Monday, August 07, 2006

Chapter 3-9

Even the giddy doctrinaire who so cunningly concocted the bombastes-furioso fictions of the Declaration* could not apparently have believed them himself. Was he not a slave-driver (residing among slave-drivers) who bought and auctioned human cattle for dollars and cents all the days of his life? No doubt for purposes of state-craft and necessary war-craft he wove his philosophic preamble of Strong Deceit. Probably also, he was comparatively honest, and even sincere but among the alluring priests of Unreason, the most dangerous is the fanatical propagandist.

* Mayhap, Franklin (who had a comic vein,) wrote them as grinning jokes. By the way every signature, attached thereto, represents a slave-holding, slave-trading constituency. All the colonies traded in niggers.

When Jefferson dictated his fatal and untenable abstractions, he was not even original but plagiarized Zeno the Stoic, Jack Cade, Savonarola, Milton, Plato, John Ball, etc. Zeno said: “All men are by nature equal,” but carefully refrained from attempting to demonstrate it. Milton defended it in his prose essays, Plato voiced it in his “Republic,” John Ball preached it in medieval England, Savonarola perished trying to establish it in Florence. Jack Cade, Robespierre and Christ were also failures, ghastly failures.

“If human experience proves anything at all,” writes James Fitzjames Stevens, “it proves that, if the restraints are minimalized, if the largest possible measure of Liberty is accorded to all human beings; the result will not be equality but inequality, reproducing itself in a geometrical ratio.” Remove the restraints and see how quickly an aristocracy based on Merit would mow down an aristocracy based on Credit.

In actual life, he who claims equality with another, is ever called upon to prove his claim, not by a grotesque abracadabra of silly phrases, parroted from antique philosophers or blue-moldy documents but by actual deeds, that is to say, by producing his credentials. Constitutional theories are all very well to humbug stridulating slaves but in a freeman’s household, or business, they are not ‘legal tender.’ Among men of affairs, natural egalitarianism is regarded as amusing moonshine, mere spread-eagleism, fit for public meetings only. Business minds thoroughly understand, (having learnt by bitter experience) that some men are destined by Nature to bear command and some to obey: aye, even for a thousand years before their birth.

No one can study the laborers on a farm, the ‘hands’ in a big foundry or factory, the seamen in a large seaport, the nomadic hirelings on a railroad construction gang: or the clerks and salesmen in a city warehouse, without perceiving at a glance, that the vast majority of them are extremely poor specimens of humanity.

The ideal type of manhood or womanhood, (that is to say, ‘Ye Thoroughbred’) is not to be found among these captive hordes, for captives they really are. Their heads are to a large extent unsymmetrical, their features distorted, ape-like, unintelligent. Their bodies are out of all proportion, dwarfed, stunted, diseased, malformed, cretinous.

Their movements are contracted, artificial, ungainly, and their minds (outside of routine) are utter vacuums. When compared with the traditional idea of Strength, Beauty, Courage, and Nobleness of character, they are an extremely ill-bred herd of cattle: exhibiting all the psychological stigmata of inherited brain-rot and of physical decay. “A crown of thorns on every brow, that is the wage they’re earning now.” *

* Ibsen.

Nine-tenths of them are positively repulsive in language, mentality, and in general appearance. They even display an extraordinary low average of animality; and upon the slightest exposure perish off, like sheep that have the lung worm. Heated rooms, woolen clothing, and stimulating beverages, are the means whereby their watery blood is kept in languid circulation. Every new generation is feebler, and more debased than its predecessor. All the scientific evidences of metal, moral, and bodily deterioration, are markedly accentuated in them and, their timidity is proverbial,* hard, continuous, methodical labor, destroys courage, saps vitality, and demoralizes character. It tames and subdues men; just as it tames and subdues the wild steer or the young colt. Men who labor hard and continuously have no power to think. It requires all their vital forces to keep their muscles in trim.

* “The brave man may fail sometimes, but the coward fails always.” Angelo Mosso.

Indeed, the civilized city working-man and working-woman are the lowest and worst type of animal ever evolved from dust and slime and oxygen.

They actually worship Work: and bow down before Law as an ox-team crouches and strains under the last. Look upon their shrunken cheeks, their thin lips, their narrow, retreating, irresolute jaws, their decayed teeth, sharp puny noses, small watery eyes, yellow bloodless complexions, bent shoulders, dry hair tending to baldness, struggling thin beard: the women with pinched features, waspish fragile waists, want of bust development, consumptive, neurotic, artificially barren, emaciated, hungry, dwarfed, hysterical.

The minds of the average workmen and workwomen are either total vacuums or stuffed to the brim with every conceivable species of lies, iniquity, superstition, and sham. Indeed how could they remain in such conditions of base loathsome hirelingism, were they not deficient in all the Primitive Virtues, in all that is manly and womanly?

Behold! Upon their brow is stamped (with red-hot cattle brands) the word “damned.” Eternally tortured are they in a patent purgatory invented by Politicians. Their tribunals however may really be but Progression in disguise, because their shameful self-degradation must ultimately end in their utter extinguishment. Hopelessly they are entangled in the snare, hopelessly defeated. For them there is no escape, no! Not even through fields of blood.

Poor trembling wretches! Washing their own hands in their own sweat! Nay, in their own heart’s blood! Born thralls are they, or, born madmen! Their days are without hope and their years are consumed for naught. When their Master speaks unto them there is trembling in all their joints.

They waste their lives pursuing shadows, and for hire, build their own tombs. Their minds are below freezing point, nay! Below zero! Crippled souls are they.

They knead their own flesh into daily bread, and transmute their ‘contrite hearts’ into basins of gruel.

They look unto idols for deliverance, * aye and grind their dry bones into baskets of coal. At thoughts of battle they blench with terror; at the sight of naked bayonets, they run like whipped hounds.

* When the Roman Empire was tottering to its fall, the worship of the state was an established cult, just as it is to-day. Better to adore blocks of wood or stone, than bow our hearts, our heads, and our knees before those troops of Unclean Beasts, Politicians!

Therefore, strength leapeth down upon them as the panther leaps upon his quarry. And in a moment of time they are blotted out.

My soul abhorreth them as an abomination. My hand reacheth out to clutch them by the throat.


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