Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan! Chapter 16 (the Crusading West: Capitalism, Islamization, Catholic Agro-Business, genocide, commodified Earth)


Vikings, Slavs, Magyars and Byzantines confine Romanized Frankdom to a field whose dimensions are modest for an all-embracing, namely Catholic Empire.

Islam will undermine and cut short the development of any Frankish project even within the narrow field left by the others.

The incursion of Charlemagne's army into Islamic Spain does nothing for the Franks and it warns the Muslims of the existence and character of the Frankish Empire.

There isn't even a war. The two sides are too unequal. We must be careful not to project later Western traits into earlier events. The Muslims are armored with weapons and technologies of Central Eurasia's Leviathans. The Frankish Knights are armored with coats of mail which serve them best in their forest bouts against each other.

The Knights have acquired inflated conceptions of their mission and power from their megalomaniacal spiritual advisers, but they were formidable only when they bullied and slaughtered Saxon peasants. They did less well in the face of Vikings, Magyars and Moravians. They disintegrate in the face of Islam.

Charlemagne's son Louis, called the Pious, reassures himself of Frankish prowess by staying close to the icons that promise Franks the world and far from the gaping jaws of all the lions of the West, but this strengthens the western Empire about as much as Byzantium's recognition.

Pious Louis is overthrown by his own sons, who promptly turn their spears and vassals against each other.

Muslims retaliate against grandfather Charlemagne's incursions by raiding and then conquering Sicily. The decapitated Catholic Leviathan, plunged into civil war by the founder's grandsons, has already lost its ability to respond. North African Muslims move up the coast of Italy, using Palermo and then Bari on the Peninsula's very coast as bases from which they proceed inland. Soon they are pillaging Naples, fortifying themselves in Apulia, and moving toward the territory the Popes claim to have recieved from Constantine.

The Muslim invaders reach Italy from a region they name Ifiquyah, a region which was known as Carthage before it became a Roman province called Africa. The Tunisian Muslims are unwittingly and belatedly avenging the exterminated Carthaginians while the latter-day Romans are dividing their Empire into three Kingdoms, none of them capable of saving Rome.

The pathetic Vicar of Christ, supreme Pontifex of an empire that no longer exists, has to face Hannibal's successors on his own in a struggle which is neither memorable nor Roman. The fourth Leo saves only himself, by walling himself into a part of Rome. His prison will be called the Leonine City although it will have no affinity to a lion beyond the name. Still later it will be called the Vatican.

And the Pope's long-sought Frankish Empire, now divided into three Frankish Kingdoms, leaves the Pope in his prisonbecaise the Imperial grandsons are not able to cope even with their own problems. Bald Charles cannot stop Vikings from plundering the coasts of Gaul nor from reaching Paris itself. Brother Louis, called The German, can confront neither united Moravia nor the Vikings plundering the northern coasts. And Brother Lothar, supreme Lord of Lotharingia, experiences his father's fate of seeing Lotharingia split into three yet smaller parcels of Empire. One more such division and the Imperial parcels will not exceed Moravia in size.

It might be thought that the heirs of the Franks would at that point copy their neighbors and constitute themselves into nation-states. This doesn't happen. Having once tasted Empire, the Franks will be as inflexibly devoted to phantoms of past forms as the Pontifex of Rome. Changes will be imposed on both by outsiders.\

Franks and Popes will in fact pretend that the Empire never ceased to exist. The Pope will anoint whichever of Charlemagne's heirs is able to reach Rome, and when Frankish heirs become extinct, the Popes will crown any adventurer who allies with the Pontifex. The Popes will call these anointees Holy Roman Emperors, namely Emperors in the eyes of God and the Pope.

The heirs of Charlemagne, beset by invaders, do not fall defending Frankdom; they tear each other apart before the invaders reach them.

In the face of independent Moravians and raiding Magyars, the easternmost sector of Frankdom breaks out in feuds which dispose of the last heirs. The Franks are replaced by Catholic Saxon frontier commanders who devote themselves to doing to others what Franks did to the Saxons. The first of these, Henry the Fowler and his successor Otto, spread desolation among Scandinavians, Magyars, Slavic Wends and Poles. Otto visits the Pope and demands an Imperial crown for his eminently Frankish and Catholic deeds.\

The Pope, a twelfth John who calls himself Octavian, Prince of Rome, already knows that the only Roman Empire left is the Pope's own Leonine City. The Pope nevertheless crowns Otto because the genocidal Saxon frontier army is all that is left of the Catholic imperial project. The Lotharingian part of Frankdom is extinct, and the western home base of the Franks disintegrated in the face of Viking and Muslim incursions.

When Muslims established themselves on the Provencal coast and Vikings besieged Paris, a congress of Knights removed the last Frankish Emperor in order to resist the invaders. The grandson of one of these Knights, a Hugh Capet, retains the title King of the Franks, but his dominion is confined to Paris. This Capet's descendants will expand their dominion only after they are thoroughly Vikingized and Islamized.

* * *

The Northmen who besiege the heart of Frankdom are in Gaul to stay. They take over a large portion of Gaul and rename it Normandy. Their headman Hrolf or Rollo becomes Duke of the Normans. Intimately familiar with their long-time enemies, these Vikings claim, with tongue in cheek, that Normandy was a donation of the last Frankish Emperor to Duke Rollo. In time they even adopt the language and some of the ways of the Franks. And they transform Frankdom into an entity that will be familiar to us, but which is exotic and antithetical to the Catholic Franks.

The Normans bring maritime commerce--the Catholic name for it is Piracy--to the heart of Frankdom. The Normans, like their northern kinsmen and like the Venetians, are clients of Levantine mercantile houses; Normandy is another tentacle of the Islamic seaborne octopus.

French-speaking Vikings replace Jews as carriers of exotic luxuries. Their northern kin carry Muslim cloth and silver all the way to Iceland and Greenland, and Eric the Red transports Islamic luxuries all the way to Vinland (in "North America") twenty generations before other Europeans discover the existence of such a place.

The ships of the Northmen return to the Levant laden with furs, timber and enslaved human beings, although the Vinland ships do not return. The Vinlanders apparently discover something more important than Muslim silver, something they've all but lost, and they stop communicating with their Leviathanized kinsmen.

The year that their cousing Knut or Canute becomes King of England as well as Denmark, turning the North Sea into a commercial highway, French-speaking Normans, nominally Christians, accompany a mercenary called Rainulf to Muslim Sicily and seek their fortunes either as agents of the island's Islamic merchants or their successors. Hiring themselves out as mercenaries, the Normans, like their Turkish contemporaries further east, become their employers' masters and successors.

Other Normans quickly follow Rainulf's lead, and in less than a generation mercantile Normans occupy the seats of mercantile Muslims in all of Sicily and most of southern Italy.

Nominally, Christians have ousted Muslims from Italy. But the Popes who see these events know better; they know that the new merchants differ from the old only in their refusal to bow to the merciful god and in their greater rapacity.

Even Byzantine Christians recognize in the Normans a greater threat than Islam.

In a rare alliance, the Pope gangs up with the Holy Roman Emperor as well as the Byzantine Emperor to try to oust the Normans from Apulia and Sicily.

The Normans defeat the rare alliance and capture the ninth Leo, the Pope. After an unrecorded session consisting of blackmail or opportunism or both, the Pope excommunicates his Byzantine allies and embraces the Islamized Normans as his personal vassals. The next few Popes are creatures of Normans, whom the Popes invest as "Dukes of Apulia and Calabria."

The Norman successors to Italy's Muslim strongholds and subjects proceed to do what Italian Muslims had never done: they attack Christian Byzantium from the west.

Two of the former allies, the Holy Roman and the Byzantine, renew their alliance, this time against the Muslim army under the Norman Robert Guiscard fighting alongside the Pope. The two Emperors are defeated and the victorious Muslims and Normans celebrate by plundering Rome before marching eastward to conquer the Byzantine Empire. Beset by the Northmen from Sicily, Byzantine Emperor Alexius abandons the attempt to reconquer Anatolia from the Seljuk Turks who call Anatolia "Rum" or Rome. Emperor Alexius confronts the Normans with a mercenary force of Venetians and Varangians or Russian Northmen.

Robert Guiscard is not as successful as William the Conqueror; he dies in Byzantium and so does the Norman Roman Empire.

And mercenary Venice, formerly Byzantium's main fleet, defends the Empire from Normanization at the price of taking ovar all the Empire's maritime commerce.

* * *

The Venetians succeed where the Normans failed. They turn the Mediterranean into a Venetian commercial highway. Long apprenticed to Levantine merchants, like the Etruscans and Greeks before them, they now launch an independent octopus of their own. They can do this at this moment no only because their Byzantine overlord has become permanently disabled, but also because their Islamic Levantine instructors have become shackled by a Turkish Leviathan which, being land-oriented and wormlike, tends to repress the free movement of Muslim commercial tentacles.

Catholic Normans and Byzantine Venetians, enemies on watery battlefields, once apprentices to Arabic merchants and now masters, carry not only Arabic wares but also Arabic mercantile ways to the heart of Europe. Venetians will long retain their maritime trading monopoly. Normans, the metamorphosed Pope's favorites, are quickly joined by Lombards, Burgundians, Flemings, even Franks.

Markets spring up on the roads between the formerly self-sufficient manors. Serfs initially sent out by their Lords to inspect exotic wares become apprentices to the merchants and soon buy their way out of the manors.

The markets grow into mercantile towns, and each town tries to be a Venice. Each town sends out tentacles of its own and tries to impose a monopoly of trade in its own "Mediterranean."

The mercantile townspeople, called Burghers in Frankdom, maintain their independence from the armed marauders who surround them by the Arabic method of provisioning and bribing the mounted Noblemen.

While this is happening to Frankdom's south, former Scandinavian strongholds on Frankdom's northern fringes announce the formation of a league of commercial cities, the Hanseatic League, and proclaim to the world their monopoly over all maritime trade between London and Novgorod.

I'm tempted to call this transformation "Islamization" of Europe but the term would express an exaggeration. Arabic markets, mercantile ways, caravans and commodities do spread throughout Europe, but Europeans do not begin to bow to merciful Allah. Europeans remain committed to the god of Roman legions, Optimus Maximus. Their religion becomes Islamized only in the sense that they gegin to worship Optimus Maximus in the forms of hoards of Muslim silver. Such idolatry is clearly un-Islamic.

The fact that commodity markets, towns full of Burghers and silver money come to Europe from Islam will be a mystery to profound theoreticians who will seek the roots of expanded commodity production in the self-sufficient Frankish manors. But this is no mystery to Europeans who undergo the transformation. As soon as they discard their Roman antipathy to financial transactions and their Catholic antipathy to financial transactions, Europeans, especially southern, formerly Frankish Europeans, look to Islam for the rest of the armor that goes with the commercial ways.

Frankish fealty and Catholic absolution give neither warmth nor completion to Burghers' lives, and mercantile Western Europeans become avid readers of Islamic texts translated into Latin by multi-lingual Jewish scholars in Muslim Spain. The philosophy of Ibn-Sina and the mathematics of al-Biruni become more important to Burghers than the Lives of the Saints. The Plato and Aristotle of the later "western tradition" are part of the Islamic culture now absorbed by the West.

The Roman worm which the Church tried to revive during a millenium is replaced by a plethora of landborne and seaborne octopus-shaped Leviathans, by Meccas, Medinas and miniature Baghdads, by a network of Venices, each devoted to monopolizing the whole field, each considering itself an Athens.

* * *

It is precisely at this moment that the Pope of Rome, one named Urban, announces a holy war against Islam, the First Crusade:

Turn the weapons which you have stained unlawfully in the slaughter of one another against the enemies of
the faith and the name of Christ.

Frederick Turner will lucidly analyze the holy war as an externalization of the violence previously turned inward. In its genocidal sweep, in the magnitude of its lie, in its exploitation of repressions and resentments, the Pope's proclamation already announces everything the West will become.

The holy war against unbelievers begins at home, against Jews, at a time when Westerners no longer need Jews because Lombards as well as Franks are themselves carriers of merchandise. The pious Frankish and Catholic antipathy to trade becomes principled by expressing itself in massacrews at a time when the perpetrators of the massacres are starting to compete with Jews for goods and markets.

Those who hate Jewish merchants crusade alongside those who hate Jewish competitors in a holy alliance of exploiters with their own victimized clients. With one and the same stroke, the ones consider themselves regenerated into a community of free Franks while the others think themselves regenerated into Greeks translated into the Frankish Latin from Arabic.

Like all the Westerners' later religious, political and commercial propaganda, the Holy War against Infidels is a tissue of lies which has something for everyone, and what it offers to each is incompatible with what it offers all others. It offers some the prospect of becoming what they no longer are, others the prospect of becoming what they never were.

Under the banner of the big lie, people whose free communities are repressed beyond retrieval nevertheless retrieve lost communities, lost kinship and lost freedom, but only during the instant when they slaughter imagined enemies of all they lost.

Fields of corpses are the confirmation of the Westerners' regeneration. The lost humanity is regained by means of a sacrificial act. The humanity of others is the offering.

The massacre of Jews at home is only a preparation, a mere rehearsal for the first act of the holy war. Turner will say,

It is the Crusades that truly commence the pattern of large-scale, international Christian violence against all
unbelievers that at last bear arms its cindered fruit in the ruins of Tenochtitlan.

Western Catholics who do not know where the Levant is located, who for a millennium had considered Rome the center of the world, suddenly learn from Norman and Venetian merchants that Jerusalem is the real center. They find Jerusalem by following the paths of the mercantile pioneers, and once there,

they laid low, without distinction, every enemy encountered, (in the words of the Archbishop of Tyre, cited.)

Everywhere was frightful carnage, everywhere lay heaps of severed heads, so that soon it was impossible to
pass or to go from one place to another except over the bodies of the slain...It is reported that within the
Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished...

The extermination of the Nahuatl, Quechua, Algonquian, Iroquoian, Polynesian, African and East Asisn populations is already announced. Cortez, Pizzaro, Cass, Andrew Jackson, Cecil Rhodes, Adolph Hitler and Richard Nixon will later be names for similar faceless Knights who perpetrate the same genocide on other Jerusalems.

The human face is extinguished by a Leviathanic mask which is itself masked, veiled, hidden. The purpose of the veils is to show the Western European as something he no longer is or never was, and to hide what he has become.

Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot,

the Archbishop tells, gazing through the veils at the Leviathanic masks.

But the victors themselves gaze only at the veils. Inspired by Troubadors who sing of Frankdom's bygone glory and by priests who chant in Latin about resurrection, the Knights, see themselves as saviors of the Holy Land from Infidels, as successors to the rebels who intended to cast fire upon the Leviathanized world, as something they will never become and never were.

Any and every lie is worn as yet another veil. Tears shed for Jerusalem's defamation by Arabic infidels are supplemented by tears for Byzantium's desolation in the face of Turkish infidels. The Crusaders demonstrate their love for poor Byzantium by tearing what's left of it to shreds.

And at the end of all the piously veiled holocausts, a Frankish Baldwion installs himself as the merchant king of Levantine Edessa, a Norman Bohemond as the merchant of Levantine Antioch, a third pious Catholic as King of Jerusalem. Instead of casting fire upon the Leviathanized world, they've thrust spears and daggers into its living inhabitants. Then they proceed to expropriate the dead, donning their clothes as well as their roles. Franks and Normans are now at the Mediterranean source of the eastern cloths and spices. They run mercantile houses that supply Venetian ships. Their sons marry Muslim women and praise Allah five times a day, for his infinite Mercy.

* * *

The western kin of the Levantine Northmen remain committed to Optimus Maximus, the god of crusading legions, and to Lugalzaggizi, the patron of aggressive Leviathans. With the towns, commercial networks and centralized political institutions thrust upon them by Muslims, Vikings and Slavs, the Westerners are hastily armoring themselves with every Leviathanic trait accessible to them. Local merchants in every quarter supplement and then replace Jews as well as Normans. Numerous cities circumvent the monopolists of Venice and grow wealthy by provisioning the overseas Crusaders and returning with Levantine spices and silver. Crusaders return from their plunder of Byzantium with kidnapped weavers and launch little cloth-producing Levants in the heart of Gaul and Italy.

Soon serfs who flee from manors in search of the free air of commerce find only the constraint of wage labor in cloth-producing cities like Florence, Ghent and Bruges. Having burned their bridges, the former serfs have little alternative but to accept what they find.

Serfs cannot safely leave their manors, but many other aspects of their humanity have not yet been expropriated. The activity, the animals as well as the crops are theirs, and they provision the Lord on terms set not by force or by markets but by custom.

This now comes to an end. The Lord starts to infringe on custom, he demands greater dues and his demands grow exorbitant.

The Lord now sells his excess grain to merchants for money, because he needs the money to buy town luxuries-and also to buy necessities. He even buys cloth now, because the cloth produced by the urbanized weavers is cheaper and often better than the cloth produced by serfs.

The concentrated urban weavers are no longer serfs. They're zeks, labor-camp inmates, instruments. Neither their activity nor their product is their own.

Theoreticians of progress will explain the Before and After by describing a "development" of cottage weavers into industrial weavers. The theoreticians can do this because, once commerce rules, merchants will get their cloth in every way possible, and any of the more modest ways can be called transitional to the grander. But the fact that Florence, Bruges and Ghent are industrial towns, namely cities with labor camps, already three generations before Mongols disable the Levantine parents of these towns. What happens later is that the camps spread, they supplant other forms of cloth production.

The activity of the Burghers pressures the proud Lord into becoming an economic calculator himself. he now weighs cloth against grain before he commissions his serfs to weave, and if he goes to town for his cloth, he needs money. To get the money, he needs more products from his serfs. He appoints a Maire, Bayle or Bauermeister to supervise the work of the serfs, and frequently the Knightly Lord, although usually the supervisor, acquires an unprecedented interest in agricultural technology.

The Knight, a horse connoisseur, now discovers that horses are faster draught animals than oxen. He or his foreman makes sure the peasants use shoulder-harnesses to get the horse to harrow and till.

And the Knight starts asking about water mills, which are taken for granted in Islamic Mesopotamia but which would have aroused only the Knight's yawns earlier.

Just as suddenly, and precisely at the time when Mongol raiders begin to close off the Kiev route along which Vikings carried slaves to Islam and silver to the West, former Franks open silver mines in the Herz Mountains and the Alps. The silver has been in the mountains all along, but Franks who didn't use money would have abhorred the thought of burrowing into caves for it.

The so-called productive forces do not give rise to Leviathanic social relations in Western Europe any more than elsewhere. The technology is nothing but the Leviathan's armory, and both arrive in the West together. The fangs and claws originate in China, Persia, Arabia and elsewhere; they come to the West from Islam, directly or by way of Viking carriers. The vaunted technological ingenuity of the Burghers will be another Western lie. The purpose of this lie will not be primarily to make people proud of the West, but to make zeks proud of the claws and fangs that reduce them to zeks.

* * *

Something else now begins in Western Europe, something we will call "population growth": a steady increase in human numbers as continuous and persistent as the Leviathan itself. This phenomenon seems to exist only among Leviathanized human beings. Animals as well as human communities in the state of nature do not proliferate their own kind to the point of pushing all others off the field.

We don't know how animals, wolves for example, limit their numbers, but we know that they do. We also know that some animals, for example locusts, do not do this very well. But locusts periodically end up pushing themselves off the field, so that not even locusts experience ongoing population growth.

Of human communities we know, from their mythologies, that they exist in a cosmic context where every living being and every member of the community has a special meaning. Such communities reproduce their part of the meaningful context, just as Earth reproduces their part of the other varied parts. They venture into meaninglessness only when they are disrupted or threatened with extinction, and even then they do not automatically have recourse to "population growth."

The zeks of the increasingly Leviathanized West, both urban and rural, no longer exist in a context. Mythologies that filled them with meaning are beyond memory's reach.

The increasingly numerous urban zeks concentrated in factories are, in fact, despoiled of every last trace of community, and in this sense they are more like domesticated cattle or sheep than like human beings in the state of nature. Zeks do not reproduce a meaningful context. They simply reproduce. No part of the context is up to them, because they are part of no natural context. So-called working communities, namely labor gangs, are as artificial as the Leviathan. They are, in fact, the Leviathan's springs and wheels, its entrails, in the Crusading West as in the first Sumerian Ur. The concentrated weavers are the first zeks in Europe since the demise of the Roman Leviathan.

Serfs are nevertheless fleeing from manors in order to breathe the free air of town zeks because the serfs themselves are being reduced to agricultural zeks. Later worshippers of a son of Optimus Maximus called Progress will deliberately obscure the despoliation of planters and cultivators; they will describe a steady ascent from a hellish Dark Age to an electrically illuminated Heaven.

We will have to burrow through libraries of lies to learn that the cultivators maimed by Roman Civilization reconstituted some form of community after the Leviathan's demise. Armored Frankish Knights with their networks of vassals and their code of martial honor seriously infringed on the integrity and freedom of the communities of cultivators, but the Knight's coat of mail and tree-length spear were ill-adapted to serious Leviathanic ventures. The Knightly domain was a coherent Leviathan only in the dreams of Catholic Churchmen. Progress-worshippers will call the period a Dark Age precisely because it lacked any coherent His-story, any Leviathanic development. After the Knights' initial disruption of the agrarian communities, manorial relations and dues were regulated by Custom, which means that they remained what they were from one generation to the next.

The agrarian communities are not only disrupted, they are destroyed beyond repair, when Custom is replaced by Market and Force. The cultivators suddenly lose their world. The land, which had always been common to all living beings, is now invaded by foremen and labor gangs intent on making Eart produce for the town market. The forests which provided game and timber as well as forage for domesticated animals are suddenly as out of bounds to serfs as the Roman Empire was to northerners. All of Earth's free gifts start to be called "waste," and the opposite of "waste" is the despoliation of Earth, animals and people for the sake of products saleable in town markets.

And the Church is at the forefront of all this change. The Church is the rough beast which, its hour come round, slouched toward Bethlehem to be born, and its hour come round again a millenium later, to be reborn. The Church will later be called an enemy of Progress and a partisan of "natural economy." The Church will always present itself as something it is not, and some will always believe its claims.

The Crusading Church is the greatest single merchant of Europe. Its prelates are experienced opportunists. Its Optimus Maximus is the father of Progress and its Lugalzaggizi is the godfather. Optimus's antipathy to the trade of others, and Lugalzaggizi's call for dominion over fish, plants and animals is an ancient invation to transform all of Earth's forms of life into commodities. In the vernascular languages coming into daily use, Optimus Maximus translates as optimal production for maximum profits.

Pious Cisterian monks are among the first Catholics to leap head-first into commercial, profit-oriented agriculture. The Cisterian ventures are Agro-Business from the very start; they are not "natural economies" that "develop" into commercial ventures because of some inner dynamic or dialectic. The Cisterian businessmonks consolidated scattered farms, centralize managerial functions, hire what they call "lay brothers," namely paid agricultural laborers, armies of them. The monks drive independent peasants off the land, and they sell their products at town markets.

The Pope takes the very offices of his Church to market. His stock of relics is a bazaar in no way inferior to Baghdad's or Cairo's, and he even traffics in intangibles such as absolutions or pardons over which he holds an absolute and unchallenged monopoly. The Church veils the rapacity with the robes of saints and apostles while rushing to stuff the Pontifex into the new Leviathan's head; only after it fails to make him the new beast's Vicar will the Church become piously moral.

* * *

The Crusading Westis already announcing what it will become. A little more lubrication will make it the most formiddable worldeater ever to emerge out of Spiritus Mundi.

Europe's southern city-states and northern nation-states are all rushing to form tentacles as long as Islam's, and successors to the post of Holy Roman Emperor are trying to embrace all the independent emirates within a unified caliphate.

The Emperor is no longer the Pope's anointed, not since the Pope's alliance with Normans and Muslims. The conflict between Pope and Emperor is not over the realm's Islamization, but over who shall rule the realm. From Barbarossa on, the Emperor wants to reduce the Church to the Empire's clerical staff, appointed by the Emperor and at his beck and call. The Emperor defends old principles and antipathies no more than the Pope. In fact, during the Crusades against Islam, Emperor Frederick the Second recruits Sicilian Muslims for his war against the Pope. The new Holy Emperors are successors to Charlemagne's Franks only in their devotion to violence and their greed for booty in the form of land.

The Islamization of the West is nevertheless complete. The Westerners do not bow to the merciful Allah, who has some but not all the attributes of Optimus and Lugalzaggizi. The Westerners do something Muhaammad enjoined his followers no to do. They bow to a stone. They worship Optimus in the form of Muslim silver, and are already worshippin Him in the form of Alpine and Herz Mountain silver. The silver is part of Earth's skeleton, but gouged out of her body it is a dead thing. This dead thing is what enjoins its worshippers to have dominion over the fliers, walkers, and crawlers, and also over the Biosphere, over Earth herself.

Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs already despoiled Earth's life-teeming surface, but they did so with something of a bad conscience. Their Baal, Hera and Allah retained some poorly-remembered connection with Earth.

Christians plunder with a godd conscience. Their plunder is not offensive to their god. It is in fact the Dominion he calls for.

And Christian merchants add a new dimension to their plunder: they spiritualize or liquefy the land itself. Catholic Knights had already treated the land as war booty. Catholic Burghers go a step further; they treat the land as a commodity. The Frankish lust for land is democratized. A sum of silver coins is now equivalent to a parcel of land. The merchant's money is his liquid assets; when he purchases an estate he can sit on his real assets.

Manors start to liquify under the feet of Lords who failed to see the signs of the times, and even the names of Knights begin to liquefy and flow toward the households of moneyed Burghers.

The whole world is being liquefied, reduced to Value, whose solid equivalent is Silver. The Burgher's heirs will try to liquefy Earth irreversibly by reducing her to the Value embodied in another stone, a stone that fissions, uranium.

* * *

and now for something completely different...

there's a lot of writing on this site, lately. so here are some videos to make you laugh and cheer.

#1 is The Great American Snort Off 1, which is so hilarious that, using my paltry creative juices at this hour of the the morning would be injust. I'm proud to say that contestant #2, Nature Boy, is one of the people I'm living with right now.

#2 is a trailer for the movie 300. Fredy Perlman would bitch slap me if he saw me post this up next to his shit, but come on. Historical revisionism to make our evil progenitors look like newly anti-authoritarian badasses, killing imperial hordes of masked rhinocerous riders? If you can't dig it you need to get a shovel.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan! Chapter 15 (bullshit Frankish/Catholic Empire: marauders, priests, Vikings and the first nation-States)


The Church's project of rehabilitating the Roman Leviathan on its west-Eurasian home-grounds succeeds--but only for an instant, a fleeting instant which gives rise to lasting illusions.

Charlemagne's neo-Roman Empire in Frankish garb is neither a rehabilitated Fourth nor a new Fifth Beast. It is no more than the last death-rattle of the moribund Roman worm, a sudden burst of flame among the cinders of a burnt-out fire.

The stench emanating from the unburied decomposing carcass will continue to attack western nostrils, but the artifice will never again be set in motion.

Muslims, Byzantines, Turnks and Mongols seeking a Leviathanic name for the West will continue to refer to Europeans as "Franks" because there was a Frankish Leviathan once upon a time, not because there continues to be one.

Western Eurasia will be treated like a single entity with a continuous story because trained falsifiers will have a monopoly on the West's record keeping.

The Roman Catholic chroniclers of the heavenly and earthly Leviathan are schooled to see unity and continuity where there is none, to see what they're looking for, not what they're looking at. They tell of the Earthly City even when cities disappear from the West, when there is no Leviathanic unity nor continuity but only dismemberment and decomposition.

The centuries of militancy, preparation and propaganda yield the Church no Earthly City. THe Church's chosen champion, the Frankish Roman Empire, is like ancient Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus, who went from victory to victory until he was totally ruined. The Church's scribes will nevertheless depict ever-greater triumphs of their cause. They are trained not to recognize defeat. Self-defined as Catholic, namely all-embracing, the Western Church seeks total a dominion so vast, that every collapse of its real empire seems minor and ephemeral, even the collapse of its last empire.

Like militants of later days, Catholic militants seek ends so broad that virtually any means seem instrumental. Their daily practice degenerates into an unprincipled power-serving opportunism that is ever-ready to smear the previous day's goals and perpetrate atrocities against the previous day's allies. In the eyes of such opportunists Emperor Charlemagne was great and Holy Roman Emperor Otto is greater.

But if Charlemagne was barely more than the chieftan of a gang of marauders, Otto is neither Holy nor Roman nor an Emperor.

The Church cannot accept the fall of the Roman Empire because it sees the Empire as the World and itself as the Empire's soul. The entire apparatus of the Church continues to act as a vast bureaucracy administering a world-embracing Leviathan during all the centuries when no Leviathan stirs in the West.

Charlemagne's ephemeral Frankish Empire serves the Church as confirmation that the Beast does move, but a close look reveals that this Beast is not only ephemeral but also illusory. It is not a functioning machine. It is a composite made up of pieces that come from different machines, and the pieces don't mesh together, they are like prows of ships combined with clock springs. Clocks will serve a purpose on ships, but a mound of prows and clock springs will not yield either a ship or a clock.

Another suggestive metaphor would be a nervous system existing apart from a body. The Church trains and deploys a vast bureaucracy fully capable of serving as administration and police of the Roman Emperor and his provincial governors and tax farmers in the time of Octavian Augustus. But in the time of Frankish marauders, this colossal bureacucracy dangles in a void, and no amount of anointing water can glue such a bureaucracy to such an army and make it a functioning Leviathan.

The Franks are still Free Men who prove their worth by their prowess, and the only loyalty they honor is loyalty to the brothers and comrades who help them get booty. Loyalty to an Emperor, devotion to the orderly functioning of the Imperial machine, are as alien to them as fealty is to the Roman Popes.

The Franks were glad enough to treat the very land as war booty, but this has not turned them into officials of a territorial State. On the contrary, the Franks have turned lands into attributes of persons. Thus Lotharingia, for example, is neither a colony nor a province, such as Gaul was in Roman days. Lotharingia is the sum of Lothar's holdings in any given year, and it can change from one year to the next, like Lothar's clothes.

This is true not only of Lothar but also of his sworn companions-in-arms, his vassals. Each vassal is rewarded with booty in the form of lands over which he is Lord, and he in turn rewards lesser vassals with large parcels of his lands.

The parcels, called Manors, are not fiscal and administrative units of a territorial State. The officials deployed to all these "parishes" by the Church officiate in a vacuum. The Lord of the manor serves as liege-lord, be he near or distant, and if his liege-lord is at war with his neighbor's, he will war against his neighbor. And such wars are not rare. That's why the walls of the Lord's lodging are three feet thick, why there is a moat before the entrance, why the Lord and his retainers move about in heavy armor lugging tree-length spears. In such a context, trained administrators of territorial units are exotics from a different world.

The Frankish Lords are still familiar only with the personal relations of their vanquished community, whereas the Churchmen are trained to think the hierarchic relations of the Roman Empire are the only possible community.

The Lord and the Priest are not only exotic to each other. They are also incompatible. The world of each excludes the other. The Lord is probably grateful to the Priest for pacifying the cultivators of the land with stories of the evils of this world and the glories of the next. The Lord is grateful because he is fed, not by the land, but by its cultivators.

The peasants feed the Lord and all his companions, their families and thier horses. The peasants build the moat as well as the thick walls. They grind the Lord's wheat and carry his water. On occasion they are even recruited to fight his wars.

The peasants, whether their ancestors were Franks, Latins, Celts, Levantines or Africans, are no longer free. Some resisted, some tried to flee, but all the liege-lord's vassals ganged up against them. They are part of the manor. They come with the parcel a vassal receives as booty. They have been reduced to serfs.

It is among the serfs that the priests do their officiating. To the Priests, the Serfs are equal to the Lords in the eyes of God, they are all citizens of the Empire, as they were to Roman Emperor Caracalla, and therefore all are equally bound to pay a head tax, a tithe or tenth of all their produce.

This tithe is sent to Rome and from Rome it filters down the hierarchy in a properly Leviathanic manner, supporting the administrative apparatus of the inexistent Empire.

But the tithe is so much food that doesn't reach the Lord's table. The Lord hates to see the tithe leave this manor, and he will soon try to control not only the tithe but also the Priest on his manor. He wants the peasant's surplus product on his table, not on the parasitical Pope's.

Such an attitude could not be at greater variance with the Priest's, whose Roman training predisposes him to want to gather all surplus produce and send it to the center, from where it would filter down in a properly Leviathanic manner.

In practice, Lord and Priest accommodate to each other, but during all the generations that they coexist, each of them draws a line he will not cross. They remain antithetical. Each remains a component of a different entity.

* * *

Books will be written to tell readers that Leviathanic "modes of production" rise in the West when "productive forces ripen," that the manors of the Lords "develop into" territorial mercantile States, with Churchmen serving as "midwives."

Many of these books will be like "before" and "after" pictures with an elaborate argument that demonstrates how the earlier structure "developed into" the later one. Written by dialecticians adept at showing how things develop into their opposites, many of the arguments will be convincing and some positively elegant, but they will tell readers everything except the fact that the earlier structures were burned down.

The fact is that the West inherited Rome's "productive forces," among the world's "ripest," and let them rot. The fact is that the manor will stay a manor longer than any Egyptian dynasty lasted and will never develop into a territorial State, a proper Leviathan. The fact is that the Church is not the "midwife." The Church is committed to Octavian's Rome, not to the territorial commercial States of the later West; Charlemagne's Empire comes as close as the Church will get to its goal.

The Leviathanic forms come from outsiders. They are not adopted by flexible Christian Westerners, who will exist only in later stories. They are violently imposed on the ruins of the dismembered Frankish Catholic Empire. And the "midwives" who initiate the avatars of the later Western Leviathan are enemies of the Franks, of Rome, of the Church, or all three.

The gravediggers of Catholicism's only real Western Empire, Charlemagne's, are set in motion by Charlemagne's own armies of Free Men who test their freedom and their manhood by turning everyone on Europe's fringes into an inveterate enemy of Franks.

But by attacking the Muslims south of them and then turning north against neighbors of the decimated Saxons, the Franks are no longer tangling with weaker communities. They are tangling with peoples as heavily armored with Leviathanic traits as the Franks themselves. The Muslims of Spain are the westernmost province of Eurasia's most powerful Leviathan this side of China. The Danes, Slavs, and Avar Huns of the northern woodlands, although not as armored as the Muslims, have long been using Leviathanic weapons to try to preserve what remains of their communities. When all of these peoples retaliate against the Franks, the Empire of the West collapses for good.

* * *

Scandinavians--their descendants will be known in the West as Vikings, Northmen, Normans--are the first to retaliate against Frankish violence. Danes already took up arms to defend their Saxon neighbors from the Frankish massacre. By the time the Franks subjugate Saxony by depopulating northeastern Germany, the Danes are building a fleet against Charlemagne's Christians.

This fleet is followed by numerous larger fleets, no longer defensive ones. The northerners organize vast military undertakings against the disintegrating Frankish Empire. They begin by raiding the Empire's outer fringes: Frisia, England, Ireland.

The Vikings take their Steppe horses with them on their large ships, terrorize all of Europe, sack and destroy Frankish strongholds at all major rivers, plunder Asturias, Portugal as well as Paris. They arrive as Conquistadores of vast portions of the Carolingian Empire, dismemberers of the last Roman Empire of the West. Vikings invade parts of Gaul, Apulia in Italy, all of Sicily, all of England. Adopting Frankish languages, availing themselves of Roman bureaucrats, they impose themselves as rulers, undermine the power of manor lords, and then launch a revamped Roman Frankdom into maritime plundering expeditions, into vast commercial undertakings of seaborne piracy and conquest.

The northerners who are provoked by the Roman Catholic invaders of Saxony into such a vast and long-lasting response are as familiar with Leviathanic ways as the Franks themselves. The fact that Vikings are not explicitly named in the records of Leviathans prior to Charlemagne's suggests that they have not wanted to tangle with the Leviathans until they had to.

Vikings may have been among the northerners who warred against the Roman Empire's enclosure of southwestern Eurasia. Unlike Franks and Goths, the Scandinavians did not pursue the war for twenty generations, and they were not among the dismemberers of the real Roman Empire. They returned to the fastness of their fjords, separated from Leviathanic armies by icy seas, and nurtured their language, mythology and ancient ways--up to a point. They did not become reconciled to the beastly enclosure of the world's warm half. And they did break through. BUt unlike the Franks, they did it without storming Rome's walls. They found a path to the Mediterranean which bypassed the Roman Empire and all its legions, a path from the Baltic to the Black Sea along the rivers that traverse Russia. It is not known how long the Scandinavians were familiar with this path, nor if they were among the "Scythians" with whom the Greeks traded on the Black Sea's shores.

By the time Frankish armies firs tangle with Vikings, the outposts along the Scandinavians' eastern path are already commercial empires engaged in trade and politics with the Byzantine Empire. At a time when there are neither cities nor trade in the Frankish West, Vikings who call themselves Rus, whom the Byzantines call Varangians, dispatch commercial fleets from the cities of Novgorod and Kiev.

Like the Phoenicians and their Arab successors, like the Ottawas of another time and place, these Scandinavians try to compensate for the loss of half the world by turning themselves into intermediaries who carry objects between the enclosed lands and their homeland.

Just as they bypassed Rome to reach the Middle Sea, they bypass Byzantium to reach the Levant and exchange their furs, teas and honey for Muslim silks, spices and silver. They do this on their own, without Christian intermediaries. When they do have recourse to Byzantine scribes and icons, they do so in order to appear before the Muslim merchants as the Third Rome, not as a province of Byzantium.

Undoubtedly hoping to enhance their own lives and ways by their carrying, in time they cease to be what they were and become what they do. The Scandinavian Rus become rulers of the first Russian State, a water-borne commercial empire, an octopus; they become carriers of Leviathanic tentacles to parts of Eurasia reached by no previous Leviathan.

By tangling with Vikings, the Franks dig a grave for their own Empire of serfs, manor lords and fealty relations. The Scandinavians north of Saxony will not become serfs or vassals of a liege-lord; in fact, they will not leave Frankish institutions much space in which to develop.

Many of the West's major transformations come to it neither from the inner dynamics of the feudal Lord's manor nor from the Papal See but from Scandinavia, just like Muslim silver, which the Northmen monopolize in Western Europe for several generations.

* * *

Vikings are not the only people whose ire the marauding Roman Catholic Franks provoke. The Pope-anointed latter-day Romans also tangle with Slavs, Magyars and Muslims, even though the Vikings are formidable enough to dismember the Knightly Empire. The converted Franks fare no better against the others than against the Vikings.

Most Slavs live in agricultural communities far from Leviathans at the time of Charlemagne, but the Slavs attacked by the Frankish marauders do not.

After completing their devastation of Saxony, the Franks turn against Lithuanians, northern Srbi or Sorbs (later called Wends), and Moravians. Lithuanians and Sorbs give the Catholics a lot of trouble later. Moravians do so right away.

Moravians are communities of cultivators long familiar with Leviathanic relations. It is not known if some of their ancestors were among the Scythians who traded with the Greeks or if later ancestors took part in the long war against the Roman Empire. It is known that already at the time of the Frank Clodovech, the Moravians had formed a defensive alliance similar to that of the ancient Guti and all their successors. Mounted Avar Huns at war with Byzantium had tried to reduce the agricultural Moravians into permanent food suppliers, and the Moravians had defended themselves from such a reduction by rallying their forces behind a strongman.

Charlemagne's Franks exterminate the Avars. Less violent people would have formed a lasting alliance with the grateful Moravians. But the Knights anointed by the agents of Optimus Maximus form no alliances. The Frankish marauders proceed to treat the Moravians as the Avars had.

Moravian cultivators will not be agrarian zeks to Franks any more willingly than to Avars, and they again have recourse to their defensive league, this time behind a strongman called Moymir.

The Frankish threat does not recede, and the Moravians remain leagued. Moymir's son Rastislav welcomes Serbian prelates Cyril and Methodius to Moravia to help organize a more permanent defensive establishment with scribes and with records written in Cyrils own alphabet, a proper Leviathan like those with which southern Slavs and Bulgars defend themselves from Byzantine recruiters and tribute-seekers.

Increasingly enmeshed by Leviathanic relations of their own making, unwittingly losing what they're intending to defend, the Moravians succeed in repulsing at least two major armies of Frankish invaders and in expanding their defensive league over regions later called Slovakia, Bohemia, northern Hungary and southern Poland.

More Cyrillic bureaucrats arrive from Serbia to help administer this State, but Serbia is far and the prelates do not arrive quickly enough, so the next Moravian strongman, Sviatopluk, invites Latin prelates to fill the administrative posts.

With its bureaucracy revamped, Moravia holds off yet more Frankish invasion forces, but collapses in the face of mounted Avars, namely Magyar Huns provoked by Byzantines as well as Franks.

The revamping of the Moravian bureaucracy will be described by Rome's scribes as a deed of the Roman Church, an accomplishment called "the Conversion of the Moravians." The militant church marches from victory to victory, like Pyrrhus; every victory brings it closer to its Doom.

The Moravian Leviathan, with its population of cultivators who share a common language and traditions, its centralized military organization and its bureaucracy of ecclesiastical clerks, may have affinities with the early Roman Res-Publica. It has no affinities at all with the Roman or Frankish Empires. It is a precursor of what we will call a "nation state," an early gravedigger of everything Frankish, Roman, Catholic and Imperial.

Those who hail "the conversion of the Moravians" conveniently forget what their institution stands for. If it had been the aim of the Roman Church to serve as the bureaucracy of anything other than a rehabilitated and all-embracing Roman Empire, it could have gone to Byzantium, which at least had memories of empire as well as imperial pretensions. To boast of being the tail that wags the dog takes gall. To boast of being Sviatopluk's tail takes the hardened cynicism of the propagandist, the public liar.

It is true that the communities of Moravian cultivators gain nothing from the Catholic bureaucrats who administer their initially defensive league. However, Moravians happen to be among the few who actually read the Book of the Catholic clerks and call the lies of the Catholic establishment.

It is true that the Moravian State lasts for only a generation before it is ruined by angry Magyar Huns. But this State is immediately followed by a long line of successors. It is already the prototype of the Leviathanic form that will sweep liege-lords and manors from the field.

While their Empire falls to pieces, Frankish marauders nevertheless go on attacking Scandinavians, Slavs and Magyars.

The attacked continue to retort in kind, but they do something else besides. They form themselves, in very quick succession, into Moravian-style defensive Leviathans administered for their respective strongmen by bureaucrats trained by the Roman Church.

The Moravians' kin and neighbors launch a Bohemian Leviathan headed by Vaclav and Premysl.

Vikings follow with a Danish Leviathan headed by Gorm the Old and Harold Bluetooth.

Magyar Huns gather in a Hungarian Leviathan headed by Arpad.

Communities of free cultivators of fields, Polenyi in Slavic, become encased in a Piast Dynasty headed by Miezko.

The proliferation goes on and on. Europe's geography is being launched.

Frankish Catholics do not put an end to Viking or Magyar raids. Scandinavian rulers curb the Vikings. Hungarian rulers curb the Magyar raiders. Each of the indigenous Leviathans later called nation-states does to its human contents what neither Romans nor Franks could do to them: domesticates them.

But the forms of the domestication are neither Roman nor Frankish. The boundaries of these States are the limits beyond which liege-lords and manors cannot spread. Each of these Leviathans serves only its own ends. The only Empire to which they are loyal is their own. They can be turned to provinces of another empire only by being destroyed, since they were constituted as defenses against provincialization by Frankdom or Rome and this remains their central aim. They recognize the supremacy of the Pope only so long as the Papal See remains a supreme traing ground of bureaucrats whose first loyalty is to the national ruler, whose first devotion is to the cause of genocidal campaigns against other Catholic nation-states or even against the remains of Frankdom itself.

These nations are Catholic only so long as the Catholics are national. Later on, when bureaucrats will be trained at home and Rome's services are no longer needed, the depth of all the "conversions" will be exposed by overnight "reformations."

The Moravianization of Europe's frontiers, or rather the proliferation of Leviathans in the form of nation-states which encircle and shrink Frankdom's Rome, precludes the very possibility of rehabilitating an Empire of the West, whether Roman or other. The Pope's Roman dream will be revived only twice, and much later, by two megalomaniacs, but their Romes will be Paris and Berlin, neither of them will seek anointment from Pontifex Maximus, and neither will realize the dream. Charlemagne's Empire is not a beginning but an end.

* * *

Rome's scribes do not seek Frankdom's northern debacles as defeats, but they do recognize their Empire's southern adventures as less than victories.

Already in Charlemagne's own lifetime, the proud Franks deliberately seek the enmity of both of the Leviathans west of China. It is probably only their ignorance of the existence of the Far Eastern Leviathan that keeps the Franks from trying their swords and spears against that adversary as well.

The Franks try to subjugate Byzantium's last outpost in the West, commercial Venice, and they cross the Pyrenees to chase Spanish Muslims.

The Catholic Empire's antipathy to Venice comes to it from Frankish, Roman as well as Christian sources. The recently and incompletely Leviathanized Franks still consider trade to be something one does to one's enemies, and the ecclesiastical thought-molders among the Franks share old Rome's antipathy to any type of Octopus with freely-moving tentacles, be it Etruscan or Carthagian. The Roman antipathy is supplemented by the Book's description of Christ's treatment of the money-chargers.

Westerners consider trade demeaning to Christians. They call it sinful. The few eastern spices and cloths they use come to them from Jews, whos existence in the West is not publicly acknowledged; the invisible Jews are considered foreigners, even though the Jews have been in Gaul and Italy longer than Goths.

The Venetians are Christians and also heirs to the mercantile traditions of Adriatic Greeks. Ever since the reduction of their Byzantine metropolis by the armies of Islam, their own city has been turning into an independent octopus, or at least into a tentacle of the Islamic octopus.

The relation of Venice to Arabic mercantile centers in the Levant probably resembles the relation of ancient Greeks to Phoenicians.

The Venetians, like the Russian Vikings who find their way to the Levant from the Black Sea, are apprentices to the Muslims. They deliver timber to the once-forested Levant, as well as enslaved human beings who are not always "heathens." They take from the Levant luxuries, some of which originate in distant India and China.

The Venetians respond to the Frankish threat by taking to the sea, and the notoriously unseaworthy Knights cannot either subjugate or eliminate the Christian merchants.

The Franks stop molesting Venice only after the Byzantine metropolis recognizes the apparatus of the Frankish Knights as the Empire of the West, namely another Pyrrhic victory. The Byzantine recognition will not prolong Frankdom's existence by a day, whereas Venice will undermine all of Frankdom's principled antipathies.

* * *

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Write for Rights

Join Amnesty International on Friday, March 16 at 8:00 at the Greenwich Tavern for an evening of poetry, performance, music and fun! (open mic)


Greenwich Tavern 2440 Gilbert Avenue 513-221-1151

Friday, February 23, 2007

InkTank. -for the Cincy locals

if you live in Cincy, check out for more details.

InkTank is the writing and literacy center in Over-the-Rhine, dedicated to promoting literary arts as a means to transcend perceived barriers of age, race, economic, geographic and educational backgrounds, while strengthening the sense of community in Cincinnati.

InkTank World Headquarters includes:
• program space for writing groups
• exhibition space for the display of art containing words/text
• performance space for special events, such as Open Mics, music, intimate theater
• a local authors’ bookstore, The Book Bank
• office space for InkTank administration
• a lovely courtyard for reading and quiet contemplation

Thursday, February 22, 2007

This is so tragic-comic that you should pass it up. Well written too! It's about how Phillip Morris argues that people dieing from smoking is good for society.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan! Chapter 14 (evolution of the Western Spirit, dehumanized invaders, the Vicar of Christ, Northern Europe falls)

To get something of an overview of what Turner calls "The Western Spirit," I have to go back to the days when strongman Constantine transfers the Roman capital to Byzantium.

The transfer does not go over well in Rome. The Roman Empire may have been an abomination in the eyes of Christ, but Rome is determined to remain the abomination's capital, even if it has to lie.

Prevarication becomes the West's major art. From the day when a Church official names himself the Vicar of Christ and a Goth parades his puppet as Emperor of Rome to the day when the biggest empire of zeks in Leviathan's entire His-story will speak of itself as The Free World, everything in the West is a lie.

Lying becomes necessary and then compulsive because the people who fall heir to the rubble of the westernmost edge of the Roman Empire are so dehumanized by their struggle against their adversary that they forget not only their initial intentions but also their very origins and identity. All that remains of their former selves is the violence of their struggle to preserve themselves, and sheer violence cannot view itself in a glass; it must prevaricate; it must cover itself with masks and then with more masks over the initial masks, because the violence keeps showing through.

Turner's subtitle is far too polite. The Western Spirit is no only against Wilderness; it is against nature as well as humanity, against truth as well as beauty. The Western Spirit is adept at putting exceptions in showcases; in real life it represses the exceptions.

The story of the Western Spirit actually begins long before Constantine transfers the capital to Greece-at least twenty or twenty-five generations before. It begins when the Roman Res Publica, flushed with its victory over Etruscans, defeats and then subjugates Gauls or Celts, enslaves them, turns them into zeks, and then walls them in. In the long peninsula known as Gaul and later as France and Spain, the republican Romans force Celts, Iberians and the Iberian Phoenicians into gold and silver mines, plunder their crops, cheat them, and slaughter all who protest.

People to the north of Gaul, free people who had gone where pleased when they pleased, pause before they enter Roman Gaul, for they enter at the risk of their lives. When they return to Gaul in a different season, then find that a yet larger portion of the world's land has turned lethal to freedom and life. It is as if the known world were sinking into the sea.

The loss is tragic. We well be able to imagine how those northerners felt about the warmth and beauty of the Mediterranean's shores because we will know how later northerners will feel.

Some few people may be inhospitable and warlike, but no people can make a portion of the world off limits to a single bird, animal or person. The very notion is repugnant to free people. Not even gods have the power to keep people from going where they please.

The northerners enrage the Roman border guards in skirmishes, but the northerners invariably lose; they are massacred. Those Roman fight like unreal things; they walk directly into ambushes; they don't flee even when half their own men fall; they just keep on advancing and killing; there fear on the faces of individual men but the column has no fear; it isn't human.

We will know absolutely nothing about this part of the story because the people who live it take their knowledge to their graves. But it does not take much imagination to suppose that before long most northerners know that the world's south is off limits to them, that half the world is occupied by something murderous and inhuman.

We will know from Roman writers that the skirmishes become more frequent, that several federated bands gang up against Roman strongholds. When Franks are first mentioned by name, they arrive with Turkic-speaking Alans who originate near China. The two groups may not know each other's language, but they understand each other perfectly. They understand that the entire lower half of the world is occupied by something violent beyond description; they understand that if that thing continues to spread, it means the end of freedom and the end of life.

We've seen how Rome responds to the attacks: by genocidal massacres, by slaughtering every member of a hostile band.

A twenty year war is terribly long. A war that lasts twenty generations is beyond the imagination's grasp. The weather in Sumer is benevolent compared to such an ordeal.

By the time the northern Franks, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians and others at last succeed in breaching Rome's frontiers, they fight like unreal things; they walk directly into ambushes and won't flee when their men fall; they keep on advancing and killing. They still remember themselves as free human beings--Frank means free--but all they remember of their freedom is the freedom to kill Romans and the desire to destroy Rome.

By the time the Emperors scribe writes that Franks have been permitted to settle in one part of Gaul, Burgundians in a second and Visigoths in a third, the scribe is in the Emperor's palace in Byzantium, the Emperor's own army consists of Goths, Huns, Alans and Arabs, and the permission is a lie which the scribe may well believe, because he cannot believe that the westernmost part of the Roman Empire has completely decomposed. Later writers will not believe this either, and they will cover it up by listing the various rulers of the "Western Empire'--but they will list a different ruler for every year, and several rulers for some years.

The Franks, Burgundians and Visigoths no longer need anyone's permission: they now confront only each other. But they can't believe this either. Something they fought so fiercely for so long cannot suddenly be gone. A Frankish strongman calls his puppet emperor of Rome, and the Goths go on warring against Rome until they set up their puppet as Emperor. Every lie is a pretext for renewed violence, and Rome's main activity, human sacrifice, becomes the main activity of those who have ruined Rome.

The lies become bizarre when a Church official in the city that is no longer the Empire's capital steps into the picture. This official undoubtedly seethes with frustration. He spent more than half his life climbing to his post, and now finds himself surrounded by Franks and Goths in the capital of a province which, god forbid! is no longer in the Roman Empire!

This Christian declares himself Potifex Maximus, a title venerable in Pagan Rome and attached to every Pagan emperor since Augustus, but a title hardly appropriate for a Christian. The official then proclaims that he's a descendant of the apostle Peter, and even that he's Peter in person. Arbogast, the Frankish strongman, is still listening, so the official raises himself yet higher. As Pontifex and Peter in Person, he is more than a mere apostle; he is the Vicar of Christ. And as Christ's Vicar he is higher than the Emperor; he's supreme; he's Optimus Maximus.

The official can say anything at all, because Arbogast the Frank knows the simple man is a crude liar and Arbogast doesn't care what the man calls himself. What interests the Frank is the information none will stop Arbogast and his Free Men from raping the remaining Vestal Virgins and plundering what's left in the palaces of Augurs, pagan Pontiffs and Sybinllines. The Franks can continue their war on "Rome" with impunity: Church officials and Byzantine soldiers will consider Franks who commit such deeds holy and pious.

With the sanction of the self-styled Vicar of Christ, Arbogast and his band of Free killers proceed to rape, pillage, murder and expropriate people who consider the Pontifex Maximus a laughingstock. Our name for such an outrage will be "Pogrom." The scribes of the Pontifex name it "The conversion of Rome's inhabitants to Christianity."

Dripping with blood and burdened with loot, Arbogast's Franks go on to claim their prize. They enter Gaul, they march into the Paradise that was off limits to twenty generations of their ancestors. But they don't enter to enjoy the warmth or the beauty of the Mediterranean lands. They enter to rape, pillage and expropriate. This is all they know how to do; it has been all they've known for generations.

In Gaul the victims are already Christians, but the agent of Pontifex who accompanies the Franks doesn't blink an eye. The victims were converted by Arius, and Arius was a heretic, therefore they deserve to be cast down to hell alongside the Pagans. And none can impugn the Christianity of the Franks, for they are the scourge of god against all enemies of Saint Siricius, the Vicar of Christ.

Arbogast and his gang do not have the whole field to themselves. Franks are not the only people walled out of the south. Everyone in the north was walled out. And now others rush through the breach, all as marked as the Franks by the eternity of war.

Visigoths are joined by mounted and ferocious pastoral nomads from every part of the Eurasian steppes, people whose names are preserved as Alans, Sueves, Vandals, Burgundians and many others. The strongman Alaric puts himself at the head of these varied bands, calls himself the King of the Goths, and leads the hardened veterans through most of Italy's cities.

All the generations of frustration, of pent-up hatred, at last find release in an orgy of violence which probably has no precedent. The marauders pillage and murder at will. Their animals turn Italy's latifundia into pastures. Italians who are still in cities die of famine; those who eat die of plague.

Alaric's hordes proceed to the famous Sack of Rome. They are joined by forty thousand slaves. Earlier slaves rose up to recover their lost equality, to reestablish human community. But that was many generations earlier. The slaves who join the Visigoth marauders want only revenge, they want blood, they understand the newcomers perfectly.

When the Visigoths are satiated and turn toward Gaul, Huns arrive, with allies picked up along the entire route between Mongolia and the Danube.

Roman Civilization becomes what it will remain forever after: colossal ruins. This is the holocaust the early Christians looked forward to. This is the last judgment, the day of reckoning, the end of the Fourth Kingdom.

Not since the demise of the Hittites has a large Leviathan decomposed so totally.

As the nomads from the forests and steppes turn more agricultural lands into pastures, the cities are abandoned, they become places of desolation where ornaments that once decorated Greek temples hide rotting corpses.

Roman architectural marvels become rain shelters, and soon their ornaments and inscriptions are incorporated in the walls of village lodges built by former slaves and outsiders. Large parts of Italy are completely depopulated .

The Emperor in Byzantium pays Attila the Hun a large tribute to dissuade the newcomers from devastating the last tiny seats of imperial power left in the west, Ravenna and Venice.

A scribe writes, for the record, that the puppet Roman Emperor of the Suevian strongman Ricimer exempts his subjects of all their debts to the State, rescinds all taxes, puts an end to tribute payments, and grants self-government to the inhabitants of cities. The scribe remembers better days; he cannot write that the Roman Empire has become a free-for-all, a wilderness.

Hobbes, too, will lie. He will say that the Leviathan has reverted to a state of nature. Rousseau will be the first to call Hobbes a liar. Such a "wilderness" exists nowhere in nature, and not a single element in it is natural. This wilderness is as artificial as Leviathan itself. The activities taking place now, pillage and murder, are the same activities that took place when the Leviathan was hale and hardy. The only difference is that they are done in a disorderly manner now; they were done in an orderly manner before.

People dehumanized by the Leviathan are playing with the artificial beast's decomposing segments, they are playing with the artifices we call technologies. This is some form of play; it is some kind of dance. But it is not a dance found anywhere in nature, either among animals or among human beings. It is the death rattle of a decomposing Leviathan.

* * *

If the nominal, hastily converted Christians of the West knew anything of the hopes of their Levantine precursors, they would know that hose hopes are all coming true.

The Fourth Kingdom has fallen and no fifth kingdom takes its place.

Away from the ruins, away from the main routes taken by roving bands of marauders, former slaves and zeks are joining with the peace-minded among the marauders and founding new villages, free villages of seed planters and pastoralists.

The only person dreaming of the next kingdom is the Pontifex Maximus, and he's dreaming of rehabilitating the fourth. This man and his staff of priests, by a lie that is surely unequaled in grossness, has metamorphosed the resistance against the abomination that was Rome into the last repository of all that was Rome. The lie alone is incredible in its magnitude. What is even more incredible is the extent to which these manipulative prevaricators succeed. They do not succeed right away. They bide their time. Their patience is inhuman, it is demonic, it lasts from generation to generation, it persists the way only a Leviathan can persist. For this patience, all the early Vicars of Christ will be proclaimed saints by their later heirs.

The Vicars, also called popes, do not work on the independent villagers--not yet. They work on the strongmen who head bands of marauders.

Pope Siricius showed the way when he worked on Arbogast. This came to nothing. But never mind, there are hundreds, even thousands of Arbogasts. The Suevian Ricimer is an even tougher grand boss than Arbogast. Ricimer installs the puppet Majorian, then the puppet Severus, then the puppet Anthemius, calls each Emperor of Rome while Pontifex Leo invests each Emperor with authority. Ricimer is the power behind the throne, Pontifex is the god behind it. But Anthemius takes his role too seriously, Ricimer himself kills the puppet, and before the burial Ricimer himself is killed by Goths, Huns and Burgundians who sack Rome yet again.

Burgundian strongman Gundoblad installs his candidate, but to no avail. So Gaiseric, the Vandal, tries a different approach; he installs Odovacar, but not as Emperor of Rome; Odovacar is called Patrician of the Pope's diocese of Italy, nominally under the protection of Byzantium's armies. This seems to work--until the entire tribe of Ostrogoths invade Italy and dispose Odovacar.

So nothing comes of it all, and the Pope has to start all over again, this time with Ostrogoth strongman Theodoric. The puppetry is dropped, and Theodoric proclaims himself King of Italy. This works, and the Pope is the anointer of Ostrogoth kings for a generation, until Byzantine Emperor Justinian's army depopulates Italy trying to reinclude in in the Roman Empire.

The eastern Emperor spoils it all. The Popes, anointers of kings, don't want to go back to being officials of a Church with headquarters in Byzantium. They are loyal to the Roman Empire, the real one, Octavian's, not Justinian's.

* * *

The Popes are precursors of Hobbes. They know that an operating Leviathan needs a single head. Heaven is ruled by a single king. As in heaven, so on earth.

The problem is that the operating Leviathan has its head in Byzantium, and the Popes' own world is overrun by numerous violent war chieftains and their mounted Knights. The Byzantine Leviathan is unacceptable because it has no office for a supreme Potifex Maximus, at least none for the saints in Rome.

So the project is to rehabilitate the defunct Leviathan out of the bands of marauding Knights. Such a project requires constant, careful and calculated prevarication.

Hampered by the Byzantine Empire's depopulation of Italy, the Popes cannot get anything rolling in the immediate vicinity of their seat. They do better when they turn to Siricius's favorites in Gaul, strongman Arbogast's descendants, the lethal Franks.

One of the Frankish Knights, a killer named Clodovech, grandson of Merovech, seems almost to know what it takes to rise from marauder to King.

Many of the Franks have married their Gallic and Latin neighbors and have settled down to hunting and even some planting. They still cherish the memory of the ages of violence, but their lives are not as full of great moments as the lives of their ancestors. Those who not only cherish the memory of the violence but also continue to live like their ancestors are the mounted Knights with their loyal gangs of retainers.

The grandson of Merovech is one of the greats among the Knights. This Clodovech operates from an island fortress on the river Seine, a site once inhabited by people called Parisii, a Celtic clan. In order to prevent disputes about who shall not have access to the fortress, Clodovech engages assassins to liquidate his brothers, cousins and all other disputants. Clodovech has undisputed access.

Nothing in Frankish tradition absolves such fratricide, and the spirits of the murdered kinsmen visit Clodovech's dreams. Such ghostly visitors will be portrayed in Shakespeare's account of the experiences of Clodovech's later Scottish counterpart Macbeth.

Unlike Macbeth, Clodovech knows of a Latin called the Pope who has medicine to absolve virtually any deed. Although Clodovech is not a Christian, the Pope absolves him, since the king of heaven would not withhold his grace from a man who is already, by his very deeds, almost a king.

From the Latin medicine man, Clodovech learns that land is not what his Frankish kin think it is. The Franks think Earth is the mother of all living beings and cannot be the preserve of any man or group of men. They fought for twenty generations against Romans who tried to turn a portion Earth into a private preserve. Clodovech learns that Earth can be one man's preserve, and can be treated like any other war booty.

The absolved chieftain and his marauding Knights set out with higher aims: their object is the land itself. If Latins could turn a portion of Earth into a Roman preserve, so can Franks. They invert their ancestors' long struggle, but this bothers no one: Knights are not known for their familiarity with ethical considerations, the Honor of a Knight is in his sword and his spear.

The inspired adventurers swear loyalty to Clodovech and set out to kill all the remaining Imperial soldiers still in Gaul, all good Christians. Then they go after Thuringians and Alemanni. Blocked by stubborn Alemanni, Clodovech again has to resort to the Latin holy men who accompany his band. He makes a deal. If the god of the holy men helps the Franks defeat the enemy, Clodovech will allow himself and his sons to be doused with holy water.

Optimus Maximus does for Clodovech what He had earlier done for Constantine, and the Frankish marauder becomes Clovis, a Roman Catholic soldier of faith.

Clovis obligingly appoints bishops from among the holy men, and also from among his most loyal marauders; this is a formality that merely amuses the knowing Knights.

Armored with lies, the Frankish adventurers now turn their spears against enemies who appear to be Visigoths, Burgundians and Ostrogoths, but whom the Catholic Franks now know as Heretics, followers of Arius, demons in disguise. Every pillaging expedition is now a holy war.

The grandson of Merovech is eventually stopped, and the great grandsons inherit the war booty, which consists mainly of lands. The appointment of bishops will turn out to have been as important as the conquest of the lands.

The bishops appoint priests, and the priests go among the people and preach.

* * *

The priests speak Latin to a population that speaks Germanic dialects.

The people do not understand either what the priests say or what they want. The inhabitants of the former Roman Empire, Celts and Latins as well as Franks, intermarried and no longer distinguishable, now live under Frankish law: Earth is common to all, to former slaves and zeks and also to their flocks of animals.

The priests claim to be keepers of the law, but their law is Roman, it is Latifundia law.

The inhabitants, whether former slaves or former serfs, are all Franks now. They take their flocks where they please for the first time since Romans subjugated Celts; if they don't venture far, it is not because they recognize boundaries, but because they fear marauders.

Yet the priests speak of boundaries, of domains, of god's kingdom and of an earthly kingdom.

The Roman dreams of Christian priests are frustrated and postponed by the complete collapse of the institutions and habits of subordination. The former Roman serf or slave is not quite free, the former Frankish tribesman is no longer free, but neither the one nor the other is a subject. In principle each is as free as a Knight.

Knights are bound to each other only by freely taken oaths. One who swears to be another man's man is a vassal, and vassalage, among Franks, is equivalent to comradeship. In a band of free men, it is an honor to swear fealty.

Free pastoralists and planters are bound by no other ties. They swear fealty to the local marauder, so long as he agrees to do his marauding elsewhere. They join him on some of his expeditions; in good seasons they make gives to him. And they expect the same from him. The relation is mutual. It is a relation of mutual aid among people who have lost most of their traditions, but retain fealty and cultivate violence.

Fealty does no eliminate violence. It makes violence a littles less unpredictable: sworn companions do not attack each other.

Taxes, tribute, debts and all forms of compulsory labor and service have come close to vanishing. There is no functioning Leviathan in the West. This is what makes the Roman clergy despair; there is order in heaven but no on earth.

Later apologists for a reconstituted Leviathan will say that relations of fealty, which they will name Feudalism, are more degrading than Leviathanic relations of serfdom, slavery and wage labor. Such apologists will speak of "dark ages," of times when people ate grass; they will have nasty names for all pre-Leviathanic relations.

Actually, fealty is not on its way in, but on its way out. It is part of the culture the Goths and Franks have been losing. Soon they will lose even their tongues. Soon nothing will remain of their ancient culture except the violence and war to preserve that culture. The invaders who occupy the decomposed Roman Empire let all their traditions lapse. Their culture is reduced to a single theme. All their songs and stories, most of their festivals, are celebrations of deeds of violence.

Ancient Greeks also nursed traditions of violence, but the Greeks merged with conquered communities who were still celebrating the annual rebirth of the daughter of the the Earth Mother.

The Gothic invaders merge with a population of slaves, zeks and armored men who have even fewer human qualities to contribute than the invaders themselves.

In a context of such unsublimated violence, all relations are unstable, not just fealty relations. It is the violence that accounts for the instability. In a world where greatness is measured by the head count of dead victims, strongmen do not long remain equals of the weak. Oaths freely sworn by a weaker to a stronger become duties; gifts freely given by villagers to a local Knight become obligations.

Eventually the duties and obligations become compulsory, but not right away. The free villagers do not except such a reduction. They gang up with each other and kill the strongman. They retreat into the forests and hills to defend themselves.

Knights do not become hereditary aristocrats in one generation. This transformation takes long, and the main reason it happens at all is that something is constantly on the backs of the villagers, something that saps their energy, something that reduces proud, free and violent human beings into submissive, unfree and violent zeks.

This something is the blackfrocked priest who follows every villager like a shadow, even up the hills and into the forests.

The priest has hierarchy embedded in his brain. God is on the top rung, angels on the next, demons on the lowest, and each kneels to the rung above. This is order. The villagers' resistance is chaos, and Satan is the author of chaos.

This does not go over well among free people. They want to know why they must be so.

The priest's first trick is to cite miracles or ghosts and even to perform tricks such as moving the lips of a statue of Holy Mary, but only the feeble-minded enjoy these tricks. So the priest must resort to Plato's "necessary lie"; he tries to explain that some are made of gold, others are meant to mine it; some are made to be carried, others to carry.

But the villagers see through this lie too: they still remember that the local Knight is the grandson of a villager no more golden or delicate than themselves.

Now the priest resorts to the really big lie, the contribution of the pseudo-Apostle Paul to the Western Spirit. The priest blames the victim for his misfortune. He says the villagers are sinful, and their sin is the cause of their misery. People were happy until Satan enticed them into sinning, into eating forbidden fruit. By sinning, people fell from happiness into misery. Remaining sinful, they've remained miserable ever since. The cause of the misery is not the Knight but the villagers themselves; they are their own greatest enemy.

Relatively free villagers are not easily taken in, even by robed, death-like medicine men who mumble chants in an incomprehensible language. But these villagers' heritage is poor, and each of them remembers the times he committed, or at least intended to commit, murder, pillage or rape. They recognize themselves as sinful, as fallen human beings. This still doesn't explain why they should fall while the Knight rises. Now the priest's other explanation comes into focus. God made some men to murder, pillage and rape with impunity; He made others to bear the misery.

Villagers who swallow these lies become servile villeins on a a Lord's manor; and the earthly order begins to take on the attributes of the Roman Catholic Heaven.

The commitment of those who came to bring fire to the Roman Leviathan has been turned into its opposite. The priests are the greatest allies of the strongmen who repress resistance. The Church gains power because it is Roman, not because it is Christian.

* * *

The great marauders soon realize that the priests do them a much greater service than merely lending their god's help in war. The priests pacify the villeins; they turn rebellious pastoralists and planters into obedient servants. The priests do this for the Visigothic Tulgas and Ervigs, for the Anglo-Saxon Oswys and Pendas, for the Lombard Ariberts and Grimoalds, for the Frankish Theuderiches and Childeberts. I am focusing on the realm of Clodovech's heirs but because that is where the priests are most successful. The priests succeed not because they are loyal to Clodovech's heirs but because they are loyal to Rome, the old one, Octavian's.

The great-grandsons of Clodovech, marauders all, lose interest in the affairs of their villeins and become preoccupied with the hunt and with the formalities of entertaining guests. By the seventh generation after their lethal progenitor, the Frankish Knights, now called kings, leave the administrative chores to a mayor in their palace.

After the assassination of a mayor called Eborin, a man called Pepin of Heristal acquires this post. Peopin is a contemporary of the Zarathustrian priests and rulers seeking refuge in the capital of China because Umayyad Caliphs and Muslim armies are wielding power in Persian lands.

Pepin of Heristal knows nothing of China or Persia, but he knows that Muslim armies are also at the southern borders of Pepin's own realm. They have been invited there by all but one of the sons of the Visigothic strongman Witiza. One of Witiza's sons, Roderic by name, seized his father's palace and tried to follow the precedent of Clodovech, but he wasn't quick enough. Witiza's other sons invited the renowned Muslims to cross over from North Africa and help unseat their usurping brother Roderic.

The armies of Islam are welcomed to Spain by most pastoralists and planters and by all schismatics, heretics and Jews. The Muslims receive such a warm reception that they proceed over the Pyrenees to the realm of the Franks.

The heirs of Clodovech are preoccupied with hunting and entertainment. Neither Childebert nor Dagobert nor Chilperich pay any attention to the newcomers from Africa and distant Arabia.

But the natural son of Mayor Pepin, a Knight called Charles, enlists the Pope's agents to help him recruit an army for a holy war.

The Pope's clerics nickname Charles "the Hammer," and they consider his cause holy because it serves the Catholic Pope's Roman purposes. The Roman Empire's actual capital, Constantinople, is besieged by the same Muslim enemies of Christendom, but its defense is not holy to the Pope, who defies the Byzantine Emperor's request for help.

The Mayor is the Pope's man. Charles the Hammer pushes the Muslims under Abd-ar-Rahman to the other side of the Pyrenees.

Head of the biggest army north of the Pyrenees, the Mayor lets the king confine himself to hunting and entertaining. When the Hammer dies, his son Pepin the Short deposes the last of Clodovech's heirs, with the Pope's consent. In exchange for the consent, he leads his army to Italy, defeats a Lombard army, and donates a portion of the peninsula to the Pope.

Pepin's donation displeases not only those who question Pepin's right to donate a portion of Italy, but also those who ask: Who is Pepin? T answer both questions, the Pope's scribes forge a document which proves that Emperor Constantine had already granted that portion of Italy to the Pope. Armed with these two phoney donations, the Pope is on surer ground than ever before.

Pepin's son Charles, called The Great already in his lifetime, lays the foundation of a new empire, and the Roman Pope is its patriarch.

The great Charles, son of the short Pepin, ends all disputes over the Pope's lands by conquering the Lombards and getting himself crowned "King of Franks and Lombards." Charles makes an alliance with Muslim Ibn-al Arabi of Barcelona to attack Umayyad emir Abd-ar Rahman of Cordoba, but Basque warriors destroy the rearguard of the Frankish army.

Charles the Great then turns his armies northward to realize the Pope's dream and perpetrate one of the ugliest ironies in Leviathanic His-Story. Only recently allied with one Muslim against another, the Catholic armies of Charlemagne turn northward to wage a holy war against infidels.

The infidels north of Frankish Gaul are Saxons, Frisians, Danes, Avars. They are descendants of people who were blocked from the south for twenty generations by Rome. Those who fought against the Roman occupation are now Franks and Lombards. Those who retreated and defended themselves from the Roman monster and from dehumanization are still in the forests and on the riverbanks to which they retreated.

Those who stayed behind and cherish the memory of their ancestors' long war, but unlike those who invaded the Empire, they have not been reduced to compulsive looters and killers. Their free communities still retain many of their ancient traditions. Marauding Knights are not altogether absent in the north, but none of them have succeeded in imposing tribute or forced labor on the free villagers.

Now, for the first time, Roman armies are pouring beyond Rome's former frontiers and invading lands of the north, something they could never do before. The Roman Catholics can advance because the northerners are split as they never were before; the Knights, who tend to monopolize the weapons, defect to Charlemagne's armies, attracted by prospects of booty and power.

The free communities of Saxons fiercely resist the Catholic armies for more than a generation. They disarm Knights who go over to the Christians. They defeat Charlemagne's armies.

Charlemagne's trained killers massacre several thousand Saxons at Verden; they capture and enslave several thousand more. Yet the Saxons go on resisting. One of the resisters' own guerrilla fighters comes to terms with Charlemagne, but the Saxons still fight on.

The Catholic militarists resort to the Assyrian stratagem of mass deportations and to the Roman stratagem of granting the conquered lands to military heroes.

The Popes have at last realized their dream. The Roman Leviathan seems to be rehabilitated, and Arbogast's heirs are running it.

The invaders carry desolation to Avars, Scandinavians, Slavs and Huns. The Avars are completely destroyed.

Scandinavians form seafaring brigades, and they continue the resistance by raiding and pillaging Catholic strongholds. Slavs resist by forming a Moravian Leviathan of their own. Huns mount fleet horses and attack Catholic settlements as well as armies.

Massacres and deportations convert the majority of Northern Europeans to Christianity. The freedoms so long defended from the Roman Leviathan now become increasingly restricted. The northern forests become the booty of the invading army. The chief marauder gives away portions of the forests to the biggest and most loyal killers in his band, who are now called earls, bishops and kings.

Fealty is no longer an oath between equals. It has become hierarchic. Every chief is now the vassal of a higher vassal and all are vassals of the emperor. Land is the vassal's chief reward.

The inhabitants of free communities sink to being peasants on a lord's manor, and gradually they become what Rome could not make them: serfs. All services and gifts they once gave freely are now enforced by violent guardians of Leviathanic order. Peasants, many of them descendants of pastoral nomads, still let their animals forage in the forests, the commons, but they do so at the sufferance of the forest's lord. Mother Earth is becoming the preserve of the most lethal strongmen.

* * *

The Christianized human beings who are shackled with bonds of servitude --bonds which some of them had shaken off and others had never before experienced--do not passively reconcile themselves to the serfdom imposed on them. Their resistance becomes massive.

The Church tries to preclude this resistance by working on the violence so central to what Turner will Call the Western Spirit. We've already seen how the Pope's agents used the doctrine of sin to lodge the blame for oppression within the immiserated victim.

After Charlemagne's conquests, priests go everywhere, they turn every village, manor and hamlet into a parish, and the notorious training camps and prisons known as monasteries begin to do the landscape.

Disinherited Knights as well as frustrated resisters are recruited to the monasteries and transformed into adepts of the faith. In these establishments, which are nothing but early schools, human beings are systematically broken, the way horses or oxen are broken, to bear weights and pull loads. They are separated from their own humanity, from all natural activities and sequences, and taught to perform artificial activities and identify with Leviathanic sequences. They become disciplined springs and wheels engaged in a routine that has no relation to human desires or natural cycles.

The clock will be invented by monastic beings because the clock is nothing but a miniature monastery whose springs and wheels are made of metal instead of flesh and blood.

Such total repression rarely succeeds among beings not made of metal. The forms in which the repressed humanity returns are not recorded by the monastic scribes, although inmates and graduates of monasteries will invariably attribute a practice they will call "sodomy" to infidels unfamiliar to them; this may or may not be a clue to the contents of a monk's unrepressed night life.

Priests and monks carry to every hamlet the repression of the natural and the devotion to the artificial. They try to make every peasant a repressed monk.

This violent repression of everything natural is the main link between the Catholicism of the West and the Judaism of the Levant. "Have dominion over the fish...and over the fowl...and over every living thing" is interpreted, by the pacifiers of the West's free peasants, as a declaration of war against all natural urges to resist enserfment. The fish and the fowl are the freedom and the independence of the peasant.

Fused with the doctrine of sin, one big lie superimposed on another, the call fro dominion is an invitation to what we will call "self-management." The peasants are to do to themselves what god does to the world and what the nobles do to the peasants. They are to remain violent, and to turn their violence against their own natural urges and desires, above all the desire to recover their freedom. The peasant is to declare war against his own self, against his body and all its needs and drives.

Those who don't have the sense to resist the priests start appearing on the roads of Europe with whips, applying lashes to themselves. The West's free northerners and liberated southerners are totally dispossessed. Western Europe, where Muslims who bow to their god five times a day are considered Satanic infidels, becomes a circus of penitents epiating their sins by inflicting imaginative tortures on their own bodies.

The greatest of the penitents, the ones raised to sainthood by the Church, "have been guilty of the greatest sins against creation," in Turner's words, "racking themselves on wheels, hacking religious emblems in their breasts, causing themselves to be partially buried in graves or hanged on gallows, burning themselves on ovens, lick up up vomit or drinking the blood of diseased patients."

No previous Leviathan had so completely degraded its human contents. Never before have people turned the Leviathans's violence on themselves. The Popes and their establishment have achieved an unprecedented victory. Their Lugalzaggizi-Optimus Maximus, a synonym of Death, has mastered the feat of imposing its dominion over the living by means of their own minds and hands, the feat of making human individuals commit slow and torturous murder against themselves.

* * *