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Anarcho-Historian Lesson #5: Seven Classical Methods in Maintaining Social Control over Subject Populations

Posted: November 6, 2013 in Africa, Amerikan Empire, Anarchists, Asia, Auctoritas, authority, battles, bread and circuses, Caesar, Celtic nations, civil war, Claudius, Cleopatra, clients, conspirators, Consul, contests, continual warfare, control, culture, Czar, Dacia, Danube, death, dictators, dignitas, divide and conquer, duty, Egypt, elites, empire, equestrian knights, eternal symbols, extermination, First Settlement, Fortuna, Gaul, Genius, Germania, gravitas, hierarchy, Hispania, historia, historical grandeur, historical posterity, history, holiday, holy day, honor, humanity, images, Imperator, justice, Kaiser, legal privileges, legitimacy, Lepidus, Mar Nostrum, Mark Antony, media, Mediterranean Sea, Mesopotamia, military, Octavian Augustus, pardons, Parthia, patron, patronage, Persia, piracy, political enemies, political methods, political system, political targets, Pontifex Maximus, Praetorian Guard, Princeps, religion, Rhine, rituals, Roman Empire, Roman legions, Roman Republic, Roman Senate, rule, sacred state rituals, selective events, selective justice, semi-divine powers, Sicily, slaves, social control, spectacle, state mythologies, state theater, staying power, subject populations, Syria, tactics, the crowd, the public, the State, Tiberius, titles, toga, token reforms, traditions, triumphs, tyranny, tyrants, United States Government, vengeance, violence, wars
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Octavian AugustusLive Aid #1 LondonMedieval legitimacyRoman-decadence

A violent year was ending; this ‘august’ day was also in the middle of a hard winter – and it was even rougher inside the moderate climes of Rome. This particular year was 27 BCE. It was the month of January, and the  new emperor of the great Roman Empire claimed the day of the 16th as an imperial holiday. The emperor’s name for historical posterity was Octavian Augustus.

During the subsequent years of his reign, he would use all of the ancient classical methods in maintaining social control over Rome’s subject populations. The Roman Empire would never experience its previous civil wars again, yet he snuffed out the Roman Republic from its existence. He replaced the Republic with an Empire and the rest was history.

The first method in social control was Octavian Augustus successfully claiming the rituals, images and titles of legitimate authority. His second method ingeniously utilized slow and repressive tyranny with token reforms. The third method represented the mastery of the bread and circuses spectacle. The fourth used the infamous, and always-triumphant, political technique of divide and you shall conquer. The fifth aspect of control made use of naming enemies and aggravating the public fear of such enemies. The sixth system of statecraft employed selective justice and pardons for some, while making brutal examples against a few easier targets, or called ‘the carrot and the stick’ approach. The final one, and most important method tied with the first one, availed in him creating state mythologies out of selected events.

And many patrician elites, the senate, the army, common plebes, farmers, artisans, foreign citizens, resident merchants and even slaves would commend the name of August for historical posterity. In fact, this dictator’s name now has the English synonym of prestigious. A month in our Gregorian calendar also has the name August. This short story is how it got that way.

On this day, the 16th of January, 27 BCE, called ‘the first settlement,’ his friend and associate, Lepidus, received the spiritual title of the top priest in the Roman religion, ‘the Pontifex Maximus.’ Lepidus and Augustus acted through a complete religious ceremony that included animal sacrifices and sacred rituals. Lepidus dressed accordingly in the beautiful robes and hat of a Pontifex Maximus. Octavian was not finished however, for he soon dashed into the public state theater in his imperial purple and crimson toga over his old military outfit, when he was previously a military commander of a victorious Roman legion. In one full super event, he claimed all three state powers and legitimized his rule: spiritual, political and military. Octavian Augustus would eventually take the imperial spiritual title of Pontifex Maximus from his old client Lepidus.

While Octavian claimed the semi-divine powers over life and death within the entire empire, he also instituted some important reforms on this sacred holy day. He symbolically handed over his legislative power to the Senate, where a faction of that body had warred against his late, assassinated protégé, Julius Caesar. Augustus made sure that the name and title of Caesar also possessed a semi-divine stature, and Octavian took the name of Caesar as the eternal symbol for the Roman emperor – and which would signify emperor even until modern history, with such bogus titles as Kaiser and Czar.

The entire ritual set up featured senators, military commanders with their officers in full military campaign dress, and a flourish of Romans, equestrians, gentleman farmers and distinguished citizens standing in awe inside of the imperial city, surrounded by grandiose, cleaned white temples and Roman imperial majesty. With all of the state pomp and ritual, which utilized all of the five senses and displayed the flourish of power and greatness, the emotional crowd screamed the new titles and powers of Octavian: ‘Princep,’ or First Citizen, ‘Consul,’ or legislative-military adviser, and ‘Imperator.’ or military commander.

This public ritual super event solidified both his power and legitimacy to rule, while he simultaneously showed his historic preservation of the old Roman values of ‘Dignitas,’ or public honor, ‘Gravitas,’ or public temperance, and ‘Auctoritas,’ or valued wisdom. In an ancient historical age without the Internet, video, television, film, radio and photo-print media, Octavian the Great had prepared a true masterpiece of state theater.

Octavian the Augustus claimed even greater honors, all for his ‘duty’ to Rome. He set up another date of glory called the ‘second settlement,’ where he claimed the powers of the ‘Tribune,’ or the sacred interests of the people, called the ‘Popolus.’ Augustus even claimed that the massive conglomerations of Rome actually represented one great family on the Earth, and so his ultimate title was ‘Pater Patriae,’ Father of the sacred country. In an Empire that swarmed on three different continents while possessing many different languages and cultures, this new truth was certainly something else to believe.

But sacred state rituals and costumes in the service of legitimacy needed some more backing for wider public support. Augustus became the Roman game and circus leader extraordinaire. Normally, such games and circuses happened only during Roman holy days, or holidays. But Augustus kept the party spirit burning with lots of back to back contests of chariot races, gladiator fights, mock battles, and even naval ones, and public contests of lyrical-musical, religious, poetic and physical glories. During these festivals and spectacles, Augustus distributed rations of bread, killed bull meat, and watered down wine to the anxious urban crowds in Rome. The theatrical comedies were in full operation, and the emperor even rebuilt the great Theater of Apollo.

Octavian had also made sure that his rival enemies ended up fully destroyed and discredited. Octavian’s greatest concern was Caesar’s cousin and Roman hero, Mark Antony and his relationship to Cleopatra in Egypt. Octavian managed to pull the Roman Senate against the Mark Antony, and he had even read the supposed will of Mark Antony to the Roman people in the Forum market. Like a skilled manipulator, Octavian moved the public sentiment against the ‘dictatorial degenerate’ lying in waste at Cleopatra’s palace in Egypt. Eventually, Octavian managed to seize a Roman legion that exterminated his followers, and he even ordered their son, Caesarion, killed. Any Roman associated with such a rabble became a public enemy of the Roman people.

While the circuses and bread distribution progressed, Octavian warned the Roman people of the coming sacrifices ahead in order to maintain their wonderful empire. Continual war was the other standard in Octavian’s rule. The Celtic nations in Gaul, or France, and in Hispania, or Spain, still needed the iron discipline of Roman blood and fire. Augustus also had to exterminate the pirate danger in the Mar Nostrum, or the Mediterranean Sea.

Earlier, Octavian had finished off one of the sons of Pompey; Pompey the Great was an old Roman General and ally, later enemy, of Caesar. His sons still had a base of operations in the wilds of Sicily. Augustus’ latter warfare eventual paid off with full victories in Spain and in France. His Germania, or German campaigns, did not gain much territory. In fact, his war campaign against the German nations ended in defeat, but the Roman blood would demand future sacrifice in subduing them. His descendent Claudius would do the faithful job.

In the east, he took Egypt, grabbed more territory from Dacia, or Rumania, and Rome successfully battled the Parthians, or Persians-Iranians, whereby the Roman imperial standards moved from Mesopotamia, or Iraq, into Northern Africa, and on the northern periphery, from the Danube to the Rhine river. Octavian Augustus had many spectacular public triumphs in his city of Rome. His unforgettable triumphant returns featured marching Roman legions in sync, loud war drums, megalith flower displays, stolen religious objects on pedestals, massive stone gods brought back on ships, and thousands of unfortunate captured slaves in chains.

Octavian always maintained the astute politician role. He knew when to offer pardons and patronage, and with other unfortunates, exterminate them mercilessly. He had all of the Senatorial conspirators associated with the assassination of Caesar exterminated – including the noble Cicero, yet he lavished power and patronage on the rest of the Roman Senate to help ‘govern’ the Empire. He exterminated the last heir of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, yet he pardoned Mark Antony’s brother that warred against him in the Perusine War. He ultimately exterminated the sons of Pompey, or the Pirates of Sicily, and yet, he redistributed lands in Italy to his Roman soldiers that faithfully fought with him and even with those that fought for Mark Antony – and he pardoned his old ally Lepidus when his old and disgruntled client decided to battle against him.

Finally, Augustus was the master in creating a renewed imperial and cultural mythology. His death culminated in Roman holiday celebrations that included a monolithic funeral cortège of flower wreaths featuring his noble family and the successor emperor, Tiberius, the Roman Senate, the Roman Praetorian Guard, or elite soldiers, equestrian Roman cavalry, Roman legions stationed near the city of Rome, and throng of innumerable Roman nobles, plebes and citizens in mourning. Augustus financed many public work projects, and his most famous was the construction of the Pantheon, which still stands in the actual Rome of today. His burial took place in the sacred corner of the temple, and his ‘Genius,’ or essence received deification. His eulogies also spread to other writers, intellectuals and historians that Augustus patronized. The greatest work was the epic tale of the Romans, called the ‘Aeneid,’ which traced the early history of Rome back to the honorable and courageous, Trojans – and finishing with Augustus, of course.

And so, the mythology of Octavian Caesar Augustus still lives in historical grandeur, or historical infamy, if you are an Anarchist. His statecraft also continues to breed its monsters. Since those ancient times, uncountable emperors, dictators, thugs on thrones, tyrants, princes, kings, queens, dukes, state criminals, sociopaths, prime ministers, presidents and self-proclaimed leaders have utilized the same methods and have unfortunately made them work.

Now the readers know the truth of such tactics and we can counter them. Anarchists can tell this story and other such examples to the angry and the ignorant. The astute reader can also see how the current monstrosity of empire, the United States of America Empire, has also used, and continues to use, such sinister practices of public manipulation.

But the current evil Amerikan empire has even greater power at its disposal in statecraft and social control. This criminal regime in Washington D.C. has been, and always will be, the greatest at utilizing particular modus operandi: media advertising through image-phrase repetitions, emotional manipulations, and blatant news speak propaganda.

Anarcho-Historian Lesson #4: Understanding The Six Truths of History

Posted: July 30, 2013 in absurdity, African-Americans, Albigensians, Amerikan Empire, Anarchists, Anarchy, Apocalypse, Armageddon, Atlantis, Balkans, barbecue, Byzantium, Cathars, Catholic Kings, Chinese Emperor, Christian conversion, circular cycles, civil war, community, conspiratorial groups, contradictory, corruption, country folk, criminal enterprise, criminals, Crusades, culture, death, despots, destruction, dictators, Emperor Frederick the Great, empire, English Royal Court, Europe, Evangelical Christianity, extermination, Fortuna, France, French Empire, Garden of Eden, Genghis Khan, genocide, Golden Age, guns, heretics, hierarchy, history, Holy Office, Holy Roman Empire, honor, humanity, Hundred Years War, Hungary, Inca Empire, Inquisition, Jerusalem, Jews, justice, King Louis IX of France, Lebanon, Levant coast, linear stories, liquidation, Lithuania, Mali Empire, Manichaean, martyrdom, Medieval Europe, Messiah, Mexica-Aztec Empire, military, monarchies, Mongol Empire, murder, murder victims, Muslim Caliphates, Old Prussia, Orthodox Christianity, pacification, pagans, pantheism, Paradise, Poland, political alliances, politics, Pope Innocent IV, Protestants, racism, rebellions, regions, resistance, revolutionary life, Roman pontiff, Russian Emperor, Saint Louis, Second Coming, St. Thomas Aquinas, state apparatus, Sukhothai Empire, Syria, Teutonic Knights, The Confederacy, the Cross and the Sword, the South, the State, Truths of History, tyrants, United States, United States Government, US Civil War, vengeance, violence, Waldensians, wars, Wild West, WW I
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Pope_Innocent_IV_sends_Dominicans_and_Franciscans_out_to_the_TartarsMongols ready for warLynyrd Skynyrd-Sweet Home AlabamaEagles-Desperado

The historical period was the 1240s. Medieval Catholic Europe was completely embroiled in its genocidal and murderous colonizations versus the Enemy. At that time in history, the Church’s enemies included all of their religious-ideological rivals around the Mediterranean and Eurasian worlds.

In the east and the south lived the Orthodox Byzantines and the Muslim Caliphates. In the west, such as Spain, the Muslim caliphate was weak, but the last stronghold remained in Nasrid Granada. In Italy, there resided Orthodox Christian groups and other heretics called Waldensian Protestants. Holdouts of pagans and nominal Christians survived in the northern fringes of Europe, such as western Ireland and in Old Prussia-Lithuania. In the south of France, a strong and vibrant Manichean influenced community, called Cathars or Albigensians, flourished. And of course, the eternal enemies of the Church, the Jews, were everywhere.

The Pope had thought that his Catholic knights of the Cross and the Sword had once again landed at the golden cusp of history. He was sure that they could recapture, reconquer and destroy forever, the Church’s ideological rivals. The times seemed fortuitous. God had definitely given the Church, and the Christian Crowns in service of the Church, good omens of Victory. During the same decade, the Church’s greatest doctor theologian St. Thomas Aquinas was prepping notes for his opus work, ‘Summa Theologica.’ The Glories of the Cross and the Mass resided in the clouds. The pope at the time, Innocent IV, was so convinced of such good fortune that he convened an ecumenical church council at Lyon, France, which demanded complete obedience of all secular authority to the Roman pontiff.

But like all emperors, dictators, despots, tyrants, presidents, politicians, prime ministers, sociopaths and leaders, he was wrong. The man probably knew his theology well, but history was his weakness. And just as it has been for most of humanity’s watchers within the real theater of the absurd, called life and humanity. History has six truths, and those humans that do not know them will never understand how the human world operates. With Pope Innocent IV’s lurid visions of victory, arrived the cataclysms of multiple defeats.

His secular defender, Saint King Louis IX of France, had just exterminated the Albigensian Cathars during the siege at the castle of Montsegur in Occitania, now southern France. Yet, this same saintly King went on two crusades, the Seventh and Eighth, and could never recapture Jerusalem again, and even their Crusader castles on the Levant coast would eventually fall to the Muslim Saracens. The French did not get their revenge until 1920 when they reoccupied the Levant and carved out, ‘Lebanon,’ from the lands of greater Syria.

During the Seventh Crusade, the Saracens even captured Saint King Louis after a battle, and then demanded that the French royal court pay a hefty ransom, for the King’s release. This hostage fee completely depleted the French royal court’s capital. The English royal court would attack their French royals around fifty years later. Such incidents began the First Hundred Years War. During his voyage on the Eighth Crusade, Saint Louis ultimately died a bad death. He fell sick due to catching a traveler’s disease, in Tunis, north Africa. Saint Louis’ contemporary fame has pinned itself to a crime ridden American city along the Mississippi River.

More troubles for Christendom ensued. The Teutonic German knights were almost certain that they could force a complete extermination of the pagans in Old Prussia and Lithuania, or even force them towards Christian conversion. The Teutonic Knights occupied more lands and territories each successive year. Yet, their most recent battles against the pagans were utter disasters. The Baltic pagans fortified their cities, temples, and rites, and they remained committed pagan pantheists for another 200 years!

Then all of a sudden, the maximum upheaval took place, which no one during that decade could foresee. An invading army from the east had attacked the Chinese emperor, the Muslim Caliph in Baghdad, and the Russian Emperor. And this imperial onslaught continued to move westerly. History refers to this invasion as the Mongol Empire under the Khan, called Genghis Khan. The Mongols eventually attacked the Catholic monarchs of the East, such as the Poles and then defeated the Hungarians, all until their routs ended with defeats in the Balkans. The Catholic kings of the East could do nothing.

The Byzantines in Greece next regrouped, and succeeded in taking Constantinople once again for the Orthodox Church. The French royal court tried to form a military arrangement with the Mongols, and the Pope even sent Franciscan monks as emissaries to the Great Khan to advance a mutual pact. The Church hoped to form an alliance with the pagan Mongols to exterminate all the world’s Muslims. The Pope’s evil intentions fell into the chamber pot. Less than a hundred years later, the majority of the Mongols in central Asia eventually converted to Islam instead! Pope Innocent IV just did not understand the six truths to world history.

The first truth of history is that all particular civilizations and political-economic-military empires decay and implode upon themselves after their rise to power. This cycle will continue until the human race naturally extinguishes itself on the Earth.

The second truth of history is that world history moves in circular cycles, not through linear stories, such as the ideologies of Human Progress, the coming Utopia, the Second Coming, the return of the Messiah, or the Battle of Armageddon of the Apocalypse.

The third truth of history is that there was never any Golden Age, nor did there exist any mythical Kingdom of Justice, such as Atlantis, the Garden of Eden, Paradise, etc. There were however, various cultures that had Anarchist social relations of equality, with no social class differences, no fixed property relations, no prisons, no police forces, no permanent social exclusions, and they supplied all the basic necessities for all of their members: clothing, community, culture, shelter and food. Modern states and empires have successfully exterminated such cultures – and they will continue to do so.

The fourth truth of history is that the grand conspiracy theories of evil groups that control or pervert world power, such as the Jews, the Illuminati or the Masons, have never existed and nor do they now exist. Humanity is too complex in order for such groups to have complete power and influence over our lives.

The fifth truth of history is that all state apparatuses, institutional bureaucracies, criminal enterprises, despotic empires and tyrannical regimes generally relax and slightly liberalize their brutal systems, so that they can save time for implementing even harsher laws in the future. They liberalize with token reforms, and criminalize gradually through retroactive laws.

The sixth truth of history is that state criminals, corrupt politicians, despots, and tyrants often act on sudden or extreme positions due to the harsh actuality of the current situation, or due to expediency within the political moment. The actions of state criminals rarely begin with planned plots inside of closed, secretive quarters. Hopefully, the reader can see that Pope Innocent IV failed to understand the six truths of world history. No empire, whether papal or secular, can survive the ravages of time and human cultural change.

The Amerikan Empire is good at murdering millions of victims across the earth and inside of its own continent, but the Amerikan Empire tends to lose its wars in the end. The US government destroyed the Confederate States, both militarily and economically, during the Civil War. Yet, the Confederate South won the culture war, which was greatly more important. The cult of the Wild West, outlaws, rebels, guns, Evangelical Christianity, racism against African-Americans and other racial castes, barbecue and Country folk have transformed the official American culture. This cultural hodgepodge will always remain ‘Americana’ until the US government decides to exterminate the residues. And once it initiates this cultural and physical liquidation, the empire will crack into a maelstrom of violence that will even shock most of the world’s inhabitants. The US military recruits mostly from the white South.

The Pope thought that the Papacy had reached a Golden Age of power, and it some ways it did, but other empires also received their second winds, such as Islamic world culture, the Mongol Empire, the Mexica-Aztecs, the Sukhothai Empire, the Mali Empire, the Yuan-Mongol dynasty of China, and even the Inca Empire would reach its coming glory. In every historical period, there are gaining and receding powers.

Pope Innocent thought that the evil heretics, the eternally wicked Jews, and the reprobate Muslims, deserved the final destiny of the fire and the sword. Finally, the Church could eliminate the satanic conspiracy that plagued the known world. The Church could ultimately reform itself and not have to worry about the evil conspiracies around it. Even during the 1240s, the world was a complex place. The Jews, the Muslims, the Orthodox – and Heresy survived.

However, Pope Innocent IV was a moderate strategy player when the political situation demanded action. He pardoned the noble knights that defended the Cathar heretics in the south of France. He wanted to use their military prowess against his rival, the German Emperor Frederick, (the Holy Roman Empire). He next tried to form an alliance with the pagan Mongols for a counterattack on the Muslims. Pope Innocent IV also institutionalized the authority and power of the Holy Office of the Inquisition to discover, redeem – or extirpate, (meaning murder), all ‘heretics.’ Even with his newly empowered Inquisitorial courts, Innocent IV could never destroy all of the heretics.

The political and cultural situation of the world today is not much different. The technological advances have made the world a faster and more complicated place to survive, but the human god-animal is still a complex and absurd actor on the globe stage. As long as there exists a human condition under civilization, the six truths of history will never change.

Anarchists should understand these six truths of history, so that they can relax and party, stay free and enjoy the absurdity of life, keep vigilant against any token state-criminal reforms and warn others about the state’s corresponding methods of gradual repression, and like always – continue the revolutionary practice, the revolutionary art, and the revolutionary life.