Thursday, March 01, 2007

Against His-Story, Against Leviathan! Chapter 17 (Francis recuperation, Albigensian Crusade; Hanseatic League & Teutonic Knight evil, Worldeating)


All this progress is fiercely resisted by its victims. Those who will refer to the Western Leviathan as "We" will alternate between denying this resistance and maligning it.

Peasants form leagues of self-defense against the suddenly profit-crazed Lords and work-supervisors. Weavers turn against the merchants who hire them.

Everywhere in Europe, townspeople and countrypeople turn against the entrie ecclesiastical hierarchy. In Flanders they attack priests and withhold tithes, not because the ecclesiastics are enemies of commerce but because they are the grossest of the traffickers. A Tanchelm of Antwerp calls the Church a brothel. The priests and the Pope himself are its pimps. They sell saints, apostles and the Holy Mary for a fee, and are ever-ready to sell themselves.

In Brittany, dispossessed peasants are heirs to a long tradition of glorified violence. They are capable of sweeping parish priests, abbots, bishops and the Pope himself out of Europe, and the prelates know it.

That's why the priests talk about Sin: to make people turn the violence inward, against themselves.

That's why the Pope proclaims a Crusade against Unbelievers: to deflect the violence, to turn it against others. A violence that could in the past be deflected away from Rome toward communities of Saxons can also be deflected away from Catholic prelates toward local Jews and distant Arabs. The Church will even turn the violence of the resisters against resisters themselves, but this feat will not leave the Church unscathed.

A man called Norman Cohn, a friend of authority, law and order, will in our time document a millennium of resistance, maligning every episode of it.

A serious scholar is one who takes the Pope at his word and discounts the words of rebels. A ranter is one who takes the rebels at thier word and discounts every word of the Pope. Cohn will be a solid, serious scholar, not a fanatical, ranting extremist. The words of authorities, especially the police, will be his rock, his positive evidence, His-story. Cohn will say that Church dignitaries protect Jews attacked by fanatical extremists. he will depict the entire resistance as a precursor to the Nazi Party--that will be his thesis--and he will come close to saying that every rebel is a Hitler.

A frivolous ranter, in other words one who does not take His-story seriously, one who refers to authority as "It" and not as "We," will see an altogether different picture while looking at the same resistance.

Cohn will know that the supreme authority in the West, the second Pope named Urban, gets the applause of all the realm's dignitaries when he says,

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

With tried and tested methods of serious scholarship, Cohn will say that the Pope didn't really mean it.

When a Bishop lodges his persecuted supplier of luxuries in the servant quarters of his palace, Cohn will pretend the Bishop is appalled by the violence and not relieved that the violence is turning against the Unbeliever's house instead of the Bishop's.

Cohn's peers, professors who will massacre Vietnamese peasants from desks at a State University will pretend to be appalled by atrocities of Calleys who turn the professors' words into deeds, but the professors' real rage will be against the resisters who turn their weapons against the Calleys. The serious professors will heap all the deflected violence, Authority's own violence, on the heads of the rebels resisting Authority's violence.

The resistance is the only human component of the entire His-story. All the rest is Leviathanic progress.

And the resistance is not slow in coming. As soon as the West ceases to be a tournament ground where malfunctioning and incompatible segments of different Leviathans turn on each other with armored horses, long spears and coasts of mail, as soon as functioning springs and wheels set into motion the lethal tentacles of a coherent mercantile Leviathan, the West becomes as riddled with resistance as ancient Rome.

Even the "crisis cult" that had intended to cast fire upon the Leviathanic world is rediscovered, but not right away. A millennium of deflection and distortion have made that "crisis cult" more serviceable to repressors than to resisters.

The Flemings who withhold tithes and call the Church a brothel probably get their clue from the ecclesiastics' own words, which the rebels contrast with the ecclesiastics' deeds. The peasants who form self-defense leagues are probably inspired by one or several of the examples of cultivators who, like the Moravians, formed leagues to protect themselves from Leviathanic incursions.

The inspiration of yet other rebels comes from further back and further away.

I take it for granted that resistance is the natural human response to dehumanization and, therefore, does not have to be explained or justified. The forms of resistance are sometimes original but usually they are inspired by earlier forms.

* * *

The largest, most profound and most lasting resistance movement comes to Europe from the same direction as the new Leviathanic components, the East, and it establishes itself in the very heart of Frankdom.

Initially known as Cathars, the rebels are inspired by the doctrines of Bulgarian Bogomils. The doctrines contain elements of Persian Zarathustrianism, elements which predate, and were embraced by, the Christian "crisis cult" when it was yet a Jewish heresy.

The Zarathustrian elements appeared in Bulgaria in the form given to them by Mani. The Manicheanism may have come to the Bulgars from Islamic Persia, where numerous peasant rebels were inspired by the anti-Leviathanic import of Mani's formulations, or from the Steppes, where Turkic cousins of the once-Turkic speaking (but now Slavic) Bulgars were actually converted by Manichean militants.

Mani's insights are carried to Adriatic Serbs by Bulgarian militants, across the Adriatic from Burovnik to Venice by Byzantine sailors, across Italy to Gaul by migrating Italians. Before long, most of the people of Provence, Frankdom's underbelly, are latter-day Manicheans, or Albigensians, as their contemporaries call them because the town of Albi is one of the rebel centers.

Although they continue to use terms made familiar to them by generations of Christianity, the Albigensians are neither Christian purists nor Christian heretics. They are anti-Christian. They translate the sacred Book of the Christians into the Provencal language, not in order to recover their lapsed Christianity, but in order to convince themselves that the anti-Roman "crisis cult" described in the book has nothing to do with a Vicar and his bishops, abbots and priests. They do consider the Book's central character a prophet, but only one among many, and they do not think the prophetic gift is confined to a single individual or a single time.

The Albigensians have no use for the guilt-inspired doctrine of the pseudo-Apostle Paul, the doctine of Sin. Thus they are immune to the entire repressive apparatus of the Church, the apparatus consisting of confessions and pardons, of imminent and promised salvations, of threatened excommunications and marketed absolutions. In their eyes, the greatest Sin is the misery of the dispossessed, and this is not caused by Adam's fall but by the rapacity of commercializing Lords, priests and monks, whom they call evil.

They do borrow the Christain terms Good and Evil, but they give these terms Zarathustrian contents: Good means Ahura Mazda or Light; Evil means Ahriman or Darkness. Christianity's dominion is an era of Darkness, centuries of stony sleep vexed to nightmare, in the eyes of these western Bogomils as in those of the later poet Yeats.

The Albigensians do not, to my knowledge, recover Mani's symbolism of Fire as the instrument with which to destroy the great artifice, but they do think that, through their efforts, Evil will be defeated and dismembered, not in some distant Christian heaven but in Gaul itself.

The Cathars of southern Gaul are not the only radicals in the hastily-Leviathanized West, although most of the others are directly or indirectly inspired by them.

While the serious people, who consider themselves the "men of substance," are busy introducing windmills, horse-drawn plows and blast furnaces to farms and mines, the dispossessed, who are considered "extremists," are turning against the progressive labor camps.

In Gaul, just north of the Albigensians, are resisters called Vaudois who call themselves the Poor Men of Lyons. Relics of their anti-Catholic radicalism will survive to our day among Waldensians.

Similar groups are constituted in the Pope's own Italy, with names like Pauperes Lombardi and Humiliati.

The resisters are not all Manicheans; some remain nominally Catholic. But like the Provencal Cathars, they reject the Church hierarchy, the donctrines of Sin and Purgation and therefore the apparatus of pardons and indulgences, and none of them accept the dispossession of Europe's once free peasantry as either natural or god-ordained.

Even a Cisterian monk called Joachim of Fiore, abbot of Corazzo, has a revelation directly inspired by his anti-Catholic contemporaries. Joachim rediscovers the Zarathustrian sequence of Beasts of Leviathanic Ages, and he applies the insight to his own age. He revives elements of the original "crisis cult." Just as the First Age, the age of fear and servitude to the Father, as he refers to early Judaism, was superceded by the Age of the Son, so the Second Age, the age of submission to the Church, is about to be superseded by a third, an Age of the Spirit, characterized by love, joy and freedom. Thus the Church, contrary to Augustine's teaching, is not the kingdom of god on earth, and the accomplishments of Crusading Europe are not signs of the first days but signs of last days.

Joachim even ventures to predict that three and a half years before the end of the Second Age, the Anti-Christ, a rapacious mercantile monarch (Joachim actually refers to Frederick the Second) will destroy the corrup Church, and then the Emperor too will be swept away by a liberated humanity.

Many of the resisters are convinced that by their own efforts they can evade the transformations invading Europe, transformations which in their eyes can only immiserate and maim human beings.

Much of the inspiration and insight come from abroad, but it is not mere contact with Zarathustrian, Manichean and other doctrines that turns people into active and often militant resisters.

An individual intimately familiar with the daily rapacity may remain unmoved by critics of the rapacity. She or he must make a choice, she must decide to turn against the authorities and to join the circle of resisters. Sucha a decision disrupts a person's whole life, and it needs to be motivated by very good reasons. The good reasons are expressed in the language of the time, not in the language of some future time. A revelation or a visitation is a very good reason. The revelation might come in a dream, or in a vision, or in what we will call a complete mental breakdown. Before this experience, everything was noise and nothing had meaning. After the experience, everything is clear. Now the individual wonders why others are so blind. She might become impatient with the others and leave them to their blindness, or she might decide to return to the others to help them see.

All this is very understandable, very human, and it has been taking place in human communities for a long time. But such sudden disruptions of individual lives are also disruptions of Leviathanic existence. After such experiences, an individual abandons the sequence of meaningless intervals of Leviathanic Time and recovers some of the rhythms of communities in the state of nature.

This is why Leviathanic His-storians will discount, malign and try to exorcise such experiences. Contempt and ridicule will be favorite weapons of the serious scholars who will pretend to give unbiased accounts.

Norman Cohn, for example, will go out of his way to talk about the revelations of millennarian resisters. He needs say no more. Equally armored readers will immediately share Cohn's contempt towards individuals who are so pathological as to be guided by their own dreams and visions. The scholar and his armored readers will take it for granted that only the revelations of judges and scholars have validity.

Cohn's ridicule will reach heights of scholarly contempt when he tells of individuals who consider themselves Messiahs, who convince themselves that their efforts can help save Mankind from Leviathanic dehumanization, enslavement and doom. Cohn need not exclaim: How naive! How criminal! how well deserved the jailing, the torture, the hanging, the burning! Such exclamations will come automatically to readers who consider their duly constituted authorities the only possible saviors of mankind and Leviathan the only possible Messiah.

* * *

Cohn will condemn the resisters only on paper, and too late to harm anything but our memory of them. The Church and its long secular arms do the actual arresting, jailing, torturing, burning and killing. With a millennium of experience in prevarication, deflection and repression, the Church is no novice as hangman.

The first act is to sponsor a certain Giovanni de Bernardone, nicknamed Francesco, who would have been a resister similar to many of the others if he had not let himself be turned into a tool of the Church.

This Francis has a visions, abandons his former life as well as his wealth, and goes among the poor and dispossessed. At a time when lands are becoming private property, when rapacity is rewarded with wealth and power, this man extolls poverty, community and generosity. At a time when Earth and all its living beings are becoming objects of mercantile plunder, he speaks of kinship with animals, with Earth, with the Sun.

At any earlier moment during its first millennium, the Church would have condemned the nature-worshipping Francis as a heretic and or unbeliever.

At the time of Cathars and Humiliati, the Church resorts to the ancient Persian trick of repressing Zarathustrians by wearing the mantle of Ahura Mazda. A Pontifex shrewdly named Innocent, the third of that name, invites the nature-worshipper and sponsors him. Francis allows himself to be thus used, perhaps deluded into thinking that he has converted the Pope.

By this recuperation, the Church pretends to be everything its enemies are. Individuals inclined to resist are drawn into the Franciscan Order, which looks and acts just like other groups of resisters.

Once in the Order, most of the former partisans of universal kinship will be molded into a heresy police while a small minority is allowed to go on displaying the mantle of the founder.

Francis himself becomes aware of the ruse at the end. He dies marked by the stigmata of an earlier resister, thereby trying to communicate with his last act that his whole life has been as deflected and betrayed as the life of his Judaean forerunner.

Of course the Church, which already a millenium earlier reduced the stigmata of Jesse or Jesus to decorations on its mantle, promptly adds another set of scarlet ornaments to its cloaks. Francis is turned into a saint, the Franciscan Order into a cudgel against resisters. This abominable recuperation will be remarkable until our time, when the metamorphosis of partisans of universal liberation into policemen and jailers will be so frequent that it will no longer seem remarkable.

Already during the lifetime of the nature-worshipper, Innocent the Pope demonstrated how well he understood and appreciated Francis by simultaneously launching an altogether different Order, the Dominican. The founder of this one was a human clock, its recruits flesh-and-blood filing cabinets, its aim to impose on social life the regularity of clockwork. This is the Technological Order, the Order of the Inquisition. Its members approach nature with instruments of torture. Correct faith, like correct time, is a matter of adjusting certain springs and wheels.

As soon as the repressive apparatus is complete, an apparatus Franciscans serve by recruiting resisters to the holy war against resisters, the Pope proclaims the Albigensian Crusade.

If the Western invasion of Christian Constantinople and the dismemberment of the Byzantine Empire counts as the Fourth Crusade, the holy war against domestic Unbelievers is the fifth.

Paris-based succesors to the Frankish depopulators of Saxony repeat the accomplishment of their predecessors, this time against the Frankish population of southern Gaul. The eighth Louis, ruler of Paris, called The Lion, leads the Christian Crusaders who turn the Pope's word into bloody deed. All the towns and villages of the Albigensians are destroyed. From the southern mountains to the shores of the Mediterranean, Frankish-speaking Manicheans and their sympathizers are hunted like animals. A whole population is exterminated. The Parisian Lion expropriates his victims and becomes King of a nation-sized realm.

The crusade against domestic Unbelievers, proclaimed and executed by the duly constituted authroities and not by the resisters, is the forerunner of the Nazi crusade against Jews.

This apparatus for the extermination of domestic and foreign Unbelievers, this Crusading Europe that turns piety and resistance itself into instruments for the crassest large-scale expropriations, is already the Modern West. Everything that is coming is more of the same hypocrisy, which will later be called Reason and Science, and more of the same armor, which will later be called Technology. Even the cynicism of later merchants will not surpass that of merchants who cash in on the crusading fervor by organizing a Children's Crusade, transporting and selling piously bloodthirsty youngsters to Levantine slave dealers.

* * *

The plundering holy warriors expropriating Jews, Muslims and Byzantine Christians have thier equivalent in the north in a holy order of Teutonic Knights. Closely tied to the mercantile rulers of the growing cities of the Hanseatic League, these noble Knights and priests are already responding to newly-discovered worlds by massacring the indigenous inhabitants and despoiling the environment. They do not yet suspect the existence of a continent-sized new world across the western ocean, although their contemporaries, the Mongols, already have a map which includes the Vinland recently visited by Viking seamen.

The western Vinland, America to us, would not yet interest the Teutonic Knights. The Mongols are familiar with the extent of Eurasia. But the Knights share with other Europeans a provincialism that considers the limits of the Ecumene, the world that matters, to be a few days horseback ride from Rome.

Vinland, in any case, is far away across much water, and the land-and-wealth minded Europeans still have unconquered "natives" on their east, all reachable by land. The "natives" are Turkic-speaking Finns, Baltic-speaking Lithuanians and Prussians, among numerous others.

The Teutons know nothing of Incas or Algonquins, but they are already Conquistadores and Pioneers. Their aim is to exterminated the indgenous population, expropriate the crops, fields and lodges, and resettle the land with domesticated German Catholics destined to be agents or victims of Hansa merchants. Where they succeed, for example in Prussia, only the name of the indgenous Baltic inhabitants survives. The people and their culture become extinct. In this manner the Knights, like their successors, transform New Worlds into the Old World, or as Turner will put it, they eliminate the Wilderness.

This way of enlarging the Ecumene is not new, but if we look closely we can see some new elements. Ancient Assyrians and Romans exterminated and deported populations alien to them, but in general they did this only to people who resisted being reduced to tributaries and recruits. Rome's extermination of Carthage stands out as an exception. The immediate predecessors of the Teutonic Knights, Charlemagne's Franks, massacred Saxons for the sake of material booty for the victors and spiritual salvation for the victims, but the Leviathanic coherence of the Frankish military apparatus was less lasting and coherent than Rome's or even Assyria's, and a rudimentary Moravian-type league could hold them at bay.

The Teuronic Order is in many ways similar to the earlier Frankish army, but the similarities are misleading. The later army cannot as easily be held at bay as the earlier. This is because the Teutons are connected to a network of commercial cities. This connection gives the Teutonic militarists a continuity and coherence their Frankish forerunners had lacked. The Teutons lose battles, but the war goes on, and it will keep going on until the Wilderness is reduced to forms susceptible to commercial manipulation by the Hanseatic merchants.

* * *

If ancient Phoenicians had acted in concert with Assyrian militarists, they would in this respect too have been forerunners of the leagued cities founded by the Phoenicians of the north, the Vikings. The Phoenician octopus did treat the Assyrian worm as an object of plunder, a vast market for Phoenician commodities. But the two entities did not act in concert. They were in fact mortal enemies. As soon as the Phoenician ship was touched by the Assyrian claw, it capsized.

The Hanseatic cities, like Venice, Genoa, Barcelona and other cities of the south, are performing a feat the ancient Phoenicians could not manage.

The Burghers of Europe are actually making use of the anachronistic worm segments abandoned in every part of Europe by the aborted (so to speak) Frankish Leviathan.

By provisioning the military machines for Crusades against Muslims, Albigensians, Baltics and Slavs, the Burghers are treating the worm segments as markets, and are plundering them to the hilt. Yet the Knights are returning the favor by procuring for the merchants new sources of commercially exploitable materials and by exterminating human obstacles to commercial exploitation.

The bourgeois bride knows that this marriage is very happy, in fact extremely profitable, for her mercantile brothers.

The lordly husband doesn't know that this arrangement is almost as deadly for his Crusading peers as for the victims of the Crusades.

The Burghers wring the nobility dry. They appropriate to themselves all the wealth squeezed from serfs by manorial dues, as well as the lodges, the lands and finally even the names of the noble manor Lords. The Burghers do all this by means of commodity exchange.

The Lords do not know they are digging their own graves. The causes of their sudden and rapid immiseration are invisible to them because their code of martial honor makes the Lords obtuse and because the marriage is sealed by a good priest of the Roman Catholic Church.

The children of the marriage are all good Christians, and each of them extends Peter's dominion over an ever-larger Ecumene, one with spears, one with commodities and the third with words, one as Knight, one as Burgher and the third as Priest. The loss of one is the gain of the other and the keys to Heaven remain in the family.

The Burghers are very happy with this arrangement and they do all they can to prolong it. They will even try to reproduce the same arrangement when their Crusading partners become extinct. When the aristocratic military machines cease to be efficient procurers, the Burghers will have to launch military machines of their own. That event will be pompously and exaggeratedly misnamed a "bourgeois revolution." On occasion, and only in dire need, will Burghers constitute themselves into militias, but such engagements interfere with business and Burghers will have an aversion to them. Burghers will evade such engagements by rehabilitating the extinct Crusading establishment. They will set up and pay for general staffs that head bands of heavily armed professional killers, and they will treat their own military establishment exactly as they treat the Crusading establishment, as a vast market from which they will reap windfall profits by provisioning it to the hilt.

* * *

Like other happy marriages sealed by priests, the marriage of senile, rural Frankish Knighthood with a youthful, Muslim-inspired urban Bourgeoisie is riddled with conflicts.

Although Burghers are intensely happy with the arrangement, their happiness is concentrated in their purses and not actually experienced in living emotion. The fact is that, as in the days of Assyrians and Phoenicians, the wormlike segments do try to swallow the loose tentacles, despite the fact that all are parts of a single Catholic family. The Burghers, continually on the lookout for champions who will keep them out of the jaws of a worm, frequently find themselves encased in their champion's worm.

This conflict will go on into our day, long after Knights and Warrior Priests become extinct. Burghers will be swallowed by military establishments the Burghers themselves set up and maintain, because some of the heavily armed strongmen will still not understand the rules of the game.

The conflict becomes bizarre and complicated when tentacles metamorphose themselves into worm segments and vice versa. Even a summary description of all these metamorphoses would fill a library. Norman England, for example, expels Jewish merchants and becomes a formidable mercantile tentacle of the Hanseatic League in its relations with Gaul and Italy, but it takes the form of a militaristic worm in its relations with the Welch, the Scots and the Irish. At the other extreme is the Papal See in Rome, which sees itself as a worm and aspires to be the sole worm, the all-embracing Empire, but which behaves exactly like a rapacious mercantile octopus in its daily secular practices.

Up to this point, wormlike and octopuslike Leviathans could be distinguished from one another, although the distinctions began to blur already in the Islamic world. In the West, the two forms of Leviathan become so intertwined that it becomes impossible to characterize the Western Leviathan as either one beast or the other. The beast is something the world has never seen before.

I've shown that the emerging West is not a "child," an outgrowth, of the Frankish Roman Empire, but it does resemble that entity in being a composite of previously incompatible and mutually alien elements. The previous composite never became a coherent, functioning machine, but this is precisely what the Crusading West does become.

The Roman Pope's dream of rehabilitating the defunct beast is at last realized, but the beast has a shape the Pope cannot recognize, and it is out of the Pope's control.

Even the last remains of the Catholic Empire are no longer what the Pope would have them be.

The largest remains of that entity are a French Kingdom and a Holy Roman Empire.

The French Kingdom has more affinities with a Moravian-style nation-state than with its imperial predecessor. The ruler, a King of Parisians until the Albigensian Crusade and the subsequent expropriation of the Manichean victims enlarges him to a King of France, is the strongman over a limited territory inhabited by people with a largely common speech. The realm is not an empire, and it is clearly not Catholic, namely universal or all-embracing. The French monarchy, in fact, has so little use for Rome or its Vicar that it tries to reduce the Ecumenical Ecclesia to a French spiritual police. The fourth King Phillip actually installs a Pope of his own in the heart of once-Albigensian Provence, reducing Catholicism to a nathional department of ideology and propaganda, anticipating the later Reformation by eight or nine generations.

The worm segment that comes to be called the Kingdom of France is part of a larger entity, but this entity is neither Frankish nor Roman nor Catholic. The irony of the Crusading Knight turning into a vendor of Islamic wares is repeated in France when the first of the noble mounted Peers becomes a champion of the Burghers who are secreting a mercantile network in the form of fairs over the entire territory of Gaul. The bourgeois tentacles support and maintain the royal worm as a shield and cudgel agaisnt the so-called Aristocracy, namely the smaller worm segments left in Gaul by the decomposed Frankish entity. By this alliance, the bourgeoisie inserts the French monarchy into a network that extends from the Levant to Iceland, and decorates the royal palace with cloths and metals that come from as far as China and Senegal. This insertion of the ruler into the empire of commodity exchange makes the first of the French as dependent as the last on costs of production, on prices, and on cyclical commercial crises.

The Holy Roman Emperors retain more affinities with their Frankish predecessors than the French monarchs, but even these anachronisms turn against the hand of the Anointer. The imperial institution, stabilized by a Hohenstaufen dynasty and then permanentized by a Habsburg dynasty, is not actually a sequel to the Empire (such as it was) of Charlemagne, but to that of Otto, Holy Rome's frontier cudgel against communities of Slavs.

Despite their crusading fervor, the Emperors are not tools or extensions of Rome's Peter. They treat the Holy See as ungenerously as the French King does. Ever since the Pope recruited Normans and Muslims to war against the Emperor, Pope and Emperor have more often been mortal enemies than allies, and ever since Barbarossa, Emperors have tried to reduce Churchmen to spiritual overseers of imperial estates. The Holy Emperors need the connection with Christ's Vicar, since that's all that makes them Holy and Emperors; in mundane actuality they are not even kings.

If the French monarchy is already a nation-state, the Habsburg Empire is a real-estate operation. It exists to acquire, hold and lease lands. Like Lothar's Lotharingia, the Empire of Rudolf or Albert Habsburg could just as well be called Rudolphiana or Albertingia, since it is not a specific place with definite boundaries; it is a changing list of Rudolph Habsburg's or his son's holdings.

Sustained by a military organization of serf-holding retainers who take their share of spoils, the Empire continues to be Holy because it continues to be Christianity's cudgel against Slavic, Baltic and Turkic peoples of the northeastern frontier. After the Baltic communities are exterminated, the Empire turns on the Slavic nation-states, transforming Moravia and Bohemia into imperial estates. Opportunistic marriages and inheritance laws supplement war as instruments of land acquisition.

The purpose of all the seizures, confiscations and expropriations is eminently Christian and as Holy as the Empire itself. The purpose is to have dominion over the fish and over the fowl and over everything that moveth upon the appropriated land.

The democratization that accompanies the wealth-snatching operations of the single-minded Burghers makes the high purpose of the Emperor filter down to every European. We've already seen that the liquid assets of Burghers are exchangeable for estates, called private property, where even pious Burghers have dominion over everything that moveth. The Europeans describe this glorious possibility with the saying, "Every man is Emperor in his own house." The "house" may be anything from a serf's hut to a nation-sized estate, and even serfs with prospects of becoming apprentices to urban Burghers begin to dream of putting God's command into practice.

Converted Europeans, especially enserfed ones, have had generations of training in dominion over their sinful selves. They've chained their emotions, desires, urges and everything that lived inside them. Many of them, successors to Albigensian and other resisters who hid from Inquisitors or pretended to conform, try to regain their lost humanity; I will say more about them. But many others, perhaps even a majority, are domesticated, seriously maimed and heavily armored.

The armored European hungers to repress other Sinful beings as he has repressed himself. Dominion over everything that moveth on a privately owned piece of real estate is what makes a person a self-respecting Christian, and a good Christian is henceforth, and by definition, a Worldeater.

* * *

No comments: