"And Theompopus, when a stranger kept saying, as he showed him kindness, that in his own city he was called a lover of Sparta, remarked: ‘My good sir, it were better for thee to be called a lover of thine own city.’"
Plutarch, Lives (Volume One), trans. Bernadotte Perrin
The first act of resistance always consists in freeing oneself from the dread and fascination of words. Words invoke images, which may be healthy or toxic, discouraging or rousing. Through words and their power to seduce, deceive or intimidate, the dominant system imprisons whomever it wants to subdue, long before resorting to more menacing weapons. Choosing the name by which one designates one’s adversaries, naming them, is already to exercise power over them, to make them play according to one’s own rules without them knowing it, preparing their annihilation, or conversely, freeing oneself from their grasp. That is what the emperor Julian, Machiavelli, Voltaire, Nietzsche or Solzhentisyn did, as a way of liberating themselves.
Words are weapons. To arm oneself with one’s own words, and first and foremost, to name oneself, is to affirm one’s existence, one’s autonomy, one’s freedom. Thus, we designate ourselves as the defiant [insoumis].
The defiant stand in an intimate relationship to legitimacy. They define themselves in opposition to what they perceive as illegitimate. Confronted with usurpation or sacrilege, they are a law unto themselves, but only out of loyalty to a defiled legitimacy. Defiance is above all a thing of the spirit, before there is recourse to arms.
If you look at mass and popular culture, the heroic is still alive. It’s alive in junk films, in comic books, in forms that our culture’s intellectuals disprivilege. Why is the heroic treated at that level? Because liberalism can’t deal with the heroic. It doesn’t have a space for it in its ideology, so it decants it.
Much of popular culture involves the celebration of men, iconographically in films and so on, who are authoritarian, who are hierarchical, who are elitist. How many cinema posters have you seen with a man alone with a gun staring into the distance? It’s the primordial American myth! These are men who think ‘fascistically’; and they fight against fascism! They fight against authoritarian ideas of what the west once was and can become again.
This is always the trick. They’ll use the ideology of the marine core to fight for a liberal, a humanist, and a democratic purpose. That’s the trick! In every film, in every television program, in every comic, in every novel, in everything that the masses consume that isn’t purely about sex or sport, the heroic is there, and they always fight for liberal causes! And their enemies are always grinning japanese generals, or nazis! Used again and again and again, as a stereotype of a stereotype of a stereotype, to impose the idea that that which is core, primal, European, is morally wrong!
the root of the english verb to bless comes from the old english term bletsian which derives from proto-germanic *blōþisōną, meaning to hallow or consecrate by sprinkling with blood.
think about that the next time someone says “bless you” when you sneeze
"Modern civilized man cannot endure cruelty, pain and suffering and is more merciful than men of the past, but this is not because he is morally and spiritually higher than they. He fears pain and suffering more than they did; he is more effeminate, less firm, patient and courageous than they; in other words he is spiritually less strong."
"What they had done in their youth, and what for millenniums had been man’s vocation, joy and pleasure — to ride a horse, to plow in the morning the steaming field, to walk behind the oxen, to mow the yellow grain in the blazing summer heat while streams of sweat poured down the tanned body and the women who bound the sheaves could hardly keep in step with the mowers, to rest at noon for a meal in the shade of green trees — all this, praised by the poets since times immemorial, was now past and gone.
Joy in labor had disappeared."