This is the End Part Two

Perhaps one World War could have been tolerable to the European piggy-bank, but two was pushing it too far.  Entire economies and wholesale infrastructures devastated and nations completely impoverished in a set of engagements from which Europe still has genuinely to recover, god knows the cost to American foreign policy.  Unable to maintain their extended empires, the Western sphere of influence winnowed and shrank dramatically, its only remain exponent of any influence being the United States which was already gearing up for a third and titanic conflict–this time with the Soviet Union–that thankfully never came to fruition.  But nature despises a vacuum.  All the pomp and national spirit that had characterized western nations at the outset of World War One had been totally drained.  Within this came something born of the egalitarianism of the West but something I’m forced to characterize altogether differently; Marxism, already germinating within the national character of all western nations grew infectious and lugubrious, the constant threat of red revolution now a problem of international scale.  This gave rise to post-modernism, the obscene doctrine of Derrida and other filthy counter-culture gurus which would ultimately erase any last semblance of national pride in several generations time, a Read More …

This is the End

We’ve come down to a subject I’ve been deliberately avoiding for weeks, something I perhaps find terrifying, something for which, if I elucidate it incorrectly, I will never ever be forgiven.  So we’ve described the conception of Western Civilization, its spread, its development, its survival through times of darkness, and we’ve come upon the precipice of the great conclusion: the modern period which saw the rise of powerful western states with modern legal systems, modern manufacturing, modern notions, and modern ways of making war.  Everything, quite naturally, changed.  This conclusion will necessarily be a multi-part document.  I want to talk about the ways in which the interaction of western states changed, starting with the Crimean War.  I also want to talk about the World Wars in context, and I finally want to discuss our contemporary, what’s often called the “Post Modern Period,” which in our general malaise is more a threat to our way of life than any regiment of bayonets or battery of artillery.

Vana Roma

I confess, this reads like the connecting link holding together the whole argument of this western civilization series, and it may in many ways seem completely obvious; nevertheless, it’s important to relate. The Romans really are fascinating.  It’s easy to get lost, considering how much of our daily life is Roman: our beliefs in politics, our laws regarding property and inheritance, even some of our burial rights, the model of the standing army; I’ll be here all night if I try to list off all the ways.  It’s true that the Greeks may have invented Western Civilization, what was then what we would call “Hellenic Culture,” but in spite of the spread of many Greek colonies through much of the Mediterranean basin, it was really the Romans that, having adopted this culture and having modeled themselves after this culture, spread it wheresoever they feet or their rudders should take them, which was a fair bit further than the Greeks. Doesn’t really seem funny though, does it?  Why should the Romans not make use of what they consider to be good ideas, ideas that would advance their cause and increase their standing among nations?  Have you ever read the Iliad?  Seems Read More …

Revenge of the Normans

I’ll admit, this one had me stumped for weeks.  I wrote this article several times over, and I’m still unsure if I’m really happy with it.  Such are my pains, my beloved audience.  Bear with me as we bear through this. I think we need to understand, to begin, that Western Civilization did not always mean “Europe,” and for a while it meant much beyond.  Western Civilization only traveled as far as the Macedonians and Romans could carry it, the nascent ovum derived from the Athenian city-state.  Rome never traveled to the far North, barely extended into Eastern Europe whatsoever.  These absent peoples were assuredly Europeans but, at the time, “Westerners?”  Hardly.  The Vikings represent one example of a people that self-westernized, rather in the way that cats self-domesticated, eventually assimilating with the arrival of Catholicism upon their shores, which they nevertheless fought viciously, invited really by their importance generated by all their military adventurism.  To the greater fold of the West, they brought with themselves the new blood and vigor that the West would need to continue developing along new ideas and fronts while remaining indelibly “Western.”  It would be finally, and partly thanks to the Scandinavian influence, the Read More …

Medieval Politics Are Byzantine

It’s 1204 AD and Constantinople is burning.  This is not the first time, and sadly it will not be the last, but matters are somewhat graver than most.  They’re up there on the battlements whirling a singed banner; they’re down there in the Hagia Sophia performing obscene acts of rape and murder against the body of the church and its sacred constituents; they’ve got a tear-streaked whore seated in the emperor’s throne singing raucous songs before an assembly of disembodied heads including that of monks, scholars, bishops, and generals.  The Seljuk Turks have finally overthrown the walls of Constantinople, you might think.  No, not exactly, not at all, but the consequences immediately grave will only worsen in the hundreds of years to come.  You see, it’s the Fourth Crusade, and the streets are literally red with the massacre of the population of the of the capitol of the Eastern Roman Empire, sacked by the crusaders not just once but twice–and much worse the second time.  This doesn’t seem the mission of a crusade, does it?  How, in spite of the threat of excommunication by the pope could military and religious leaders attendant the crusader army not only allow but plan this to happen?  Medieval Read More …

Not Istanbul It’s Constantinople

The Eastern Roman Empire had been viciously mauled, raped, and robbed of her far-flung provinces by the Arab caliphates, provinces that had long worn the Roman eagle, but for centuries the empire held on, waxed and waned, against the various forces on either side of the Bosporus that menaced its continued existence, whether that be the Empire of the Serbs or the various Mohammedans of the East.  Despite their obvious advantages, the Arab influence began to wane with the arrival of Turkic migrants from the far far East, who were initially treated as foreigners, then as servants, then as soldiers, then administrators, and then as their rulers themselves.  Laziness is as much an Arabic trait as unquestioning religious fervor.

On the Reply of the Zaporozhian Cossacks

I had planned from the very outset to compose an article hailing the relatively unique moment in human history in which the Zaporozhian Cossacks thumbed their collective nose against the Ottoman Emperor, as immortalized in the painting of one Ilya Repin, a formative moment not only in western history but more specifically the development of Ukraine, but as I did my research, fearing to commit an error of fact in my elucidation, I found that the nature of things was in fact labyrinthine. I don’t know why I should have thought otherwise; the truth is rarely simple, especially collated from the varying perspectives of the criminals and victims involved. Nevertheless, I will make an essai, but it won’t be nearly as clear cut as I’d like—perhaps as you’d like.

Tours de France

Everyone’s heard it once, “Charlemagne,” in passing conversation or perhaps parsed from a page.  Carolus Magnus.  Charles the Great.  Those of you that have heard of Tours are probably wondering why I’m prefacing with Charlemagne.  Well, it’s important to develop a sense of scope, a sense of consequences. Charlemagne was the founder of the Frankish Empire and its many successors, which would lay the foundations for the sort of cowardly, limp-wristed Europe we see nowadays that its ancestors would be ashamed of.  He conducted excellent campaigns, annexed territories throughout much of Northern Europe, and quite significantly he even campaigned in Muslim Spain.  It is said that his dominion included the holdings of Lombardy to the various lands of countless Germanic and Slavic tribes.  The icing on the cake, something to legitimize his unreal set of military achievements is that he was able to secure the title renewed of “King of the Romans,” from the pope in exchange for military protection.  To that end he had the physical possession of much of Italy.  Considering that the Muslims did indeed sack Rome in 848 AD, this was a legitimate concern.  They built bigger walls afterwards.

Secrets of Cagayan

I’ll be the first to admit that colonialism has left a swath of bodies in its wake, failed nations doomed to expensive and gory insurrections virtually ever after, but I admit I can’t pin even an iota of the culpability on Western Culture itself.  You see, just as she uplifted Europe, she had a power to do so elsewhere as well. Many of your weebs, and perhaps even a few of you normal people, have probably heard of the amazing efficacy of the Japanese longsword sometimes referred to as a “katana,” folded over five billion times, for some reason, and not only durable but able to maintain a viciously sharp edge.  I’m going to hurt some feelings here, but people that have never heard of the term “pattern welding” have no right to comment on sword manufacture.

Cyrus Shrugged

Iran wasn’t always what we think of it nowadays, supposedly straight men walking around holding hands while heterosexual couples are jailed for displays of affection.  The Asians of Greek perception always had what we would nowadays determine backwards customs, particularly in regards the obscenity of nudity and the nature of clothing, but that would be a complete oversimplification. Ancient Asia was a diverse place.  Among its denizens, there had once been the Assyrians, even longer ago the Hittites, and then the Akkadians, and the Sumerians.  Contemporaneously there were the Egyptians, the Lycians, the Lydians, the Greek Ionians, but also other Indo-Iranian groups like the Medes and the Mittani.  These all just to name a few.  This was within an area running from the Asian coast of the Aegean all the way to India and all the way South to the Nile filled with vibrant and innumerable civilizations whether great or small, too many perhaps to be reckoned in the pages of Herodotus.