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Happy Bastille Day!

Luglio 14th, 2019 No Comments   Posted in Mişcarea Dacia
Să terminăm ce am început cu PRIMUL VAL AL ILUMINISMULUI!!!… suntem pe creasta celui de-AL DOILEA VAL AL ILUMINISMULUI, ŞI ULTIMUL!!!
ACUM, ori NICIODATĂ!!!
HIPERUMANITATEA, sau EXTINCŢIA!!!

Happy Bastille day, one of the most momentous days in human history. Let it be an inspiration to us as we fight to finish what it started.

A Guide to the French Revolution

For Bastille Day, we have answers to a bunch of questions about the French Revolution.

Henry Singleton, “The Storming of the Bastille.”

Today people all over the world celebrate the 1789 storming of the Bastille Saint-Antoine — a dramatic popular rebellion that sparked the French Revolution.But what was the French Revolution, how did it reshape Europe and the world, and what relevance does it have to the workers’ movement today? Here’s a short primer, lovingly compiled by Jacobin to mark the occasion.

What was the French Revolution?

The French Revolution was one of the most dramatic social upheavals in history. In 1856, French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville reviewed the so-called “grievance books” — lists of demands made by the various social layers of France in anticipation of the Estates-General, the assembly that would undermine Louis XVI’s reign and lead ultimately to revolution. What he discovered startled him.

When I came to gather all the individual wishes, with a sense of terror I realized that their demands were for the wholesale and systematic abolition of all the laws and all the current practices in the country. Straightaway I saw that the issue here was one of the most extensive and dangerous revolutions ever observed in the world.

The revolutionary process started with open rebellion in the summer of 1789 — including the storming of the Bastille on July 14. It would before long topple the absolute monarchy of Louis XVI, divest the nobility of their hereditary power, and completely undermine the political influence of the Catholic Church.

This dramatic revision in French society unleashed a chaotic process of revolutionary advance and reactionary blowback. The forces of property were unwilling to stand idly by as their enormous privileges were threatened; they attempted to undo all the radical changes brought on by the revolution and restore the old social hierarchies even as the revolutionaries worked to cohere an entirely different kind of society based on more egalitarian ideals.

From this unstable crucible ultimately emerged Napoleon, who would construct the Bonapartist state through war and empire, ultimately leading to France’s renewed subjugation by the old powers of Europe and the restoration of the monarchy.

What was France like before the revolution?

The vast majority of people in France lived in destitution, with little chance of escaping their condition. Peasants were entirely at the mercy of the nobility, who had preserved much of the fundamental power relationship of feudalism. As Jean Jaurès described in 1901, the economic subjugation in the countryside was profound:

There was not one action in rural life that did not require the peasants to pay a ransom… Feudal rights thus extended their clutches over every force of nature, everything that grew, moved, breathed […] even over the fire burning in the oven to bake the peasant’s poor bread.

This led to near-universal poverty in the countryside. English agriculturalist Arthur Young remarked at the time:

The poor seem poor indeed; the children terribly ragged, if possible worse clad than if with no clothes at all; as to shoes and stockings they are luxuries… One third of what I have seen of this province seems uncultivated, and nearly all of it in misery. What have kings, and ministers, and parliaments, and states, to answer for their prejudices, seeing millions of hands that would be industrious, idle and starving, through the execrable maxims of despotism, or the equally detestable prejudices of a feudal nobility?

The urban population of artisans and journeymen laborers experienced similar hardship. Economic reorganizations in the kingdom threatened the apprenticeship system, jeopardizing the ability of craftsmen to control their own work. Day laborers — permitted to exist in the cities only when they could produce papers proving their employment — were stalked by royal police.

At the same time, a wave of immigration brought dramatic demographic changes to Paris. Historian Eric Hazan estimates that in 1789 immigrants numbered about two thirds of the city’s population, and they each had to “request a passport in their region of origin to avoid being arrested en route as vagabonds and sent to beggars colonies.”

The clergy and nobility, together comprising about 1.6 percent of the population, were doing just fine — most nobles lived in extreme opulence and inherited their positions hereditarily. The Catholic Church controlled by some estimates 8 percent of total private wealth.

But in the years immediately prior to the revolution, a new class of financiers — generally upwardly mobile craftsmen or landholding peasants — began to grow in the cities, threatening to replace the nobility as the most decadent of social layers.

Meanwhile, the kingdom was in the midst of a catastrophic financial crisis. The king was broke, and the system of accounting that had developed chaotically during the Seven Years War left the his functionaries unable to account for the kingdom’s wealth until it had almost disappeared. Foreign financiers were recalling their debts, the harvest of 1788 was decimated by a drought and a series of hailstorms, and the free trade agreement brokered between France and Great Britain at the end of the Seven Years War flooded the French market with British textiles, ruining French garment production.

Things were bad. Panicked about the financial crisis, Louis XVI squeezed the people even harder, demanding increased taxes from all layers of society.

But there were rumblings of resistance, in the cities as well as the countryside. Elites like Louis-Sébastien Mercier expressed dismay at the insubordination of urban workers:

There has been visible insubordination among the people for several years now, and especially in the trades. Apprentices and lads want to display their independence; they lack respect for the masters, they form corporations [associations]; this contempt for the old rules is contrary to order… The workers transform the print shop into a real smoke den.

And peasants, still expected to sacrifice even their most basic of foodstuffs as tribute to king and church, took matters into their own hands as famine loomed. As one mayor of a rural district remarked, “It is impossible to find within half a league’s radius a man prepared to drive a cartload of wheat. The populace is so enraged they would kill for a bushel.” The starving peasants were unwilling to deliver flour to their feudal masters to satisfy the demands of an enormous war debt; they prefered to eat it instead.

What other solution but revolution?

What happened on July 14, 1789?

The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 represents the popular revolution’s inaugural moment. Encouraged by the rapid pace of reforms — and exasperated with the National Assembly’s unwillingness to take a harder line with the intransigent king — masses of artisans and laborers assaulted the Bastille de Saint-Antoine, seized its gunpowder, and released the handful of prisoners held there.

By claiming the fortress on behalf of the revolution, they sent a powerful message to the forces of old wealth that still dominated the kingdom — the upheaval in France would not be a simple legislative reorganization, but rather a social revolution. From this point forward, the French revolutionary process would, in many ways, take its lead from a volatile popular insurrection that surged again each time its gains were threatened.

Hazan describes it this way:

The storming of the Bastille is the most famous event in the French Revolution, and has moreover become its symbol throughout the world. But this glory rather distorts its historical significance. It was neither a moment of miracle, nor a conclusion, nor a culminating point of the ‘good’ revolution before the start of the ‘bad’, that of 1793 and the Terror; the storming of the Bastille was one shining point on the trajectory of the Paris insurrection, which continued its upward curve…

Foreshadowing the dramatic seizure of Tuileries by thousands of sans-culottes in 1792 — which would establish the insurrectional Commune and finally depose the king — the storming of the Bastille represents neither culmination nor catalyst of the French Revolution. Rather, it was a moment in which masses of oppressed Parisians thrust themselves into the process of reform already underway in France, challenging the king’s absolutism as well as the authority of the overcautious legislative assemblies. In this way, they helped transform what could have been a period of cautious reform into a period of genuine revolution.

Who were the sans-culottes?

The sans-culottes were the insurrectionary “movement of the laboring poor” who, in historian Eric Hobsbawm‘s words, “provided the main striking-force of the revolution.” Named for their lack of the distinguished breeches worn by elites, the sans-culottes inhabited the political terrain of the street and the square as the bourgeois revolutionaries performed their political work in assembly halls and from within legislative bodies.

Most fundamentally, the sans-culottes were concerned with establishing a system of direct, local democracy which could guarantee a consistent price of for vital provisions — the poor craved the same food security as the nobles, and resented the profound difference between the bread consumed by rich elites and the bread available to common laborers.

A popular uprising ejected Louis XVI from his final hiding place in Tuileries on August 10, 1792 — a tremendous victory for the armies of sans-culottes who descended en masse upon the king, accusing him (quite rightly) of treasonous collusion with foreign monarchies to squash the revolution at home. Following this victory, the sans-culottesformed the Insurrectional Commune and proposed a sweeping reform: “equality and bread.” They wrote, “Wealth and poverty must disappear in a world based on equality. In future the rich will not have their bread made from wheaten flour whilst the poor have theirs made from bran.”

Twin aspirations motivated the sans-culottes: freedom from tyranny and access to bread.

The sans-culottes’ demand for fixed prices on foodstuffs offers insight into the development of the French economy in this period — as more and more artisans were stripped of their self-sufficiency and forced to accept wage labor, they discovered themselves unable to afford even simple consumer goods. For the sans-culottes, demanding lower food prices — not higher wages — was the intuitive response to the transition to wage labor.

Often armed only with pikes — useful for parading the severed heads of food-hoarders or monarchists through the street, as was their habit — the sans-culottes did more than just pose a grave threat to the old hierarchies of the monarchy. They also forced formal revolutionary bodies like the Legislative Assembly to adopt more radical positions to meet the expectations of the unsatisfied and insurgent poor.

Though historian Albert Soboul tried to make the case that the sans-culottes were a peculiar kind of proletariat — as did socialist Jean Jaurés — this category makes little sense in the context of eighteenth-century French society. Instead, the sans-culottes were a social coalition comprised of those who were pinched the hardest by the changing French economy, including day laborers constantly on the hunt for underpaid work, artisans (like the garment-makers) whose livelihoods were threatened by the transition to more industrial modes of manufacturing, and apprentices who were no longer permitted to form “corporations” (trade associations).

Consistently denied the democracy and plenty promised by the revolution, the sans-culottes repeatedly took things into their own hands, driving the revolutionary momentum forward each time the bourgeoisie proved hesitant to further challenge the status quo. Whatever their particular class position, their contribution to the revolution was profound. As Hazan writes:

It is true that the notion [of the ‘sans-culotte’] is fairly elastic, sometimes conjuring up by metonymy the world of popular Paris, sometimes the crowds of the great revolutionary journeés, sometimes again the militants who dominated the life of the sections. But the often violent confrontations with the assemblies and established authorities were not the work of a stereotypical ideal: they show the very real presence of this being of flesh and blood, the Parisian sans-culotte.

Sans-culotte is as sans-culotte does. Constant confrontation with the privileged, often violently and in the street, demanding a world in which food is easily available and democracy simple and direct — this orientation, more than anything else, makes a sans-culotte.

Who were the Jacobins?

Following the mass insurrection of the sans-culottes that effectively dissolved the monarchy and brought the armed bourgeoisie to power, European monarchies feared the French example would destabilize their power in their own countries. Austria took the side of the deposed regime, as did Prussia. Revolutionary France responded with declarations of war in 1792.

Meanwhile, the sans-culottes — having recently learned the power of armed mobilization — continued to make demands on the revolutionary government, threatening not only the old figures of the ancien regime but also the ascendant bourgeoisie.

In response to this crisis, the Committee of Public Safety was formed as a bulwark against the aggression of the wealthy, both French and foreign. The Committee was convened under the leadership of the most militant section of the revolutionary bourgeoisie — the Jacobins.

Officially called the Society of the Friends of the Constitution, the Jacobin Club in the period of Maximillien Robespierre embodied the most radical response to the revolutionary crisis; to defeat the forces of reaction, they found themselves compelled to take radical measures — including price controls, food seizures, and the period of tactical violence that would come to be known as the “Reign of Terror.” While in early periods the Jacobin Club had included more moderate actors, the radical wing that cohered around Robespierre — known as the Montagnards — ultimately became the dominant tendency within the Jacobins’ ranks.

Politically, these Jacobins were radically different from the forces that held power in the earlier stages of the revolution — constitutional monarchists like Lafayette (who despised the Jacobins, calling them “a sect that infringes sovereignty and tyrannies citizens”), liberals like the stargazing Parisian mayor Jean-Sylvain Bailly, and more conservative republicans like the militarist Jacques-Pierre Brissot.

Although their leadership was drawn from the ranks of the intellectual bourgeoisie — not the sans-culottes — the Jacobins were committed to separating the right of political participation from property; Robespierre wrote in 1791, “every citizen has the right to cooperate in legislation, and hence to be elector or eligible, without distinction of fortune.”

In fact, the Jacobin Club — along with the networks of fraternal organizations that sprung up to disseminate revolutionary teachings — had been instrumental in producing the very  layers of radicalized working people who would later come to be known as the sans-culottes. In the absence of political parties as we understand them today, the sans-culottes received their political education from revolutionary societies like the Jacobins, who produced newspapers and called gatherings where revolutionary propaganda was read aloud.

The Jacobin Club, by virtue of its size and militancy, had even influenced discussions in the National Assembly during the revolution’s early stages. As the Abbé Grégoire recalled:

The Jacobins would take it [a question booed by the conservative majority of the Assembly] up in their circular invitations or their papers; it was discussed by four or five hundred affiliated societies, and three weeks later addresses poured into the Assembly asking for a decree on a matter that had initially been rejected, but which the Assembly then accepted by a large majority, since public opinion had been matured by discussion.

Eric Hazan explains, “The society and its branches operated as a system for spreading revolutionary ideas across the country. Nothing is more absurd than the idea of ‘Jacobinism’ as an authoritarian and meddlesome Paris dictatorship.”

Above all else, the Jacobins were intensely concerned with translating the revolutionary fervor of 1789 into a durable and sustainable revolutionary society. They saw their role as to strengthen and deepen the radical ideals of the Revolution while protecting it from attack. As Robespierre wrote in 1794:

[W]hen, by prodigious efforts of courage and reason, a people breaks the chains of despotism to make them into trophies of liberty; when by the force of its moral temperament it comes, as it were, out of the arms of the death, to recapture all the vigor of youth; when by tums it is sensitive and proud, intrepid and docile, and can be stopped neither by impregnable ramparts nor by the innumerable armies of the tyrants armed against it, but stops of itself upon confronting the law’s image; then if it does not climb rapidly to the summit of its destinies, this can only be the fault of those who govern it.

What should we think about the “Reign of Terror”?

The Reign of Terror was a period of intense violence led by Robespierre’s Jacobins, during which the guillotine became the most potent political tool and repression the most vital political task. Though far fewer than the millions who lost their lives during the Napoleonic Wars, 17,000 people — counter-revolutionaries as well as dissident thinkers within the revolution — were executed by the guillotine. Tens of thousands more were killed without trial or died in jail — historian Timothy Tackett estimates a total death toll closer to 40,000.

The legacy of this period is still much debated. But it is hard to dispute that the terror emerged in response to the urgent need for political and military defense. The old figureheads of the ancien regime were more than mere symbols of opulence or historical tyranny; many were active antagonists of the revolution, working to dismantle its progress and assassinate its soldiers precisely at the time when the revolutionary transformation was most vulnerable.

Robespierre wrote in 1794:

If the spring of popular government in time of peace is virtue, the springs of popular government in revolution are at once virtue and terror: virtue, without which terror is fatal; terror, without which virtue is powerless. Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible; it is therefore an emanation of virtue; it is not so much a special principle as it is a consequence of the general principle of democracy applied to our country’s most urgent needs.

It has been said that terror is the principle of despotic government. Does your government therefore resemble despotism? Yes, as the sword that gleams in the hands of the heroes of liberty resembles that with which the henchmen of tyranny are armed. Let the despot govern by terror his brutalized subjects; he is right, as a despot. Subdue by terror the enemies of liberty, and you will be right, as founders of the Republic. The government of the revolution is liberty’s despotism against tyranny. Is force made only to protect crime? And is the thunderbolt not destined to strike the heads of the proud?

. . . Indulgence for the royalists, cry certain men, mercy for the villains! No! mercy for the innocent, mercy for the weak, mercy for the unfortunate, mercy for humanity.

One more thing seems nearly certain: sending political opponents within the ranks of the revolutionaries to the guillotine — the Dantonists, the Hebertists — was a reflection of political weakness that left Robespierre isolated and ultimately defenseless against the plots he so feared.

With the benefit of hindsight, Engels wrote in a letter to Marx in 1870 that:

These perpetual little panics of the French — which all arise from fear of the moment when they will really have to learn the truth — give one a much better idea of the Reign of Terror. We think of this as the reign of people who inspire terror; on the contrary, it is the reign of people who are themselves terrified.

Terror consists mostly of useless cruelties perpetrated by frightened people in order to reassure themselves. I am convinced that the blame for the Reign of Terror in 1793 lies almost exclusively with the over-nervous bourgeois, demeaning himself as a patriot…

Marx himself, though certainly critical of the particulars of “revolutionary terror” as it played out in France, took a less ambiguous stance towards violence in the defense of revolution:

[T]here is only one way in which the murderous death agonies of the old society and the bloody birth throes of the new society can be shortened, simplified and concentrated, and that way is revolutionary terror.

Who ruined the French Revolution?

By the summer of 1794 — five years after the summer of unrest that saw the convening of the Estates-General, the formation of the National Assembly, and the storming of the Bastille — the revolution was fragmented and Robespierre was increasingly isolated, left to occupy a left flank of the revolutionary leadership that was largely devoid of allies or support.

Fearful of conspiracies against his life, Robespierre had argued for the execution of fellow revolutionary leaders like Hebert and Danton while presiding over the Committee for Public Safety. Perhaps predictably, Robespierre did fall victim to a conspiracy from his right, and the dearth of possible allies — the ranks of the moderates and of the left wing having been severely culled by Robespierre’s own expeditions to the guillotine — sealed his doom.

On 9 Thermidor (July 27) of 1794, the National Convention, following the lead of Jean-Lambert Tallien, sentenced Robespierre and three other radical Jacobins to death. After a short-lived insurrection against the National Assembly — led by the Paris Commune, the assembly formed by the sans-culottes and their bourgeois allies after the victory at Tuileries two years earlier — Robespierre and his allies were arrested. The next day, they were executed by guillotine.

A violent purge of the Commune followed. Of its ninety-five leaders present at the time of Robespierre’s capture, eighty-seven died on the guillotine. As Eric Hazan writes, “A new Terror had begun.”

Filippo Buonarroti, a contemporary commentator and friend of Robespierre’s, lamented the monumental defeat, interpreting it as the result of a vulgar alliance between the surviving elements of the old aristocracy and opportunistic revolutionaries on the right wing. To justify their actions, he claims, the leaders of the so-called “Thermidorian reaction” had to distort the legacies of those they opposed, cynically warping revolutionary principles in the service of privilege. He wrote:

The interested professors of democracy, and the ancient partisans of aristocracy, were found to accord once more. Certain rallying cries that recalled the doctrines and institutions of equality, were now regarded as the impure howls of anarchy, brigandism, and terrorism.

Eric Hazan, writing centuries later, is similarly pessimistic:

What was brutally concluded with Thermidor is the incandescent phase of the Revolution, in which men of government, sometimes followed and sometimes driven forward by the most conscious section of the people, sought to change material inequities, social relations and ways of life. They did not succeed, to be sure.

Left unprotected by the popular insurgency of the sans-culottes that, in a previous era, may have come to his aid, Robespierre died without seeing the completion of the revolutionary project he embodied, and the French Revolution died soon after.

The weakened French state, stripped of so much of its democratic potential, could not deliver on the promises of the revolution, and was left in the control of those who would see the revolution’s most radical advances overturned. From this political context soon emerged Napoleon Bonaparte, and the revolution soon mutated into the Bonapartist state, built through war and empire abroad and aristocratic tyranny at home. In perhaps the most perverse example of the inversion of revolutionary principles Buonarotti pointed out, the revolutionary agenda of liberty and equality became a doctrine of global domination through Napoleon’s imperial expeditions.

The revolution was in many respects defeated — though its memories still motivated democratic upsurges like the worker-led Paris Commune decades later.

How did the rest of Europe view the revolution?

The insurrection of the sans-culottes and the liberalization of the French political system had profound effects on the surrounding monarchies. Predictably, the reaction of the monarchs was vastly different from the response of the masses.

The monarchs of Austria and Prussia — including Leopold II, a relative of the French royals — took immediate interest in the popular unrest destabilizing their neighbor kingdom, even colluding with Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette to orchestrate an inter-kingdom war to weaken the constitutionalist state.

After Louis XVI was prevented from fleeing the nation by angry peasants and evidence of his treason was discovered in Paris, the French people were so outraged they seized the Tuileries and deposed the king, sparking skirmishes with the neighboring monarchs.

But common people in neighboring regions saw inspiration for their own liberation in the French popular struggle. Swiss Guards — hired as mercenaries to defend Louis XVI — defected to the ranks of the sans-culottes en masse during the seizure of Tuileries, and there were similar incidents of side-switching along the border, as soldiers representing the French nation absorbed dissident foreign troops.

Following the French Revolution, popular rebellions also occurred in Italy and Switzerland, citing the French struggle as an ideological and military example.

What was the relationship between the French Revolution and the Haitian one?

Between 1791 and 1804 — during the same period of revolutionary upheaval in the metropole —  slaves on the French island of Saint Domingue rose up against the plantation system that maintained their misery, demanding for themselves the rights of citizens. The rebelling slaves dispossessed the planter class of their wealth, executed the remaining planters on the island, abolished slavery, and established Haiti, the first free republic in the Americas.

Among the new nation’s inaugural documents was an appeal to that most fundamental of French revolutionary tracts: the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen.”

We would do well to remember Marx’s warning: “Ideas can never lead beyond an old world order but only beyond the ideas of the old world order. Ideas cannot carry out anything at all. In order to carry out ideas men are needed who can exert practical force.” So caution is essential to avoid overstating the role of French revolutionary ideology in the formation of the slave rebellion across the Atlantic — the most dramatic challenge ever posed to the hegemony of European slavery.

But it is clear that revolutionary pamphlets from France — of which there were many — did make it into the hands of slaves in Saint Domingue. And certainly the demands of slaves to be incorporated into the revolutionary project of metropolitan France — not to mention the demand for inclusion in the commonwealth of so-called “Enlightenment values” — shaped the revolution’s development in Europe, challenging it to expand its understanding of both man and citizen. C.L.R. James writes:

Excluding the masses of Paris, no portion of the French empire played, in proportion to its size, so grandiose a role in the French Revolution as the half million blacks and Mulattoes in the remote West Indian islands.

What did the Bolsheviks think about the Jacobins?

They were fans.

Even though the Bolsheviks were building a mass party of workers to usher in a socialist society, very different than what the Jacobins sought to accomplish, Lenin saw much to admire in their revolutionary example. He wrote in 1917:

Proletarian historians see Jacobinism as one of the highest peaks in the emancipation struggle of an oppressed class. The Jacobins gave France the best models of a democratic revolution and of resistance to a coalition of monarchs against a republic. The Jacobins were not destined to win complete victory, chiefly because eighteenth-century France was surrounded on the continent by much too backward countries, and because France herself lacked the material basis for socialism, there being no banks, no capitalist syndicates, no machine industry and no railways.

“Jacobinism” in Europe or on the boundary line between Europe and Asia in the twentieth century would be the rule of the revolutionary class, of the proletariat, which, supported by the peasant poor and taking advantage of the existing material basis for advancing to socialism, could not only provide all the great, ineradicable, unforgettable things provided by the Jacobins in the eighteenth century, but bring about a lasting world-wide victory for the working people.

It is natural for the bourgeoisie to hate Jacobinism. It is natural for the petty bourgeoisie to dread it. The class-conscious workers and working people generally put their trust in the transfer of power to the revolutionary, oppressed class for that is the essence of Jacobinism, the only way out of the present crisis, and the only remedy for economic dislocation and the war.

How should we remember the French Revolution?

The French Revolution was an enormous social reorganization affecting some twenty-five million people in France and countless others in regions as geographically distant as Haiti. During the five years of push-pull between the forces of reaction and the will of the revolutionaries, common people experienced great hardship, but also the largely unprecedented opportunity to intervene in matters of national politics and disrupt the exploitative power relationships that defined their lives. As Hobsbawm reminds us:

It was not a comfortable phase to live through, for most men were hungry and many afraid; but it was phenomenon as awful and irreversible as the first nuclear explosion, and all history has been permanently changed by it. And the energy it generated was sufficient to sweep away the armies of the old regimes of Europe like straw.

Eric Hazan concludes his book with another reminder — the French Revolution, in many ways, ended in defeat. The mainstream history is the history of the victors, the forces of reaction who succeeded in cauterizing the revolution on 9 Thermidor. So our task is to excavate the history of France’s great revolution, now buried under over two centuries of permanent counter-revolution. He writes:

The heirs of the Thermidorians, who have governed and taught us continuously ever since, seek to travesty this history. Against them, let us keep memory alive, and never lose the inspiration of a time when one heard tell that ‘the unfortunate are the powers of the Earth,’ that ‘the essence of the Republic or of democracy is equality,’ and that ‘the purpose of society is the common happiness.’

Onwards towards the common happiness. Happy Bastille Day!

Hyperian History Of The World (14th Century, Part 2)

Luglio 11th, 2019 No Comments   Posted in Mişcarea Dacia

Hyperian History Of The World (14th Century, Part 2)

At the start of the 14th Century, with the might of the Catholic church at its full strength having exterminated the Cathars and brought down the Knights Templar, it may seem as though the Dark Ages had become darker than ever. Yet the resurgence of Gnostic resistance was the prelude to the great rebirth of human brilliance, creativity and philosophy known as the Renaissance. But before that great age began proper, a single great work of human creativity appeared in the world showing beyond doubt that all was not lost. Ancient Greece had given to the world the great poems of Homer and Rome had bestowed upon us Virgil and Ovid, yet after the end of antiquity it seemed as though such literary brilliance would never again grace the world. Until, that is, a new artistic genius appeared in the world, in Italy, the great poet Dante Alighieri, who wrote one of the most magnificent literary creations the world has ever seen, his Divine Comedy.

Catholic philosophy had reached its zenith at the end of the previous century in the work of Thomas Aquinas, and that philosophy/theology was a major influence on Dante, who was a Catholic, yet Dante did something far greater. He created an artistic creation of great imagination which nonetheless remained a work which presented all the knowledge of the world which was available at the time. Like Aquinas, Dante was influenced by Greek philosophy as much as by Catholic theology, and his poem contains references to and characters from both biblical sources and classical mythology. Dante presents the entire cosmology of the universe as it was known at the time. He journeys through the universe as it was understood to be in that age, describing it all in wondrous detail and yet also presenting a spiritual undertaking, a sacred quest from the depths of ignorance and despair to the heights of knowledge and transcendence.

Dante’s description of the universe is ostensibly in complete accordance with catholic dogma, yet it contains so many references to the pre-christian mythology of antiquity that it becomes difficult to see the Divine Comedy as a purely christian work. Dante seems to straddle the border between christianity and classical paganism, between the submission of catholicism and the heretical yearning for knowledge of gnosticism. The comedy is also a perfect union of mythos and logos, as it presents the cosmology and philosophy of the time but told through poetry, rich in symbolism and beauty.

Never before had an artist so wonderfully presented all of the knowledge of their time in a single work of creative majesty. Dante describes the cosmological view of the universe as it was known in his time. He begins his journey by delving deep into the earth under which is located Hell itself. Dante descends lower and lower through the circles of Hell until he reaches Satan himself in the deepest pit at the very centre of the world. Following this, Dante comes through to Mount Purgatory, which rises up away from Hell but on the southern Hemisphere of the earth. At the summit of this mountain is located the Garden of Eden and after this, Dante begins his journey upwards through the crystal spheres of the heavens getting closer and closer to the divine until he reaches the very top, the highest level, the Empyrean where Dante engages in the Beatific vision, the union with the Divine itself.

The poem is split into three major sections, Inferno (Hell), Purgatory and Paradise. Each of these three realms is further divided into nine circles, with a final level each time bringing the total to ten, these final levels being, firstly, the realm of Satan in Hell, secondly, Eden at the peak of Purgatory and finally the Empyrean at the highest level of Paradise. This almost mathematical structure is further reflected in the structure of the poem, with each of the three sections divided into thirty-three Cantos, with the first section, Inferno, also having an introductory Canto bringing the total to one hundred. The poem is therefore a masterpiece of both form and content, perfectly balanced.

Although ostensibly a Christian work, the Divine Comedy can nonetheless be interpreted in an almost gnostic way which is very relevant to Hyperianism. Dante begins his journey in Hell, which is significant. Dante seems to reject the conventional christian idea of a soul being sent either to heaven or hell after death depending on its behaviour whilst on earth. Instead, Dante realises that one can only reach the divine by first traversing through hell and purgatory. This is in accordance with the gnostic idea that hell is where we are now, upon this physical earth and that only by struggling through that realm can we escape it and reach heaven.

Dante’s poem, notable for being written in Dante’s vernacular language of Italian rather than the conventional Latin which was the literary language of the time, represents, in a way, an individual managing to transcend the suppressive nature of the dogmatic Catholic Church. Although Dante does not contradict catholic theology, he nonetheless manages to create a description of reality which rises higher and is far more complete than anything attempted by any ‘official’ sources, whether the work of catholic philosophers such as Aquinas or even the bible itself. Dante manages to rise higher than that, reaching a higher level of transcendence and injecting into the work his own ideas in such a way as to it almost being taken as a new dogma for a new version of his religion, one he has devised for himself.

As such, Dante’s work represents a major breaking away from the iron grasp of repressive religion. By creating a work which presents such a wondrous and complete account of reality embellished by the highest level of literary quality, Dante has taken religion away from the oppressive church and given it back to the individual. Of course the true philosophy of reality is absolutely objective and universal, yet Dante shows us how we can creatively interpret it in our own individual way, thereby liberating us from the oppression of earthly structures which seek to keep us down.

We are all suffering here in hell and we must descend down into its darkest depths if we are to emerge through onto the other side and begin the trials of purgatory which lead onwards and upwards towards paradise and the divine itself. The poem ends, “But now my will and my desire, like wheels revolving with an even motion, were turning with the Love that moves the sun and all the other stars.”

As we say, Ad Astra, to the stars.

Hyperian History Of The World (14th Century, Part 1)

Luglio 4th, 2019 No Comments   Posted in Mişcarea Dacia

„Hyperian History Of The World (14th Century, Part 1)

Following the crusade against the Cathar heresy, the Catholic church had then to deal with a supposed heresy from within one of their own sanctioned orders – the Knights Templar. The origins of the Templars goes back to the early 12th Century, after Jerusalem had been recaptured by christians and European pilgrims had begun to regularly make the pilgrimage to the holy land. Despite Jerusalem being under christian control, it was still dangerous for the pilgrims as bandits regularly lay in wait and would attack, rob and sometimes kill the travelling pilgrims. The Knights Templar were formed ostensibly as a means to protect and defend these pilgrims.

The Knights, who originally numbered only a few, stationed themselves at Temple Mount in Jerusalem, where Solomon’s Temple had once stood. There, they would protect incoming pilgrims from any robbers and bandits who would try to prey on them. Eventually, the order grew and spread all over Europe and became a revolutionary, almost global corporation, pioneering many practices familiar to us today.

For example, the Templars, who eventually became a wealthy order, thanks to many donations, devised a strategy to make the pilgrims less attractive to robbers. As the journey to the holy land was long for most pilgrims, they would often travel with large amounts of money or treasures. The Templars, who now had institutions all over Europe, began a system that resembles modern banking. When pilgrims set out on their journey, they would deposit their money or treasure at one of these institutions and would be given an official document recording the transaction. Then, once they arrived in the holy land, they would visit the Templars there, present their document and would receive the correct amount of money that they had deposited. This was a highly innovative system that proved very influential, yet due to the secretive nature of the Templars, it still remains unclear just how they managed this system in the time in which they lived.

Unfortunately, into the 14th Century, the tide turned for the Templars. Due to their wealth, the Templars were often owed money by powerful figures across Europe, monarchs, noblemen, priests and popes. Many of these figures grew to resent being in such debt to an order shrouded in mystery. Legends about the order began to spread telling alternative stories about them. For example, some have said that the protection of pilgrims was merely a front to disguise the true purpose of original Templars at Temple Mount, and that these original knights had in fact been searching that location for buried treasures and holy relics, perhaps the fabled Ark of the Covenant, or the Holy Grail itself? Some said they had found such treasures and were keeping them in secret, or using them in various kinds of rituals and rites when initiating new members.

Perhaps these sorts of stories began to be told simply to discredit the Templars, by those who wished to free themselves from their debt to the order, such as King Philip IV of France, who began to appeal to Pope Clement V to take action against the Templars. Eventually, on Friday 13th 1307, King Philip ordered the arrest of many French Templars, including their Grand Master Jacques de Molay. He accused them of being heretics and enemies of the faith as claims had been made that the Templar initiation ceremonies included having initiates spit on the cross, deny christ and engage in ‘indecent’ sexual practices. The order was also accused of worshipping idols, including a figure known as Baphomet and even a preserved severed head that they had supposedly recovered from the holy land. After this, Pope Clement gave in to King Philip and ordered all other European monarchs to conduct similar arrests of Templars in their own countries.

Philip had obtained confessions from many Templars, including Jacques de Molay himself, although he had utilised horrific methods of torture to get what he wanted. Pope Clement attempted to organise proper trials for the Templars, but Philip blocked him stating that the original confessions were enough to have the Templars all executed. Eventually Clement gave in completely and ordered the full disbandment of the Order in 1312. Jacques de Molay then retracted his confession and insisted on his innocence, yet he was nonetheless declared guilty and was sentenced to be burned at the stake in Paris on March 18 1314. Molay remained defiant to the end and, as the flames engulfed him, he called out that a calamity would occur to those who had condemned the Templars. Sure enough, by the end of the year, both King Philip and Pope Clement were dead.

The Templar order perhaps represents, like Catharism, another resurgence of gnostic thinking, if indeed the claims are true of their heresy and denial of christ. It seems unusual that the ruling powers of Europe would so eagerly have sought their destruction if the Templars weren’t a threat to the irrational faith of christianity. The struggle between irrational faith and wise philosophy was intensifying, and indeed, a new era of wisdom and brilliant creativity was about to begin. The Renaissance would soon be upon us.”

CIMATICA (CYMATICS)

Luglio 2nd, 2019 No Comments   Posted in Mişcarea Dacia

oarte important de ştiut: CIMATICA (CYMATICS)

„This video is all about cymatics. Cymatics is the study of waves, albeit with metaphysical implications. Its origin began with theosophy, but over time it developed a life of its own without theosophical dogmas. Cymatics suggests the entire world has an underlying wave-like structure, a special substance whose properties are all about resonance, frequency, and harmony. Is this mysticism, or is it actually not that far off from science?

In this video, we’re going to look at waves from a scientific perspective, and then tie that back to cymatics. As it turns out, the world really is all about vibration, frequency, and resonance. However, this isn’t a mysterious, unseen substance: this has been common scientific knowledge for centuries! In this video we survey mechanical waves and how they work, as well as some of the common features of waves and some details surrounding the mathematics of waves. Harmonic motion is central to understanding nature at every level, and its principles are so well known that they have transformed our understanding of the world. So, perhaps Cymatics, when viewed the right way, is a fruitful way of understanding nature.”


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Luglio 2nd, 2019 No Comments   Posted in Mişcarea Dacia

„In this video we go into the core features of special relativity, as well as touching upon general relativity. Special relativity is all about the exchange of information insofar as the speed of light imposes limits on when and how we receive information. Whatever we can detect by our instruments or our senses has an inherent latency to it. That latency comes from the fact that it takes time for information to reach us. In space and time, the transfer of information is never instantaneous. When we take this fact and combine it with movement and acceleration, we get some interesting conclusions. The way we move, where we move, and how we move all determine how we receive or send information. That, in a nutshell, is what makes the Lorentz transformations do what they do. It’s why the relativistic doppler effect exists, and it’s why there’s such a thing as time dilation, length contraction, and redshift and blueshift. The video surveys some special general-relativistic examples of why photons gain frequency in a gravitational field, or why redshifting and blueshifting can also be caused by spacetime expansion.”