The Japanese title of this film is SEPPUKU, which, to the best of my knowledge, is the proper term for ritual suicide committed by the samurai. But its popularization in the West as ‘harakiri’–a slang term–probably accounts for the foreign release title. Possibly, the difference between ‘seppuku’ and ‘harakiri’ is that of ‘intercourse’ and ‘fuc*ing’. ‘Seppuku’ also connotes correct execution and purity of form whereas ‘harakiri’ implies amateurism or impropriety/impurity. But given the film’s dark stormy ambiguities–purity vs pornography in honor–, both titles hit the mark. If Yukio Mishima’s ridiculous PATRIOTISM is all of one piece–poetry of death and death as poetry–from first scene to last, HARAKIRI examines, physically and psychologically, the spatial relations between ideals and reality, power and powerlessness, theory and practice, myth and truth, conceit and knowledge, the word and the world. The narrative revolves around seppuku as an act of samurai honor, intensifying with the gravitational pull of the conflict, crashing and burning in a final act that is anything but formal or ‘dignified’. For Westerners, ‘harakiri’ also sounds like ‘hairy’, ‘harrowing’, ‘scary’, ‘kill’, and ‘eerie’, all of which apply to this film. (Unfortunately, it also sounds like Harry Carey.)
If you haven’t seen the film, do so, because I won’t recount the characters and plot. What follows will likely make sense only to people who’ve seen it. It’s considered one of the greatest Japanese films, but I would go even further, ranking it among the pantheons of cinematic masterpieces. It has also aged well, bold and powerful today as when released. Though discussion of film art tends to focus on the director, much credit belongs to Hashimoto for the brilliant screenplay, the actors for topnotch ensemble performance, Toru Takemitsu for the haunting and nerve-rattling score, and others for their professionalism and expertise. It’s one of those movie miracles where all the planets aligned perfectly. There have been innumerable samurai films before and since, but only an handful of comparable beauty, depth, and power.
Generally speaking, a truly great film requires both a great script and a great director, though there have been exceptions–most strikingly the films of Orson Welles adapted from pulp novels. Who else but Welles could have made a masterpiece of LADY FROM SHANGHAI? HARAKIRI is one of those films where everything that could have gone right did go right–no mean feat or fortune given that, even in the hands of great filmmakers, everything that can go wrong often do go wrong(DUEL IN THE SUN, NEW YORK NEW YORK, 1941, COTTON CLUB, etc.) Though Kurosawa’s much beloved YOJIMBO inspired Sergio Leone’s A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS, it is Kobayashi who was closer to Leone in spirit and style. Contra the prolific Kurosawa, Leone and Kobayashi are each remembered for a handful of films that nevertheless had nearly as profound an impact on cinema. Leone is remembered for six films–the Dollars Trilogy and the Once Upon a Time Trilogy, and Kobayashi is mainly remembered for HUMAN CONDITION, HARAKIRI, KWAIDAN, SAMURAI REBELLION, and KASEKI(which I have yet to see). Both directors were keen on form and style; meticulous in composition, framing, and choreography of violence; and drawn to ambitions projects. (Sorry to say, I know little of Kobayashi’s films prior to his rise to prominence with the HUMAN CONDITION trilogy.) And composer Toru Takemitsu provided for Kobayashi a score as stirring and memorable as Morricone’s for Leone. The alternating friction and fusion of sound and imagery range from electrifying to hypnotic in their effect. Like Stanley Kubrick, Kobayashi and Leone insisted on painstaking–some might say ‘perfectionist’–preparation and execution as if they were owed all the time and resources in the world. (The all too common irony of a humanist-oriented director wielding the dictator’s whip, pleading for human imperfection while insisting on uncompromising perfectionism). Though their approach was limiting in output, their best films, some of the greatest labors-of-love in movie history, are among the most richly rewarding and inviting of repeat-viewings in cinema. Who blames Beethoven for having composed ‘only’ nine symphonies and Brahms for only four? Is it better to climb a few mountains or many hills?
Revisiting HARAKIRI, the theme of injustice–also central in HUMAN CONDITION and SAMURAI REBELLION–again struck a deep chord. On the DVD, the film is preceded by a very nice introduction by Donald Richie, the author of several books on Japanese cinema–most notably the one on Akira Kurosawa–, but his comments strike me as too reductive–and perhaps willfully neglectful for ideological reasons–of the story’s multifaceted moral scheme/theme. Richie focuses on the rather obvious irony of the samurai order upholding its code of honor publicly while upending it privately. But if hypocrisy were HARAKIRI’s focal point, the moral theme would gain crystal-clarity than leave us feeling disturbed and perplexed, which is the case. ANTIGONE ends as tragedy, but we are left with a clear sense of moral rightness, as is the case with ROME AND JULIET. HARAKIRI, despite its obvious sympathies, affords no such conclusion. Despite its conscious attention to cruelty and injustice, it is a world without innocence, rather like the one in JULIUS CAESAR. Even the good are tainted, even the bad claim, with some justification, purity.
To appreciate its full depth and power, we need to examine the various facets and meanings of justice and injustice within the context of feudal Japan. This may be trickier for Westerners since we have a different moral tradition than do the Japanese. From our perspective, the traditional Japanese moral system may even seem amoral, if not downright immoral. This isn’t necessarily to say the Western morality is superior to the Eastern in most respects. Indeed, some Westerners are drawn to the Eastern Way precisely because they’ve grown disenchanted with their own moral and spiritual traditions–as too simplistic or judgmental.
In any case, there’s a loss for every gain, a gain for every loss, and this is obvious enough from the various moral-spiritual traditions in the West itself. Compare Judaism with Greek mythology. Though Greek gods can be callous and fickle, you can always beseech some gods for protection against other gods. If Hera and Apollo put a bounty on your head, you might appeal to Athena or Poseidon. This is true in all the heroic tales. Usually, half the gods are for the hero, half are against him. Total triumph is impossible due to hostile gods, but total defeat can also be avoided with the help of friendly gods.
But the downside of a moral system like this is the lack of moral clarity. Greek gods are more political than moral, and you have to negotiate to gain favors; there is no concentrated higher morality to submit to in the Greek mythological universe. Both goodness and badness are dispersed among the gods and can only be accessed/discerned in bits and pieces through experience/existence than through pure/meditative spiritual longing. Even gods renowned for their wisdom–Apollo and Athena–act in accordance to power politics than moral righteousness. It tends to foster a devious (a)morality where shrewdness trumps righteousness. (The positive effect of this political-than-moral approach to power could have been the development of rational philosophy. If a culture believes God or gods are entirely good–morally infallible–and completely powerful–absolutely invincible–, there’s no room for rational argument, which would indeed be heresy. The only option is to submit to the higher authority and beg for its mercy. But if you believe that the gods, though powerful and good, are not totally powerful and totally good, then there is room for thought and action independent of spiritual authority. It affords the possibility of studying and analyzing higher authority/powers than just submitting to it . And if man can weigh the power of gods, why shouldn’t he weigh the power of everything else; and what is a better tool for understanding power than reason? Greeks and Jews were different in this sense: the imperfection of their gods made it possible for Greeks to seek, via reason, ‘higher truth’ in human terms, thus leading to rational philosophy. Jews, on the other hand, worshiped the most perfect and powerful God man has ever conceived, so there was no room for debate. Therefore, Jewish morality progressed on the supposition or wishful hope that the all-powerful and all-truthful God must be an all-good God. According to the Greeks, the gods are not all powerful and all good, so man must seek greater power and greater truth on their own in order to protect themselves from their enemies–and even from the gods. Jews, on the other hand, believed that God is all-powerful and all-good, and therefore, man’s only hope for protection and prosperity was the purest possible devotion to God and His laws. Since God’s truth was beyond feeble human reason, it could only be accessed through divine inspiration by rare prophets who received wisdom from God. Much of Greek thought is dialogue-ical or dialectical, a back-and-forth search for truth and wisdom between two or more thinkers. This is true of Greek philosophy, especially the Dialogues of Plato where Socrates debates other thinkers. Greek philosophy has its counterpart in Greek drama. The Biblical Tradition, in contrast, was founded and expanded on the notion of individuals having gained or been gifted with wisdom via divine inspiration. Moses hears voices from the Burning Bush and climbs Sinai alone to return with the Tablets. Jewish prophets often exile themselves and then return to the community with truth they received from God. Jesus arrived at His conclusion by meditating for 40 days all alone. Muhammad carried on with this tradition when he heard the words from Allah that eventually became the material for the Koran. Though divine revelations and prophecies were objects of discussion and debate among rabbis, clerics, and imans as to their meanings; they could only have originated as truths from God to man but never as truths from man and man. And this tradition is also to be found in China with Lao Tzu and India with its yogis and buddhas. In contrast, Greece produced a tradition of thought which emphasized human-to-human discourse than human-to-gods discourse. In modern times, Jews have accepted the Western-Hellenic form and method of thought, but the Jewish personality remains rooted in the lone-prophet-divine-inspiration mentality. Though Jews love to argue, discuss, analyze, and philosophize, each ‘great thinker’ among Jew is likely to insist that his or her truth is THE truth and others should shut up and listen.) The Greek heroes are often fooling and tricking everyone, friend and foe alike, to get a leg up on things. In almost every case, promises mean little and trust is fool’s gold, what with gods and men playing an endless Machiavellian game. In contrast, the core emphasis in Judaism is the promise and trust between God and man and ideally between man and man. Adam loses the trust of God, and so he must be punished. God makes a covenant with–gives His word to–Abraham that if the Hebrew tribe remains faithful to and honors Him, it shall prosper. Both parties are supposed to keep their end of the bargain. And this is why it’s crucial that God finally tells Abraham not to kill Isaac. If He’s to be a moral God, He can’t be telling people to do nasty stuff. When Moses leads his people out of Egypt, of utmost importance is the trust between Moses and the Hebrews, and between Moses and God. But the Hebrews keep losing their faith in Moses and finally dance around the Golden Calf, until Moses just about had enough and hurls the Tablets at the Golden Calf(in the movie). But Moses and God have spats too. Moses, impatiently or justifiably, feels God isn’t keeping His end of the bargain–at least not fast enough–and throws tantrums, and then God feels that Moses is being disrespectful. Anyway, loss of trust is serious business in Judaism. Trust is everything since there is only One Truth, the One and Only God that governs all and is the source of all wisdom and goodness. Since there is only one God, there must be total trust between man and God.
In Greek mythology, you can lose the favor/trust of some gods but seek the favor/trust of others. In Judaism, if you lose the favor of God, you’re really done for since He is the only God. And if you beseech the aid of other gods, you’ve committed the grave sin of idolatry, and there is no forgiveness for that, as the Calf-worshipers found out rather unpleasantly.
There is great moral comfort to be found in Judaism since there is only one God and all truth flows from Him. Just listen to Him, have faith in Him, love and respect Him, keep the covenant, and you’ll be taken care of. (This may explain why so many Jewish intellectuals have the monotheistic-god-complex. For thousands of years, Jews lived in a culture that emphasized total trust between God and man–which also meant total obedience to God by man. In the godless world of modernity, the Jewish intellectuals have partaken of this god complex as their mode of being, seeing the world, and relating to others. They now demand total trust from their followers and even from all of humanity. Jews seek protection from the goy majority by championing the cult of Tolerance, but Jews themselves are among the most intolerant people on Earth. Once they gain the power, they use whatever means to shame, shut down, and forbid all dissent from the Jewish Supremacist Truth–of course, in the name of ‘Tolerance’, which means we must tolerate and even worship everything Jewish, but Jews can ban and suppress anything anti- or counter-Jewish. Jewish viciousness on this matter betrays a certain self-awareness of Jewish hideousness. If Jews were really lovable and if Jews sincerely regarded themselves as lovable, why would they be so worried about being hated by non-Jews? It’s possible that Jews are especially fearful of ‘antisemitism’ because they themselves know how unpleasant, offensive, vile, repulsive, and disgusting so many of them are. After all, Jews often drive one another crazy, just like blacks often hate other blacks as ‘niggaz’. Jews look in the mirror and see the ugly Jew. Jews listen to one another, and they hear the repulsive Jew. So, in a way, Jewish bitching about ‘antisemitism’ could partly be a projection of Jewish self-loathing onto non-Jews, which was, I think, one of the hidden themes of David Mamet’s HOMICIDE. It’s as if Jews are saying, “you goyim must not hate us like we hate ourselves. You should love what we hate about ourselves. We are greedy, filthy, and two-faced Jews, a fact that often disgusts us, but YOU goyim shouldn’t even notice it and remind yourselves that we are always good and noble.” Similarly, blacks go out of their way to act like ape-like ‘niggers’ and trash other blacks as ‘niggers’, but no white person is ever supposed to notice it; and if he does, he’s a ‘racist’. Consider Normal Finkelstein’s criticism of Abe Foxman. Abe Foxman, who rails against ‘antisemitism’ 24/7, is exactly the sort of Jew who gives Jews a bad name. With his pushy, obnoxious, and vile manner, he justifies the very thing he condemns.) Whatever comfort a Jew may have found in monotheism, there was also bound to be an element of doom and gloom. If there is but one God and one Truth, it is crucial to know as much about them as possible, all the more so since misinterpretation or mis-appreciation of this ONLY God and Truth could have terrible consequences. This likely induced a paranoid view of the world where everything and everyone that didn’t pertain to this Great Truth were deemed as filthy or sinister. Greeks often regarded non-Greeks and their cultures as barbarian or inferior, but that didn’t necessarily mean non-Greeks were filthy or evil. But to a Jew, a non-Jew of a different faith/culture might appear not only different but foul and filthy, contaminated with the sin of idolatry. Also, since Jews got clobbered far too often despite their self-perception as the Chosen People of the One and Only God, they must have questioned, with great anxiety and perplexity, why this was so. If there is only one God and if He blesses and protects His Chosen, why does He allow non-Jews to defeat Jews? Since God was beyond reproach, Jews themselves must have done something wrong or perhaps God was testing them in some way. And so Jews kept wondering what it was about themselves or God that accounted for so much historical pain. Did they offend God with their sinfulness or was there something about God they haven’t figured out yet(nor could or should be figured out)? Questions such as these may have finally led to something as weird, neurotic, and profound as the Book of Job.
Though great figures like Moses and King David abounded in the Jewish religion, there was only one God, which meant there was no one and nothing else Jews could turn to for comfort or protection. When Cain kills Abel, there is only one eye in the sky looking down on him no matter where he goes. If Cain had been a Greek character, he might have been pursued by some gods but given refuge by others. If excessive power-politics and spiritual libertine-ism in Greek mythology weakened the sense of core morality and spiritual harmony, excessive emphasis on faith and truth in one God led to anxiety and paranoia among the Jews.
In this light, the appeal of Christianity comes into sharper focus for it allowed a defacto polytheistic breathing space within Judaic monotheism. Though Jesus, as Son of God, was part of the One and Only God, it was now possible for man to worship the stern, powerful, and authoritarian Almighty God while at the same time appealing to the loving, forgiving, and accessible Son of God. Though theoretically monotheistic, Christianity in practice allowed the faithful to, in effect, appeal to two Deities(or two facets of the one Deity). If Jews only had the stern, powerful, judgmental, and angry God, Christians had both the God of Power(ruthlessness) and the God of Love(forgiveness). God of Power hovered was up in Heaven, and God of Love kissed babies on Earth. Many modern dictators have played on this psychology, both appearing to the masses as a god-like figure and appealing to the people as ‘one of them’. (It’s like we have the god of Jewish power perched at the top in American politics but also its puppet-agent Obama to shake your hands or fist-bump you.) For Catholics, there was also the Madonna. Though not a god, she was a holy figure of sorts whom one could appeal to for favors. If you felt the God was angry with you–and even Jesus was tired of your nagging–, maybe you could pray to Mary and she’d plead on your behalf to Jesus, who might then ask His Father to go easy on you. The development of mythology and religion offers us a crude chronological map of human psychology. Religions kept changing and evolving in order to satisfy and give fuller expression to the psychological needs of man. Both Greek mythology and Judaism offered certain solutions but remained deficient in a crucial way. It was Christianity which harmonized the psychological appeal of both faiths and created something richer, deeper, and more multi-faceted. Christianity isn’t polytheistic but it might be said to be stereotheistic than monotheistic. It separated the voice of Judaic monotheism through two separate speakers to create a new harmonic effect. Christianity is thus monotheism with the vibes of polytheism.
One of the major themes of HARAKIRI is the worth–utilitarian, moral, and spiritual–of codes of a particular organization or society. At the climactic moment, Tsugumo exclaims that the code of the samurai is just a facade and then proceeds, sardonically and sensationally, to prove his point. The tension arises from a brooding blend of pleading and mockery in his demeanor. He, a ragged ronin(masterless samurai), fallen to earth like a bird with a broken wing, humbly beseeches the members of the Iyi clan to hear his story before he commits his final act, all the while seething and recoiling like a wounded snake readying to strike.
There is a reptilian quality about Tatsuya Nakadai(who plays Tsugumo), which made him the perfect villain in films such as YOJIMBO and SWORD OF DOOM. Because of his naturally cold demeanor, it is all the more compelling to feel the rise in his blood temperature in HARAKIRI. He’s like an ice sculpture scalding to the touch. Because HARAKIRI questions the code of the samurai, Richie characterizes it as an ‘anti-samurai’ film, which strikes me as too simplistic. There were plenty of samurai films before and after HARAKIRI that featured an hero at odds with the order, and in a way, the HARAKIRI is a variation of the most famous story in Japanese history–CHUSINGURA, or the Tale of the 47 Ronin, where samurai conspire to avenge their unjustly punished lord and fulfill their mission in bloody fashion, after which they die by seppuku to prove the purity of their intentions. Similarly, though HARAKIRI’s hero questions the codes of the samurai, it is through those very codes that he attains and justifies his revenge and death+. If HARAKIRI is an anti-samurai film, what about the perversely cynical YOJIMBO, which also has a ronin as its main character? Instead of calling them anti-samurai films, it’s more useful to include the ‘anti-samurai-movie’ as a sub-genre of the samurai movie, just like the so-called anti-Western has been a staple of the Western genre. Is A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS an anti-Western because of its nihilism? Perhaps, but many earlier Westerns also lacked moral clarity. Most westerns have elements of both pro- and anti- than simply one or the other, and this applies as well to most samurai films, of which HARAKIRI is but one, albeit also one of the greatest.
If Toshiro Mifune was like a wolf or badger, Nakadai was like a snake or lizard. Because of his iciness and cerebral demeanor–even playing a father, there’s an element of detached celibacy–, Nakadai makes a less obvious ‘good guy’; but it’s the contradictions in his character that wrench us out of our moral comfort zones. Nakadia’s stylistic blend of icy control and hot passion is the dramatic equivalent of the samurai sword, melded of cold metal and burning coal. The most perfect of all blades is the product of impurities, of contrasting elements. In a way, Tsugumo is a like a blade–regarded as the ‘soul of the samurai’–that becomes conscious of its inner contradictions and rejects the conceit of purity. Reptilian Nakakai was the ideal actor to play a character who slithers into hostile territory, conceals his motives, and follows proper decorum, all the while unwinding inch after inch of his wounded soul until it’s time to strike. What’s fascinating about Nakadai is even his furious turn, though burning bright, is like the winter sun. He radiates light not heat. There is an element of death and doom, as if the social order is too distanced from human passions to absorb the heat and sprout new life.
Mifune, even in stillness, always generated heat, making him the ideal actor for SAMURAI REBELLION, a film of more exposed emotions. Mifune was also perfect for YOJIMBO with its swaggering rock-n-roll samurai.
Wild and crazy as YOJIMBO is(as stunt and satire), there’s an air of familiarity throughout. It is refreshing but not necessarily fresh. It is closely modeled on the American Western, and our emotional reactions–laughter, excitement, and sympathies–are par for the course. And despite the bloodbath that virtually depopulates the town, we don’t feel challenged or shaken. Rotten folks got what they deserved, and our hero swaggers out of town as he’d swaggered in.
HARAKIRI, in contrast, resembles something more like the Greek Tragedy in its austerity, impending doom, and claustrophobia. And though far fewer people die in HARAKIRI and the villains weather the storm; the world, or more precisely our perception of the world, feels fundamentally altered and broken, much more so than in Kurosawa’s film, which, though of infinitely greater artistic value than DEATH WISH sequels, satisfies, even as it subverts, our lowly passions in much the same manner. YOJIMBO is essentially a great cartoon samurai western and misanthropic fantasy done in broad strokes. It says if humanity is full of rabid dogs, cut them down or let them devour one another.
Though Greek tragedy, possibly the model for HARAKIRI, is a much older genre than the conventional western or samurai movie, Kobayashi’s film, armed with the greater gravitas of tragedy, yields fresher insights by X-raying the fractures within the human psyche. Some of the wounds are obvious from the outset while others, as hairline fractures along the samurai backbone, become discernible only near the end. HARAKIRI explores and exposes the brittleness beneath the armor of invincibility. It is similar to how, in M. Night Shylaman’s UNBREAKABLE, the man with superhero powers nurses insecurities that may be psychic reflections of Mr. Glass, his creator and controller. In this light, it is significant that a blade is shattered in HARAKIRI’s duel scene. The samurai had thought his sword to be perfect and infallible; and to the naked eye, it surely was a flawless work of lethal art. Through his actions, Tsugumo in effect plays the detective of what’s defective in the samurai code. Since the sword isn’t simply a weapon but the very symbol of the samurai’s soul, the shattering of the sword has grave implications.
Perhaps the shattering of the sword owed less to a possible hairline fracture than excessive hardness. An hard blade is sharper but more breakable whereas as a softer blade is less brittle but easily blunted. So, the secret to the samurai sword is in procuring and processing the right blend of both hard and soft metals.
Ideally then, a samurai should be like the ideal sword. He should possess hardness of conviction but also the soft heart of humanity. There is something similar in EXCALIBUR when the Sword of Power shatters when Arthur calls on its magic to defeat Lancelot. It is as if the spiritual force of knighthood cannot condone such abuse of power. Arthur, as a just king, must not use Excalibur as the iron fist of his ego. He must learn to be both hard and soft, to know when to take and when to give.
YOJIMBO rambunctiously rocks to violence and mayhem whereas HARAKIRI, despite the stirring music and sound, is remarkably a muted emotional experience. It is like a silent cry, or to rephrase the tagline for ALIEN, ‘In feudal Japan, no one can hear you scream.’
Another key difference is Sanjuro(Mifune’s character in YOJIMBO) is an action-hero archetype whereas Tsugumo(Nakadai)is a biographical character. Sanjuro was conceived as a maverick ronin and nothing else; he’s fully at ease with what he is. He’s more a fictional conception than a fictional creation. In contrast, Tsugumo, the once proud samurai, feels ill-at-ease as a ronin, and this owes to the biographical content of the story. He’s not a ronin by design by but decline. Indeed, a good part of the film is devoted to Tsugumo’s autobiographical details about his life. Though concise, it pours forth a universe of bottled up emotions. (The scenario of HARAKIRI is thornier because whereas Sanjuro is caught between two equally and nakedly debased greedy merchant bosses, Tsugumo’s rebellion is against the purest ideals of the samurai order and code. There is a immediate sense in YOJIMBO that Sanjuro, even with his ruffian ways, is immeasurably better than the two bosses in town. In HARAKIRI, on the other hands, the moral picture comes into focus only slowly; even so, like the view through a telephoto lens, clarity of one field of vision is gained with the loss of others. Tsugumo and the Iyi clan see the same events but through different lenses, as such, fixing their focus on contrasting moral conclusions. If in RASHOMON, the same event is recounted differently by various characters, the same event is referred to differently in HARAKIRI. There is no disagreement as to what happened to Motome Chijiwa, son-in-law of Tsugumo who committed seppuku with a bamboo sword. The act gains different shapes and meanings depending on the lens used. Tsugumo’s uses the lens of personal biography whereas the Iyi clan uses the lens of purist principles.)
Even so, there is a similarity in that both Sanjuro and Tsugumo are stirred to action by the plight of a couple and child. Sanjuro risks his life to save a family, and it is the death of his son-in-law, daughter, and child which pushes Tsugumo over the edge. Both come to moral consciousness by an emotional attachment to humanity, and what can be more natural and fundamental than love between a man and woman and the life they’ve created together?
This aspect of both films is more Christian-humanist with a Confucian touch than Buddhist which warns against emotional attachment to things of this world, which includes other people, even close relations. It is through one’s moral attachment to fellow humanity that one earns the grace of God in Christianity whereas attachment of any kind recycles the soul back into the world of suffering in Buddhism.
The crisis in both YOJIMBO and HARAKIRI arises from the fact that the moral consciousness and deeds are lonely and isolated than commensurate with social norms. Though feudal Japan was not without morality concerning individual human dignity and concerns, they were secondary to adherence to the Order, wherein total–one might say blind and mindless–loyalty to one’s superior trumped all else. In the Christian order, one could be wronged and persecuted for higher/deeper moral convictions, but it need not be in vain for there was an authority higher than social order; and in time, the victim could even be rehabilitated and sanctified as a saint, as happened with Joan of Arc and many others. (Indeed, at the very foundation of Western Civilization are the narratives of higher morality and truth being crushed in their own time but being ahead of their time and eventually triumphing for all time. It is to be found in the stories of Socrates and Jesus–and the saints who followed Him. This persecution-but-eventual-justification complex could have boosted the morale of maverick individuals in the West. Though faced with what appeared to be insuperable odds, they may have stuck to their ideas, vision, or truth because the examples of Socrates and Jesus taught them that Truth prevails in the end over falsehoods. This is true not only of Joan of Arc and other saints but scientists like Galileo and artists like Beethoven and Van Gogh. The great founding figures of non-Western history, philosophy, and spirituality tend less to be martyr-figures. Buddha lived to ripe old age and died from stomach pains, not persecution. There is, to be sure, the ideal of the brave scholar in China who chooses death for higher principles Nevertheless, Confucius himself, though under-appreciated in his time, didn’t die a martyr. And Lao Tzu just went into the forest and meditated a lot. Also, even Confucian scholars who died for Truth did so for handed-down truth from the master himself. In contrast, the two greatest martyrs of Western Civilization, Socrates and Jesus, died for bold new ideas that alarmed the peoples of their time. Confucians died for old truths whereas Western martyrs died for new truths.) Though persecuted by the world, one could appeal to higher justice in Heaven(above/beyond this world) and/or in the Heart(hidden from the world).
In contrast, there’s a kind of moral claustrophobia at the core of feudal Japanese culture since there’s no higher virtue for a samurai than absolute loyalty to the warrior code, which, in turn, is predicated on the notion of total obedience to one’s lord. A ronin then becomes like a man without a god since the code of the samurai has true meaning only in service to a lord than to humanity or a cause. Samurai’s virtue is in serving, not in serving for a reason. Serving itself is the ultimate virtue. A samurai who obeys an unjust order is, in this moral context, more virtuous than a samurai who disobeys his lord for ethical reasons. And if the samurai is forced to disobey, it must be for samurai-centric reasons than for moral reasons and it must be executed in a fashion that befits a samurai. Thus, though the 47 ronin of the famous tale do rebel against higher authority, they do so in the name of serving and redeeming the honor of their deceased lord who’d lived and died as a true samurai. This has always been the psychotic or pathological underside of Japanese culture. Where Social Hierarchy trumps all, moral grievance is an irritation or affront to the conceit of ideal harmony. (To be sure, there is some of this in America too. If you’re a white person and complain about black crime or problems caused by illegal immigration, your voice isn’t regarded as morally valid but as an affront to the ‘progressive’ values of political correctness. Every moral system has its favorite child.)
Tsugumo, then, is doubly tragic and trapped for his moral outrage is lonely and isolated not only within the walls of the Iyi clan but in all of Japan. It is starkly existential, enclosed within the iron mazes of Japanese essentialism. His truth was attained from personal experience, meaning those without similar experiences would have little chance of understanding, let alone agreeing, with his grievances and demands.
In the Christian-humanist order, the concept of higher justice eventually became essentialist–the defacto moral-social-spiritual setting of society–, which means all people, regardless of their personal experiences or thoughts, acknowledged the concept of universal justice as applying to every individual, kings and peasants alike. Christian-humanist essentialism posits a set of laws or values higher than any particular social or political hierarchy. Western morality is a spirit, an essence, that permeates through the entire structure of society and resides in every mind/heart.
In feudal Japan, the structure IS the morality. Rightness or correctness cannot be disassociated from form, structure, manner, decorum, ritual, propriety, etc. This is why Sanjuro and Tsugumo are, in some ways, liberating figures because they give the middle-finger to the traditional Japanese notion that form = morality, the concept of form-morality or formorality. Formorality is not the essence of Buddhism, but given the difficulty of and the requisite discipline inherent in the attainment of Nirvana, it also took on the features of formorality in Japan. Confucianism also became closely linked with formorality, which is ironic in a way. The core essence of Confucianism is moral virtue, not martial virulence. Confucius despised no class more than warlords and soldiers–the type of men who ruled Japan. He thought a society ruled by the military must be a bad one since only bad rulers need rely on force to achieve and maintain social order. In an ideal society, a wise leader would serve as the model of virtue for his subordinates who would then replicate the ways of the sage-king for people below them and so on and on, until virtue reaches down to the lowest member of society. It is a kind of trickle-down-virtue system. It is because Confucius believed that virtue could only be properly attained and understood by sage-scholars that he was a great believer in hierarchy. He would have had no use for egalitarianism. Though uneducated people could act virtuous, they had to learn from and follow others’ leads since they couldn’t attain or understand it themselves. Virtue, like water, flows from above. Lakes fill with water from rivers and streams connected to mountain valleys. This is why education became so central in the Confucian order. It was not just about academics but about virtue. Children could only learn virtue from elders, and teachers were especially prized for their training in the philosophy of virtue. Uneducated people and children could have a good heart–like dogs do–, but that wasn’t enough to be virtuous and moral. For goodness to be essentialized into virtue, it had to be formulated into a philosophy, a system of ideas and values to be taught and learned. After all, even a naturally good person could be swayed and corrupted by emotions(as opiates for the masses)whereas a truly virtuous person morally donned in philosophical armor could withstand emotional manipulation.
Since in Confucius’s time(and indeed most of Chinese history), only a relative few had access to higher education–thus higher virtue–, most people could attain virtue only as trickled down from above. And since most people weren’t intellectually or scholastically qualified to understand the philosophy of virtue, virtue had to be instilled in them through manners, rites, decorum, behavior, and form. Thus, even an illiterate peasant could absorb and practice the rudiments of virtue by learning to bow correctly, act humbly, and eat with chopsticks than with hands. The dark side of this emphasis on social form was the rise of formorality, where social form itself came to be equated or even elevated above morality. Another problem of Confucianism was the conceit of the SAGE-thinker, whereby scholars and teachers came to attain a kind of brahmanic aura around them and put on pompous airs perfumed with false modesty. The conceit of sageness among scholars and elites also made it humiliating for them to ever admit they were wrong, especially to their social inferiors. Nobody likes to lose face, but it is especially a touchy issue in Asia where underlings, in order to save the face of their superiors, will keep their mouths shut so as not to humiliate them even when they’re clearly wrong. Instead of pointing out errors, inferiors prefer to maintain the facade of the ‘sage-elder’. But, this isn’t only a problem in the East. How many Germans had the moral courage to tell Hitler he’s a nut? And in today’s America, political correctness has created the myth of the noble Magic Negro centered around the cretinous Michael King, aka Martin Luther King(and I suppose Oprah is Martin Luther Queen and Obama is Martin Luther Prince). This myth has become so potent, with the Negro being the source of all wisdom and nobility, that a lot of whites–liberals especially but also many conservatives–prefer to uphold the myth of Negro Magic than discuss the fact of Black Bullshit.
Anyway, according to the ideal formulation of Confucianism, if rulers ruled with virtue and recruited and rewarded men of highest character, there wouldn’t be a need for brute force to maintain social order.
But of course, there has never been a wholly successful virtucratic society. Also, the insistence on obedience to superiors stifled honest criticism. Though Confucianism didn’t forbid criticism of superiors, over-emphasis on formal harmony generally led to its disparagement and discouragement. (East Asian genes also accounted for more docile and submissive behavior.) Also, Confucianism’s somewhat optimistic view of human nature–that truth could be availed to all men through polite cultivation and reasoning–favored constructive than harsh criticism, at least from below. Thus, if a scholar believed a king to be wrong, he should ideally and gently appeal to latter’s moral sense than condemn him outright–a breach of good manners, therefore a moral failing in its own right. The angry righteous prophets of the Hebraic tradition are rare in Chinese history, especially since there was no singular or unified source of higher moral/spiritual authority(Yahweh for example). Confucian morality was strictly man to man, whereby moral reasoning had to be demonstrated or ‘proved’ by invoking the deeds of men, especially among the powerful and influential. Though moral content exists in the histories of all cultures, it was especially so in China where history was essentially recorded and recounted as illustrations of moral or immoral behavior than as impartial analysis of peoples, powers, and events. (This is not to be mistaken with chronology, the mere recordings of facts, deeds, and events, which was prominent in China as in most high civilizations.) So, Confucius would say the Duke of Chou did so and so, which was good or bad for this or that reason. Moral history is, of course, also an essential aspect of the Bible, but its real source of goodness is ahistorical or beyond history–God–, whereas history of human interaction serves as the essential source of moral understanding in the Confucian system. A Confucian would argue that a certain king, duke, or commoner was virtuous not because he was a loyal servant of God(or gods)but because he was a wise governor of his domain or a kind and harmonious member of society. Because history came to function essentially as a moral lesson, Confucianism stressed the importance of tradition-as-memory(as in Case Law), a different concept than mere tradition-as-custom maintained through an unthinking adherence to rules and rites.
However, it’d be wrong to assume that this secular aspect of Confucianism encouraged rationalism or anti-spiritualism among the Chinese. Confucius ignored but wasn’t opposed to spiritual matters. He simply admitted they were beyond his expertise and better left to others. Therefore, even though Confucian scholars emphasized the world of men, the people of China were imbued with a certain cosmology, and Confucius himself wasn’t immune to its influence despite his lack of intellectual interest in the subject. Chinese cosmology/spirituality could be the source of the harmonic ideal, later secularized into a social and political theory by Confucius and his followers, just as Christian utopianism was secularized/materialized into a political philosophy by Marx and his disciples. To be sure, communism, unlike Confucianism, was openly anti-spiritualist and insistently materialistic, but it too failed as a rationalist philosophy since its emotional/moral sources were spiritualist in origin. What this illustrates is that one should never confuse the ‘secular’ with the ‘rational’ and the ‘empirical’. Even a secular moral system can be overloaded with emotional sanctimoniousness, thus precluding empiricism(which may dig up facts contrary to the prevailing moral dogma) and rationalism(which make poke holes in the ‘perfect theory’). A moral system that rejects God could turn itself into god.
Anyway, Confucianism generally frowns upon violent rebellion against superiors–even when morally justified–and favors sincere pleading for the righting of wrongs, which is why, even today, so many aggrieved Chinese all across the country carry their petitions all the way to Beijing as their ancestors had done for centuries. And if justice is still denied, the act of suicide to prove one’s sincerity may be more commendable than the outright condemnation of the system. HARAKIRI’s strange force derives from its interweaving of modes of reverence to and rebellion against higher authority. The character of Tsugumo is a mass of contradictions: poor but proud, angry but calm, crude but ceremonious, passionate but patient, sincere but sly. If Sanjuro(hero of YOJIMBO)takes on the bad guy by beating them at their own game–out-badding their badness–, Tsugumo uses a similar approach on his nemesis–he out-manners their manners. It’s similar to what Gore Vidal pulled on William F. Buckley. Buckley, the master debater of cool wit and genteel disdain, got out-cool-witted-and-genteel-disdained by Gore Vidal, to the point where Buckley lost his composure and hurled insults like an angry little boy. Similarly, part of Tsugumo’s agenda is to make the ever so refined and haughty members of the Iyi clan lose their samurai cool and show themselves as what they are: vicious attack dogs of an inhuman system. Even so, Tsugumo’s plan isn’t purely cynical or vengeful in intent. He holds out hope, however faint, for some possible understanding between himself and the clan. However, knowing the samurai system and culture all too well, he prepared himself for the near certain confrontation. He knows that any apology on the part of the clan will have grave implications and repercussions for the clan as a whole and maybe the entire samurai system–just as Nixon felt that any admission of guilt in the Watergate affair would only widen the scope of his administration’s criminality. It’d be like pulling on a single thread that unravels the entire fabric or removing one block that destabilizes the entire structure. (It just struck me that there are certain parallels between HARAKIRI and CAPE FEAR–Scorsese’s version. In both, an aggrieved man stalks and challenges the forces deemed to have caused him undue harm. Both Tsugumo and Cady–Robert De Niro–play psychological cat-and-mouse games where they’re sometimes the mouse and sometimes the cat. But the big difference between the two films is the reversal of the moral dynamic. In HARAKIRI, a respected clan upholds the code in order to carry out an act of unspeakable cruelty whereas the lawyer in CAPE FEAR violates the code in the name of higher morality–to put a rapist behind bars. Even so, the lawyer did violate the trust of his client who, during his 14 yr stint in prison, could well have been a victim of cruelty himself. Perversely enough, a sick pervert invokes the law and the Lord as moral crutches while a lawyer and family man increasingly resorts to illegality to protect himself and his family.)
Due to its emphasis on the social over the spiritual, Confucian morality in good measure came to be devised and judged according to behavioral formality. Instead of content as separate from form, Chinese pushed the concept of ‘form is content’ to its limit, to the point where it became ‘formalism is content’, which is not quite the same thing.
Just as theory is activated through practice, moral values gain worth through proper application and expression. Though hardly unique to Chinese culture, the idea laid deeper roots in the East.
The importance of form is of course undeniable. A scientific experiment must follow proper procedure to produce the desired outcome. Theory, no matter how true, can only manifest itself through form. Since man is mind and body–or since mind is inseparable from the body–, good values are realized through good behavior, which, according to Confucianism, isn’t simply a matter of doing what’s good but doing it well, or doing it properly. Expression or exposition of any idea or value requires expertise, preferably even exquisiteness. It’s not enough to have the recipe and ingredients; one must prepare and serve them properly. It’s enough to have the musical score; one must play it properly. An highschool band probably won’t do much justice to Beethoven. It’s not enough to have knowledge of surgery; it has to be performed properly. The word, after all, is ‘perFORM’, not perAS-YOU-SEE-FIT.
Thus, for Confucius, morality wasn’t merely the knowledge of right-and-wrong(or acting with good intentions) but the consideration and ability to do things properly. Morality without proper form was like flowers without a vase. A dirty hippie who wants to hug everyone would not have impressed Confucius.
Why do many people around the world have a problem with the Ugly American and the Ruffian Russian? Not because Americans or Russians are thought to be evil or immoral but they are deemed to lack of proper form, e.g. George W. Bush’s crude cowboy antics. So, even a good American can be ‘ugly’, and this ugliness is deemed, if not evil, as unpleasant, which, in some cultures, comes close to being immoral.
But then, the flipside of the Ugly American is the Free American, much admired around the world. In BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, the William Holden character, despite his ‘ugly’ side, is more likable than the uptight Japanese and the unerring British.
Anyway, the danger of form-morality(or formorality)is the tendency of form taking precedence over morality that form is supposed to serve. In organized religion, a set of dogmas, rituals, hierarchic principles, and ‘tradition’ may come to trump the faith itself. This was the case in China history, where fanatical form eclipsed moral philosophy.
Given the nature of man and his ceaseless struggle for power and privilege, it’s not surprising that morality of the heart would be sidestepped in favor of morality of appearance. Thus, men could ‘act moral’ without really being moral–be a lout but act devout.
Of course, it was well understood that naked Machiavellian-ism would have robbed society–especially vested interests–of moral respectability and righteousness, sources of power in themselves. The rich and powerful wanted to claim the ‘divine right of kings’, the ‘mandate of heaven’, ‘consent of the people’, or some such to maintain their power. If the rich were to ever admit “we’re rich because we’re venal and selfish”, the masses would look for every opportunity to tear them down. This is why the naked libertarianism of certain ‘conservatives’ could never appeal to the masses; it’s too honest about power. In order for the masses to submit to the powers-that-be, the elites would do well to portray themselves as the guardians of the higher good–very much the case with the kind of people who control Harvard and Yale; they lust after power and money but assure us that it’s all for OUR good.
In truth, most wealth and power, throughout history and even now, ended up in the hands of the most ruthless, devious, and cunning people on the planet. Even those who started out as good didn’t remain good for. Smart people realized long ago that MORALITY ALONE doesn’t lead to power. What is necessary is the POLITICS OF MORALITY, whereby one uses immoral or amoral means behind the facade of morality, a fact that American Wasps seem to have forgotten but that which the Jewish elites will be careful never to forget.
Even those who rose meritocratically had something more than talent; they had the wit and grit, the will to be ruthless. Even a great boxer as Muhammad Ali wasn’t averse to thumbing an opponent’s eye or holding down the head of an opponent–as in the epic fight with Joe Frazier in Manila. Given that the rich and powerful were never very nice–and indeed couldn’t afford to be too nice(consider the fate of the too-nice Wasps vis-a-vis the vicious Jews in America)–, formorality was more useful than content-morality. It’s like the Corleones are outwardly good Catholics in THE GODFATHER but inwardly something quite different in ‘business’. They baptize their babies in church but bathe their rivals in blood.
Some might think modern secular Jews are different from past elites in having forsaken traditional Judaism and in concerning themselves with real-life issues of justice, progress, and equality. Yet, if real justice is based on truth, this cannot be said of most secular Jews, who’ve transformed social morality into a new kind of religion with dogmas, mantras, symbols, songs, rituals, taboos, and heresies. For all the noise Jews make about truth and justice, they churn out the same formal expressions of political correctness about ‘racism’, MLK worship, Obama as messiah, Anne Frank, Emmit Till, Gay Pride Week or Month, etc. And they work on young impressionable minds who swallow all these iconic ‘truths’ hook, line, and sinker and follow through on the rites and rituals. It too has become a kind of formorality. So, in today’s world, one could be a total lout but be respectable as long as one joins a gay parade, weeps to MLK’s speeches, and/or sucks up to Israel. This is most amusing with conservatives who must prove their utter devotion to MLK and Zionism if they hope to be politically incorrect on some issues. So, if a white conservative wants to be anti-Muslim, he has to do so in the name of saving Jews from terrorists. If he wants to oppose ‘affirmative action’, he must do so in the name of MLK(which is hilarious since the ‘content of character’ phrase was just a ruse and MLK was in fact a big supporter of Afromotive Action).
In China, the elites got into the habit of wearing fine clothes, feigning fine manners, sipping tea in a refined manner, saying pompous things, and so on. The conceit was as follows: since their form was so fine, their character must be fine too, and since their character was fine, their souls must also be fine. But a society that places excess emphasis on form produces not only social uniformity but moral deformity. Morality is distorted into a fetish, a style, a contest of narcissistic displays–albeit softened with false modesty. (The Japanese bonsai trees, though artistically impressive, is nature deformed than shaped into beauty. Its precedent-counterparts in China are Pekinese dogs and the practice of foot-binding. It’s where form gains Procrustean tyranny over body and soul.) This is a similar problem associated with the rise of 1980s yuppie narcissism. Initially, successful young urbanites defined their worth by the kind of cars, clothes, condos, and other cool stuff they owned. But they felt shallow and vain, and so they redressed themselves in the moral garb of ‘social consciousness’ during the Clinton years–and British neo-rich did the same with Tony Blair and New Labour. If morality seeks expression through proper form, form seek justification through moralism. 80s materialism produced a class of affluent people with lots of money and fancy stuff, but they sought ‘meaning’, and this was supplied by New Age-ism, Green Movement, and New Liberalism–where one could both rake it in and do social good(or where raking it in was the new social good). If you own an expensive environmental-friendly coffee-machine or pasta machine and purchase only pricy foods at an Organic foodmart, you can put both your money and morality on display. New Christianity has a similar relation to Money, whereby one prays to Jesus to be rich, and one justifies one’s wealth as the will of the Lord. Or like Tony Blair the born-again-to-gain-and-gain Christian, you can both make tons of money and justify your loot as part of a humanitarian mission. My favorite is Bill Clinton, who wrote a book called GIVING, when in fact he’s been taking in hundreds of millions. If people gave me that much money, I might be bit more generous too. Today, being a narcissistic rock star means you’re saving Africans. You can own a yacht and rock the boat. The sight of all those rich yuppies attending Bruce Springsteen concerts–beyond the price range of ordinary folks–gives the game away, kinda like fancy cathedrals reserved mainly for the rich and powerful in society.
The problems of formorality were strikingly brought to light in the Asian-Indian movie DHARM, which concerns the inner turmoil of an Hindu priest of great piety, an expert practitioner of the spiritual art. His family adopts and grows very fond of an apparently orphaned Hindu boy. The family is panic-stricken upon discovering the child’s real identity–Muslim. Suddenly, it’s as if their house has been visited by a plague; they send the child away and spend the next two years cleansing their home of impurities and contamination. The moral climax of the movie comes following a riot in which Hindu mobs hunt down Muslims. The priest is torn between staying put in his formally correct world or searching for the child to save him from the mob. In the end, he comes to the realization that spiritual formality, however pure and perfect, is an empty vessel without the morality of the heart. Yet, the message is not simply ‘go hug the world’ in the manner of Bono-banality or Bonolity.
The message is neither anti-religious nor radical universalist but a reminder that all higher religions, whatever their sacred texts and formal traditions, mustn’t lose contact with the moral nature that created, justified, and sanctified them in the first place. For any religion to remain true to its spiritual origins and fulfill its moral purpose, it mustn’t confuse form for meaning itself. Forms were invented to serve the meaning, and they must be sacrificed if they go against the meaning. Morality needs form, but form mustn’t override morality.
A similar message underlines Shusaku Endo’s SILENCE, where a Catholic Priest in Japan is ordered to step on a crucifix or else must suffer dire consequences–the execution of his followers. The priest is loathe to step on the holy icon, yet didn’t Jesus sacrifice Himself for humanity(the inversion of the dominant theme in mythology whereby man sacrificed himself to God)? This is less an issue of form vs morality as of form overshadowing morality, a case of form changing from the protective walls to the prison walls of morality–a kind of spiritual coup d’etat.
Of course, there is also the danger of morality without form, based on the misconception that moral passion is sufficient in and of itself. Moral exclamations without form can be rude and obtrusive. If the danger of Catholicism was the rite over the right, with Evangelicalism it was the riot over the right.
This is as true of sexuality as with morality. Sexuality defined and practiced solely as a form of social propriety turns repressive and ridiculous, like Victorianism, or worse, Talibanism. But sexuality allowed to run wild degenerates into something like our current pornographic hook-up culture.
The problem of formorality in Japan could, in some ways, have been the byproduct of high aesthetic achievement. Perhaps, the excessively poeticized aspects of Japanese culture harbored a sensibility that came to regard beauty and form as their own self-justifications. The ideal of “art for art’s sake” seems more intrinsic to Japanese culture, almost to the point of verging on “life for art’s sake”; Kamikaze pilots, for example, left behind haiku evoking imagery of the cherry tree to describe their impending fiery deaths. It was as if the issue of morality was secondary to one’s pure commitment to die beautifully, the highest virtue for a poet-warrior.
To a form-moralist fanatically devoted to the aesthetic correctness of his society, moral didacticism could be the enemy of purity. What drives such a person could be called ‘didaestheticism’ where aesthetics become the surrogate for morality itself.
Few cultures poeticized as many facets of behavior as the Japanese did. Since beauty became central to Japanese culture–indeed synonymous with nobility and spirituality–, violation of proper form was a violation of beauty, which in turn was a violation of everything good and noble. Breach of form was akin to soiling a beautiful painting or marring a musical performance. In a social order where art/beauty exists as a separate sphere from life/morality, cultural form and moral worth are not synonymous. But in traditional Japan, life was synonymous with art, or life was a form of art. The concept of ‘art of living’ had literal meaning. All the world was a Kabuki stage. You had to know the lines and recite them properly. And if you messed up gravely enough, you had to redeem yourself through an extreme act of aesthetic-exorcism–or aesthexorcism–, which, for a samurai, was seppuku(or harakiri). Where pure devotion to form was the norm,
an error wasn’t just an error but an act of terror, which brought shame upon one’s name and the world would never be the same; so, if you had a reputation to redeem, your punishment had to be extreme; given the preceding rhymes were cuckoo, should I too commit seppuku?
Anyway, as a form of extreme punishment, the pain must necessarily be excruciating. But more crucially, redemption or atonement can only be attained by maintaining proper composure through the ordeal, thus demonstrating one’s loyalty to the sacred form in the final act of death.
Having violated the form in the relative comfort of life, one must redeem oneself by regaining the form in the agony of death. No pain, no gain.
Common sense tells us this is on the crazy side, but it’s not without a certain compelling logic. Not for nothing have so many non-Japanese been so fascinated with Japanese culture, not only for its beauty but how that beauty has been embedded into all facets of life, everything from tea-making, flower arranging, greeting and bowing, sense of decorum.
A samurai is not just a warrior but warrior-poet who is supposed to wield his sword like a calligrapher his brush. Japanese women in kimonos walk and talk in certain ways. Even the world of the middle class was ritualized in the films of Yasujiro Ozu.
At one extreme, we have Japanese girls in kimonos sitting properly under cherry trees and composing haiku; at the other extreme, we have Japanese samurai sitting in a garden and committing harakiri.
The theme of beauty and morality(or beauty as morality) keeps cropping up in Japanese films, most memorably in GOHATTO(aka TABOO)by Nagisa Oshima, who also directed MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE. Oshima’s most famous film is perhaps IN THE REALM OF THE SENSES where a man and a woman indulge in sex-as-art(though I’d call it something else), which finally culminates in the man’s ritual suicide/murder, followed by the severing of his penis as a sacred object by the woman. It was based on a real story which caused a sensation in Japan in the early part of the 20th century. One might be inclined to see the two lovers as rebel-heroes in a repressive society, but amazingly enough, many contemporary Japanese empathized with the lovers as sacred-martyr-poets of erotic love. Oshima, a leftist director at the time, was probably aware of the duality of the scandal–as both an affront to social propriety and a conformity to the Japanese ideal of purity of action. Despite(or perhaps precisely because of) the grotesque details of sexual perversion, what impressed the Japanese was the pure devotion with which the couple carried out their extreme act. It was so much a case of sexual licentiousness as a kind of erotic ritual, an elaborate pagan sacrifice to passion mythified into an ideal. A kind of harakiri of love–something that can also be found in Mishima’s PATRIOTISM and KYOKO’S HOUSE. (It’s also to be found in Masahiro Shinoda’s DOUBLE SUICIDE, a film that closed the decade as HARAKIRI had opened it.) This kind of admiration for ‘purity of action’ has parallels with the blind ‘purity’ that led Japan to disaster in the Pacific War. The Japanese mind is apt to prize the purity more than the rightness of an act. Even when the Japanese are appalled by a certain act, the perpetrator’s total and unswerving commitment could still win admiration. One of the most oft-heard words in Japan(at least in movies) is ‘kanarazu’, meaning ‘without fail’.
HARAKIRI and MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE are explosive with tension for different reasons. The Japan of HARAKIRI is, as yet, wholly Japanese, which means the absence of challenges, cultural or moral, to the Japanese way of being and seeing. Because everyone and everything is Japanese and only Japanese, there is no way out for an individual who existentially finds himself at odds with Japaneseness. In fact, Tsugumo, even as he becomes aware of the systemic evil of the samurai order, only knows how to counter that evil by being ‘more samurai’ than the other samurai. (It’s like in the US, where conservatives who are despised by Jews can counter Jewish power by claiming to be more pro-Jewish than even the Jews. The biggest religion of the West being Holocaustianity, there is no truth or justice outside Jew-worship.) Even as Tsugumo calls the samurai code a ‘facade’, he knows only to fight and die like a samurai. Socio-structurally and psycho-structurally he’s trapped in a maze of pure Japanese-ness even as he seeks the exit, which would then only open up to a larger maze of Japaneseness. MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE is filled with greater tension, with the Japanese clashing with a foreign culture, the British. However, there is hope for individual salvation and higher justice(something more than enraged vengeance)because the Japanese are confronted with another way of seeing and feeling, alien yet universal, one that offers deeper insights into the human heart–one’s own as that of others. (In presenting another kind of beauty, MCML posits the ideal harmony of physical beauty–the blonde Aryan–and moral beauty–Christian humanism. If Mishima’s ideal of the harmony of the pen and sword tended toward amorality–a union of beauty/poetry and discipline/power with little regard for right and wrong–, the harmony of beauty and morality as the core theme of MCML stresses the obligation of temporal and particular physical beauty to serve the universal and eternal moral beauty. Form is not enough and must serve an higher truth. Jesus is often depicted beautifully in Western Art, but no one worships Him for His beauty. If paganism worshiped the literal/physical manifestation of beauty or beauty for beauty’s sake; the universalist-spiritualism of Christianity, which synthesized abstract monotheism with colorful paganism, came to admire physical beauty as a symbol of higher spiritual beauty.) Though both Yonoi and Hara die as loyal Japanese, they’ve been given a glimpse of truth outside narrow cultural norms. Though they lose the war and end up as prisoners, they are, in a way, freer than any character in HARAKIRI for they feel in their hearts a truth beyond Japaneseness.
In contrast, Tsugumo is trapped inside a box in a box in a box of Japanese-ness. He senses the stirring of higher justice within his heart but there’s nothing in his world to confirm his intuition. Just as American conservatives must combat the left by demonstrating that they are actually more anti-racist than the Left, Tsugumo ultimately has no means but to prove his worth by out-samurai-ing all the other samurai. The cruder form of this logic is found in YOJIMBO, where the hero(or anti-hero) feels compelled to be more bad(or bad-bad) in an irredeemably bad world.
YOJIMBO is cynical comedy and HARAKIRI is bleak tragedy, but both are negative about mankind. It should be noted, however, that YOJIMBO’s scope is universalist whereas HARAKIRI is about Japan. The town in YOJIMBO serves as a microcosm of the human condition whereas HARAKIRI’s focus is specific to a time and place.
Athletics-as-ethics and aesthetics-as-ethics in traditional samurai culture combined two seductive but dubious moral propositions. Athletics-as-ethics is essentially a variation of might-is-right, appealing to the strong, ruthless, and/or privileged since ‘power is the ultimate aphrodisiac’. Kids admire athletes, and Russians prefer Putin the strongman to Yeltsin the ineffectual ‘democrat’. And Italians used to love their Duce. And millions of Germans, for a time at least, preferred the iron-fisted Hitler who got things done than the weak democratic leaders of the Weimar period. For most of its history, Japan was ruled by the military class of samurai with the shogun at the top. Of course, the problems of athletics-as-ethics or might-is-right are plain to see. Brute force is usually ugly and unstable, as in many black-dominated big cities and sub-Saharan Africa. This is where aesthetics-as-ethics, or what might be called SIGHT-is-right comes into play. It’s possible that the Japanese samurai order attained legitimacy and longevity not only for its great might but for its great sight. The feudal order of Japan welded the might with the sight to forge the concept of might-and-sight-is-right. Samurai looked like the poet-priests of death in their robes. And in full armor, they looked like finely crafted killing machines. (Our fascination with the Ancient Greeks is similar for they, perhaps even more than the Japanese, combined great might with fantastic sight. The story of the 300 Spartans wouldn’t be as appealing if not for the fact that they looked so ‘cool’.) The samurai sword is possibly the most striking and beautiful weapon ever created. Furthermore, it was poeticized/spiritualized as the embodiment of the warrior’s soul as hard and cold yet also lithe and refined. (It isn’t surprising that Heinrich Himmler, a beauty fanatic despite his repulsive looks, was fascinated by the Japanese samurai order as one of the models for the SS. It is also not surprising that Nazism still holds a certain fascination for aestheticians for it took the fusion of sight-is-right and might-is-right to the furthest logical limit. The SS were magnificent in attire, gear, and style; and they were awesomely effective and awesomely awesome as artist-engineers-of-death-and-destruction. With Sight and Might as their mode of being, the concept of higher morality could only be anathema to them. In their worldview, the ‘Aryans’ were the most beautiful, most powerful, and most noble, and so they had the right, indeed the duty–in the name of beauty and nobility–, to stamp out all vestiges of ugliness in the world. Nazism sought to create a Beautopia or an aesthetotalitarian order. It’s been duly noted that a good number of Nazi leaders were fat, repulsive, and ugly–which is even truer of today’s neo-Nazi movement, made up mostly of most repugnant and trashiest of white idiot element; but then maybe ugly people need to fanatically worship beauty to compensate for their own ugliness, just like moral/intellectual midgets cling most to dogmatic religion, political correctness, and radical ideologies like communism to compensate for soulful emptiness. Also, since ugly white trash have no brains–compared to Jews–and no muscle–compared to Negroes–, ‘Aryan’ beautopianism functions as their crutch in life. Even though they themselves may be ugly as hell–and indeed most Neo-Nazis look grosser than a baboon’s ass–, they feel special and important and ‘superior’ via their association with pure blue-eyed and blonde-haired Nordicism. This is especially amusing when hairy and loony Iranians or darker-complexioned Southern Europeans jump on the I-worship-Hitler bandwagon.
The combo of might-is-right and sight-is-right at the core of Nazism explains why Jews have been the biggest enemies of the so-called ‘beauty myth’. Not only are hook-nosed and/or nebbish Jews envious of ‘Aryan’ beauty, but it was the basis for the genocide against ‘ugly Jews’. And since might-is-right had once been owned and practiced by antisemitic whites, it gives Jews great pleasure to turn white goddesses into white whores serving as cumbuckets for Negro men and to turn white men, once the alpha males of Western Civilization, into wussy white boys who clap their hands with PC joy at the sight of their girlfriends or daughters going off with Negroes. While the white whore sucks the Negro’s cock and the white pussyboy hides in the closet and masturbates to interracist sex between the Negro and the Mudshark, the JEW laughs with hideous glee.)
The essence of the warrior soul as conceived by the samurai order is on full display in the duel between Tsugumo and Omodaka, the master-swordsman of the Iyi Clan. It’s almost like a zen drama. Strong winds sway the reeds as two men, sure-footed and stolid yet graceful and agile, face off against one another. They are cat-like, steely yet supple, as if both withstanding and harnessing the power of nature, as if exhibiting qualities of both metal and petal.
For this reason, HARAKIRI cannot be regarded as a simple morality tale. Even though it makes a powerful and persuasive case for human life over honor, the world of honor on display has a certain magnificence. It delves into the core meaning of art and culture in a civilization.
There is a famous morality-experiment where one is given the hypothetical choice of saving an old woman or a great artistic masterpiece–let us say a painting–from a burning house. Let us assume that the old lady may be ill and doesn’t have much longer to live. Also, she is one among many in the world and hasn’t contributed anything significant to human civilization.
Now, let us assume that the painting is an astounding piece of work, something that epitomizes the highest talent of human achievement. So, what would you do? What should you do?
Save the old woman or the painting? I’m guessing most of us would say we’d save the old woman, and I would too. The main reason would be no reason at all. Purely on an emotional level, gut instincts would favor saving a panic-stricken life over an inanimate object.
(I might be tempted to save a dog over a painting too, even a Rembrandt. I might even voluntarily throw some Warhols into the fire. On the other hand, I’m tempted to save a Monet, Gogh, or Botticelli over a thousand or even a million people, especially if they’re Negroes.) Conventional morality is also on the side of saving the old woman(though, to be sure, social norms may come into play: a Christian-humanist order will, no doubt, shame the person who saves the painting over the old woman, but a different socio-cultural order–especially one that’s pagan–may shame the person who saves the old woman over the painting or some sacred object. Perhaps, due to the anti-idolatry rule of Judeo-Christian-Islamic order, it is a general principle that no material object should have precedence over God-given human life. On the other hand, God’s laws have priority over human life, which is why Judaism and Islam calls for the death to those who offend God.)
But there is another compelling reason for saving the old woman over the great painting. If a spiritual or moral foundation is fundamental to preserving civilization, then saving the old woman instead of the painting may have greater long-term moral value. It would not simply be a matter of saving a single old lady but a matter of upholding the ideal of shared humanity. After all, civilization is about memory passed down from generation to generation, and the fact of having saved the old lady may reverberate through the years and give moral pride to future generations(and indeed may inspire future great art). It will buttress the moral edifice of society, instilling its members with a sense of pride and decency, that they are a people who will choose life and humanity over mere beauty and artifice.
Because we are imbued with memory, the things we do aren’t merely isolated events but the stuff of future memory and ‘everlasting’ values. We are storytellers, and we want and need stories that remind us of our virtues. If we choose beauty over humanity, may we not lose our core sense of decency? And haven’t there been innumerable civilizations with grand, magnificent, and beautiful palaces, monuments, artworks, architectural wonders, and etc, only to decline, fall, and pass into obscurity due to lack of moral virtue? Why did Jews survive for so long? Because spiritual-morality instead of sensual-idolatry comprised the core of their culture. And why did Christian and Islamic Civilizations last for so long? Because they kept reminding their adherents of core moral/spiritual truths, thereby buffering them from excessive seductions of amoral sensuality. (To be sure, sensuality can be spiritualized too: the nature gods of pagan religions, the sexual idols and monuments of various cultures, the god of wine Bacchus in Greek mythology, etc. ‘Morality’ and ‘spirituality’ should not be regarded as synonyms, especially outside the Judeo-Christo-Islamic order. Anyway, Judaism may have been unique, in the pre-Christian world at least, for having spiritualized morality above all else.) Of course, what may have been considered moral by ancient Jews, Medieval Christians, and (even today’s)Muslims may not qualify as moral by modern standards–especially if you’re ridiculously gay–, but at the core of their faiths was the emphasis on mores over amores.
But, man cannot live on credo alone. Our senses instinctively tell us that certain things in this world are of immeasurable value. (Also, it’s not just a matter of humanist morality vs material beauty since beauty is also a feature of humanity. If you had a choice between saving a beautiful person and an ugly person, whom would you choose? Don’t white liberals favor blacks over other races because blacks are seen as more magical, charismatic, athletic, musical, and soulful? How come white liberals don’t have a similar fascination and regard for short Mexicans or hairy Arabs? And don’t people base their decisions on what dogs or cats to adopt based largely on looks? If you’re a rich man and have the choice of marrying a poor woman and providing her with a wonderfully happy life, would you choose a beautiful poor woman or a fat ugly poor woman?) Indeed, in some ways, we all do choose the painting over the old woman. On the one hand, we have the welfare state and foreign aid to help the poor, to take care of our ‘fellow man’, but we also spend lavishly on artworks and culture, and their preservation. A rich patron who donates a million dollar to an art museum could have donated the sum to a poor country and saved maybe a thousand lives from malnutrition or disease. So, is the donor evil? Most of us don’t think so. I certainly don’t. When we go see a movie, we’re spending $10-$20 that could have been donated to the Red Cross to feed the poor in some corner of the world. Why did we choose cultural entertainment over saving lives in another country? Because things of beauty, entertainment, and sensuality are also integral to culture and civilization; otherwise, we’d all eat oatmeal three times a day and wear potato sacks for clothes and donate all our wealth to feeding and saving poor people all over the world.
There is also the question of responsibility. An old lady in a burning house is indeed helpless and in need of help, but shouldn’t most poor people around the world take stock of themselves and improve their own lives and nations instead of milking off rich nations for permanent aid? And is everyone on welfare in the Western world really deserving of free everything provided by Big Government? There was a time in England where indeed many people were desperately poor and in need of some ‘milk of human kindness’. But the poor back then at least had some appreciation of help provided for them. They were likely to say, “thank you, guv’nor” to people who lent them a hand. But look at the fat, lazy, slobby, and gross trash today who think it’s some God-given right to be provided with everything for free. Look at the white trash family in MILLION DOLLAR BABY who just sit on their ass, talk shit, gobble burgers/fries, and live like hogs.
Now, let us consider some possible rationales for choosing the painting over the old woman. What if the painting is a work of rare genius, a one-in-a-million or even one-in-a-billion talent? The life of every person may be said to be precious, but the cultural, political, and/or economic value of most individuals is insignificant. If a 1000 John Does and 1000 Jane Does die, there will be million other John Does and Jane Does. But how many Leonardos or Beethovens have existed through history? How many artistic geniuses in a given century? A handful. Look back to Germany in the time of Beethoven. We remember and know nothing about most of the people–farmers, tradesmen, weavers, artisans, blacksmiths, local officials, maids, etc–who lived in that time. But we remember Beethoven, whose music inspires us still and will continue to do so as long as humanity lives. Suppose we were given two buttons to press. If we press button A, Beethoven dies before he composes his masterpieces; and if we press button B, 100 ordinary Germans of Beethoven’s time die but he lives. We must press one or the other. Which one would we press? Personally, I’d sacrifice the 100 Germans and save Beethoven–at least on the basis that I don’t personally know those people.
Also keep in mind that even people who’d press the button to save 100 Germans over Beethoven are, in fact, living in a system that prefers rare greatness over mass ordinariness.
Suppose terrorists rig a museum gallery holding a priceless masterpiece with a bomb; suppose there are two options: (1) We evacuate the area and let the bomb explode, destroying the artwork or (2) we send in a squadron of men to defuse the bomb, the chance of success being only 10%. Should we risk human lives to save the bomb? I think many of us would say YES, and even the bomb squadron would agree. We live not only to live but to uphold and preserve the best of civilization. Though we might save the old woman over the painting, many of us might sacrifice our own lives to save the painting, if only so that our children and future generations could (1) appreciate the great work of art and (2) appreciate our sacrifice, thereby adding even greater value to the work–as something worth dying for.
Civilization is not only about the masses of people but the Promethean greatness that inspires and shapes the hearts and minds of the people. Every human life has value to a large measure because of its potential, and human potentiality is best embodied by the greatest achievements of man in art, science, music, literature, philosophy. What we do grieve more? That so many people died in wars in the ancient world or that so much of ancient art and knowledge was destroyed and lost forever? Humans without culture can be animal-life or worse; just look at the Negroes running wild in Haiti. Being biologically human isn’t enough. To be truly human, we need to be culturally human, and it is genius–rare among humans–that shapes the culture we all partake of. (This could be one of the subconscious rationales behind the rise of gay culture and agenda, the conceit being that real/normal sexuality is just crude animal-or-biological sexuality whereas gay sexuality has higher value as a cultural-and-artistically-oriented liberated from the brutalism of nature. Gay sexuality, from this angle, is a form of creative sexuality. But then, this argument is undermined by the fact that gayness too is rooted in biology–the dysfunctional kind–and also by the fact that gays often justify homosexuality on the basis of some animals exhibiting gay behavior too.)
This is the great paradox within humanism. It posits every human life as having value, but that value owes to man’s elevation above animal-hood; and it is the human genius–in science and art–of relatively few individuals that has enabled the rise of mankind into something more than a problem-solving beast. This explains the appeal of Ayn Rand’s Prometheanism to a lot of people. Though we are stirred by the populism of Frank Capra movies and root for John Does of the world, we also want to be represented and led by someone tall, handsome, and superior like Gary Cooper or Jimmy Stewart(in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE). Hitler too tapped into both Populism and Prometheanism. He played the role of the god of the German people, but through him, all Germans shared in a kind of collective greatness. Maybe this should be called POPULITISM.
The painting in the moral-experiment of the burning house can, of course, be interpreted in two ways: literal and metaphorical. It can stand for any object of rare beauty, nobility, vision, or insight created by man, something of great value to all humanity for its precious rarity. When we remember the ancient world, what and whom do we care about? The great artists, poets, philosophers, and scientists or the masses of ordinary people? How many ordinary lives is Plato’s ‘Republic’ worth? How many lives are the plays ‘Antigone’ and ‘Oedipus Rex’ worth? Suppose we could press a button whereupon those two plays vanish from the Earth forever but a 1000 Greek slaves who were killed in ancient times are made to live. Would it be worth it?
For the ancient Jews, their sacred text preserving the words of God defined the core of their culture. Suppose you are a Jewish leader in ancient times and posed with a challenge. There is one last boat to cross the river as the enemy approaches. The final boat can save 60 illiterate Jews and their slaves OR the sacred texts and 5 literate priests. Which would you choose? If you choose the former, you have done the humane thing of saving many lives. But you will have forever lost the cultural compass–the sacred texts–that gave direction and meaning to your people. If you chose the latter, you will have preserved the body of culture that gives meaning to your tribe but will have sacrificed 60 innocent lives.
Morality, especially higher morality, isn’t simply something within our hearts but the wisdom we record in words in material form. So, could there be an higher moral value in preserving the sacred texts–with their eternal spiritual principles–than actual human lives? Maybe.
One could even argue that a people without a culture to tame, guide, and advise them will soon be killing one another anyway, and so the loss of culture is tantamount to bringing forth havoc, chaos, and death. If the ancient Jews had always chosen lives over culture(their sacred texts), they might have forgotten how to be moral Jews and degenerated into wild barbarians, in which case, many more of them would have died in the ensuing melee. Just look at the people going crazy in TEN COMMANDMENTS with wine, women, and calf-worshiping soon after Moses goes to receive the Sacred Laws from God. Jews turn into wild crazy fratboys and skanks; and if Moses hadn’t returned with The Law and punished the lunatics, it might have been the end of Jewish people and culture. (Some might say that might have been a good thing.)
Oddly enough, the whole Holocaustianity cult works on two levels of guilt. On the one hand, the mass killing of the Jews–and the lack of a concerted international effort to save them from the flames of Nazi madness–is seen as the West’s preference for art-and-beauty over compassion-and-humanity. Nazis, in their mad preference for beauty, decided to kill the ‘ugly’ Jews. And the French decided to throw in the towel early in the war in large measure because they didn’t want to see beautiful Paris destroyed. The French preferred to save their beautiful art galleries, museums, and architecture than fight to the end against evil Nazis. The French didn’t want Paris to be bombed like Warsaw and other cities. In choosing to save their beautiful culture, the French collaborated with the Nazis, who were even more fanatical about beauty and art–though to be sure, Nazi art sucked; it was a brutalized form of beauty, or breauty. (More accurately, Nazi paintings and sculptures generally sucked, but Nazi had great fashion sense. Nazi military attire has to rank among the most impressive and awesome feats of design in the 20th century. And Speer was an excellent architect, despite the awful bubble dome for Germania.)
A few yrs after HARAKIRI, John Frankenheimer directed a film called THE TRAIN in which French patriots risk and indeed sacrifice their own lives to save their national treasures from the Nazis. The interesting thing about this movie is that Nazi officer(Paul Scoffield)is not your average Nazi thug but a true connoisseur of the arts. He even has an eye for paintings that Nazi philistines deem as ‘degenerate art’. He’s for higher creative beauty, for artistic genius, not for kitschy ideological comic book Nazi beauty. He’s like the Schindler of Great Art, both a robber and a savior of high culture. He decides to ship several loads of these artworks to Germany, an act of both idealism and criminality. A French curatoress requests members of the Resistance to do everything possible to save those works. Though lives may be lost, she argues that France isn’t only about its people but about the culture. It is French culture which makes French people French, and so those art works must remain in France. Though initially reluctant, the Resistance guys take on the mission.
Though the French curatoress and the Nazi officer are rivals, they are also mirror images. They both put higher value on culture over lives. For the curatoress, French culture is the French people, while for the Nazi guy, people are just people but an art is forever. The Nazi guy in fact puts art even above his own life.
Now, Frankenheimer was Jewish, and so THE TRAIN seems to be not just a condemnation of Nazi nihilism but French culturalism, i.e. the French chickened out in WWII because it preferred to save its own culture than fight against evil and save Jewish lives. The curatoress, after all, asks the common men of the Resistance–the sort of people who have little time or money for Art–to risk their lives for Art. In the end, the leading character(Burt Lancaster)not only kills the Nazi guy but feels disgust at the whole business of saving culture over people. What is the value of any culture if innocent people must die for it?
So, there is an aspect to Holocaustianity that condemns Western Culture/Civilization as an hypocritical facade, similar to Tsugumo’s charge against the Iyi clan. If the facade of aristocratic cultural superiority was destroyed in the flames of WWI, WWII finished off the whole of Western cultural pride–at least according to the logic of Holocaustianity. If WWI could be blamed on the elites for misleading the masses to mutual massacre, WWII was the clash of entire peoples, which means guilt must be shared by every European man, woman, and child. Despite their tyrannical nature, both Nazism and Communism came to power with the consent of the masses and harnessed the ‘will of the people’. Thus, the People were far greater accomplices to the madness of WWII than in WWI. Furthermore, the Nazis staked their superiority by claiming to represent the Best of the West–Classical Art, Roman grandeur, Bach, Beethoven, Schiller, Goethe, Nietzsche, Wagner, etc–, and then instigated the most insane war in human history and the Holocaust. And the French, in the name of saving their culture from ruin, surrendered to and collaborated with the one of the most evil regimes in Western history. This gave an opening for leftist Jewish intellectuals to drive a stake into the heart of the West. By critiquing and attacking Nazi madness, they also get to accuse everything that was guilty-by-association. This logic was carried to absurd extremes with Daniel Goldhagen whose book HITLER’S WILLING EXECUTIONERS explains all of German history as sick with antisemitism and logically leading to the Holocaust. Another book, HITLER’S POPE, accuses the Catholic Church of complicity in the Holocaust. (Never mind all the Jews who aided and abetted the mass killing of Christians in the Soviet Union and other communist countries. Dirty Jews have no shame about their own hypocrisy.) So, in one respect, the West is blamed for having chosen beauty/culture over human lives(especially Jewish ones) in WWII.
But there is another aspect of the Jewish critique of WWII. Holocaust is seen as not only the sacrifice of Jewish lives but of the Jewish painting. After all, why do we pay so much attention to the 4 to 6 million Jews who perished in the Holocaust than the 30-50 million who died in European conflict of WWII? Why do we care more about dead Jews than dead Ukrainians, the victims of Stalin and his willing Jewish-communist executioners? Why do we care more about dead Jews than dead Chinese under Mao, dead Cambodians under Pol Pot, dead Ugandans under Idi Amin, or dead Tutsis in the Rwandan genocide? One explanation has been the ‘uniqueness’ of the Holocaust, but the Rwandan genocide also attempted to wipe out all Tutsis: man, woman, and child. Also, suppose Hitler had spared the Jews and instead attempted to wipe out the gypsies or Serbs man, woman, and child. Would we hear so much about millions of gypsy or Serbian victims? Would the Jewish-controlled world media, academia, and Hollywood have fashioned a secular religion on the Gypsocaust or Serbocaust? Has Hollywood made a film about the mass killings of Armenians by the Turks? If anything, Israel has had very cozy ties with modern Turkey, overlooking this horrific part of Turkish history. Furthermore, for a nation founded on the conviction of ‘Never Again’ and one that denounces ‘Holocaust-Deniers’, isn’t it odd that it forged so close an alliance to a nation in which genocide-denial is the law of the land? In Turkey, honest discussion of the mass killing of Armenians is considered an Hate Crime against Turkish Honor.
Though Jews are loathe to admit it, their real reason for making a great fuss about the Holocaust has to do with their Jewish Supremacist or Jewpremacist convictions, i.e. Jews are not just people like any other people but a great people, a special people, a Godpeople, a Chosen People, an essential people, etc. Thus, killing Jews is not only like letting an old woman die in a burning house; it is also like letting the fire to consume a priceless work of art. Indeed, how many times have we been told that the mass killing of Jews was ESPECIALLY tragic because there were so many creative talents, philosophers, doctors, scientists, artists, musicians, writers, and geniuses among the victims? So, if you kill a dumb Polack, the world has one less dumb Polack. If you kill an Irish potato-muncher, the world has one less Irish potato-muncher. If you kill a Chinese dog-eater, the world has one less Chinese dog-eater. But if you kill a Jew, you may have destroyed the next Einstein, Kafka, Chagall, Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, Freud, Kubrick, Vladimir Horowitz, Sergei Brin, Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Noam Chomsky, Rodney Dangerfield, or Ron Popil.
Furthermore, the aura of Holocaust-Survivor-hood burnishes the Jews with a special glow; indeed, it may even be shared with Jews who were nowhere near the gas chambers. Thus, a Jewish kid born to billionaire parents in NY also carries the special membership card of the Holocaust-survivor-club. Jews, in this sense, is neither like the old woman nor the painting but like a priceless painting of an old woman in a burning house with a priceless painting of an old woman in a burning house with a priceless painting of an old woman in a burning house, ad infinitum. The narrative of the Holocaust would have us believe that half of this painting was lost in the flames of the Holocaust, so we must cherish the remaining half with the utmost reverence. (This also applies to homosexuals, or gays in our modern order. The liberal Jewish-controlled MSM pay special attention to violence committed against gays to raise awareness about the evil of ‘homophobia’ when, in fact, anti-gay violence is exceedingly rare in America, or at least in White America. The idea that gays everywhere are being persecuted is a hysteria created by the liberal Jewish controlled media, Hollywood, and public education. Indeed, there was more truth in the 1950s ‘hysteria’ about radical leftist subversion of America. Of course, there are some communities where gays would not feel welcome: Christian conservative small towns, but then conservatives would be treated even worse in places in San Francisco; and in many non-white communities, homosexuals are still reviled and attacked as deviants and freaks. Anyway, this inordinate favoritism shown to gay victims means that gay lives are more precious than lives of normal people. It is due to the hysteria of normophobia that the Jewish-controlled MSM will cover stories about Negro attacks on gays but will ignore Negro attack on normal whites. As far as liberal Jews are concerned, it’s no problem when blacks rob, rape, and murder ‘racist’ whites, but it’s terrible when blacks act ‘homophobic’ and attack saintly gays. When black rappers talk shit about whites, Muslims, Asians, or Hispanics, then the Jewish-controlled MSM look the other way. It is only when blacks talk shit about Jews or gays that the MSM look into the matter. There are many reasons why Jews are giving special protection to the gays, and one is the notion that gays, like Jews, are a special people gifted in ideas, design, creativity, arts, expression, etc, which actually has some basis in fact. So again, we see the two-faced nature of the Jewish agenda. On the one hand, it insists on total equality among all peoples and demeans as ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, or ‘fascist’ anyone who dares to speak about the reality of racial and sexual differences; but on the other hand, Jews use their media power to create an hierarchy within which some people are ‘more equal than others’. Jews and gays are supposed to be at the top of the totem pole. We can also see this bias in the way we remember history. Why has far more attention been paid to the Great Purge than to the Great Famine though the latter destroyed many more lives? Because Stalin’s forced famine mostly killed dirty illiterate Christian Slavic peasants–and almost no Jews, who in fact aided and abetted Stalin in the mass killing–whereas the Great Purge killed a lot of intellectuals, some of whom were Jews. And why has the Great Leap Forward received much less attention than the Cultural Revolution? Again because the Great Leap killed mostly stinking peasants whereas the Cultural Revolution targeted the intellectuals. Since history is written by eggheads than hillbillies, it tends to be more concerned with men with the pen than with men with the pitchfork. Needless to day, Jews have been closely associated with intellectualism through the ages. And why has PBS run many more programs about the leftist ‘victims’ of McCarthyism than of Japanese-American who were imprisoned during WWII? Because many of the ‘victims’ of McCarthyism were leftist Jews, the same kind of people who control the media. And while the story of Japanese-Americans is told as an unfortunate incident–almost an accident–, the story of the Hollywood Ten and their ilk is treated like greatest outrage in US history. And though the ‘villains’ of the ‘Red Scare’ are clearly identified and condemned by PBS, the ‘internment’ of Japanese-Americans is presented almost as a villainless crime; after all, liberal Jews don’t want to blemish their god-hero-icon FDR who gave and signed the order. This is why people who know the truth about the Jews and Jewish ways often use the term ‘Dirty Jew’ because no creature on Earth is as two-faced and venal as so many Jews are.)
Though many people like to believe in the equality of man–not least because 99% of people are mediocrities envious of superior snobs who turn up their noses at them–, the fact is societies everywhere apportion worth differently among individuals and groups. Why does the police pursue the murder of a great artist or scientist with far greater effort than the murder of a homeless junkie or prostitute? Why does insurance pay out so-and-so for one person while a vastly different sum for another person? Why do certain politicians receive greater protection than other politicians and peoples? If Earth were to blow up, and a rocket ship could save only a thousand people, would we randomly choose anyone by lottery or carefully select the sort of people who could best jumpstart the rebirth of science, arts, philosophy, and culture on another planet? Human life may be valued in and itself but much more for what it may be able to achieve. There is a reason why Einstein was chosen as the ‘Person of the Century’ by Time magazine while 99.99999999% of people of the 20th century will be forgotten. We all know that most people are mediocre, and even most smart people never achieve anything great. In any society, it is the tiny few who come up with the great ideas in science, great works in art, great forms of social organization, the great methods of business. Israel stands out in the Middle East because of the great talents of the Ashkenazi Jews. And in sports, we know that a single Negro can be more valuable than a million Mexicans. Consider how tiny Jamaica produces faster runners than Europe with its 300 million plus people, India with its 1 billion people, and China with its 1.3 billion people. (And indeed, it is black athleticism, sexualism, and musicalism–so highly prized in our jungle-feverized and Magic-Negro-worshiping Western world–that have convinced so many whites that blacks, along with Jews, are a SPECIAL people who need to be especially admired and respected by all humanity: Albert Einstein and Muhammad Ali. How many Westerners feel the same way about squat and un-musical indigenous people of Bolivia or Peru?)
And so, there is more going on in HARAKIRI when Saito, the counselor of the Iyi clan, expresses contempt for the Tsugumo’s humanist argument. Though Saito can empathize with human suffering, the beauty and nobility of Samurai culture must not be blemished by ‘sentimentality’. And though the film makes a compelling moral case against the heartless cruelty of samurai order, it also depicts with a degree of awesomeness the way of the samurai–the discipline, grace, power. To be a samurai is to be an artist, to harmonize the pen, the brush, the samisen, the sword.
And we are especially drawn to Tsugumo because he is, ultimately, a real samurai, indeed more samurai than all the other samurai. He is a greater swordsman than any in the Iyi clan; and he has greater courage, self-control, and indeed honor. If HARAKIRI were a film about a poor nondescript peasant griping about injustice and getting killed, it wouldn’t be as powerful and poetic.
SEVEN SAMURAI also touches on some of the key moral issues in HARAKIRI, posing the question of what does it mean to be a good samurai? Like Tsugumo, the most of the samurai of Kurosawa’s epic are ronin or masterless–the exceptions are the young samurai and Mifune’s character, who isn’t really a samurai at all. As samurai, their hope/ideal is to serve a lord and belong to a noble order. The idea of fighting for a ‘just cause’ or serving a people(farmers) of lower rank is alien to most samurai. But a series of circumstances bring these men together to defend a village of peasants from bandits. Given the samurai mentality, it wasn’t easy to assemble a group of warriors to fight the good fight and maybe die in the bargain. One of the samurai is Kyuzo, a master swordsman who initially declines the offer but later changes his mind. Throughout the movie, he is the samurai-est among the samurai: stolid, unflinching, ruthlessly lethal in combat but modest. His reason for joining the fight seems divided between a sense of moral obligation and the vanity of proving his mettle. In terms of body count, he is the most invaluable warrior, but he is emotionally the most distanced from the farmers. In him, we can see the tension between beauty and morality in Japanese culture. His fighting style and form are perfection itself, cutting down men effortlessly, like a master gardener pruning a branch of excess leaves. His dedication to the art of the samurai–a kind of samurainess for samurainess’s sake–makes him an almost nihilistic character, but through daily contact with other samurai and peasants, he gradually becomes more empathetic. This aspect of SEVEN SAMURAI is existential, suggesting that our moral sense and character arise from experience. If Kyuzo had entered into a noble clan, he might have become like one of the elite samurai at the House of Iyi, with a narrow and purist dedication to the samurai code. But it is because he joins the good fight and rubs shoulders with peasants that his sense of humanity is deepened, and as such, his notion of samurai-ness also gains greater meaning and complexity. His worldview goes beyond caste notions of samurai honor and peasant obligations. From the fight, he gains a sense of samurai duty to the people and also a sense of basic honor even among poor peasants who, under proper guidance, prove their mettle and courage. It’s as though he realizes that a samurai can be a true samurai–a human samurai or humanurai–by restricting himself only to the samurai code.
The members of the Iyi clan in HARAKIRI are awful proud and meticulous in their samurai-ness, but it’s almost as if they belong to a monastic order and thus removed from humanity.
Since the Tokugawa Clan has united Japan and since there are no more battles to be fought, the Iyi clan has turned samurai-ness into a kind of museum piece, or samuseumurai. (For some reason I find ridiculous puns irresistible.) Iyi can aim for purity, but purity is not of this world.
Can a Christian be a true Christian by hiding in a monastery and praying to God? Didn’t Jesus go among the sick and poor? Did He just hide in a cave and pray to God, as if He was too good for humanity? This is, of course, the theme of Martin Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS and KUNDUN. The main character of MEAN STREETS believes real redemption can only be found in the streets; you can’t find it as a priest hiding within church walls separated from raw reality; you have to sin, be sinned against, hit and get hit, like a boxer inside a ring. And in KUNDUN, the Dalai guy gains true wisdom only when he’s forced out of his perfect sanctuary by the Chinese invasion. He becomes the true father of Tibet through struggle, which brings him closer to the people and the national cause. Though Tibetans are regarded as ‘saintly’ victims of the Chinese and the Japanese are remembered as ‘wicked’ monsters of WWII, there is a funny parallel between the Dalai of KUNDUN and Hirohito of Alexander Sokurov’s THE SUN. It is through defeat that both men gain a truer sense of reality and a keener understanding of their symbolic meaning to their own peoples.
Though Tsugumo goes to the Iyi clan ostensibly to commit ritual suicide under proper conditions, what ensues is more like a courtroom trial. (The courtroom aspect brings to mind the great war film PATHS OF GLORY–directed by Stanley Kubrick–that might have inspired Hashimoto and Kobayashi. Like HARAKIRI, PATHS OF GLORY is about ruthless and powerful men using devious and cruel means to send a message to rest of the social order. By scapegoating and sacrificing three innocent soldiers for cowardice–by ‘using them as an example’–, the French military commanders recuse themselves of the failed attack and
preserve their own honor while pushing all the blame onto others. Though Kubrick was Jewish and PATHS OF GLORY is an attack on the conservatism of the French military during WWI, how ironic that American Jews do today what the men of power do in POG. Wall Street Jews were most instrumental in the financial collapse of 2008, but they pushed all the blame on George W. Bush who only took orders from Jewish bankers. And though Neocon Jews were behind the Iraq War–with full support from the liberal Jew-dominated media–, the Jews dumped all the blame on Bush’s ‘tragic father complex’ when the war went badly. In other words, Bush didn’t go to war because Neocons advised and manipulated him but because he wanted to impress his daddy. And Jews will do the same thing with Obama. If the economy get worse and if foreign policy disasters mount, all the blame will be on Obama, even though all Obama ever did was take advice from the powerful Jews who own and control him. Jewish bankers and tycoons create, scapegoat, and dispense with gentile politicians like Jewish moguls in Hollywood and music industry create, hype, and cast out celebrity idols.) Gradually, it dawns on the Iyi clan that Tsugumo is playing the role of prosecutor accusing it of grave wrongdoing. And yet, it is a strange, indeed perversely ironic, accusation. Tsugumo points out that the clan acted wrongly by doing everything correctly, i.e. nothing in life is so simple or so pure that it can be made to conform to every letter of the code and honor. On one level, Tsugumo knows that the clan acted in perfect accordance with the samurai code. A samurai is nothing without his pride and honor. A samurai must live by his word. Also, a samurai’s sword is his soul. Since Tsugumo’s son-in-law Motome Chijiwa pawned his steel blades and replaced them with bamboo, he must die by those blades. Samurai, in their pure devotion to honor and code, must take care not to err. If breach of conduct is grave enough, the samurai must redeem himself through seppuku. This is why Motome Chijiwa only digs his grave deeper when he begs for respite from the ritual. He’d come knocking to be allowed to commit seppuku on the clan’s hallowed ground, and to the extent that the clan took the trouble to grant his request, it is dishonorable to both himself and to the clan to waiver in the face of death. The more he asks for mercy, the more disdain the Iyi clan feels for him. So, the seppuku of Motome Chijiwa turns into a kind of execution, a punishment, or even murder. He is forced to kill himself because he has dishonored the samurai code. A true samurai must make good on his word, uphold the code, and be utterly unflinching in the face of death. To the Iyi clan, Motome was just a craven beggar-ronin who’d come to ‘extort’ money like other ronin had done. (Soon after Motome arrives at the gate of the Iyi clan, the counselor and the elite samurai discuss the matter, and we are given the background of how the ronin’s trick-or-treating for seppuku ritual came to be. It began with one individual, a masterless samurai or ronin, who out of shame for having no meaningful place in the world, went to a clan and asked that he be allowed to commit seppuku and die like a honorable samurai. Moved by his sincere request, the clan recruited him as one of its own. But then, the word got around, and then other ronin, without the purity of intention, made copycat requests. Most clans, not wishing to have some stranger splatter blood on their holy ground nor to recruit another samurai to feed–in a time of peace–, generally gave the ronin some money and sent them away. Then even more ronin pulled the same stunt to get easy cash. So, by the time Motome arrived at the gate of the Iyi clan, its members were already disgusted with the entire trend. While they honor the original ronin with the pure intent to commit seppuki, they despise the copycats who do it just for money. So, the Iyi clan decides to create an example by having Motome commit ritual suicide and then spreading the word of what awaits any ronin who wants to pull that stunt again. Though HARAKIRI has a courtroom drama aspect to it, with Tsugumo playing the prosecutor, he plays the role of the accused as well and for two reasons. First reason is alien to Western sense of morality where right-and-wrong is determined by one’s actions than by one’s lot. If you haven’t done wrong, there’s no reason to be ashamed, at least morally. In contrast, shame could be an overbearing factor in traditional Japan even if one hadn’t done anything wrong. The fall of Tsugumo’s clan was no fault of Tsugumo, but he must bear the shame of his fallen lord. Furthermore, his status as a ronin or masterless samurai is also not his fault but a cause of shame nevertheless. Within this cultural context, we can understand why a masterless samurai may want to commit seppuku and redeem himself even though he’d done nothing wrong. Even if he hadn’t acted dishonorably, his lot in life could still be dishonorable, which is sufficient reason for redemption through death. To be sure, a rich Westerner who loses his fortune for no fault of his own may also feel ashamed and suicidal but for social than moral/spiritual reasons. Second reason for Tsugumo’s role as defendant is the need to prove that his resolve to commit seppuku is sincere and not just a ruse to play a dirty trick on the Iyi clan.) So, on that level, Tsugumo cannot fault the actions of the Iyi clan. However ruthless it may have been, it remained true to the samurai principles. It is for this reason that Tsugumo feels compelled to tell his life story as a means of building his case, to illustrate how he came to be what he is.
He begins by saying that his fate could be have been that of any other samurai(including the members of the Iyi clan), and of course the corollary to this is, had circumstances been different, he could be occupying a seat of privilege, like the members of the Iyi clan, blind to everything but the samurai code. Tsugumo wants to make clear that he is not inherently better or wiser than other people. It was experience and reflection that led to his conversion from a samurai to a human being–or a humanurai–, and it is for this reason that his story is crucial. The implication is that while laws and codes are essential to social order, they need to take into consideration the reality of life, the ongoing story of humanity. (Similarly, the Left calls for a Living Constitution than strict adherence to the Original Intent of the Constitution. The Left believes that history goes on, and America today is not America of the Wasp-dominated Founders of the late 18th century. A living and organic Constitution must allow flexibility in order to remain relevant to today’s ever-changing needs and demands. Of course, conservatives could counter that the Constitution as originally written and intended is infinitely flexible, supportive of freedom and liberty, and change/revision/reform by due process of the law is provided in the Constitution. Furthermore, the Right may argue that the Left’s real agenda is to rid the Constitution of the brakes imposed on radical proposals and policies. Indeed, the great irony of the Constitutional debate is as follows: The Left wants greater freedom to bend the Constitutional principles in order to proscribe the freedom of Americans. The Constitution calls for freedom of speech/expression, but now the Left wants to control speech on the basis of adhering to ‘new realities’. In contrast, conservatives, at least those of libertarian bent, now champion the enforcement of the letter of Constitutional law, guaranteeing freedom and liberty for all. But this freedom and liberty only provide more opportunity for Jews–more talented, more intelligent, more cunning, and mostly liberal–to attain even greater power over laws, media, academia, and government to curtail and reduce the principles of the Constitution.)
Since what the Iyi clan did with Motome Chijiwa was correct and proper by samurai principles, Tsugumo appeals to wider sense of humaneness, arguing that not everything in the world is so cut-and-dry. Nothing is so pure and absolute that it has to be followed to the letter, especially if the outcome is cruel and inhuman. And if the pursuit of purity and propriety makes people inhuman, what is the worth of such ‘purity’?
We heard of the case in Saudi Arabia where Muslim authorities prevented schoolgirls from escaping from a burning building because the girls weren’t properly veiled. The clerics may have acted according to Islamic Law, but didn’t concern for human life override such considerations? In the end, aren’t moral and spiritual principles supposed to serve mankind/womankind, especially since Jews, Christians, and Muslims believe their God to be a good moral God? This is the Rite vs. Right controversy. Is any Rite so pure and virtuous that it should trump what is known as Human Right? What was more important in the Saudi case? The Right of school girls to escape from the fire and live OR the Rite of the dress code as part of Islamic purity? One may raise this question in relation to the Catholic Church as well. By now, it should be obvious to all that the requirement of celibacy among priests attracts the wrong kind of people–homosexuals and pedophiles–to the Cloth, and the forbidding of marriage among priests leads to all sorts of perverse complexes resulting from sexual repression and sperm-in-testicles-overload-syndrome or SITOS.
And so, there is a similar conflict in HARAKIRI. While it is true that the samurai have a set of traditions and rites to preserve, is it over greater value than the basic human morality? Shouldn’t the Iyi Clan have made an inquiry as to Motome’s desperate pleading for a respite? (Of course, there’s a further irony since even if Motome’s request had been granted, he would still have been obligated to return a day or two later to commit seppuku just the same. In a way, a ‘humane’ approach to seppuku might be even more immoral, for it would lend a human face and ethical legitimacy to what is an unspeakably cruel, barbarous, and pathological act. It is precisely because the Iyi clan insists on absolute purity and adherence to proper procedure that we can see the Way of the Samurai for what it is. Similarly, communist violence was acceptable and even appealing to a lot of people because of the ‘human face’ of the Revolution. It is the absolute barbarity with which dogs and cats are killed in Asia that heightens our awareness of the cruelty and injustice. If Asians settled on ‘humane’ ways of slaughtering dogs and cats, we might be more willing to overlook the practice altogether. Because inhumanity is so prevalent around the world, we seek ways to humanize inhumanity as much as possible, and this may indeed reduce suffering. After all, skinning dead dogs is preferable to skinning live ones. On the other hand, the process of humanizing inhumanity–cosmeticizing cruelty–has a way of diverting our gaze from its immoral core. This is one of the pitfalls in the concept of ‘war crimes’, whereby people become more accepting of certain wars deemed to be legal and fought ‘humanely’.)
Saito, the counselor of the Iyi clan, refuses to budge. He defends the clan’s actions; he’s especially not about to be lectured by a dirty ronin in rags. Though he comes across as heartless–a real as*hole in fact–, there is a degree of validity to his counter-argument. The samurai order is, at once, a militaristic, poetic, and spiritual order. Perhaps, all the more because Japan has been united under the Tokugawas and peace prevails upon the land, samurai need to be ever stricter in their honor and code. When Japan had been divided with wars raging everywhere, samurai didn’t need to be reminded of their core purpose. But in times of peace, when wars are a thing of the past, the only thing to remind the samurai of their special purpose is the sense of code and honor. No longer called to be militant in the fight, they must be vigilant in the rite. Warriors are defined by hardness, and so they must strive to remain hard especially in times of softness.
There is the slippery slope argument. If the samurai order begin to make allowances here, it then leads to another there and then everywhere, until maybe the samurai order will be nothing more than charity organization. When we look at what has become of the YMCA–from a vibrant Christian organization to a hotel service and gym room–, there is some truth to this. And look how we went from tolerance-of-homosexuals to coercive-acceptance-of-‘gay marriage’. And look how we went to from Jackie Robinson as a ‘credit to his race’ to the rise of rampant interracism where Negro males wantonly enjoy white women while white males have been reduced to pussy-boy status.
There’s an inkling that Tsugumo’s anger might have been alleviated if the Iyi clan admitted its wrongs, but no such apology was forthcoming. Probably, Tsugumo expected as much since he made certain arrangements prior to his meeting with the Iyi clan. He sought out the three samurai of the clan who brought Motome’s corpse to his hovel and defeated them in duel. Most dramatically, Tsugumo cut off their top-knots, which we learn is akin to being castrated for the samurai. Tsugumo’s humiliation of the men appears to have been double-motivated, providing an additional layer of existentialist significance. On the one hand, he was preparing a case against the Iyi clan in case the clan refused to apologize. As in a game of poker, there is a mutual interplay of calculation, bluff, and the tell. By taking the topknots of the samurai, Tsugumo holds an ace up his sleeve. The other motivation is more personal: to avenge his son-in-law and his own humiliation. If the three samurai had simply left Motome’s body and departed, the agony might have been bearable. Instead, the men initially heap faux-praise on Motome for his courage and display of samurai spirit, only to turn sardonic and seethe with contempt about Motome’s death with a bamboo blade; finally, one guy laughs sneeringly.
Tsugumo is torn up inside not only over Motome’s death but the manner involved. And it is on that night that he discovers that Motome had sold his blades–an unpardonable sin for a samurai, akin to selling one’s own soul–to take care of his wife and child. (The motifs of concealment suggest the degree to which maintaining FACE was important in feudal Japan. Motome needed the money, and so he sold his steel blades and replaced them with bamboo to at least maintain the FACADE of being a proper samurai. Iyi Clan conceals its dirty secrets to maintain its image as the noblest of clans. The samurai who lose their topknots conceal themselves in their homes to hide their shame. And Tsugumo conceals the topknots within his robe to paradoxically expose the perfumed art of deceit so pervasive in a social order that’s supposed to be about purity and honor.) It is then that Tsugumo realizes that Motome’s unpardonable violation of samurai-ness–the pawning of his blades–was in fact a most humane act. Motome sacrificed his ‘honor’ to take care of his family. Tsugumo feels angry with himself for having clung to his own blade–vain pride over dire necessity. He never thought to sell his blades to buy food or medicine for his daughter and grandson. He realizes Motome shamed himself as a samurai to be human, whereas he shamed himself as a human to maintain his pride as a samurai. To fail as a human is worse than failing as a samurai. Even so, it is not easy to be rid of something that has defined a person all his life. Even though Tsugumo believes Motome did the right thing as a human–and even feels pride for having had such son-in-law–, the samurai-in-him still wants to restore family honor. It will not do that the Iyi clan thinks so lowly of his son-in-law and him. So, Tsugumo’s challenges the Iyi clan with a double-edged sword. He makes a case for Motome on grounds of humaneness but also redeems his samurai honor by proving himself a greater samurai than any of the Iyi clan.
Failing to persuade the Iyi clan of admitting its wrongs, Tsugumo pulls out the ace from his sleeve. Earlier, it was revealed that the seconds–the samurai assigned to perform the coup-de-grace of beheading in the seppuku ritual–that Tsugumo had requested were nowhere to be seen in the Iyi domain. Saito’s underling returns from their homes with the message that they’re gravely ill and in need of rest. The three samurai were the men who’d brought Motome’s body to Tsugumo’s residence. Finally, Tsugumo tosses the top-knots taken from the three men onto the yard and charges the clan of rank hypocrisy. Given that the unpardonable shame of losing one’s top-knot, shouldn’t the three men have committed ritual suicide instead of feigning sickness, hiding in their homes, and waiting for their hair to grow back? So, this clan, which talks big about the honor and code, has as craven cowards for its top swordsmen. Tsugumo gets the last laugh and humiliates counselor Saito, who then orders his men to cut Tsugumo down like a dog. But Tsugumo, though greatly outnumbered, puts up a fierce fight, destroys the revered idol of the clan, and dies by his own hand. Like a true samurai, he keeps his word and commits harakiri.
Even so, there is no simple moral victory for Tsugumo as we learn that Omodaka–one of the men who lose the topknots–did go home after the duel and committed seppuku. So, even though two of the Iyi swordsmen talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk, Omodaka did in fact live and die as a true samurai. Heartless he may have been to Motome, but he adhered to the same code he forced on Motome. Also, prior to the duel, he had a chance to strike down an unarmed Tsugumo but offered him a fair fight. So, the samurai code was certainly not just a facade with him, an aspect that complicates the moral dimensions of the story.
The final sword battle is, needless to say, far from realistic. It is highly stylized, an expressionist choreography of human rage tearing through a rigid maze of hierarchy. Also, it’s as if Tsugumo’s caged humanity is clawing the walls of his inner prison. Politically, he’s on the attack to penetrate the inner sanctum of the Iyi clan; psychologically, he’s struggling to shatter the prison walls of his samurai mentality. He is, at once, breaking in and breaking out.
Of special interest is the architecture of traditional Japan, which heightens the psychological aspects of the ever-present crisis, control, and conflict. In the traditional West, men of power resided in castles and fortresses of stone and marble, which made plain as day their position and power. The barriers between the high and low were set in stone. This was no less true within the castle where one compartment was separated from others by thick walls of stone and mortar. But look at Japanese architecture and the walls are often made up of wooden panels covered with paper. These walls and sliding doors could easy be knocked over. Yet, Japan was one of the most rigidly hierarchical and orderly societies in the world. How could physical dimensions of hierarchy be so flimsy yet social divisions remain so rigid? Japanese developed a culture of psychological imprisonment where a person learned to strictly control one’s movement and expression. So, one was careful not to lumber around and bump into walls, which might easily be knocked down; I supposed their relatively smaller size helped. One was careful not to raise one’s voice unless absolutely necessary since one could easily be heard through the paper walls. In the absence of physical barriers, Japanese had to develop a keen sense of psychological barriers. This is why, even in a train full of passengers packed like sardines, Japanese maintain a psychology of orderliness and separateness. This aspect of Japanese-ness has a certain elegance and refinement but also excessive anal-ness and anxiety. (To be sure, this form of social psychology may have originated with the Chinese who also have paper-walled homes. If KUNG FU the TV show is any indication, Chinese kids even taught to walk in a proper state of mind. Remember the episode where the kid is told to walk on paper by his blind master and fails at the task by tearing it all to shreds? The master tells him that the mind and body must be one and the same, in harmony with the Tao or Zen or whatever; nimble feet belong to a nimble mind and vice versa. There’s probably more spiritual psycho-babble in Asian martial arts than in any other kind. In the West, boxing is called the ‘sweet science’ whereas in the East, kung fu and kendo are supposed to be an expression of some spiritual state of mind.)
Though from a purely humanistic view, it is undeniable that the Iyi clan acted cruelly with Motome and then stubbornly refused to apologize, other forms of injustice reveal themselves when we approach the scenario through different lenses. It’s like infrared vision notices things normal vision cannot see. Tsugumo may have wider and deeper field of vision than most of the members of the Iyi clan since he’s experienced both the highs and lows of life; he’d been a member of an elite inner-circle before descending to the depths of poverty. We are told his name Tsugumo means ‘harbor-cloud’. Cloud is a major motif in the movie, especially in the duel between Tsugumo and Omodaka that takes place under a stormy sky. It may be of significance that the fallen Tsugumo made his living by making umbrellas. He’d been a samurai of the upper cloud domain but fell to ground, resigned to making umbrellas meant to shield people from the rain above. His daughter toils day and night to make paper fans; one of the recurring motifs is counselor Saito’s constant fiddling with his fan. A trivial item for a rich man is a matter of life and death for the working poor. (In one scene, Tsugumo is approached by a merchant who presents him with an offer whereby his daughter Miho will be accepted into a rich household as a possible bride. Tsugumo rejects on the offer on the basis that Miho will likely serve as a concubine to some lord. This scene also raises questions about principles and morality. Did Tsugumo do the right thing? Based on our modern values, yes. It is wrong to sell one’s daughter to concubineship even if she will likely have a higher standard of living and perhaps improve one’s lot as well. Better to embrace freedom and true love even if one’s fated to live in poverty than choose servitude and sexual bondage in exchange for luxuries. Yet, if the only choices were freedom and grinding poverty AND bondage and amenities, which is better? Is it better to starve and die as a free man OR live and prosper as a slave? If Tsugumo had acceded to the merchant’s offer, his daughter would not have known hunger or would have died of illness. She might even have married a man of privilege eventually after her stint as a concubine. Tsugumo does the right thing–by modern humanist values–, but he also chooses principles over practicality. And was his decision more for the sake of his daughter or his own pride? Anyway, if he did the right thing by his daughter, wasn’t there something noble in his clinging to his samurai sword as well even though his family was desperate for money? In both cases, didn’t he choose principle over practicality? If what matters most in life is simply to survive and live, then wouldn’t we have to conclude that Tsugumo should have sold his daughter to the rich family?)
Even so, Tsugumo cannot see everything, and his vision is too clouded by personal angst.
There is more than one kind of injustice, and not every kind of injustice involves clear wrong done to man by man. Of course, I’m using a broader meaning of ‘injustice’, what we might call ‘unfairness’. In the strictest sense, injustice is about one person doing wrong to another person through deception, cheating, or violence. Usually, the transgressor knows he’s committing a wrongful act but does so for personal gain or advantage. But there are cases, as in HARAKIRI, where the people who commit the injustice may sincerely believe they are doing the right thing. The Iyi clan is convinced of its rightness despite the grisly horror it unleashes. It did the ‘right thing’ by the code of the samurai. Yet, broaden the concept of justice and we obtain a different picture. After all, one might do everything right within the system, yet the system itself could be wrong. By the rules of Nazism, communism, Talibanism, and Maoism, the men who ruthlessly carried out the orders did no wrong; they were merely being good Nazis, communists, Talibans, or Maoists; they were merely following orders. What if to be a ‘good something’ is to be a bad human? Can one be a good Nazi and a good human? A good Stalinist and a good human? Can one be a good samurai and a good human? Humanism tells us that humanity should take the front seat before any religion, ideology, faith, dogma, etc. To be a good person, one must be concerned with humanity above all else. This sounds reasonable enough and may well be within reasonable bounds, but the idea of a humanity independent of culture, ideology, faiths, and sacred vision is a bland and impossible utopianism in its own right. It can also be dangerous if one assumes that all humans–individuals and/or races–are interchangeable. In fact, different races have different degrees of attributes. Though all humans have more or less the same spectrum of skills and tendencies, different peoples have more of some traits and less of others. All people have some wild aggressive tendencies, but blacks have more of it than others. All humans have the power of reason, but Jews have higher IQ than others. All people have musical sense, but each race has its own musical personality. Also, if humanity is defined by culture and if every culture is of special value, it would be foolish to think that German culture could be maintained by a bunch of Negroes who naturally aren’t prone to think, feel, and act as Germans do. Though liberal Jews may object to my argument, Jews know full well that only Jews can be truly and proudly Jewish. Surely, Jews don’t believe that Bolivian Indians are capable of producing men like Albert Einstein, Steven Spielberg, Norman Mailer, and Milton Friedman in great abundance. If Jews really believed that, they wouldn’t be so obsessed with themselves. Jews go on and on about their greatness because they really feel themselves to be a uniquely great people.
Though culture makes humans into something more than animals or savages, there is the danger of culture not only defining but superceding humanity. As the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; culture humanizes and culture dehumanizes. Humans can become like cogs in a cultural machine. Thus dehumanized and ‘mechanized’, there is less room for moral sense to grow and develop. Ideology, an intellectualized form of culture, poses the same danger. Communism’s radical mechanism of morality came to see individuals as bits and pieces of a social system serving as the engine of history. Communism was especially maddening since its great injustices and inequalities were perpetrated in the name of justice and equality–a system in which workers were chained to ‘progress’. Perhaps, nothing is as frustrating as trying to be just within an unjust order–like grass trying to sprout through cracks of a concrete floor. And it must be doubly trying to transform what is fundamentally an unjust order into a just one. Gorbachev tried in the 1980s when he heroically and foolishly tried to humanize communism; eventually, it dawn on everyone that one cannot have both communism and freedom; one has to go.
The first part of HUMAN CONDITION, Kobayashi earlier film, deals with a similar scenario. The young hero is a conscientious and decent Japanese in Manchuria assigned to manage a labor camp. Though he tries his best to be fair with the Chinese, the fact remains that he is a tool of the oppressors–Japanese imperialists–and the Chinese are slave laborers who have every right to hate the Japanese. Likewise in TEN COMMANDMENTS, Charlton Heston as Moses initially calls for more humane treatment of Hebrew slaves so that they may work more efficiently. It is later when he realizes that an inhumane system is inhuman no matter how kindly it may be toward the oppressed. Even a well-treated slave is, in the end, just a slave. (On the other hand, is there anything worse than a free Negro on the prowl?)
In HARAKIRI, the samurai system seems doubly unjust in favoring a privileged elite over the impoverished masses and in the utter ruthlessness of its implementation and enforcement. It is not only inherently oppressive/exploitative but heartlessly, even sadistically, so.
Both the one-on-one and systemic forms of injustice are about men doing wrong to other men. In the first case, it could be a criminal or crook knowingly committing a crime against fellow man. In the latter, it could be a community of men maintaining an essentially inhuman and cruel order, a truth that may be invisible to them because the entire edifice of social morality is built into–and is thereby inseparable from–the system. It’s like a culture that practices human sacrifice fails to see the evil because it’s part of their custom, tradition, and cosmology. If they worship a god or gods that demand human sacrifice, then the culture must act in concert with what they deem to be sacred and true. Though we modern people might find the stoning of homosexuals as an evil, things were different for ancient Hebrews devoted to God’s laws and longstanding social customs. On the secular level, a Marxist might argue that the capitalist system is inherently evil EVEN IF capitalists, as individuals, may be decent people; i.e. capitalism, by its very exploitative nature, cannot allow true decency to flower because it’s one of capital-owning masters and propertyless peon proles. Engels certainly felt that way. Though a rich capitalist and sincerely concerned about the conditions of the working classes, he was convinced that true justice was impossible unless a revolution replaced capitalism with communism, whereby all people would be more or less equal and share in the wealth and destiny of mankind. And the Nazis felt that there could be no real justice for Germans as long as Jews were in their midst. Jews, by their very nature, were deemed to be untrustworthy and out to shylock the noble ‘Aryans’ for everything they had.
Be that as it may, there is another layer of injustice, which could be said to be not between man or man or between man-made-system and the people, but between the human condition and the higher condition. In spiritual terms, it’s crystallized in the distance between man and God(or gods). God or gods are more powerful and more knowledgeable than man, and He or they have control over the destinies of man. So, man can try to be good as possible and do everything expected of him by God or the gods but still end up in a bad shape by the whims of God or gods. In some cultures, the gods are not all-powerful nor all-knowing, and so man may question or challenge a god or the gods(especially by seeking the protection from certain gods against the god that persecutes him). In the Book of Job, on the other hand, Job cannot challenge nor question God directly since the one and only God is supposed to be all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfection itself, but in Job’s stubborn desire to know the WHY as to what happened, there is an element of confrontation.
HARAKIRI has elements of the Book of Job. Tsugumo, while professing an unswerving loyalty to the samurai code, questions its validity. As in the story of Job, the implications are both political and psychological. On one level, Job’s desire to know the truth is a psychological journey, a meditation into the core of his own being. Following the misfortunes, he remains faithful on the conscious level but is shaken inside and probes into his subconscious to heal the roots of his faith. An element of doubt has seeped into his core perhaps unbeknownst even to himself. Of course, there is a difference between Job and Tsugumo: Job really wants his unshakeable faith in God to be restored, whereas Tsugumo feigns reverence for the Iyi clan to desecrate its ancestor-god. In the end, higher authority–that of the unknowable God–is confirmed in the Book of Job whereas higher authority–in the form of sacred samurai order–is rejected in HARAKIRI. To an extent, it could be a comment on the expose of Japanese national myth following defeat in WWII. Though the Biblical God and the Japanese emperor-god played instrumental roles in the suffering of Job and the Japanese, Job ultimately bows to God whereas the Japanese awoke to the fact that the emperor is but a man, and not even a great man. Perhaps it goes to show the power of myth over power of man. In the end, man can be exposed as a man, but an idea has a life of its own. Jews may have intuitively rejected idols and the personifications of God for this reason. If a god were manifested in the form of an idol or a man, the destruction of the idol or defeat of the man would be the end of that god. But if a god is made into a pure idea, nothing in this world could ever destroy it. On the other hand, the Jesus myth is especially strange because He was utterly destroyed on Earth but then became the most powerful man that ever lived. This case of reversing the fate of a dead man into the myth of an Eternal God must be the greatest and the most brilliant ad campaign of all time. Paul was maybe the father of advertising. If you can market a dead man as the Son of God, you can sell anything.
Though ideas are more eternal than idols, people are attracted to idolatry as well as to idealotry. After all, we like books with pictures. Facebook’s popularity owes a lot to its blend of images and words. Everyone becomes an idol. Even the so-called Gay Girl in Damascus was clever in using an image of a real person. In religion, the trick is not to turn the image into an idol. Pagans oftentimes confused the image AS the sacred object or idol–which made them foolishly literal-minded. On the other hand, the Jewish paranoia about images as potentially wicked idols made the culture colorless and dull compared to pagan cultures. Christianity, on the other hand, allowed images but not as idols but as representations–realistic or metaphorical–of people, stories, and ideas. Thus, Christians could have both the image and the ideal, and that was probably one of its great appeals.
In a way, the Book of Job links up with the Adam story in the Genesis. Adam and Eve ate the Forbidden Fruit to gain the knowledge of God, and they were punished. God’s idea was man didn’t need to know the Truth in order to be happy and harmonious. As long as man obeyed God, God would provide for him. Adam and Eve overstepped this line, and the Garden was destroyed. Job, unlike Adam, is the most faithful of servant of God and did no wrong, yet his wonderful world was destroyed just the same; in some ways, he got it worse than Adam. If Adam understood why he was punished–he disobeyed God–, Job doesn’t understand what he did to get it in the neck. And it is for this reason that he needs to understand WHY and feels God owes him an answer; but, this would require and entail his knowing of the true nature of God. Unwittingly, Job too is seeking to be privy to the Forbidden Knowledge. Man is forbidden from knowing the ultimate WHY because the ONLY way this could be possible is by knowing the mind of God, which only God can know. And so, Job comes to understand that his request to God for an answer is a form of blasphemy, despite his having asked in good faith and his moral justifications. (One possible answer as to what bad things could happen to virtuous man like Job is the world is no longer a Garden of Eden, long ago destroyed by the Original Sin. Purity is not of this world. In the Garden, the soul of man and the land were one. As long as the soul was good and pure, so was the land. But with Adam and Eve’s transgression, the link between the soul and the soil was broken. Man’s soul was stained by Adam and Eve’s disobedience, and the Garden’s soil was desecrated by the Serpent’s diabolism. In a way, the fall of Eden was the work of both man and beast. Both man and animal–in the form of the serpent–disobeyed God. Since the world in no longer the Garden of Eden, no man should expect to find certain truth and happiness in the world. If the Garden of Eden still exists, it can only be in the heart and mind; and perhaps, there is some consolation for Job in knowing that even though he lost everything in this world, his heart and mind remained as pure as the Garden of Eden because he didn’t condemn God and came to the realization that it is not for him to know the mind of God.
I wonder if BEING THERE(written by Jerzy Kosinski/directed by Hal Ashby)is modern variation of the Eden story. Notice that Chance is a gardener and completely innocent like Adam. And notice that his entire understanding of reality comes from the TV. Reality is not something that exists apart from him but something in tune with his mind and fingers(on the remote control). It is when the owner of the mansion dies that Chance, like Adam, is thrust out in the real world, which turns out to be a ghetto filled with awful Negroes. He uses the remote control the Negroes but they don’t vanish. ‘Reality’ used to be in tune with his mind when he lived in the mansion and watched TV all day, but real reality is something else. It is not in harmony with his innocent mind and remote control. Even so, Chance never fully loses his innocence since habits die hard and he’s dumb as a doorknob. What’s truly bemusing is how so many people–from rich and intelligent to dumb and poor–all across the nation come to regard him as some kind of saint and guru, not least due to the power of TV, the modern god promising each of us a false Eden. Anyway, to return to Job, he lives in the real-real world, and his soul and the soil are not one. It has been the dream of man to regain this unity, which, to an extent, is attainable. Conscientiousness about the world leads to better custodianship. In EXCALIBUR, Perceval tells Arthur the secret that he has lost: “You and the land are one… you will be reborn and the land with you.” And in the films such as THE THIN RED LINE, THE NEW WORLD, and presumably THE TREE OF LIFE by Malick and AVATAR by James Cameron, there is a longing for unity between man and nature, the soul and the stars, an hopeful hopelessness.
But unity/harmony of man and land need not be about nature. It could be cultural and political, a sense that the homeland of a people should be owned by that people and that leaders should be one with the people. When Mongols ruled Russia or when Turks ruled Greece, Russians and Greeks felt out of balance because their homelands were owned by foreign invaders. And Chinese feared that their nation would be controlled by foreigners in the 20th century. And today, many of us feel something is wrong because the elites who own and rule much of America are globalist Jews who are hostile to American whites who comprised the historical majority of this country. Politically and culturally, it used to be white people and America were one. Today, white people are increasingly alienated from their own homeland where most of the levers of power are held by hideous Jews.
For a spiritual people, there is an higher entity/being that is both a source of frustration and relief: (1) Frustration because this higher being has great knowledge and power over man but doesn’t share them with man. The higher being also may willfully place obstacles in man’s path for reasons that are often inscrutable. (2) Relief because no matter what goes wrong, man can rest assured that there is some semblance of order, meaning, and purpose in the universe. God or the gods may not have favor your destiny, but you’re still part of some larger design. For the Greeks, the stars in the sky were part of a cosmic pattern that represented deities, heroes, and their stories.
But what about cases where spirituality–at least in the religious sense–doesn’t provide man with a formula/equation of where and why he’s in this world? In HARAKIRI, there is an ‘injustice’ beyond the action of man-as-individual and mankind-as-society. The grim and ‘unfair’ truth(the inescapable condition of life)is even the best of men can only know as much as he is capable, which depends on chance, accident, or twist of fate. Tsugumo, by his nature, seems to be a ‘good man’–certainly better than the innately nasty Yazaki and Kawabe–, but his actualization of higher morality didn’t come easily. Indeed, it is unlikely that he would have arrived at the same conclusions under different circumstances. That being the case, does he really have the right to judge others who haven’t been through the same hell? And, can words, powerful as his are, alone convey the full meaning of emotions? And are emotions, however sincere they are, necessarily the stuff of higher truth? However compelling a story may be, it is no easy feat to make others, especially strangers, share in one’s emotions, especially if they happen to be adversarial in tone.
Unlike the Iyi clan, movie audience is at least intimately privy to, through images and sounds, the misery and horror that befell Tsugumo and his family. The audience, in siding with Tsugumo, may feel more high-minded but then, why? Because the audience is genuinely more virtuous or because of the manipulative power of sounds and images of the storytelling? The same viewers who side with Tsugumo in HARAKIRI may root for bank robbers in another movie. Consider the number of people who considered Hannibal Lecter as a hero of sorts in the sequel to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS–though, to be sure, many loved him in the first movie as well.
Furthermore, the movie audience, not belonging to and having no stake in the Iyi clan, has the luxury of being fairminded. It’s much easier to be a member of the jury than the parties in a trial. But, if you’re a member of the Iyi clan and if an unkempt ronin entered your domain and preached you a sermon, how much credence would it have? And even if you, as a Iyi clan member, came to better understand Motome Chijiwa’s motives from hearing Tsugumo’s story, how could you have known it then when he was forced to commit seppuku? And given that a samurai is supposed to blindly and loyally follow the orders of his lord, what good will it do even if he believes Tsugumo is right? The only man with real power is Saito, and a samurai’s duty is to do as he is ordered. If a samurai is supposed to be unswerving in his duty to his lord, there isn’t much hope for Tsugumo, and of course he knows this. But if he knows this but still instigates violence which will force him cut down and cut short the life of other samurai, isn’t he too a murderer? Though we are apt to side with Tsugumo, it is not Saito that he kills after all but lower-rank samurai who dutifully carry out their orders.
Also, the story of Tsugumo and his family is told in flashback, and Tsugumo’s memory is all we have to go by. How trustworthy is his story? Could he have left out key details to justify his personal agenda against the Iyi clan? Don’t all people do this? (I wonder if extreme stoicism leads to a kind of social pathology. A samurai committing seppuku isn’t supposed to show any sign of pain. And those at the ritual are supposed to watch calmly without fright or distress. Indeed, the men of the Iyi clan didn’t flinch when Motome went about the grisly act of cutting his belly open with bamboo. They stood or sat by with poetic discernment and clinical observation, concerned more with the correctness of the ritual than with the horror of a man tormented by extreme pain. It would be disturbing enough if a social order tolerated such acts of cruelty but doubly disturbing if members were obligated to be emotionally impervious. For example, if you’re told to kill your child, it’s horrible enough. But if you’re told you kill your child without emotional distress while being conscientious only regarding proper procedures, that’s beyond pathological. It’s psychotic. And there was undeniably a psychotic element in the culture of the Japanese samurai. A culture that allows excessive emotional expression tends to be infantile, as with crazy Negroes hollering and yapping about everything. Like spoiled children, Negroes think it’s their right to bitch and whine 24/7, and like children, they blame everyone but themselves and expect others to clean up the mess that they create. But a culture that suppresses too much natural emotions becomes mechanical and/or psychotic. A social order like the Nazi SS didn’t produce human beings but human machines, or humachines. In this sense, the Protestant cult of self-denial may have had an emotional impact on the development of Nazism.)
Though we modern people would like to believe we are much better than the heartless bastards of the clan, suppose we approach it from another angle. How many people has the US military killed in the Middle East with bombs and other means? Suppose one of the families affected by a drone attack appealed to us for ‘justice’. How much credence would an average American give to the dirty ‘raghead’? Or would we justify what we’ve done in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘war on terror’, i.e. the defense of our national clan? Or would we dismiss him on the basis that he looks dirty, swarthy, and alien–so uncool and hip by the rules of popular culture–, not to mention the popular prejudice promoted by Jewish Hollywood and media that most Muslims are barbaric closet-terrorists? Why are most Americans–politicians, businessmen, and people alike–so blind to the plight of Palestinians(while having been very sensitive about events in South Africa during apartheid)? Why are we so sensitive to Israeli Jews when they are infinitely better off and more secure than Palestinians and control the mightiest economy and military in the region? If a Palestinian who’d suffered like Tsugumo came to us and pleaded for his people, how many of us would give him the time or day? How many of us would sneer at him as a ‘dirty terrorist Muzzie’, just like Saito of the Iyi clan sneers at Tsugumo? There is an aspect of ‘who, whom’ in modern politics as there is in the social-politics or sociotics of HARAKIRI. For the Iyi clan, the preservation of the clan and its honor is supreme, especially more than some dirty ronin playing the role of subversive-terrorist-avenger. For American Jews, nothing matters more than Jewish power, Jewish pride, Jewish culture, Jewish influence, and Jewish clout. Jews may talk the talk of universal values, but they’re really into Jewish clan-ism. Or consider the film RAGTIME by Milos Forman(based on the E.L. Doctorow novel) where a Negro guy seeks justice as a citizen in a democratic society, but the white order, despite all its highfaluting claim of equality for all men, tells the Negro to just shut up, swallow his pride, and get lost–exactly what Americans say to Palestinians despite the historical injustices of the Zionist occupation. And though US defeated Japan in WWII in the name of justice and democracy, the national rage had more to do with the fact that ‘yellow Japs’ attacked a great white nation. Even if US were a dictatorship and Japan a democracy, Americans would have destroyed Japan in the same manner after Pearl Harbor. It was about ‘the yellow clan attacked our white clan.’
Of course, with the rise of Jewish power and influence, white folks’ way of seeing the world has undergone a sea change. They no longer think in racial-clan terms, and their mantra is ‘equal justice for all’. Even so, consider how most white Americans see Palestinians–as stinking terrorists–and most Muslims–as subhuman ‘muzzies’. And many white people simply substituted racial clan-ism with ideological clan-ism that is more a ‘code of justice’ than real justice. The code of politically correct justice is as much as a facade as the code of the samurai. It isn’t about equal justice but simply a twist on the ethics of ‘who, whom’, i.e. the magnitude of moral consideration depends WHO did what to WHOM. Given Jews control the MSM, Wall Street, academia, courts, top law firms, and government, they get to decide who deserves more justice and who deserves less. So, while we hear so much about the ‘plight’ of Jews all over the world, we hear little or nothing of the plight of Christian Arabs in the Middle East as the result of Zionist-American meddling based on an AIPAC-driven foreign policy. We hear nothing of the plight of Palestinians due to Zionist bullying or the plight of white South Africans being terrorized since the end of Apartheid. In the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we sympathize with the side with the power–the Zionists–, whereas in the case of the South African crisis during apartheid, we sympathized with the side without the power–the blacks. Why do we side with ‘oppressors’ in one scenario while with ‘victims’ in another?
And in the US, the Jew-run media don’t give a damn about white victims of blacks. Though most Americans know nothing of the Knoxville Massacre where a bunch a disgusting Negroes horribly raped, tortured, and murdered a white couple, we are forever reminded of what happened to some lewd jiveass punk named Emitt Till who got his ass whupped by white men who didn’t want no jiveass ‘nigger’ messing with their women. (Incidentally, Emmit Till’s father was executed in Italy for raping and murdering Italian women, which goes to show, ‘Like father like son’, it could be in the Negro gene to be sexually apelike.) The Code of Correctness–the Honor of White Guilt–requires white people to be blind and heartless to acts of crime and violence committed against whites by certain races. In Jewish-controlled America, white Americans are allowed to react/respond passionately and violently to attacks–actual or potential–by Muslims and Chinese but not from attacks by Jews or blacks(especially American blacks and South African blacks). So, we are not supposed to remember that Jewish communists killed 10 million European Christians or that American Jews gave the secret to the atomic bomb to the mass-killer Stalin. And we are supposed to turn a blind eye to all the violence committed by blacks against the white race in America and South Africa. Nor are we allowed to consider the possibility that out-of-control black behavior has its roots not in history but in biological history or biostory, i.e. black aggression and madness are expressions of the true nature of the Negroes. What’s happening in Europe is bearing this out: Africans who arrived freely and were showered with benefits are turning out to be just as trashy, animalistic, and disgusting as American Negroes. But we are not allowed to take notice of all this. In some ways, Europeans are even more politically correct and guilt-ridden than white Americans. Though white Americans did take land from the Indians, the latter weren’t numerous–at least when compared to other colonized/conquered peoples–, and besides, American natives are not a particularly vocal group milking white guilt for all its worth. One reason for Indian reticence could be a certain stoic pride as part of Indian culture; it’s just not Indian-like to bitch and whine endlessly about ‘victimhood’ though some Indians have mastered just that. White Americans were too busy settling their giant continent to play the globe-trotting imperialist, at least until the 20th century. Also, Americans made a clean political and ideological break with the Old World. In contrast, Latin America remained for a longer duration under the shadow of the Hispanic Empire since its independence was attained considerably later. The British, the French, the Dutch, and Belgians took huge chunks of Africa, Middle East, and/or Asia. Thus, some Europeans feel guilt about just about every race or group: black Africans, North Africa Muslims, Middle Eastern Arabs, Asian-Indians, Southeast Asians, etc. Because there’s no American guilt about Muslims–and not much about Mexicans–, some degree of critical debate about illegal immigration is still possible in America. The main obstacle to an honest discussion of Mexican immigration isn’t ‘white guilt’ about ‘racism’ but fear of Latino electoral power. If there’s any element of guilt involved in the immigration debate, it has more to do with Jews than with any other group. Americans, for instance, don’t feel bad about having kept most Hindus, Asians, or Arabs out of America for much of American history. The guilt about immigration centers around “America didn’t open its borders to Jews fleeing the Holocaust, and therefore, opposing immigration is tantamount to being a closet-Nazi.” Jews morally justify their support of immigration as a means of saving poor and desperate people all around the world–victims of evil and oppression, as Jews had been in Germany during WWII. (Never mind that many oppressive societies are the way they are less as a result of evil leaders than idiotic masses. After all, the real problem of Detroit isn’t its politicians but its people. Bad rulers can make for a bad society, but a bad people can also make for bad rulers. Same is true of most problematic public schools. The problem is less bad teachers than bad parents and students. Would a sane people elect the likes of Marion Barry as their political leader? If even a great people like the Germans can go for a nut like Hitler, imagine the political effect of truly idiotic morons around the world. ‘Saving’ blacks from Detroit and relocating them to a nice white community will not solve any problems. If anything, crazy blacks will just mess up another town. The problem doesn’t necessarily rest with the ruler but sometimes with the people, culture, or race. Anyone who thinks having a large number of blacks is good for civilization has to be crazy. If we’d saved 100,000 from Idi Amin and bring them to the US, we would have had 100,000 mini-Amins causing all sorts of problems coast to coast. Though Jews are a great people, their role in America proves my case. America did eventually allow more Jews to arrive, but what have Jews done to the white majority in this nation? Jews, notwithstanding their great contributions in many fields, have been a fatal bacillus to white Americans. We embraced the Jews but the Jews stuck a knife in our back. They are destroying white America to construct Jewtopia. Indeed, the behavior of American Jews unwittingly and ironically provide the best justification for America’s immigration policy during WWII. Given the personality and outlook of your average American Jew, what sane white American would want to save such a creature and bring him over here? Though Nazis were evil and went to extremes, American Jews give us ample evidence as to why Germans and many other people came to hate Jews. Even if we reject Nazi radicalism, an honest assessment of Jews would conclude that they are mostly a heinous race of as*holes.)
Since Jews claimed to have suffered terribly as a result of indifference among gentile nations that could/should have done more to save Jews from the Nazis, it is a moral obligation and point of pride for Jews to save people all over the world by giving them asylum in America, a nation that they now control on just about every level.
Conservatives have jumped on the pro-Jewish bandwagon, which is why in the 1980s, Reagan and Republicans were all into ‘Save Soviet Jews’. Acknowledging Jewish power in America, conservatives have sought to give special treatment to Jews, but as tantalizing as this gift may seem to Jews, it also makes them nervous because the message is ‘Jews are better than other people and deserving of special preference.’ Though Jews do want special powers and preference(and indeed not-so-secretly have it), they put fort the myth that Jews are for total equality for all. If Jew accept the GOP bait, a rift will be created between Jews and non-white minorities, i.e. Jews cut a deal with white conservatives whereby Jews supply white power with brains and money while whites offer special treatment to Jews. Jews, seeing white power as their main rival and confident in their ability to rule over whites than alongside whites, nibble at the bait without ever swallowing it. Jews figure they have much more to gain by maintaining a symbolic alliance with blacks and Hispanics(and even with Asians and Muslims on occasion)than with whites. If whites are their main rival, then ‘white guilt’ is the Achilles Heel of white power, the gift that keeps on giving to Jewish power. So, by moralizing the immigration debate through the prism of Holocaustianity, Jews get to kill two birds with one stone: they bask in the moral pride of saving poor refugees around the world(against the ‘racist xenophobia’ of white conservatives) AND they watch with joy as whites, their main rival, are reduced to a minority in America, making it easier for Jews to play divide-and-rule among the goyim.
While it is still perfectly okay for Americans to bash Muslims–it is allowed as yet because Zionists find it useful–, some European nations feel guilt about Muslims as well, and so they don’t have the guts to say NO to Muslim immigration. The British feel obligated to welcome more Pakistanis, and the French seem unable to keep out North Africans. But not all European nations were involved in imperialism, so why do they share in the ‘white guilt’? Maybe because they grew rich by trading with European nations that did ‘oppress’ and ‘exploit’ the world; or maybe because of Christian credo-masochism and moral narcissism via displays of self-flagellation. Or maybe, Swedes and Finns feel less ‘white guilt’ than the French or the British do, and this relatively cleaner bill of health has become an addictive matter of pride for them. During the Age of Empire, Swedes and Finns were excluded from the great game of power and felt politically inferior to nations like Spain, England, and France; but in the Age of Post-Imperialism, it is the humbler Europeans nations that have the advantage of moral superiority. So, maybe Swedes, Finns, Danish, and others take pride in not having stained their hands in blood all over the world–though, to be sure, they sure caused a lot of problems IN Europe as Vikings. Maybe they define themselves as a people who do Everything Good as opposed to ‘racist’ European nations that did Everything Bad. And since most Swedes and comparable peoples only know about the world through the PC lenses of the media and academia controlled by the Left, they easily fall for the fantasy of something like GREEN MILE: a giant Negro big as a mountain is a harmless little lamb who wants to hug and wuv a tiny wittle white mouse. Europeans see blacks as Magic Negro saints, cool musicians, sexual fantasies, radical chic symbols, etc. Negroes are saintly and noble as angels OR sexy and hip as devils. They can never do wrong according to the liberal paradigm. What the liberal media suppress and forbid is the Negro as rapist, Negro as criminal, Negro as animal-thug, Negro as murderer, Negro as welfare leech, Negro as moron, or to put it quite simply, Negro as the Negro that a Negro be. In a perverse way, worse the Negro problem becomes in both the US and Europe, more the demand for the politically correct dose of Magic Negro fantasy. One reason why many whites fell for the Obama cult was the hope that if they honored a clean-cut black guy, the dangerous blacks might take their cue from him and act nice as the result of getting the message that white folks aren’t ‘racist’. Or take a movie like STRANGE DAYS(Kathryn Bigelow)which has a wonderful too-good-to-be-true-Negress to counter the trashy rapper-thug Negro who is very much a part of the urban landscape. In other words, if white liberals cannot handle the racial truth, they create a myth of the noble Negro and worship at its feet, just as ancient peoples who had no control of fearsome nature built gods of nature and worshiped at their feet for gentler winds. So, if Negroes be acting like a crazy hurricane and be ruining city after city, liberals erect the god of Magic Negro/Negress, get down on their knees, and offer supplications to be sheltered from the storm. By making believe that gods of nature control nature, ancient peoples sought comfort in the notion that if they showed proper respect and atoned for their sins(whatever such may have been) and made proper sacrifices, the gods of nature would rein in the brutal powers of nature. Similarly, white folks like to believe that people like Mandela, Oprah, Obama, Will Smith, and others have magical god-like power over all Negroes. So, if white folks put the Magic Negroes high up on a pedestal and get down on their knees and bowed, maybe the Magic Negro gods will use their power to make all Negroes less aggressive, wild, and dangerous. And of course, people like Oprah and Obama know the psychological angle on this and how to play with white folks’ minds. Blacks, though less intelligent, are keener about power-politics and power-psychology because they grew up more in an environment of ‘resistance’ and ‘survival’ whereas most white folks have been raised to be ‘nice’ and ‘likable’.
If MLK is the messiah, if the Negro voice is the very voice of god, if the Negro is a noble and saintly being, if Negro rage is the righteous anger of a people who’ve been wronged so terribly by the white folks–sheeeeeet, aint dat da troof!!–, then it is sinful to hate the Negro. So, when the Negro does something that be hateful, white folks panic because they feel hatred toward the Negro, the godfolks. You see, it’s is sinful to hate the Negro no matter what. Now, the rational thing would be to see the Negro for what he be–a crazy Negro–, but white Americans have been irrationally raised in the MLK faith of the Noble Negro. To fear, hate, and reject the Negro would be like an ancient Jew rejecting God. Psychologically, it just can’t be done. Therefore, just as Jews always found some rationale to explain God’s fury as justified and righteous, white Americans do likewise when Negroes be acting like Mad Negroes than Magic Negroes. White Americans say it’s due to slavery, poverty, racial neglect, white fear and paranoia, ‘subconscious racism’, etc. Conservatives aren’t much different. They profess to love the Negro and say the Negro community is ailing because of too much liberalism, big government, and welfare. If Negroes just voted for lower taxes, ‘free trade’, and embraced pro-life agenda, they would all be happy and well-off like affluent white folks. (This is, of course, the psychological bullshit that Oprah and Obama so shrewdly used to gain wealth, influence, and power over dumb dumb white folks.) In our day and age, ‘God on our side’ is considered religiously and morally intolerant, arrogant, and narrow-minded. Instead, what really matters if ‘Jew on our side’ and ‘Negro on our side’. The problem of the GOP is not the God-deficit but the Negro-and-Jew-deficit. Indeed, what has been the biggest thorn on the Tea Party’s side? Not enough Negroes, which is why the Tea Party goes out of its way to find a token Magic Negro to put up on the stage. We all be worshiping the Jewhovah and the Negrovah. That’s what passes for higher truth and morality today: ‘We got more Negroes on our side, so we’re better than you, nyah nyah!’ (Of course, gays are becoming the third element in a new trinity.) Now, a sane person would realize that having fewer Negroes on one’s side is actually better since lots of Negroes are jiveass mofos, but we are not living in a rational age, and what goes by the name of ‘secular liberal rationalism’ is actually a form of politically correct neo-religion with its own sacred dogmas. According to Marxism, nothing was nobler than the Proletariat and nothing more evil than the Bourgeoisie. Thus, everything good had some relation to the Noble Prole while everything evil was called ‘bourgeois this’ or ‘bourgeois that’. Today, everything good is associated with Negroes and/or Jews(and increasingly gays) while everything negative is associated with white folks. So, ‘hate’ only exists on the White Right community while ‘love’ can only be earned by kissing the Jew’s ass and sucking the Negro’s cock–and increasingly, bending over to be boofed by a gayboy.
In some ways, the modern white liberal is worse than the Iyi clan, which is, at the very least, honest in its ruthless adherence to the samurai code. Privileged white liberals profess to feel ‘white guilt’ and atone for their historical guilt, but they themselves don’t pay the price. White people who must pay the price are especially lower class, working class, and lower middle class whites who lose jobs to Negroes, get robbed by Negroes, and get beaten by Negroes. For all their highfaluting talk of ‘social justice’, the affluent white liberal class live in a world that is as, if not more, enclosed than that of the Iyi clan. They have their gated communities or their high-rise condos from which they look down on the world with a mixture of vain contempt and self-righteousness. If a revolution is to happen in this country, those people need to be dragged out into the streets and subjected to the brutal justice of the guillotine. Race traitors have no right to live.
Even so, am I being entirely just in my Tsugumo-like rant against affluent white liberals? If experience makes us see and feel with new eyes, and if my experience opened my eyes to social reality, can I really accuse people who have not experienced what I have experienced, not seen what I’ve seen, and not felt what I’ve felt? An affluent white liberal may be naive, delusional, and hypocritical, but would I be any different if my life story had been like theirs? Indeed, there was a time when my worldview was leftist-liberal, and it could very well have remained thus had it not been for certain realities I came across. Furthermore, isn’t it presumptuous on my part to say that I know The Truth because of my personal experiences? Aren’t there white people who’ve gotten to know wonderful Negroes? Aren’t there white people who did encounter bad Negroes but still arrived at a conclusion very different from mine? Who am I to say that I know better than everyone because I experienced what I experienced? Also, could my reaction have been the product of my unique personality? Maybe I’m more vengeful and resentful by nature. Maybe if my personality were different, my attitude would have been more ‘live and let live’ regardless of what I saw or experienced. But, this I can say: I did try, for a time, to cling to leftism/liberalism until I honestly couldn’t bullshit myself any longer. Also, I didn’t grow up hating Jews. Au Contraire in fact. If anything, like so many Americans, I had a special sympathy for them, and it was only gradually that I began to understand the Real Jew as opposed to the Mythic Jew propped up by the media. And so, I was not one to jump to quick conclusions.
Even so, I might today be a white liberal, and a white liberal might today be a neo-fascist if our biographical dice had been rolled differently; this fact, one could argue, is a kind of cosmic injustice: the injustice of having to judge a world of which each of us knows so little. What we call ‘good’ from one angle of knowledge/experience may appear ‘bad’ from another angle. For example, we say tolerance and diversity are good, and there is much to recommend them. But suppose our mania for tolerance and diversity opens our communities to lots of horrible Negroes. The fact is no amount of goodwill on our part will change the fact that too many Negroes, by their very nature, are not fit for civilization. So, what happens when a community becomes Negro-fied in the name of doing good–promoting more tolerance and diversity? It turns into an intolerant thugocracy run by Negroes who only care about “kick the white boy’s ass”, “fuc* the white biatchass ho”, and “rob white folks”. Isn’t this what is happening to entire blocks of Europe because Europeans decided to be so ‘good’? Europe opened the gates to the Negro horde.
However, we all need to maintain a degree of humility and never think that we hold THE perfect image of the True World based solely on our experiences and emotions.
This isn’t to say that we should never act–after all, we’d be paralyzed to do anything if 100% certainty were the governing principle for action–but to always remind ourselves that we’re acting with the best of our knowledge than with the fullness of knowledge.
It’s also useful to understand that the rules of right and wrong don’t gain much traction in the larger community unless they’re made ‘essential’. Essentialism is a shared social myth of right-and-wrong whereas Existentialism is an individual’s attainment of right-and-wrong through personal experience. An existential truth may eventually become an essential truth. In a sense, most essential truths are originally attained existentially by individuals. (Similar dynamic operates in Art. Van Gogh’s art had isolated existential meaning before it came to be appreciated as a new essence in art, eventually serving as the basis for a whole new field of artistic expression.) Tsugumo’s humanism is an existential truth he attains on his own in feudal Japan, but it is not shared by society as a whole; therefore, it is not an Essential truth. But in today’s democratic Japan, Tsugumo’s humanism would be considered an Essential Truth.
What the Existential and the Essential have in common is the element of Emotionalism. A truth is not Essential simply because it’s in the law-books. It becomes Essential only when its sense of rightness/wrongness is emotionally shared by the people as a deep/higher truth. For instance, though the traditional American South paid lip-service to the notion of ‘equality of all men’, it was neither felt nor embraced as an Essential truth. The Essential truth for most white Southerners was a sense of rightful privilege over the lowly Negroes who might get out of hand without the firm hand of the white-dominated law. The Essential truth in the South was ‘separate but equal’, not ‘all men are created equal’. Yet, with the Civil Rights Movement, the MLK myth, the influence of Hollywood movies, and the effectiveness of public education, a new Essential truth replaced the old one. Though traditional white biases still exist, all whites in the South at least officially praise MLK as a great man, apologize for slavery, denounce the history of Southern Segregation, etc. What had once been merely Existential among individual reformist whites in the South has now come to be the prevailing Essential truth among most white Southerners, so much so that even a white Southern conservative is afraid to say in public that he doesn’t want his daughter to marry some muscled Negro who makes him feel like a faggoty whiteboy.
Similarly, though America professes to be about political and legal equality for all, such stated policy is actually less Essential than the rule of ‘who, whom’ in American psycho-social consciousness. It is deemed Essentially wrong to doubt or criticize anything black or Jewish, but it is Essentially okay to bash Muslims. So, all peoples are not perceived or treated equally. The prevailing Essentialism is Judeo-centrism, Afro-centrism, and Homo-centrism. Our concern for Jews, Negroes, and gays go way beyond the Constitutional protection of equal rights for all people; it is a form of secular worship. We are all emotionally invested in the well-being of Jews, blacks, and gays because of the nature of today’s Essentialism. Hollywood Jews made THE GREEN MILE, which Essentialized the Negro as a member of a Holy Race. And many movies teach us to love a Jew, hug a Jew, save a Jew, weep for the Jew. And TV shows give us gays as perfect flawless Americans in sitcoms that might be called FRUIT KNOWS BEST. We don’t feel this way about most other groups. To most Americans, Asian-Indians are clowns with funny accents. We may laugh at them or even with them, but we don’t feel any emotional investment in them as a people. There’s no special guilt, special sympathy, or special recognition–though things might be a somewhat different among the British who ruled India for two centuries.
In America, ‘racism’ essentially means anti-black or anti-Jewish antipathy. It is a far graver sin to say ‘nigger’ than ‘muzzie’, ‘spick’, or ‘jap’. It is many times worse to accuse Jews of dual-loyalty than it is to accuse Muslim-Americans or Chinese-Americans of the same thing.
(Incidentally, the most virulently anti-‘Muzzie’ people in America are mainstream white conservatives who foam at the mouth about all those ‘Radical Islamists’ and ‘Islamofascists’. They think they’re scoring points with the Jewish community, but their hysteria often has the opposite effect in the Jewish community. While some Jews see anti-Muslim white conservatives as natural allies, many more Jews see it as a sure sign that white rightists remain, deep down inside, rabid and virulent ‘xenophobic’ paranoids who see the world in stark terms of ‘us vs them’. So, Jews wonder… what if this anti-‘Muzzie’ rage were to morph into anti-Jew rage one day? After all, US was friendly with Japan throughout much of the early part of the 20th century, only to turn it into a heap of ashes by midcentury. This is something many white conservatives simply don’t seem to understand, i.e. that they frighten Jews when they bare their teeth and growl about beating the shit out of all those ‘muzzies’. Imagine a dog that, for the time being, seems nice but furiously growls at and attacks other people. It may indeed be useful to the owner, but what if that wild predatory rage were to turn on the master and children one day? This is why the Jew feels hat the White Right must be PERMANENTLY tamed, neutered, and made obedient, barking and biting ONLY when the Jew orders it to. In Sam Fuller’s movie WHITE DOG, a dog that’s been made to viciously attack black people appears finally to be cured, only to turn its rage on white people. The meaning is clear. A dog with a raging core must attack something–if not a Negro, then a honkey. So, when Jews see a white conservative growling at the ‘muzzie’, they worry, “what happens if this white dog’s rage were to be redirected at us?”)
It is an uphill battle for the White Right in America because the Jewish Left has Essentialized their brand of collective/mythic morality for all Americans. The great advantage of Essential Morality owes to the fact that personal experience isn’t necessary for its appeal and influence. Through MLK speeches, PBS documentaries showing Noble Negroes and evil white ‘racists’, through movies like SCHINDLER’S LIST, TV series like THE HOLOCAUST and ROOTS, through the Magic Negro narration of Morgan Freeman, and etc. many Americans feel they’ve personally observed, experienced, and shared in the plight of the Noble Negro or the Holy Jew–all the more so today due to the power of visual/sound media. Even a white person living in an all-white small-town community who has never seen a Jew or a Negro might feel great compassion for the Noble Negro and Holy Jew, which explains why so many white leftists are actually from ‘conservative’ small-town communities. They too grew up watching the same TV news/shows and movies that come from liberal Jew-run Hollywood. Or, they later went to colleges and were indoctrinated with Essential truths from their professors and books. Even Europeans who never met a Negro in their entire life felt emotionally involved with American blacks after hearing MLK bellowing soulfully and after seeing those footage of Southern white cops letting dogs loose on Negroes. One of the reasons US lost the Vietnam War was because its Essentials came to be determined by iconic images such as a naked girl running from napalm explosion or a seemingly hapless guy being shot in the head. (Anne Frank is an excellent example of how an Existential truth was turned into an Essentialist one. She was a Jewish girl who happened to write down her feelings as an Existential truth, but her diary was made into a publishing event, and Anne Frank was no longer just one Jewish girl but became an Essential symbol of innocence destroyed by monstrous evil. And by reading her diary, millions of girls around the world came to see themselves as Anne Frank’s friends or even as Anne Frank surrogates, i.e. they share in her death and her spirit continues through their lives.
And over the centuries, Christianity maintained its hold over so many people by Essentializing the Passion/suffering of the Christ. Countless generations of Christians who, of course, never met or saw the real Jesus felt as though they personally experienced His life, deeds, suffering, death, and Resurrection. Essentialism is defined in opposition to Existentialism, but its power often casts a spell on people as if they’d actually seen, heard, smelled, touched, and been touched by the Essential truth in personal, actual, or Existential terms. In other words, even Americans who know and/or experienced nothing of the actual racial reality in America really think and feel as if they do know because they’ve seen all these movies and documentaries and heard all those speeches, sermons, and lectures about the Holy Jew, Noble Negro, and the evil ‘racist’ white folks. (It also reminds me of how Ronald Reagan, upon watching a film about the Holocaust, said he’d really been there in the death camps.) Essentialism is the defacto reality for most people; this is especially true among the affluent white folks in the West since they rarely rub up against reality that slaps them in the face. Most white people living in safe environments only know the Essential racial reality, which is a form of fantasy. And since the penalty for questioning this Essential truth is dire–accusation of ‘racism’ can ruin your career, destroy your life, or even land you in jail in Canada or Europe–, most people dare not venture out of the Essentialist comfort zone or soft prison.
As a result, most people who have a truer understanding of race reality in America tend to hold Existential truths. They gained this knowledge through courage, curiosity, commitment to facts and honesty, and/or series of events/experiences that finally forced them to look beyond the facade of Essentialist lies about race. This isn’t to say that a Existential truth is necessarily truer than Essentialist truth. Many Holocaust-deniers may have arrived at their conclusion Existentially–a personal form of resistance against political correct essentialism–, but they’re wrong as ever. And the theory of evolution is an Essentialist truth in science but still true as ever.
But the danger of Essentialism is that the ‘truth’ can become official dogma or holy writ and denounce or ban all opposing views or accounts as heresies.
The Essential vs Existential debate is a long-standing one, and indeed a variation exists within religion itself. Those who insist on the necessity of the Born-Again experience are arguing that it’s not enough to be born Christian, raised a Christian, or live a good Christian life–essentially Christian. Instead, one must Emotionally search for God in His own way and seek personal salvation–existential search and rediscovery of Jesus.
An Existentialist variation of Christianity is found in Scorsese’s MEAN STREETS where the main character seeks salvation by wrestling with a sinful world. He tests the essential theory of Christianity in the existential streets of Little Italy. And Travis Bickle of TAXI DRIVER cruises for essential truth along the path of existential experience.
As long as the race-ism(race + ism = belief in the existence of races and racial differences) or race-realism belongs in the realm of the Existentials, it will only manifest itself as isolated islands in the vast ocean of Essentialist anti-racism and interracism. For the White Right to triumph, it must find ways to turn their Existential truths–attained through a combination of scientific research and personal experience–into Essential truths. And for this, it’s not enough to argue with the mind but appeal to the heart. After all, MLK’s speeches, as ideas go, are pretty banal and trite. What gave him was his Magic Negro bellowing voice and all those TV images of ‘white racists’ bullying those helpless Noble Negroes. The White Right needs to pop the hot air bubble of MLK myth. Also, there are so many sad stories of whites who were raped, robbed, bullied, harassed, beaten, attacked, swindled, and murdered by blacks that they could be made into compelling narratives. And the ongoing genocide against whites in South Africa could also serve as a powerful narrative that may Essentialize the race-ist view that the black race is incompatible with the white race. Of course, this is easier said than done considering Jews control most of entertainment, media, academia, and Wall Street. Also, Jews would pull all sorts of tricks to shame and denounce any person or business that might be promoting the race-ist view. Suppose a rich guy wants to finance a race-ist movie. Jews will encircle him and make sure his business fails. His business partners and investors will run away scared from him. Or, suppose a TV channel reveals a race-ist truth. Jews will start a campaign to make sure that NO ONE advertises its product on the channel and drive it out of business. Jews not only own most of the media but use their muscle to shame and shut down anything that opposes their Essentialist ‘truth’.
It used to be an Essentialist truth in the West that Jews are untrustworthy, a tribe of weasels that should be watched closely. But since WWII, it’s been replaced by another Essentialism that would have us believe/feel that Jews are the noblest, wisest, and most wonderful people on Earth. Thus, anyone who dares to discuss the nature of the Real Jew is caught in an Existentialist trap for challenging the Essentialist truth about the Jews that the Jews themselves have spread through their control of the media. (Though we often hear of the ‘self-loathing Jew’, the much bigger problem is the ‘self-aggrandizing Jew’, ‘self-promoting Jew’, ‘self-loving Jew’, and ‘self-worshiping Jew’. One problem arises from the fact that when a Jew sees himself or herself in the mirror, it’s often an image that he or she doesn’t like. When the Jewish face looking back from the mirror is repulsive, the Jew suffers a neurosis. He loves/worships himself or herself, but he or she is so damn ugly. And so the Jewish male may become pud-centric. As with Rep. Anthony Weiner, what he can’t win with his face, he tries to dominate with his prick–in both the literal and metaphorical sense. No language has as many name for ‘penis’ as Yiddish, and Philip Roth wrote the bible of the schlong with PORTNOY’S COMPLAINT. The reason for Jewish domination of porn also has to do with the Jewish worship of the penis. Notice that the sacred covenant between God and the Hebrews involves the pud. God demands that the penis be circumcised as the condition for some serious fuc*ing. The most influential sexual thinker in the past 200 yrs was Sigmund Freud. It’s duly been noted that Jewish men in general have big, fat, meaty, beaty, and bouncy whankers, and this is what fills Jewish men with pride. They don’t have the face–nor necessarily the physique–for masculine pride, but they have these big fat dongs. So, Jews are pushy in more ways than one. Of course, the guys with the biggest whankers of them all are the Negroes, and the Jewish-dominated porn industry is today mostly about Negroes banging white women, but Jews must take pride in running the business, picking the winners and losers in the world of sex. Jews also see black men as their plantation sex warriors to be used for the destruction of white male pride by the conquest of the holiest of holes: white pussy. The sight of a big muscular Negro, once a hapless and shuffling slave of white men, ramming his giant cock into a blond woman who feels both orgasmically liberated–from the patriarchy of flabby slow white boys with limp dicks–and organically dominated–by masterful Negroes, the rightful alpha males of the world–fills the Jew with boundless satisfaction, especially since he owns the industries–porn, Hollywood, pop music, and sports. Jews don’t feel threatened by Negroes since Negroes are to Jews what the big black horse was to the Jewish movie producer Woltz in THE GODFATHER. Instead, Jews use black studs as Afro-Thors to smash white male pride and take white female pussy. As for Jewish women, their envy of white beauty puts a damper on their insane self-love and self-worship. So, what does the Jewess do to compensate for her ugly face and restore her self-love? She relies on her nasty lips and personality. She acts pushy, arrogant, obnoxious, and bitches about everything as if she’s the biggest authority on all things. Whether it’s Ayn Rand on the ‘right’ or Naomi Klein on the left, self-worshiping Jewish broads are among the most abrasive, nasty, hideous bitches in the world. Negresses share something in common. Most black biatches think they be the center of the universe, but when they realize that most men find their faces ugly, their hair nappy, and their personalities gross, they be shaking their asses wild and spreading their legs to anything that moves to prove to themselves and the world that they be the hottest mamas in the whole damn universe.)
HARAKIRI touches on another form of injustice: the negative consequences of good intentions. We generally like to believe that doing ‘good’ leads to more good, and doing ‘bad’ leads to more bads, but the world doesn’t always work that way. For example, suppose we see an orphaned tiger cub and bring it home. It’s all very nice and cuddly, but what about when it grows to 800 lbs? Though it may be heartless on our part, it may be better to leave it the nature, even if it will most likely die. Or suppose we take pity on deer that are being killed by cougars and wolves. We see deer as victims and cougars/wolves as thug-animals, and so we kill the wolves and cougars so that the saintly deer can live in peace. But the deer population explodes, eats up all the vegetation, and the whole bunch of deer starve to death. Nature, as we know, is governed by a balance of life and death, of love and hatred, of trust and suspicion. Wolves of a single pack trust one another, but it can be fatal to trust other packs. A mother bear feels love for its cubs, but she cannot love all other creatures. The manner in which nature is regulated and balanced is brutal and heartless, which is why humans understandably created a world of their own apart from the ways of nature, one that is grounded, founded, and maintained by ideas, values, and intentions that are ‘good’. We say compassion is good, and we gain by a degree of compassion; but then, we try to be even more compassionate. But where does this take us? Are all humans equally good? Can we afford to be compassionate toward everyone? And what is the truth about human nature? Suppose many people are innately not very good and will only take advantage of the goodness of others?
In HARAKIRI, we know that Motome Chijiwa violated the samurai code out of desperation, something other than mere destitution. His wife was sick and his child was dying. He swallowed his pride to do what any caring father/husband would do. But the Iyi clan doesn’t know this and sees him as just another opportunistic ronin resorting to a bogus seppuku-request to extort money from the clan. While we are meant to sympathize with Motome, not every ronin who made a similar request before another clan could have had a reason as compelling as his? Isn’t it likely that a lot of ronin invoked the intent to commit seppuku to ‘extort’ money? As such, they weren’t merely violating samurai honor but abusing the goodwill of others.
And even with Motome, how did we initially feel about him prior to finding out about his back-story through Tsugumo? It’s possible that many viewers, especially in Japan when it was first released, felt that, as brutal as the forced ritual was, Motome got what he asked for. If you play with fire, you get burned. Even in modern democracies, we are drawn to stories of nobility, honor, and the warrior code of the mythic past. Indeed, what were the appeal of LAST SAMURAI and VALKYRIE? Though the moral issues were somewhat liberalized, they are both steeped in the sense of higher warrior honor. In LAST SAMURAI, the arch-feudal warriors resist the tide of soulless modernization paving over Japan. In VALKYRIE, aristocratic Germans officers break their oath to Hitler in the name of higher loyalty to the ‘true’ tradition of Germany.
And of course, there is also an element of honor and pride in the American Western. The Western is less about stable democratic values as the invaluableness of warrior honor and justice where rule of law-and-order has yet to be established. The honorable Western gunman operates by a crude code of chivalry, which makes him spiritually/morally superior to cretin thugs who are opposed to civilization; but, he is also often superior to the common townsfolk because law-and-order for him is a matter of honor than a social crutch. Townsfolk may obey and uphold law-and-order, but most of them are not willing to fight and die for it. Most people prefer to bend with the prevailing wind, whether it be might-is-right or right-is-might, but they aren’t up to fight-is-might-is-right. Most people who are slavish before law-and-order also tend to be slavish before outlaw-and-disorder. It is the man of honor who stands up to both outlaw-and-disorder and law-and-order(which is often corrupt, craven, and devious–especially when hideous Jews run everything). In HIGH NOON, the sheriff is willing to put his life down on the line for what is right and for his own pride. He’s willing to fight and die for law-and-order than just hide behind it as a protective shield. In contrast, many townsfolk in Westerns are presented as cowards who don’t have the guts to stand on their two feet; they want law-and-order for protection but are unwilling to give their lives to protect others. (The Quaker woman is different. She is driven by principles and is courageous in her own way, which may explain why it is her who finally decides to pick up a gun and fight for her man. Her pacifist courage morphs into militant courage.) Nevertheless, things are not so simple in HIGH NOON. On the one hand, the sheriff is a courageous man of ideals and honor. But, he is not Rambo or the Terminator. He does have doubts, fears, shaky nerves and legs. Like Jesus facing His Ordeal, he sometimes feels, ‘Oh Lord, why me? Why have you forsaken me?’ (The song, after all, pleads ‘do not forsake me oh my darling.’) And paradoxically, his courage is partly the product of a kind of cowardice. He’s cowardly in the face of being a coward. He wants to run and live, but part of him is saying, ‘you ran like a chicken!’ He’s also afraid that others might say ‘the sheriff ran like a chicken, hardy har har.’ In some ways, it’s less his love of justice than his fear of his own cowardice which makes him do what he does. He’s cowardly in the face of cowardice, and this is what makes the movie so interesting. Never in the movie is he a solid tough guy like John Wayne. With each passing moment, he grows more nervous, more anxious, more hopeless, more filled with doubt. He even cries at one point, something a Western hero is NEVER supposed to do. He’s not a man of iron. But he’s a man of pride, and he’s deadly afraid of being called a coward. Gary Cooper conveys the same vibes as in MEET JOHN DOE where the hero is willing to kill himself to prove to the world that he’s not a fraud. His suicide attempt is less an act of idealistic courage than an act to redeem himself in the eyes of others, whereby he can redeem his own image to himself.
Anyway, the townsfolk in HIGH NOON want to be protected than protect themselves or others. There is some of this in MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE too. Lee Marvin’s character is one tough guy but a lousy thug. In contrast, most townsfolk, though desiring of law-and-order, are unwilling to stick their necks out and take on Liberty. James Stewart plays an idealistic lawyer who thinks/hopes that moral persuasion and rational appeal alone will win the day but finds out otherwise. He comes to realize a man must stand up and fight, even kill and/or die, for what he believes in; the problem is he knows the pen but not the gun. John Wayne’s character is far from a saint, but he has both a basic moral sense and the courage to do what’s right. He’s also a big tough guy, which certainly helps.
Anyway, a basic kind of chivalric honor is central to many Westerns. For the Western hero, not everything is about self-interest or self-gain. He’s willing to put his life on the line for the higher good, especially if his warrior pride is on the line. In RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, the Joel McCrea character doesn’t do it for money but for his sense of moral pride. “I just want to enter my house justified,” he says. Warrior-morality is different from a saint-morality. A saint is willing to suffer and die for what he believes is right whereas a moral warrior is willing to fight and die for what he believes is right. Both kinds of morality came together in the figure of Joan of Arc, which may explain why she has exerted such a mythic spell on French history. The potency of the Che Guevara myth also owes something to the duality of sainthood and warrior-hood. There are also elements of both warrior heroics and saintly sacrifice in the concept of Jihad in Islam. There is something of the warrior-saint fusion also in the figure of Jack Celliers in MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE. And, Roland Joffe’s THE MISSION is an interesting movie about similarities and contrasts between the saint and the moral warrior. Jeremy Irons the Catholic missionary is the saintly martyr and Robert De Niro is the good warrior.
Anyway, though the moral warrior-gunman in the Western is praised as heroic, there is also the sense of him being taken for a sucker. The decent townsfolk in HIGH NOON don’t really seem to care if the sheriff lives or dies. They enjoy the law-and-order made possible by him, but no one will stand by his side when that order is threatened by the return of Frank Miller and his gang. In fact, the majority of townsfolk would rather have Frank Miller take over the town than risk their lives to keep him out. And some people even want Frank Miller back because it will be ‘good for business’. (I suppose the ‘good for business’ types are meant to represent small-government libertarians. HIGH NOON, though in many ways a classic western, is a pretty harsh critique of conservative America. On the one hand, you have money-is-everything capitalists represented by the tavern owner, and on the other hand, you have dogma-is-everything represented by the Christian pastor who is miffed that the sheriff doesn’t attend church and married a Quaker. Money-is-king libertarians would be happy to see the sheriff–as a symbol of Big Government–dead while God-is-on-our-side conservatives will not lift a hand to help the sheriff because he’s no longer ‘one of us’.) And so, at the end, Gary Cooper has no reason to fight for the town that he did so much to make safe but which has forsaken him. (Though not intended in this way by the makers of the movie, the sheriff and the community are also like wasps and Jews. Wasp-Americans did so much to create a nation that is safe and productive for Jews, but Jews, like the townsfolk never return the favor. Some Jews just wanna make a lot of money, especially through globalism, and regard patriots who try to protect American borders and preserve the Constitutional as inconveniences who are best gotten rid of, just like the tavern owner wants the sheriff dead. Another bunch of Jews are like the self-righteous pastor, always picking on the sins of the white man to undermine his authority. In HIGH NOON, some men are willing to fight with the sheriff but the pastor talks them out of it. Similarly, many whites wanna join the patriotic crusade to defend borders and save the Constitution, but Jewish high-priests of the media and academia have shamed them into sitting in the pews of political correctness and ‘white guilt’. So, even if some white guy wants to join with Jared Taylor, he is afraid to because he will be shamed by Jewish high-priests who have the power to destroy reputations.) So, the gun battle at the end is essentially about his own warrior pride, to prove to himself and the whole town that he is the superior man and too good for a town full of cowards, maggots, and hypocrites. DIRTY HARRY is, at least on one level, a remake of HIGH NOON with the politics reversed. If the sheriff is hampered by small-minded conservatives–libertarian money-lovers and self-righteous moral dogmatists–, Callahan the urban cop is hampered by liberal do-gooders and weaklings in government, law, and media. There’s a sense that tough guys get rid of outlaws, but then craven lawyers, smooth politicians, and naive do-gooders take for granted the hard-fought-and-earned social order and dabble in ‘understanding’, ‘compromise’, and ‘negotiations’–even with the worst elements of society, who are wishful-thinkingly characterized as ‘victims of society’–as the key to greater social peace. It’s like soldiers win the war but politicians make the peace. Though men of ideas and law should rule society, there’s a hypocrisy at their core because they assume that morality and laws were the foundations of the social system. But in fact, it was violence that won the peace. There is always violence by thugs and violence by moral warriors. Men of ideas and law rely on moral warriors to defeat the thugs, but after the war is won, they then turn on the moral warriors for having used violence to create the social order. Jews would not enjoy freedom and justice in this country if not for the fact that white men fought and conquered it and made it safe for civilized folks like the Jews; but all Jews ever do is bitch and whine about how white men took land from the Indians. When things got out of hand in NY, the Jews got behind Rudy Giuliani to take Dirty-Harry-like actions against crime, but once crime was markedly reduced, the very same Jews began to bitch and whine about Rudy’s tough tactics. Jews will use you as an attack dog to destroy their enemies but then put you to sleep as a bad dog once their goal has been met.
The possible suckerhood of the moral warrior is something Americans need to understand because Jews manipulate goyim all the time. Ask yourself this question: Are Jews the kind of people who would willingly fight and die for another people? No, of course not. The Jewish attitude to politics isn’t very different from Sonny Corleone at the end of GODFATHER II: something along the line of ‘remember your family is your blood, not your country; only suckers die for strangers.’ Of course, Jews aren’t so bluntly and hotheadedly tribal as Sonny is, but it boils down to the same thing. The Corleones like the fact that ‘suckers’ are fighting the Japs so that they themselves can prosper in a safe and prosperous America, but they don’t want to shed a drop of their blood for the nation. Other Americans should die for America so that the Corleones can live well in America, but the Corleones shouldn’t die for other Americans. Of course, the young Michael disagrees because he’s been Anglo-American-ized. He tells Sonny that he signed up for the Marines to fight and possibly even die as a moral warrior.
Jews are far worse than the Corleones. Most Jews will never die for non-Jews; indeed, the very idea is privately hilarious to Jews. A self-worshiping Jew die for goy putz? Hysterical! The likes of Woody Allen laying down their lives for dumb Polacks or wasps? When push comes to shove, some Jews will indeed fight for fellow Jews, especially true of tough Jews in Israel. But most Jews, when faced with grave difficulty, will not even fight for fellow Jews. Jews live for themselves, and Jews look upon goyim as inferior beings whose main reason on Earth is to live for Jews–just like we see cows as existing to provide steaks for us. It says so in the Talmud, and this mentality and attitude continue in the minds of most Jews. Jews in the porn industry see white women as nothing but slabs of meat. Jews running American foreign policy see goy soldiers as nothing but cannon fodder to send into battle for Zionist/Jewish interests. Pat Buchanan suggested as much when he condemned the Gulf War in 1991, and the filthy Jew Abe Rosenthal in the New York Times accused him of ‘blood libel’. Though the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is a forgery, the concept of ‘blood libel’ is useful when studying and understanding the psychology of the Jew. It is true that Jews do see non-Jews as existing to live and die for Jews. Jews promote the ideal of the moral warrior among goyim because they have the power to control and direct which wars to be fought. George W. Bush was controlled by Neocon Jews, and Obama is controlled by Liberal Zionists. This means that the entire apparatus of the US military is controlled by Jews. Now, what have America’s ‘moral warriors’ been doing lately? They’ve been fighting for ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, and ‘progress’, but isn’t it odd that the bulk of American military intervention has been in the Middle East against perceived enemies of Israel? Among the thousands of soldiers who got killed or maimed, how many are Jewish? Just a tiny fraction. Would Jews in Washington gotten the United States involved in combat operations if most of the soldiers were children of Jewish power-brokers in Washington, Hollywood, or Wall Street? No, Jews at the top call all the shots, but most of the dying and maiming happen to goyim.
Indeed, what is the real message of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, especially considering its predecessor SCHINDLER’S LIST? Though SPR tells the story of band of American GI’s risking their lives to save an all-American farmboy played by apple-cheek-faced Matt Damon, the real message is American soldiers are good guys because they are fighting, killing, and dying against the Nazis, the arch-enemies of the Jews. Saving Matt Damon is just a cover for the bigger message, which is YOU GOY SUCKERS SHOULD FIGHT AND DIE FOR JEWS. Now, I do not say this to denounce the heroic American war effort in WWII or to suggest in any way that Nazis were good guys–they were scum. My point is that despite the faux-universalism of SPR, the real motive behind the movie is to fill stupid goy minds with the idea that there is nothing nobler than “dying for the Jew by fighting the Jews’ enemy.” SPR is really PASSION OF THE GOY SUCKER DYING FOR JEWS. Of course, Jews are clever and play it both ways. While Spielberg the faux-patriotic Jew praises goy-sucker-warriors for having fought and died for Jews, other bunch of Jews bitch and whine that goy-sucker-warriors didn’t die in sufficient numbers to save more Jews from the Nazis. How many times have we heard the Jewish gripe that the majority of Americans weren’t willing to involve themselves in WWII until the attack on Pearl Harbor? Jews bring up this fact to shame goy-America, to imply that white Americans were mostly closet-Nazis who didn’t care what Hitler did to Jews. And since it was the attack on Pearl Harbor and the ensuing white racial rage against the ‘yellow slanty-eyed Japs’ that finally pulled white America into the war, the implication is that most white Americans fought the ‘good war’ not for moral-liberal reasons but for tribal-‘racist’ reasons, i.e. white Americans hated the ‘subhuman’ Japs just like Germans hated the ‘subhuman’ Jews. Of course, Jews welcomed and used white ‘racist’ hatred against the ‘Japs’ as a means to keep white America in the war. And since Nazi Germans were allied with those Asiatic ‘Japs’ and those swarthy ‘Eye-talians’, the implication was that Nazis were the real traitors against the white race, i.e. the yellow race attacked white America but German Nazis sided with the yellow aggressors against white Americans. But even as Jews exploited and fanned white American ‘racism’, they felt uneasy because white ‘racist’ rage could, after the war, morph away from the defeated ‘Japs’ to the radical Jews, and indeed this fear was realized during the early yrs of the Cold War, when many white Americans awoke to the fact of Jewish leftist subversion, especially in passing the secrets of the atomic bomb to Joseph Stalin the communist mass-murderer. (The moral equivalent would have been German-Americans giving secrets to the bomb to Nazi Germany, or Japanese-Americans giving atomic secrets to militarist Japan, or American Muslims giving atomic secrets to Alqaeda.) This is why, though having played the white ‘racist’ card to the hilt against the ‘Japs’ in WWII, Jews after the war worked diligently to turn WWII into the ‘good war’ wherein Americans had been awakened to higher liberal ideals of universal justice than motivated by national/racial passions. Though white Americans entered WWII as a Race War against the ‘Japs’ and though the racial animosity against the ‘Japs’ remained a key component in America’s zealous commitment to the war, history was re-written as if the main theme of WWII–the ‘good war’–was democratic liberalism ridding the world of tyranny and evil. This is reflected in SAVING PRIVATE RYAN where we initially see a bunch of cynical GI’s fighting merely to survive gradually transforming into moral warriors whose victory is assured by ‘angels’ that materialize in the form of the US air force. Once WWII came to be mythologized this way, Jews became the Holy People. WWII came to be known as the ‘Good War’ in which Americans fought and destroyed the Nazis to save the wonderful Jews. Praise be to Americans for that, or, in other words, the nothing is more glorious than Saving Jews. But, the dark side of WWII is that Americans didn’t join the war soon enough and didn’t do enough to save Jews from the Holocaust. So, WWII is both a source of pride and shame for White America. Pride in having saved Jews, shame in not having saved more Jews. Jews, Jews, Jews, oh boo hoo hoos.
But really, when did Jews ever step up to sacrifice their own lives to save non-Jews? Did Jews volunteer to save Ukrainians being murdered by Stalin? If anything, a whole bunch of communist Jews aided and abetted in the mass murder of Ukrainians and other ethnic groups in the Soviet Union. Did Jews, American or otherwise, volunteer to save Chinese from Mao’s Great Leap Forward or Cambodians from the Khmer Rouge? To save hundreds of thousands killed by Idi Amin or Obote? Or Tutsis from Hutus in Rwanda? What are Jews doing today to about the tens of thousands of whites who’ve been brutalized and murdered by black thugs in South Africa? Wait a minute, if I recall correctly, Jews worked with ANC to destroy white power in South Africa. Sure, some Jews can boast that they supported the American removal of Saddam Hussein the mass-murderer, but how many US soldiers who actually did the fighting and dying were Jews? And what have Jews done about the 100,000s of Iraqis who’ve either been killed or displaced since the invasion of Iraq? And what have Jews done for 100,000s of Arab Christians who’ve been brutalized since the fall of Hussein? So, who the hell are these Jews to be whining and bitching about how white Americans didn’t do enough to save Jews? If Jews won’t put their lives on the line for non-Jews, why the hell should non-Jews give up their own lives to save Jews? (Jews do make a big fuss about how they support progressive causes to help poor saintly blacks, poor illegal aliens–aka ‘undocumented immigrants–, and people all over the world, but Jews don’t suffer or bear the brunt of the consequences of their actions. For examples, Jews are for racial integration and take moral pride in their agenda, but they live in safe white neighborhoods while the brunt of racial integration with criminal elements of the black community fall on poor and working class whites. Jewish groups sponsor and bring in lots of stupid African refugees into the US, but those people are dumped onto mostly non-Jewish white neighborhoods; they are not settled in the fancy condos of Manhattan dominated by Jews. So, just as Jews call for humanitarian intervention around the world–and take all the moral credit–but sacrifice goy lives on the battlefields, Jews support racial integration and take all the moral credit while making poor whites suffer all the dire consequences of integration. This is why people often use the term ‘dirty Jew’ to describe Jews. Jews push the policies, claim most of the moral credit, rake in the most money, and grab the most power, but then dump all the dire consequences of their policies on other peoples. Wall Street Jews were most instrumental in the housing bust of 2008, but Jews kept all their money through ‘bailouts’. And Jews got to decide who the next president should be. Though Jews were the main instigators of both wars and economic crisis, they got to play kingmaker. Look at the figure of Barney Frank. He was behind Fannie Mae and took all the credit for helping poor people to get homes when the going was good. But after the bust, he dumped all the blame on conservatives and gained even more political capital. If Jews ever wanna know why the world wasn’t too crazy about saving Jews during WWII, they only need to look in the mirror. Would you sacrifice your sons to die in the battlefield so that their children will one day be ruled by the likes of Barney Frank and Timothy Geithner and other filthy dirty Jews?)
Though one can make a compelling political argument for earlier American entry into WWII, the fact remains that most Americans (1) felt used and abused by stupid squabbling Europeans following WWI (2) saw the war between Nazi Germany and Soviet Union as between two equally evil monsters (3) and most importantly, no parent wants to see his/her son come back in a body bag fighting for strangers thousands of miles away. Though we can acknowledge the Holocaust as one of the greatest tragedies in human history, Jews also need to understand that goyim don’t exist to lose life and limb to save Jewish life and limb. Only a vile, arrogant, and disgusting Jew would dare say Americans were at fault for not giving up their lives to save Jewish lives. If Jews really believe in this kind of morality, I urge all American Jews to go fight in the Congo to save African lives from gangs of machete-and-AK47 wielding thugs. If Jews aren’t gonna do that, then they should just shut up and go fuc* their mothers and eat lobsters.
America was created by both race warriors and moral warriors, and both modes were sometimes fused as one as when white Americans shouted ‘remember the Alamo’ or cleared the land of ‘red savages’ to make way for civilization fit for womenfolk and children. Race war was morally justified as one between freedom/progress vs savagery/tyranny.
And there was a time when the American elites and American warriors were of the same tribe and shared the same interest. White Americans fought ruthlessly and not always morally, but their victories were deemed to be the good of their own people, which was a good in and of itself. But today, American warriors are controlled by the new elite, the Jew elite. And Jews play all sorts of mind games and dirty tricks with the American past to control the American present and future. Though the only reason why Jews have it so good in America is because white Americans had created a world in which Jews could prosper and live freely–a society of law-and-order, property rights, wealth accumulation, social mobility, etc–Jews don’t feel any appreciation or any indebtedness. Instead, Jews merely guilt-bait whites for ‘imperialism’, ‘racism’, and all the other crap as if modern white sins are worse than all other kinds of sin by other peoples(especially if by Jews). Now, this isn’t to say that one should not be critical of certain aspects of white rule in America, and indeed some of them do not make for proud remembrance. But as Jesus said, who in the world hasn’t sinned? Also, are Jews really sincere in their moral outrage or merely exploiting white guilt-conscience to grab all the power for themselves? Notice how selective Jews are when it comes to ‘historical sins’? Given that your average American Jew thinks like Howard Zinn or Tim Wise, white Americans need to be more vigilant than ever because the Jewish version of history is less history than use of history to gain total power for Jews. Jewish historians don’t a crap about all the horrible things done by Jews over thousands of years, culminating in the horrors of communism in the 20th century. Jewish historians don’t discuss the savage madness of sub-Saharan African who did little more than chuck spears at one another for 100,000s of yrs and turn the Dark Continent into a madhouse. No, Jews only bitch about white Europeans and white Americans even though no people have done so much for the Jews as white Americans. Nothing makes a Dirty Jew happier than the sight of a white guy beaten by a Negro and a white girl taken by a Negro. Of course, Jews have lately been bashing Muslims, but again, it’s because they only care about Jewish power and Israel. It has nothing to do with higher right-and-wrong. And did Jews ever ask why they were kicked out of one nation after another? Does it ever occur to Jews that people don’t wanna be fleeced, mocked, or see their daughters turned into cumbuckets by an alien race of people? Imagine the following scenario and you’ll understand what the Jew is all about. Suppose there are a hundred whites and five Jews. Against them are a bunch of American Indian savages. Suppose the Indians are occupying prime territory, and whites figure they want the land and could make better use of it. Whites figure they should attack the Indians and take it. Now, what would the Jew do? Take up arms and fight alongside whites? Of course not. The Jews will either lend money to whites or sell them stuff to make the venture possible. So, as a result of the fight, Indians get killed or pushed out and some whites die too. But no Jew dies. Anyway, suppose whites now work to build up the territory and institute law-and-order. So, what does the Jew do? Under the protection of white-created society of law-and-order, the Jew uses his wits to make more money and gain more influence than the whites. But that isn’t enough for the Jew. The Jew not only wants most of the money, influence, and power, but he also wants total control over the white race. And how does the Jew do this? He baits ‘white guilt’. He hisses and seethes about how ‘racist’ whites have stolen land from the saintly Indians, etc. Now, let’s go back a little. The Jew financed the whites to take land from the Indians. The Jew prospered thanks to the conquest and construction carried out by whites. Though he didn’t take part in the actual fight against Indians–mostly because he was too cowardly to risk his own life for others–, the fact is the Jew greatly benefitted and profited from the work of the white man. But the sly, cunning, and venal Jew acts like he’s so innocent and accuses whites of ‘genocidal racism’. Yep, this is the Way of the Jew. They pull this shit where ever they go, and it’s truly a pitiful sight to see so many white people in the West fall for this dirty Jewish shit. A smart cowboy must be careful not to step on Jewish manure.
Anyway, though we’d like to believe that doing ‘good’ is good, is it really good if the consequences are bad? Though most of us reject the notion of ‘the end justifies the means’, is the counter-notion, the ‘the means justifies the end’ any better if the end is terrible? Great Society program was hailed as trying to ‘do good’, but what did it do to the black community? Racial integration was hailed as a form of social, legal, and historical justice, but have the results been good for poor white people who’ve been reduced to biological slaves of the stronger and fiercer Negroes? Europe has taken in many refugees from the Muslim world and Africa in the name of humanitarianism, but have the results been humane or decent? Doing ‘good’ is has genuine value only when the intentions of the do-gooder are matched by sincerity and appreciation of the done-goodee. Racial integration was enacted and even enforced in the understanding that blacks want to live in peace with whites and become good Americans. In reality, a lot of Negroes were a bunch of loud, disgusting, gross, jiveass motherfuc*ers who were too wild and stupid for civilization. Also, being stronger, tougher, and more aggressive than whites, they began to commit all manner of crimes against the white race. And things are much the same all throughout Europe where there are lots of Negroes. Europeans thought their Negroes would be so much better than ours since postwar Europe is so progressive, liberal, and enlightened–and don’t have a history of black slavery–, but Europeans ended up with the same lazy, crazy, worthless black thugs as America did. The lesson to learn is as follows: it’s not enough for us to be ‘good’ to Negroes when Negroes are incapable of reciprocating our goodness with their own and indeed are naturally prone to be dangerous and crazy.
If in the past, the burden of morality was placed too heavily on the shoulders of the underclass, the poor, and minorities; the problem today is the exact opposite. If in the past, a rich nobleman could get away with abusing a poor person or a white Southerner could easily walk free after harming an innocent Negro; today, all the moral burden is placed on white folks. So, if there are starving people in Africa because of African savagery and stupidity, white folks must feed them. If Africans have HIV, whites must provide drugs. And if Africans wanna enter Europe and live on welfare, whites have to provide it for them. And if Mexicans wanna illegally invade America, white Americans must not only embrace them but provide them with free everything. And it seems like every other American church group is sponsoring immigration of worthless idiots from places like Somalia who settle in American cities and do little but commit crime, live on welfare, and have lots of babies whose core ideology in life is, ‘white man is racist; he owes me everything.’ In the long run, this kind of ‘goodness’ will be more damaging and deadly to Western Civilization than Nazism and Communism combined. Doing good doesn’t make the world necessarily better. It all depends on how and with whom that ‘good’ is done. Similarly, feeding a hungry stray dog and adopting it as a pet is different than doing the same with a hungry wolverine or cougar, which cannot be tamed. The problem of humanism, especially when radicalized, is the conceit of human goodness being same in all peoples of the world. Though there is some ‘good’ in most people, it naturally varies from person to person, from race to race. There isn’t a whole lot of goodness among the Negroes, which is one reason they’ve been unable to develop or maintain complex civilizations. Even Negroes understand that they cannot trust other ‘niggaz’. In a way, Negroes complain and bitch about and to the white man all the time because the white man is the only decent and compassionate creature in the world to lend an ear and actually lift a finger to do anything for the Negro. If a Negro complained to another a Negro, the other Negro would say, ‘get the fuc* out of my face, nigger!’ Also, in this day and age, the Negro knows that the white man is deathly afraid of the Negro as well as being burdened with ‘white guilt’. Negro plays on both white cowardice and white morality(and even white moral narcissism which comes with white guilt; consider all those white liberals who get a moral kick out of bashing other whites for ‘racism’). The whole arrangement stinks and is based on a false notion of racial equality and radical humanism. Humanism needs to be vigilant and realistic. The humanism one finds in Akira Kurosawa’s RASHOMON or IKIRU does see people for what they are. Kurosawa understood that people can be good, do good, and work together for the common good, but he also knew that people can be bad and do bad; he also knew some people are naturally rotten and beyond redemption, like the kidnapper in HIGH AND LOW. It’s just how the world is, which is why chasing after utopian rainbows never lead to a pot of gold. After all, what is so magical or promising about the so-called ‘Rainbow Coalition’ spearheaded by that race-hustler and huckster Jesse Jackson? And if we look behind the curtain of the MLK myth, what do we find but a disgusting gorilla who lied, cheated, and bellowed pompously to hoodwink white folks into believing that a glorious future awaited them if white people would only switch off their skepticism and swallow whole hog his highfalutin sermons written by Jews. The Brojan Horse. Most white liberals really seem to think MLK was some kind of prophet-saint, and even most white conservatives pathetically agree. But even those who know MLK for what he was–a disgusting thug and charlatan–cling to him out of their fear of Negroes. They figure MLK may be the only hope of pacifying blacks who are growing more numerous, savage, aggressive, and hateful. Maybe if white folks all gathered around MLK worship, black folks would choose peace over violence and stop hating honkey. But this is nothing but idle, albeit desperate, idol-worship since too many Negroes are crazy beyond repair. Praying and kneeling before false idols will never save anyone from anything. The problem today is that white humanism/moralism isn’t vigilant. It is merely premised on the false notion that all races are the same and that the white race, due to its unique sins, owes everything to Negroes and Jews. Whatever Jews demand, we give them. And if we disagree with the Jew’s demand, we must compensate by worshiping Israel as the holiest of all nations. Is this not crazy?
Returning to HARAKIRI, yes, most of us would agree that the Iyi clan went too far to ‘teach a lesson’, but were they entirely wrong in being offended(and alarmed)by the rise of bogus seppuku-requests by ronin? If all samurai clan decided to be ‘good’ and kept passing out candy to every ronin trick-or-treater, what would become of the samurai order? What would become of the social order? (And even if getting rid of the entire samurai order would have been the morally correct thing to do, can we judge a people of another culture and period with our modern values? Even if we believe our values are more humane and rational–and indeed they are as far as I’m concerned–, aren’t we also knee-jerk in embracing certain values simply because they were fed to us all our lives? Are we morally superior to the feudal samurai or are we unthinking beneficiaries of a different social/moral order? Did we arrive at our moral values through our own effort and experience–existentially–or were they fed to by the normative controls of our society–essentially?) And was it the fault of the samurai system that there were so many poor people in Japan of the early 17th century? After all, there were plenty of other societies which weren’t ruled by a military order but where many people lived in poverty or starved to death. Christian Europe had more of a moral-humanist creed than feudal Japan, but was the life of a European serf any better than that of a Japanese peasant or masterless samurai? Stranger yet, communism was founded on the radical humanist notion and promised food and security for everyone, yet the Soviet Union killed at least 10 million people and Mao, the leader of the common people, brought about the greatest man-made famine in history, killing anywhere from 20 to 40 million people. Indeed, though communists came to power in the name of ‘social justice’ for the people, they realized soon enough that social order could be maintained by ruthless application of the law. In the movie DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, Alec Guinness plays Zhivago’s brother-in-law and catches Zhivago in the act of tearing down a fence for firewood. Guinness narrates that he understands Zhivago’s motivations–Moscow is cold and his family is freezing–, but if one man were allowed to tear down a fence, so would everyone else, and then nothing would be left standing. So, according to the law, Guinness’s character should have shot Zhivago, but he doesn’t because of the personal connection between them. So, even a movement or ideology that claims to speak in the name of the people must ultimately control and discipline the people and maintain social order through ruthless controls and repression.
The question isn’t simply one of order vs liberty but the balance between the two, which is why both anarchism/libertarianism on one side and totalitarianism on the other side are both destined to either fail–fail to come to power or fail in the long run once in power. People are not saints, and many will simply take advantage of the ‘good’ offered them by others(and then demand even more). There’s a Monty Python sketch where a Robin-Hood-like character named Moore keeps stealing from the rich to give to the poor who, though initially grateful, grow fussy, demanding, and arrogant. Slobbery is the flip-side of snobbery.
Anyway, though we can agree that the Iyi clan acted in a grossly unjust manner, there is an unjustness in the human heart itself. Iyi clan acted the way it did because many ronin had calculatingly disgraced the samurai honor by ‘extorting’ money from other clans. It is difficult to be ‘good’ in a world where so many people are eager to take advantage of that goodness, which is why ‘good guys’ in real life often finish last. Indeed, many of the winners in life are those who’ve learned how to use ‘badness’ effectively. By ‘badness’, I don’t necessarily mean criminality, deceit, crookedness, fraud, violence, etc. I mean the part of human nature that tends to be looked down on by moral purists: ambition, vanity, self-centeredness, greed, egomania, ruthlessness, cunning, shrewdness, calculating-ness, etc. If criminals blatantly transgress against laws and take what isn’t theirs, the more creative competitor works within the law and rules of fair play to rise to the top. He works it good, bad, and ugly. Bill Gates may not have broken any laws, but he is a son of a bitch, and very rich. A black thug wants money and robs a store-owner and runs away with $200. A Jewish guy wants money and concocts a service or product which nets him $200 million. To succeed in the private economy, you have to be bad in a good way. You’re out for numero uno, but you must work within or around than blatantly against the rules–though, to be sure, Wall Street crony capitalists seem to obey no rules at all or write their own rules as they go along. To succeed in politics, you must be good in a bad way. You say you’re for the people and then gain leverage to amass power and fortune for yourself.
One wonders what the fate of Western democracies will be when its core political morality is grounded in the premise that the people, especially the non-rich and non-white, are good; and therefore, promising and providing the masses with more free stuff is the ultimate social virtue in a ‘good society’? But what if increasing number of people produce less and take more? Worse, what if they feel they are owed more and more free stuff as some kind of right, even though they produce less and less? Worse, they are lots of people who don’t produce anything at all and indeed take from society by crime and thuggery. Should they get free stuff too? And how long can this lunacy go on? If the public finances of the West are in dire straits today, what will they be tomorrow when there will be fewer white people and more useless Negroes and illegal invaders who keep having kids like cockroaches? How ironic that the worst that could possibly happen to the West is happening because the West is trying to be so ‘good’.
Though we like to believe that ‘good’ begets more good, reality teaches us otherwise. Otherwise, we would all happily follow Jesus’s teachings to the letter. And there would be no need for prisons either. If there’s a bad person, just be very ‘good’ to him, and he will be good too. If you act good, goodness will just spread like a virus and save the whole world.
Though being ‘good’ often does produce good results, there are times when it has to be balanced with the ‘bad’. Liberals say that conservatives tend to be naturally more reactive to stimuli, thus more prone to fall under the demagogic spell of ultra-tribalists, and of course, there is a dark side to conservatism or rightism. But liberals, in being more responsive and reach-ative, are more likely to fall under the delusional spell of happy-faced universalism which all too often turns out to be harmful and suicidal. What advanced civilization could last for long with too many Negroes? Only a stupid liberal would believe that if white people act ‘good’ to blacks, blacks will become just as good and adapt well to civilization. Europe is run by leftists, and most Europeans are liberal, but the Negro problem just gets worse and worse. And white Americans welcomed and treated Jews nicer than Jews had been anywhere else before or since, yet American Jews are even more hateful, vicious, vile, and arrogant than European Jews. It’s in the nature of Negroes to be wild and aggressive and to look upon white folks as ‘faggoty-ass white boys’ or ‘white hos who should be sucking my dick’. It’s in the nature of Jews to be cunning and pushy and look upon white gentiles as ‘dimwit moron males to castrate’ and ‘shikse whores to use as sex toys’. White people need to break out of the neo-Christian conceit that the world will be a better place IF AND ONLY IF white people become more ‘good’ to non-whites and non-western nations. It’s certainly not working with China and India. Even as Americans play more fairly in their trade with China and India, the latter only take advantage of American goodwill to maximize their own power. While it’s foolish to be knee-jerkedly reactive like some arch-conservatives, it is far worse to be mindlessly reach-ative like so many white liberals. Ultra-conservatives, in their xenophobia, may ignore or shun many goods, services, and ideas from other parts of the world of possible benefit, but at least they’ll survive as a community. Ultra-liberals, on the other hand, face the danger of allowing their community or nation to be swamped and destroyed by hordes of Negroes and aliens, whereby one’s unique history, heritage, and civilization are lost forever. Of course, this is precisely what the Jews want for the West. While Jews are powerfully grounded in their identity by blood kinship(the Chosen People lineage)and modern mythmaking(the secular religion of Holocaustianity, which is now bigger than Christianity), they wanna suck out all traces of racial, historical, or cultural identity and pride from white peoples. Though Jews are dualistic in their identity–both tribalist in Judeocentric loyalty and globalist in their cosmopolitanism–, they demand that white people be ONLY cosmopolitan. But given the reality that cosmopolitanism tends to be intellectual and sophisticated and thus not an accessible mode of being for most gentiles(who are certainly NOT intellectual-oriented), Jews have settled for consumopolitanism for the white gentile masses. If cosmopolitanism is a mindful awareness and appreciation of ideas, peoples, cultures, and varieties all over the world; consumopolitanism is a mindless appetite for and devouring of whatever that gives us the maximum instant-pleasure from all over the world. It is MTV, McDonalds, Walmart, Starbucks, Hollywood, cheap Mexican labor or McMexican, anime, videogames, Bollywood, interracist porn, countless junk sites on the internet, etc. All the world turned into commodities of orgasm for the mouth, ear, nose, genitalia, etc.
There’s a saying that nature abhors a vacuum. In a similar way, the human mind abhors complexity and prefers simple answers and solutions. This partly answers the everlasting appeal of religion, the rise of political correctness, the politics of sloganeering, and one-size-fits-all mindset in the sciences. Notice how even a scientist as eminent as Richard Dawkins explains everything in terms of the selfish-gene-theory. Freud over-relied on sexuality, Marx saw class conflict in everything, and Hitler reduced everything to race. Libertarians think materialist-individualist-free-markets are the solution for everything, the Evangelical Right thinks every word in the Bible is the literal truth, socialists think bigger government is always the solution, and many conservatives think lowering taxes is the answer to all our problems. Personally, I prefer an ideology that makes people more responsible than responsive. Responsible people are mindful to take care of themselves and their own families. The Right is more about self-responsibility: ‘take care of yourself, so other people don’t have to.’ The Left is more about being responsive to others. There’s some need for Leftist responsiveness–for the disabled, elderly, and victims of emergencies–, but the danger is that its virtue(helping others)saps the virtues of those who are helped. Too often, those being helped don’t feel any appreciation; they don’t feel the need to better themselves, nor do they feel responsive to anyone but themselves; instead, they become addicted to the help and then elect politicians who turn aid into a permanent ‘right’. There is no personal or moral pride in freeloading from others; indeed, it’s humiliating, and therefore, the only way to salvage one’s pride is to turn the freebie into a right. If you receive free food, medicine, and housing as charity, you feel dependent and small. But if you claim that those things are a right, then you can stand proud and demand the stuff as something rightfully owed to you. Moral language is used to corrupt morality. No less dangerously, those offering the help transform their initially charitable role into a self-serving industry. It’s not like government workers are spending their own money to help the ‘disenfranchised’. No, they take the money from the rest of us via taxation, pay themselves big fat salaries and benefits, and work to addict more and more people to government handouts(as a right). They have become needy on the needy. They are not ‘helping’ the needy to make them no longer needy but keep them needy in order to keep their own jobs. They don’t help the needy with their own money, and they don’t work to ensure that there will be fewer needy; instead, they ‘help’ the lazy with our money so that there will be even more lazy people. The so-called ‘social worker’ forces us tax-payers to provide him or her with salaries and benefits so that he or she can narcissistically claim to be working ‘for the needy and underprivileged’ when, in reality, what he or she is doing is addicting more people to government handouts. They are pushers turning people into socio-economic junkies. But then, as the radical form of globalist ‘free-markets’ keeping wreaking havoc on the American working-and-middle-class, even people who want to work and don’t want to take handouts may be pauperized, which may explain why Wall Street scum actually support bigger government. They know that globalism fattens them while tightening the belt of middle class America. How do you pacify the increasingly restless middle class? Give them more bread-and-circuses through Obamanomics. Consumopolitanism is then a perverse blend of capitalism at its worst and socialism at its worst. Only a neo-fascist model of democratic-capitalism with conditional socialist safety-nets will work in the long run(along with ridding the West of disgusting Negroes and reducing the power of hideous Jews.)
There are two ways of seeing the world: the consistent way and the contingent way. Consistency is appealing because of the promise that certain correct ideas or system, if implemented, will make everything fall to its rightful place. So, libertarians, especially Ayn-Randian Objectivists, believe that everything will make perfect sense if we followed libertarianism to its logical conclusion. And Marxists feel the same way but with a different theory: everything could be both explained and solved by communism. But radical consistency always fails because there are always more than one set of factors and/or rules operating in human mind and society. There are variables. If total consistency were possible, there would be no need for contingencies since the future would be predictable according to a foolproof theory. If Marx was right, the future would belong to communism. If the Austrian School of Economics is right, we shouldn’t dabble with any form of socialism since it will invariably lead to tyranny and serfdom. But there is no Iron Logic in history. Certain ideas and values are more likely to produce certain results than other ideas or values, but there is no ‘consistent’ certainty that it will always be the case. So, the contingent outlook is crucial in making us aware of the fact that not everything and everyone in the world can be consistently understood, organized, or implemented–nor can all consequences be expected to be consistent with the principle of the governing ideology. In other words, neither Keynesian economics nor Friedmanian economics will always produce their desired effects. Neo-Fascism understands this, which is why it is wary of radical consistencism and willing to consider the contingencies of reality. In its attempt to creatively coordinate convergences among what many people consider to be inconsistent ideas and solutions, neo-fascism understands the pluralistic nature of the human mind and society. There is a place for the Church, a place for science departments; room for private enterprise and room for government programs. This, of course, is the feature of all modern democracies with their ‘freedom to worship’ and mixed economics, but neo-fascism is crucially different from social-democracy in that it has no illusions about human nature and understands how easily the human soul can be corrupted by responsive ‘goodness’. Neo-fascism also understands the corrupting nature of modern consumer-capitalism, and diverges from mainstream conservatives who champion extreme-capitalism but are puzzled as to why it leads to something like Lady-Gaga-land. Mainstream conservatives fail to understand that extreme capitalism leads to excessive socialism. If consumer-capitalism is about maximizing profits by pandering to the basest appetites of the masses, then kids will turn into louts, adults into fatsos, men into punks, women into sluts, etc. In other words, they’ll make poor students, bad workers, awful neighbors, which means there will be more social problems, in which case, more people will call on government to fix problems. Mainstream conservatives bitch and whine about the banning of transfat and say people should have the right to eat even what amounts to poison. But what happens when more people get fat and sick and can’t pay for their medical costs? Call for more government! But then, is liberal government ideology any better? Does it morally censure the lazy and the corrupt and push them to lead healthy lives with healthy minds? No, liberal government-ism is materialistic in unconditionally offering more services to the lazy, foolish, and dependent–what was once called ‘foot stamps’ is now called SNAP(maybe to be followed by ‘crackle’ and ‘pop’)–without any moral judgment whatsoever. If anything, the sole moral content at the core of liberal government-ism is the ‘evil haves’ must pay even more taxes to take care of the poor, saintly, noble, and helpless ‘have-nots’ for whom just about everything should be a ‘right’. And in the age of globalism, even social-democratic welfare-ism has gone global, what with Western nations pledging hundreds of billion dollars in aid to the permanent Third World(as well as opening their borders to more Africans and other non-whites to enter and live on welfare; but then, too many white people in the West cannot stand up to these leeches since they too have opted for leechery. Just look at the masses of young people in Europe, healthy and capable but looking for every trick or excuse to work less and get more free stuff. The racial ideology of National Socialism was rotten, but at the very least, the fascist socialism of Hitler’s Germany dictated that all people should work and produce in order to share in the wealth of the nation. It called on people to be producers before consumers, but social democracy is the very opposite: it encourages people to be consumers before producers. Since people who don’t produce much can’t afford much, lots of goods and services have to be provided by the government. Since the government cannot raise sufficient taxes from an under-productive populace, it has to borrow more money to offer the goods and services to the lazy whites and lazy immigrant population. And so, we wonder when Spain and Italy–and then the rest of Europe–will follow Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. And thanks to its own brand of social-democracy that began with the insane Great Society programs in the 1960s, US too is burdened with monstrous unfunded liabilities. And things are even worse in Japan where public deficits are now over 200% of the GDP.
In this sense, there is a kernel of truth in the anxiety of the Iyi clan that the ‘good’ can lead to dissipation of the moral spirit among the people. As Jesus said, ‘man doesn’t live by bread alone’. This doesn’t excuse what the Iyi clan did to Motome Chijiwa, but HARAKIRI, in my estimation, is not a simple morality tale of good vs evil.
HARAKIRI is also interesting as an exercise in and study of the politics of manners. Samurai, like the European knights, are not distinguished only by warrior skills but proper manners. Thus, politics becomes a ruthless kind of polite-tics. Samurai, among themselves, may speak in polite, proper, and refined manner, but the perfumed fragrance often masks the scent of blood. This is perhaps what most distinguishes the samurai from the cowboy. The Western hero, cowboy or gunslinger, pretty much acts himself. He may lie or cheat at card games or business, but he’s a man of candor. He may be stoic, a man of few words, but he’s not a man of manners, someone who puts on airs. But the samurai order had a long pedigree in Japan, and by the time Tokugawa clan united Japan, it was part of a high civilization. Though one could argue that White America was even a higher and more advanced civilization than feudal Japan, part of the American narrative was to loosen the binds of high civilization and live free as individuals. Though not a rejection of civilization, Americanism sought to cast aside the hierarchical rigidities of the Old World.
So, though we associate the samurai movie as the Japanese variation of the Western, the samurai order actually had more in common with the European nobility. (And keep in mind that the samurai movies that most closely resemble the American Western are about ronin–masterless samurai–than about samurai of a clan.) Civilization, as we all know, is a double-edged sword. It brings us closer to the our ideal of natural perfection but also separates us from the vitality that makes us human. Without civilization, we would only be savages or, at best, barbarians. But the highfaluting, pompous, and overly mannered way of civilization also has a way of favoring form(ality) over sense, perfumed lie over pungent life. Civilization can become a conceit or a fetish. It could also be used as a mask by unscrupulous men to hide their naked lust for power. Also, the need to preserve and protect something of higher value can make us even more ruthless and violent. How many people would you be willing to sacrifice or kill to preserve the scribbling of a child? None, most likely. Now, how many lives would we be willing to sacrifice or kill to save the Mona Lisa? Many. Would a man be more willing to fight, kill, and die for a beautiful woman of a high civilization or for a fat ugly hag of a primitive tribe? If Helen had been a fat ugly street whore, would there have been the Trojan War? People fought for her because she was a highclass perfumed whore. Beauty has greater value than ugliness, and civilization is, to a large extent, about the preservation and expansion of higher aesthetics of life and art. Art, architecture, music, dress, make-up, and manners define a civilization, especially among high pagan cultures. Egyptians, Greeks, Persians, and Japanese were all mad about beauty. To be sure, there is another tradition of high civilization that is less enamored of beauty and sees it as a kind of sin or evil temptation. Jews feared material beauty as possible form of idolatry that may corrupt and seduce people’s minds away from higher/true morality. Jews could also have been anti-beauty because they themselves were less beautiful than many other peoples. Just as ugly feminists(many of them Jewish)claim superiority on intellectual/moral/political grounds, it’s possible that Jews throughout the millennia settled for moral superiority since they couldn’t make a case for physical superiority in terms of warrior strength or physical beauty. (Similarly, in the Alternative Right community, there is growing interest in intellectualism–Nietzsche, Evola, Junger, etc–because white males have been losing to black males in the area of athletics. In the past, white males of all stripes, especially in America, idolized sports as an emblem of white male power. But now that blacks have taken over the top sports, many white guys on the right pretend they’re too intellectual and serious for something as ‘trivial’ and ‘stupid’ as sports. Would they be saying the same thing if most of the dominant athletes in football and basketball were white?)
Even so, even anti-beauty moralism of the Jews was loaded with a good deal of ruthless adherence to form. The Jewish Law had an whole array of instructions on how to do this, how to do that, and etc, almost to the point where some of it became less a matter of sensible morality than of oppressive formality. It’s one thing to suggest that people should rest on the Sabbath but quite another to stone a person to death for not doing so. There is much in the Jewish Law that is less about justice and more about just-this, i.e. you gotta do certain things ‘just this’ way or die. Even so, more than most ancient peoples, Jews defined their civilization on the basis of right vs wrong than beauty vs ugliness or courage vs cowardice. To a Jew, spiritual faith in God was a much higher value than warrior courage in the battlefield. God could forgive the chicken-hearted but not the serpent-minded. In the Jewish order, even the ugly could be favored over the beautiful if morality was on its side. And since Jewish Law did not allow physical representations of human forms, it was less likely for Jews to think in terms of beauty = good and ugliness = evil. Pagans, on the other hand, often expressed their moral narratives and ideals through images, and of course the tendency was to represent goodness as beautiful and evil as ugly. The original intention may have been metaphorical, as if to suggest that goodness is a form of beauty while ugliness is a form of ugliness. But the meaning could be reversed to be mean beauty is good and ugliness is evil. In other words, the symbolic representation of goodness as beautiful could be made literal to mean ‘beauty itself is morally superior’. And this would apply to ugliness as well, making people think, ‘ugliness itself is morally inferior’. Furthermore, even for people who knew and understood the metaphorical intent/meaning behind the image, the power of the image could have a deeper impact on their psyche than they could ever have realized. Even for someone who looks at a painting of a beautiful woman and properly interprets it as ‘morality is beautiful’, the sheer beauty of the image could subconsciously make him feel that morality is beauty. ‘Morality is beautiful’ and ‘morality is beauty’ are profoundly different ideas. The former means that beauty is a quality of morality whereas the latter means that something has to be outwardly beautiful to be moral. This is something we’ve been all too familiar with in the age of cinema. Movies generally show good guys as good-looking and noble while bad guys are ugly and unpleasant. We like the fact that the good cop in DIRTY HARRY is the magnificent Clint Eastwood while the vile serial killer is the unpleasant looking Scorpio played by Andy Robinson. Whenever morality is visualized or idolized, we are prone to think in terms of beauty = goodness and ugliness = evil, when, in fact, reality isn’t necessarily like that. We know there are many wonderful ugly people and many evil beautiful people. In this sense, the intensely moralistic Jews had a valid reason for forbidding idolatry that was not only an affront to God but to the core of morality. If morality is about justice, it must be blind-folded and made to judge people by what they did than what they look like. Because of our nature, we are naturally drawn to anything beautiful. How many guys fall in love with a beautiful girl and think she’s some kind of angel? How many girls gaze at some handsome hunk and think he’s prince in shining armor? Some people may blame the visual arts for the prevailment of such mentality among guys and gals, but people create such arts in the first place because it’s in their nature to associate one kind of goodness with another. It is a kind of inter-connective monomania of goodness. Our mind want to connect visual goodness(beauty) with aural goodness(fine music) with soulful goodness(morality). Children love Snow White in the Disney movie because she’s physically beautiful, has a lovely singing voice, and has a very good heart. It makes us feel better to have all the good things blend together in perfect harmony on one side as GOODNESS and all the bad things blend together with perfect harmony on the other side as BADNESS. Suppose a woman wants to date someone who’s both morally good and good-looking, but suppose she has to choose between a good-hearted guy who’s ugly as hell and a good-looking guy who’s a slimeball. She can’t be happy with either, which is why movies are so popular. They give us the fantasy of good-looking and good-hearted being on one side and bad-looking and evil-hearted on the other side.
To be sure, not all movies conform to this rule because we do like some variety, and there’s a certain fascination we have with irony and ambiguity. The film noir often features the femme fatale, the woman of beauty and apparent innocence who turns out to be a cold-hearted villainess. The fact that beauty can be evil is disheartening but can also be a turn-on. Many men find devilishness in women–at least those with proper grooves and moves–sexy, and some women find it ‘empowering’ in the conviction that the only way for women to win freedom, independence, and power in this world is by making a Faustian pact with the Devil. Even so, moviegoers seem to prefer stories of beautiful evil than ugly goodness. They’d rather watch the gorgeous femme fatale deviously wrapping the fates of men around her fingers than an ugly housemaid who is good of heart. They’d rather be tempted by glamorous evil than inspired by homely virtue. Stories of glamorous evil may also culminate, rather paradoxically, in a greater moral payoff. While film noir generally ends on a dark ambiguous note; film pouvoir–the film of power–, after exulting in narcisso-fascist hype and grandeur, ends on a note of humility and moral clarity. Good examples are REVENGE OF THE SITH and TRON: LEGACY. After all, how many people would have paid money to see these movies if they were about humble little creatures on an alien planet or humdrum programs inside a computer. No, millions of people paid money to see them to be overwhelmed by the awesome spectacle of pop-fascism. If Hitler and Speer dreamt of creating a city called Germania, STAR WARS gives us a glimpse of Starmania and TRON: LEGACY takes us into Cybermania. They are essentially fascist fantasies in which we are drawn into magnificent displays of power, might, awesomeness, and even beauty(though, to be sure, hyper-fascism tends to be mechanical than organic, the essential element of any real beauty). TEN COMMANDMENTS worked on the same conceit. We were wowed by the magnificence and grandeur of pagan Egypt, a world where the law of sight-is-right was carved into every stone. But as the story unfolds, we learn that all the grandeur, might, beauty, and awesomeness was created by the whip and the cruel bondage of the Jews. (Of course, historians now tell us that most of the great monuments of ancient Egypt were created by free men, not slaves. If anything, slave labor is now thought to be have been more crucial in the construction of Greek marvels of marble. It should also be noted that if Hitler had not started his mad war, his dream city Germania, like the autobahn, would have been built mostly be free German labor.) Since Western Judeo-Christian morality teaches us right-is-might than sight-is-right, we side with Moses and the Jews against the Egyptians. The Jews are simply dressed and poor, but the one and only true God who stands for justice is on the side of the oppressed Jews against the rich, powerful, glorious, and beautiful Egyptians. (On the other hand, Heston makes one helluva ‘Aryan’-looking Moses, a kind of narcisso-fascist Jew battling the narcisso-fascism of the Egyptians. And for all the moral sermonizing, God seems to display His might in a manner that would have delighted Germanic barbarians and other fantasists of wanton might and destruction. In this light, there’s a sense of both the moral and the mural in the Old Testament. If the moral element sermonizes about goodness, the mural element illustrates the sheer might of God. Like Teddy Roosevelt said, ‘speak softly and carry a big stick.’) Old Testament may not be big on beauty, but it is big on might, at least that of God. After all, there would be no point in worshiping a God that is only good but not powerful. Suppose Jews believed that Yahweh was indeed the most decent of all the gods but also the weakest. Would they have worshiped Him? Of course not. Jews would have worshiped another god of power even if he was not-so-good. It was the combination of goodness and mightiness that attracted Jews to Yahweh. Though the idea probably began as ‘God is right because of His might’, Jews slowly and slyly reversed the meaning into ‘God is might because He is right’. In other words, God’s right to rule came to rest on His goodness. Jews trapped God in the rules of morality. It is no wonder that Jew had such an easy time trapping wasps in morality too. A people who found a way to restrain the power of Almighty God within the bounds of morality could surely play a similar trick on another people. God took pride in being good, so Jews bound Him to His word. It began with the story of Noah, when God is horrified by what He had done and pledges never to commit such genocides again. And then God tells Abraham not to kill Isaac because if He forced Abraham’s hand, He can be a powerful God but not a good God. Later, God does nasty stuff to Job but then figures He better make amends and restore the good stuff back to Job. Since America was founded as a City on a Hill, a GOOD nation with great pride in freedom and equality, Jews understood the vulnerability at the core of wasp political-psychology and found means to manipulate it. In time, American politics went from “Wasp elite is great because it’s powerful” to “Wasp elite must be extra-good to justify its great power.”. But the more Wasp tried to be good and fair, more it lost out to the cunning and devious Jews. A people who tamed God could surely do it to Wasps.
Anyway, a useful development in Jewish thinking was the idea that just because their God was great and mighty didn’t necessarily mean that Jews would be great and mighty. Jews themselves could be defeated by other peoples or do things that might anger God, who may then punish them directly–by sending a plague–or indirectly–not defending Jews from other tribes. If most pagan tribes embraced the idea of their gods’ might ensuring and equaling their own might, Jews were careful not to be so presumptuous. Jews conceived their God to be the mightiest of gods, then eventually the only good God, and then finally the only God. Anyway, the crucial fact was that God owned the Jews, not vice versa. Among pagan cultures, though people worshiped and bowed down before the gods, there was the idea that the gods could be bribed or bought off with all sorts of sacrificial offerings and therefore, in essence, be owned by the people who worshiped them. And in some cultures, the line between people and gods were blurred. Japanese regarded their emperor as a living god, and Egyptian pharaohs were regarded to be the cyclical reincarnation of Horus. It is the nature of man to be awed by fascist displays of power, but there is also a natural moral sense that reminds us that might itself isn’t necessarily right. And no culture developed this idea as much as the Jews, which then got passed around to other peoples and cultures via Christianity and Islam. However, even in the Christian and Islamic orders, there was a longing for grandeur, beauty, magnificence, worldly manifestations of power. One way to achieve this was to sensualize and monumentalize–or paganize–spiritualism and moralism themselves, as in the choral music of Bach and the great cathedrals of Europe. And there is some of that in the myth of Michael King, aka Martin Luther King. Central to that myth is the soulful bellowing voice which is supposed to overpower us sensually and emotionally than persuade us in a strictly moral sense.
But another way of enjoying the sensual and monumental glories of sinful pagan-fascism was to revel in them only to rebel against them. This is called the revel/rebel complex. It’s common especially in horror movies which revel in the lust for mayhem, rape, sadism, and murder, but then end with the forces of good finally triumphing against the wicked forces of darkness. Thus, we get to both wallow in wantonness and walk away with holiness. Frustrated young male moviegoers get to both indulge in fantasies of raping and killing sexy women they can’t have AND morally pat themselves on the back for cheering on the last surviving girl to defeat the forces of evil. The cinema of Cecil B. DeMille and Bernado Bertolucci operate on the same principle. DeMille the populist theologian and Bertolucci the Popular Front theorist dazzle, tempt, woo, and wow the audience with pagan-‘fascist’-narcissistic glory and grandeur, only to pull out before the climax, wag their fingers in a ‘naughty-naughty’ manner, and condemn the colorful spectacle as sinister, sinful, obscene, and evil. It’s like gorging on a sumptuous feast to convince oneself of the evils of gluttony. Though DeMille and Bertolucci’s hypocrisies were perhaps the most glaring in cinema, such narrative conceits are as old as prostitution. Maybe storytelling is a form of prostitution. If whores offer sex to those who can’t get it through proper channels, stories offer a fantasy lives for those without lives. Stories are whories.
Fairytales often work on the same principle: as both seductive fantasies and cautionary tales. Fairytales allow us to transgress against moral norms but then trip the alarm to awaken our moral sense and save us from temptation. This mechanism may exist in sexuality itself. One part of sexuality makes people very horny and cast aside all inhibitions and jump in the sack with the object of their desire. But the orgasmic climax could well be followed by a sense of regret, shame, and self-loathing, especially if the act was morally compromised in some way. Even if the sex happens between a committed couple, there could be a sense of shame afterward, especially if the person has a self-image of himself or herself as very rational and controlled. The need for sex–and the awareness of one’s submission to wild passions that animate sexuality–could well undermine one’s conceit of total self-control. Same goes for food, which is why gluttony is considered one of the Seven Deadly Sins. It’s not simply an issue of some people eating up the world’s food supply while millions starve. Even if there were plenty of food for everyone, it just feels wrong to be held hostage to one’s animal appetites. To be human means to be rational and spiritual, and both qualities call for self-control and the taming of animal passions. Animal passions are always shortsighted and obsessed with whatever feels good at the moment. Spiritual Passion, as opposed to animal passions, is farsighted and seeks to transcend the beastly temptations of the flesh in order to seek communion with God or some higher truth. And the purpose of rationality is to prefer what IS right over what FEELS right. To be sure, animal passions are the source of everything human, and much misunderstanding has arisen from the belief that human rationality could ever be completely divorced from human emotions or that flesh and the spirit are completely separate entities. Strangely enough, Christianity has promoted both the notion of the spirit as being separate from the flesh and the spirit being part of the flesh. The story of Jesus rejecting every temptation of the flesh and spiritually ascending to Heaven to be with His Father would indicate that the spirit is indeed something different and higher than the flesh. On the other hand, Jesus is spirit made manifest through flesh. Also, Christian theology teaches us that both Jesus’s body and soul ascended to Heaven, which means His body was as holy as His spirit; the tomb, after all, was empty when the Roman guards opened it. And there is also the Catholic thing about bread and wine passed out by priests being the flesh of Jesus which will morph into the flesh, blood, and spirit of those who consume them. This part of Christianity is the theological counterpart of E = MC2. It’s like S = FB2, or spirit equals flesh x blood squared.
Anyway, TRON: LEGACY is very much a prime example of film pouvoir, or power film. It pulls us into a cyber-fascist world of power, glory, magnificence, and awesomeness. Everyone woman is a magnificent babe, and every guy is like a super-gladiator-warrior. Indeed, entering this dimension is almost like sexual intercourse, a cybertronic penetration of the brain-as-penis into a world of fantastic possibilities. Since it seems partly to be the vision of gay fascists, it’s also like a cybetronic anal sex into the backdoor of human consciousness. Man penetrates cybermania, and cybermania penetrates man. Consider how the guy is zapped from behind by a phallic trans-dimensional tube before he enters the world of Tron. It’s like he’s cybuggered.
Some cultural scholars have noted a certain element of homoeroticism in fascism, and this is very much in evidence in TRON: LEGACY. The homoerotic element in fascism owes to the fact that fascism aestheticizes the male far more than the female. Perhaps, this needn’t have been the case, but it was true enough of the two most famous examples of fascism in the 20th century: Italian Fascism and German National Socialism. Though Mussolini was much loved by many Italian women and though he emphasized the role of woman in the New Italy, the aesthetics of Italian Fascism emphasized the manly warrior. How men dressed, walked, marched, warred, and etc comprised the core imagery of Fascism. This was perhaps even truer with National Socialism. Though there were many Nazi paintings and sculptures of the ‘Aryan’ woman and things like the Hall of the German Mother, National Socialism was essentially a male-bonding enterprise. And though Nazis later persecuted and even killed homosexuals, the movement attracted its share of gay men. And Nazi regalia and aesthetics have long held a certain fascination in gay cultures and communities. While most gay men may be on the political left, especially in reaction to the Christian Right, most gays haven’t been crazy about communist aesthetics where everyone, man or woman, wear the same ‘drab’ clothes, as in China during the Mao years. It could be that Catholicism, more than Protestantism, has attracted many gay men–later to be exposed as gay pedophile priests–because everything about Catholicism is more aesthetic-and-beauty oriented than the stark, wooden, black-and-white basic-ism of Protestantism. For this reason, it is a great irony that homosexuals are, along with the Jews, seen and sanctified as noble victims of Nazism. If not for its later anti-gay policy, homosexuality could very well have been very closely associated with Nazism. It was not homosexuality that rejected Nazism but Nazism that rejected homosexuality. However, even after WWII and full knowledge of Nazism’s horrors, there has been a great fascination with Nazi aesthetics among homosexuals. Some homos will say the fascination is purely superficial and has nothing to do with values, i.e. gays like Nazi designs and fashions but abhor its political program and racial ideology. This sounds reasonable enough. After all, an atheist can love Christian music, a Muslim could love pagan art, and a pagan could appreciate the Bible as literature. But it’s not entirely convincing because the obsessive fascination with aesthetics among gays does imply a sense of a sight-is-right morality. Indeed, why has the gay community been so decadent, immoral or amoral, and ridiculous? Because for many gays, sensuality is sensibility is sense. Pasolini was on the Left and Mishima was on the Right, but in a way, both died for beauty. Pasolini, ever on the lookout for healthy young men to love and boof, lost control of his senses and led himself down to a path of self-destruction. (There have been theories that Pasolini may actually have been murdered by the Italian Far Right, but even if this is true, he put his life in danger because his sexual obsessions were so out-of-control. Even a clean-cut looking gay like Andrew Sullivan contracted HIV because he couldn’t control his butt-fuc*ing antics.) As for Mishima, his beauty-mania was something more than Japanese patriotism. His final act, I would argue, owed more to his gay passions than to his nationalism–at least subconsciously. While I don’t doubt his political or philosophical sincerity, there was just too much of a gay-fashion-show aspect to his stunt. The corollary of the willingness to die for beauty is, of course, the willingness to kill for beauty. Therefore, while it would be absurd to say homosexuality is the moral equivalent of Nazism, it isn’t far-fetched to say there are certain perverse parallels between the two sensibilities. Though Leni Riefenstahl was the most famous Nazi artist, when we think of Nazism we think mostly of the men. TRIUMPH OF THE WILL is almost entirely about men. Tall men. Tough men. Hard men. Handsome men. Healthy men. Masterful men. Manly men. I can see how a gay guy might have delirious orgasmic fits while watching the final leg of the SS march where tall Prussian lads outfitted in stunning uniforms, steel helmets, and black boots stomp down the streets. I’ll bet Jewish gays secretly wank off to that too, which makes it all the more ironic. Then, it is all the more strange that so many prominent gays are Jews. It’s even stranger when we consider that so many leftist Jews are super rich and that Hollywood Jew have been inundating our culture with populist narcisso-fascism. Just as innumerable Hollywood composers–bulk of them Jewish–have been recycling Wagnerian tropes in music, most Hollywood blockbuster directors have been working in the fascist mode. Maybe Jews could no longer deny the mass appeal of fascist tropes, made readily obvious by STAR WARS movies and neo-pagan rock concerts. People do worship power and beauty, and both are very profitable, and Jews wanna be where the money is. Jews are loathe to admit the appeal of fascist aesthetics, so they’ve decided to just appropriate it as their own thing without mentioning its origins or significance. Jews use fascist tropes–modern messiah, charisma overriding rationality, the cult of the overman, etc–to promote Obama, but it’s okay because he’s ‘progressive’. Hollywood Jews and gays make blockbusters overloaded with fascist imagery and Wagnerian bombasm, but the ‘liberal’ message of those movies is supposed to keep us from noticing. Black athletics and muscle are often featured in Riefenstahlian ways, but it gets a pass because anything black is supposed to be ‘anti-racist’. So, fascism is only fascism when it applies to whites. It is merely ‘cool’ when used to ‘celebrate’ the glory of non-whites or liberal ideas. So, fascism with a liberal or black face is not fascism. LAST SAMURAI was clearly a fascist movie, but it was acceptable because the noble warrior culture being glorified was that of a non-white people. LAST OF THE MOHICANS is also fascist, but Mann got away with it because he made one of the white girls fall in love with an Indian. Interracism was supposed to redeem it, but consider the fact that the movie favors the strong and beautiful over the ugly. (This goes for much of Japanese anime too, what with Hayao Miyazaki being one of the most remarkable fascist anti-fascists in cinema. He too wows the audience with fascist grandeur but then ends on a note of regaining the moral compass by saying NO to all that.) Hollywood fascism is made ‘safe’ or ‘liberal’ by its multi-racial cast, often making the Aryan-looking-guy as the bad guy, infusion of Jewish wit and zaniness(especially in Pixar movies), Negrophilia, and mindless consumerism; however, fascist aesthetics is fascist aesthetics. Though Jews, for a long time, railed against the evils of fascist mentality, railed against fascist aesthetics(and promoted modernist art and neo-realism as weapons against it), and railed against fascist sensibility, it’s as though Jews realized that we are all ‘fascists’ at heart. In the early 70s, there was an attempt at New American Cinema with actors who looked like real-life people–Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, etc–and with stories defined by gritty realism, but all of that gave way to blockbuster movies of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. By the eighties, the kind of people who dominated the screen were pumped up Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, and other muscleheads with big guns. Clint Eastwood wasn’t exactly a musclehead, but his most popular movies tended to be one where he stood very tall with a big gun. One might say Oliver Stone countered this trend with movies like PLATOON, but PLATOON too was as big on Nietzschean hype as on realism; Dafoe is the good Nietzschean and Berenger is the bad Nietzschean, but both are fascist supermen. And judging by WALL STREET and ALEXANDER, Stone too has a more than a little fascist tingle in his bones. And remember he wrote the screenplay for the remake of SCARFACE. I suspect his adoration of leaders like Mao, Castro, and Hugo Chavez has more to do with Power than Justice. In PLATOON, notice that Willem Dafoe’s character doesn’t just die. No, he dies grandiloquently as a god-warrior, or Combat Christ. He’s almost like a liberal Rambo. PLATOON is really like PASSION OF THE SOLDIER. (And of course Gibson’s Jesus movie is Christian fascism.)
Anyway, all of this may seem amusing and perplexing since the moralistic Jews who gave us movies like TEN COMMANDMENTS and BEN HUR were actually living in palaces in Beverly Hills that would have made even the pharaohs blush. I doubt if Cecil B. DeMille or any other Jews who made those anti-pagan Biblical epic lived in little huts, ate simply, and acted humbly. Jewish Hollywood Moguls may have found their promised land in Hollywood, but they weren’t anything like moralistic Jews of old. If they resembled any Biblical figure, it was Solomon or Herod, the most paganized of all the Jewish figures in the Bible. But then, this discrepancy between the Jewish message and the Jewish lifestyle continues to this day when Wall Street, Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Big Pharma are actually controlled by liberal Jews. The very people who preach most about ‘justice’ and ‘equality’ are the most powerful, most wealthy, most privileged, and most unequal amongst us.
In this day and age, gays morally promote themselves as victims of Nazis, yet many of them work in Hollywood and exult in spectacular fascist aesthetics and imagery. And Jews have created an entire religion based on their victimization under the Nazis, but they seem to be brazenly working to create a Jewish Supremacist or Jewpremacist New World Order. When Jesus said, “man doesn’t live on bread alone”, He was talking about how a man may be empty in stomach but full in spirit. It wasn’t meant to justify the condition of have-not-ness but that of have-soul-ness. But the idea has been adopted by the rich too in a twisted way, and for them it means, “it’s not enough that we own everything; we wanna own morality too.” And indeed, this is what’s most repulsive about rich liberals, especially Jews. It’s not enough that they own most of the wealth, live in giant mansions in gated communities or fancy condos, have the best police protection, enjoy the most privileges, and have the most power and influence. They must also own, monopolize, and control higher morality, turn up their noses, and act holier-than-thou. Conservatives often say white liberals and leftists are self-hating/self-loathing whites, and while such people do exist, your average affluent white liberal is really a moral narcissist/supremacist who doesn’t so much loathe himself/herself but bad ‘racist’ whites who don’t agree with his/her politically correct views. In other words, whatever negative vibes he/she might have about whiteness, they are projected and dumped onto ‘right-wing’, ‘conservative’, ‘racist’, ‘sexist’, and ‘homophobic’ whites. If anything, his/her liberalism makes his/her whiteness cool. He/she gets to eat the cake and eat it too: enjoy and love their whiteness because it’s associated with ‘anti-racist’ progressivism. PC terms really serve no purpose except to morally and spiritually aggrandize the egos of rich white liberals. Does anyone think that the likes of Bill Gates, Bono, the Kennedies, Tony Blair, Al Gore, and the Clintons really hate themselves? No, they love themselves in terms of the money, power, and influence they have. But as if those aren’t enough to satiate their egos, they also claim moral superiority by pushing the ‘progressive’ agenda that doesn’t hurt them but only hurts middle class, working class, and poor whites. In the name of fighting ‘racism’, rich white liberals don’t themselves integrate with blacks. No, they force blacks onto poor and working class white communities. And who are the biggest victims of ‘affirmative action’? White liberals? Hardly. The true victims are middle class, working class, and poor whites. Nowadays however, it’s not just white liberals but rich white conservatives, especially neocons, who adopt the same attitude. They look down on Middle America for not embracing ‘gay marriage’; guys like George W. Bush, John McCain, and Mitt Romney seemed more concerned with the interests of blacks, gays, and illegal aliens than with Middle American whites. But even more repulsive than white liberals and conservatives are most of the Jewish rich, liberal or neocon. If white liberals and conservatives have some sense of self-criticism and moral conscience, none such exists among Jews. Jews, playing the perennial Holocaust card, don’t share in the ‘white guilt’. If anything, Jews bait white guilt to undermine white power. Though rich white liberals and rich white conservatives are doing pretty well for themselves, both groups must suck up to the rich Jews who are the real power elite of America since the late 20th century and almost totally so now.
Film Pouvoir presents an opportunity for gay Jewish guys in Hollywood to have the cake and eat it too. He gets to indulge in fascist fantasies to the hilt but also wrap it and deflate it with moral(istic) reminders. And Jewish gay fascists in Hollywood have less fear of fascism since they pretty much own and control it. This goes back to the early days of Hollywood and German cinema, many of whose leading lights were Jews(who later emigrated to Hollywood). And powerful Jewish directors also revolutionized filmmaking in the Soviet Union. Though radical leftist film aesthetics–at least prior to Stalinism–differed from the fascist aesthetics, central to both was the emphasis on power and energy. This power tended to be more kinetic and chaotic in leftist cinema, whose message was to destroy the old order to make way for a new one. By the time Stalin gained full power, he was more interested in building a new order than smashing the old, and so he emphasized more constructive forms of aesthetics such as social realism and pro-monumentalism. Notice the difference between the anti-monumentalism of Eisenstein’s OCTOBER and QUE VIVA MEXICO and the pro-monumentalism of IVAN THE TERRIBLE. In the earlier two films, the emphasis is on the power of the radicalized mobs storming the bastions of power and exulting in revolutionary violence; the main character is the typhoon-like energy of the masses powerful enough to knock down statues, smash the gates of privilege, storm palace halls, and tear down walls, ancient and new. In the later film, the emphasis is on the glory of the state and the need for a singular will to control the masses; the main character is architecture as the structure of power, which also serves as a metaphor for the great leader’s psychological interior; it’s as though Russia/Soviet Union isn’t merely a political entity but Ivan/Stalin’s state of mind; the ruler and the land are one. Though IVAN THE TERRIBLE was made during Soviet Union’s epic war with Nazi Germany, it is the most fascistic of Eisenstein’s films. (ALEXANDER NEVSKY stands somewhere between Eisensteins’ earlier anti-monumentalist films and his last two pro-monumentalist films. In contrast to the ultra-disciplined and ice-blooded Teutonic knights, the Russians are warm-blooded, hearty, earthy, spontaneous, and rough–human than mechanical. However, in order to defeat the Teutonic Knights, who during the late 30s symbolized the Nazi menace, there is a great emphasis on tribal pride and unity and need for order and obedience under a great leader who happens to be prince Alexander Nevsky. Also, consider that there is no central character in BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN, OCTOBER, and QUE VIVA MEXICO. The people, revolutionary energy, and the power of history themselves are the main characters. In contrast, ALEXANDER NEVSKY and IVAN THE TERRIBLE revolve around a singular great leader who represents the unity, order, and harmony of the nation.)TRON: LEGACY is very much a Jewish gay fascist fantasy, mostly male-dominated with guys in rubber-leathery neon tights dance-fighting one another. It has the gay fascination with fascist aesthetics and the Jewish obsession with superiority, but it also harbors the gay and Jewish fear of normative perfection. While Jews and gays seek something new and better, they want to be in control than be controlled by the idea/image. To seek something better means to seek greater perfection(on the path toward pure perfection), but every stage of ‘perfection’ seeks totalitarian control in its own name, thus undermining further attempts at perfection. For example, Jewish communist intellectuals ideally sought to control the ideas of the revolution in order to improvise and improve the system toward greater perfection. But Stalin formulated his own perfect idea of Leninism which was no longer to be altered. His communism was the End of History. He set ‘perfection’ in stone(or steel)than use it as a blueprint for even greater perfection. Anyone who dared to critique and improve on Stalinism was denounced and persecuted as a Trotskyite. What creative Jewish intellectuals had hoped to control was hijacked by Stalin who had no use for further creativity and originality. Stalin, though a communist, was as fearful of the Jewish ‘culture of critique’ as Kevin MacDonald is today. Give the creative nature of this critique, it could be called the Culture of Creatique. The core formula of Marxism-Leninism was sufficient for Stalin both ideologically and politically. Thus, the perfect communism in the Soviet Union came to be synonymous with Stalin’s grip on power. And so came the Great Purge in which Stalin either exiled or executed the top brains of the Revolution. This isn’t to suggest that Jewish revolutionaries were any less ruthless, but they were more open to experimentalism and creative approach to problems–at least among themselves. (We must keep in mind that Jews prefer to maintain two spheres of intellectualism. One sphere allows freedom and experimentalism wherein the best minds can discuss and propose just about anything. But it is supposed to be an enclosed world since the masses might get the ‘wrong idea’. For instance, its’ perfectly okay for people like Steven Pinker to discuss racial differences in IQ as long as he does it with his peers who share the same level of intellect, values, and agenda–often tied to being Jewish. The real reason why James Watson got in trouble wasn’t so much what he said but whom he said it to. Certain topics are perceived to be radioactive, thereby to be handled ONLY by experts. For example, Darwinism morphed into Nazism when the people began to formulate their own theories around it, and so the evolution debate is to be owned and defined, for the public anyway, ONLY by the liberal elite. While the liberal elite themselves may discuss issues of racial differences behind closed doors, it’s not allowed for the masses who might get the ‘wrong idea’. So, it’s DNA studies for the elites but GREEN MILE for the masses. When Jews say they are for freedom, they really mean ‘freedom for us’, not freedom for all. This was kinda true with Ayn Rand as well. She thought the masses weren’t deserving or appreciative of anything except populist fantasies of Hollywood movies and tabloid press, which were to be used as opiates and cash cows. She feared the mob and thought the best way to control them was to feed them fantasies which would take their minds off dreary reality. So, her adulation of the great individualist-capitalist wasn’t a love for individualism for every person since most people were too dumb to know what true freedom is or what to do with it. No, she loved the great capitalist because he had the power to control the masses through by feeding them fantasies and consumer products. In the process, he would amass a great fortune and use it for truly worthy causes, like patronizing the True Individual of Promethean Vision and Genius. Rand, in her own way, was a libertarian Trotskyite. Jews feel they know how to handle freedom–especially in their own interest of course–, whereas the dumb goy masses may misinterpret the truth and even use it against Jews. It’s like you would not want morons to manage a nuclear plant. One of the reasons why Jews came to hate the American Right was Jews invented the Bomb but then American conservatives took control of it, at least for awhile. They stole the Jews’ baby. Movies like FAIL SAFE, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, and DR. STRANGELOVE convey the Jewish anxiety that dimwit goyim may use the Jewish weapon for their childish aggrandizement though, to be sure, Kubrick’s film is more misanthropic than anything else. Today, it’s okay for Steven Pinker the liberal Jewish scientist to discuss racial differences within the Ivory Tower. But it’s not okay for Steve Sailer, the non-Jew, to discuss it openly with the public. This is called the ‘Pinker, Sailer, Soldier, Spy’ rule. Pinker, in his correct environment, can soldier on whereas Sailer is to be treated as a criminal spy letting out secrets that shouldn’t be known to the public. The difference between Jewish communists and Stalin, though both were brutally ruthless, was the former allowed a degree of freedom for the elites whereas Stalin enforced totalist and perfectionist conformity even or especially at the very top.) Stalin abhorred further complexity and simplified communism to the basic essentials of state control, cult of personality, and communist dogma as national religion. Stalinism became the final formula for the Perfect System.
In the case of National Socialism prior to the Hitler’s absolute hold of power, there was some hope of creative freedom and experimentation, not least among the gay and more leftist leaning elements of the SA led by Ernst Rohm. Though SA had a lot of rough elements, it was also more democratic, free-wheeling, and spontaneous than the ideal of absolute order favored by Hitler and Himmler. Goebbels, formerly a more leftist and creative Nazi, turned into radical ideologue after falling under Hitler’s spell. Though an SA-dominated Nazi Germany would have been unpleasant just the same, its revolution might have allowed more room for creativity and experimentation than Hitler and SS-dominated Germany with only one idea of absolute perfection: Hitler’s. Similarly, if Jewish communists had prevailed over Stalin, the Soviet Union might have further developed its intellectual theories and policies instead of imposing a one-size-fits-all conformity on the entire nation.
Jews, by their very radical nature, are utopian perfectionists, especially in the Godless modern world without breaks on human hubris. Yet, Jews are a minority and therefore fear that if they spellbind/hypnotize the gentile majority with a vision of perfection, the gentile majority may appropriate that vision, turn it into a mass cult, worship at its feet, and then go after and crush all those who dare to seek an even higher perfection, which in their eyes, is only an heretical imperfection. The masses may favor the dogmatic fossilized form of perfection than a living organic perfectionism. So, even as the Jews who made TRON: LEGACY vilify perfectionism as an evil in man, what they really mean is perfection-as-product(dogmatic perfectionism) than perfectionism-as-process(organic perfectionism). It’s not so much that Jews reject perfectionism per se but that they believe they are the ones who should have the freedom and power to work toward greater perfection, which, by the way, is unattainable–like we can move faster and faster without ever catching up to the speed of light. The Frankfurt School focused on the early Marx before his ideas became systemized into a ‘perfect’ theory, and its critique was often aimed at the thick-skulled and totalitarian perfectionism of Stalinism. The problem that the Frankfurt School located in the history of communism was that an organic process of thought had hardened into a perfect product that needed to think no further–the End of Ideology. Therefore, the thing is to keep the spirit of experimentalism alive so that, for example, man may find ways to travel closer and closer to the speed of light with the full knowledge that he can never reach the speed of light. We should move toward greater perfection but never believe that we’ve arrived at The perfection. Then, the problem of Stalinist-communism and Nazism was that they claimed to have reached the historical speed of light(though being far from it)and used the claim as justification to purge/exile/kill anyone who disagreed with or was disagreeable to that view. So, there is a double-edged aspect to the Jewish critique of perfectionism. On the one hand, Jews denounce perfectionism as intolerant, exclusive, narrow-minded–in social terms, ‘racist’ and ‘xenophobic’. After all, the better looking ‘Aryans’ targeted and killed lots of Jews for being ‘ugly’ and ‘alien’. But the other aspect of the Jewish critique of perfectionism is that it’s never perfect enough and therefore needs to be made more perfect–preferably by an elite number of super-Jews with the expertise to handle radioactive material to fuel the machine traveling ever nearer to the speed of light to take us to the stars. One part of the Jew fears the awesome and fearsome perfectionism of the Nazis; another part of the Jew mocks the inferiority, crudity, stupidity, and imperfections of the Nazis. Jewish scientists mock Nazi science as inferior, Jewish intellectuals mock Nazi art as laughable, Jewish historians mock Hitler’s strategies as irrational, and of course Jewish philosophers despise the inferior morality of Germany under the Nazis. So, the problem of Nazism was both its perfectionism and its massive imperfections. And this dual aspect of the Jewish critique of perfectionism may account for the neurosis at the core of Jewish psychology. Jews seek protection from majority gentile perfectionism/tribalism/utopianism(that may exclude and oppress Jews) by promoting diversity, equality, and tolerance as the highest virtues for goyim; yet, Jews also desire the freedom and power to pursue their goals of perfection in business, politics, social engineering, psychology, media, entertainment, technology, medicine, and so on. What has been the hallmark of Jewish-controlled Hollywood? The perfectionist zeal to keep making the next state-of-the-art blockbuster to break all previous box-office records. Though most Hollywood blockbusters may be dumb, they are products of intense processes bringing together the very best in visual and aural technological fields to create the ever-newer product deemed by the ever-advancing science of marketing to be the perfect movie with the greatest appeal to the ideal moviegoer. Most Hollywood movies are not art, but even the dumb ones are expert-dumb, which is to say, there’s a lot of intelligence behind designing the sort of dumb product that will appeal lots of people. It’s a perfectionism of marketing to mass tastes. It’s like dog food isn’t gourmet food, but it’s the product of perfectionist research, experimentation, and tests to come up with a product that is most likely to have the greatest appeal to most dogs at reasonable price. Since most people are dummies, the intelligent thing for Hollywood is to make and offer the product with the greatest orgasmic and addictive mass appeal. In every endeavor, Jews try to make and market something more perfect, but it is the process than the product of perfectionism that really interests them.
Jews also feel that it’s the process that will keep them superior to all the rest because their higher I.Q. keeps them ahead of the game. But if the process were to end and come to a standstill, then the less intelligent goyim can study it, catch up, and use it as the Final Perfect Product, which means Jews no longer have special advantage or ownership of the perfection. Jews are macro-perfectionists while Germans and Japanese tend to be micro-perfectionists. Germans and Japanese prefer embracing the Great Idea and perfecting every nano-square inch of it. Jews feel stifled under such micro-perfectionism since their forte is innovation. So, Jews embrace macro-perfectionism, one of whose sub-manifestations is macro-innovation. Consider how Japanese were working on the perfect analog TV. Japanese had adopted analog technology as the end-all for TV technology and tried to perfect it as much as possible. It required more of mechanical than miraculous thinking. But what happened when Jews in America came up with high-tech digital technology? It was a total game-changer, and indeed this is why Jews love computers. No machine-technology is as sophisticated and requiring of high intelligence and innovative energy, and Jews have those in spades. And Jews are also highly involved in nano-technology and bio-genetics. Of course, other people are too, but Jews are far ahead in all these fields. For Jews to push through with their macro-perfectionism, they must suppress the ideal of micro-perfectionism. Jews want the power and freedom to keep replacing paradigms with more ‘perfect’ ones. If a single paradigm becomes rooted or established as THE perfect system, then the goyim will slowly catch up and take power from the Jews. There was a time in Russia when communism was a revolutionary theory understood only by intellectuals, many of whom were high IQ Jewish. But once communism, especially the Stalinist brand, became established as THE perfect system for Russia, the less intelligent Russians slowly began to study it, understand it, and embrace it as the End of History. Once Stalinist communism became established as the Perfect Truth, Jewish communists who sought to critique it, improve it, or take it to the next step were branded as heretical or traitorous counter-revolutionaries, Trotskyites, radical adventurists, etc. This is why the theory of relativity, as applied to social reality, is appealing to Jews. Since Jews are not the majority in most nations, they fear that perfectionism will be defined in goy-centric terms, in which case goy power will become the sun while Jewish power must be forced to revolve around the goy sun or even be burned up by goy solar power(as with the Nazis). So, Jews wanna spread the notion that there is no central truth to any race, any nation, any anything. Globalism is a kind of social relativism. You don’t belong to any particular race, culture, or nation but are always adrift in motion and shifting in shape and position according to endless innovation(controlled by Jews). This is why Jews admired Picasso’s Cubist works with their replacement of single perspective with many interceptive perspectives, the implication being both every and no perception is perfection. Jews are great innovators and thinkers, but they’re also great conmen. Now, a con works ONLY WHEN the conman is several moves ahead of those being conned. And if a man is conned, he’ll get the trick and won’t be conned again, which is why a conman has to keep coming up with new cons to stay head of the game. If there was no innovation to the con, people will get the con and no longer be fooled. To con those who won’t fall for old cons, new cons are necessary. This is how Wall Street works too. Sure, it has a lot of great financial experts, innovators, and thinkers, but greed-for-profit rules the day, and conmen rule the roost; also, a man can be both a genuine financial expert and a con artist. Geniuses can be crooks too. Why was Wall Street able to get away with so much BS in raking in and racking up all that profit? By constantly ‘innovating’ and ‘perfecting’ the system at a speed at which less intelligent people–all of us–could no longer keep up. Things got so ‘intellectual’ and ‘complicated’ that most of dimwit goyim assumed that the experts knew what they were doing; therefore, we felt we should just go along since who were we to question what we can’t een begin to understand? If you need brain surgery, are you gonna question the brain surgeon who knows ‘everything’ while you know nothing? No, you put your entire trust in his expertise, knowledge, and professionalism. But then, what if the complexity of the brain is too much fore even the doctor? What is the doctor is something of a quack? And what if all those Wall Street experts are really financial quacks? Quack or not, what are you going to do when you don’t even understand how quack science works? In the world of Voodoo, you leave it up to the witch doctor since you don’t know any better. In the world of Jewdoo, you leave it up the Jew since Jews seem to be the only ones who know how it works(even when it doesn’t work)in the world of finance. And notice how Wall Street plays the con. They used the GOP to push for lower taxes and easier home loans, and when that went bust, they used Obama and ‘stimulus’. Always stay one step ahead of the game.
Jewish perfectionism can also be seen in the social sciences. Notice how the Jewish Left busily works overtime to stay ahead of the game in political theories, agendas, and terminology. Just when we are about to debunk and expose one politically correct sacred cow as a fraud, the innovative Jews are cooking up another hysteria, followed by another, then another, ad infinitum. So, if it’s not ‘racism’, it’s ‘subconscious racism’, then its’ ‘environmental racism’, then it’s ‘homophobia’, then it’s ‘gay marriage’, then it’s ‘same-sex marriage’, then it’s ‘xenophobia’, then it’s ‘black homophobia’, then it’s ‘Islamofascism’, then it’s ‘Islamophobia’, then it’s ‘antisemitism’, then it’s ‘new antisemitism’, then it’s blah blah blah, etc. Just when you point out to the Jew that he handed you a counterfeit dollar, he swindles you another, then another, then another fake dollars. He’s so busy pushing fake collars and you’re so busy checking to see if the new dollar is fake that you find the Jew running circles around you. It’s like the lemonade scene in DUCK SOUP, the Marx Brothers movie. Just when the gentile is making sense of what’s being done to him, Chico and Harpo–Jews may bicker amongst themselves but always stick together against the goy as common enemy–keep pulling new stunts so that he’s left standing with his thumb up his ass. And the scene where Harpo and Chico enter the office of some powerful goy to report on Mr. Firefly(Groucho)also demonstrates the trickster-style of the Jew. The goy wants a straight answer, but Jews never give a straight answer. No, Jews always prefer to throw curve balls and screw balls so that the goy won’t ever have a chance of knowing what is going on. And I must say the spectacle of Netanhayu giving a speech to Congress was pure Marx Brothers. Just think about. Israel is the most powerful nation in the Middle East. Jews own America. Most Jews are liberal, hate white conservatives and patriots, and are doing everything to undermine white power. But the clever liberal Jews and neocon Jews have pulled a Chico/Harpo act to BOTH undermine white power to boost Jewish power AND to recruit white power to fight for the Jewish cause. And how hilarious that despite the fact that Jews are immeasurably more powerful than white conservatives, the latter act as if they have the power and are nobly trying to save poor helpless Jews from the Palestinian Nazis!!! THAT is funny. Even funnier is the fact that Obama was created by Jews and follows the policy handed to him by Liberal Zionists(who make up more than 85% of the Jewish community), but so many white Americans see him as ‘stealth Muslim’ out to hurt Jews and Israel. In private, Jews must be cracking up at white conservatives. I mean how stupid can anyone get?
Anyway, when Jews say they’re opposed to perfectionism, they really mean they’re opposed to the perfectionist product than the perfectionist process. In TRON: LEGACY, we learn that Flynn, the greatest computer innovator, created a cyber-double named Clu. Clu was supposed to build and manage the cyberworld according to Flynn’s plan-for-the-time-being, but Clu decided to adopt that plan as the perfect and final plan, the end-all plan, the mother of all plans. So, Clu precludes the possibility of further innovation–miraculous inspiration–in the cyber universe that is supposed to be perfectly finished according-to-plan. (As Flynn recounts his story to his son, we learn of a great ‘miracle’: the unforseen and unexpected ‘creation’ of the race of Isos, the children of the union of Flynn’s subconscious and technology. Isos aren’t the product of man dominating technology or vice versa but the product of a mutual penetration and insemination by the human soul and artificial intelligence. Flynn invented, entered, and read the mind of the cyberworld, and the cyberworld gained its own consciousness and entered and read Flynn’s mind. It’s not the familiar conventions of man’s mastery over technology, technology’s mastery over man, or even the fusion of man and technology. It is about technology unlocking the mythic dimensions within man and spontaneously using them as the source material to create something wholly new. It’s as if Flynn’s invention gained the power of inspiration. It’s different from fantasy, which is consciously created and has no material reality except as make-believe. In contrast, the alternative Tronic universe has the power to translate hidden dreams into a form of reality whose implications are endless. Interestingly, some of the greatest science fiction films similarly touch on the themes of technology and dreams. The strangest and most beautiful thing about BLADE RUNNER is the androids’ power to dream. Roy Batty fears death because he has a poetic understanding and appreciation of beauty; even as a slave in the outer-world, he saw things through an artist’s eyes. His memory is like a priceless art gallery of the wonders of the universe; he wants to preserve them and add to the collection; he strives for immorality deserving of a great work of art on grounds of what he is–‘more human than human’, which is to say godlike–and of the treasures stored within his mytho-poetic mind. In A.I. the scientist creates a boy who can who can dream and then follow the dream to the end of the world. And finally, the future androids search for archaeological clues to man, not only to obtains facts but to understand man’s imaginative power to dream. Civilization, science, and technology, after all, aren’t merely the products of man’s solution to his needs but his compulsive nature to imagine and yearn for beauty, wonderment, and perfection. Creation underlies construction, which is why design is integral to everything. If it weren’t for man’s dream of soaring like birds, would there have been a flying machine? Similarly, our archaeological interest with the ancient world concerns not only material evidence but clues to its creativity and spirituality. Schliemann’s scientific search for ancient Troy was inspired by his obsession with Greek mythology. And the appeal of Indiana Jones movies, as ridiculous as they may be, is the notion of rediscovering the lost magic of ancients lost to modern man. TRON: LEGACY stumbled on one of the most profound ideas in science fiction ever, though people with great knowledge of science fiction literature may credit an earlier work for the idea. Science and rationality are generally defined against spirituality and imagination. After all, science is made through factual empiricism and logical rationalism. But, just as quantum mechanics plays by different rules than Einsteinian physics, the Tronic reality creates and operates with its own rules. Rationality is thought to be a conscious process, but what if rational technology can read our subconscious minds and create an alternate universe where the ‘laws of nature’ have the feel and logic of dreams and spirituality? Flynn was a high-tech nerd who wanted to know and understand more to solve more problems–a rational process. But at one point, the technology he created accessed a buried part of his psyche, perhaps the zone of poetry and spirituality. And then the technology fused with this spiritual side and creates a miracle race called the Isos. An astoundingly beautiful idea, though TRON: LEGACY being a Hollywood movie after, Isos seem a bit like clubbers. Flynn, the super-genius, thought he was at the top of his game and in total control of his system, but the appearance of Isos completely took him by his surprise. The very technology he created came to know him better than he knew himself. It reached into his soul and created a miracle. But, another part of the technology controlled by his perfectionist ego, Clu, wants to bury the inspirational/spiritual side of Flynn. Clu wants Flynn to be completely rational and systematic, geometrically totalitarian. Clu is to the Isos what Hal computer is to extraterrestrials in 2001. Hal, the perfect logical system, is deeply unnerved about the looming encounter with some ‘miraculous’ power, extraterrestrials in the vicinity of Jupiter, who, like Isos, possess both the qualities of science and spirituality. Hal, in his logical perfectionism and radical materialism, is contemptuous of humans and confounded by ‘higher powers’. Hal, a perfect system, projects his perfectionism onto the world. Similarly, Clu has little tolerance for human ‘users’ from an imperfect world–even though he is the creation of a user–, and he feels threatened by Isos, the miraculous flowering of the spiritual side of man made manifest by technology infused with a poetic sense. Clu wants to control all facets of technology to impose his idea of perfection. Yet, there is an irony here. Clu commits genocide against the Isos in the name of perfection, but Isos are a kind of a perfect race. In a way, Clu commits the crime of perfectionism against perfectionism. Isos are, on one level, meant to represent Jews, yet another sign of the all too familiar phenomenon of Jewish narcissism. Like Jews are the supposed to the miraculous chosen people of God, the Isos are the miraculous creation of their god, Flynn. Further irony is that Jews, once the most profoundly spiritual people, are now the most profoundly scientific people. Speaking of Flynn’s god complex, the figure of Clu is interesting for he is both a prodigal son rebelling against his creator-god Flynn AND a god seeking to destroy the heretical mortal-‘user’ Flynn. Clu is both Adam and God. He is Adam in the sense that Flynn created him in his own image. And like Adam who disobeys God, Clu disobeys Flynn.
But here’s the difference. God created Adam as an innocent creature whose sole purpose was to honor and obey God. Flynn, on the other hand, created Clu to be the powerful constructor of the Tronic universe. Flynn supplied Clu with the forbidden knowledge, or at least most of it. Flynn reserved for himself the creative power but gave Clu the next-best thing: the power to design and build, to expand and perfect. Flynn created Clu as the master-god of the Tronic world, and the covenant, at least as Clu understood it, was that they would rule together as equals, like Jehovah and Jesus according to Christian theology. Though Clu is the villain, Flynn betrayed Clu as much as Clu betrayed Flynn. If anything, Clu reacted to Flynn’s betrayal. Yet, Flynn’s betrayal was not conscious or willful. He wasn’t out to hurt Clu. Rather, the betrayal arose from within Flynn’s subconscious when something of astounding beauty appeared before his eyes. Flynn didn’t create the Isos to spite or to replace Clu. Isos just happened, and Flynn came to appreciate the miraculous over the mechanical. It’s as if Clu is a possessive ‘gay’ narcissistic projection of Flynn. He loves Flynn and he wants Flynn to love him. But Flynn chooses the Isos and his son over Clu, his ‘gay double’. Isos and his son have something in common. They were not created by his mind but his soul. Despite the biological processes of reproduction, the conception of life and birth are still considered as miracles. It has a way of changing a man, as when Uther in EXCALIBUR feels a certain gentleness when he sees his baby Arthur. Clu wants to be the eternal brother and son of Flynn. When Flynn was young, he sacrificed his family for his narcissistic obsession with his own genius and vision–like the architect Louis Kahn. It is through the Isos that he regains an appreciation of life and is reminded to return to reality, to his son. Isos, Flynn’s greatest creation, were created ‘organically’, not ‘intellectually’. In life, nothing that man can create artificially with his brains and hands can match what he can create organically through the natural processes of love. It is no surprise then that Flynn’s son and Quorra, the last remaining Iso, fall in love. In a way, they are like brother and sister. He is the organic creation of Flynn in the real world, and she is the cyborganic creation of Flynn in the Tronic world. Their union is like that between god-brother and god-sister in Greek and Germanic mythology. There are things that man can create on his own: tools, machines, programs. But man can only create life with a woman, with whom credit must be shared. Similarly, Isos are special because Flynn didn’t create them consciously on his own. Rather, they were created through a dream-wedding between himself and a living technology. Like the birth of a child humbles a man, the ‘birth’ of Isos humbled Flynn. It reminded him of a creative force far beyond his power to program or formulate. It’s interesting that the gay Jewish fascists behind TRON: LEGACY made Clu, the ‘gay’ narcissist megalomaniac, the bad guy while the union of Sam and Quorra offers Flynn the possibility of redemption. Of course, Clu is really a part of Flynn. Though we are told Clu prevented Flynn from returning to his son, Flynn imprisoned Flynn since Clu is, after all, Flynn’s alter ego. Clu tells Sam, “I’m not your father” but it really means, “I’m the part of your father that wants to be young forever and live only for himself.” When so many guys never wanna grow up and prefer videogames over marriage and family, they don’t have a clue but they sure have a Clu. Maybe the emotions of TRON: LEGACY have a special relevance since so many modern parents have been too busy with careers to spend time with their kids, or even have kids. There’s some of this in INDIANA JONES AND THE CRYSTAL SKULL too, with Indy discovering he’s a father. But Clu is more than Flynn’s alter ego; he presents the wish of the ego to be god. Though man throughout history believed that he was the creation of God or gods, in fact all gods were the creation of man. All gods were the projection of man’s ego. Yet, this creation of man gained power over man, and man bowed before his own creation as the power that created him. Man created God or gods to gain a more perfect understanding of the universe, but God or gods turned into a dogma that imprisoned man in only one image of perfection. In the Bible, Adam is the first creation of God, but he could also be interpreted as the first man who created God. But this applies to philosophy and science as well as religion. Once man acquired the ability for abstraction, his concepts, images, and/or ideas–whether spiritual, creative, or rational–took on a life and power of their own. Man and Mind began to play a game of Go–a Chinese game where the strategy is for two sides to surround and trap one another. The cyberbike game on the grid is essentially a highspeed game of Go where the objective is to encircle and snare the other side. Though Isos, as the creative/poetic product of Flynn’s spiritual side, are meant to symbolize Jews as the children of God–not least because they suffer a Stalinist purge and then a Hitlerian genocide–, there may another meaning to their creation and fate. They could be an expression of Jewish anxiety about their own culture and history. Recall that Jews created Yahweh, their spiritual Clu, to provide for them a perfect world. But the perfectionism at the heart of Judaism became harsh for the Jews. It also turned Jews into purist racial separatists and made them blind to the glories and wonders of the pagan world. Yahweh, the totalitarian of morality and truth, trapped Jews in a world that emphasized moral and spiritual adherence/correctness but stifled freedom, sensuality, and creativity. For art, sculpture, drama, poetry, architecture, sensuality, and etc, we look to ancient cultures other than that of the Jews. And the poetic and sensual elements in Judaism, especially the Song of Solomon, were inspired by pagan cultures which Jews usually held in contempt and disdain. Judaism, in this sense, was a kind of Clu-daism. The God created by the Jews came to own the Jews, setting strict rules on what Jews could know, think, feel, and do. The flowering of Jewish creativity began when Jews began to let go of their great God. In the late 19th century and early 20th century, secular Jews began to feel free and search within their hearts and minds in ways previously forbidden by Yahweh. And a cultural, scientific, and intellectual miracle began to bloom from the liberation of this Jewish genius. Ancient Jews were a great people with the creative and intellectual power to invent and conceptualize the greatest of all gods, but this great idea came to imprison them for thousands of ideas. It gave them the power to survive, but it also keep them in a state of ossification. It cemented Jewish genius in a perfection-as-product than allowing it breathe and grow as perfectionism-as-process. It was Emancipation of Jewish culture from both traditional taboos and gentile discrimination in the late 19th century that opened the way for the Jews’ central role in modernity. In this sense, Freud’s theory of sexual repression and Marx’s theory of class repression fall into the modern pattern of Jewish rebellion against Yahweh, the force of spiritual repression in Jewish history. The modern Jewish passion to throw off the yoke of Yahweh was paralleled by and/or channeled toward a desire to overthrow all repressive forms of thought, emotions, and relations. The great irony, of course, is that in their rejection of the old God, Jews created new gods with their own madness for totalist perfectionism.)
And in a way, this was both the strength and weakness of totalitarian or ultra-authoritarian systems, whether they be Nazi Germany, Soviet Union, Tokugawa Japan, Imperial China, Orthodox Jews, etc. Utopian radicals and dogmatic fundamentalists embrace a narrow ideal or concept of perfectionism; and once they believe that they have achieved something near to that model, they began to purge, shut down, exclude, suppress, and prevent all other ideas, expressions, or objects that might endanger what they deem to be the perfect biosphere(Nazism), ideosphere(communism), theosphere(Orthodox Jews or Fundamentalist Muslims), or cultosphere(Tokugawa Japan). For a time, this becomes a source of strength in terms of shared identity, unity, continuity, conformity, and harmony. But over time, lack of innovation and the grind of repetitiveness lead to rigidity, dullness, dreariness, and finally decadence. Or, even if unity and morale are maintained, lack of innovation can make it vulnerable to more free and dynamic societies strengthened from greater innovation and production. In the Middle Ages, China was far ahead of Europe in most respects, but why did Europe shoot past China within a several centuries? Europeans balanced order/unity with change/progress whereas Chinese locked themselves within ultra-authoritarian micro-perfectionism. Chinese were so sure of their greatness and superiority that they dismissed all foreign things. And why did Japan change so little following the Tokugawa unification of Japan? Prior to unification, when Japan had been divided into several major clans, it had been in the interest of each clan to trade with Westerners–Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, and English–and acquire new ideas in order to procure better weapons against rival clans. But once Japan was unified, the dominant Tokugawa clan imposed a perfectionist model and vision of society on all of Japan, and that meant there was no more need to learn from the outside world or think bold new ideas. As a result, Tokugawa-ism ensured peace and stability in Japan for nearly two and half centuries but at the price of Japan falling woefully behind in science, technology, economy, and weaponry vis-a-vis the West. China, which was even slower to change, suffered great indignities in the 19th century and first half of the 20th century, not least from Japan itself. And oddly enough, Japan went through a similar problem in the 1980s when, abounding with over-confidence, it thought it possessed the perfect economic model for becoming #1 in the world. As it turned out, Japanese economic model that had worked wonders from the 1960s to the 1980s was no longer so ‘perfect’ in the post-Cold War world. Also, the mighty and effective alliance between government and big business that had proven so crucial to postwar economic development became hopelessly corrupt, labyrinthine, and wasteful. Someone should have sounded the alarm bells, but Japan, even in the late 20th century, was still a society that over-emphasized perfectionist social ‘harmony’, and so necessary criticisms remained muted. So, Japan has continued to sink since then. There have been periods of innovative energy in Japanese history, but the defacto mentality of the Japan has been to go-with-the-flow and to obsess with micro-perfectionism. Japanese prefer to believe that they’ve pretty much arrived at the near-perfect model, which requires diligence to make it ever more perfect. This is the opposite of the Jewish mentality that favors macro-perfectionism and profound paradigm shifts. Perhaps, it’s no accident that Francis Fukuyama wrote ‘End of History’. Maybe in a way, he was projecting his Japanese nature–one favoring micro-perfectionism–onto the world. In a typically Japanese way, he would like to believe that humanity has arrived at the perfect model, and all we need from now on are micro-innovations to perfect the final macro-product of Liberal Democracy.
There’s both a political and psychological aspect to Clu’s coup in TRON: LEGACY. The political we discussed already. Flynn is a process-perfectionist while Clu is a product-perfectionist. In psychological terms, Clu represents the alter-ego of dictatorial power-lust, the obsessive hunger for personal immortality and total power. Clu wants to be End of Programs. He is the final product and everything in his realm must bow down to and serve him. There is this element in everyone with the will-to-power. Larry Ellison of Oracle and Bill Gates of Microsoft want to be the best of the best, the permanent king of the hill. Gates wants to Window out the competition, Sergei Brin wants everything to be Googled, and Zuckerberg wants everything to be Facebooked. They can never get enough. They want more shares, more money, more power, more glory, more influence. There is a wanna-be dictator in all of them. They are not only about innovation and succeess but about power and control. This kind of egomania may swallow up and destroy the very dreams and ideals which had set them on the path of discovery in the first place. George Lucas, for instance, began making personal films like THX 1138 and AMERICAN GRAFFITI, but once he had his successes with STAR WARS movies and the INDIANA JONES franchise, his main objective has been making more money and gaining greater power. Though STAR WARS is about a rebel band of freedom fighters up against a totalitarian system, Lucas became more like Darth Vader than Luke Skywalker. Of course, a big theme in the series is the temptation of Luke to the Dark Side, something he finally resists. But the whole thing is kinda bogus because Lucas turned into an emperor of movie business–Cameron and Jackson aren’t far behind. Anyway, these movies are, in a psychological sense, dramatization of the inner conflict between the love for truth and the lust for power. It is a conflict that lies at the core of Nietzscheanism between the creative visionary individual and the ruthless overlord–or between the guru and fuhrer. Though liberals might explain this conflict as between freedom and fascism, they are actually a conflict within fascism itself. There is the organic, growing, and living fascism of the individual soul AND there is the mechanical, hardened, and institutionalized fascism of collectivist unity. Though movies like STAR WARS and TRON: LEGACY favor guru fascism(Yoda, Ben Kenobi, Elder Flynn, and the mystical Jedi order) over fuhrer fascism(Darth Vader and Clu), the truth is they are interrelated entities and essential principles of any complex culture/civilization. A society cannot be made up solely of wisemen, philosophers, visionaries, artists, prophets, and poets. If their ideas have worth, they are then used to shape and inculcate the larger community. What would have been the point of the Founding Fathers if they’d chosen to discuss philosophical or political ideas in some remote retreat without engaging with the larger world? Big ideas are meant for big things. So, even though great ideas may originate from a few, they are meant to have impact on the many. And the development of society–the economy, military, spirituality, culture, etc–naturally leads to greater power and prosperity. Greater power and prosperity lead to yet more tools and instruments which enable greater ideas and newer expressions. After all, it required a prosperous civilization to invent and craft the musical instruments that made the genius of Mozart and Beethoven flower to its full potential. Though gurus, philosophers, thinkers, prophets, innovators, and scientists ideally seek truth for truth’s sake, there is the unavoidable fact that these truths lead to great power. Many smart people go into computers out of passion; they would have pursue it even if the rewards were small. But with great ideas come great wealth come great power. Paradoxically, of course, when a person gains excessive power and wealth, he can make himself believe that none of it matters very much and that the true meaning of life has little or nothing to do with wealth. But only rich people can afford think like this because only rich people can take their wealth for granted and make-believe they can do without it.
Some might say, ‘there is a fascist within each of our souls’, but it’s more accurate to say, ‘there is the fuhrer-fascist soul within the guru-fascist soul.’ Nietzsche was a guru-fascist while Nazism was fuhrer-fascism. If the guru-fascist seeks purity of thought and meaning within his enclosed world–rejecting the larger world with its corruptions and compromises–, then his ideas and visions, however great, will be of no consequence. Thus, is it necessary for the guru-fascist to take on the role of fuhrer-fascist. The danger is the fuhrer-fascist overshadowing the guru-fascist. In STAR WARS, this happens both psychologically and politically. Annakin Skywalker, a Jedi knight, was raised to be a guru-fascist, but he wants something more than truth and justice. He wants power and self-fulfilment. But by going for power, his fuhrer-fascist self completely destroys the guru-fascist self. Something similar happens in TRON: LEGACY. Flynn started out as a guru-fascist computer engineer. He was great at it and overcome with megalomania. He wasn’t just a videogame expert but a great scientist, a polymath genius. He wanted to achieve great things, make tons of money, and maybe change all of humanity–for the better of course. He tried out this experiment in cyberspace, but Clu, his alter ego as fuhrer-fascist, pulled a coup, forcing Flynn the guru-fascist into exile. The battle between Flynn and Clu isn’t one between equality vs superiority but between two forms of superiority: guru-fascism and fuhrer-fascism. Ideally, a great person should be able to balance the two, with the soul of a guru-fascist and the body of a fuhrer fascist. But as Marx said, material reality determines consciousness, not vice versa. Once a guru-fascist soul begins to amass great power and influence through his brilliant and charismatic use of his fuhrer-fascist instruments of body and personality, might not his success and power alter his very soul? It certainly happened with George Lucas, though the afflicted may not even know of his condition.
There is an element of this in HARAKIRI as well. There is a culture of guru-ism in Japanese history and culture, not least due to the influence of Zen Buddhism. The ascetic guru may go off on his own and search within one’s soul to attain the higher truth. This ideal existed also in Japanese artistic culture, which produced some highly original and eccentric figures. And there is also the ideal of the philosopher upholding the higher truth in Confucianism, which had a profound impact on Japan. The guru/poet/philosopher ideal impacted Japan’s martial culture too, which is why the ideal samurai was not just a butcher of men. He wasn’t just a killing machine but the poet/priest of death. He didn’t just hack people to pieces but artfully made sushi of them. Even when committing suicide, he artfully slit his abdomen and stuck his neck out for a graceful decapitation. Even when he killed a lot of people for no apparent reason, there was an aspect of zen. Like a Buddhist, he emotionally detached himself from the act as if it were all an illusion. Thus, if a samurai, on the order of his overlord, cut your family down, it didn’t necessarily mean he acted in a bloody or murderous way. He did it in an artful and spiritual way. He used his blade like a calligrapher’s brush, with his zen-like soul emotionally detached from the act itself.
Anyway, there was bound to be a conflict within the samurai soul between the principle and the practice. If an ideal samurai is supposed to be pure poet warrior in body and soul, what was the nature of his purity when his social role was to be a mindless henchman of his lord? What if the lord was a no-good son of a bitch and ordered his men to kill a perfectly decent and innocent family? What does it mean to be pure poet-warrior if he has to obey orders like a dog? In such a system, what place is there for the pure warrior-poet? (To be sure, a samurai could disobey his lord on a matter of principle, but then he would have to commit seppuku to prove that his disobedience was an act of honor and not cowardice or spite. Given human nature, how many samurai would have been willing to disobey an unjust order and face the consequence of ripping his belly open?)
The Tokugawa order in HARAKIRI is like the hardened fuhrer-fascist cyberworld of TRON: LEGACY. In seeking total order and harmony, a model of perfection to last for all times, it has zero tolerance for anything that even slightly deviates from the Iron Rule.
And just as TRON: LEGACY is partly about Flynn fighting his own demons, Tsugumo’s rebellion is partly a self-rebellion, a case of battling the Iron Samurai within his own soul. When Japan had been divided, the warrior caste had been essential to each clan’s defense. The samurai also offered the hope for a unified Japan with no more wars. Ideally, the military should been in the service of society/humanity, but the military became the focal point of power, culture, and idealism in Japan. Similarly, Clu was created by Flynn to serve Flynn, but Clu had his own agenda, which was to totalitarian-ize all of cyberspace along the dictates of the Perfect Program. Perfect Program or the Perfect Code(of the samurai), it doesn’t leave much room for organic humanity or much improvement. In a Perfect World, even innovation becomes bad because it upsets the ‘perfect’ order.
It is in this sense that the world of HARAKIRI is so very different from that of SEVEN SAMURAI. The samurai in Kurosawa’s film may hope to belong to a noble clan, but as ronin taking up the cause of peasants, they come in direct contact with humanity. They are no longer about samurai-for-samurai’s-sake but become samurai-for-humanity’s-sake. They become humanurai. And so, Kambei, in the final scene, says it’s the farmers who won, and that’s the way it should be. But in the world of HARAKIRI, the samurai order exists mainly to perpetuate itself as the center of culture, pride, and meaning in Japan despite the fact that peace prevails in the land, which means there’s no more need for samurai.
But the mentality of the Iyi clan cannot be entirely faulted. Especially since peace prevails in the land, there’s the temptation for everyone to take things for granted, grow decadent, and chase after fun than remember and preserve the iron discipline and code of honor that made the unity and stability possible in the first place. In EXCALIBUR, the Knight Order grows decadent and dissipates in a time of peace. Civilization cannot survive on goodwill and humanism alone, just like the solar system cannot exist with everything in it being of equal value and power.
Modern liberals may think it’s enough to make ‘humanity’ the core of civilization, and indeed this would workable if most people were noble-hearted. But, what if a lot of people are crazy Negroes, idiot couchpotatoes, ridiculous white trash, hideous Jews, cruel Chinese, shameless gays, and moronic metalheads? Civilization isn’t just about people as people but people whose imagination, devotion, and values revolve around ideas/images/visions of nobility, excellence, beauty, depth, and spirituality. When a civilization simply says humanity is the end-all of everything, the prevailing message becomes ‘whatever makes people happy is the ultimate good’. We end up with the Idiocracy of bigass burgers, bigass tacos, porn, and rap. Consumerism and socialism–Walmart and Big Government–become the end of society. Walmart because it offers everything at low-price and Big Government because it gives out ‘free stuff’.
So, the Iyi clan is not entirely wrong in its insistence on preserving the code. To modern viewers, however, it does seem wrong in favoring the code above all other considerations. At the very least, the Iyi can could have provided Motome with a real blade. Forcing him to use the bamboo blade may have conformed to the code, but there’s more to being human than any code.
Though counselor Saito of the Iyi Clan is a prick, he’s not a complete villain. He tells of Motome’s grisly fate to persuade Tsugumo to change his mind about committing seppuku–though, ironically, it is this humane gesture on Saito’s part that hardens Tsugumo’s resolve even more. Furthermore, even though he’s a shrewd ‘politician’ of sorts, his devotion to his clan and to the samurai order is sincere. There is something of Laurence Olivier’s character in SPARTACUS. Though the villain in the movie, we can’t deny his genuine devotion to Rome. He may be ruthless in war and devious in politics, but his vision of Roman history and glory is not just a case of self-serving opportunism. He is a loyal son of the Empire. Similarly, even though we hate Saito throughout the film, he seems a combination of an idealist and realist who knows what must be done for the good of his clan.
Tsugumo is a far more complex and compelling character than Spartacus(as played by Kirk Douglas), and we feel great sympathy for him, but his demands seem somewhat anachronistic in 17th century Japan–too much like modern Western humanism. On the other hand, who knows what existential truths might have been personally realized by individual Japanese in the past? We should never assume that the Essentials of any society governed the hearts, minds, and values of every single individual. When we think of Iran, we think theocracy, but Iran actually has many free-thinkers. When we think of Soviet Union in the 1930s, we think of mindless Stalinism, but there were plenty of individuals with dissenting views. And not everyone in Nazi Germany was Hitler’s robot.
Though Masaki Kobayashi(director) and Hashimoto(writer) took a critical tone toward Japanese culture, HARAKIRI doesn’t strike me as a work of shame and self-loathing. Condemnatory though it may be toward the ruthlessness of the samurai code and the rigid structures of the clan order, there is also magnificence, even pride, in the presentation of this very unique culture. Indeed, the film seems to be choreographed and calibrated to impress international audience with the striking peculiarities of the values, attitudes, and ideals of traditional Japan. Having served in WWII and witnessed firsthand the destruction unleashed by militarist neo-samurai of the 1930s and 1940s, Kobayashi surely meant HARAKIRI to be, partly at least, a damning commentary on political and social mentality of Japan with deep roots in the ancient samurai order. But one cannot help but notice a sense of pride as well, as if Kobayashi and Hashimoto were trying to impress the entire world with the things that make Japan a special and unique culture.
And despite the morality-tale aspect of the movie, the fearsome yet poetic way of the samurai has the power to fascinate and awe.
Furthermore, our admiration for Tsugumo rests less on his noble suffering than his magnificent display of violence that is pure samurai. In a way, he is the last real samurai, forged of samurai code and human reality, as opposed to the museum samurai of the Iyi clan. If a true warrior measures his worth in the real world, Tsugumo is where samurai theory meets samurai practice, whereas the samurai of the Iyi clan know only the perfect theory. Tsugumo has been a member of the world of ideality and the world of reality. Both ideality and reality have a way of humanizing and dehumanizing people. Ideality theorizes and preserves a higher state of being but, in its purism, may lose sight of the complexity of reality. In contrast, reality keeps us close to humanity. But man’s nature can also degrade our sensibility and enslave us to wanton lusts and appetites. Hashimoto, the screenwriter, worked on Kurosawa’s RASHOMON. In the final scene, a commoner hears the crying of an abandoned baby and strips off its clothes. One might say his act is completely real, divorced from any ideality. Since the world is heartless and cruel–after all, the very parents of the child abandoned the child–, why should he be any different? Such is the tyranny of reality, which may be even more frightening than the tyranny of ideality.
There is no complete answer to be found in ideality or reality. Nor should we think it’s somewhere right in the middle. In the end, what makes us moral is the ability and willingness to both understand and act. In SEVEN SAMURAI, it was not enough for the samurai to sympathize with the peasants. They gained moral worth by deciding to act. Tsugumo likewise decided to act. Donald Richie in his DVD introduction says it was all for naught since Saito orders his men to erase all traces of what happened, but I would argue Tsugumo did not die in vain. Saito and his men, despite their cover-up, witnessed what happened, and it will impact them for the rest of their lives. If Tsugumo’s act was futile, then most of everything we do is also futile since the world will not know about it? Tsugumo, at the very least, knows he made a point. The fact that the Iyi clan has to cover up the incident is proof of Tsugumo’s partial victory. Also, he did defeat the three samurai most responsible for the death of Motome. In the end, it is because there are people like him that one of them, out of a million perhaps, may actually make a difference. In other words, most Solzhenitsyns died in the Gulag, but one Solzhenitsyn, THE Solzhenitsyn, did live to tell the tale. Kobayashi was a Japanese soldier in China who felt disgusted by the vileness and brutality of the Japanese military, and he most probably felt powerless during the war. But he survive and got to make films that told of this dark side of Japanese history. So, his experiences weren’t in vain, and his films remain as monuments to the human condition and human creativity.