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Degenerate art Film Voltaire

It’s a Wonderful Life

Like Beauty and the Beast, this is another film that was shot while the Hellstorm Holocaust was being perpetrated. What if it were possible for the Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Germans who fought against Germany in the 1940s to see our Woke century thanks, as in the film, to a guardian angel? Just as George Bailey, the central character in It’s a Wonderful Life, after the vision of the nasty alternative world shown to him by the angel decided not to kill himself, would these soldiers of the 1940s decide to fight Hitler?

Clockwise from top: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Carol Coombs, Jimmy Hawkins, Larry Simms and Karolyn Grimes.

My father loved a couple of Frank Capra films, including It’s a Wonderful Life. When I saw this film as a teenager, it was easy to grasp this idealised vision of American culture in those days. George Bailey’s Aryan children couldn’t help but make a good impression on the teenage César who, decades ago, was unaware of what the Allies had done to the Germans. Had I known, I wouldn’t have been left with the inspiring impression I was left with when I saw It’s a Wonderful Life.

With the above I have said all that can be said about this 1946 film, but I would like to use this evening to talk about the last film I saw tonight: the last film I will ever see on the big screen, inasmuch as, after tonight’s experience, I will never enter a cinema theatre again.

At this stage of my life it is extremely rare for me to go to cinemas. Before tonight, the last one I saw was The Northman, a film I debunk here despite the fact that many racialists loved it.

Given that Ridley Scott had made films like Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, I figured I might be entertained this Sunday with Napoleon (2023 film), that I thought it would be one more of those silly, though highly entertaining, Hollywood movies. What a surprise as soon as the film started!

Il y a une autre canaille à laquelle on sacrifie tout, et cette canaille est le peuple. —Voltaire [1]

The only memorable scene is the first one. A number of times on The West’s Darkest Hour I have repeated what I read in Pierce and Kemp’s histories of the white race: that the French revolutionaries guillotined a large number of blondes. This is clear in the first scene of Napoleon when the rabid mob, a mob in which I saw no blondes by the way, cut off the head of Empress Marie Antoinette. If Hitler had won the war there would already be several films in which we would see Marie Antoinette and other French blondes as the victims and the mob as canaille!

After Prometheus I hadn’t seen another grotesque disaster filmed by Scott. Unlike Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, Napoleon is filmed in dull colours: a sign of the decadence of recent years when even the vivid technicolour of yesteryear has mutated into the ochre tones of this decadent age. But that’s not the worst of it.

Scott uses Napo’s life to promote typical Woke propaganda, painting Empress Josephine as a character on par with that of her husband Napo. And even worse, Scott throws in a few Negro actors in Republican France here and there—even black children!

As I was saying, I will never enter a cinema again for the rest of my life. The only way for me to do so would be if there was a racial revolution in some Western country, the new government asked me to emigrate there to lend my services to the new state, and a cinematic art emerged that is perfectly antithetical to the merde we see in today’s cinema. As it is highly doubtful that this will happen, I will never see the big screen again.

By the way, although I watched Scott’s Napoleon this evening, and also tonight Sunday 26 November I wrote this review, I will post this entry after midnight.

_________

[1] There is another rabble to whom we sacrifice everything, and this rabble is the people. —Voltaire

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Voltaire

Nom de plume

François-Marie Arouet (1694-1778), known by his nom de plume M. de Voltaire, is known for many memorable aphorisms, such as Si Dieu n’existait pas, il faudrait l’inventer (‘If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him’), contained in a verse epistle from 1768, addressed to the anonymous author of a controversial work on The Three Impostors. Far from being the cynical remark it is often taken for, it was meant as a retort to atheistic opponents such as d’Holbach, Grimm and others.

Categories
Dominion (book) Enlightenment Voltaire

Dominion, 25

Or:

How the Woke monster originated

One might ask: Why doesn’t this site pay homage to Voltaire or the French philosophers, so anti-Christian they were?

The answer is devastatingly simple.

They were all secular Christians, what we have been calling neochristians (read Ferdinand Bardamu’s essay in The Fair Race’s Darkest Hour). They all broke with church dogma, true: but not with the ethical code that underlies Christianity.

For the fourteen words, a secular ‘Christianity’ like that of the French Enlightenment is even more dangerous than traditional Christianity, since the atheist, the agnostic or the deist of other times believes he has emancipated himself when in reality he is as much an axiological slave to the religion of our ancestors as the most fundamentalist or bigoted Calvinist.

After a few pages in which Tom Holland told us of the horrible torture and death inflicted on an innocent Frenchman for religious reasons, and how Voltaire reacted with pamphlets to this outrage perpetrated by Catholics, he quoted the most famous French philosopher:

‘He has his brethren from Beijing to Cayenne, and he reckons all the wise his brothers.’

Yet this, of course, was merely to proclaim another sect—and, what was more, one with some very familiar pretensions. The dream of a universal religion was nothing if not catholic. Ever since the time of Luther, attempts by Christians to repair the torn fabric of Christendom had served only to shred it further. The charges that Voltaire levelled against Christianity—that it was bigoted, that it was superstitious, that its scriptures were rife with contradictions—were none of them original to him. All had been honed, over the course of two centuries and more, by pious Christians. Voltaire’s God, like the Quakers’, like the Collegiants’, like Spinoza’s, was a deity whose contempt for sectarian wrangling owed everything to sectarian wrangling. ‘Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy, that is the very foolish daughter of a wise and intelligent mother.’ Voltaire’s dream of a brotherhood of man, even as it cast Christianity as something fractious, parochial, murderous, could not help but betray its Christian roots. Just as Paul had proclaimed that there was neither Jew nor Greek in Christ Jesus, so—in a future blessed with full enlightenment—was there destined to be neither Jew nor Christian nor Muslim. Their every difference would be dissolved. Humanity would be as one.

‘You are all sons of God.’ Paul’s epochal conviction that the world stood on the brink of a new dispensation, that the knowledge of it would be written on people’s hearts, that old identities and divisions would melt and vanish away, had not released its hold on the philosophes. Even those who pushed their quest for ‘the light of reason’ to overtly blasphemous extremes could not help but remain its heirs.

In 1719—three years before the young Voltaire’s arrival in the Dutch Republic, on his ever first trip abroad—a book had been printed there so monstrous that its ‘mere title evoked fear’. The Treatise of the Three Imposters, although darkly rumoured to have had a clandestine existence since the age of Conrad of Marburg, had in reality been compiled by a coterie of Huguenots in The Hague. As indicated by its alternative title—The Spirit of Spinoza—it was a book very much of its time. Nevertheless, its solution to the rival understandings of religion that had led to the Huguenots’ exile from France was one to put even the Theological- Political Treatise in the shade. Christ, far from being ‘the voice of God’, as Spinoza had argued, had been a charlatan: a sly seller of false dreams. His disciples had been imbeciles, his miracles trickery. There was no need for Christians to argue over scripture. The Bible was nothing but a spider’s web of lies. Yet the authors of the Treatise, although they certainly aspired to heal the divisions between Protestants and Catholics by demonstrating that Christianity itself was nothing but a fraud, did not rest content with that ambition. They remained sufficiently Christian that they wished to bring light to the entire world. Jews and Muslims too were dupes. Jesus ranked alongside Moses and Muhammad as one of three imposters. All religion was a hoax. Even Voltaire was shocked. No less committed than any priest to the truth of his own understanding of God, he viewed the blasphemies of the Treatise as blatant atheism, and quite as pernicious as superstition. Briefly taking a break from mocking Christians for their sectarian rivalries, he wrote a poem warning his readers not to trust the model of enlightenment being peddled by underground radicals. The Treatise itself was an imposture. Some sense of the divine was needed, or else society would fall apart. ‘If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him’…

The standards by which he judged Christianity, and condemned it for its faults, were not universal. They were not shared by philosophers across the world. They were not common from Beijing to Cayenne. They were distinctively, peculiarly Christian… Atheist though he was, Diderot was too honest not to acknowledge the likeliest answer. ‘If there were a Christ, I assure you that Voltaire would be saved.’

The roots of Christianity stretched too deep, too thick, coiled too implacably around the foundations of everything that constituted the fabric of France, gripped too tightly its venerable and massive stonework, to be pulled up with any ease. In a realm long hailed as the eldest daughter of the Church, the ambition of setting the world on a new order, of purging it of superstition, of redeeming it from tyranny, could hardly help but be shot through with Christian assumptions. The dreams of the philosophes were both novel and not novel in the slightest. [pages 392-395]

For new visitors to this site, when I mentioned The Fair Race I was referring to a book whose PDF is available with some of our other recommended books.

Categories
Arthur Schopenhauer Friedrich Nietzsche Immanuel Kant Joseph Goebbels Judaism Judea v. Rome (masthead of this site) Martin Luther New Testament St Paul The Jesus Hoax (book) Voltaire

The Jesus Hoax, 5

CHAPTER 5: RECONSTRUCTING THE TRUTH

To recap, I am reconstructing the likely sequence of events, based on a total picture and complete analysis of the situation.

Just as Paul’s life was ending, war broke out and the great Temple was destroyed. We can only imagine the distress and outrage of the Jewish community. Their hatred of Rome must have reached atmospheric heights. If the Jews had any illusions about peaceful coexistence, those were crushed. Military responses were no longer an option. Perhaps Paul’s ‘psychological’ ploy, the Jesus hoax, would work after all. But it would have to be taken to the next level.

(Note of the Ed.: Left, representation of Mark the Evangelist.) Thus it was that Paul’s surviving followers—perhaps Mark, Luke, Peter, John, and Matthew—decided to pick up the game. This band of “little ultra-Jews”[1] needed a more detailed story of Jesus’ life; Paul’s vague allusions to a real man would no longer suffice. Someone—“Mark”—thus decided to quote Jesus extensively and directly. Unlike Paul’s letters, this “gospel” (Paul’s word) would be intended for mass consumption. It had to be impressive—lots of miracles from their miracle-man. It would end up with 19 Jesus miracles wedged into the smallest of the four Gospels. And there were several other firsts. Here we read, for the first time ever, about the 12 apostles, Jesus as a carpenter, and the concept of hell. Here too Jesus makes a clever “prophecy” that the Jewish temple would be ruined (13:1-2)—an easy call to make, given that the temple was just actually destroyed!

It seems that Mark’s anger against his fellow Jews, however, got the better of him; for centuries afterward, Christians would blame the Jews for killing Christ, not realizing that the whole tale was a Jewish construction in the first place. Perhaps there’s a kind of justice in that irony after all.

The Gospel of Mark evidently sufficed for some 15 years. It must have been effective at drawing in Gentiles and building a functioning church. But then perhaps things stalled a bit. Maybe the little Jewish band got impatient. Maybe they splintered over tactical issues. Whatever the reason, some time around the year 85, two of the group—“Luke” and “Matthew”—decided that they needed to write an even more detailed account of Jesus’ life. But evidently the two couldn’t agree on a single plan, so they worked apart, drawing from Mark’s story while weaving in other new ideas they had jointly invented. Each man went off on his own, drafting his own new gospel.

The new documents had much more detail than Mark; in fact, both were nearly twice as long as their predecessor. They had to keep the same basic story line, of course, but each man added his own embellishments. What was new? The virgin birth in Bethlehem, for one, and the whole manger scene. These now appeared, for the first time ever, some 85 years after the alleged event. We scarcely need to ask how much truth is in them. (I note as an aside that Matthew included the bit about the star, whereas that was apparently an unimportant detail to Luke, since he omitted it completely.) Luke included a vignette about Jesus as a 12-year-old (2:41-51), something utterly lacking in the other three Gospels. The Sermon on the Mount appears for the first time, though Matthew has a much longer version than Luke. In the sermon we find a number of famous sayings, all of which were never seen before: “the meek shall inherit the earth” (Mt 5:5), “you are the light of the world” (Mt 5:14), turn the other cheek (Mt 5:39; Lk 6:29), love thy enemies (Mt 5:44; Lk 6:27), “cannot serve God and mammon” (Mt 6:24), “judge not” (Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37)—all now recorded, for the first time, some 50 years after they supposedly occurred.

Followers must now virtually abandon their families for the cause. “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple” (Lk 14:26). These are remarkably cult-like dictates, but perhaps appropriate for the Jewish-led Christian movement.

Then we have passages of outright militancy. In Matthew, Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (10:34)—how very un-Christ-like! Luke has Jesus say, “I came to cast fire upon the earth… Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” (12:49-51). Every man must do his part: “let him who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one” (Lk 22:36). Jesus becomes downright ruthless: “as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slay them before me” (Lk 19:27). All this is necessary because “the devil” rules all the kingdoms of the world (Lk 4:5-6). But not to worry; if we all stick to the plan, and “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world,” then “the end will come” (Mt 24:14). And so, sometime around the year 85, two new Gospels were released into the world.

Once again, these apparently sufficed for a good decade or so. But then one more member of the cabal, “John,” breaks rank and moves in yet a different direction. He feels the need for an intellectual and esoteric Jesus story, and so constructs a gospel using abstract, almost philosophical terms and concepts. It ends up as mid-length essay, between the short Mark and the longer Matt/Luke. Miracles are still there, but they are now down-played— just eight appear. We can imagine that John understood that his new, more intellectual audience would likely not be taken in by such nonsense…

“Saint” Paul and his Jewish cabal turn out to be blatant liars. In fact, the epic liars of all recorded history.

Recall my explanation above, regarding how Paul and the Gospel writers had two sets of enemies: the Romans and their fellow elite Jews. In fact, they had a third enemy: the truth. Paul and crew knew they were lying to the masses, but they didn’t care. The Gentiles were always treated by the Jews with contempt, as I showed in chapter four. They could be manipulated, harassed, assaulted, beaten, even killed, if it served Jewish ends. This was not a problem for them…

In the early 1500s Martin Luther—founder of the Lutheran church—wrote a rather infamous book titled On the Jews and their Lies. There he declared that “they have not acquired a perfect mastery of the art of lying; they lie so clumsily and ineptly that anyone who is just a little observant can easily detect it”—a statement that could well be a motto for the present work. I also note the striking irony of a man like Luther who was so opposed to Jewish lies, even as he himself fell for the greatest Jewish lie of all.

In 1798, the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant called the Jews “a nation of deceivers,” and in a later lecture he added that “the Jews…are permitted by the Talmud to practice deceit”. In his final book, Arthur Schopenhauer made some extended observations on Judeo-Christianity. He wrote, “We see from [Tacitus and Justinus] how much the Jews were at all times and by all nations loathed and despised.” This was due in large part, he says, to the fact that the Jewish people were considered grosse Meister im Lügen—“great master of lies”. Employing his usual blunt but elegant terminology, Nietzsche saw it in this way:

In Christianity all of Judaism, a several-century-old Jewish preparatory training and technique of the most serious kind, attains its ultimate mastery as the art of lying in a holy manner. The Christian, this ultima ratio of the lie, is the Jew once more—even three times a Jew.

Similar comments came from express anti-Semites. Hitler called the Jews “artful liars” and a “race of dialectical liars,” adding that “existence compels the Jew to lie, and to lie systematically”. And Joseph Goebbels, in his personal diary, wrote: “The Jew was also the first to introduce the lie into politics as a weapon… He can therefore be regarded not only as the carrier but even the inventor of the lie among human beings”.

Finally, a remark by Voltaire seems relevant here. The Jews, he said, “are, all of them, born with a raging fanaticism in their hearts… I would not be in the least bit surprised if these people would not someday become deadly to the human race”. If a Jewish lie were to spread throughout the Earth, eventually drawing in more than 2 billion people, becoming the enemy of truth and reason, and causing the deaths of millions of human beings via inquisitions, witch burnings, crusades, and other religious atrocities—well, that could be considered a mortal threat, I think.

This, then, is my “Antagonism thesis”: Paul and his cabal [2] deliberately lied to the masses, with no concern for their true well-being, simply to undermine Roman rule. This little group tempted innocent people with a promise of heaven, and frightened them with the threat of hell. This psychological ploy was part of a long-term plan to weaken and, in a sense, morally corrupt the masses by drawing them away from the potent and successful Greco-Roman worldview and more toward an oriental, Judaic view.

As we know, it took some time but the new Christian religion did spread, eventually permeating the Roman world. In the year 315, the emperor himself, Constantine, converted to Christianity. In 380, Emperor Theodosius declared it the official state religion.

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[1] Nietzsche, The Antichrist (sec 44). In German kleine Superlativ Juden.

[2] I’ve been using cabal throughout the present text. It is, I think, precisely the right word. A cabal is “a small number of persons secretly united to bring about an overturn or usurpation, especially in public affairs.” That’s a perfect description of Paul and his band.

Categories
Aryan beauty Film Game of Thrones Metaphysics of race / sex Neanderthalism Voltaire

Fire and blood

‘Il y a une autre canaille à laquelle on sacrifie tout, et cette canaille est le peuple’. —Voltaire

‘Fire and Blood’, the tenth and final episode of the first season of the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones, was first aired on June 19, 2011. There is not much to say about the final episode of the first season but I will still say a thing or two about the opening scene and the ending scene.

The mob that Voltaire spoke of, the common people, has been idealised by those who limit themselves to criticising the elites. In reality the people are as despicable as the elites. They’re like King Joffrey who had Ned Stark beheaded only because Ned was faithful to Joffrey’s father’s will. The King’s Landing mob not only yells the ‘traitor’ slander when poor Ned is led to the scaffold, but cheers when his blood-dripping head is flaunted in the public square.

In the same way as Westeros, the contemptible mob that is the people of the West consume everything the elites tell them about Hitler. And the experience I’ve had with Christian friends whom I have broken off with (and it makes me want to translate some anecdotes from El Grial) is that they don’t give a damn about well-known sources, like Solzhenitsyn’s non-fiction books, when I try to convey that the Allied narrative is a myth. People in general follow and believe what the Joffreys of today tell them to believe and feel. Even cultured people rant in the ‘two minutes hate’ imposed by the System. As Andrew Hamilton put it in one of his Counter-Currents articles, even the so-called intellectuals of the West are mass-man.

That is for the opening scene of the episode. Regarding the final scene, for the second time in the first season Dany is shown naked without showing her pubic hair (above Dany appears the first time we saw her in the series). I think that not having shown her in her full-frontal glory was a serious mistake, as well as another scene from ‘Fire and Blood’ that shows naked Cersei Lannister’s new lover, her cousin Lancel, who had been the squire of the now-deceased King Robert. Both Dany and Lancel should have appeared frontally naked.

It is important to say this if we remember those words of a well-known white nationalist that I picked up on Daybreak: ‘We need a regime that bans pornography and erects statues of gorgeous naked nymphs and athletes in every public square and crossroads’. As seen in the photo above, if there is something that the Aryan should promote it is the human nude that doesn’t awaken our appetites but merely exalts the beauty of the Aryan body. As the Greeks and Romans understood it before the envious Christians, many with Semitic blood, destroyed almost all their statues, the Aryan nude should not be hidden if it comes from splendid young specimens.

But what can we expect if our seventh art has been taken over by Jews and neochristian gentiles? We get the crap we saw in a previous episode of Game of Thrones: a lesbian act between a northern white woman and a brunette in Littlefinger’s brothel. So aberrant was that prolonged scene that even the normies disliked it. And this northern prostitute appeared even in the first episode on a bed with the Lannister dwarf, and in another episode she shows her pubic hair to Theon when she moves south in a carriage.

Unlike the art I have in mind, these shots only degrade the Aryan. In our times the values have been inverted even in the human nude.

Categories
Alexis de Tocqueville Autobiography Psychiatry Psychoanalysis Voltaire

The hammer of the victims

To contextualise this series about psychiatry, see: here. Below, an abridged translation of a chapter of one of the books that I wrote in the last century:
 

This quotation explains perfectly why the so-called mental health professions have so much power in our societies:

To commit violent and unjust acts, it is not enough for a government to have the will or even the power; the habits, ideas, and passions of the time must lend themselves to their committal. —Alexis de Tocqueville [1]

Since psychiatrists and psychoanalysts diagnose people who are actually victims of insulting environments, their fundamental postulate is precisely to deny what they are. In psychiatric Newspeak the expression ‘victim of the environment’ has been eliminated; the aetiology of any disorder has to be looked for in the reign of the somatic. By doing this it is methodologically impossible that the profession will blame the parents even in cases of flagrant physical, sexual or emotional abuse toward the children (schizophrenogenic emotional abuse was what Helfgott and Modrow suffered). Thus psychiatry carries out an important function: to exonerate the family, the cell of civilisation, of the devastation manifested in the children.

Civil society lives in denial too. It doesn’t want to see that inside its most sacred institution maddening abuses exist on its most vulnerable members: children and adolescents. Both present-day university professions and civil society are as ignorant and superstitious of this situation as the Middle Ages was about diseases caused by microorganisms.

Voltaire saw the learned inquisitors as what they were—instead of diagnosing as ‘heretics’ the persons that the Inquisition tortured and murdered. Henceforth his call Écrasez l’infame! against the church, with which he annotated his liberating letters.

Nowadays the therapeutic state took over the labour of social control of the theocratic state. The call Écrasez l’infame!—Crush the infamy!—can be no more pertinent to refer to a profession that tortures and murders souls of children through psychological re-victimizations and handicapping drugs.

The studying of perpetrators is a revaluation of values of psychiatry: a new science that in lieu of hammering the victims it studies the perpetrators, or simply perps. In this revaluation of all psychiatric values science has to re-orient itself to the study of maddening parents (cf. Helfgott’s life), re-victimizing psychiatrists (cf. Breggin), charlatans who call themselves analysts (cf. Masson), and the civil struggle to abolish the therapeutic state (cf. Szasz).

In addition to these lines of investigation and struggle, my dream is that the study of perps will eventually include a new type of literature to reclaim for biographers and autobiographers the study of the human soul which was usurped by politicians that people call psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and clinical psychologists (psychiatry, psychoanalysis and clinical psychology are pseudosciences). One of the paradigms of this new literature is the study by John Modrow, who contributed to solving the mystery of why some adolescents get mad (in psychiatric Newspeak, ‘schizophrenia’) if subjected to parental abuse and psychiatric re-victimization.

If this new kind of vindictive autobiography doesn’t develop in the future, the true study of the human psyche will stagnate. The Lithuanian poet Czeslaw Milosz, Nobel laureate in 1980, has said that events such as the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War and even the Trench Warfare of WW1 were not autobiographically recalled in a satisfactory way, independently of the fact that historians have written entire libraries about those events. [2]

The same can be said of the absent autobiographies of the victims of our society. Hundreds of thousands of Doras didn’t recall literarily their testimonies. Brilliant politicians like Eugen Bleuler and Freud took their words out of their mouths and spoke in their names. Hersilie Rouy, Julie La Roche, Modrow and a few others are the exceptions.

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[1] Alexis de Tocqueville, quoted in W.H. Auden and L. Kronenberger (eds.), The Viking book of aphorisms: a personal selection (Dorset Press, 1981), p. 297, quoted in a lecture by Thomas Szasz presented in the Foucault Symposium in Berlin University, May 1998.

[2] Czeslaw Milosz in La experiencia de la libertad/3: la palabra liberada (Espejo de Obsidiana Ediciones, 1991), pp. 102f.

______ 卐 ______

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Categories
Ancient Greece Philosophy Plato Socrates Story of Philosophy (book) Voltaire Will Durant

The Story of Philosophy, 4

Socrates

If we may judge from the bust that has come down to us as part of the ruins of ancient sculpture, Socrates was as far from being handsome as even a philosopher can be. A bald head, a great round face, a deep-set staring eyes, a broad and flowery nose that gave vivid testimony to many a Symposium—it was rather the head of a porter than that of the most famous of philosophers.

This should alert us. Ugliness in ancient Greece was almost a refutation (cf. the articles about ancient Greece in The Fair Race). Now that we have been seeing that, throughout the centuries after Constantine, the Christians burned down every library from the ancient world they found, why did the Platonic vision of Socrates was spared?

They were a motley crowd, these youths who flocked about him and helped him to create European philosophy. There were rich young men like Plato and Alcibiades, who relished his satirical analysis of Athenian democracy; there were socialists like Antisthenes, who liked the master’s careless poverty, and made a religion of it; there was even an anarchist or two among them, like Aristippus, who aspired to a world in which there would be neither masters nor slaves, and all would be as worrilessly free as Socrates.

This should also alert us and for the same reasons. Why did it have to be precisely a preamble to Christian ethics what came to us from the classical world as ‘ancient wisdom’?

Philosophy begins when one learns to doubt—particularly to doubt one’s cherished beliefs, one’s dogmas and one’s axioms. Who knows how those cherished beliefs became certainties with us, and whether some secret wish did not furtively beget them, clothing desire in the dress of thought? There is no real philosophy until the mind turns round and examines itself. Gnothi seauton, said Socrates: Know thyself.

But no philosopher ever knew himself. No one! As a professional autobiographer I can say this without blushing. As I quoted a certain writer in the first of my autobiographical volumes:
‘Only a ripe artist, one thoroughly acquainted with the workings of the mind, can be successful here. This is why psychological self-portraiture has appeared so late among the arts, belonging exclusively to our own days and those yet to come. Man had to discover continents, to fathom his seas, to learn his language, before he could turn his gaze inward to explore the universe of his soul. Classical antiquity had as yet no inkling of these mysterious paths. Caesar and Plutarch, the ancients who describe themselves, are content to deal with facts, with circumstantial happenings, and never dream of showing more than the surface of their hearts’.

There had been philosophers before him, of course: strong men like Thales and Heraclitus, subtle men like Parmenides and Zeno of Elea, seers like Pythagoras and Empedocles; but for the most part they had been physical philosophers; they had sought for the physis or nature of external things, the laws and constituents of the material and measurable world. That is very good, said Socrates; but there is an infinitely worthier subject for philosophers than all these trees and stones, and even all those stars; there is the mind of man. What is man, and what can he become?

The old distinction between science and philosophy. But Socrates provided the baobab seeds that, after Christianity, grew to cover the Western planet for centuries, as we will see in my next comment.

How could a new and natural morality be developed in Athens, and how could the state be saved?
It was his reply to these questions that gave Socrates death and immortality. The older citizens would have honored him had he tried to restore the ancient polytheistic faith; if he had led his band of emancipated souls to the temples and the sacred groves, and bade them sacrifice again to the gods of their fathers. But he felt that it was a hopeless and suicidal policy, a progress backward, into and not “over the tombs”. He had his own religious faith: he believed in one God, and hoped in his modest way that death would not quite destroy him; but he knew that a lasting moral code could not be based upon so uncertain a theology. [1]

There is no doubt about it: Nietzsche was right in his first book, which was so liked by Wagner, by claiming that Western thought had suffered a deformation since Socrates! If there is anything historical about Durant’s appreciation, where on earth did Socrates get his monotheism? Wherever he got it, there is no doubt that the Christians, who imposed a Semitic monotheism upon us, took advantage of this wandering philosopher, who ‘never worked’ as Durant tells us, and who ‘neglected his wife and children’.
 
_______________
[1] Cf. Voltaire’s story of the two Athenians conversing about Socrates: “That is the atheist who says there is only one God” – Philosophical Dictionary, art. “Socrates.”

Categories
Alexandria Christendom Karlheinz Deschner Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (books) Theology Voltaire

Kriminalgeschichte, 45

Below, abridged translation from the first
volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte
des Christentums
(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
It was not fought for faith, but for power and for Alexandria
The exacerbated interest in faith was not really more than the obverse of the question. From the beginning, this secular dispute was less about dogmatic differences than about the core of a typical clerical policy. ‘The pretext was the salvation of souls’—admitted even Gregory of Nazianzus, son of a bishop and holy bishop in turn, who avoided meddling in worldly matters and who often eluded his ecclesiastical offices by fleeing—, ‘and the motive was anxiety of domain, not to mention tributes and taxes’.
The hierarchical ambitions for power and the disputes over the Episcopal sees, in whose course the theological rivalries were often forgotten, gave duration and vehemence to those enmities. It not only excited the Church but, at least in the East, also the state. Not only did the council fathers sometimes engage in quarrels until the Holy Spirit spoke, but also lay people beat themselves bloody in public.
Any dispute produced there between the clergy, Arian and Monophysite, iconoclasm exceeds the limits of a mere quarrel between friars and shocks all political and social life for centuries. This makes Helvetius affirm, in a lapidary way: ‘What is the consequence of religious intolerance? The ruin of the nations’.
And Voltaire assures that ‘If you count the murders perpetrated by fanaticism from the brawls between Athanasius and Arius up to the present day, you will see that these disputes have contributed to the depopulation of the Earth rather than the warlike confrontations’, which undoubtedly it has been very often a consequence of the complicity between the throne and the altar.
However, just as the policies of the State and the Church were intimately intertwined, so were the latter and theology. Of course, there was no official doctrine about the Trinity, but only different traditions. Binding decisions ‘were only made in the course of the conflict’ (Brox).
In spite of this, each of the parties, especially Saint Athanasius, liked to call his desire for prestige and power a matter of faith; thus could accusations be constantly presented and justified. Athanasius immediately theologises any political impetus and treats his rivals as heretics. Politics becomes theology and theology, politics. ‘His terminology is never clear enough, the question is always the same’ (Loofs). ‘With Athanasius it is never about formulas’ (Gentz).
What most characterizes the ‘father of orthodoxy’ is that he leaves his extremely confused dogmatic position, using it until the 350s, to designate the ‘true faith’, those topics that would later be used to stigmatize the Arian or semi-Arian ‘heresy’: that he, the defender of Nicaea and the homousios, rejected for a long time the theory of hypostasis, thereby delaying the union; and that he, the bulwark of orthodoxy, even cleared the way for an ‘heretical doctrine’, Monophysitism.
For that reason, the Catholics of the 5th and 6th centuries had to ‘touch up’ the dogmatic treatises of their doctor of the Church. However, for a long time the Arians proposed a formula of profession that coincided literally with that often used by Athanasius, but then appeared as ‘Arian heresy’ since whatever the opponent said, it was always bad in advance, malignant and diabolical; and any personal enemy was an ‘Arian’.
All this state of affairs was facilitated by the fact that for a time there had been total confusion in theological concepts, and the Arians had split again. Even Constantine II, who had gradually favoured them more and more radically— ‘to all the corrupt bishops of the Empire’ (Stratmann, catholic), ‘to the caricatures of the Christian bishop’ (Ehrhard, catholic)—, got so fed up of the dispute over the ‘nature’ of Christ that ended up forbidding it.
The theologians of the post-Constantinian era compared this war of religion, increasingly unintelligible, with a naval battle in the midst of the fog, a nocturnal combat in which it is impossible to distinguish the friend from the foe, but in which one hits with viciousness, often changing sides, preferably, of course, towards the side of the strongest in which all means are allowed; one hates intensely, intrigues are plotted and jealousies provoked.
Even Jerome, the father of the Church, affirmed in his moment that he did not manage to find peace and tranquillity neither in a small corner of the desert, because every day the monks asked him accounts of his faith. ‘I declare what they want, but it is not enough for them. I subscribe to what they propose to me and they do not believe it. It is easier to live among wild beasts than among such Christians!’
Numerous aspects of the chronology of the dispute are still controversial, even doubting the authenticity of many documents. However, the direct starting point was the revolt provoked by a debate about the Trinity around the year 318 in Alexandria, a city in which they fought for more than faith.
Alexandria, founded in 332-331 by Alexander the Great, the city of the poet Callimachus, the geographer Eratosthenes, the grammarian Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace. The city of Plotinus and later of Hypatia, was the main metropolis of the East, a cosmopolitan city of almost a million inhabitants, whose luxury only rivalled that of Rome.

Alexandria was mapped out with broad views, it was rich and an important commercial plaza, with a fishing fleet that obtained not insignificant catches and stood out for its monopoly in the papyrus industry, which supplied to the whole world.
Alexandria, the place where the Old Testament was translated into Greek (the Septuagint), was also the seat of a patriarchy—it is not true that St. Mark founded it; the first bishop of whom there is historical record is Demetrius I—, and it was, within the whole of the Church including that of the West, the largest and most powerful of all Episcopal sees. The two Egypts, Thebes, Pentapolis and Libya were under its jurisdiction.
This position had to be maintained, consolidated and expanded. The Alexandrian hierarchs, called ‘popes’ and who soon became immensely wealthy, intended during the 4th and 5th centuries to get at all costs the domination of the totality of the Eastern dioceses. Their theology was also opposed to that of Antioch, which also joined the struggle for rank between the two patriarchs, always winning he who supported the emperor and the ecclesiastical and imperial seat of Constantinople.
In constant struggle against ecclesiastical competitors and the State, a political apparatus of the Church arose here for the first time, similar to what would later be in Rome. According to this, the bishops of the secondary seats acted, who paid for any change of course with the loss of their Episcopal armchairs, or either they won them. Not one of the innumerable paleo-Christian churches of Alexandria was preserved.
Around the year 318, Patriarch Alexander would have preferred to silence the burning question about the ousia, the nature of the ‘Son’. There was a time when he was personally linked to the orator Arius (around 260-336), denounced by the Meletians and since 313 he was the presbyter of the church of Baucalis, the most prestigious in the city and the centre of a large group of followers formed by young women and workers of the dams.
But Arius, who was a kind and conciliatory scholar and probably composed the first popular songs of the Christian era (now totally forgotten), had renounced the Episcopal seat in favour of Alexander, and in the contest he participated less in a personal capacity than as an exponent from the school of theologians of Antioch, which he had neither founded nor directed. On the other hand, Bishop Alexander had previously defended, which was also reproached by Arians, ideas and doctrines similar to those he was now pursuing; he affirmed that Arius spent ‘day and night in insults against Christ and against us’.
After two public debates, at a synod that brought together 100 bishops, St. Alexander excommunicated and exiled Arius and all his followers—a decision that undoubtedly contributed to the struggle of the high office against the privileges of his priests—, and warned everywhere against the intrigues of the ‘heresiarch’. He also informed the Roman bishop Silvestre (314-335). And by means of two encyclicals, in 319 and probably in 324, he appealed to ‘all other beloved and venerable servants of God’, ‘to all the bishops beloved by God of all places’.
This resulted in measures and countermeasures being taken. Some princes of the Church anathematized Arius while others expressed their appreciation. Among the latter was the important intercessor before the court, the influential Bishop Eusebius, supreme pastor of Nicomedia, the city of residence of the emperor, who welcomed his banished friend; and Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, already famous as biblical exegete and historian.
Two synods that resolved in favour of Arius made possible his rehabilitation and return. The Arian party of Alexandria was acquiring more and more force, coming to name a counter-bishop. Alexander defended himself in vain, lamented the ‘den of thieves’ of the Arians and came to fear for his own life. Riots followed, which spread throughout Egypt, and finally the Eastern Church split.
New Episcopal conferences, such as the Synod of Antioch in 324, again condemned Arius, writing to the ‘bishops of Italy, who depend on the great Rome’, although without considering the Roman power as sovereign or that it had come to play some role of relevance. And in the year 325 a council was held in the Emperor’s summer residence.

Categories
Christendom Emperor Julian Goethe Julian (novel) Karlheinz Deschner Kriminalgeschichte des Christentums (books) Montaigne Montesquieu Voltaire

Kriminalgeschichte, 40

Below, abridged translation from the first
volume of Karlheinz Deschner’s Kriminalgeschichte
des Christentums
(Criminal History of Christianity)

 
Christian tall stories
Christians, preachers of love of the enemy and of the doctrine that all authority emanates from God, celebrated the death of the emperor with great public banquets, with festivals in churches and chapels and dances in the theatres of Antioch: the city that, as Ernest Renan says, ‘was full of puppeteers, charlatans, actors, magicians, thaumaturges, witches and religious swindlers’.
The diatribe in three volumes that Julian had written shortly before his death, Against the Galileans, was promptly destroyed, but fifty years later, Cyril, the doctor of the Church still bothered to argue against it: Pro sanela Christianorum religione adversas libros athei Julian in thirty volumes, of which ten have reached us in their Greek text and ten others in Greek and Syriac fragments. Naturally, a bishop like Cyril, an avowed enemy of philosophy who even tried to prohibit its teaching in Alexandria, did not intend to grasp the thought of Julian, but only ‘crush it with maximum energy’ (Jouassard).
The Christians also destroyed all the portraits of Julian and the epigraphs that commemorated his victories, without sparing means to erase from the memory of men the remembrances of him.
During Julian’s life, the most famous doctors of the Church had kept a prudent silence, but shortly after his death, and for a long time more, they dedicated themselves to attacking him.
Ephrem, another saint whose odious songs were repeated by the parishioners of Edessa, dedicated a whole treatise to ‘Julian the Apostate’, the ‘pagan emperor’ and, according to him, ‘frantic’, ‘tyrant’, ‘trickster’, ‘damned’ ‘and’ idolatrous priest’. ‘His ambition caught the deadly release’ that ‘tore his body pregnant with oracles from his magicians’ to send him definitively ‘to hell’. The clerical historians of the 5th century, who sometimes were also jurists, such as Rufinus, Socrates, Philostorgius, Sozomen and Theodoret, speak of Julian in a still worse tone.
While the Christian world defamed the ‘apostate’, as he usually does with its enemies, the Enlightenment corrected that image in the diametrically opposite sense.
In 1699, the Protestant theologian Gottfried Arnold, in his Impartial History of the Church and of Heresy, rehabilitated the figure of Julian.
A few decades later, Montesquieu praised him as a statesman and legislator. Voltaire wrote: ‘Thus, that man who has been described to us horribly was perhaps the most noble of all, or at least the second’. Montaigne and Chateaubriand count him among the greatest historical figures.
Goethe praised himself for understanding and sharing Julian’s animosity against Christianity. Schiller wanted to make him protagonist of one of his dramas.
Shaftesbury and Fielding praised him, and Gibbon believes that he deserved to have owned the world. Ibsen wrote Caesar and Galilee and Nikos Kazantzakis his tragedy Julian the Apostate, premiered in Paris in 1948.

More recently, between 1962 and 1964, the North American Gore Vidal dedicated a novel to him. On the other hand, the Benedictine Baur (representative, in this, of many current Catholics) continues to defame Julian in the 20th century.
After the death of Julian, and having renounced the designated successor, Salutius, a moderate pagan philosopher and prefect of the praetorians of the East who had been a personal friend of Julian, the Illyrian Jovian acceded to the throne.

Categories
Arthur Schopenhauer Friedrich Nietzsche John Stuart Mill Philosophy Voltaire Xenophon

Only six books

Twelve days ago I said that John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty was one of the very few books that, from the academic canon imposed by the faculties of philosophy, I find readable. But I failed to mention the other five.
Plato is boring but I find amusing the Memorabilia, in which Xenophon illustrates more piquaresquely than Plato the figure of Socrates.
The same I can say of the Confessions of St. Augustine, although I cannot be in more disagreement with such dude. From the Middle Ages I’d make a leap to Voltaire’s Candide, and thence to Schopenhauer’s second volume of Parerga and Paralipomena (translated as Essays and Aphorisms by Penguin Classics).
I mean books that are a real treat from the strictly literary point of view: those that you’d love to have in your bookshelf. The last one on my list is Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo, although, again, that does not mean that I necessarily agree with the author.