/ Kleptocracy /
Jan and I have been streaming movies since January now. Not only am I catching up on Hollywood but I’m watching opera, musicals … and documentaries galore: history!
The David Starky report on Monarchy teaches me something I hadn’t known: William’s Norman conquest of 1066 began a new phase of kleptocracy: Prior to William castles (typically built of wood) were built (under barons) to protect the people; William’s Normans (a minority in Anglo-Albion, however victorious with Harold’s death) escalated government terror. Castles were now built of stone, were elevated over the landscape (forced labor putting their foundations eighty feet over the highest natural point). The castles were to intimidate: intimidation further served by harrying the populace. Norman knights rode out from these castles burning homes, murdering people, killing livestock: killing everything that didn’t flee.
Gee, pk, you mean that Sherman’s march on Atlanta, Lincoln’s terror of the north and slaughter of the south (and genocides of the west) actually began in 1066?
No, no, no: it began when Cyrus the Great, around 600 BC, told people he was against slavery and for freedom of religion.
Against slavery? freedom of religion? pk! those are good things!
No they’re not: not when dictated from above. By the time there’s talk about freedom, there has already ceased to be freedom.
All those names are so misleading: we think of “Normans” as “French”. The Normans were invaders in “France” before they were invaders in “England”. The Normans were Germans! Germanic, that is. As were the Franks. As had been the Angles, the Saxons: all German, Germanic.
And the Danes? the Vikings? Well, they’re all almost German: nordic, Scandanavian.
You know, you can’t get any more German than “Knatz”: Germanic. I have blue eyes, the bluest blue (women faint: or used to: when my lashes were ridiculously long). I have fair skin: an hour of sun as a kid would near send me to the hospital. So how come I’m not living in one of those castles? riding out and killing? How come I don’t even want to? How come I’d rather be what I am — a persecuted disciple of Ivan Illich, the person whose offered internet of 1970 got knocked down and run over, a person about whom not one fact has been correctly told in public, than be the treasurer who counts (Lakota, & Sutter’s) gold in Fort Knox, lining his own pockets.
Yesterday I also wound up my watching of a documentary on “Greenwich Village”: folk music, late 1950s, 1960s. Pete Seeger was asked if he was blackballed. He said he didn’t know, all he knew was he didn’t get any more jobs on television. And the guy said, Yes, Pete: you’re blackballed. But government blackballs so many people, what makes anyone think they can know who is, who isn’t?
Don’t ask me if I’m blackballed: just read my unpublished writing! survey my lifetime’s income … observe me among my neighbors … observe the total absence of paper work on my life time of firings. Due process? what a joke.
Wait a minute: let me concede something about Cyrus: if you’re an ancient Persian, and believe that this world is real, and that you only go around once, that “this” is all there is, well, hell, Cyrus was probably much better than any alternative the ancient Persians had seen, or imagined. One could be tempted to think that a stable autocrat who didn’t eat children, at least hadn’t been publicly caught at it, was better than any of the free-for-allers who’d preceded him. I don’t think so. If tyranny is the best we’re capable of then we should all die of tyranny before overpopulating beyond how 600 BC was already way overpopulated.
I suspect an anarchy of Hatfields and McCoys in perpetual revenge frenzy might be less toxic than you, me, and Sally being told by some bureaucrat that he’s your objective dispute resolver.
The Temple would come to crucify Jesus. Two millennia later the Temple is still in business. So’s the Church, so too is Washington DC. Not a leg to stand on, Nazis all.
2014 03 15 Starky’s Monarchy teaches me something else:
Lancaster jewel, Kenilworth
Richard was king, ten years old, poor kid, but older cousin Bolingbroke, of the Lancasters, had a lot more castles: and the people … were fucked, and they knew it.