Southern History Series: The Ancient Idiot

The following excerpt comes from Larry Siedentop’s book Inventing the Individual: The Origins of Western Liberalism:

“Religious belief shaped the character of ancient ‘patriotism’. Serving the ‘fathers-land’ emerges in the word itself. The defenders of an ancient city under siege were not moved by interest as we understand the term. They were not defending a public institution that had created and guaranteed individual rights. Neither were they inspired by the kind of historical narratives that have been created to celebrate and reinforce the identities of modern nation-states. There was nothing self-serving, abstract or sentimental about ancient patriotism.

The ancient citizen saw himself as defending the land of his ancestors, who were also his gods. His ancestors were inseparable from the ground of the city. To lose that ground was to lose the gods of the family. Indeed, the loss of the city meant that the gods had already abandoned it. That is why, whenever a new city was about to be founded, the first public rite involved its members digging a trench to receive soil carried from their previous city, representing the soil in which their ancestors had been buried. Citizens could then still say this was the land of their ancestors, terra patria. In Plutarch’s account, Romulus, the founder of Rome, did exactly that, in order to establish a new residence for his ancestral gods. The foundation of a city was not the construction of a few houses, but the assertion of a hereditary religious identity, ‘patriotism’.

When defending his city, the ancient citizen was therefore defending the very core of his identity. Religion, family and territory were inseparable, a combination of which turned ancient patriotism into an overwhelming passion. The enslavement that often followed the unsuccessful defence of a city merely confirmed a truly dreadful anterior fact: the loss of identity that necessarily accompanied the loss of domestic gods.

We can now understand why patriotism was not only the most intense feeling but also the highest possible virtue for the ancient citizen. Everything that was important to him – his ancestors, his worship, his moral life, his pride and property – depended on the survival and well-being of the city. That is why devotion to the ‘sacred fatherland’ was deemed the supreme virtue. In devoting himself to the city before everything else, the citizen was serving his gods. No abstract principle of justice could give him pause. Piety and patriotism were one and the same thing. For the Greeks, to be without patriotism, to be anything less than an active citizen, was to be an ‘idiot’. That, indeed, is what the word originally meant, referring to anyone who retreated from the life of the city.

So it is no accident that exile was the most severe punishment the citizen of a polis could suffer. It was worse than death, or rather it was a living death. To be exiled meant to be separated from the religious rites and relationships that were the source of personal identity. The city-state or polis was not simply a physical setting or place for the citizen. It was his whole life.

Let him leave its sacred walls, let him pass the sacred limits of its territory, and he no longer finds kind. Everywhere else, except in his own country, he is outside the regular life and the law; everywhere else he is without a god, and shut out from all moral life. There alone he enjoys his dignity as a man, and his duties. Only there can he be a man.

This, of course, is why Aristotle later famously argued that the life of the citizen was the only life worth living.”

It kills me to think that our Southern ancestors used to be raised on the classics and unabashedly modeled our republican society on Greece and Rome. They also greatly admired the Middle Ages. Now we are represented by pathetic, spineless, mewling cuckservatives like David French.

The following excerpt comes from Bertram Wyatt-Brown’s book Southern Honor: Ethics & Behavior in the Old South:

“Apart from a few lonely dissenters, Southern whites believed (as most people do) that they conducted their lives by the highest ethical standards. They thought that they had made peace with God’s natural order. Above all else, white Southerners adhered to a moral code that may be summarized as the rule of honor. Today we would not define as an ethical scheme a code of morality that could legitimate injustice – racial or class. Yet so it was defined in the Old South. The sources of that ethic lay deep in mythology, literature, history, and civilization. It long preceded the slave system in America. Since the earliest times, honor was inseparable from hierarchy and entitlement, defense of family blood and community needs. All these exigencies required the rejection of the lowly, the alien, and the shamed. Such unhappy creatures belonged outside the circle of honor …

They too knew the exigencies of honor, the horrors of shame. In fact, Southerners saw them as means of holding fast to the social order that they so deeply cherished. It was the threat of honor lost, no less than slavery, that led them to secession and war.”

What is the lowliest creature without honor?

The personification of that deracinated being is David French.

About Hunter Wallace 9848 Articles
Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Occidental Dissent

34 Comments

  1. That video at the end really got to me. Ours is truly a beaten people. Enthusiastic fat young men and goofy, pudgy boys and homely young women hollering in a tent while enthusiastic old men sing about being ground beneath the tyrant’s heel for our demands of justice. This is all we have left and all that has been left to us.

    Our folks clawed back from the brink of destruction (aka “reconstruction”) but then couldn’t get Huey Long or George Wallace elected president, couldn’t hold on to even sensible and prudent segregation, couldn’t do much of anything except go off to fight for ZOG and Uncle Sam any time they came calling because the Southern people are the only Americans who earnestly esteem honor and glory and want to fight – and I suspect what many young men who have fought for the USA over all these years is simply to die in a marginally more dignified way than to grow old surrounded by the morass of lost and failed communities afflicted with drugs, poverty, ignorance, and failure.

    The ultimate black pill is that it would have been better, knowing what we do now, for Lee to have never surrendered. Complete annihilation would be better than what we ended up with instead. Every day we go on living is to be like the exiled Greek criminal mentioned in the article.

    I’m sorry to be so negative, but believe me when I say I wrote all this with tears in my eyes. I pray all the time for the South’s regeneration, but sadly I feel that is merely the most that can be done. My apologies. Tomorrow I will be better again, but right now I’m feeling awfully low.

  2. Whatever may be its worth in this context, Mr. W., I’ll paste an Aeneid passage that came to my mind as I was reading this post of yours. It’s from Book II, in which, if I have this correct, Aeneas is recountng to Dido, Queen of Carthage, his flight from Troy, on the night it fell in flames to the Greeks. He explains that he told his aged father to hurry up and climb onto his shoulders, so that he (Aeneas) could carry him; took the hand of Ascanius (his son); and advised his wife to follow along behind them. He instructed his servants to meet up with them at a temple outside the city’s walls.

    Most important, in the context of your post, is that Aeneas instructs his father to hold on to the statues of the household gods. I think Venus, the mother of Aeneas, has appeared to him and told him to take the statues and settle them in a new country (which will end up being Rome, I guess).

    The translation is John Dryden’s (of 1697, according to Wikipedia) …

    ‘Haste, my dear father, (’tis no time to wait,)
    And load my shoulders with a willing freight.
    Whate’er befalls, your life shall be my care;
    One death, or one deliv’rance, we will share.
    My hand shall lead our little son; and you,
    My faithful consort, shall our steps pursue.
    Next, you, my servants, heed my strict commands:
    Without the walls a ruin’d temple stands,
    To Ceres hallow’d once; a cypress nigh
    Shoots up her venerable head on high,
    By long religion kept; there bend your feet,
    And in divided parties let us meet.
    Our country gods, the relics, and the bands,
    Hold you, my father, in your guiltless hands:
    In me ’tis impious holy things to bear,
    Red as I am with slaughter, new from war,
    Till in some living stream I cleanse the guilt
    Of dire debate, and blood in battle spilt.’
    Thus, ord’ring all that prudence could provide,
    I clothe my shoulders with a lion’s hide
    And yellow spoils; then, on my bending back,
    The welcome load of my dear father take;
    While on my better hand Ascanius hung,
    And with unequal paces tripp’d along.

    PS Photograph of a Bernini statue of the scene: https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-aeneas-anchises-and-ascanius-by-gian-lorenzo-bernini-villa-borghese-129896467.html

  3. Thank you for posting this. This is an example of WHY I call for the return to the Gods of OUR Race. “Jesus” is the Jewish co-option and subversion of Balder and Lugh. It’s more than just a “name” – it’s about self-knowledge and identity. We need OUR Own.

    • Jesus Christ is the White man’s lord. Jesus spoke out and called out the Jews for what they are and that’s why they killed him. I understand why many are upset and frustrated with modern Christianity which is completely Jewish bullshit. I find strength in knowing that our enemies eternal punishment will last far longer and be much worse than ours will be on this earth.

      • Yeah, you’re going to Heaven, and your enemies are obviously going to Hell, so nothing on this Earth truly matters….right….right?

      • @Croat: Do you have to be reminded that there are literally hundreds of millions of Negroes, Mestizos, Arabs, Injuns, Pajeets and Chinamen who are also Christians?

        • Powell: I never once said that problems on this earth don’t matter. spahnranch1969: Christ did not die for various shades of shit skins and Jews.

          • Jesus said nothing about being the exclusive savior for whites. Christianity is a universalist and submissive creed; that’s why it’s anathema to White survival.

    • Hello, Hymie!

      I wouldn’t know about the weather in that cesspool – but joo tell me! Do joo ever go outside, from the child brothel joo live in?

  4. luke2236, you must be new here or a recent Boaz Allen Hamilton/General Dynamics/Deep State hire ..

    Denise has been calling out the jew on this site for years … and you show up, all new and fresh (almost like you just graduated the academy in Quantico), to her accuse of being hasbarat. I call bullshit.

    I would have hoped that the worthless paper in my pocket, that Uncle Shlomo takes his cut from every year, would have better prepared you for this new job … hint, hint, there a lot of folks here who have problems with murican jew worship, but then again, there’s also a lot of jew worship apologists as well … that’s right, I’m calling you out Fr. John+ 🙂

    We’ll see who got’s your back, kike2236, okay? It will be an interesting to see.

      • No, thank you.

        And in reply, my dear lady, a quote for our shared memories, “Praise from the praise-worthy is beyond all rewards.” ? J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers (The Window on the West)

        • Tolkien was a Christian whose fiction was based on Biblical stories and theology. Interesting choice.

          • The Lord of the Rings was based around Northern and Aryan mythology, and Tolkien’s experiences in WW1 and his views on nature and industrialization, and his Catholicism, but not Biblical stories per se.

          • Here’s some info from the Tolkien Gateway: “J. R. R. Tolkien once described The Lord of the Rings as “a fundamentally religious and Catholic work” he wrote to his friend, the English Jesuit Father Robert Murray, “unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision.”(The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 142). There are many theological themes underlying the narrative, the battle of good versus evil, the triumph of humility over pride, the activity of grace, Death and Immortality, Resurrection, Salvation, Repentance, Self-Sacrifice, Free Will, Humility, Justice, Fellowship, Authority and Healing. In it the great virtues of Mercy and Pity (shown by Bilbo and Frodo towards Gollum) win the day and the message from the Lord’s Prayer “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” was very much on Tolkien’s mind as Frodo struggled against the power of the One Ring (Letters, 181 and 191).
            Religious motifs other than Christian can be discerned as strong influences in Tolkien’s Middle Earth. The pantheon of the Valar and Maiar (greater and lesser gods/angels) responsible for the creation and maintenance of everything from skies (Manwë) and seas (Ulmo), to dreams (Lórien) and dooms (Mandos) suggest a pre-Christian mythology in style, albeit that these Valar and Maiar are themselves creations of a monotheistic entity — Illuvatar or Eru, “The One”. ”

            Yes, Tolkien was interested in English mythology. He and the other Inklings like C. S. Lewis did have a Christian focus, though, as the above passage (quoting Tolkien himself) shows, and reinterpreted them through a lens that came to be called “Christian romanticism.”

          • To Denise, that should have been typed out as ..”No (but) thank you”. In the sense that “no … I am only worthy to lay out my cloak into the rain puddle so that you do not have to walk thru mud.”

            To the Others (Rich, Powell) .. here is another “Anglais” author for you to consider …
            “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
            ? William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

            I often think that sometimes the folks of our side need to stop smelling their own farts and admiring their own navels, and start to see that there is a greater truth that resides beyond their (I too am guilty) myopic view.

    • WP: Friar John likes to think it’s still the year 1162 and Frederick Barbarossa is Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. But strip away the Medieval Germanic veneer and Christianity is just a superstitious Near Eastern messiah cult, an alien, Levantine religion that was forced on Europeans using fire and sword.

      • Axshually, I think Friar John subscribes to an even earlier, more esoteric type of Christianity, perhaps the kind that was practiced between the Council of Chalcedon and the Great Schism.

  5. Native Americans have the highest percentage serving in the United States military than any other ethnic group in the US.
    Cutting the ears off of the NVA and Cong and mailing them home was a way to achieve honor.

    • And maybe in the future, for us po’ white folk cutting off the earlocks of the Enemy (aka, Payot (Hebrew: ??????; plural: ???????), also pronounced pe’ot, peyot; or payos, peyos, peyois, payois) and mailing them home will be a way to achieve honor in these end of days.

      A way for us lowly goyim, the remnant of the once mighty Aryan race, to prove ourselves worthy to go to the Halls of Our Fathers in whose mighty company we will not then feel ashamed, although they will no doubt question how we equate scalps with drinking cups made from jewish skulls.

  6. In an earlier, more honorable age French would have been strangled and tossed into the Tiber.

  7. The comments about Christianity being forced on the poor pagans isn’t right. The barbarian tribes usually adopted the faith AFTER conquering formerly Roman territory. Even after the second wave of barbarian tribal wars, post-Carolingian Empire collapse, tribes ended up adopting Christianity. Sometimes it was the Arian version, but still, they left behind their old gods. So, you’re reversing cause and effect. When pagan rituals were tacked on to Christian festivals like Easter and Christmas, it was after tribal conversion, too. That was done for the standard reason: Make the formerly pagan tribesmen comfortable with the new faith.

    The reasons tribes left behind the old gods? An argument I find convincing is that Christianity was associated or analogous with the higher Roman civilization that had been recently been destroyed. The barbarians wanted supremacy for themselves, but recognized that Rome provided things they couldn’t. Christianity was also associated with learning and peaceful stability, something marauding tribes were sorely lacking. The monasteries built after the fall of Rome were centers of agriculture, education, medicine, and so on. The tribal leaders recognized this. They sought more for their own than just trying to subsist on nomadic raiding.

    But why didn’t the tribes just adopt what was good about Christian life without taking on the faith? My guess is they saw the benefits Christianity provided as proof of God’s superiority. Of course, other acts were done to challenge pagan supremacy. St. Boniface chopped down the tree of Thor (or Jupiter, depending on the source) and dared the pagan gods to smite him if they were real, for example. He then built a church from the wood of that tree.

    If you don’t like Christ because He was born into a Jewish family, and Jews have done nothing but cause trouble for Gentiles throughout their whole history, consider this. Christ was the Messiah. He came from God, not a Jew. The Jews were originally the Chosen, so naturally the Messiah of all would appear to them first. After His announcement of Messiah was made, you had a choice: be Jewish, or Christian. Accept the universal order or Logos, or go against the universal order established by God, on Earth, right in front of you for your benefit (the New Covenant). Most Jews rejected Logos. They went against God, in other words. And they continue to do so.

    • “When pagan rituals were tacked on to Christian festivals like Easter and Christmas”

      Just the opposite. Easter and Christmas were originally both pagan festivals that Christians superimposed concocted events onto to make them more palatable to the pagans. The Christians had no real dates for these supposed ultra-Holy events, so they had to slip them into pre-existing holidays. One would think that such momentous and important occasions would have been remembered and marked when they supposedly happened.

      • I’ll just take on Easter here. Easter was associated with Passover (referred to as “Pascha”) in the early church. The earliest source referring to Easter is a mid-2nd-century Paschal homily attributed to Melito of Sardis, which characterizes the celebration as a well-established one. It wasn’t until the first Nicene council in 325 that a set date was attempted, though. So, no, it wasn’t a superimposed pagan festival.

      • Powell, with the understanding that you’re anti-Christian, do you have any substantial criticism of what I said? Or are you just looking to correct me on that one point?

        • Powell and Rich L, You give the impression of two old men arguing over the last bread crumb in a sinking ship…

          Why do you not both seek to square the circle … Since you represent opposing poles within this movement, your efforts to come to an understanding between yourselves, if not an agreement, would shine a light for the rest of us to follow.

          • Your criticism is ridiculous, WP. This was a discussion on a relatively minor topic within a topic. It was related to facts, and not a war. This is just blog commentary, not the blog post. You also skipped over where I asked Powell for his opinion. If it was merely about my ego, as you apparently presume, I would not have done so. Talking about navel-gazing as you do above, and then making a comment where you set yourself up as an arbiter of disputes, is true projection. Especially over something like this. Get over yourself.

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