The Empire: An Introduction to Atemporal Politics and Cooking Fine Cuisine
How to Bake Good Bread
The age of skepticism and doubt may set the spirit free from the tyranny of crowd through the process of active nihilism, but it's more than often that this process may only partially lead to the restoration of integrity because we don't allow the process of active nihilism take us through the rock bottom. While we gain more independence and meaning to our lives, we will still retain a selection of persistent Modernist dogmas. This is part conveniency, because the subjects are very taboo, but we also find some of the topics hard to engage in the first place: as if we had no clear comprehension what the concept means, yet attach a symbolic value to it. That emotional reaction is caused by media spin and streams of propaganda from para-political activist movements, so obviously we should take another step through the lies and get closer to reality.
All human societies are based around two models of organizing societies: the organic ethnic nation and the synthetic nation-state.
The ethnic nation which has its people unified through the principles of caste (leadership), world view, spiritual traditions, customs, traditions, language and ancestral land. The (ethnic) nation is a product of people wanting to share similar beliefs forming and having lived intimately for centuries until the border between the individual desires and national spirit converge, thus they achieve the transcendence from the temporal realm through the continuum of blood lines and traditional values. Holistic understanding states that these people are convergent, because their desire for self-excellence and overcoming has lead them to the path of the overman: by sacrificing the materialistic and individualistic aspects of life, they gain focus and intent to achieve more in culture and science, enjoying the vast subtleties of life.
The nation-state is often synonymously used with "the Empire," because the Empire is the most remarkable, powerful, and interesting form of nation-state's cycle of life: often romanticized - if not even idolized - by those who witness the glamor of the priviliged upper class, or its conserved remains in a museum.
Basic setting for baking a nation-state takes the same ingridients (beliefs, ethnic homogenity, etc) as the nation would, but we also add a generous overdose of sugar and dry yeast and, instead of cooking the dough pastries, we eat it raw. Oh yes, there will be flatulence. The modified recipe breaks down to these essentials: sugar represents the excess material wealth which albeit tasting good is bad for your health, yeast is the parasites (bankers, lawyers, central institutions and bureucracies) who are viewed beneficial but generate trouble (and flatulence!) by eating the dough society and particularly its sugary wealth from within. Of course, baking the dough would prevent a great deal of trouble and in a long period probably turn the synthetic into something more organic and functional, but I guess that since we're too materialistic, stupid, ugly and short-sighted to really care where the society is heading... and we really do enjoy the flatulence!
Since we defined our nation-state to take the same ingridients the nation would, it turns out that our synthetic societies have an organic origin, a dough root of starter nationality if you will, but the baking process is flawed and incomplete in execution. This is the question of leadership: do we have real aims in life or does everything boil down to materialist indulgences? Where ethnic nations achieve a spiritual and satisfied life complete with subtleties, it's a common feature for nation-states that its citizens are self-obsessed and neurotic to a degree that they simply cannot find a true satisfaction - the holistic kind of satisfaction which builds up in healthy life full of nuances and enjoying subtleties of joy, love, grief and persistence in hardships - but turn to shallow materialistic life in total denial of life's finer structure and aforementioned necessities. The people of nation-state are divergent because all they can agree is to disagree from their individualism and selfishness.
Even long before Plato wrote his famous criticism of Democracy and defended the importance of organic society, it's been clear that the quest(ion) of leadership is the single most important fulcrum upon which the fate of societies is decided. The historical falls of glorious civilizations begs the question: why and how do the hierarchies fail? How did the bakers lose control of the dough? Literally speaking, they sort of did become overrun by the expanding dough. We call it the Crowd Revolt when the less competent castes overthrow those who have the natural talent to lead, thus turning the society into a terrible, sticky dough mess.
Dough has two different means to expand: either by adding more flour and other ingridients to make more of the mass, or by adding yeast which makes the dough expand by turning its wealth into gaseous CO2. Adding more flour counts for the population explosion, which is often complemented by additional sugar into the dough because the expanding societies seek to keep the welfare secured through the exploitation of natural resources, often adding a few nods to "equality" or sorts of luxury as a citizen privilege. However, it's not at all necessary to add yeast, because the wild yeast exists freely in our everyday environment. All the baker has to do is to keep the dough unprotected for a while, or more likely, neclect his duties of protecting the dough, and it guaranteedly gets infected by the yeast.
Generally the pattern of decline is this:
Now we're going for a more technical analysis on how nation-states form, how they become empires, and how they inevitably fall.
Ruining the Cake (with many cooks)
The ways of ruining the cake are many. When it comes to nation-states and failing civilizations, the Empires most often mentioned, because they highlight the grossest mishaps and disadvantages of the nation-state.
Fatherland (Patria), the nation-state, is the Empire, a misdirected sentiment of social belonging to the common social institution with other people, the sentiment which should go to one's nation if anything. There is no, nor truly can be, a unified nation within the empire, because its young origins are always laid on multinationality. While people may insist that diversity is a strength, reality once again begs to differ:
The inevitable conclusion is that the people with shady agendas will promote more individual freedom and privacy of thought which allows them to effectively warp the global pattern of a society: Because businessmen like doing business and gain more wealth, their common special interest is to gain more means to access a larger pool of wealth, therefore promote globality and better mobility of thoughts, people and commerce. This is just one example, but in general when a nation dissolves into loosely connected groups fighting for a piece of dominance over others, it is certain that it's soon to lose all sense of unity. Multiculturalism is an utter failure.
The empire can be best thought as a utopia, both spiritual (Christianity) and legal (Rome). The most successful empires around the globe were established on premises of morality and social happiness, because these espouse altruistic traits which are - unsurprisingly, but coincidentally? maybe not! - essential in assimiliating new nations under the bureaucratic nation-state. A common tactic employed for the newly conquered nations has been the standardisation of language, thought (metaphysical understanding), and legality issues. And furthermor, what should make nations more malleable than teaching them guilt and submission as virtues as in adoration of the Patria and disavowing their true heritage? It seems that the empires always end up benefitting commerce the most, since the removal of integral self-contained identity and independence from infrastructures is what fuels the expansion of economy and exploitation the best.
The futility of the nation-state is explained here best: Does it serve reality and function it's intended for, or is its purpose to be as illusionarily self-serving as in morality?
In the quest of finding the justification for the Empire, the apologists will have to go for lowest common denominator: not the ideals, but the material needs. What made Christianity so famously popular was its founding members understanding of the psychology of basic human interaction (regardless of who we are):
Together these two, justice and trust, account for the much celebrated faith: Live a life of (social, moral) justice, thus receive a reward for the trust in the form of mutual well-being. This reward is often understood as "afterlife" in the Christian context, but what we're getting at is a simple return of favour in justice: a society exists for the mutualism of its members, nothing else.
Surely it must be pleasurable living in the Empire, finding all these plentiful people, confused and barely knowing each other in their pretension and glitter. This change was done with the expense of the vast metaphysical understanding of the myths and stories the pre-Christian civilizations had, but hey, it is the universal social justice which matters, right? My right makes also your right; how cutely intolerant in a passive-aggressive manner!
Why are empires born? History seems inclined that the empires start as patchwork solutions to a failing state. I say especially 'state,' because at this stage the concept of nationality has usually been lost in the favour of commercial non-cultural city-state. This void of culture leads to the lack of societal coherence and weakened aristocracy, which the empirical usurpers try to fix by offering a new stronger system of coherence -- by renewing the state monopoly of legistlation and trust (religion) to fit everyone's needs. But the truth is that this is destined to fail, because no amount of law will ever replace our human need to live in small intimate communities where we find the true intimate sense of belonging and trust.
To return my bread baking analogy, we may now conclude that it's essential to have the process of baking in the mind all time. Nature abhors inorganic designs, so there is no way out of the responsibility: if civilization and greatness is important to you, you will recognize your place in its making and work towards its success. Otherwise you're just another parasitic yeast organism lurking around to be fed.
December 29, 2007
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