The Ride of the Rohirrim

I have posted this several times and will continue to do so.  Glory and beauty should always be sung at every moment.

This is easily the greatest moment in all of human literature. Like anything else Tolkien wrote, every word, every syllable is perfect. The Christian symbolism is too rich it is actually painfully beautiful to read. This is the arche of human perfection. People today are blessed to live at this hour so they can read such pure awesomeness.

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then suddenly merry felt it at last, beyond doubt: a change.  Wind was in his face! Light was glimmering.  Far, far away, in the South the clouds could be dimly seen as remote grey shapes, rolling up, drifting: morning lay beyond them.

But at that same moment there was a flash, as if lightning had sprung from the earth beneath the City.  For a searing second it stood dazzling far off in black and white, its topmost tower like a glittering needle; and then as the darkness closed there came rolling over the fields a great boom.

At that sound the bent shape of the king sprang suddenly erect.  Tall and proud he seemed again; and rising in his stirrups he cried in a loud foice, more clear than any there had ever heard a mortal man achieve before,

Arise,arise, Riders of Theoden!
Fell deeds awake: fire and slaughter!
spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered,
a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises!
Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

With that he seized a great horn from Guthlaf his banner-bearer and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder.  And straightway all horns in the host were lifted up in music, and th blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.

Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away.  Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it.  After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them.  Eomer roder there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first eored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Theoden could not be outpaced.  Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new fire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Orome the Great in the bttle of the Valar when the world was young.  His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green abou the white feet of his steed.  For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and darkness was removed, and the hosts of The Western Oligarchic Bankers and Stockholders wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them.  And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and the sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.

 

I get in trouble every year for doing this

No, I am not bashing MLK, and will even suggest a number of points where his thought could be fruitfully developed–something his worshippers in the Amerikan media are unaware.  That being said, there are a number of issues where many Christians should pause:

  1. Sexual morality.  Was King a womanizer?  This question is harder to answer than many of his detractors and idolaters realize.   Before the FBI locked up his records (that should cause many of his supporters to pause), most were aware of his womanizing.  However, since these records are unavailable until 2027 (and even then they will likely have been tampered with), there is no real, concrete proof.  The next line of evidence is testimonial from his closest friends.   Abernathy’s And the Walls Came Tumbling Down is the locus classicus.   Abernathy’s text suggests something along these lines, and it is eye-witness (to a degree).  That being said,  it is only one witness.  There are other works written by the black community championing King, and citing sexual indiscretions, but I am hesitant to bring those out.  The mental agility and scholarship of the authors should give one  pause.   At the end of the day, St Paul said an elder should be without reproach in these matters.  Was King?
  2. Inconsistent Socialism:   This is one area where his thought could be fruitfully expounded.  Contrary to the neocons at National Review, MLK believed in confiscating wealth and distributing it among his community.   On one level this is simply distributivism–and as such it is not wrong.   I am all for confiscating the wealth of Hollywood socialites and distributing it among Agrarians in rural America–and I cite King as an example and authority!!!    That being said, it is inconsistent for King on one hand to espouse nonviolent revolution (which is quite commendable in principle) and economic socialism on the other hand.  These two are logical contradictories, for economic socialism is the violent (defined as using force) taking of wealth from those who do not consent to it.
  3. Plagiarism.  This really doesn’t bother me all that much.  If anything, it is a black eye on the university system, which I think is a joke.

At the end of the day, though, it is good that blacks do have equal rights, and I suppose King had some role in doing that.   I simply object to the almost soteriological messianic status he has in American life, especially when viewed in light of the facts.

We shall defeat them with our songs

The Regime will fall.  The New World Order will either be defeated by Holy Russia or by its own in-fighting (e.g., Germany will say its appropriate “F-U” to the EU, restructuring Western Europe around itself, depriving Brussels burecrats of jobs, and opening up to a nationalist Russia).  In the meanwhile, contributing to its defeat will be what Michael Hill calls “the Revenge of living well.”   Globalism will be defeated but it won’t be defeated by rallies in Washington, or electing the right representatives to the UN.  No, it will be defeated by local communities casting votes of “no-confidence” in globalist leaders.

How shall we do that?  By reclaiming our culture:  singing the old songs and celebrating the new ones.  The following songs exalt and rejoice in the rural American agrarian life (you expected videos on Serbia and Russia, didn’t you?  Good guess, but no).

 

Review of Irenaeus of Lyons: Early Church Fathers Series

Review of Irenaeus of Lyons (Early Church Fathers) by Robert Grant

Grant did a nice job summarizing difficult sections of St Irenaeus, and a good job in presenting them to us in a nice manner.  Unfortunately, he spent most of his time summarizing the wrong sections and missed many key opportunities to explicate more helpful topics in St Irenaeus’s thought.    For some reason academics think it is very important to summarize what Gnostics and ancient feminists believed about reality.   Are they, too, Gnostics and feminists?  Probably.  Much of the book was laborious and boring—and this comes from someone who has read all five books of St Irenaeus’ Adversus Haerisis.

That is not to say the book is without merit.  As noted earlier, Irenaeus’ key arguments are presented in an easy-to-find manner (this is made even easier if one reads it on the Amazon Kindle, as I did).  We have Irenaeus’s very clear teaching on apostolic succession as a demonstration that the Gnostics are pale imitators of the Faith, and given their lack of AS, they cannot prove their faith.   We see how to interpret Scripture—interpreting it in light of the regula fide within the context of the church.  Most importantly, (if sadly too briefly) we have the Recapitulation of all things in Christ.

Excerpts from Irenaeus

Reading this in the Amazon Kindle makes it possible to bookmark, collect, and recall dozens of passages at a moment’s notice (while Kindle will never replace books, the research and cross-referencing abilities are overwhelmingly superior).

Irenaeus and the Septuagint

“Like other Patristic authors, Irenaeus fully accepted the authority of the LXX.  The idea that the canon should be confined to Hebrew books never occurred to him.  He therefore used 1-2 Esdras as well as 1 Enoch, Baruch (ascribed to Jeremiah) and the Greek additions to Daniel.”

Recapitulation

Irenaeus uses it as the key to at least four events in Scripture: God’s covenant with Adam, Noah, Moses, and the final covenant that renews man and recapitulates everything in itself, that which by the Gospel raises men and wings them for the celestial kingdom (3.11.8).

The structure of anakephalaiosis is this:  events repeat one another, as well as the story involves not just progress, but restoration (see Joseph Farrell’s section in GHD).

The Nature of the Godhead

Irenaeus is rebutting Gnostic claims to God’s being, but he does so in a way that suggests later Eastern expressions of God.  Irenaeus lists the standard attributes of God which can be found in any Western dogmatics model, but he takes it a step further and says, “But he is still above this and therefore ineffable” (1.13.4).  In other words, God is hyperousia and beyond being.

Apostolic Succession

Irenaeus gives the standard defense of apostolic succession: bishops in communion with one another transmit and pass down the sacred deposit, but he goes a step further.  He acts like apostolic succession is a common-sense given, but he says if it weren’t true then a great calamity would befall the church.  (3.3.1)

In 3.4.1 he notes the easiest way to find out what the church believes on matters not found in Scripture is to ask those in the church.   He goes on to say that the wisest thing to do when coming to sacred matters, is to ask for the most ancient form of your religion.

He makes one other interesting point:  he says that many barbarians in German and elsewhere do not have a bible but are fully saved and accurately pass down the tradition.   This one statement destroys a key part of Schaff’s The Principle of Protestantism.

Sin and the Curse

In either Book IV or Book V (at this point Kindle is not so helpful) Irenaeus notes that God did not curse Adam himself, but the land.  He also notes this is an ancient tradition as well.

Free Will

In section 20.1 he notes that God has always preserved man’s free will.

Conclusion

Is the book worth getting?  I’m not sure.   Kindle makes the purchasing easier (if going by the paperback price the answer is  a definite no).   I’m beginning to suspect this Early Church Fathers Series by Routledge is not as superior as many wannabe scholars say it is.  You get the same text you will find in Schaff or CCEL.org, although the text is admittedly organized better.  The introductory sections are varying.   Brian Daley’s section on Gregory is good, as is Anatolios’s on St Athanasius.  Neither, however, is remarkable to justify the purchasing price.   Neither section really alters one’s perception of the Father (since the people who take the time and money to read these books are already reasonably familiar with said fathers).

As noted earlier, Grant’s intro to Irenaeus does not stand out one way or another.  He covered the basic ground, but did not say anything too different from what you would find in a theological or church history dictionary.  He spent too much time incredulating (forgive the neologism) on Irenaeus’s belief that Christ was 50 years old, and too little time on the actual recapitulatory hermeneutic itself.

Review of Russia and the Arabs

Primakov, Yevgeny.  Russia and the Arabs:  Behind the Scenes in the Middle East from the Cold War to the Present.  New York: Basic Books, 2009.

Yevgeny Primakov, formerly head of Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, and former Prime Minister of Russia, has written his own memoirs.  The book reflects 30 years of diplomatic service from one of the world’s most respected statesman.  Always serene and mature in his analysis, Primakov has correctly diagnosed the problems in Middle Eastern and American diplomatic policies..

Many neo-conservatives and American patriots think that the Soviet Union simply desired to export (and force down) its own version of socialist revolution upon unwilling countries.  While this was true in Eastern and Central Europe, nothing of the sort happened in the Middle East, at least not for the long term.   The United States and the Soviet Union found the post-World War II Middle East rife with young nationalist movements.  At first the Middle Eastern governments were committed to a form of Arab socialism.  However, this form of Arab socialism had little in common with the socialism of the USSR, and while some Communist parties in the Middle East held tenaciously to power, the Arab mindset was not given to international socialism.   Therefore, and this is a key point Primakov makes, the USSR did not force Communism onto the Middle East.  Primakov writes, “The Soviet Union understood that it was impossible to bring about sociopolitical change in another country via an imported revolution.  It had to happen from within, when the time was ripe” (92).

The United States’ original objective was to draw the Arab nations into an anti-Moscow alliance.  This meant allying itself with radical Arab groups (the fateful foreshadowing should not be missed).   In any case, neither the Soviet Union nor Soviet America was able to accomplish its primary goal.

It would be simplistic to say that the USSR threw all of its support behind Arab states and America supported Israel.   True, the USSR had good relations with most Arab states and Tel Aviv called the shots on American foreign policy.  But Moscow let Arab states know they could not act with impunity and keep expecting Russian military expertise and arms shipments (Sadaam Hussein never learned this lesson).

Nevertheless, both the USA and the USSR  did act accordingly to one objective:  prevent the Middle East from flaring up, with the larger geographic instability ensuing.   Moscow (and less often America) would take a hard line with her allies if they threatened Middle Eastern peace.   This is political realism.

Many will fault Primakov’s narrative at this point.  Primakov tells the story that the USSR did all that it could to foster Middle Eastern peace  while Israel did all it could to hinder it.   Perhaps he is myopic on this point, but Israel’s actions have been coming under more scrutiny.   Primakov has a very revealing chapter documenting Israel’s illegal nuclear arms ambitions.

There are also moving chapters giving insight into the lives of Yasser Arafat and others.

Criticisms of the Book

Many will probably fault Primakov of stacking the deck.   The Soviet Union’s Middle Eastern policy can do no wrong while the US keeps bungling it.   While the latter is certainly true, many in the West will blanche at this rosy picture of the USSR.   While perhaps flawed on some points, Primakov does highlight an important issue:  for twenty years Americans have been cheering themselves as the sacred guardians of the free world and anyone who questions that narrative is a liberal, communist, hates the troops, or an Islamomeanie.    The dialectical irony is Americans have done the same thing with ideology that the Soviets did.  In fact, it’s worse.  Trotsky was rejected on this point.   The D.C. Establishment has surpassed even Stalin on this point!  There is a reason that neo-conservatives are said to be the heirs of Trotksy:   Trotksy wanted to import revolution to all countries, whether they were ready for it or not (with the subsequent goal of destroying national boundaries and traditional cultures); neo-conservatives want to spread neocon ideology to all countries (e.g., globalism, the dominance of Western corporations and markets, “democracy,” relativising  traditional society). The dialectic has come full-circle.   The D.C. Regime is the new Soviet Union.

Primakov has a provocative, if at times flawed chapter on Islam.   Careful thinking is required here, and I think Primakov rushed his thinking.   Primakov identifies Samuel Huntingdon’s thesis (to which the current reviewer subscribes) positing an ultimate clash between Western civilization and Islamic civilization. At this point, instead of engaging Huntingdon’s thesis, Primakov ridicules those provincial people who think all Arabs are Muslims are terrorists.   Presumably, these people think that the coming clash should be an armed clash and the sooner the better.   But is this what Huntingdon really believes?  Even more, is Primakov’s own views of Islam that different?

Perhaps Huntingdon can be faulted with an ambiguous use of the term “clash.”  More importantly, why did Huntingdon posit there would be a clash?  He said this because Islam’s values are inherently at odds with the post-Christian West’s secular values.   Ironically, Primakov, too, identifies democracy as incompatible with Islam (or consistent Judaism or Christianity).   Indeed, this is the key to Primakov’s critique of the US importing Western democracy on Iraq!

Conclusion

The book is an interesting glimpse inside the life of a key player for peace in a troubled area.  The book is written in a memoir-like style and occasionally suffers from those defects.   But that also makes it the readable and interesting book that it is.  Primakov tells a story that is different from the Official Narrative of the Ministry of Truth.

 

When one isn’t “anti-American”

If one reads a lot of my criticisms of modern America, and my unashamed pro-Russian political views, one might conclude that I am “anti-American.”  I am not.  I am only anti-American when it comes to foreign policy, ideology, modern democracy, consumerism, gangster corporate capitalism, mass media, cheap T.V. culture, etc.

I am very American when it comes to fried chicken, hunting camps, country music, friday night football, family reunions, and the Celtic overtones of the South.