The English speaking Aguirres who spread death, slavery and ever-bleaker misery across the Dis-covered continent speaks eloquently of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Opposites merge, antonyms become synonyms on the Frontier, where all conflicts are reconciled. Zeks fight alongside their keepers, debtors alongside their creditors, borrowers alongside their bankers, suckers alongside their hustlers, in the most fraudulent extravaganza since the First Crusade.
Desolation beyond imagination’s grasp is carried to uncountable Jerusalems. In the northern woodlands alone, where General Washington’s orders to General Sullivan are “to destroy totally the villages of the Iroquois,” Anthony Wallace will tell that
The roster of destruction is a long one (and it earned Washington the name of Town Destroyer): Three towns
on the Chemung River; three towns on the Tioga River; all of the dozen or so Cayuga and Seneca towns on
Cayuga and Seneca Lakes; the half dozen Seneca towns on the route westward to the Genesee River; and the
complex of settlements at Genesco itself… Before the Revolution, the Six Nations and their dependents had
lived largely in some thirty thriving villages scattered from the Mohawk River to Lake Erie and the Ohio country.
Of all these towns, by the spring of 1780 only two survived undamaged. The others were in ashes or empty,
moldering in rain and wind…
To the Greak Lakes Ojibwa, Potawatomi and Miami who are not reached by Washington’s armies, who are the next Frontier, this terror that calls itself America is no carrier of life, liberty or happiness; it is Wiske gone totally mad. After eating the French, the victorious English declare a war against themselves and, under the guise of fratricide, set out to kill and expropriate the continent’s remaining original inhabitants.
The ostentatious Declaration of Independence, like the proclamation of the First Crusade, is a maneuver in a confidence game, a banner designed to align zeks alongside their keepers. The freedom it offers to zeks is not freedom from labor-camp zekdom, but freedom to kill with no holds barred. Happiness comes, like Salvation to the Crusaders, from the bloody sacrifice of victims. Devotion to such freedom becomes a synonym of Patriotism. The active Patriot is a mass murderer, the passive Patriot an enthusiastic voyeur of his team’s killings.
The beast behind the banner is not concerned with life, liberty or happiness, is in fact their greatest enemy. Hobbes has already published his Leviathan, thanks to which the beast does not only know itself by name, but also possesses a self-consciousness unavailable to Churchmen or to Lope de Aguirre. The beast knows that it cannot speak in its own name without losing the confidence of its human entrails. It knows that it must speak in terms of Life, Liberty and Happiness, and it acquires unprecedented eloquence in the use of such terms.
The fratricidal war of English against English, most viciously perpetrated by both sides against the continent’s surviving communities, has nothing to do with freedom, independence, happiness or anything else that is human. It is a purely internal, Leviathanic affair, a readjustment of the artifice’s levers and springs, a retiming of the machine’s valves. One set of springs and wheels, the Fur Interest, wants to keep the new continent’s woodlands and communities as its own preserve, while another set, the Land Interest, wants to enlarge its preserve.
Both interests are equally Leviathanic, both are Imperialisms, namely zek-makers, enlargers of the archipelago of labor camps erratically but totally administered by the World Market.
The Fur Interest is not as insignificant as it will appear to later observers accustomed to Steel, Oil and Uranium Interests. At the time of the famous Declaration, Fur is Europe’s Oil. The French Empire in America revolves around fur. The nascent Russian Empire in Siberia and America is a fur-trappers’ empire. England expropriated France of the sources of precious furs.
It may be nothing more than a passing fashion for Europeans to crown their heads with the skins of this continent’s animals, yet precisely such fashions move the levers and wheels of the worldeating machine we call Civilization.
The traffic in dead animals, like the earlier traffic in spices, yields super-profits, extraordinary Savings. In England these Savings are invested in the production of cloth and clothing, a production that is become increasingly industrial, increasingly dehumanizing. The relationship between the person and the tool is being inverted. The human being is becoming an appendage of a machine, usually called Hands. Some of the cloth produced in factories is carried to the fur hunters and trappers and exchanged for their furs.
The Fur Interest wants to preserve the New World’s woodlands as a Fur Factory and cloth market, something the vast conglomerate that sprawls over the continent’s cold north, the Hudson Bay Company, already is.
The Land Interest, personified in such fellows as Franklin, Washington, Lee and other famous Founding Fathers, has as much to do as the other with human freedom and independence.
Crazed buyers give their all for land titles because such titles are passports to Paradise. Each holder is a Hapsburg, an emperor of a real domain, with absolute dominion over the walkers and crawlers, the trees and the streams. The sale of lands expropriated from the continent’s former inhabitants to such buyers yields super-profits, namely Savings as extraordinary as those generated by the fur trade. These Savings are invested in fleets of ships that carry the produce of the expropriated lands to Africa, that carry enslaved Africans to Virginia’s cotton plantations, that then carry the Virginia cotton to England’s and New England’s cloth factories.
(My summary is excessively abbreviated. I should add that the American fleets carry enslaved Africans to other parts of the world as well, that the cargo sometimes consists of indentured Europeans…)
The land pimps get their Savings from the sale of the expropriated lands, and from the sale of the produce of the expropriated lands. Their life, liberty and happiness comes from the expropriation of more lands, and from the prospect of expropriating yet more. They’ll take the land, even if they have to wage war against the fur pimps who have the ear of the King. Their intent is not to eliminate the Savings that come from the fur trade; they’ll let John Jacob Astor get the furs from the French Canadians.
The two feuding Interests are not persons but personifications; they will eventually call themselves Corporations. These are not human beings who feud because they are personally touched, insulted or harmed. It is the Savings that are threatened or harmed.
The feuding Interests are alternative and conflicting ways of accumulating Savings. The Savings come from sequences of sales of the material objects stolen from the continent’s former inhabitants or squeezed from the zeks and slaves of factories and plantations. These mechanical and material sequences or processes constitute the commercial Leviathan’s blood-circulation, its internal motion, its pseudo-life.
The whole task of eloquence is to present the needs of these inhuman processes as urgent human needs. Preserving the sequence of exchanges that yields super-savings from animal skins is identified with Loyalty to the Empire and its King. Furthering the sequence that yields super-savings from animal skins is identified with Loyalty to the Empire and its King. Furthering the sequence that yields super-savings from expropriated lands is identified with Independence, Freedom and Happiness.
The zeks remain zeks whichever Interest wins, but they are nevertheless taken in, and want to be taken in, by the confidence men. They want to be taken in because they share the European longing to be something other than what they are, at least in appearance. They do not want to see themselves as zeks but as buyers and sellers, as Businessmen, even if they have nothing to sell but their labor power. A zek with a title to a plot of land on which to reproduce his labor power is a King of his roost, Lord of his realm, Master of his household. The volunteer zek has confidence in the eloquence because he thinks he’s just like the other Businessmen. His Savings may be no more that what he accumulates in his outhouse, but because he participates vicariously in the other’s as voyeur of Big Business, as peeper of Free Enterprise.
The outsiders like the Potawatomis, Outagami and Miami, the enterprising zek is demented, mentally enfeebled by the grind that constitutes labor-camp existence. This observation gives the outsiders yet another reason to stay away from the labor camps.
The enterprising zeks, understandably, do not like to be looked at by outsiders. The onlookers, as we’ve seen, fill the zeks with murderous rage, further dementing them. From the standpoint of the zeks, it is of course the outsiders who are mad. And according to the confidence-men who speak of zeks as industrious Pioneers, independent Yeomen and proud Workers, there is no outside; the who universe is a labor camp and anyone who denies this is a ranter, a lunatic. The two madnesses are mutually exclusive.
* * *
It becomes very important for the last Leviathan to deny the existence of an outside. The beast’s voices have to project Leviathanic traits into pre-Leviathanic past, into nature, even into the unknown universe.
The post-Hobbesian artificial beast becomes conscious of itself as Leviathan and not as Temple or Heavenly Empire or Vicarate of Christ, and it simultaneously begins to suspect its own frailty, its impermanence. The beast knows itself to be a machine, and it knows that machines break down, decompose, and may even destroy themselves. A frantic search for perpetual motion machines yields no assurance to counter the suspicions, and the beast has no choice but to project itself into realms or beings which are not machines.
All the sweat and labor expended hourly in the beast’s entrails presupposes the beast’s perpetual existence. The notion of a Progress that culminates in a final collapse is Christian but not Leviathanic. The notion is of a piece with Christianity’s commitment to the absurd, and is not altogether absurd if life is considered a vale of tears. But for Leviathan such a notion is contradictory, and Leviathan is an eminently logical entity.
Leviathanic existence, a vale of tears to Christians and outsiders, is to Leviathan a paved highway, and Progress along this highway cannot lead to an Apocalypse but only to more Progress.
Leviathanic self-consciousness expresses itself in the currents of thought known as Enlightenment, Illuminism, Masonry, Marxism, plus a few others. These currents supply the all-swallowing beast with a language suitable to its last days.
It is no longer necessary to identify savings with salvation or greed with devotion to a divine calling. Since expropriation and usury yield Capital Gains which are the basis of Progress, greed becomes Enterprise, and the cover-ups for ancient terms become superfluous because the terms themselves are discarded.
The merchant and banker no longer feel ashamed of inheriting Islam’s commercial practice but not its merciful god. Leviathan is all there is, It is god, and It is merciful to those who reinvest all their interests and profits.
To a Rousseau who says that Leviathan is an artifice imposed on nature and human beings by force and fraud, Enlightened merchants can now answer that all is artifice, nature as well as human beings as well as the very universe. The cosmos itself is nothing but a vast artifice, a machine, a clock wound up by the Great Artificer, the Mathematician. Terms like force and fraud cannot be applied to clockwork, and terms like inhuman and unnatural lose all autonomous meaning if the human and the natural are also mere clockwork.
The Catholic or all-embracing Church, always a few generations behind the times, misses yet another boat because of the langorous pace of its opportunistic prelates.
Long reconciled to spreading the mere forms of Catholicism over realms that resist the substance, Churchmen hurl themselves against the Enlightenment’s forms, against its language. The near-sighted Churchmen fail to notice that the Illuminists and Masons who reject the Catholic language retain the substance of Catholicism, and have in fact performed the feat of identifying that substance with the body of the dominant beast, something the Church has never succeeded in doing.
Blinded by the surface of their words, the Churchmen fail to notice that Creation and Machine mean the same thing, that both presuppose a Maker, an Artificer. They fail to notice that the Illuminists are more consistent monotheists than the Catholics ever were. They fail to notice that Newton’s Cosmic Mathematician, the Great Artificer who sets the vast clocks in motion on mathematical-physical principles accessible to Newton’s mathematical-physical principles accessible to Newton’s mathematical-mechanical mind, is none other than Lugalzaggizi the King of Kings as well as Optimus Maximus the god of armored legions.
Rather than hailing the rise of the Messiah of the Last Days and thereby placing themselves in the beast’s brightly lit cockpit, the langorous Catholics let themselves fall into the beast’s shadow, and Catholicism, the gate and cradle of the Enlightenment, is henceforth known as obscurantism.
Some of the Protestant sects try to grab the posts so narrow-mindedly bypassed by the Church, but they try too late, for the Illuminists, locked out by the Christians, in turn lock out the Christians.
The traditions as well as the personal leanings of the Illuminists predispose them to prefer the Vicarate of Christ, but being rejected, they subject themselves to the Vicarate of Satan, although rarely in such explicit terms. Only some poets among the Businessmen actually go so far as to identify Leviathan with Satan or Mammon, and only the most Illuminati of Masons explicitly align themselves with the fire of darkness, Ahriman’s, against the fire of light, Ahura Mazda’s.
Most Businessmen confine their thoughts to the sums in their ledgers and leave Metaphysics to the Eggheads. Nevertheless they all bask in the light shed over them by the Illuminists. Affairs can now be consummated which much less perfidy than was needed at the time of Christ’s Vicarate. It is no longer necessary to clothe the continual Leviathanic cheating, gouging and killing in a mantle borrowed from an anti-Leviathanic movement.
Those who wear the mantle of Ahriman or Mammon need not pay lip-service to apostolic piety, charity or poverty nor, for that matter, to simple honesty, respect for humanity. Nor need they fear, as Churchmen forever feared, that their own doctrines will turn against them when radicals discover the initial locus and intent of the doctrines, since no part of Ahriman or Mammon can be of service to radicals.
Henceforth radicalism will be external to the beast; radicals will all be outside agitators.
The Illuminati align themselves totally with the beast in an all-out war against all remaining outsiders.
The fact that there are still outsiders introduces a certain dualism into an otherwise consistent monism, but this dualism is not disturbing. The existence of the outsiders is denied while the outsiders themselves are exterminated. The monism is self-confirming. Everything is artifice, and whatever is not will soon be artifice. There is nothing outside but raw materials ready and waiting to be processed and transformed into Leviathanic excrement, the substance of the universe. Some raw materials resist the transformation more than others, but none can withstand the inexorable March of Progress.
The Enlightened have boundless confidence in their machine. Their monism is not a description but a prescription, a program, a military strategy, and it is no accident that so many of the Presidents of the machine’s American segment are military heroes. Before resisting materials can be processed in the labor camps, they have to be mined, harvested or otherwise separated from their contexts, and this breaking and separating is the special task of Leviathan’s armies. The Progress of the machine is first of all an unrelenting war against everyone and everything that is not a machine.
The boundless confidence of the Enlightened is epitomized in the Supply-and-Demand diagrams of Leviathan’s Economists. These diagrams, geometric depictions of interconnected see-saws with flashing lights and buzzing indicators, are a moron’s Paradise. So long as suppliers keep one eye on the diminishing supply of an object and the other on the increasing demand for it, they are sure to get a rise out of their Savings. In other words, the gadget really does do what it was made to do.
The world, unfortunately for the Economists, does not behave in conformity to their diagrams, and the commercial beast’s actual performance in the world does not warrant the confidence of the Enlightened. The March of Progress, which is Leviathan’s name for its war against resisting humanity and nature, is not a war figuratively but in fact. This war is not waged with see-saws or buzzing indicators, but with high-powered explosives and armies of trained murderers. This war is a long sequence of victories, but the victories are Pyrrhic. The reader may remember Pyrrhus as the ancient Albanian militarist who marched directly, from victory to victory, to his doom.
In order to reduce the world to see-saws and flashing lights, Leviathan must first render the world amenable to such a reduction, it must first transform raw materials into commodities and human beings into zeks who harvest, process and circulate commodities. This reduction of nature and people is not realized by Economists but by lynch mobs, militias and armies, namely by Leviathan’s police.
No natural catastrophe, no previous Leviathan destroyed human communities as well as their environments on such a scale. Lush forests and prairies are reduced to plowed fields. Entire populations of animals, sometimes who species, are exterminated. Human communities are gunned down and broken up, their last remnants deported to concentration camps.
Feathers, implements, and sometimes even stuff exemplars of the exterminated populations are displayed in museums as trophies of the victors. Trophy-hunters, called Archeologists, unearth the cemeteries of the extinguished communities so as to place even pipes and arrows of those who lived in Dream Time on display in the showcases of the victors.
The consumed unrenewable materials are replaced by synthetics. The exterminated human beings are replaced by zeks, by human beings, by human beings amenable to labor-camp existence.
Since even the best of zeks are not altogether amenable to the self-repression required by efficient labor camps, they too are replaced with synthetics, by machines, namely by things made of Leviathan’s own substance.
By undergoing what will be called Industrial and Technological Revolutions, the Great Artifice breaches all walls, storms victoriously through every natural and human barrier, increasing its velocity at every turn. But by the time the beast really gets going like a winged rodent out of Inferno, its own soothsayers will be saying an object approaches the speed of light loses its body and turns to smoke. Such object’s victories are, in the long run Pyrrhic.
* * *
The Beast’s victories are Pyrrhic in the short run as well.
The human communities that are decimated by plague and fire, their remnants shattered into splinters, deported and jailed, their last remains displayed as trophies, are not in fact defeated, they are never reduced to labor gangs.
Furthermore, the ghosts of those communities, still unreduced, install themselves in corners and closets of the synthetic beast and make their presence known with an interminable hiss or howl that perpetually rattles the unhappy inmates.
Neither plague nor fire nor gunpowder can suppress the ghostly look, the phantom glance that sees the innards as a labor camp and the inmates as zeks. Recoiling from the image reflected by the ghost-mirror, an image of a less than pardisial Today, the unhappy inmates go on hurling themselves toward the happy Tommorrow. Having arrived in America, they rush toward the next America. Already on the frontier, they stomp over each other to be the first Pioneers on the new frontier. And at every frontier the same jarring his, the same inimical howl and the same knowing glance goes on rattling them.
Contrary to the bedtime stories told by the rattled to their apprehensive children, free people simply do not line up at the recruiting posts of factories to apply for jobs. On this northern continent alone, the prospect of the frugal and productive life is greeted by every form of resistance known in Eurasia since the days of the Sumerians.
The surest way to protect oneself from the invading beast’s embrace, at least in the short run, is to withdraw beyond the beast’s reach. This is the resort of the countless human beings who migrate from oceanshores, woodlands, lakes and river valleys to this continent’s Plains.
These Plains, this vast refuge teeming with living beings, this pastureland for herds of numberless buffalo, limitless to the human eye, is nevertheless bounded, protected, isolated from the monster beyond. It is separated from the east by mountains, thick forests and the Long River, from the south by an impassable desert, from the west by impenetrable mountains, from the north by perpetual ice. Here refugees from decimated communities recover their interrupted rhythms, resume their dances, reenact their myths, reconstitute their music. They avail themselves of a European import that is not a synthetic, not a product of industry, but a living being and a friend, even a cousin, namely the horse. People who formerly paddled canoes, planted corn and sheltered in bark lodges arrive on horseback at councilfires surrounded by circles of buffalo-skin lodges. They are the world’s last free human beings.
Those who cannot, despite the ravages, exile themselves from their places of birth, the places where their ancestors lie, have no choice but to confront the invaders. Capitulators, namely applicants for jobs, are rare, so rare that invading Pioneers consider it axiomatic that “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”
The resistance is fierce and long. It begins when Caribs and Arawaks turn their weapons against the first guests, and it does not end when Guatemoc and the last pain-racked, plague decimated Aztecs fail to retake Tenochtitlan from Cortez and his band.
The resistance goes on for sixteen generatiosn, four Leviathanic centuries during which the beast’s entrails are a perpetually armed camp and the inmates’ first Business is war.
Trophy cases will be stuffed with presumed weapons and portraits of Wilderness Heroes who dared stand in the way of inevitable Progress. The sad Guatemoc’s successors are proof of the invader’s prowess, and the sole proof. The greater the courage of the Wild Conspirator, the greater the feat of the Civilized Conqueror. The proportions of the real events are stood on their heads by the trophy collections which act on viewers like an inverting mirrors. Gigantic tusks and antlers of fabulous beasts recapitulate the fable of little civilized David pitting his modest strength against bullying Goliath.
Armed resistance coordinated by a military strongman and a general staff is a last resort as old as the Guti federation against expanding Sumerians.
Contrary to the Goliath fable, this continent’s strongmen, called Chiefs by the invaders, tend to be average or small in stature, large in vision; their strength is not in their limbs but in their speech.
Unlike the Guti and the Taborites, this continent’s resisters do not end up being encased by their own proto-Leviathanic military organizations. The various federations and alliances are temporary and they remain temporary; their continuity depends on their renewal at every council. If victory depends on the resisters’ becoming like the invaders, the resisters renounce victory and they disband, undefeated.
The armed resistance undertaken by the continent’s free human beings ties up Progress at every step of its March. The first Englishmen who plant a Virginia on the continent’s outer banks and thing their extremely friendly hosts would love to serve the English permanently are quickly disabused of their great expectations.
The friendly Wingina changes his clothes as well as his name and turns into a veritable Guatemoc under the disabused invaders’ very noses. Wingina and Pemisapan, unlike the Aztec, is accompanied by strong and healthy warriors, not by prostrate Smallpox victims, and the first Virginia, unlike New Spain, is reduced to a Lost Colony.
The English name their Nemesis a Conspirator, and they will give the same name to every warrior who successfully resists their incursion. The English reserve names like Patriot or Freedom Fighter for themselves, even though they are the ones conspiring to take the land and enslave its inhabitants, while the resisters are defending homelands and freedoms. As hypocrites and prevaricators, the Protestant English do not differ from the Papists they consider hypocrites and prevaricators.
French Catholics, not surprisingly, speak of a Conspiracy of Foxes when people of the Great Lakes federate to stop the expansion of New France into their forests and waterways. After almost two generations of war, the Foxes, decimated but still undefeated, disband rather than letting themselves become perpetual war machines in order to continue to confront the infernally persistent invaders. But the French war machine is exhausted by its war with the Foxes, and New France falls prey to the coastal English.
The English in turn try to introduce the amenities of Civilization to the transmontane forests, river valleys and lakes, and are greeted by “conspiracies” even more tenacious than those confronted by their predecessors. The Spaniards who confront Tupac Amaru and a reconstituted Inca stronghold in the Andes do not face the armed resistance that greets the invading English.
The fact that the continent is not empty and that its inhabitants have not been waiting to be Civilized is etched on English memory by a sequence of unprecedented military defeats.
The English are not greeted as liberators from a French yoke by the independent peoples of the Great Lakes.
The Potawatomi and all their cousins federate against the Scalpers, as the English are called by Great Lakes people who have not yet learned this practice. The federation’s first major encounter with the British is known as Braddock’s Defeat, one of the greatest reversals experienced by a European army in the New World.
English land speculators and fur traders nevertheless persist in claiming their God-given right to the woodlands, valleys and lakes, and find themselves face to face with a resistance the likes of which they haven’t yet seen.
All the varied peoples of the woodlands, lakes and valleys, as well as survivors from the invaded coastal lands, peoples of different ways and mutually unintelligible tongues, are united in a single federation and determined to drive the invaders back to the Ocean.
The federated warriors destroy all but two of the numerous British forts and military posts west of the mountains. The warriors fail at the Famous Fort Pitt because the fort’s commander, under orders from the British general, poisons the besiegers with Smallpox. And the warriors fail at the famous Fort Detroit because its siege would involve a loss of life perfectly acceptable to European militarists but totally unacceptable to this continent’s “warlike tribes,” as the English will persist in calling them.
His-storians will dub this episode “Pontiac’s Conspiracy,” adding another Goliath to their catalogue of monsters of the Wilderness, one that was too formidable even for the wily and wiry English David.
Yet the real Pontiac is a man of small stature remarkable as an orator but not as a killer, a man who seems to be responsible mainly for the decision not to risk the lives of brothers, cousins and nephews in a capture of Fort Detroit.
The real “conspirators” are numerous seers, some from the invaded coastal lands, who remember, and remind their kin, that their ancestors lived happily without guns, rum, cloth, or invaders from Europe.
The British are so thoroughly thrashed that, despite their retention of the two forts, they capitulate to the federated warriors, they promise to stay out of the lands west of the mountains.
The resisters disband. Their cultures do not encompass the possibility that solemn promises can be simple lies; if someone told them of the prevarications that stand out as the great moments of His-story, they wouldn’t believe it.
Some of the British, the Fur Interests, actually pretend to live up to their promise with the so-called Quebec Act prohibiting incursions over the mountains.
But the coastal British, most of whom are involved with the Land Interests, call the Quebec Act intolerable, declare themselves independent, and march over the mountains with guns and cannons.
The landgrabbers, henceforth known as the Americans, announce themselves to the world as Revolutionaries, as Democrats, as everything under the sun except greedy invaders and unscrupulous scalpers.
But to the Potawatomi and their Great Lakes cousins, honest George Washington and his fellow speculators in expropriated lands are nothing but greedy invaders and unscrupulous scalpers. The never-defeated peoples of the lakes and inland valleys reconstitute their federation and greet the Democratic Americans as they are greeted the Royalist British.
St. Clair and Harmar are not merely the names of two of Washington’s generals. They are names that stand out in American annals the same way Braddock does in British, names of outstanding military reversals, of undisguisable defeat.
In the face of such a foe, the resisters say Yea to life and No to Leviathan by disbanding rather than becoming comparable killing machines. Wayne’s famous victory at an invaded field of allen trees is achieved against the few remaining warriors who do not disperse because they have no homes to which to return.
The Americans eventually devise a strategy worthy of their enterprising spirit, a strategy of confidence. Cudgel in one hand and treaty in the other, they promise to advance no further, and whenever they get a few warriors to believe their promise, they advance.
The most notorious practitioner of this unspeakably hypocritical “gamesmanship” is a wily opportunist called Lewis Cass. This Cass is himself one of the land agents who sell parcels of invaded lands to settlers.
Title in hand, the pioneering settlers realize their dream of dominion by denuding the land of all its tress and animals. Lush woodlands teeming with life are transformed into the desolate fields known as cash-crop farms. The inhabitants of the woodlands are deprived of refuge as well as food. And now the notorious Cass, raised to the post of President Jackson’s Secretary of War, unleashes the American army against the remaining original inhabitants.
At this point, namely when the very environment is rendered uninhabitable to free human beings, when the undefeated resisters are literally undermined, the Americans no longer bother to cover up their genocide. The American program is straightforwardly named an “Indian Removal Bill,” explicitly and proudly genocidal.
Entire populations, including the Potawatomi, are uprooted from their ancestral homes as if they were weeds. Mass deportations that diminish the atrocities of ancient Assyrians are perpetrated by a club of Enlightened confidence men.
And the deportations themselves are yet another way of killing the foe without having to confront him in battle. The deportees, whose wellbeing along the route is entrusted to the emotionally obtuse and predictably corrupt American Army, die on route of starvation and disease because the enterprising military con men profitably sell the food and supplies intended for their charges to pioneering settlers along the routes to the concentration camps.
Settlers with titles rush to devastate the evacuated areas and to raise, on former councilgrounds, schoolhouses where the settlers’ children are taught to recite “Why I’m proud to be an American.”
The murderous invaders now come face to face with the continent’s last free human beings, with those who found refuge from the Leviathan on the endless Plains. Vast military campaigns supplemented by every trick in the American book fail to defeat the resisters. Lying promises are by now of no avail; the people of the plains know Americans are consummate liars.
Another atrocity that boggles the imagination is perpetrated by the agents of Reason and Progress. The world’s population of Bison buffalo is exterminated with a malice byond human comprehension in order to deprive the Plains people of their food and shelter. As destroyers of the very conditions of life, the Americans have no predecessors. An apex of mindless irrationality, this atrocity does not even have a name; no known beasts are capable of it. It is the deed of a mindless and lifeless synthetic.
Yet even after they are deprived of the sources of food and shelter, the emaciated Plains people go on resisting, and they still resist after they are deported to concentration camps.
The last resisters throw themselves into a dance, a Ghost Dance. The shared music, the rhythmic motions revive the emaciated resisters, raise them out of the concentration camp, transport them out of Leviathanic Time, beyond His-story. The dancing Plains people borrow from the Shakers and other Europeans who still retain elements of the European heritage of withdrawal. They dream of a Spirit who will guide them out of the monster’s entrails, a Spirit who will sweep away the invaders and revive the buffalo herds. Never before trapped inside the entrails of a Leviathan, this continent’s free people have no withdrawal heritage of their own; they’ve never before needed to withdraw; they were free outsiders. Disarmed, jailed and starved, they recapitulate the main themes of the anti-Roman crisis cult, the very cult which is still invoked by the American jailers to justify the genocide.
* * *
The last communities do a ghost dance, and the ghosts of the last communities will continue to dance within the entrails of the artificial beast. The council-fires of the never-defeated communities are not extinguished by the genocidal invaders, just as the light of Ahura Mazda was not extinguished by rulers who claimed it shone on them. The fire is eclipsed by something dark, but it continues to burn, and its flames shoot out where they are least expected.
Just as Ahura Mazda’s flame was carried to Albi in southern France by Bogomils and their western successors, the flames kept alive by this continent’s communities are carried to the darkest corners of Europe and America.
A Montaigne experiences a revelation when he sees that the people Europeans call Savages possess realms Europeans have lost. A Rousseau experiences a vision when he pushes obfuscating facts aside and sees that the process called Civilization has not been the boon his Enlightened contemporaries claim it to be but rather the bane that explains the Europeans’ loss. Blake, Melville and Thoreau sing these revelations to their school-stunted contemporaries, and despite an increasingly total schooling apparatus and an ever more ubiquitous press, the grandchildren of irredeemably Leviathanized zeks begin to stir with rhythms that come from outside their synthetic environment.
The fire that was to burn down the last beast of the Apocalypse, a fire kept alive by Free Spirits, Adamites, Ranters and rebelling zeks and serfs, is forgotten but not extinguished. Its flames are relit with kindling that comes from council fires of Cheyenne, Dakota, Potawatomi communities.
But the Leviathanic inversion of this fire by the next Church is already announced.
No less a personage than the Enlightened scientific economist Marx lodges Morgan’s version of an Iroquois community in the basement of his revolutionary edifice. The sharing ways of the Iroquois, dubbed Primitive Communism, linger in the basement of this edifice while laboring humanity passes upward, through slavery, serfdom and wage labor, to Fully Developed Communism.
The four beasts of Daniel as well as the three ages of Joachim di Fiore are processed for their upward passage by Humanity’s Productive Forces. Each stage is a Mode of Production. The context is a labor camp, and the revolutionary subjects are His-story’s objects, namely zeks, called Proletarians.
The Eschaton of this Apocalypse is still a labor camp animated by concentrated zeks, but it can be distinguished from all previous camps by the portentous fact that the Archons of the post-revolutionary polity are all members of the Paradisial Party. The eschatological police bully, incarcerate and kill by the grace of Ahura Mazda, just like ancient Cyrus. The repressors wear the free and sharing ways of the Iroquois as badges and armbands.
A farcical replay of the Roman Church’s expropriation and inversion of the anti-Roman crisis cult, the Revolutionary Church nevertheless succeeds in channeling numerous potential rebels into neo-Franciscan Orders, Leviathanic dead ends which, like the earlier Orders, become the vanguard of the repression. It becomes the main project of the stunted rebels to succeed where Businessmen failed, to destroy what human communities still remain, to eradicate the last traces of what Marx called Primitive Communism, so as to send all humanity scurrying up the escalator, past His-story’s concentration camps, the one ruled by the General Secretary of the Paradisial Party, a ruler who calls himself The Proletariat.
Revolutionary archons compete with Enlightenment archons in rending the Biosphere, turning the world into a place where free human beings can neither stand nor lie nor sit.
The last relics of the world’s communities are safely lodged in trophy cases which, their guards insist, contain all there is to know about communities.
The beast now turns on the zeks in its entrails, for they too, however stunted they may be, still posses what Quakers call an “inner light,” and any such light is anathema to Leviathan, whose element is the dark, the synthetic. Having eliminated the communities of outsiders, the Technological Wonder proceeds to generate outsiders inside its own entrails, to expunge human zeks and replace them with machines, with things made of its own substance.
This bizarre last act surprises only those who still take Leviathan at its word and think it rational. Its rationality is as artificial as its love of nature and its devotion to humanity. The beast that so cruelly and bloodily swallowed humanity so as to turn people into appendages of tools now shoves the appendages aside and generates pockets of human beings superfluous to its further progress.
The new outsiders are not radicals. They are people who happened to animate springs and gears which can now be automated, namely artificialized. The outsider may be scions od the most royalist zeks or managers, like the French Canadians who actually found kinship and community although they, unlike many of their contemporaries, didn’t know they wanted these gifts.
The displaced zeks languish, and it is not yet known if the Quakers are right, if the new outsiders do indeed still have an “inner light,” namely an ability to reconstitute lost rhythms, to recover music, to regenerate human cultures.
It is also not known if the technological detritus that crowds and poisons the world leaves human beings any room to dance.
What is known is that Leviathan, the great artifice, single and world-embracing for the first time in His-story, is decomposing.
From the day when battery-run voices began broadcasting old speeches to battery-run listeners, the beast has been talking to itself. Having swallowed everyone and everything outside itself, the beast becomes its own sole frame of reference. It entertains itself, exploits itself and wars on itself. It has reached the end of its Progress, for there is nothing left for it to progress against except itself. Being above all else a war engine, the beast is most likely to perish once and for all in a cataclysmic suicidal war, in which cas Ahriman would permanently extinguish the light of Ahura Mazda.
People waste their lives when they plead with Ahriman to desist from extinguishing the light, for such a deed would be Ahriman’s final triumph over Ahura Mazda, and the pleaders might learn too late that they are the ones who put the idea into the monster’s head.
Leviathan is turning into Narcissus, admiring its own synthetic image in its own synthetic pond, enraptured by its spectacle of itself.
It is a good time for people to let go of its sanity, its masks and armors, and go mad, for they are already being ejected from its pretty polis.
In ancient Anatolia people danced on the earth-covered ruins of the Hittite Leviathan and built their lodges with stones which contained the records of the vanished empire’s great deeds.
The cycle has come round again. America is where Anatolia was. It is a place where human beings, just to stay alive, have to jump, to dance, and by dancing revive the rhythms, recover cyclical time. An-archic and pantheistic dancers no longer sense the artifice and its His-story as All but as merely one cycle, one long night, a stormy night that left Earth wounded, but a night that ends, as all nights end, when the sun rises.
Detroit, March 1983