The Citadel and The Swamp: A Study of East and West: Silence Film Review Part 3

“While some characters like Durand and Inoue employ the swamp to emphasize cultural incongruities of Christian moral teaching, Ferreira’s swamp bespeaks an intellectual dissonance between Christian and Japanese traditions of metaphysics.”[i]

”Contrary to the view, whether philosophical or religious, which ascribes to some moral rules an intrinsic autonomous value (a typical instance of this is the so-called “absolute morality” of Kant’s categorical imperative) the Buddha ascribed to the several attitudes of right conduct that he pointed out, a purely instrumental value, the value of means justified only in view of a certain aim and therefore only sub conditione. But this end, just as the higher grades of Buddhistic ascesis and contemplation, is beyond morality, nor can it be measured by the religious conception of ‘holiness.’ As Milarepa was to say: ‘In my youth I committed some black deeds, in my maturity some white ones; but now I have rejected all distinctions of black and white.’”[ii]

Your Own Personal Logos

Thus, “The idea of personality is, of course, very vague in the Orient, and especially is the oriental mind slow in thinking of the ultimate reality in terms of personality.”[iii] At once both parties (West and East) are affirming “same, same…” but in radically different ways, likewise in the metaphysics of the Logos.

“The idea of the logos as a unique incarnation in a historical personality is not altogether absent, but it differs rather sharply from the Christian conception in that the clean cut theistic background is wanting, and further in that the historical personality in which the logos is incarnate lacks the marks of reality. Hozo Biku, the incarnate logos of the Orient, has not a shred of historical reality about him. And herein lies the great superiority of Christianity over Buddhism: not simply in its system of a theistic philosophy, but in its flesh-and-blood reality of the incarnate Logos, the Jesus of the New Testament.”[iv]

This “flesh-and-blood” reality of the personal savior however effectively makes the Christian-Logos, qualitatively different from Buddhist interpretations and grants the Christ-Logos a uniquely dispositional approach towards the reconciliation of the transcendent and immanent views of God (and reality –hence broadening the Western mind to a nuanced metaphysical complexity). Christ as the vesica piscis encompasses both principles of human (material) and divine (transcendent) a perfectly balanced (venn diagram). The passion of Christ, the bloody violence of his ascension, the fanaticism of the blood of the martyrs all point towards a radical activism; with a worldly concerned liberationist core, a being-in-the-world-ness that perhaps even functions to undermine Christianity and bring about the rationalizing secularism of modernity, Buddhism at its core rejects such passions as merely self-indulgent illusionary sufferings. The Christian looks out at the world in pain seeking justice; the Buddhist looks within for peace; ultimately seeking transcendence – essentially Buddhism is world-denying and escapist ideology and Christianity though containing that element is ultimately activist and world-immersing. The prolonged existence of these core divergent logos and ontological-ideas has created different character-types. At worst the Christian pushes liberationist theology to the point of undermining Christian institutions and theology itself – leading also to the undermining of European particularity. This process was so gradual and prolonged in Europe, that the Japanese shogunate showed tremendous foresight in banishing the egalitarianizing doctrine in order to preserve their social positioning, as well as their culture. However, the prolonged rejection of the Christian Logos and the metaphysics of personal salvation and liberation by the East and its overextension in the West has indeed created character and system-types that could be labeled “Oriental despotism,” in opposition to the liberationist-individualism-Faustian-Prometheanism of the West – perhaps shortened to “Occidental humanism.” As countervailing opposites however they are unequal, the unique dynamism of the essence of the West, may well preside in the balancing of these two poles within its own structure, almost to the unnecessary existence of the East as merely a backwards recrudescence. That is to say that the West contains a layer of “Oriental despotism,” and inward contemplation, but the Orient does not contain a layer of Occidental humanism or liberationist activism. If the postmodern imposition of human rights is counted it is only a mutated post-modern form of Occidental humanism that is itself morphing into its opposite – being dragged down into the swamp. The West is large spiritually, it contains multitudes, the East is large geographically, and it contains similitudes. That is to say that even the inwardness of Christian monastic, meditative and spiritual life has a radically different and personal dimension than the Eastern variants, “that sense of ‘inwardness’ which has already been defined as an important element in individuality,”[v] such that the Christian “spirit of world-rejection coexisted with a positive affirmation of individual and humane values,”[vi] that was lacking in the East. Furthermore the gold of its perfection is qualitatively reflective of this difference, in so far as the love of Christianity is not the same as the compassion of Buddhism, Christianity’s love is Agape, through which Zizek identifies a revolutionary potentiality, “the all-encompassing compassion of Buddhism (or Hinduism, for that matter) has to be opposed by Christianity’s intolerant, violent love.”[vii]

Furthermore, the Japanese and Eastern rejection of the truth claims of Christianity entails a rejection of the notions of justice, truth, beauty and the form of the good – as transcendental “objective” principles. The dialogues between the interpreter and Ft. Rodrigues and those between the Inquisitor and Ft. Rodrigues illuminate this denial of the objective and the affirmation of the subjective, culturally specific, particularism:

THE INQUISITOR (Inoue Sama)

Father, the doctrine you bring with you may be true in Spain and Portugal. But we have studied it carefully…thought about it over much time…and find it’s of no use and no value in Japan. We have concluded that it is a danger.

RODRIGUES

But we believe we brought you the truth, and the truth is universal.

It’s common to all countries at all times, that’s why we call it the truth. If a doctrine weren’t as true in Japan as it is in Portugal, we couldn’t call it the truth.

THE INQUISITOR (Inoue Sama)

“I see you do not work with your hands, Father. But everyone knows a tree which flourishes in one kind of earth may decay and die in another. It is the same with the tree of Christianity. The leaves decay here. The buds die.”

RODRIGUES

(heated)

It is not the soil that has killed the buds. There were three hundred thousand Christians in Japan before the soil was…

THE INQUISITOR (Inoue Sama)

Yes?

RODRIGUES

Poisoned.

It is clear from conversations with Fr Ferriera that the poisoning of the Christian doctrine by the authorities was not necessary since the Japanese Burakumin who were converted to the faith understood Christ to be a manifestation of the material sun rather than the mystery of incarnation. Nietzsche’s shrewd insight saw into the heart of Buddhism as “passive nihilism” – “the weary nihilism that no longer attacks… passive nihilism, weakness,”[viii] that which sustains an immoral social order. Nietzsche was beyond prescient when he ascribed to this form of nihilism that was enrapturing the European soul as a “new Buddhism,” presenting “‘the greatest danger.-How are truthfulness, love, and justice related to the actual world?’ Not at all!-”[ix] Nietzsche then saw the ushering in of the postmodern world as one imbued with Buddhist values, in which objective values no longer determine the social order, which like individual personality, is driven by sheer contingencies subservient to power relations. In this gross materialism of sameness, in which individuality is reduced to a hierarchicalization of functionary status, “Oriental despotism” assumes its place as the pragmatic component in an arbitrary social order based primarily on cohesion, violence and the senseless but ritualized routinization of the procedures of worship and administration – Western nihilism. The West had entered a stage analogous to the East philosophically and onto-theologically, but it did so through a Hellenization of Judaism. philosophically, the East never attained towards the “metaxological” balance of Aristotelian (Marxist historical-materialism) and Platonic (Hegelian-teleological) notions of what I will term ‘investigative transcentalism’ that defined Christianity – but remains as in Hegel’s reading of Oriental religions; stuck in the quagmire of the ‘emergent sphere of the spirit.’ The East, especially the far-East, also lacks ‘thumos’ or spiritedness above all, which results in an underdeveloped sense of self.

Indeed, only Christianity ascends to the tripartite functions of interrelation and dialectic, which contains the seeds for an advanced metaphysical structure (investigative transcentalism) that encompasses all others:

Father – Grammar – Mind – Reason – objective – Logos – Nous – Yahweh

Son – Logic –Heart – Emotion – subjective – Pathos – Thumos – Christ

Holy Spirit – Rhetoric – Hands – Action – communal – EthosEpithumia – Allah

At this point a distinction between the Logos of the Greeks and the Logos of the Christians should be explored to pontificate upon their divergences and similarities. If as “In Voltaire’s theory of Western culture neither the Jews nor Biblical history nor even Christianity is ‘central.’ Rather the normative culture of the West had been disseminated by classical Greece and Rome, which are Europe’s authentic foundations, and whose Golden Age of paganism the Enlightenment would restore,” one could assume a distinct Logos of Hellenic conception as opposed to the Christian. Ezra Pound for his measure was overtly attracted to Confucianism akin to the Japanese feudalism witnessed in Silence. However, rather than Christ coming to fulfill the messianic covenant of the Torah, a position which Jews reject, Christ from a Hellenic perspective could also be said to have bastardized, rather than fulfill, the Logos of Greek metaphysics. It is a matter requiring exploration, beyond the scope of this review that I suggest that the Greeks were moving towards compatible truths with the Christian revelation, which because of it’s Oriental-Jewish elements caused a sort of disfigurement.

In each movement of Logos (both Hellenic and Christian) unanswerable questions are regulated to “Mystery” or “Myth” – designated by Plato in The Republic as “the noble lie.” If the story of Christ is compatible with such a social utility then the Myth of Er corresponds to the election of salvation and the promise of the afterlife in Christian theology as well. For the Greeks alone one could discuss the Logos of Heraclitus, Anaxagoras, Plato, Philo, Plotinus or the Stoics – the noetic or spermatic Logos, or the Logoi. The Greeks could not agree beyond a kind of metaphysics of reason at times interacting within the world through form and manifestation and at times wholly Other. Less still could one conceive of a pure Logos-Idea between civilizational forms; and one can speak of the Hebrew, the Persian, Greco-Jewish logos of Philo, the Christian, and even the Oriental conceptual theories of the Logos-Idea. Thus, “We realize of course that there is no such thing as a definite logos-doctrine, or rather that it was held under various forms.”[x] Such a nebulous idea could be molded to any platform.[xi] However, “There was perhaps no passage of Scripture which caused the translators of the Bible into Japanese so much trouble as the opening verses of the Gospel according to John. The controversy was not over the meaning of the Logos, but rather over the oriental equivalent and word to be chosen as the best translation… In the Chinese version Logos had been translated by the word T’ao…” The Japanese translate logos by the Japanese term for ‘word,’ kotoba. Within this loose schema, Reischauer wrongfully concludes “Thus the oriental mind is not at all unprepared to understand the logos-doctrine of Christianity, or any form of it,” forgetting that the Orientals lacked Hellenic roots although, Reischauer adds the caveat of the superiority of the Logos-Doctrine of Christianity to its oriental manifestations.

littleton-christian-logo

[i] John T. From Cultural Alterity to the Habitations of Grace: The Evolving Moral Topography of Endo’s Mudswamp Trope Netland Christianity & Literature Vol 59, Issue 1, pp. 27 – 48 First Published December 1, 2009.

[ii] https://www.counter-currents.com/2013/06/spiritual-virility-in-buddhism/

[iii] Reischauer, A. K. “Japanese Buddhism and the Doctrine of the Logos.” The Biblical World, vol. 41, no. 4, 1913, pp. 245–251.

[iv] Reischauer, A. K. “Japanese Buddhism and the Doctrine of the Logos.” The Biblical World, vol. 41, no. 4, 1913, pp. 245–251. JSTOR, JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3142108.

[v] Morris, Colin. The discovery of the individual, 1050-1200. Toronto: University of Toronto Press in association with the Medieval Academy of America, 1987. Print. 32.

[vi] Morris, Colin. The discovery of the individual, 1050-1200. Toronto: University of Toronto Press in association with the Medieval Academy of America, 1987. Print. 29.

[vii] Žižek, Slavoj. Living in the end times. London New York: Verso, 2011. Print. 99.

[viii] Nietzsche, Friedrich W., Walter Kaufmann, and R. J. Hollingdale. The will to power. New York: Random House, 1967. Print. 18

[ix] Nietzsche, Friedrich W., Walter Kaufmann, and R. J. Hollingdale. The will to power. New York: Random House, 1967. Print.

[x] Reischauer, A. K. “Japanese Buddhism and the Doctrine of the Logos.” The Biblical World, vol. 41, no. 4, 1913, pp. 245–251.

[xi] A summary simplification of the strains of the Logos-Idea – In general… the logos doctrine stands for theory that there is a rational principle in things. 1. Regarded as ultimate and absolute principle, superior to all other principles (Greek – Stoic). 2. Regarded as one of two principles i.e., co-ordinate with another and opposing principle (Persian Dualism though early Greek philosophy has tendency and Philo himself is not free from it). 3. Regarded as subordinate principle, subject to higher and more ultimate reality. (Hebraic thought, in which logos-principle subordinated to ultimate reality, God). Reischauer, A. K. “Japanese Buddhism and the Doctrine of the Logos.” The Biblical World, vol. 41, no. 4, 1913, pp. 245–251.

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The Citadel and the Swamp: A Study of East and West: Silence Film Review Part 2

The Swamp as Metaphysical Principle

“East is East, and West is West and never the twain shall meet.” – Rudyard Kipling

“One of Donald Trump’s advisers says the president-elect is no longer interested in his rallying cry ‘drain the swamp.’

‘I’m told he now just disclaims that. He now says it was cute, but he doesn’t want to use it anymore.'”[i]

As Robert Casillo tells us, “the swamp had a profound significance for the fascist mind…”[ii] For the French Fascist Charles Maurras, “the swamp symbolizes two related evils which tend toward the slow dissolution of Western hierarchy, distinction, tradition, community, order, beauty, and Nature. One is liberalism, the ‘dominating thought pattern of the modern age.’ The other is the Jews.” That the metaphor of the swamp in Pound, Maurras and other fascists delineated primarily the Near East or what Edward Said identified as ‘the Other of Europe,’ this meaning of alterity can be extended to the Far East, perhaps more radically so, and despite the protestations of the ‘anti-Orientalists’ the metaphor contains an onto-epistemological element that delineates West from East. That is the function of the Citadel is to re-inscribe “a style of thought, based on an ontological and epistemological distinction between Orient and Occident”[iii] to save us from ‘the colonizing universalism’ of postmodernity – based as it is on the Swamp-like paradox of ‘same, same but different.’

To further illustrate this selfsame alterity of Near and Far East E Michael Jones’ review of the film describes the story as “a Japanese version of The Heart of Darkness… where the Jesuits set off to find Ferriera, who ‘went native’… the crisis is similar to the crisis that we talked about in The Heart of Darkness, you’re sailing up the Congo, you’re this white guy, there’s this jungle, is there any Logos here? Or the other side/way of looking at it; is Christ basically a European phenomenon? Is he the white man’s god? What about the black man and the yellow man, do they have the same God?”[iv]

The sub-Saharan jungle then is another variant on the metaphysics of the Swamp, but in Silence the Swamp in question is the conflation of the Japanese landscape and mind and Oriental metaphysics generally as devoid of Logos. As both Endo and then Scorsese use ‘the Swamp’ as a prime and repeating symbol it connects enigmatically as a repeating archetype in various guises outside the film itself requiring investigation into its meaning.

Endo_Shusaku.jpg
Endo Shusaku

There may not exist direct evidence to link Charles Maurras and Endo, however the Japanese Catholic studied French literature at the University of Lyon and was a keen student of European culture and no doubt came into contact with the sorts of cultural analysis dichotomizing the West from the “swamp” in such stark terms as those of the culturally Catholic but agnostic Maurras described. Endo’s semiautobiographical 1965 novel, Nanji mo mata (And You Too), tells the story of a foreign Japanese student in France who has a traumatic breakdown of sorts, a kind of Paris syndrome[v] with theological underpinnings that required him to seek respite back in Japan – mirroring Endo’s own experience. The novel’s protagonist Mukaizaka “attributes his collapse to his attempt to come to terms with what he calls ‘the river of European culture.’ In the early days of his stay in Paris he had noted many similarities between Western and Japanese culture, such, for example, as the great resemblance in line and expression between the Buddhas of the Horyuji temple in Nara and the statues of Moissac and Chartres. This conviction of the contiguity of the two cultures had sustained him for a time, enabling him to cope with the rigors of life as a foreign student in Paris. But this comforting assurance had gradually given way to the realization that despite all the similarities there was after all an unbridgeable chasm between Horyuji and Chartres.”[vi]

One can sense this unhinging of the ‘marginal man’ through confrontation of an ethos and world not made in his image. Unable to assimilate oneself to its ethos ensues a kind of nausea and/or violent response in order to overcome the ‘unbridgeable chasm,’ as in the cases of Isis destroying cultural and religious monuments in the Middle East or Leftists removing Confederate statues in the American South, the goal is to reshape the Other in a way that accommodates one’s own particularity. Likewise Endo’s ultimate goal is to reshape European Christianity to conform to a Japanese body and sensibility. Itself symbolic of the Leftist project to change the demographics and to create a Swamp-like ‘Open Society’ of the West.

This “unbridgeable chasm” that Endo’s semi-autobiographical character discovers to his horror produces a sickness of which he cannot recover is expounded upon in essentialist terms in Mukaizaka’s gloomy conclusion “the blood that produced the two was of altogether different type… We are unable to receive a blood transfusion from a donor with a blood type different from our own.” Francis Mathy discerns that, “The theme of the distance that separates East and West is constant in his [Endo’s] work…” and that, “Endo’s insistence that East is East and West is West is that this problem is not one of mere academic interest to him, but the ground of great inner conflict and anguish.” This in contrast to those Easterners like Edward Said whose project is to proclaim that “East is not East and West is not West” Furthermore, Mathy tells us that “Endo has very clearly expressed his views on East and West in a series of essays, which were collected and published as a single volume, Shzkyo to bungaku (Religion and Literature), in 1963. It is interesting to study the ideas developed in these essays and to note how they be- come the central themes of his novels.” In this examination of difference Endo identifies three main elements that distinguish the soul of Western culture and people (I have attached to this worldview the symbol of the Citadel) from that of the Other (the symbol of the Swamp):

 “In the Western aesthetic stance then are to be found these three elements: consciousness of boundaries, confrontation of the unlimited, active struggle to reach this unlimited. But the Japanese have no such consciousness of boundaries, and thus no need for confrontation or struggle. They experience instead a passive convergence or fusion. They are unable to perceive created beauty according to its limitations. The Japanese sensibility demands the breaking down of all barriers; it demands the indefinite, the vague. It is fond of the grey of a rainy day and the indefiniteness of evening twilight.”[vii]

This dichotomy of worldviews of an essentialist and/or epistemological-ontological and/or cultural-historical bent recalls Maurras’ West; “hierarchy, distinction, tradition, community, order, beauty, and Nature” to which I have attached the symbol of the Citadel (the West) vs. the Swamp (All Others). The relative big distinction between Westerners and all other people is reinforced within Western countries themselves, whereby the legal status of people is issued from the dichotomy of White vs. People of Colour. For Maurras the forces of the Swamp were embodied by liberalism and the Jews, but metaphorically one can extend the swamp metaphor into a metaphysical principle with a variety of representations and manifestations. The Jews, such as George Soros, a usurer and big promoter of progressive liberalism was a student of the Jew Karl Popper who advocates for an ‘open society’ – that this is a manifestation of the Swamp by eradicating difference though mass immigration, radical feminism and sexual politics – ‘man is woman, woman is man, east is west, west is east.’ The conflation then with what Ezra Pound once referred to as “Jew Asia,”[viii] completes this total identification of a complete dichotomy between the West and Everyone else, there is only the Swamp and the Citadel, swamp-dwellers and children of the sun. The West is the only positive metaphysical element in a Swamp of relativism and barbarism; advocates like Said and Soros seek to undermine the foundations of the Citadel like medieval sappers besieging a fortress. ‘The Jew’ then designates not merely the Jew proper, but a metaphysical principle opposed to that of the Hellenic-Christian-Western.

Endo’s attempts to make Catholicism conform or syncretize to his Japanese-ness results in a radicalization a ‘swampification’ of the essential substance, “making it a religion palatable for the Japanese soul,”[ix] perhaps symbolically likened to building a citadel on the soggy marshlands of the Swamp – it will not prevail and sink into the quagmire. Netland argues that “the swamp” is a site of human consciousness, that serves two functions, firstly, “there are the metaphorical swamps in Yellow Man, Silence, and The Golden Country, which function primarily as markers of cultural and religious alterity… Second, the swamp can also symbolize a moral ennui or what Francis Mathy has called the ‘safe, uneventful life without purpose.’”[x] Recalling Nietzsche’s notion of the Last Man and the Fukuyama’s End of History – The Swamp is teleologically and ideologically without direction – it is the Swamp of entanglement and laissez-faire (itself a principle inspired from that most Swamp-like of Eastern mysticisms; Taoism).

Because of the overt references in Silence to Japan as a swamp, Netland offers us that it was a symbol of cultural particularity for Endo. However, we have seen the repetition of the symbol as a metaphor or archetype that is universal; but there may be special considerations for the particular ‘Swamp-Scale’ of each culture. Hagiwara, for instance “consistently associates the water / swamp / womb imagery with Japanese, or at least pan-Asian, sensibilities.” This breakdown of the world into competing symbolic essences, the Spenglerian ‘Faustian’ for example, was typified in Japan as a quest for the kokutai, “the particularities that set [the Japanese] apart.” Testuro Watsuji, a theorist of ‘the Japanese spirit’ “classified human cultures into three predominant climate zones: the ‘desert’ of North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia; the ‘meadow’ of Europe and the Mediterranean basin; and the ‘monsoon’ of Asia… Watsuji occasionally associates desert and meadow cultures (most notably in the origins and influence of Christianity) but almost never the former two with the monsoon zone, thereby emphasizing an Occidental / Oriental alterity or uniqueness…”

Frattolillo-642x336
Watsuji Tetsuro with Lotus ‘swamp flower’

Drawing on ‘geography as destiny’ arguments which frame types, Watsuji, like Pound, sees the temperate Mediterranean, rather than the gloom of Northern Europe as paradigmatic of the European spirit… the source of Greek humanism, with its optimistic spirit and confidence in the power of reason to control nature.” In contrast to the desert and meadow, Watsuji’s monsoon, is not in a dialectical relationship with nature as the others, “but rather within nature and subordinate to an unpredictable natural order… acknowledging the cultural capital of water.” While Watsuji connects the ‘meadow’ of Europe with the desert of North Africa, the Middle East and central Asia, notably through Christianity, there are those European thinkers, Voltaire, Nietzsche,  Benoit and Pound among them, who regard Christianity as no less a bastardization of the European soul. “Pound, Rosenberg, Maurras, and other fascists looked to classical Greece and especially Rome as the recoverable origin and bulwark of Western tradition.”[xi] While Watsuji’s goal was to explore Japan’s exceptionalism, by severing the Christian link, such men with European pagan sympathies, may be more inclined to align or amalgamate the Near Eastern desert and the Far Eastern monsoon with the symbolic imagery of the swamp, each with its own particular exotic variation on the theme but swamps nonetheless – so the jungles of Sub-Saharan Africa and the vegetable growth of New World indigenous nations to the Japanese Shinto-Buddhism – all places devoid of Logos. In the Eurocentric perspective of European exceptionalism, the sultry dryness of the Near East and the humid wetness of the Far East, one is to sterile and hot, the other too cool and wet, the Western Goldilocks finds the ‘meadows’ just right. As the critique Northrop Frye once wrote, “there is no private symbolism,” and thus this motif of the non-white, non-European world as a swamp springs up independently and spontaneously from various sources. Castillo tells us that “no one has defined more thoroughly the significance of the swamp in the Western imagination as a combined symbol of matriarchal, Near Eastern, and hence ‘non-European’ culture” as the Swiss anthropologist Johann Bachofen. Bachofen presents feminist forms of societal management to which he assigns the names of Hetaerism and Demetrian matriarchy to be “symbolized by the unbidden and tangled growth of the swamp.”[xii]  Most especially Hetaerism, which represented a hypothetical earlier stage of social evolution, in which, “Like the swamp it is entirely hostile to barriers and distinctions” – both represent “the promiscuous and material tyranny of Nature (the swamp).”[xiii] The matriarchal swamp was eventually overcome in Bachofen with the emergence of the patriarchal Apollonian societies of Greece and Rome. For Bachofen, it was not Christianity, but Rome’s destruction of Carthage as “the greatest turning point in the destinies of mankind.”[xiv] The Citadel-like warrior caste (Rome) destroying the Swamp-like merchant caste (Carthage). Indeed the pre-Christian Mediterranean West represented the higher principle of, what I have termed the Citadel, over the “base sensuality of Asia.” Bachofen “demonstrated a link between the matriarchical ideal such values as democracy, fraternity, communism, sexual liberation, and personal happiness”[xv] as essentially swamp-like categories. “To defeat the swamp, Fascism must overcome not only the Jews but the natural human tendency towards softness,”[xvi] which the Jews as minorities who rose to prominence with usury represented for Pound, usury then is an important element of the swamp principle as are the values of the entanglement of agora generally.

mussoliniFactMeme
Pound saw this ‘draining of the swamp’ as especially symbolic.

 

 

[i] http://www.businessinsider.com/what-does-drain-the-swamp-mean-was-dc-built-on-a-swamp-2016-11

[ii] Casillo, Robert. The genealogy of demons : anti-Semitism, fascism, and the myths of Ezra Pound. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Print, 84.

[iii] Macfie, A. L. Orientalism. London: Longman, 2002. Print. 4.

[iv] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LP0HkAfnVo “God has a Right to be Silent.”

[v] Tamami, Katada (1998). “Reflections on a case of Paris syndrome”. Journal of the Nissei Hospital. Science Links Japan. 26 (2): 127–132. ISSN 0301-2581. Archived from the original on 30 October 2013. Retrieved 5 November 2009.

[vi] Mathy, Francis. “Endo Shusaku: White Man, Yellow Man.” Comparative Literature, vol. 19, no. 1, 1967, pp. 58–74. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1769400.

[vii] Mathy, Francis. “Endo Shusaku: White Man, Yellow Man.” Comparative Literature, vol. 19, no. 1, 1967, pp. 58–74. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1769400.

[viii] Casillo, Robert. “Ezra Pound, L. A. Waddell, and the Aryan Tradition of ‘The Cantos.’” Modern Language Studies, vol. 15, no. 2, 1985, pp. 65–81. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/3194433.

[ix] Suffering the Patient Victory of God: Shusaku Endo and the Lessons of a Japanese Catholic

Author: Brett Dewey

Quodlibet Journal: Volume 6 Number 1, January – March 2004

[x] Dewey, Brett (2004). Suffering the Patient Victory of God: Shusaku Endo and the Lessons of a Japanese Catholic. Quodlibet 6.

[xi] Casillo, Robert. The genealogy of demons : anti-Semitism, fascism, and the myths of Ezra Pound. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Print, 85.

[xii] Casillo, Robert. The genealogy of demons : anti-Semitism, fascism, and the myths of Ezra Pound. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Print. 86.

[xiii] Casillo, Robert. The genealogy of demons : anti-Semitism, fascism, and the myths of Ezra Pound. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Print. 86.

[xiv] Casillo, Robert. The genealogy of demons : anti-Semitism, fascism, and the myths of Ezra Pound. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Print. 84.

[xv] Casillo, Robert. The genealogy of demons : anti-Semitism, fascism, and the myths of Ezra Pound. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Print. 91.

[xvi] Casillo, Robert. The genealogy of demons : anti-Semitism, fascism, and the myths of Ezra Pound. Evanston, Ill: Northwestern University Press, 1988. Print. 112.

The Citadel and the Swamp: A Study of East and West: Silence Film Review Part 1

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” – Galatians 3:28

There is some difficulty in reviewing a film upon only one viewing; this is especially true of a film filled with textual complexity, emotional subtlety but most especially philosophical dialogue and concepts, as is the case in Martin Scorsese’s ‘passion project’ Silence (2017). The film is based on a work of a Japanese Catholic named Shusaku Endo (1923-96) adapted from his 1966 novel Chinmoku (‘Silence,’ English translation 1969).

The mediation of the film uneasily draws upon the implications of religious thought on a particular society’s values and structures – especially if that religion is a foreign one preaching universalism. The film utilizes the story of three Jesuit missionary priests who attempted to convert 17th century feudal Japanese Buddhist culture to Catholicism. The plot begins when word reaches Portugal that Ft. Ferreira (Liam Neeson) had gone missing in Japan, supposedly apostatizing under torture. His former students Ft. Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Ft. Garupe (Adam Driver) ask and gain permission to enter the hostile nation to discover the truth of the matter and perhaps carry on the proselytizing mission. The fictional protagonist of Silence the Portuguese priest Sebastian Rodrigues was modeled by Endo on the Italian missionary Giuseppe Chiara (1602–85).

“During the Tokugawa government’s suppression of Christianity beginning in 1614, and the cruel persecutions beginning in the mid-1620s, some Japanese Christians, mostly peasants, in and around Nagasaki maintained their communities of faith by going underground with the help of European priests who remained in hiding. Endo crafted the narrative of Silence against the background of the 1637–38 Shimabara-Amakusa Insurrection, a revolt of 25,000 Christian peasants long oppressed by the heavy taxation of the local lord (Gonoi 1990, 218–24). The Tokugawa government brutally crushed the revolt and then implemented an all-out seclusion policy in 1639, while maintaining trade and diplomatic relationships with China, Holland, and Korea on a limited scale. In the process, the Tokugawa government also intensified its efforts to hunt down crypto-Christians across Japan, with Grand Inquisitor Inoue 160 M. Inoue Chikugo no Kami Masashige 井上筑後守政重 (1585–1661) leading the antiChristian campaign (Elison 1973, 191–96).”[i]

The plot is almost a secondary device used to explore meaningful philosophical concepts in a sophisticated way. The story of the priest’s attempts to proselytize, put in historical context, are merely the vehicle not only of the broader story of Japanese rejection of the Christian message, as a dangerous and alien doctrine, but this context also allows us to contemplate the meaning of the message itself, especially for Christians, as well as opening up avenues to explore problems related to identity for Identitarians, but also the broader philosophical questions related to ontology and epistemology are present.

Same, Same, but Different

Part of the problem of an overemphasis on racial issues is its obscurantist tendency to highlight itself as a central pivot in circumstances wherein it is merely accidental or peripheral or perhaps one might say conditional. Walter Benn Michael’s pointed out the Left’s obsession with race, in his book Against Diversity, as distracting from its traditional critiques of increasing economic inequality via class struggle. Herein two reviews of Silence by feebleminded Leftists attack Scorsese’s film as one seemingly celebratory of white colonial domination, obscuring the deeper meanings of the film, possibly because such critiques are easy and the critics themselves possess only superficial and shallow knowledge of most things generally – race is easy and blame whitey easier.[ii]

A poor review by a hack anti-White writer named Jen Yamato, for The Daily Beast, obviously put off by the “cruel Japanese” depictions in the film and unable to attain some sense of objectivity called the film , “an ardent story about cultural imperialism and Western arrogance that doesn’t recognize its own.” Yamato’s fixation on the film’s “white savior” spreading “the germ of Christianity into a Buddhist and Shinto land,”[iii] is just rankled with her bitterness against Europeans that blinds to her some uncomfortable investigations into her own cultural history and the deeper philosophical questions it arises. Watching a film with such a pronounced religious character, whose humanistic values have profoundly affected the whole world including the modern secular one and taking from it only a spiteful ‘arrogant white people’ along with basic commentary on filmic techniques, (she of course lauds the Japanese actors, while berating Scorsese and the European actors) one must ultimately feel pity for the likes of Yamato and people of this ilk who are constantly on guard against ‘evil-yet-benevolent or benevolently-evil whitey.’

In a similar vein, I was somewhat disappointed by Trevor Lynch’s review dubbing the film, “the story of self-confident, expansionist whites battling non-white savagery.”[1] While I can sympathize with the attraction of the Identarian readings, both ‘pro (Lynch) and anti-white (Yamato),’ both focus on periphery concerns obscuring deeper philosophical issues but yet the issue of identity was a vital component in the composition of the novel and the mental space of Endo himself, who described his experience as a Japanese Catholic as wearing “clothes that were ill-fitting,”[iv] a curious parallel to mine own examinations of post-national and secular humanistic universalist global identity which I called the “ill-fitting costume of humanity.”[v] While identity may have been a central component of Endo’s psychology and in his personal relationship with Catholicism, it is both more peripheral and more integral in Silence. The cynosure of the work is Catholicism proper, of which the questions of meaning of values that arise from the particularity of the work, that is beyond the standard fare of the tools of literary or film criticism[vi] and moves towards a hermeneutics of faith. Renderings that view the work through the prism of identity, repeat the early misappropriation of the work by left-wing college-aged Japanese Marxists in Japan who read their own persecutions into it, “Stripping the novel of any religious trappings and imposing a political reading onto it…”[vii] But then identity politics is Lynch’s shtick, and he, unlike Yamato, who is supposed to be an impartial critic not, as Lynch, an avowed Identitarian, is perceptive enough to know that he is working within a narrow paradigm and understands the film holds much deeper implications of which identity is but a part, “Silence remains an essentially Christian film dedicated, at the end, to the greater glory of God. On the other hand, all my sympathies ultimately were with the Japanese, not because white is bad and non-white is good, but because their cunning and ruthless struggle against a colonizing universalism is the struggle of all white men today.”[viii]

0104_silence-1-1000x667
“Hey White Man, why you suffer?”

But in what sense are we struggling against a ‘colonizing universalism?’ Epistemologically, we are moving towards absolute relativism – what Pope Benedict XVI referred to as “the dictatorship of relativism,”[ix] is the universalization of relativism the ultimate form of colonizing universalism? Attached to this is universalism of rights stemming from a Christian interpretation of human nature (a shared common humanity – codified in human rights legislation), which has created a kind of universal underlay atop a homogenizing and standardizing globalization – the leveling penetration of the market of which Marx was most aware. This bizarre partnership between modern absolute relativism (egotism, and ‘liquid modernity’) and universal egalitarianizing (the democratization of difference) cannot readily be called a tension between a kind of ontological (‘we all shit, eat, sleep’) and legalistic (rights-based) universalism versus an epistemological relativism (‘truth is relative,’ radical individualism and subjectivity) but rather can be described ever-opaquely by a popular colloquial idiom in the form of a paradox from Thailand: “same, same, but different.” – This notion of sameness in modernity denies the existence of particular identity and often the biological basis of race – leveling humanity into a global citizenry, while simultaneously and superficially supporting cultural difference – in multiculturalist policies  – ‘same, same, but different,’ might be regarded as the paradox of the modern epistemology. Of course epistemologically if everyone has their own truth, the paradox becomes that everyone is the same in their difference – unified in disunity? Atomized in the same alienation?

In Silence this notion of sameness is apparent in the universalizing attempts and truth claims of Christianity – a spiritual humanism, but adversely a form of universalism is also made by the Japanese administration’s assimilation of the priests into their society, as Lynch observes, “One small touch that reveals the alienness of the Japanese mind, which accords absolute primacy to social roles over individual identity, is that two apostate priests were simply given the identities of dead Japanese men: their houses, wives, children, even their names.” Even though each acknowledges the Other, the quality of the sameness is markedly different and can be likened to the difference Frithjof Schuon identifies between theocratic and democratic notions of equality.

“The modern leveling – which may call itself ‘democratic’ – is the very opposite of the theocratic equality of the monotheistic religions, for it is founded, not on the theomorphism of man, but on his animality and his rebellion.”[x]

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“Chill bro.”

The post-modern world seems to have adopted both forms of sameness, the Christian rights based and the Eastern ego-death of self as replaceable labor capital.

Is this not analogous to the Japanese affirming the “sameness” of the Europeans with themselves as mere replaceable subjects or rather objects to an arbitrary social order – a gross materialism of universal sameness – eat, sleep, shit, function  – based on “animality” a kind of perverse “zoological materialism” as Trotsky had labeled Nazi ideology. This in contrast to the expression of ‘theocratic equality’ founded upon a spiritual potentiality inherently individualistic yet universal – the potential supra-animality of the soul as in the Western Christian sense. And yet it can be argued that ‘true Buddhism’ supposes the theocratic potentiality in a more direct way, while Christianity makes a soft demand for the spiritually ‘democratic.’ This insight was reflected in Julius Evola’s reading of Buddhism, “The doctrine of awakening and enlightenment, the essential core of Buddhism, has nothing ‘religious’ about it, because it is preeminently of an ‘initiatic’ or esoteric character, and as such is accessible only to a few elect… And those who like to see in the attitude of the Buddha towards the conception of caste and the exclusiveness of the Brahmanas, evidence of an equalitarian and universalistic spirit, are much mistaken… If in the case of Buddhism one can speak of universalism, this is the universalism of the summits, not the promiscuous one at the base.”[xi] However, the basic critique of Buddhism is that it lacks a revolutionary essence to fulfill its ‘peak universalism.’ That is to say one could conceptualize the Buddha as the most selfish spiritual leader imaginable, retreating into his own salvation in contrast to Christ’s blood sacrifice. The attitude herein “to render unto Caesar” is markedly different. In this context each universalism, the Japanese material-pragmatic and the Christian spiritual-democratic amounts to a leveling – the latter based on essentialism, the former on materialism. The dialogue in the film attests to these cultural differences and confusions:

INTERPRETER

“We have our own religion, Padre. Pity you did not notice it.”

RODRIGUES

“We think a different way.”

INTERPRETER

“True. You say our Buddhas are all men.”

RODRIGUES

“A Buddha dies too. Like all men. He is different from the Creator.”

INTERPRETER

“You are ignorant, Padre. Only a Christian would see Buddhas simply as men. Our Buddha is a being which man can become. Something greater than himself, if he can overcome all his illusions. But you cling to your illusions and call them faith. (Rodrigues does not reply)

Your Creator is all loving and all merciful, so you believe. Then why does he give people so much suffering on the way to heaven?”

 

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“Father why hath thou Boomer-posted me?”

The suffering Christ undergoes is a kind of democratized leveling of spirit to matter, God to Man, whereas the spiritual plateaus of the Buddha are elitist and therefore presuppose a more stratified theomorphic potentiality. “All that evoked pity and fear in the tragedy, human fate with its unpredictiveness and inevitable end, the initiates intensely experienced while participating in the trials of the suffering god.”[xii] Indeed, for Schelling the suffering God was an idea whose time for materialization was dying to be born, that is only to die and then be reborn again. For Schelling comparative muthos, whether half-human, half-divine – whether Heracles or Christ who is paradoxically both fully human and fully divine, those ‘demi-gods’ who share in human hardships in the twelve trials or fourteen stations,( other examples Schelling mentions Dionysius and Osiris in their various dismemberments), represented a movement in consciousness towards a reconciliation of matter and spirit that could only find adequate expression in a violence capable of rendering the sublime metaphysics symbolically sensible – that is for the infinite potentiality of spirit to be brutalized into matter via the form of the son – that is the typology violates the material in so far as the Western seeks to overcome the void through volition to change it – not become one with it. Christ then is the culmination of this symbolical representation of the play between matter and spirit; “the creature is put to death. Before that it was enclosed in its individual separateness and its existence was discontinuous… But this being is brought back by death into continuity with all being, to the absence of separate individualities. The act of violence that deprives the creature of its limited particularity and bestows on it the limitless, infinite nature of sacred things is with its profound logic an intentional one…” Christ’s union with the Father in death and in the hypostasis of the doctrine of the trinity represents the infinite-universal-transcendence, while the particularity of Jesus as an historical person reinstates a finite-particular-immanence which comes together in the dual nature and duplication to form a particular stance of Western metaphysical consciousness. The God of the Jews who was infinite-particular-transcendent became in Christ also universal-finite-immanent and brought forth into the trinity back again as a dialectic. Thus Hegel distinguished between the sublime  religions and the Christian – the only true religion capable of a metaphysical harmony with matter. While still retaining an element of the sublime:

“…the wish was, to open the door to a completely unquestioning love… lost continuity found again in God demanded from the faithful boundless and uncalculated love, transcending the regulated violence of ritual frenzy… The initial movement of transgression was thus steered by Christianity towards the vision of violence transcended and transformed into its opposite. This ideal has a sublime and fascinating quality.” Nevertheless there is another side to the matter: how to adjust the sacred world of continuity to the world of discontinuity which persists. The divine world has to descend among the world of things. There is a paradox in this double intention.[xiii]

Bataille and other neopagans and initiate mystery religions then believe that Christianity morphed the inner experience of sacrifice and eroticism into a democratic expression of universal love, which closed off avenues of spiritual sophistication: “This possibility vanished with Christianity where piety eschewed the desire to use violent means to probe the secrets of existence.”[xiv]

Christ’s sacrifice then is the closing of the pagan realm of ‘inner experience’ externalized through violence to be overcome in the future in the love bestowed on the community of believers by the holy spirit, “The individual discontinuous existence of the animal was succeeded in its death by the organic continuity of life drawn into the common life of the beholders by the sacrificial feast… the sacrifice links the act of eating with the truth of life revealed in death.”[xv] Bataille in a Nietzschean critique links the primordial and pagan practices of ritual sacrifice with eroticism, that is with Eros, and makes the necessary correlation of the ‘overthrown standards’ of the nature of Christ’s sacrificial death as linked with a different form of love, namely, Agape.

Perhaps one could somewhat superficially make the statement that Western spirituality, whether pagan or Christian, is always violent, whereas the Eastern is internal and passive (but what of Islam?) – Christ or Dionysius looks out at the world from his trials in anguish, while the Buddha escapes and withdraws into the void. That Hellenic-pagan element of Christianity provided the proper harmony for the advanced metaphysics it contained, “This balance between material form and spiritual significance gave Greek myths a natural aptitude for being turned into poetry.”[xvi] Onto-Theological submersion within the flesh could properly redeem Christianity from a charge of a metaphysical ego-death, both the end goal of Buddhism and the ever-present potentiality in an apophatic reading of the godhead of Christian and pre-Christian theology.[xvii] This potentiality is present in the modern world wherein George Orwell presented in Nineteen Eighty-Four, Eastasia’s political ideology as, “called by a Chinese name usually translated as Death-worship, but perhaps better rendered as ‘Obliteration of the Self.’” This potentiality is inherent as a return to a pre-Christian, non-Hellenic metaphysics or eastern paganism. To counter or nuance this claim or interpretation one need read Evola’s understanding of the concept of sunnyata. In so far as the Eastern “ego-death” is interpreted by him as ego-strengthening. One way of conceiving of this is to mark Evola’s distinction between the “passion” of the Christian religion relying on ‘salvation’ and the essentially “noetic” foundation of the ‘doctrine of awakening’ within Buddhism.

For this we must again return to Eric Blair and to the central questions which haunted the man, namely the individual in relation to power.[xviii] The subsequent divisions of the world in Nineteen Eighty-Four into three blocks representing three types of social-structures based on differing onto-phenomenological-theoretical applications of the ‘problem of power’ that is how to deal with the inevitable conflicts that arise within a socially stratified society. According to elite theory, which Orwell describes the basic parameters of in The Theory and Practice of Oligarchical Collectivism, having familiarized himself with its main theorists, Michels, Burnham, and Mills, all three societies or civilizations and their ruling ideologies, Oceania (Ingsoc), Eurasia (Neo-Bolshevism) and Eastasia (“death-worship, or “Obliteration of the Self”) function in an identical manner despite the gloss of conflicting ideologies present on the surface, that is each maintains a system of “oligarchical exploitation” in Marxian terminology following Michel’s notion of the Iron Law of Oligarchy – that is each maintains the ends of a hegemony of an elite by the employment of different means. Ego Death or Corporatism the results are the same – a return to an Eastern somnambulism.

What Evola claims as the esoteric core of true Buddhism, which Zen had recovered, could be conceived as little more than a spiritual conceit masking the conscience from the brutal necessity of maintaining the hierarchy which Evola was so committed an adherent:

Now the Zen throws into clear relief the essential value of illumination, its transcendency in respect of all that which, in the several cases, may favor it, and at the same time its immanency, that is to say the fact that the state of enlightenment and nirvana does not mean a state of evanescent ecstasy, an escape, so to say, of which compassion is only a pale reflex accompanied by horror of all that is action and affirmation; it is instead a higher form of freedom, a higher dimension; for him who holds fast to it there is no action that cannot be performed, and all bonds are loosened… That should be recalled to those who accept unilaterally the theory of innocuousness, of the timorous respect of all forms of life. As a matter of fact, Zen Buddhism could be called the doctrine of the Samurai, i.e., of the Japanese nobility[5] who are certainly not noted for their abhorrence of arms and bloodshed. The fact is that the pivot on which all this wisdom turns is one only: the severance of the bond of the ego, the destruction of ignorance, the awakening. When the bond of the ego is severed, all restrictions cease. On the human soil on which the seed of the doctrine falls depends the fruit it will bear.[xix]

In this manner, Evola extolled the virtues of Zen and the esoteric doctrine of awakening within the West, a view echoed by Dominique Veener’s use of ‘Occidental Samurai’.

Enso
Enso – The Circle of Zen

[i] Masamichi Inoue, “Reclaiming the Universal: Intercultural Subjectivity in the Life and Work of Endo ̄ Shusaku,” Southeast Review of Asian Studies 34, no. Volume 3 (2012), pp. 153–70.

[ii] https://alochonaa.com/2017/01/03/martin-scorsese-would-like-us-to-see-silence-as-a-film-about-religion%E2%80%8A-%E2%80%8Abut-its-central-issue-is-race/

[iii] http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/12/18/silence-scorsese-s-flawed-frustrating-white-savior-tries-to-save-japan-from-itself.html – Italics mine.

[iv] Middleton, Darren J., and Mark W. Dennis. Approaching Silence : new perspectives on Shusaku Endo’s classic novel. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. Print. Xiii.

[v] See my review of the film, The World, The Flesh and The Devil https://alexfontana.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/the-world-as-cuck-and-representation/

[vi] See for example, Northrop Frye’s “The Critical Path: An Essay on the Social Context of Literary Criticism.”

[vii] Middleton, Darren J., and Mark W. Dennis. Approaching Silence : new perspectives on Shusaku Endo’s classic novel. New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. Print. 27.

[viii] http://www.counter-currents.com/2017/01/silence/

[ix] http://www.lst.edu/academics/landas-archives/373-dictatorship-of-relativism

[x] Schuon, Frithjof. Castes and races. Bedfont, Middlesex: Perennial Books, 1982. Print.

[xi] Perhaps the antithesis between the initiatic notion of “awakening” and the religious and more especially Christian notion of “salvation” or “redemption” has not yet been adequately stressed. The religious conception is based on the assumption that man is a being existentially detached from the sacred and the supernatural; because of his ontological status of creature, or as the result of an original sin, he belongs to the natural order; only by the intervention of a transcendent power, only on the assumption of his “conversion,” of his faith and of his renunciation of his own will, only by Divine action, can he be “saved” and attain to life in “paradise.”

The implications of the notion of “awakening” are entirely different; man is not a fallen or guilty being, nor is he a creature separated by an ontological hiatus from a Creator. He is a being who has fallen into a state of sleep, of intoxication and of “ignorance.” His natural status is that of a Buddha. It is for him to acquire consciousness of this by “awakening.” In opposition to the ideas of conversion, redemption, and action of grace, the leading motive is the destruction of “ignorance,” of avijja. Decisive here is a fact of an essentially “noetic,” viz. intellectual, and not emotional nature. This confers an indisputable aristocratic character on the doctrine of Buddhism. It ignores the “sin”-complex, self-abasement, and self-mortification. Its askesis is clear and “dry”; it is alien to the features of auto-sadism or masochism which are always present in the forms of the asceticism more known to the West, and which have often given rise as to a reaction among Westerners to anti-ascetic prejudice and a distorted exaltation of life.

[xii] Leask, I. “Schelling and Onto-Theology.” New Blackfriars, vol. 81, no. 952, 2000, pp. 273–285., www.jstor.org/stable/43250458.

[xiii] Bataille, Georges. Eroticism. London: Penguin Classics, 2012. Print. 118.

[xiv] Bataille, Georges. Eroticism. London: Penguin Classics, 2012. Print. 90.

[xv] Bataille, Georges. Eroticism. London: Penguin Classics, 2012. Print. 91.

[xvi] Dupré, Louis. “The Role of Mythology in Schelling’s Late Philosophy.” The Journal of Religion, vol. 87, no. 1, 2007, pp. 1–20.,

[xvii] “Classical apophaticism, that is, consistently aims at an overcoming of both ontology and theology: from Plato’s Good beyond Being to Damasicus’s One beyond negation – between which points we also find: the One beyond both Being and the Good (Speusippus and Xenocrates); ineffable Nous (Albinus); the neo-Pythagorean ‘Father’ (Numenius); the ‘Supreme Father’ ( Chaldean Oracles ); the unknowable God and non-being Being (the Gnostic Apocrypha of John and Allogenes ); and, of course, the ineffable One (Plotinus) – there is a consistent undermining of any attempt at rendering rationally transparent the Divine-Beyond. Similarly Christian apophaticism: whether we consider Clement and Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Augustine, the Pseudo-Dionysius or John Scotus Eriugena, we should treat with great scepticism any suggestion that, for the early Christians, ‘God’ is somehow contained within our thought and speech. Instead, the Deity is always deemed beyond correlational, discursive reasoning, inaccessible to any systematizing or Science. Ancient apophaticism – in and for which Being is never absolutized – is neither implicit nor explicit onto-theology; rather, as Reiner Schürmann has shown, it is more like an overcoming of metaphysics.”

[xviii] Orwell, although a spymaster and Crown informant, nevertheless professed the principle of anarchic freedom of the individual as one guiding his work, and indeed the central pivot of his work seems to be the individual in relation to supra-individual apparatuses of power.

[xix] https://www.counter-currents.com/2013/06/spiritual-virility-in-buddhism/

Vampyres: Poètes Maudits

Blood – the taste of the sea
Blue-green eyes of algae
Drink in remembrance of me
I am your fatal man
your sacrificial lamb
Urging your ruinous obsession
your pallid deathbed confession
nothing more beautiful
than the flame
licking itself in exuberance
to expire in the gossamer pyre
of the untamed
smoke plume
dancing to its doom
recalling
the proud curl of her upper lip
bit, and trembling in excitation
the wicked currents of inebriation
electrified by a torrent of kisses
an undertow of sorrow
cuts an ocean of bliss’es
touching everything, everywhere,
through medusa-tresses of flaxen hair
submissive yet knifelike
lying on her back
my tongue lost in tact
the sordid night passes
amidst florid flashes – flushed and nubile
now, behind the curtain of her smile
a coy murderer stalks, tiptoe in garden lushness
the thorny rose
prickly, the prose
droplet of life’s ascent moving sweetly
discretely, down her graceful neck
with one peck
her world is dead
and I extend
the invitation to drink of me next
a bastion of voluptuousness
skilled in her art
a tremor most tumultuous
coming apart
rivulet of descent
arching pearl of argent
curling into her navel
an image worthy of Marvell
there to meet
coalescing convalescents
burning through the heat
exhausted rejuvenescence
the quill-scripted admixture
the red and the white
a charnel house tincture
a fuchsia of delight
Proclus and Aphrodite
starburst; and death’s bloom, brightly
the three of the loom, spun tightly
the cloth of Babylon, nightly
vampire.jpg

The Plight of the Toxophilite

Driftwood courted by archipelagos

Many moons change the nature of the night

Rage waxes, Hope wanes

Immaterial substances

Less than diaphanous

The archer finds the anchor point

upon pregnant lips

with nothing to say

I talked to her as a boy

A sign of precociousness or merely the foreshadowing of lunacy?

Or nothing but a sentimental vignette?

The indifference of the high mountain pass to the dale

Stars twinkle in obsidian

Bring me libations worthy of her luminous opal mysterium

Her heart is the huntress in nocturnal vision

Restless, ruthless, wild

She darted past many suitors

and found her golden horned god

reclining in his woodland oasis

He had been calling out to her with his instrument

for millennia ;

Stregheria Sparagmos, Stergheria Sparagmos, Stergheria Sparagmos

The bush rustle as the reed sing
eyes cast down and cast out of the clearing
spellbound drunk
parched mouth
lurid sneer,
“show me your nakedness, the time for bashfulness has past”
and he with his stars fixed and his ruling house under the centaur
lurched in his hunger with rapine eyes and held her in primordial ownership
hirsute flower within porcelain, rosewood burning in ivory, shedding animal skins, she twisted and flexed, writhing snakelike

Escaping not,

as the night and their movements grew rhythmic

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Storm of Feel: The PMership of the Boy Blunder

Originally published on http://alternative-right.blogspot.com/ in 2015 but removed for thought-crime during a purge of far-right domain names that occurred in 2017 when internet censorship meant curtailing free speech.

This Wednesday, November 4, 2015, Justin Trudeau will become the Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, replacing the Cuckservative Stephen Harper, with a landslide majority government. The win puts the Liberal Party, which has dominated Canadian politics (they’ve governed Canada roughly 70 percent of the last century) as the prevailing political force, as the move into majority leadership was the largest-ever numerical increase in Canadian election history as the Liberals moved up from third with 36 seats to first 184 seats.

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Trudeau, has already been labeled the “prime minister of hugs”[1] known for his omnipresent photogenic smile, which draws from the corners of his mouth, and confers a sense of bumpkin-like wonderment, rather than the marks of a piercing intellect – a modern ‘positive’ politician imbued with the essence of goofy boyishness that makes it awkward to call him ‘Mr. Trudeau’ and not just ‘Justin’ – which, in gleeful derision, I shall now commence to do. Justin no doubt inherited that breezy continence – the end result of a life served with a sliver spoon, and that’s not all folks, for Trudeau can also thank daddy dearest for his leadership role: as name recognition and branding had more to do with this election than sheer force of charisma or merit or policy. “Sunny ways my friends. Sunny ways,” Trudeau told his enthusiastic supporters in Montreal. “This is what positive politics can do.”[2] What a dunce.

But Trudeau stood in sharp contrast to PM Stephen Harper, whose general snide demeanor and free market fixation, gave him the popular appeal of a tax consultant working to fix the mob’s books – which is essentially what Harper was. An article at ipolitics.ca had it right, “Stephen Harper has moved beyond being the prime minister of Canada. He’s its CEO, making Canada the first democracy to tacitly embrace global corporate governance.” Harper is as much to blame for the election results as any real policy. Duverger’s Law, was being applied to Canadian politics by political science majors and newspaper columnists prior to the elections sweeping results, detailing the eminent demise of the Liberal Party, to be replaced by the more left-of-center NDP. Harper himself is said to ascribe to this polarizing position:

“Duverger’s law is not merely a matter of academic theory. The leading believer in Duverger’s Law is none other Stephen Harper. Harper’s deepest political goal was not just to defeat the Liberals politically but to eliminate them as a party. Gerry Nicholls, who worked with Harper in the 1990s in the right-wing lobby group the National Citizens Coalition, wrote in a 2011 Globe and Mail column that Harper’s  ‘desire to eliminate the Liberals is something he and I discussed way back in the days when we worked together at the National Citizens Coalition. His theory, as explained to me, was that conservatism would be better served in this country if Canada had a two-party system, one that pitted right against left, free enterprise against socialism, Conservatives against New Democrats. He believed that, in such a polarized political environment, a conservative-oriented party would have a huge advantage over its left-wing rival.’”[3]

Duverger_s+Law+Duverger_s+Law-+If+you+have+single-winner+elections,+you+get+(in+equilibrium)+two+political+parties,+i.e.,
two rival organized attempts, each trying to concentrate votes on a single candidate. Conversely, parliamentary systems using proportional representation in large districts tend to produce and sustain multi-party systems. In part, Duverger’s Law is driven by strategic (or tactical) voting by ordinary voters who are reluctant to waste their votes by voting for third candidates/parties that have no real chance of winning.

What this also tells us is that Harper himself saw no real distinction between the Liberals and the Conservatives, both sitting too firmly in the center to become polarizing forces of the other. When it comes to the major issues, the keystone pipe line, the controversial national security measure Bill C-51, the TPP and other free trade agreements, both the Liberals and the Conservatives are in widespread agreement. In fact the NDP was the only party which expressed any opposition to these positions, but you would never know it by listening to the empty-headed rhetoric of Justin, “Canadians, he said, had sent a clear message that it’s ‘time for change in this country my friends. Real change.’”[4]

But the NDP, Canada’s so-called third option, has never really held considerable political power and has floundered since the death of former Party leader Jack Layton, survived by his Chinese-Canadian wife and fellow MP Olivia Chow, a vacuous and vain ethnic-vote-politician riding in Toronto’s Trinity-Spadina ‘Chinese’ ward, with a tenuous grasp on the English language, who attempted to capitalize upon the widespread sympathy for Layton’s death in an unsuccessful bid to become Toronto’s mayor cast. Meanwhile the NDP’s leadership role had been filled by Thomas Mulcair, who had actually been imported to fill the vacant role from the Liberal Party, and last year, possibly as a response to charges of ‘extremism’ in regards to international trade, the NDP had voted to take ‘socialism’ out of its party’s constitution,[5] making it little more than a Liberal mirror, moving the party to the center and cancelling out the polarization of Duverger’s law, with Muclair at the helm spouting liberal dogma: “I’ve always felt that social democracy was about removing inequalities in our society, so if those battles in past generations have mostly been about working conditions and on the economic, and some on the social side, I think that one of the biggest inequalities in our society today is between generations, and that’s going to be a prime battle for the next election campaign.”[6]

Harper was, if anything, a member of a specific interest group, born into the affluent WASP enclave of Leaside, Toronto, his father worked for Imperial Oil (Exxon), and when Harper moved to Alberta he worked for the major oil companies, whereby his oil links continued well into his administration wherein he basically lobbied for oil interests such as the Keystone pipeline and the tar sands. Harper, in keeping with this Anglo-Franco bourgeois counter-tradition of the Right, represented by the conservation of the most heterodox and volatile dynamism of the free market but sugarcoating it with restoring pictures of the Queen Mother in government buildings and making slide reference to ‘Old Stock.’[7] How the Right came to be regarded as the party of free market economics i.e. classical liberalism is one of those historically situated non sequiturs. The Tories, of merry old England, who became Peel and Disraeli’s ‘Conservatives,’ have forever tarnished the Right with the dishonor of Anglo-Franco laissez fare capitalism. By way of Malthus’ population theorizing, the social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer, the free market profit motive/operant conditioning economics of individualist competition of Adam Smith, all coalescence into a putrid caldron of corporatist free market global capitalism or ‘survival of the Jewiest.’

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In a kind of fitting twist of fate, which reveals the selfishness and pragmatism of political ideology and discourse – Alberta in the 1930s had been the only province, or place in the world, to elect a party based on C.H. Douglas’ system of Social Credit, which had greatly influenced the fascist poet Ezra Pound. Social Credit in Alberta, like the Saskatchewan based Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), which would later become the NDP, ran on a platform critiquing capitalism and regional domination, made by a populist agrarian based petit-bourgeois – that is small independent farmers.  However, when Alberta struck it rich with oil, they all but abandoned the platform of the Alberta Social Credit Party for a pro-business laissez faire government, which itself retained some degree of regional populism – after all why should oil rich Alberta pay for welfare deficits of central Canada? The tables had turned and the beggar had become the lender and their politics had changed with their material status in the world. No one will be surprised when Harper goes to work for an oil subsidiary in the next year or so.

Harper prorogated parliament twice, radically undermining parliamentary democracy and snubbing his nose at the people, his contempt was palpable, but what was it for exactly? “The government’s single objective: pursuing the extraction and export of tar sand oil”[8] while that and increasing the conditions for international trade for the 1-2% of Canadians involved in foreign investment in the first place.

Homo economicus cum laude Harper pushed through a highly criticized Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (FIPA) with the Chinese last year, without Parliamentary oversight – now not only are our goods being produced by China, and our housing market inflated with their speculation, but now our assets will be theirs in our own country.

An apologetic article on the agreement written by Macleans, which would give Chinese companies the right to sue Canadians if their business interest is jeopardized, makes the point, “It makes no sense to claim to be in favour of international trade but against international flows of capital.”[9] But what if we are for neither, what if we support limited balanced trade, and stress self-sufficiency and autarky instead of offshoring and foreign debt accumulation? “Canada runs a fairly large trade deficit with China: roughly $30 Billion per year. This means that as far as China is concerned, trade with Canada is essentially a matter of them accumulating large amounts of Canadian assets… Once you realize that capital flows are essentially the same thing as trade flows, the logic behind FIPAs become clear. Countries that are exporting goods in return for assets can reasonably expect to ask that these assets won’t be effectively expropriated by governments pandering to anti-foreign bias.”[10] God forbid a nation should have ‘anti-foreign bias’ – yuck nationalism, who are you Hitler? Those “Excitable nationalists and their wild imaginations,” except that capital flows and trade flows are not “essentially the same thing,” when a country like first world Canada ostensibly runs a large trade deficit with a country like China, the responsible thing to do would be to balance the trade – no one ever thought they were getting out ahead by incurring debt and giving away their homes and businesses!

Justin with his “positive politics” and Keynesian deficit spending are just going to increase the debt spiral. While James J. O’Meara, writing for Counter-Currents draws parallels between Justin and Donald Trump; from their hair down to their privilege and suggests somewhat teasingly that “One suspects the word has gone out to the Canuck Cucks from their controllers in New York – Get Justin, he’s our worst nightmare: a non-aligned Kennedy.”[11] But Mr. O’Meara himself knows that this is simply not true, one look at the biggest donors of the Liberal Party will convince you otherwise, but there’s always that breezy smile and all manner of hugs.

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[1] http://torontolife.com/city/toronto-politics/justin-trudeau-will-be-the-prime-minister-of-hugs/

[2] http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-voting-results-polls-1.3278537

[3] http://www.newrepublic.com/article/123186/why-canadas-liberal-party-so-dominant

[4] http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-election-2015-voting-results-polls-1.3278537

[5] http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ndp-votes-to-take-socialism-out-of-party-constitution-1.1385171

[6] http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/ndp-votes-to-take-socialism-out-of-party-constitution-1.1385171

[7] http://www.rcinet.ca/harper-canada/en/2013/11/05/harper2/

[8] http://ipolitics.ca/2012/10/31/frances-russell-stephen-harper-and-the-triumph-of-the-corporation-state/

[9] http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/dont-fear-the-fipa/

[10] http://www.macleans.ca/economy/economicanalysis/dont-fear-the-fipa/

[11] http://www.counter-currents.com/2015/10/shining-pony-wins/

(((Weinstein’s))) Willing Victims

“’It is clear,’ says Anthony Summers in his biography, ‘that Marilyn made judicious use of her favors. A key beneficiary was the [Jewish] man who got Marilyn that vital first contract at Fox — Ben Lyon. According to writer Sheila Graham, Lyon had been sleeping with Marilyn and promising to further her career . . . Lyon called the casting director for Sol Wurtzel, a [Jewish] B-movie producer of the time [and Monroe was awarded a small part in the 1947 film Dangerous Years]” (Summers, 35).

“‘In olden times,’ Upton Sinclair once remarked, ‘Jewish traders sold Christian girls into concubinage and into prostitution, and even today they display the same activity in the same field in southern California where I live.’ Or as F. Scott Fitzgerald summed up the Hollywood scene of his era — “a Jewish holiday, a Gentile tragedy” (Gabler, 2).

Weinstein-Gate is nothing new. The opening quotes are taken from my review of Woody Allen’s 2016 crepuscular film Cafe Society – in which I argue that the film’s purpose or message, which seemed to elude mainstream reviewers, was to implicitly signify Jewish control over gentile women through positions of power. The position of power most examined by Allen’s film was the entertainment industry and Hollywood in particular. Louis B Mayer is a fine example of how Harvey Weinstein is simply carrying on the now secular Jewish tradition of Hollywood studio executives and agents using their positions of power to coerce women into sexual and humiliating acts. If you’re noticing a pattern, that’s just (((coincidence))). While both Jewish-run Tablet Magazine and Jewish “Holocaust™ denier” David Cole ran pieces about the specific Jewish nature of Weinstein’s perversions – thankfully (((Antonia Blumberg))) of the Huffington Post is there to set the record straight that “No, There’s Nothing ‘Jewy’ About Harvey Weinstein’s Predatory Behavior.” Although Cole seems more concerned that Harvey got caught, “Harvey Weinstein failed to play the game with skill. That was his first sin.”

 

 

One of the more absurd elements to this whole scandal is the tone of seriousness given to the debacle – especially given it’s caricature-level proportions. Lauren Sivan’s admission of Weinstein masturbating into a pot or potted plant, depending on the narrative, is nothing short of a kind of lewd grossness mixed with American Pie hilarity and yet when she retells the story to Megyn Kelly it is told with a somber seriousness – as though she were a survivor of a sexually abusive death cult – (is that an accurate depiction for Hollywood?). Sivan was a grown woman at the time, as were most of the alleged victims, thus this whole narrative stinks of removing agency from women to make them the passive recipients of unwanted sexual assaults without recourse to protect themselves. If these women were stupid enough to let themselves be lured into Weinstein’s apartment or hotel room, especially when his behaviour was an “open secret,” then they had full awareness of the repercussions. I’m not ‘shaming the victim,’ but this excessive pandering to women as through they were incapable of agency or of grasping the obvious quid-quo-pro nature of the proposals is ludicrous. And these female “heroes” who have now stepped forward after Weinstein had been exposed in a major paper are nothing more than ‘fair weather’ cowards whose silence enabled Weinstein to continue his predatory-leveraging onto a never-ending stream of younger and more vulnerable women. One of these womanly cowards, Alyssa Milano, launched the ‘me too’ hashtag as a response to the Weinstein-Gate. As if anything is more pathetic than hashtag activism.

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As someone who has had friends go through the hell of false-rape allegations, in which the rules of habeas corpus seem to be backwards such that the defendant is guilty until proven innocent, and the word of a woman is worth more than the word of a man, the trending hashtag and feigned public outrage over ‘women’s rights’ is a troubling phenomenon. Bill C-51 is but one example, as Barabara Kay writes, “They have channeled the mistaken but widespread belief that the justice system is skewed against women into Bill C-51, which has finished second reading in Parliament and will now receive attention from the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights. C-51 proposes changes that will satisfy many radical feminists, but may ruin the lives of many innocent men accused of sexual assault.” (Bill C-51 has since passed into law).
The emergence of MGTOW and men’s right’s groups in response to the disproportionate legal and social power of women in society; in child custody, divorce proceedings, alimony, sexual assault allegations, hiring practices, university admissions etc is being washed under a tide of feigned national indignation that directly corresponds and upholds the fundamental truth of the nature of the sexes and sex even while it tries to dispel these differences under the false gods of egalitarianism and equality – it is that woman is weaker and is penetrated within the sexual act and is subordinate and therefore inferior. This subconsciously acknowledged truth underscores the whole ‘victim-hood’ narrative of feminists and Hollywood SJWs. This truth is revealed in public responses to teacher-student sex scandals, in which when the coupling is a female teacher in a position of power and a male student or students – the public response is typically jocular – with older males exclaiming ‘how come this didn’t happen to me when I was in school?’ especially if the female teacher is attractive. But when the genders are reversed there is an overwhelming and innate response to ‘protect our girls.’

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“This way of treating women ends now.”
“You know muh my cheek isn’t muh ego dik doll – his name is Oscar, I’ll introduce you”

These double standards also point to a kind of arriving gynarchy in both social and legal standing. At the same time that feminism meant passing favorable legislation based on gender for women and while white men flounder-about as their social standing plummets, our women have taken a leading role in pretending to be a disadvantaged minority while actually being legally advantaged, like all POC and ‘marginalized people who whine about a theoretical ‘white privilege’ while being themselves privileged in actuality by law. While powerful CEOs and rich men like Weinstein, who account for the top percentile of the total male population often have unfettered access to a plethora of women well above their level of attractiveness. The vast majority of men are then confined to the periphery of the dating and sexual marketplace – dating app statistics are a good indication of the general trend: “Female Tinder usage data was collected and statistically analyzed to determine the inequality in the Tinder economy. It was determined that the bottom 80% of men (in terms of attractiveness) are competing for the bottom 22% of women and the top 78% of women are competing for the top 20% of men.

The polarization of our society into the top 20% haves and the bottom 80% have-nots, the winners versus the losers, mean that men as ugly and brown as Jian Ghomeshi, who nevertheless are in the ‘winner’s circle,’ get a slew of sexual partners to debase – simply because he is a name. This sort of behaviour on behalf of the female, who after they have been sexually abused, used and debased by Ghomeshi the ugly brown dirtbag, and then discarded falsely accusing him of rape, suggests that the true nature of woman is to be a whore – that is sell herself to the highest bidder – and when she is scorned by the higher percentile John than she simply becomes a vengeful whore – setting up with false rape allegations that tarnish his reputation and ruin his life. Perhaps this is not the case in Weinstein, who may or may not have raped some innocent women, but when you see ugly non-white men like Weinstein, Ghomeshi and Tiger Woods etc, have scores of white women simply because they make money and are in the upper-percentile then it makes one believe whorishness is true not only for a subsection of the female population, but for the psychological makeup of the whole gender – any pretense a woman has towards chastity or personal dignity was imposed upon her from without by a antiquated social and religious patriarchy – White Sharia Now! As I’ve written before the thinning line between testicular fortitude and sexual harassment effectively means men’s balls are held within the vise grip of female capriciousness – (figure out that rhetorical paradox).

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