Ancient Empires VS Modern Times

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Cromwellian
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I've always had an interest in the great empires of old, mainly thanks to my Christian upbringing and the role of different world empires in the Bible. Recently however I am gaining a new interest, and new insight, into such empires.

I have recently watched some of a documentary about the Hittites (linked below):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHYn4IDi19A&t=1624s

It is compelling to see how they and other ancient peoples built up great and worthy empires, founded upon the solid bedrock of religion and kingship. There is something about those great polities that we in the modern world lack.
First of all, they truly revered their rulers. Their time was much more primitive and as such much more fertile for heroes and heroic deeds. The most heroic rulers would have the greatest basis on which to legitimise their reign, helped, as they were, by propaganda. Consider this benediction written for the mighty king Hattusili I:

"His frame is new, his breast is new, his penis is new, his head is of tin, his teeth are those of a lion, his eyes are (those) of an eagle, and he sees like an eagle."

To most of his subjects, who would never have seen him but would have heard of his great conquests and worthy deeds, he would truly have been almost god-like. Upon their deaths, the Hittite rulers would literally become gods. It would not surprise me if the entire Indo-European pantheon of gods was based on heroic, primordial individuals whose impact on their communities was so profound that they were deemed worthy of deification. Unable to come to terms with the death of such great figures, ancient communities made them into gods in order to convince themselves that the mighty men that had walked among them were enjoying a new life outside this world, and were surely watching over them. Whether this was true or not is not the important thing, but that such figures were deemed worthy of reverence is. They were exceptional beings, something approaching Nietzsche's Overman or Joseph Conrad's Mr. Kurtz. They were great and terrifying, and their very countenance demanded prostration and worship.

Secondly of all, they were vibrant societies that encouraged heroism. They endured almost constant warfare. They were always expanding. A life of hardship and danger and struggle was encouraged and rewarded. Unlike our neutered, pacifistic times, comfort was a luxury that could be ill-afforded. The Hittites in particular had a sprawling landmass with villages that were often isolated by mountains and rocky passes and were therefore very exposed. The state could not guarantee constant security like in our times. If the security apparatuses of the Western world shut down tomorrow, who knows how many terrorist attacks would happen? Would the people of the West remain docile and somnolent in the face of the Islamic threat? Would they not seize whatever they can find to defend themselves? As Julius Evola said, in these dark times, men will fight not out of a higher, heroic principles, but to preserve this skin. When people are afraid, afraid for their lives, afraid for their comfortable existence, then they will know how to fight.

Third, their societies had clear class boundaries, with an aristocracy, a priesthood, merchants and a lower-class. None of that egalitarian nonsense so common in our day. Those higher up were rightfully venerated and respected. The King would personally hear the most serious cases, and, in his wisdom, make the ultimate judgement. One, heroic being would sit in judgement over his people, accorded the respect of which he was worthy.
There are many things that could be learnt from these great ancient empires. Let us aim to imitate, even surpass, their glorious achievements.
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AlexanderHam
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(Original post by Cromwellian)
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I don't agree with some of your propositions, but as usual your post is fascinating and very thoughtful! Gemmed.
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AlexanderHam
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(Original post by Cromwellian)
They were great and terrifying, and their very countenance demanded prostration and worship.
That reminds me of medieval England, when someone had done something wrong and they were bowing before the king, they would call him "Dread sovereign".

Secondly of all, they were vibrant societies that encouraged heroism. They endured almost constant warfare. They were always expanding. A life of hardship and danger and struggle was encouraged and rewarded. Unlike our neutered, pacifistic times, comfort was a luxury that could be ill-afforded.
I think this is a measure of our success. That our polities are now so advanced that we can protect our people such that most of them can go about their lives, and we have need for only 100,000 or so "heroes" to defend us. I would agree that many modern people are timid, irritating and slightly pathetic, but I think you have to give credit to the incredible organisation, ingenuity, fairness and justice of the society we have created; ancient people would think it heavenly. I don't see that as a bad thing.

As Julius Evola said
Grrr

Those higher up were rightfully venerated and respected.
We could certainly do with some more deference, some more respect for this of superior wisdom and intelligence. But if we're going to be frank, this lionisation of blue collar idiots is a fundamental aspect of the modern Evola fans like Bannon.

The King would personally hear the most serious cases, and, in his wisdom, make the ultimate judgement. One, heroic being would sit in judgement over his people, accorded the respect of which he was worthy.
The problem being that with a hereditary monarchy you invariably end up with a king who is in no way heroic or worthy or that kind of respect. If the king is to be feared and respected, let us have an elective monarchy on the Venetian model, not the elevation of some chinless wonder like Charles and then the enforced veneration as if he's some wise benevolent father rather than just someone who happened to come out of the right vagina.

The English civilisation is highly worthy of respect. The constituency I live in, Southwark, has been sending representatives across the river to parliament for over 700 years. Even in the early 15th century, a golden era for hero-warrior kings like Henry V, we had extremely activist parliaments who used their control of the revenue force the king to accept Commons-appointed taxation commissioners who would ensure that the war taxes were properly spent.

Our English civilisation, with the House of Commons and the Lords, with the king's ministers, with the Court of King's Bench (now the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court) has a certain timeless character of its own that we should revere. You can go back to the early 1400s and all the fundamental elements of our government (parliament, the king, ministers, the courts) were all there. The emphases have changed over time, but we still live according to the customs and usages of our ancestors. Would not the social values you advocate include reverence and respect for the traditional ways of this English civilisation, such as parliamentary government?
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AlexanderHam
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(Original post by Cromwellian)
I have recently watched some of a documentary about the Hittites (linked below):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHYn4IDi19A&t=1624s
Interesting, I'll check it out

Consider this benediction written for the mighty king Hattusili:

"His frame is new, his breast is new, his penis is new, his head is of tin, his teeth are those of a lion, his eyes are (those) of an eagle, and he sees like an eagle"
Most poetic, very gratifying indeed.

Not to lower the tone too much but have you seen this ancient Sumerian benediction?

“If a man copulates with his equal from the rear, he becomes the leader among his peers and brothers."

Very wise, I say.
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oShahpo
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There is something disconcerting about your hallowing of great leaders that, if held by many, is sure to turn such leaders into dictators. Some dictators have done a great deal of good things, like your man Cromwell, but I can't think of one who hasn't built his state and position without atrocities, like your man Cromwell.
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oShahpo
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(Original post by Mathemagicien)
Why does it matter if the states are built on atrocities? The US and Europe were built upon many atrocities, and are better for it. You think we'd have defeated the Nazis without the Soviet Union, which was itself built upon atrocities, and far better for it? The ends justify the means.
Yes but what ends exactly? Who is to decide if progress in some area is worthy an exchange for human lives?

The Soviet Union committed far more atrocities than Hitler ever did, so perhaps it's not a good exchange after all, the atrocities of the Soviet Union for the prevention of the possibly atrocities of Hitler.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by AlexanderHam)
I don't agree with some of your propositions, but as usual your post is fascinating and very thoughtful! Gemmed.
This dude is basically some kind of colonial racist fascist. I don't see the same level of not agreeing but still "finding fascinating" when ti comes to commies.
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by AlexanderHam)
I think this is a measure of our success. That our polities are now so advanced that we can protect our people such that most of them can go about their lives, and we have need for only 100,000 or so "heroes" to defend us. I would agree that many modern people are timid, irritating and slightly pathetic, but I think you have to give credit to the incredible organisation, ingenuity, fairness and justice of the society we have created; ancient people would think it heavenly. I don't see that as a bad thing.
Unfortunately I think it has also weakened the spirit of modern man. We have grown too used to comfort and security.

(Original post by AlexanderHam)
We could certainly do with some more deference, some more respect for this of superior wisdom and intelligence. But if we're going to be frank, this lionisation of blue collar idiots is a fundamental aspect of the modern Evola fans like Bannon.
I don't think Evola would be particularly impressed with Bannon. Evola hated Christianity, and Bannon is a Catholic who wants to restore Judeo-Christian values in the West. Furthermore, he is a thuggish alt-right populist whereas Evola hated any sort of pandering to the people, believing that the state should derive its authority from a transcendent source.

(Original post by AlexanderHam)
The problem being that with a hereditary monarchy you invariably end up with a king who is in no way heroic or worthy or that kind of respect. If the king is to be feared and respected, let us have an elective monarchy on the Venetian model, not the elevation of some chinless wonder like Charles and then the enforced veneration as if he's some wise benevolent father rather than just someone who happened to come out of the right vagina.
I do think Charles is a moron and that our present monarchy is pretty unimpressive. I don't think much of the hereditary principle and would prefer an elected monarchy, but I think it would be difficult to apply in practice. You jsut have to look at Poland-Lithuania to see what happens when elective monarchy breaks down.

(Original post by AlexanderHam)
The English civilisation is highly worthy of respect. The constituency I live in, Southwark, has been sending representatives across the river to parliament for over 700 years. Even in the early 15th century, a golden era for hero-warrior kings like Henry V, we had extremely activist parliaments who used their control of the revenue force the king to accept Commons-appointed taxation commissioners who would ensure that the war taxes were properly spent.
I don't disagree. Unfortunately the present character of our government is so democratic and our politicians so bland as to make our parliamentary system distinctly less impressive.

(Original post by AlexanderHam)
Our English civilisation, with the House of Commons and the Lords, with the king's ministers, with the Court of King's Bench (now the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court) has a certain timeless character of its own that we should revere. You can go back to the early 1400s and all the fundamental elements of our government (parliament, the king, ministers, the courts) were all there. The emphases have changed over time, but we still live according to the customs and usages of our ancestors. Would not the social values you advocate include reverence and respect for the traditional ways of this English civilisation, such as parliamentary government?
I do believe there should be qualified reverence for parliamentary government. I would like the idea of the persons of MPs being made inviolable like Roman tribunes. But I do not believe in universal suffrage. I think that the Great Reform Act of 1832 was one of the greatest disasters in British history. I would instead make it so that the most intelligent would vote for their representatives, and in accordance with their professions rather than geographical location, so creating a parliament of experts.
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
This dude is basically some kind of colonial racist fascist. I don't see the same level of not agreeing but still "finding fascinating" when ti comes to commies.
How am I a racist or a fascist?
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by AlexanderHam)
Not to lower the tone too much but have you seen this ancient Sumerian benediction?

“If a man copulates with his equal from the rear, he becomes the leader among his peers and brothers."

Very wise, I say.
Wonderful
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AlexanderHam
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
This dude is basically some kind of colonial racist fascist. I don't see the same level of not agreeing but still "finding fascinating" when ti comes to commies.
I think maybe I'm confusing him with another TSRian, hence the gentle response.

I would say that, all things being equal, I find fascists more obnoxious and dangerous than modern-day communists. And indeed I did call out the Evola reference, but perhaps I could have been more robust. I accept your rebuke
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by AlexanderHam)
I think maybe I'm confusing him with another TSRian, hence the gentle response.
Which other TSRian would that be?
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Cromwellian)
How am I a racist or a fascist?
You like strongman great leaders to lead the nation forward together and seem to be disappointed colonialism is no longer a thing.
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
You like strongman great leaders to lead the nation forward together and seem to be disappointed colonialism is no longer a thing.
That doesn't necessarily make me a racist or a fascist.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Cromwellian)
That doesn't necessarily make me a racist or a fascist.
I think it does make you racist.

If not fascist then insert some other form of extreme authoritarianism. Stalin, Franco, Cromwell.
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I think it does make you racist.
Expand further.

(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
If not fascist then insert some other form of extreme authoritarianism. Stalin, Franco, Cromwell.
Ah, Cromwell...that great man.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Cromwellian)
Expand further.
Colonialism was based on racism essentially is my lazy simplistic answer. You can not separate the two.
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
Colonialism was based on racism essentially is my lazy simplistic answer.
Thanks for admitting that your accusation has barely any basis.
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ChaoticButterfly
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(Original post by Cromwellian)
Thanks for admitting that your accusation has barely any basis.
I can't be bothered writing an essay.

It's the essence of it though. Racism was a core part of colonialism. IT would be like trying to say communism has nothing to do with socialism.
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Cromwellian
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(Original post by ChaoticButterfly)
I can't be bothered writing an essay.

It's the essence of it though. Racism was a core part of colonialism. IT would be like trying to say communism has nothing to do with socialism.
That doesn't mean that you can't think colonialism had a net benefit and not be a racist.
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