Plague and the City: of Rats and Men

Yersinia pestis is a Gram-negative, non-motile, stick-shaped bacterium. It enjoys vacationing in damp places, riding fleas, and unleashing God’s Wrath on Humanity. The disease it causes, plague, still holds a remarkable grip on culture as the archetypal deadly epidemic. This is partly due to its severity and spectacular symptoms, but also because during the course of History, it has been the cause of various pandemics, all of them originating in Central Asia and spreading fast to Africa and Europe. It is, thus, the quintessential disease of the Old World: a dark barbarian demon, unleashing periodic destruction over civilization like an inscrutable and violent god.

There have been, at least, three high-impact plague pandemics. The first was the Plague of Justinian, which hit the Byzantine Empire in 541 BC. The disease killed off a good 25% percent of the continent’s population, according to some estimates. It spread quickly through Europe, perhaps thanks to Justinian’s globalization efforts, the Renovatio imperii which sought to recover lost Western Roman territories for a unified Empire. Procopius of Caesarea offers in his Secret History some fascinating anecdotes indicating that epidemics, despotic rule, and a venal public life are nothing new under the sun. Rulers do not rise to the occasion, but sink to their natural state.

As a result of the plague ravaging the countryside, agricultural workforce diminished and the price of grain rose astronomically. When confronted with the low tax revenue caused by the massive death toll, Justinian simply made the survivors liable for the part owed by their deceased neighbors. He also made himself inherit a lot of the victims’ property, a measure we commend Procopius for criticizing.

As plague spread around the Mediterranean basin, geopolitical balances were overturned; the Byzantines, who had been close to reuniting the Western and Eastern Roman Empires, were crippled in their restoration efforts. Although the Mediterranean’s Western shores were finally conquered in AD 554, the reunification did not last long. The Goths, who had been pushed back, regrouped and recovered forces. The New Normality of Germanic rule had been firmly established. The transition from Ancient to Medieval Europe was well underway, a Dark Ages version of the Great Reset.

However historically relevant, Justinian’s plague was superseded by a deadlier pandemic 800 hundred years later. This one is probably the most iconic, and was given a name with enormous memetic potential: the Black Death. It started in 1347 and killed off, according to some estimates, between 30 and 40% of Europe’s population.

It is generally agreed upon that the Black Death’s horrible impact was due, in part, to the urbanization process which characterizes this time period. Political, social and economic stability, coupled with improvements in agricultural technology, had led over the centuries to a rising population, and a blooming urban class that lived of trade and manufacture: the bourgeois. Epidemiologically, large interconnected nodes with many people living in them are a recipe for disaster, and this is exactly what happened. Obviously, crowded towns trading with each other caused the disease to spread faster than it would have in a low-density, poorly communicated wasteland.

According to the Progressive mythology, which apparently bases its knowledge of the Middle Ages on Game of Thrones and Monty Python sketches, the Medieval Period was indeed the Dark Ages™: an era of filth, poverty and religious obscurantism. People died of plague because they slept with rats, didn’t bathe, tried to pray away disease, et cetera. This belief neglects the fact that Medieval Europe inherited and developed Roman bathing culture, with soap being a burgeoning industry. Although truly effective sanitary practices were still far down the road, people were not exactly rolling in faeces either.

In fact, arrogant medical establishments are not a recent phenomenon. Rulers have always been corrupt, and academics have always tended to (wrongly) dismiss common-sense. It was the first generations of University-educated physicians who, in Early Modern times, advised against bathing. According to the scientific reasoning of the time, water opened up pores and allowed foul miasmas to enter the body and bring disease. A delicious irony; but we digress.

The thing is, the Crisis of the Late Middle Ages, of which the pandemic was a critical factor, signalled de implosion of a certain Medieval statu quo. It led to all kinds of strife: social, religious and economic. It changed production relations and political forms, and modified the demographic texture of Europe. People -and power- were transferred from a distributed network based on lord-vassal relations to centralized absolutist courts, located in a handful cities which remain power centers even today.

Although urban centers were hit the hardest by the pandemic in terms of mortality, it was the countryside where changes were felt the most. Lacking manpower, the feudal system entered an unstoppable downward spiral. Many belonging to this old agro-military elite, those who were clinging at the edge of the leisure class, simply disappeared, victims to war, famine, and poverty. The survivors reaped the leftovers, accumulating wealth. Titles of nobility became accessible to the bourgeois, who bought them and became rentiers. The City had finally become the center of power. Great Reset II: Renaissance edition was underway.

As a side note, it is a sobering fact to consider that more time passed between Justinian’s Plague and the Black Death, than between the latter and the Current Year™. History has its patterns: the Black Death most likely originated in China and spread to Europe through Italian ports. For a while, it was hypothesized that it might have been caused not by a bacteria but by a hemorrhagic fever-inducing virus, like Ebola. The theory seems to have been abandoned as of late, and there’s even some evidence suggesting that it may not have come from the Far East, after all.

In any case, the third great plague pandemic did originate in China in 1855, also spreading globally due to improved transoceanic communications. This time it caused more than 12 million deaths, a comparatively low number probably reflecting improved hygienic practices in Western cities. Better than those of the 1340s, that is; 19th century European cities were the nightmarish hellscapes that inspired the likes of Dickens or Dostoevsky, after all. How do they compare to the sanitary conditions of a modern slum in a Third World Mega-City? For now, we leave that as an exercise for the reader to ponder.

Due to the many unpleasantries of the 20th century, many of the effects of the social and political consequences of the Third Great Plague went unnoticed or have been mostly forgotten. The Great Reset (episode 3!) was subtle. It came by indirectly catalyzing the most important historical process of the past 100 years: decolonization. Due to widespread availability of Western medicine, governments worldwide, from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires and from Cape Town to Glasgow, had access to the same measures to combat the disease. The key was found to be not the isolation of infected human carriers, but the elimination of the rodent and flea vectors.

Despite similar approaches, the results accross the world were wildly different. Metropolitan administrations in Europe and the US succeeded. Most colonial enclaves, however, failed to convince indigenous populations to accept lockdowns and other Western practices. In many places, after early backlash, authorities quickly resigned to sit back and watch the epidemic burn itself out. This led to dismal loss of life in places like India or South Africa: the early cracks of the British Empire. The Crown could not protect its subjects, and another nail was hammered in the coffin of the White Man’s Burden.

The lopsided impact of the plague made evident, and perpetuated, the inequalities between the metropolis and its overseas territories. The World Health Organization declared the pandemic over by 1960. By then, new cases were only being declared in what soon would be called the Third World, a fact which has remained true until nowadays.

Plague has always spread to other continents by traveling in its preferred animal reserve: the rat. Actually, any rodent that lives in close proximity to humans will do, but the rat is so linked to Humanity’s vicissitudes, that it has become a symbol of disease, filth, and immorality. Its fast rate of reproduction and tendency to cannibalism and aggression made it a synonym of promiscuity and sin to medieval eyes, and this reputation has not changed much since then.

As ultimate urban survivors, rats have the connotations of a certain ethos attributed to crowded urban life: grey, dirty, anonymous, and corrupt. The connection between them, cities, and a degenerate existence is an ancient, perpetually evolving meme. Interesting iterations range from German folk tales about the Rattenkönig to 1984‘s iconic torture scene or neoreactionary musings on “IQ shredders” and the “rat race”.

Interestingly, this contempt is not made extensive to all rodent house pests. There’s plenty of heroic mice in fiction; rats, though, are almost universally bad news. Mice help trapped lions, rescue orphans, and generally save the day. They are adventurous, cute little creatures, willing to take risks despite their lowly status in the Animal Kingdom. Rats, in contrast, are dirty, brutal, often vicious gangsters. More powerful than their mousely brethren, they appear as a sort of jungian shadow on steroids: tough, cunning, and willing to survive by any means necessary.

Thus, while the Country Mouse is a trope as old as Aesop, rats exist in culture as cosmopolitan, rootless vermin. The Country Mouse highlights the simple virtues of rural life, whereas the Rat lacks any wholesome connections to the land. “City Rat” is not a clearly identifiable meme, but it doesn’t spark any particularly positive feelings. The closest term, Hood Rat, is mostly pejorative according to the Urban Dictionary, with racist connotations added as a bonus.

At the root of this divide, one can find echoes of a reactionary narratives of the Industrial Revolution: that of Ancien Règime farmers who left the countryside to become proletarian factory workers in the Industrial Revolution. The healthy, swarthy complexion of the peasant replaced with the black and the red of coal and tuberculosis. The transformation from farmer to worker was thus portrayed as a degradation, directly leading to the totalitarian devastations of the 20th century. The natural answer is, of course, to “Reject Modernity, Retvrn to Tradition”; Tradition being an ideal past decade somewhere between the 1490s (for hardcore radicals) and the 1980s (for normie redpillers).

These superposed counterpoints of Urban vs. Rural and Rat vs. Mouse, when approached as a dichotomy, remain a solid populist memeplex in societies where this division is stark, such as most Western ones. In 2016, Based Flyover Deplorables against Satanic Coastal Elites is the obvious American example, but there are undertones of this in other contexts, the French gilets jaunes uprising being a particularly notorious one.

More or less explicitly, populist sentiment in economic peripheries all accross the West exemplifies this phenomenon. The definition of “Periphery” being expanded to accomodate not only the heavily subsidized countryside, but (post)industrial wastelands aswell. Forming a newborn Center, supra-state Bureaucracies and multinational corporations have been sharing interests for a very long time. Woke Capitalism is just one of many current iterations, like Big Tech or the Military Industrial Complex.

The looming conflict was obvious to anyone paying attention even before the 2008 financial crisis. In this very prescient article we can see how European “Cosmopolitans” have been worrying for a while about “Nationals”. It was first published in 2000, which makes it older than the Iraq War (2003) and Facebook (2004).

Here at The Outpost, we have already explored some of the characteristics of this Capitalist – Communist vector. Reactionary Socialism and all its ressurrected forms have never been more than a temporary hindrance to this Revolution: a stabilizing force. From this standpoint, the Mouse vs. Rat dichotomy starts to feel a bit outdated. The current state of affairs lends itself better to dialectic models than to such a static comparison.

What would be the model rodent for the next phase in this paradigm? It certainly does not dwell in country cottages nor filthy city sewers. Perhaps it’s something like the Lewis Rat. Docile, crowd-tolerating, disease-prone and sterile. Far removed from its badass ancestors, it lives its life (happily?) in a controlled environment, looking for dopamine hits and unvoluntarily participating in occasional, sometimes deadly drug experiments. The mouse’s bold merit and the rat’s gritty struggle for survival are equally alien to it. Its existence is a simulation, and its fate is always a quickly forgotten death.

It makes sense, then, that in this age of deep fakes and simulacra, we should rely on ersatz-plague as motors for change. The real thing is just too much. SARS-CoV-2 is a relatively mild pathogen, when compared to the Yersinia pestis. The world, however, is now more labile than ever to such disturbances; Covid is an opponent worthy enough.

The Third Plague already had a globalized response when information was still running through telegraph lines. Today’s communications have made planet Earth ridiculously small. The effects of any released bioweapon lab leak wet market outbreak are felt accross the globe in real time. Thus, coronavirus has become the final ingredient for the engine of Revolution to reach positive acceleration again. It has become a line of flight for the assemblage of Western realities. Soon shifting to the next gear will be inescapable: a new Great Reset, this time named explicitly as such.

What is to be expected? Perhaps Bruce Sterling said it best when he summarized cyberpunk as this: “Anything that can be done to a rat can be done to a human being. And we can do most anything to rats.” Luckily, runaway rats do exist. After all, lab leaks seem to be all the rage this days.

Success! You're on the list.

Otto Weininger, Red Pill Prophet of the Biopolitical Age

Viennese philosopher Otto Weininger’s (1880-1903) only published work bore the title “Sex and Character: an investigation of fundamental principles”. At that time of blossoming struggle for sex equality, it was obvious at first glance that the book was a pamphlet against women’s emancipation. And indeed, Weininger did not believe in emancipation; the central message of his book, however, was not restricted to social policy, and sounds visionary in the world of Equality Ministries, gender-fluid zoomers, TFW NO GF hysteria, and Bronze Age anti-longhouse samizdat.

Weininger pioneered the notion that, in an individual, there is a proportion of elements from both sexes. Any man, according to Weininger, always had something of a woman in himself. According to his own research, the nature of sexual desire was such that it was not directed towards the opposite sex. Sexual arithmetic, as conceived by him, led to the conclusion that the only sexual attraction possible was the one arising between components of the same sex: the female was always attracted to the feminine aspects of the man. Conversely, the male would always become more attracted to the traces of masculinity present in a woman. In other words: all sexual attraction was homosexual.

As a corollary to this theory, men who were monolithically masculine proved said masculinity through total chastity. Their sexual integrity prevented them from having non-sodomitical sexual relations. And consequently, completing his global analysis, Weininger came to the conclusion that the 20th century’s increasingly liberal stances on sex made it the worst era in history, for they completely devalued the past greatness of male chastity.

Weininger attributed to women many of the misfortunes that plagued humanity, and saw the turn towards a feminization of society as a net negative. The first sign identified by him was a degeneration of aesthetics and politics, which he tied to the advance of anarchism. He saw feminization in the rejection of authority, which manifested itself in the degradation of art, and in political turmoil. Through this views, he also suscribed to the ancient meme of masculinity being the source of the State and the Law.

The very word virtue comes from virtus, in Latin, which shares the same Indo-European root with virilis: virile, manly. Thus, a virtuous woman was necessarily a woman with a trace of the masculine and its traditional attributes: strength, steadiness, order and rationality. It is not mere coincidence that the Capitoline Triad that protected Rome included Minerva and Juno, rational goddesses of the State, Strategy and Wisdom. Figures like Venus (beauty and erotic love), Diana (the moon, fertility and childbirth) or Vesta (the hearth, the home, the family) were excluded from this central role in Roman public religion.

Weininger found unsurprising that the views of those who ruled over the European turn-de-siècle century had no sense of such things. He believed they had been inspired by a feminized vision of History: one characterized by the material and the chthonic, and a particular lack of depth and genius. And in a time when genius was declared a form of madness, he went on, no great artists or philosophers were possible. It was a time of conformity, of minimal originality and great falsehood; when great visions of history, life and science were being transformed by the vulgar influence of economics and technology. In such an era, it was only natural to expect the advancement of Historical Materialism, Capitalism and Marxism: all of them different aspects of a single reality.

“Christianity is gay” III: Blue Moon edition

Christianity, with Catholicism being no exception, has repeatedly been accused of being feminized religion. This claims have come both from all across the political spectrum, from Spanish Civil War Anarcho-Communists to Nazi and Nouvelle Droite Spartanists. This revolutionary movements have all seen in the Church an emasculating force, weakening the mind of men and exerting a powerful influence on women. In this contexts, violence against religion and its representatives was seen as more or less justified, and even a necessary purifying act.

But in the face of this hypothetical anti-Catholic (anti-Feminine?) violence, there have also been those willing to put up a fight. A most surprising thing is that the American Catholic Church has emerged as one of the most prone to confrontation. In this sense, it has taken the path of the Polish Catholics who confronted the Prussian state of Bismarck in the 1870s. This was the original edition of Kulturkampf, the cultural (thus memetic) warfare that has been going on and off between the secular state and the shredded remnants of Christendom.

Today Catholics represent the largest religious minority in the United States, mostly due to immigration from Latin American countries. The USA will be one of the main Catholic world powers of the 21st. Certainly, fantasies about an Integralist America espoused by the likes of Adrian Vermeule, or even Rod Dreher and Ross Douthat, are far-fetched. Reality does not work like that, and nominally Catholic immigrants are not necessarily the most loyal upholders of doctrine. A good marker for this is their support for loaded subjects, such as abortion, which is widespread among American Catholics. A particularly notable example of this is Joe Biden, whose claims to devout Catholicity contrast with the policies he aims to implement in case he were elected.

This Catholic tendency to progressive stances contrasts with that of Evangelicals, mostly aligned with Trump, precisely because he is against abortion. In other words: quite paradoxically, immigrant, culturally-Catholic converts to Protestant denominations might be more adherent to the Church’s teaching regarding specific subjects. Given this reality, it is interesting to note that Donald Trump has decided to take an active part in the controversy, siding with anti-abortion activists in repeated occasions. In this sense, he has carved a memetic path to the category of the first “Catholic” president of the United States, even openly attending an anti-abortion rally.

Adding another twist to the screw, it must be said that the most conservative sectors of the US Church, led by Cardinal Raymond Burke, mostly sided with Trump since the beginning. At the same time, Cardinal Burke’s more traditionalist positions have led him to clash with Pope Francis, particularly regarding the dubia he participated in against the Encyclical Amoris Laetitia. Pope Francis, himself a Latin American, has also been portrayed by the media as criticising Trump’s administration on its treatment of immigrants. Steven K. Bannon, former White House Chief Strategist and a Catholic, disapproves of the Pope’s positions on ideological matters, accusing His Holiness of being a Liberation Theology-type socialist and being coy about Europe’s Islamisation. This latter subject is particularly important, as it intersects with the role of women in European society and is at the same time the central point driving identitarian and euro-skeptic movements within the EU, both religious and secular.

While Bannon’s attempts to build an Anti-Globalist (thus, Trump-friendly) Coalition in Europe have so far seen little success, the battle is not over. Most recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo picked another quarrel with the Vatican when he demanded a harsher stance towards China and the Communist Party’s role in Bishop nominations. The Pope declined meeting Pompeo so close to an election, to avoid being again pulled into the fray. Meanwhile, the BLM riots have only contributed to increase Trump’s appeal to Latinos, still mostly Catholic, exploiting the chasm between them and African Americans. For the first time in history, Hispanics will surpass blacks as the largest minority share of voters.

This essay would not be complete without mentioning the recent unrest in Poland: precisely after the Law and Justice-aligned Supreme Court ruled abortion unconstitutional. Law and Justice has been the ruling party in Poland since 2015, and its right-wing populist policies have been the main reason behind the country’s enfant terrible reputation in the EU. Like Viktor Orbán’s Hungary, the Catholic country has become the poster boy of what Brussels’ bureaucrats call illiberal democracies, scandalizing globalists worldwide with their reactionary, anti-Open Society antics. Poland is adamant in its intent to take Germany’s role as America’s beachhead in Europe, something neither the Germans nor the Russians are too excited about.

The final movements of this global game will remain hidden for a while, but some signs have become apparent. Banners, signs and graffitti in Polish churches, carried by abortionists who wave coat hangers at priests. Murders and decapitations in France, the Eldest Daughter of the Church, carried out by the masculine messengers of the Religion of Peace.The election of a New American Emperor. Rumors of war, conquest, death and pestilence loom large accross the world in All Hallow’s Eve. Prepare for the Blue Moon.

This article is part of a series. You can find the previous installment here.

“Christianity is gay”: a short note on evolutionary memetics

Today’s memetic environment is steeped in questions of sex and gender; specifically, the female ones. The protagonism of biopolitics already is a key feature of 21st century culture. It will be even more so as soon as the demographic crisis looming hits, especially if we keep focusing in technical solutions for it. Science and technology have a tendency for creating at least as many new problems as they solve: this is what makes them an accelerationist force. Advances in assisted (artificial?) reproduction will only make sex, and biology in general, increasingly more relevant in the coming years, both in public and in private life (as William Gibson says, “the street finds its own uses for things“.

Christianity has often been condemned by feminism as a force inimical to women. Specifically, Roman Catholicism is seen as a particularly oppressive religion, a fact evidenced by its doctrinal opposition to abortion, the pill, and gender ideology. It is interesting to note, however, that Christianity has also suffered strong criticism for its feminine nature, a point made both from the so-called “Left” and the “Right”.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, various proposals to allow women’s suffrage were introduced in Spanish politics. First, a Conservative Party motion in 1877 (restricted to widows and heads of the household); later in 1907 and 1918, both times by Conservative Party congressmen and with the propagandistic support of the Church. Conservative dictator General Primo de Rivera finally made women’s entrance into political and public life a reality in 1924. All of this was of course not unmotivated: women were notoriously more religious and prone to Conservative tendencies, or so was believed. The Leftist and most Progressive factions, consequently, were opposed to women voting because of the perceived clout the Church had over the female mind.

According to American author Leon J. Podles, the Church does indeed belong to an anti-masculine bloc. In his book The Church Impotent: the Feminization of Christianity, he presents the anti-Catholic violence present in successive Spanish revolutions as a rebellion of males against a matriarchal force. The often abject brutality of these revolutions, in which nuns and priests were raped, lynched, or both, was not based on religious or political issues. On the contrary, they were manifestations of masculine rage, a display of macho fury against effeminate clergymen and their castrating influence over women, cast through words whispered accross the confessional’s grid.

The derisive term “cuckservative”, which was so prevalent in alt-right circles a few years ago, seems to respond to this same perception of a link between Conservatism and anti-masculinity. The related and far less prevalent term “Cucktianity” specifically pointed in the Church’s direction, criticizing Christianity as an enemy of males in general and white men in particular. Christianity is interpreted as a vehicle for matriarchal social impulses, of which multiculturalism is only a particularly pernicious one.

The prefix “cuck” is a reference to the word “cuckold”, the husband of an adulterous wife who invests his resources in raising somebody else’s offspring. In different contexts, males are seen as being cuckolded figuratively (and sometimes literally) by the Church, the Welfare State, immigrant minorities… Adding insult to injury, porn streaming platforms, through opaque algorithms, seem to be pushing cuckoldry into the mainstream as a socially acceptable fetish, a fact interpreted as just another humiliation campaign by the Globalist propaganda machine.

In any case, the “Church impotent” meme seems to be a rapidly-replicating isolate of Evolian ideas, themselves a bastardized variety of Nietzsche’s. It is a memetic strain optimized for insertion in the mind of young males thirsting for rites of passage, adventure and rebellion; in other words, normal young males. That this meme is shared by 2010s American alt-righters and 1930s Spanish Reds suggests the evolutionary link between both cultural memeplexes.

This article is part of a series. You can find the following installment here.

Ginsburg v. Goebbels and the search for New Sparta

It is impossible to write a misogynist manifesto without a minimal historiographical review, particularly relating to the Ancient world. The author of such a manifesto can count on a very favorable fact for his political project: the aesthetic interest that Sparta and its culture arouse in the general public. Through the simple fact of being a doctrinaire of the New Right, the misogynist will no doubt be familiar with a certain bowdlerized, pop-Spartan aesthetic, as codified by the blockbuster, neocon propaganda movie 300.

Sparta, the dirt-poor, traditionalist, agrarian, landlocked home of laconic warriors and dominating mothers; Athens, the rich, sophisticated, sea-trade hub were philosopher kings come from. Sparta’s grip on modern culture is not new; it has elicited great passions among political theorists since Aristotle, who explicitly mentioned the power held by its women, comparing it wit its rival city. Indeed, the historic rivalry between Athens and Sparta was a favorite topic in the institutional debates of Ancient Rome, which saw itself reenacting Sparta’s role against rival Carthage. Machiavelli too expressed fascination by this contrast; Voltaire, in contrast, poured all his irony into ridiculing Spartan institution; interestingly, both for being feminist and militaristic.

The German National Socialists, heirs to the related Prussian Junker meme,were not immune to the Spartan spell either. In the roles this polis reserved for its men and women, they found inspiration for a new political and educational paradigm. How would have the authors of the Communist Manifesto explained the coming to power of National Socialism in 1933? What conclusions would have they drawn if they had had at their disposal, as a doctrinal document, the speech that Joseph Goebbels gave on March 18, 1933 on the role of the German woman?

In 1900 two million babies were born in Germany. Now the number has fallen to one million. This drastic decline is most evident in the nation’s capital. (…) The government is determined to halt this decline of the family and the resulting impoverishment of our blood. There must be a fundamental change. The liberal attitude toward the family and the child is responsible for Germany’s rapid decline. We today must begin worrying about an aging population. In 1900 there were seven children for each elderly person, today it is only four. If current trends continue, by 1988 the ratio will be 1:1. These statistics say it all. They are the best proof that if Germany continues along its current path, it will end in an abyss with breathtaking speed.

Goebbels visited Greece in 1936, and on that occasion stated that if he returned to Sparta, as if 2,500 years had not passed, it was because in this Greek city he could feel as comfortable as in Germany, naturally thanks to the reforms promoted by the Nazis. When evaluating the Third Reich and analyzing its totalitarian, militaristic and racist inclinations, we must remember its vocation as a renewed Sparta, particularly in regards to the role that women filled in it.

As is well known, the Spartan woman was expected by the State to generate offspring so she could provide the community with new warriors. This is exactly what the Nazi regime expected of German women. How would Goebbels find Germany in 1988, the date he explicitly mentions in his speech? Undoubtedly, his most pessimistic forecasts had been met. This is accentuated if we stretch the period to a more recent date: October 30th, 2018, the day Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel announced her departure from power. Angela Merkel: a laid-off, childless stateswoman: the perfect embodiment of the characteristics Goebbels most despised in a German female.

From an aesthetic viewpoint, Merkel is at the antipodes of Goebbels’ own wife, Magda (1901-1945), decorated as an exemplary mother of the Third Reich. Platonically in love with the Führer, in 1945 and faced with the fall of the Reich, she murdered her six children and then killed herself along her husband. As Spartan women sometimes did, Magda had more than one husband in the course of her life. In 1921 she married Günther Quandt, an industrialist twice her age. Apparently, the businessman was more concerned with his work dealings than with having kids; Magda left him and went on to marry Goebbels, only 4 years her senior and father of the six dead children. Thus, her only surviving son, Harald Quandt, was the product of her first marriage. He survived the war thanks to being old enough to become a Luftwaffe officer and fall prisoner in North Africa, a condition which kept him away from his exemplary warrior-mother. After the war, Quandt would go on to thrive in the American-supervised West Germany economic milieu, inheriting a family fortune that stands to this day.

The demographic situation of Germany is common in most all the western world. As Pax Americana advances, fertility seems to decline everywhere. Is this an exclusive phenomenon of the liberal democratic, industrialized world? Well, seeing how the ex-USSR territories are no better (and in many aspects worse), the obvious answer would be a loud no. Only developing countries, especially those of Muslim persuasion, can be expected to consistently stay above the replacement rate in the next few decades. The question, thus, still stands: what would the writers of the Communist Manifesto say about all of this? Is this the way of Progress? Both the Capitalist and the post-Communist wastelands are conspicuously infertile, and their “liberal attitude towards the family” (to use Goebbels’ expression) is to blame for it, as many are already past the industrial stage.

Following the hints left by Marx and Engels’ pamphlet, we know the enemies of the Capitalist-Communist revolutionaries are none other than the Reactionary and Bourgeois Socialists, of which the Nazis were only but a specific brand. Different attitudes towards womanhood seem to be one of the fault lines separating these progressives from their enemies. As Revolution is the motor of history, it is of obvious interest knowing who is who in this fight if one aims to predict the future. Thus, another question arises: who today carries the torch of the Spartan spirit, and who is siding with the Capitalist-Communist evolution?

As we have seen, Mutti Merkel’s EU lacks any trace of the lacedemonian ethos. Almost no country in Europe has tried to wear the Spartan hat since the Nazi era. The European Fourth Reich is a trading juggernaut; Athenian by virtue of its NATO chains, it has lost its taste for war and tradition. Only some factions within it, like Poland and Hungary’s ruling parties or Italy’s Lega, pose a challenge to this situation. A challenge that, not unexpectedly, has revealed the cracks in the EU’s foundations, and that might lead to its complete irrelevance in the near future.

What about Mother Russia, then? Definitely a land power, depending on raw-material exports and with an oversized and proud military, it seems to fit the Spartan bill to some extent… except it doesn’t. In spite of what PUA sex tourists want you to believe, Eastern European women are not “traditional” or “red-pilled”, and divorce, abortion and female labor were a feature of Soviet life a long time before they were a thing in Europe. Despite much shirtless bear-riding and jihadist-killing, Putin is no Spartan natalist either. He has tried to solve Russia’s demographic crisis through one of the most liberal immigration policies of the world, and his coziness with Germany in all important matters (like energy policy) proves this.

China is a completely different object. The trading giant par excellence, it lacks however anything calling back to Athens in its Capital-Communist personality. It is definitely not a philosophers’ paradise, either. It is not Spartan, either. Decades of family planning through the infamous one-child policy stunted its demographic growth, and an aging population has led the Communist Party of China to recently reverse its anti-natalist laws. The impact of the pandemic is yet unknown, but it can be assumed that it will not lead to a rediscovery of warrior motherhood by the Middle Kingdom’s managerial elite.

Finally, we have Trump’s America and its current redefinition crisis. The president made sex and gender a central point in his 2016 campaign, showing off an impressive record on misogyny and generally taking the side of the pro-lifers. His isolationist tendencies are also a Spartan characteristic, as well as his fondness for verbal abuse of opponents. In 2020 the gender question has been somewhat overshadowed by racial disturbances, but even those are loaded in regards to the question of motherhood, especially when taking into account the dismal disparities in the rate of abortion when sorted by race. Ruth Baden Ginsburg’s opportune death has also contributed to bring the issue back to the front; the passing away of the architect of Roe v. Wade has already provided a lot of cringe reaction videos to fuel Trumpist propaganda.

In general, it can be said that the Overton window has moved considerably to the right in the last four years. We will see what happens in November, but American Spartanists have reasons to feel confident.

The fortress and the gyneceum

Athenian society venerated Athena, virginal goddess of wisdom and martial virtue: a female deity doted with attributes the Greeks ascribed to masculinity and rationality, as embodied by the soldier-citizen. This archetype is in stark contrast with gods from other cultures; notably, Egyptian fertility god Osiris. Posthumous father of god-king Horus, Osiris was murdered and castrated by Seth, and then revived by his wife and sister Isis; he was strongly associated to agriculture, the moon, and the Nile’s silt – all of them Chthonic and feminine for the Greeks. Thus, the Athenians venerated a virile warrior-maiden, while the Egyptians saw their ruling pharaohs as descended from an emasculated, mummified and androgynous figure, who presided the harvest and judged the dead.

One could expect that adoring a female goddess would make Athenians less misogynistic than their counterparts across the Mediterranean. The demands for more representation of women in positions of power and woke slogans such as God is a woman would certainly point in this direction; the often male-centered narratives of patriarchal narratives both from the classics and pop-culture are a favorite object of feminist polemics. The project of rebooting the James Bond saga with 007 as a female character is a good example of this, as it would signify the defacement of a quintessentially masculine myth.

In spite of this assumptions, according to most historians, Athenian society and Greek culture in general were quite misogynistic. Egypt seems to have been relatively less so, with women being considered legally equal at court and able to hold property rights. The picture is further distorted when we compare both to another Greek polis, Sparta, which has for a long time captivated the imagination of sociologists and political thinkers. Spartan women enjoyed better conditions than their counterparts elsewhere in Hellas, including rights to property and education. Their traditional dress, a slit skirt, earned them a reputation for promiscuity among other Greek cities, especially compared to the Athenian woman’s long robe. Was the Spartan woman politically freer, more empowered, than the Athenian, despite their almost identical cultural roots? And how did they fare in regards to the Egyptian, with her completely different background?

In all of these societies, childrearing was seen as the primary role of adult women, but the sociopolitical consequences of this were manifested in different ways. Specifically, Athenian women were not formally educated, could not make economic transactions, and lived secluded in the house’s gyneceum (from γυναικεῖον – gunaikeîon, the special quarters reserved for women); their reduced public life was mostly concerned with religious rituals, as they were supposed to stay at home with children. Compared to them, Spartan women were better fed and educated, because they were supposed to produce strong offspring and thus contribute to the lacedemonian polis’ military population. Xenophon goes as far as to state that there was some measure of polyandry in Spartan society, so that women could be impregnated by younger and healthier men for eugenic purposes. Even the important status granted to Egyptian women was heavily related to maternity and fertility. Particularly, the basis of female political power emanated from the figure of the Pharaoh’s Queen Mother, of which Isis (sister-wife of Osiris and mother of Horus) was the main archetype. So what do all of these practices tell us in regards to how women were viewed in their respective societies?

If one looks at ancient artifacts, such as pottery, a peculiar feature soon becomes obvious: Egyptian and Greek artists often used different colors to represent the two sexes. In both cultures, the male sex is usually represented in black or tan, while the female sex appears in white or pale hues. Despite the wishful thinking of gender theorists, this is no proof of the misogynistic character of any of them. It is, however, illustrative of different worldviews.

In Egypt, the difference in coloration alludes to the possibility of a synthesis between both sexes. Creation was the work of a male solar god, Atum-Ra, but the lunar fertility god who descended from him, Osiris, was also male. The black or green color with which Osiris is represented is a reference to the dark color of damp, fertile earth; white would be the color of bones, dust, and death. The juxtaposition of the two hues and the two sexes is used to convey the notion of a balanced cosmos, enforcing an idea of complementarity.

In Greece, the use of different colors has an altogether different connotation, pointing to the existence of different races: one indigenous, and one foreign. Thus, in the archaic period, Athenian women were usually painted in the same hue used for Persian invaders. A symbol of the untamed otherness of the Orient, mythically epitomized by the Amazon: militarily fearsome and sexually intriguing at the same time. This identification of the female sex with an external race shares the views presented in Pandora’s myth, already discussed here: mainly, of men being native to Earth and women being extraterrestrial, manufactured entities.

This essay would not be complete without some mention of that most patriarchal ancient civilization, Rome. Why were the supposedly misogynistic Romans willing to guarantee their women some rights their Greek counterparts never enjoyed? Did Roman females conquer their advantageous position thanks to their proto-feminist gender awareness? To answer these questions, we cannot rely on the interested contributions of woke gender theorists. On the contrary; the comparatively good situation of Roman women was a result of the Empire hindering the intrusion of misogynistic Greek philosophy. If in Roman society the situation for women was better than in Greece, it was because old laws and customs were respected, and lacked the Greek “women-as-foreign” element.

As an expansive Empire, Rome’s collision with the outside world, Jewish, Greek and ultimately Germanic, was inevitable. It is undeniable that the Romans were aware of the dangers posed by philosophical encounters with foreigners. After all, barbarians are, by definition, a threat. So, if Rome was initially more benevolent to its women than either Athens or Sparta, it was because its philosophers and legislators did not see females as unpredictable foreigners, but as people of their own kind: a demonstration of internal unity, the hallmark of a confident culture.

In the end, this discussion is an ancient iteration of a recurring meme in imperial politics: that there must be a wall somewhere, separating the in-group from the out-group. The establishment’s survival depends on whether to include women in the former or the latter; on choosing between xenophobia and misogyny. Between the fortress and the gyneceum. And for those unwilling to choose, of course, there is always a third way: letting the barbarians in and becoming an undiferentiated one yourself. Which would be arguably the most entropic, accelerationist, capital-communist option, after all.

The Female Monster and the Misogynist Revolution

During the turbulent decades that preceded and followed the French Revolution, classical mythology was subject to extensive cross-pollination with Enlightenment and revolutionary literature. Many narratives were reinterpreted through the scope of Progressive ideals, and the question of women’s role in society and the differences between the sexes was no exception.

Women’s issues were an important topic for many revolutionary schools of thought previously discussed in this blog, all of the painstakingly catalogued and targeted by Marx and Engels in their Communist Manifesto as obstacles to Progress. Proudhon, a founding figure of Anarchism (branded as Bourgeois Socialism by the Manifesto), was staunchly opposed to the education of women and believed their primary role was child-rearing and the home. Traditional gender roles were seen as natural and most conducive to happiness. This anti-feminist position, developed in “Pornocracy or Women in Modern Times”, earned him many detractors, and led to important contradictions within the budding anarchist movements across Europe.

Contrary to Proudhon’s views, Critical-Utopian Social Communists (CUSC) such as Fourier or Henri de Saint-Simon defended the access of women into the work force and their consideration as individuals detached from the family institution. Marriage was seen as an oppressive institution to be done with, and women were seen as indistinguishable from men and an oppressed collective. Specifically, Fourier was one of the first thinkers to consider the role of women as a barometer for the degree of development of a society, an idea which embedded itself quite successfully into the wider progressive memeplex. The recognition of LGBT orientation as legitimate was also a notable feature of CUSC thought, and is a trait inherited by virtually all current progressive movements.

As discussed in last week’s post, these ideological trends can be exemplified in the evolving interpretations of Pandora’s myth, a meme which gradually gave way to a new feminine archetype in fiction: that of the femme fatale, the wicked woman who brings doom to men through cunning and seduction. This figure, which peaked in the era of Noir cinema, contrasted with the sympathetic Pandora presented by Goethe and Casti. It was coherent with the feminist ideas cited above in that it lacked any condescension and saw women as dangerous and powerful; nonetheless, it still emphasized their sexual appeal to men as a central trait. Although the femme fatale archetype can be traced back to Helen of Troy, its most malevolent characteristics come from even deeper in the human collective imagination: the Female Monsters of the Greek pantheon.

Unlike the femme fatale, who is purely (yet perversely) feminine, mythological Female Monsters have a distinct type of indeterminate or hybrid sexuality. They often manifest themselves as half-human, half-animal creatures such as Echidna, the Syrens, the Gorgons, the Harpies, the Sphinx, or Scylla and Caribdis. Most trace their lineage to Gaia (Mother Earth); thus, they are strongly associated with the oldest, most primitive generation of gods, and are related to Chthonic cults of darkness, night and fertility. One of the most common epithets for Gaia is, precisely, Πανδώρα (“Pan-dora” or “all-giving”), calling back to the Hesiodic Theogony.

A key characteristic of these monstrous beings is their anatomical abnormality, their dismeasure (ὕβρις, hubris); a lack of conformity to that which is proportionate and rational. Having only one eye or too many of them, serpents instead of hair, etc., they represent chaotic and destructive primordial matter, and an affront to the order imposed by the Olympians, which were Gaia’s youngest divine offspring. The Latin word for mongrel, “hibridus” (from which the English “hybrid” is derived), is of unknown origin, but here at the Outpost we speculate that it might be related to this Greek concept of hubris, which ended up meaning something similar to arrogance and pride.

In any case, the behavior of the typical female monster is predatorial, violent and voracious, especially towards men and children. Sometimes disguised under a beautiful appearance or voice, they bewitch sailors and wanderers, leading them to their death. The root of their evil is sexual: the bodies of their favorite prey, young men, are found naked and mangled among their fangs, in a vulnerable and passive attitude. There is an inversion of sexual roles at play, and their female nature is portrayed as dominant while displaying virile characteristics of aggressiveness. The case of the Sphinx is paradigmatic: a phallic female exercising her tyranny both sexually over her victims, and politically over the city of Thebes. Attracting travelers with her voice and her enigmatic gaze, she poses them with a question; when they fail to answer, she throws herself at them. The men are paralyzed and raped, strangled in a deadly coitus: a death unbecoming of their masculine condition.

Given the exceptional importance sexual identity is granted in contemporary politics, let’s put forward an esoteric hypothesis in regards to these mythological archetypes of violent, ambiguous sexuality. Perhaps, more than a consequence of the defeat conservative-bourgeois or socialist morality, the return of classical memes about the masculine and the feminine results from the action of forgotten gods (i.e. demons) reclaiming their space in the shared unconscious. The political, social and cultural demands presented by the feminist movement may be a hyperstitional call from the Old Ones, designed to trap us again in the myths Female Monsters used to inhabit.

Now, the question that follows this intriguing conclusion is another. Are cultural manifestations such as feminism or LGBT pride an attempt to normalize non-traditional sexuality? Or is it a display meant to liberate men from their instinctive fear of the indeterminate, ambiguous and predatorial female monster? Maybe these symbols of barbarism and irrational, destructive violence, are exhibited not with the purpose of acceptance, but that of inviting their own elimination. What could be more similar to a flock of the Odissey’s bird-like syrens than a show of drag? The phenomenon of QAnon and speculation about spirit cooking and murderous pedophilic cults has an obvious memetic connection to the primal fear inspired by the Sphinx or the Chimaera.

Let’s take the story of Perseus and Medusa. The latter was a Gorgon, a female monster endowed with a horrendous face; a long, phallic tongue aggressively showing among pointed teeth; hissing snakes instead of hair. Medusa’s power resided in her deadly gaze, which turned human beings into stone. Perseus, son of Zeus and thus a demigod, severed her head and turned it into a weapon, using it to conquer and petrify his enemies. This triumphant moment is portrayed brilliantly in a sculpture by Renaissance artist Benvenuto Cellini; the statue has circulated widely through the Internet, achieving its own memetic status among esoteric right wing and masculinist circles since the early 2010s.

Contemplated in myths, the elimination of female monsters symbolizes the restoration of a harmonious and just order. By eliminating the aberrant entity, the myth guarantees that Olympic Reason, as an essentially masculine quality, is imposed over Chthonic Nature, irrational and feminine. Are we witnessing the signs of a Misogynist Revolution? Maybe woke culture’s glorification of “fierce” queerness and dominant female sexuality is not really about men, women and social justice. Perhaps it’s a spell, a hyperstition meant to foster the return to power not of men, but of immortal demigods. The founding of a new city: after all, Perseus would go on to build the Kingdom of Mycene, of which Agamemnon, vanquisher of Troy, was the most famous ruler; unlike his brother Menelaus, though he never played the simp for that thot fatale Helen.

%d bloggers like this: