Summarizing our Human Lives unto Death – there’s always something that we had forgot to mention – from the last conversation. Reviewing the Blog List of Topics, there was Anarchy, Empire, Guns, Drugs, Conflict, Class, Power, History…
Ah yes, Honor, that strange and peculiar virtue, which has accompanied most of human history. Honor does still exist around different parts of the world. Yet, it has recently expired its worthiness in the old imperial, thug empires of Europe – inclusive of their colonial-settler state monstrosities, such as the American Empire.
Depraved concepts of honor nevertheless rot inside the colonized minds of the hateful, and it also now lives twisted and twined to some crazy ideologies. Honor lies hidden amongst weird little subcultures across our Earth.
Honor supposedly resides within maniacal military brotherhoods, extremist political sects, and mostly amid right-wing nut jobs, patriarchal family structures of abuse, and well imprisoned inside even crazier, religious-brotherhood fundamentalist cults, deep inside the minds of monotheistic madmen. Gang members, wiseguys and other criminal underworlds proclaim themselves as ‘men of honor.’
What is this virtue, or vice, of honor, and how did most humans practice such a code throughout most of history?
Honor represented a great virtue, or action. This pure virtue of honor implied integrity, honesty and sincerity: living completely as a man of one’s words. If your friend stated that he would help you, and if he did the work as he said he would, then he was a man of honor. This also meant that he would tell the hard truth to his good friends and blood family, regardless of the outcome. Honor’s brother in arms was Courage, and the Truth was always sacrosanct. Anyone possessing honor, also valued shame, or dishonor, which represented the lack of faith in one’s ability to carry out honorable deeds.
This virtuous honor does not imply always telling the absolute, unequivocal truth to everyone or anyone that one encounters. This type of truth-telling is extremist and actually does more damage than good. It is the vice of indiscretion. Openly declaring to your grandmother that you once threw away one of her gifts in the past – on her birthday even – is simply rude, disrespectful and mean.
The second virtuous aspect of honor is respect. But this virtue can also denigrate into a vice.
Virtuous respect signified the esteem for the elderly, the grey haired, one’s parents, the religious guru or priest of impeccable conduct, the aged monk of great wisdom, or the knowledgeable intellectual, literate gentleman, ex-soldier. He knew a great deal about history, literature, philosophy, science, art, weapons, love, etc., and was often a great conversationalist, a true Humanist. As the saying went, ‘respect where respect was due., Kong Qui, or Confucius, referred to these actions as the Virtue of Benevolence.
Vicious respect or Vice-ridden honor, however, is the false honor of the criminal underworld: gangsters, wiseguys, outlaws, gang members, pirates, crooks, swindlers, thieves, murderers and other sorts of disreputable delinquents.
This twisted form of honor holds ties to extreme violence. The criminal thug must use violent methods in order to get money, since the threat of violence and the actual acts of violence do the job. The criminal preys upon the weaker sorts of society, such as addicts, degenerate gamblers, the greedy, the dumb, petty thugs, street hustlers, illegal drug dealers and muggers. The continual threat of extreme, quick and brutal force, or vengeance for any sign of insolence – made one a respected guy. This is the wise guy code of honor.
All top criminal groups possess codes of honors, inclusive of police squads and military special forces, such as the violent defense of any dishonor to the ‘brotherhood,’ ritual initiations, permissible and impermissible behaviors.
In the criminal underworld, there is no honesty, since most members end up murdered or die in prison – often initiated from the mouths of their own in-group. As the old saying goes, ‘there is no honor among thieves.’
Honor has unfortunately degenerated even further throughout human history, while circling among the World’s false values. Honor has found powerful associations with group feeling and group cohesion. Yet, it attached itself to even greater social-cultural powers when the World had begun to esteem a person as Honorable through modes of legal or institutional violence.
Honor addicted itself to Gain and Loss, Praise and Blame, Fame and Disgrace, Happiness and Unhappiness. Honor had become the fleeting, impermanent love and admiration of the crowd, the mob, the gang of cowards, the liars of history. Honor had transformed into privilege, the applause and public acclaim of imbeciles, and gave a free pass to unearned hierarchy.
The dissolute and untalented first-born son of a lazy aristocrat was honorable, while an honest and hard-working farmer who worked with his hands was dishonorable. The military general that attacked a defenseless city, and murdered thousands of human beings – just for the sake of conquest – had somehow achieved honor. The captured slave who stood up to his violence through horribly sacrificing his own life was shameful.
The politician or tyrant who ruthlessly hunted his political enemies, and then spit on their graves horribly, even gloating about it – also, suddenly attained great honor. The smug judge, backed up through well-armed police-soldiers, who always hung or imprisoned poor offenders before his bench – reached the sublime goal of honor.
Men of Power who regularly abused their powers, all in order to defend their privileged egos – accomplished the Life of Honor. Honor was somehow the sacred preserve for both illegal criminals and legal gangsters. Like everything good and virtuous, the World has always perverted them towards the extremes, dressing up rotten virtues as respectable vices.
Virtuous honor is honesty, sincerity and integrity, with respect for ancient wisdom. The World’s Honor, or Vice Honor, is respect with violence, maintaining group cohesion through fear, and an adherence to the hierarchy of the most ruthless.
The virtue of honor denies the self, while acting as a humble gentleman for the sake of telling the truth and a respect for one’s elders and teachers. The vice of honor is total ego worship, where the greatest murderer-killer-assassin takes the premium of fame and respect, both from his own murder cult and from the general society of cowards, followers, flatterers and fools.
Women also have honor, and all of its foundations are positive virtues. Woman’s virtuous honor represents self-control, natural beauty, coolness under pressure, intelligence, book learning with poetic mastery, spirituality, maintaining a strong family and home life, or devoting one’s self to the Holy life, and most importantly, abstaining from all sexual misconduct and public scandal – an impeccable reputation.
Honor also has an extremely important relation to History. Honor, excepting extreme stubbornness, and both as virtue and vice, wins over the minds and hearts of a People, a Nation, a Country, a Civilization. Why is this? This Historical Mystery still lies unsolved. Some historical examples could possibly explain the connection.
In twentieth-century Latin American history, President Peron of Argentina was successful in his political-economic reforms, while President Allende of Chile was not. Both men were populist politicians that wanted to elevate the working classes of their respective countries. Peron and his wife Evita rallied the working classes to the streets and defied their political reactionary enemies. Allende used the same exact tactics in Chile. Both men also possessed honor.
The differences between the two were that both Peron and Evita successfully displayed to the world, to both friends and enemies, the charismatic honor of the National Strongman or Caudillo. Allende, on the other hand, decided to play fair, using parliamentary procedure and a state visit to Castro’s Cuba. Peron, the politician actor, always looked big and strong, while Allende sometimes seemed weak and vulnerable – to the military junta that murdered and replaced him. All it took was a little CIA oil, which forced the wheels a turning.
Within nineteenth-century European History, the Emancipated Jew, or the Secular Jew of the Haskalah, began to elicit great hatred from the Conservative Right. There are many reasons for this detestation, but one of the main reasons was that the New Jew, lacked the cultural façade of honor.
The emancipated Jews spilled from walled ghettos comprising the occupations of rabbinical studies, merchant selling, day trading and money lending. The secularized Jew thereby jumped into the professions, the university, the parliament, the arts business, the newspapers, investment banking and venture capitalism. According to the Old Order of Europe, none of those occupations possessed the veneer of honor – unlike, soldiering, seafaring, colonial and church administration, royal service and land trusteeship.
There are even greater lessons coming out of the Teetering American Empire. In US History, the Left always seems to elicit a terrible hatred, both from most American citizens and from the greater apparatus of the US government. The reason is mainly that the Left always looks bad in public, holding no honor whatsoever.
Recently, a new type of Leftist Movement has burst forth onto the political scene – Anti-Fascism or Anti-FA…
This motley group claims to align itself with Anarchist political tendencies, but when I was one of those white skin privileged hipsters, Anarcho-fools, living in a Left Coast City, I never remembered Anarchists involved in such a Leftist position.
I do remember seeing Anarcho-Primitivism, Anarcho-Syndicalism, Black Blocks, Tree Sitting, Class War Politics, Urban Squatting, Anti-Capitalism, Green Anarchy, Anti-Globalization, Vegan Straight Edge Punks, and its other extreme, Trainhopping Oogle Crust Punks. The Anti-Fascist Blocs only seemed to augment, and usually with crazy Communists and demonstrator weirdos, whenever a bizarre, racist group publicly manifested in town.
I have noticed that this group does not act with the typical ill-discipline as other Anarchist or Leftist types. They seem tight-knit and move quickly, almost in military squad level precision. Like Autonomous Black Blocs, they wear black outfits for concealment and mask their faces. Unlike the previous group, this group now carries light weapons, such as thin bats, defensive shields, sawed crow bars, DIY made chains, incendiary devices, chemical agents and small polyurethane pipes.
They are definitely in the demonstrations to commit violence and mayhem. They are not only present to commit major property damage – but to seriously harm people. Eventually, they will murder their political enemies. This is the trap lying in wait for them.
The sad part is that their actions will also open counterattacks against their supposed supporters, who actually do not condone such violence, such as tenured radical college professors and Left-wing Liberal politicians.
This political groupthink now lives imprisoned within its own boogeymen of Hate. They truly hate Fascists. They forget however that people often choose right-wing or left-wing populism because they live desperate, frustrated lives lacking any power. The Anti-Fascists forget that they are also frail humans who suffer, and therefore, could also choose this route. Instead of Compassion, they choose Hatred. Hate and Hateful actions eventually breed the Vile acts of Murder. Murder is murder. Unlike other vices, Murder Actions immediately explode into fatal consequences. Karma is real.
These groups now have military discipline, hate their enemies thoroughly, and are willing to use total violence to achieve their goals – but they don’t show any honor. They instead display the all of the vices of dishonor
The Anti-FAs tend to physically attack weaker people, such as women, beat on random people as perceived enemies, surprise their political enemies with attacks when they are not armed for a fight, and enjoy destroying anyone’s personal possessions just because they are in the way of their violence. Such fanatics also enjoy stealing, robbing, thieving and taking things from other people – and then set those objects on fire or destroy them.
These Anti-Fascist hardcores had better start taking political demonstration-protest breaks and begin training with firearms.
The Right, Their Fascist Enemies, however are waiting – and slowly building up their reaction… They are rightly playing it cool – which implies honor.
Once this cabal of violent rioters moves into the violent arts of cowardly murder, the Liberal Corporate, Mainstream Media supporters will also turn on them. Once the general populace perceives that there is an internal threat of dishonorable wretches on the loose – then the liquidation without mercy begins.
Honor, History and Hegemony work together. The most important public activity that any cultural, social or political movement ought to possess is the perception of honor, inclusive of strength and mastery, with integrity of purpose. Once a faction holds such perceived public virtues, then they have a good chance of succeeding in their political programs. The State refers to this as legitimacy. If, however, the political coalition does not control such virtues, then they shall dig their own graves.
As for me, now living the Dharma of the Buddha, I willingly jump off this brutal train wreck of worldly honor, with all of its hypocrisy and violence.
I rather choose Honor related to the simple virtues of sincerity, honesty, integrity and trustworthiness. This honor includes respect for my elders, parents, good friends and the sages of great wisdom – wherever they exist on Earth. The summary of Honor is Truth, the Goodwill of the Gentleman, and Compassion – for all living beings – regardless of political-religious-ideological persuasions.