The Peloponnesian Paradigm, and why Central Asia matters

The Spartan-Athenian rivalry is a useful memetic framework for the discussion of biopolitics, as we have seen in the past few weeks. The archetypal attitudes towards women and feminity found in both Greek cities are a fantastic tool for exploring deeper questions in regards to contemporary politics. The polarization generated by issues related to sex and race, biological traits as they, demonstrates that the 21st century will be a biopolitical one. This Peloponnesian Paradigm, as we will call it here, can be however applied as a recurrent theme in geopolitics.

Harvard political scientist Graham Allison used it most recently to describe America’s relation to China’s rise, coining the term Thucydides Trap. A reference to Greek historian Thucydides, it describes a tendency to conflict between a standing hegemon and an emerging power. Supposedly, this dynamic of rising and declining powers explains the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), which pitted a well-established Sparta against Athenian burgeoning influence in the Eastern Mediterranean. As an agrarian society, Sparta had an outstanding army; Athens relied instead on building a very advanced navy, which protected its thriving diplomatic and trade relations. People like dichotomies, and the difference between tellurocracies such as Sparta (landed, agrarian, militaristic) and thalassocracies such as Athens (naval, commercial, diplomatic) soon became codified in culture.

The Peloponnesian Paradigm offers enormous memetic potential to understand the world we live in. It is a fine way of reintroducing the Classics into the much degraded current political discourse, too. The comparison, though, is somewhat overused, as it can be applied to almost any situation. For example, if one leaves out the ideological details, Anglo-American intervention in World War Two can be understood as an attempt to tackle competition from both Germany and the USSR: the well known balance-of-power strategy described by Kissinger. As we like to remember here in The Outpost, NATO was designed to keep the Soviets out, the Americans in, and the Germans down. From the Reformation onwards, this policy had been a constant to British approaches to the continent; an outlook inherited by its spiritual successor, the American Empire of the Waves.

By the second half of 1940, Britain was clearly on the defensive. Miraculously successful as it may have been, the evacuation of Dunkirk was still a military disaster for the Allies. The economic blockade imposed on Germany by the Royal Navy was failing, and supply lines across the Atlantic were threatened by the U-boats of the Kriegsmarine. In dire need of ships, Churchill made a deal with the US through which destroyers could be acquired in exchange for British possessions in the Atlantic. Bases in places such as Newfoundland, Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad and the Bahamas were passed on to America in one single sweep, while ships leftover from the Great War were given to the Royal Navy. In other words: Winston “best PM ever” Churchill was the man to deliver the final blow to the British Empire, a fact frequently overlooked when judging his historical role. Fortunately for his legacy, History is written by the victors. In any case, the destroyers-for-bases deal signaled a new era in the Anglo-American “special relationship” and ensured the Americans’ future naval supremacy, turning the US into the military and economic powerhouse we all know and love. This was precisely the road map traced by Alfred Thayer Mahan, so it should not be considered in any way a lucky coincidence.

America had been, up to 1945, a fairly provincial country; a nation of “farmers and shopkeepers”, built around the myths of the minutemen, the pioneer, the homesteader and the railroad. Not very different from the Germans, after all: a country for built by and for a free middle class. Perhaps not coincidentally, German is still the most commonly claimed ethnic ancestry in the US, according to Wikipedia: over 50 million people. For all their imperialistic (and land-based) adventures in 20th century Europe, Germans never built a lasting overseas Empire; their colonial possessions in Africa were held only from the 1880s to 1920. Is the geopolitical role of a civilization determined by “national character”, or is said national character what leads it inexorably to a certain role? Did the Germans lack the qualities to succeed in their imperial endeavor? And were Americans always fated to become the British’ successors?

These questions need to be answered before applying the Peloponnesian Paradigm to any modern day system; especially if one intends to predict the future. Historically, the Chinese were not particularly known as a seafaring civilization. Their greatest mariner, Zheng He, was almost forgotten in his homeland until the 1900s; this, despite the fact he almost single-handedly gave form to 15th century South East Asian maritime trade. Building a powerful blue-water navy nowadays still requires a lot of money, time, and zealously guarded knowledge and expertise, much as it did in the Age of Exploration. Currently, the ability to project maritime power abroad is strongly dependent on having aircraft carriers, of which China has only 2 (the US Navy, by contrast has 11). This is a fact the Chinese are compensating by building artificial islands all over the South China Sea, and is also the reason the US Marine Corps is trying to re-adapt to an archipelagic operational environment.

Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army has a Ground Force half a billion men strong, and Xi Jinping has made a centerpiece of his Foreign Policy the One Belt One Road Initiative. Set to be completed in 2049, it is probably the most expensive infrastructure project in History (an estimated 4-8 trillion USD), and intends to finance the construction of railways and roads all across the Eurasian landmass, with a complimentary sea route along the coastlines of the Indian Ocean. All of this naturally concerns the US, who as a naval power has to make an extra effort to remain in the New Great Game developing in Central Asia. It also concerns Russia, a quintessential land power, and a referent for all ex-USSR republics. Finally, it concerns Turkey, a former and actual naval power in the Mediterranean, an ambiguous US ally, and one of the cradles of the 19th century pan-Turkist movement known as Turanism.

Is geography destiny? Do countries change in shape in consonance with their character, or is it the other way around? Sparta only won the war against Athens after the Battle of Aegospotami (405 BC), where Lysander sunk the Athenian fleet and left the enemy defenseless and without grain imports. Sparta had to change to overthrow Athens, developing its naval capabilities thanks to new diplomatic ties with Persia. In a way, it embraced the thalassocratic nature of its enemy, learning to defeat him with his own weapons.

The Peloponnesian Paradigm shows powers can change, turning the strategies of their rivals into their own. At the same time it builds its westward railroads, China can attempt to become a naval power and push for world domination. Meanwhile, the US can try to stay entangled deep inland, as it has for the last 20 years in the Middle East, so as to remain relevant in the region. With regards to a country like Turkey, expanding its influence towards Central Asia means gaining strategic depth in a competitive neighborhood. And for Russia, it means recovering access to lost key assets, including vast mineral resources and a strategic cosmodrome at Baikonur (Kazakhstan). Being a strong player in Central Asia is thus crucial to all of the above’s foreing policies. Now you can go and wonder why the Afghanistan affair is still not over, and why trouble keeps coming up constantly in places like Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and Xinjiang.

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.

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