (berry), and stands for a wild berry patch in the wood or swamp.

We may imagine that it was under this same wild apple tree that local people who knew the stories in Genesis of the Bible came to be married. Or did they take part in writing the Bible? Though the core of the apple tree has been hollowed out by rot, and the snake killed ten hundred times over for being associated with the Devil, the tree has survived because at one time it was for many years loved.

Times have changed though.

To quote a philosopher, who praises atheism for making clear “…the irrelevance of the divine”* and claims subjectivity to be “dangerous hubris”**, and praises the debasement of such as the wild apple tree for being “the essence of humanity”***…. well, how can the fool be answered? Yet why be surprised that for all the ‘green’ organizations pretending to be saving trees, deforestation has not been stopped and continues to be the curse of our planet. The character of such organizations runs a close parallel to that of Daisy’s stepfather, who first made her believe he was a replacement for her father, and after first petting her, he raped and enslaved her (by thingifing her) to sexual addiction. Having thingified her, he called her a whore.

*/**/*** words and phrases used by the Slovakian philosopher Slavoy Žižek in his book “Interrogating the real”, 2005.

The way Daisy tells it, her rape happened when she was fourteen years of age, when no one had  “…yet stuck their fingers up any of my holes” or “pinched my budding breasts”. Apparently such molestations happened mostly at the sauna, where traditionally (because it was the only space that was outside the realm of everyones common house and living room cum bedroom) Latvijans not only went to have sex, but to give birth, go die, and have God or Goddess come visit them.

The innocence and child-like expectation of a ‘welcoming’  world was not lost in a day even when violence came with trumpets blaring. Innocence was ground out of existence slowly by the artifice of competition in a world created over the graveyards of the wood by human things resembling termite ants. One but has to remember how Job threw ashes over his head (Job 42:6). Were the ashes not the remains of a wood burnt to make bricks for military purposes? Was this wood not once known as Paradise [para+dise (dise=darzs=garden in Latvijan)]?

After communist Soviet Union was ground out of existence by the seeming successes of capitalist America, and the balkanized states northeast and southeast of Europe had served their purpose as temporary buffers between East and West, militarist ‘secret societies’ in Washington exercised their options, the first of which was to order NATO to destroy the buffer zone, and go dance bombs over the grave of Yugoslavia.

In the northeast of Europe, militarization (also NATOzation), bolstered by ‘think tanks’ manned by militarized academicians and dominated by group think, took a different route.

Coming from an impoverished background and having lived at near subsistence level even during Soviet times, Daisy and her family—what with the kolkhoz system falling apart under the cannonade of ‘shock’ scholarship from the yard of Harvard Business School—fell on harder times still. To make ends meet, the family—as many others—resorted to stealing metal and selling it to black marketers, who in turn sold it to buyers who came from as far as India.

This brings us to another known unknown of the balkanized economic system in the northeast of Europe, which according to western (including Latvijan) historians had long practiced farming.

Of course, the story about farming is bunk. It is a story much exaggerated in order to deprecate the wood and elevate agriculture—all the more easy to collect and quantify taxes. If we check it out, barley was first cultivated to make beer not bread. In the beginning there was no need of ‘farmland’ to raise it. Barley is said to have originated in the Near East, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and is said to have been harvested in its natural environment for about 10,000 years.

The story of how the liest about Eastern Europe started may surprise many, but it is so because no other story of how it started has been told.

When the lost herders of Eastern Europe, the Vikings, were trapped in Scandinavia by a natural catastrophe an severe weather, and were able to hike/vike back to the regions of the Black and Caspian seas (areas whence they had come from*) only many years later, they returned South by viking (walking or rafting) down the rivers. In those days, rivers were the only ‘roads’ that could get them through the woods and swamps that covered most of EasternEurope.

*One of the catastrophes was the Storrega landslide—about which more later.

Most people of Europe in its early days lived in the wood, or at the edge of the wood, or along shores of rivers. They did not live in great numbers at the edge of the steppe or on the prairie, which western (and subsequently eastern) historians are fond to claim. The livelihood of the people of the wood was herding reindeer. The steppe was grazing land and camping ground for herders. It was living space for humans only to a limited extent.

Farming did not come to Europe as some kind of enlightenment, but was a consequence of the slaughter of reindeer by the early system of taxation, which used reindeer skins as a form of primitive money.

While taxation [a way of extorting bribes from people by threatening them with infliction of pain, rape, thingification, and death] by way of collecting animal skins may have ancient origins, its practice came into full bloom only about the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries of our era. This was a time when the Russian tsars began to collect taxes with as much force as their progenitors the Vikings, aka Rurics, who after vandalizing the European Middle East seized Western Europe and claimed it for their, so to speak, personal use.

The tsars and their princes (knyazi, many of who claimed to have descended from the Viking/Ruric princes) realized that to become and remain masters, they had to become masters of slaves and to become such they had to make the practice of violence endemic. 

In order to become as powerful as the princes of the West, the nascent prices of the East had little choice but to imitate the ways of the West.

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