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Trump, Bannon and the Coming Crisis
#41
(11-30-2016, 02:23 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(11-29-2016, 12:04 PM)tg63 Wrote: There also has been discussion about how in every 4T - e.g. the last 4T in the 30's & 40's - there was still a lot of disagreement with decisions proposed & made; it's not as though FDR won by acclimation.  So everyone doesn't need to set aside their own views, there just needs to be a sufficient mass on one side to make the other temporarily irrelevant.

... or, the other side can just be so disheartened that they fail to fight for the opposing view.  We'll see if the Democrats decide to "play nice" as a concession to the victorious GOP.  Needless to say, it didn't play that way in reverse.
It's not arbitrary.  It's not like either "side" can resolve the 4T with a random mix of policies when the time comes.  You need policies that work.  What is the problem to be solved?  Elites need to find a way for themselves to not lose (too badly) to rival elites.  Have Democratic elites "lost" to Donald Trump, who promises to lower their taxes?  How?  Donald Trump promises eliminate health insurance for millions of low income people.  Do Democratic elites use this insurance?  Of course not, we have private sector plans.  Will Democratic political elites face a threat from a Donald Trump presidency?  History suggests Democrats will gain seats at state and federal elections as long as Trump remains in office.  In other words, Trump will be very very good for Democratic elites, and hell he has New York values to boot.

So the 4T will grind on.
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#42
(11-23-2016, 08:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(11-23-2016, 07:09 PM)anandrajan Wrote: I just joined this forum after reaching it via googling for Kaiser, Bannon and the 4T. Apologies if this has all been hashed out before, but Kaiser's article in Time indicates that he thinks Bannon wants to engineer a horrible crisis because that's what he expects in the 4T. I watched Bannon's Generation Zero and a talk by him and based on these, I'd expect him to engineer a financial world war of some kind. Has this already been discussed?

By the Strauss & Howe Generational theory, a crisis is unavoidable, and in fact we are in the beginning or middle stages of it.  Strauss & Howe do not insist that all crises involved major wars, but the three they cover in their seminal book Generations all involved major wars - the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII.

To the extent Bannon believes this theory, and it seems he does, he will not be engineering any kind of war.  The war will happen on its own.  Bannon may try to shape the crisis so the war is less destructive to America.

Note that some related theorists believe that the coming war will necessarily be nuclear, and involve the expenditure of all nuclear weapons on all sides.  Compared to that, a financial world war would be rather less destructive.

There is more to it.  It's not like you take a 4T generational constellation, toss in a war, shake and bake for 20 years, and voila, you have a 1T.
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#43
(12-02-2016, 06:38 PM)Mikebert Wrote:
(11-23-2016, 08:25 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(11-23-2016, 07:09 PM)anandrajan Wrote: I just joined this forum after reaching it via googling for Kaiser, Bannon and the 4T. Apologies if this has all been hashed out before, but Kaiser's article in Time indicates that he thinks Bannon wants to engineer a horrible crisis because that's what he expects in the 4T. I watched Bannon's Generation Zero and a talk by him and based on these, I'd expect him to engineer a financial world war of some kind. Has this already been discussed?

By the Strauss & Howe Generational theory, a crisis is unavoidable, and in fact we are in the beginning or middle stages of it.  Strauss & Howe do not insist that all crises involved major wars, but the three they cover in their seminal book Generations all involved major wars - the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and WWII.

To the extent Bannon believes this theory, and it seems he does, he will not be engineering any kind of war.  The war will happen on its own.  Bannon may try to shape the crisis so the war is less destructive to America.

Note that some related theorists believe that the coming war will necessarily be nuclear, and involve the expenditure of all nuclear weapons on all sides.  Compared to that, a financial world war would be rather less destructive.

There is more to it.  It's not like you take a 4T generational constellation, toss in a war, shake and bake for 20 years, and voila, you have a 1T.

This Crisis could be worse than any earlier Crisis. Several countries already have nukes. Many ways are now possible for the outcome of this Crisis -- and many are simply horrific. World War III? A fascist America? A Second Civil War?

We have really screwed the pooch by electing Donald Trump. Many of us are going to hate our lives for the next four years.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#44
I'm not sure I entirely buy into this 4T stuff, but as I understand the point of a 4T (Crisis) is that the situation is extremely fluid. It is a time of change, and movements that could not have succeeded in the past can now put things into motion for themselves. The best thing to do in such a situation is to try to accomplish something you find worthwhile and on which you think you can do some good, especially if you are young. That is why our generation is labelled a "Hero" generation, after all.

As for me, one of my biggest projects is to attack the intellectual basis of white supremacy, one of the major planks of which I take to be the following narrative:

Starting with Ancient Greece, Europe developed by itself without interference or input by people of color. Europeans by themselves became increasingly enlightened, with Providence largely keeping threats at bay, and in 1492 when Columbus discovered America, Europeans set forth to bring enlightenment to the benighted peoples of the world.

The implication of this narrative, of course, is that any prominence of people of color could only ruin this "great project" of white people.

However, I am becoming aware of evidence that this narrative is BS. One piece of evidence is the very well-researched book The Huns, Rome, and the Birth of Europe by Hyun Jin Kim, an Oxford-trained Classicist with an interest in Inner Asia. In it, he argues that the Huns, a large multiethnic group originating from Inner Asia and likely linked to the Xiongnu who were often at war with the Han Dynasty, had a profound impact on the development of what we today consider to be "Europe" and shaped Medieval culture. He questions the whole idea of there being separate European and Asian continents.

Next, I found this admittedly speculative piece by an Anglo-Saxon scholar, Caitlin Green, who explores the idea that there were Huns in Anglo-Saxon England and that the Anglo-Saxons were even partly descended from them:

http://www.caitlingreen.org/2015/07/were...gland.html

She examines writings from Bede, an English monk and important source of early Anglo-Saxon history, and Priscus, an Eastern Roman ambassador to Attila's court in 447/8, as well as archaeological and other historical evidence. In a recent email conversation with both her and Kim, we discovered that the likely structure of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in its early years, as described by Barbara Yorke, was similar to that practiced by the Huns and other Inner Asian groups, with the realm divided into east and west and the king of the east having precedence over the king of the west. Essex may have had a similar structure.

Other informative sources include the article "Hawks, Horses, and Huns" by John Niles, which looks at the large impact of the Huns on Germanic cultural practices, those of the Anglo-Saxons in particular:

https://www.academia.edu/26820839/_Hawks...016_133-64

And of course, as always, a Tumblr blog that chronicles Medieval PoC:

http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/

Of course, attacking the intellectual foundation of white supremacy won't do anything immediately, but if 4T is right and we have maybe 10 years left of the Crisis, it can help shape the attitudes toward race in the post-Crisis period.

Another project is Calexit which could end up functioning as a trap for the Fascists. As CalExit is explicitly a non-violent movement that hopes to make California independent through cooperation and legal procedures, if violent force is used to crush it, then it could backfire for the Fascists.

So things like these are what I hope to have an impact on, and work toward.
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#45
(12-09-2016, 06:46 AM)beneficii Wrote: I'm not sure I entirely buy into this 4T stuff, but as I understand the point of a 4T (Crisis) is that the situation is extremely fluid. It is a time of change, and movements that could not have succeeded in the past can now put things into motion for themselves. The best thing to do in such a situation is to try to accomplish something you find worthwhile and on which you think you can do some good, especially if you are young. That is why our generation is labelled a "Hero" generation, after all.

It is fluid, but not uniformly fluid. For good reason, President Obama has been called "No Drama Obama"; the most destructive tendencies in the 4T evolved slowly. But they eventually did move, and things got volatile and explosive on one day -- the cursed November 8, 2016 on which Donald Trump was elected president and the Republican Party sealed political dominance so long as the current political alignments exist.

American political life has become more dangerous than at any time since the Civil War (all in all, American political life was very placid during the Great Depression and Second World War. We face an authoritarian, exploitative, repressive, and perhaps brutal new order in which only 2% of the people really matter in political life and the rest are obliged to endure poverty and exhaustion in full compliance with an oligarchy devoid of any moral virtues. When people say that fascism is nigh and start panicking about the loss of all civil liberties and the establishment of a harsh dictatorship even if such are practically without precedent in America (OK -- Ku Kluxism in the Jim Crow South) by people who recently pooh-poohed conspiracy theories... just see how differently I thought of the prospects of American life early last month and in the middle. 

"We have nothing to fear... but Fear Itself", said Franklin Roosevelt when the distress was entirely economic. I can see Americans taking up sides, and major powers choosing sides in America based on what they want to see prevail here.  I can also imagine concentration camps and torture chambers... and people 'disappearing' as they did in the Dirty Wars of southern South America in the 1970s and 1980s.

Quote:As for me, one of my biggest projects is to attack the intellectual basis of white supremacy, one of the major planks of which I take to be the following narrative:

Starting with Ancient Greece, Europe developed by itself without interference or input by people of color. Europeans by themselves became increasingly enlightened, with Providence largely keeping threats at bay, and in 1492 when Columbus discovered America, Europeans set forth to bring enlightenment to the benighted peoples of the world.

The implication of this narrative, of course, is that any prominence of people of color could only ruin this "great project" of white people.

I can imagine history going very differently, in which case any white arrogance would be preposterous. In one alternative-history  scenario, imagine the very tolerant Vikings establishing a successful colony in the New World and doing what the Vikings did after they found nothing to loot: they started trading. If there was no sophisticated people to deal with, they established primitive industries for generating wealth to then be traded. I can imagine them establishing a natioin of mixed Norse-First Peoples origin in eastern North America much as the related Rus (land of the Rus -- and "Rus" is originally a Scandinavian word for 'oar  man") did in Russia by using the rivers for access. . I figure that they would be analogous to the French traders in beaver pelts which would soon practically flood Europe. Around the same time, the Chinese would start exploring the northern Pacific shorelines and be about to give up as they got to about the sites of Vancouver and Seattle... after which things would get very promising. Instead of having a Chinatown, the site of San Francisco is a Chinese town... and the Vikings and Chinese eventually meet somewhere around the site of... Banff National Park?


Quote:However, I am becoming aware of evidence that this narrative is BS. One piece of evidence is the very well-researched book The Huns, Rome, and the Birth of Europe by Hyun Jin Kim, an Oxford-trained Classicist with an interest in Inner Asia. In it, he argues that the Huns, a large multiethnic group originating from Inner Asia and likely linked to the Xiongnu who were often at war with the Han Dynasty, had a profound impact on the development of what we today consider to be "Europe" and shaped Medieval culture. He questions the whole idea of there being separate European and Asian continents.

"Hun" has of course become a by-word for destructiveness, with Attila recognized as one of the most evil persons to have ever lived. But put some of the fault on the rottenness of the Roman Empire which could no longer well defend itself. The distinction between Europe and Asia dates from ancient Greek times, when "Asia" meant practically anything to the east of the Aegean Sea and "Europe" anything to the west of the Aegean Sea. Eventually the Greeks started finding that there was much more to "Asia" than Persia, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Arabia -- and that "Europe" extended only as far as what is now Portugal.

It was really the Arabs who brought civilization back to southern and western Europe.

Quote:Next, I found this admittedly speculative piece by an Anglo-Saxon scholar, Caitlin Green, who explores the idea that there were Huns in Anglo-Saxon England and that the Anglo-Saxons were even partly descended from them:

http://www.caitlingreen.org/2015/07/were...gland.html

She examines writings from Bede, an English monk and important source of early Anglo-Saxon history, and Priscus, an Eastern Roman ambassador to Attila's court in 447/8, as well as archaeological and other historical evidence. In a recent email conversation with both her and Kim, we discovered that the likely structure of the Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Kent in its early years, as described by Barbara Yorke, was similar to that practiced by the Huns and other Inner Asian groups, with the realm divided into east and west and the king of the east having precedence over the king of the west. Essex may have had a similar structure.

Similarities between the ancient Anglo-Saxons and the Huns   (the Huns never got to Britain!) are either coincidence due to a similar level of development or Hun influence upon Germanic tribes closest to the Huns and to the Angles and Saxons by diffusion. Something that works diffuses.


Quote:Other informative sources include the article "Hawks, Horses, and Huns" by John Niles, which looks at the large impact of the Huns on Germanic cultural practices, those of the Anglo-Saxons in particular:

https://www.academia.edu/26820839/_Hawks...016_133-64

And of course, as always, a Tumblr blog that chronicles Medieval PoC:

http://medievalpoc.tumblr.com/


Maybe.


Quote:Of course, attacking the intellectual foundation of white supremacy won't do anything immediately, but if 4T is right and we have maybe 10 years left of the Crisis, it can help shape the attitudes toward race in the post-Crisis period.

Most of us thought that white supremacy was discredited for all time. White kids adopting the pop culture of blacks as theirs and dating across racial lines, a large and successful black middle class, and a successful President with a black father.... whoops! People with nothing more to be proud of than pale skin started to get scared.

White bigots might not be so troubled by persons of Asian origin with nearly-white skin  or Hispanics who look a little off white because of some First Peoples ancestry but who aren't particularly exotic. White bigots may fear 'black crime' as an immediate danger.... but it is the black middle class that is more likely to seduce some white person's offspring and absorb that offspring's white genes into the black gene pool. Few people dare express that fear aloud, but they may feel it strongly.

Donald Trump ripped  the scab off the wound of American life... and brought forth some of the most primitive thoughts in the American psyche. He found visceral fears to exploit in white workers and made sure that people with those fears did not think. The expert infamously expresses this fact:


Quote:...(P)ropaganda does not lie in the scientific training of the individual, but in calling the masses' attention to certain facts, processes, necessities, etc., whose significance is thus for the first time placed within their field of vision.

[Image: dot.gif]The whole art consists in doing this so skillfully that everyone will be convinced that the fact is real, the process necessary, the necessity correct, etc. But since propaganda is not and cannot be the necessity in itself, since its function, like the poster, consists in attracting the attention of the crowd, and not in educating those who are already educated or who are striving after education and knowledge, its effect for the most part must be aimed at the emotions and only to a very limited degree at the so-called intellect.

[Image: dot.gif]All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be. But if, as in propaganda for sticking out a war, the aim is to influence a whole people, we must avoid excessive intellectual demands on our public, and too much caution cannot be exerted in this direction.

[Image: dot.gif]The more modest its intellectual ballast, the more exclusively it takes into consideration the emotions of the masses, the more effective it will be. And this is the best proof of the soundness or unsoundness of a propaganda campaign, and not success in pleasing a few scholars or young aesthetes.

[Image: dot.gif]The art of propaganda lies in understanding the emotional ideas of the great masses and finding, through a psychologically correct form, the way to the attention and thence to the heart of the broad masses. The fact that our bright boys do not understand this merely shows how mentally lazy and conceited they are.

OK, give credit where it is due, even if I can't overstate my contempt for the evil man who wrote this.

Quote:Another project is Calexit which could end up functioning as a trap for the Fascists. As CalExit is explicitly a non-violent movement that hopes to make California independent through cooperation and legal procedures, if violent force is used to crush it, then it could backfire for the Fascists.

So things like these are what I hope to have an impact on, and work toward.

Fascists invariably treat any expression of dissent as a monstrous crime deserving of the severest punishment possible. A hint: Slobodan Milosevic did not have nuclear weapons at his disposal. If you don't think that a fascist tyrant wouldn't incinerate 20 million Californians to make a point about dissent against a political order that demands that 95% of the people suffer for the elite 2%... all that would stop him is the inability to redevelop several sites that resemble Hiroshima and Nagasaki for resettlement of his most loyal supporters in a climatic paradise, then you underestimate the potential for evil.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#46
Quote:"Hun" has of course become a by-word for destructiveness, with Attila recognized as one of the most evil persons to have ever lived. But put some of the fault on the rottenness of the Roman Empire which could no longer well defend itself. The distinction between Europe and Asia dates from ancient Greek times, when "Asia" meant practically anything to the east of the Aegean Sea and "Europe" anything to the west of the Aegean Sea. Eventually the Greeks started finding that there was much more to "Asia" than Persia, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Arabia -- and that "Europe" extended only as far as what is now Portugal.

Kim disputes the decline theory of the Roman Empire in his book, and I find his arguments convincing. In his book, he argues that Rome was actually very strong, and if it had faced simply the type of "barbarians" it had faced in the 3rd century crisis, it would have come out on top. The Huns were a type of enemy the Romans had never faced before; the Huns were actually very well organized, and had better weapons and tactics than the Romans. Were it not for the Huns, the Empire likely would have lasted indefinitely. Even if this seems dubious to you, I still suggest checking out the book--I have it checked out on interlibrary loan--as it is an impressive collection of evidence, introducing evidence from Inner Asian scholars which previously had largely not been considered by scholars of the West.

As for the "evil" of the Huns, the kinds of atrocities they committed were really no different from those committed by various other peoples during this time period, including Germanic peoples. Kim criticizes the tendency of Western historians to explain away the various atrocities committed by Germanic peoples while using the same kinds of atrocities to condemn the Huns.

Quote:Similarities between the ancient Anglo-Saxons and the Huns   (the Huns never got to Britain!) are either coincidence due to a similar level of development or Hun influence upon Germanic tribes closest to the Huns and to the Angles and Saxons by diffusion. Something that works diffuses.

Exactly how far west the Huns got is something historians have had difficulty with. Some maps show them largely limited to the Carpathian Basin, while others show them getting as far west as about the Rhine River and even as far north as modern-day Denmark and southern Sweden. There appears to be memory among the Scandinavian peoples of Hunnic rule, such as a royal genealogy containing names that are similar to the names of Hunnic kings. There is also other evidence, like Hunnic brooches being found in the region. Lotte Headeager has been making the case for a Hunnic presence and rule in southern Scandinavian.

As for Britain, no map as far as I can tell includes Britain in the Hunnic Empire. If, however, Headeager is correct about Hunnic rule in southern Scandinavia, then that would mean the traditional Anglo-Saxon homelands fell under Hunnic rule. This alone would make plausible Hunnic influence in Anglo-Saxon culture. Now, this of course says nothing about a Hunnic presence in Britain, but Green cites other sources suggesting that probably this is the case. Now, I'm sure you are familiar with Bede's famous list of peoples the Anglo-Saxons descended from, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes? As Green argues, this list is very likely a simplification, and her evidence for that is convincing. She cites another passage from Bede's Ecclesiastical History, this time Book V, Chapter 9, which appears to give a more detailed list of peoples the Anglo-Saxons descended from, a passage that has given historians difficulty:

Quote:He knew that there were very many peoples in Germany from whom the Angles and the Saxons, who now live in Britain, derive their origin... Now these people are the Frisians, Rugians, Danes, Huns, Old Saxons, and Boruhtware (Bructeri); there are also many other nations in the same land who are still practising heathen rites to whom the soldier of Christ proposed to go...

Some historians say that this was just a list of peoples that Egbert (the "he" talked about in the passage) wanted to preach to in the 8th century, but others such as James Campbell have argued that the "the sense of the Latin is that these were the peoples from whom the Anglo-Saxons living in Britain were derived", and those ancestors included the Huns.

Another interesting passage is from Priscus, who quotes a Western ambassador to Attila's court named Romulus who says that in addition to forcing the Romans to pay tribute, he now ruled "the islands of the Ocean". Some historians have argued that this means the Baltic Sea, a reference to Thule or Scandinavia, which Romans at the time thought were a series of islands. However, others such as Peter Heather say that this refers to the islands of the Atlantic, which would undoubtedly include Great Britain.

As for other pieces of evidence, Hunnic-style brooches and gold earrings have been found in Britain, Anglo-Saxons seemed to use the Hun ethnonym in some of the names they gave their children, the Kings of Kent claimed connections to the Ostrogoths (and included an Octa in their genealogy, a name close to that of the Hunnic King Oktar). In combination with the other evidence, a possible Hunnic presence and even rule in Britain should be investigated.

Anyway, I have gone way overlong. There is a lot here, and I am excited about what future research may bring. And yes, I think this would be devastating to the intellectual foundation of white supremacy if my suspicions mentioned above prove true. Don't think the efforts of racists won't be hurt by such an attack.

As for the points about the evil of Trump, I think you should consider that the rest of the world has agency, and would have their own piece to say about the rise of Fascism in the United States. You should also consider their opponents in this country, once we've adapted to the new situation. Remember, at this stage in the Crisis the last time it happened, Fascism appeared to be on the rise, but it was subsequently defeated, and was discredited in the post-Crisis order.
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#47
Thanks for your input, beneficii. I agree with your statement about the rise and fall of fascism.

Regarding the fall of Rome and the Huns, I'm not so sure. I think when the Visigoths invaded under Alaric in 410 and conquered and sacked Rome, the Empire was dead in all but name. The Huns just put the nail in the coffin.

It was a mix of factors perhaps: decline from within was certainly happening by all historical accounts. Authority was increasingly desperate and more tyrannical, most people were poorer and more miserable, and in the last century of Rome the people retreated more and more into a proto-medieval set up of lords and walls protection. It could be that these were the "islands in the ocean" referred to in your post. And the "barbarian" peoples were expanding and ready to fight more and more strongly and capably and take over.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#48
(12-09-2016, 04:13 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Thanks for your input, beneficii. I agree with your statement about the rise and fall of fascism.

Regarding the fall of Rome and the Huns, I'm not so sure. I think when the Visigoths invaded under Alaric in 410 and conquered and sacked Rome, the Empire was dead in all but name. The Huns just put the nail in the coffin.

It was a mix of factors perhaps: decline from within was certainly happening by all historical accounts. Authority was increasingly desperate and more tyrannical, most people were poorer and more miserable, and in the last century of Rome the people retreated more and more into a proto-medieval set up of lords and walls protection. It could be that these were the "islands in the ocean" referred to in your post. And the "barbarian" peoples were expanding and ready to fight more and more strongly and capably and take over.

Hi Eric, thanks for your response!

I don't know so much about the Visigoths, though I know Kim has argued that the Goths were already quite well-organized when the Huns appeared on the scene, due to earlier steppe influences from the Sarmato-Scythians. It was the pressure the Huns put on the Visigoths that brought them into this conflict with Rome in the first place. (Kim also argues that the reason why you see the Germanic peoples other than the Goths also become much better organized was thanks to steppe, especially, Hunnic influence.) Still, these are difficult arguments to contend with, and perhaps a reread of the book (a very complex work!) would help clarify Kim's position on how Alaric was able to sack Rome in 410. (I'm going to look back through the book, and if I find his argument, I'll summarize it here.)

Regarding the "islands of the Oceans" comment, I don't know of any historian that takes your view on the matter. The metaphorical interpretation also doesn't make much sense if you look at the passage in its entirety. I will reproduce Green's quotation of it:

Quote:When we expressed amazement at the unreasonableness of the barbarian [Attila], Romulus, an ambassador of long experience, replied that his very great good fortune and the power which it had given him had made him so arrogant that he would not entertain just proposals unless he thought that they were to his advantage. No previous ruler of Scythia or of any other land had ever achieved so much in so short a time. He ruled the islands of the Ocean and, in addition to the whole of Scythia, forced the Romans to pay tribute. He was aiming at more than his present achievements and, in order to increase his empire further, he now wanted to attack the Persians.

Some historians have argued that these "islands of the Ocean" were those of Thule, or Scandinavia, which the Romans at the time did not know was a peninsula. Others have argued that they are of the Atlantic and would include Britain. Green argues that other writers of the Late Antiquity consider Britain to be among the "islands of the Ocean", a map produced in the late Roman period called the Tabula Peutingeriana shows to the northwest Britain but not any islands to the north where we would expect to find Thule which shows that Thule was not really present in the Roman consciousness while Britain a Roman province was a major part of it, and Romulus's point was meant to emphasize the unprecedented and impressive achievements made by Attila and a former Roman province like Britain coming under Hunnic rule would certainly shock the Romans.

It's an exciting area of investigation!
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#49
I take your point about the quote; that was just a guess on my part. Although it's difficult to imagine what "islands" he was taking about. In the Black or Caspian Sea somewhere? Or somewhere much further away, I guess. And I do remember that the Goths and other tribes invaded Rome because of pressure put on them by the Huns further east, although this was before Attila's time.

Still, my meaning of "islands in the ocean" as a metaphor does describe the increasing social and economic conditions of the Romans in the 3rd and 4th centuries. There's no doubt that historically Rome was declining. Barbarians had been putting pressure on it all along, and it was like in today's south-western America where the outsiders were becoming part of the inside. By 400 AD at least, most of the border guards themselves were originally barbarians.

Empires and other reigns do rise and fall in cycles historically; none ever remains in power "indefinitely," and it's largely because imperial power has its limits, and its power waxes and wanes over time.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#50
(12-09-2016, 05:58 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: I take your point about the quote; that was just a guess on my part. Although it's difficult to imagine what "islands" he was taking about. In the Black or Caspian Sea somewhere? Or somewhere much further away, I guess. And I do remember that the Goths and other tribes invaded Rome because of pressure put on them by the Huns further east, although this was before Attila's time.

Still, my meaning of "islands in the ocean" as a metaphor does describe the increasing social and economic conditions of the Romans in the 3rd and 4th centuries. There's no doubt that historically Rome was declining. Barbarians had been putting pressure on it all along, and it was like in today's south-western America where the outsiders were becoming part of the inside. By 400 AD at least, most of the border guards themselves were originally barbarians.

Empires and other reigns do rise and fall in cycles historically; none ever remains in power "indefinitely," and it's largely because imperial power has its limits, and its power waxes and wanes over time.

I myself have been an adherent of the belief that the Romans simply declined and that is why they fell, and indeed many historians have hewed to it. Kim's work, however, has me questioning it, and wondering if a tendency to play down the Huns' role has been due to Eurocentrism, a belief that Europe is better than everyone else and Europe can only fall if it defeats itself. It also leads me to question the ideas that Rome was weaker in the 4th century or that outsiders joining its army brought it down, as on pp. 47-48, Kim argues that Rome was at its strongest in this period, and the contingent of Germanic and Alanic troops were no less loyal or skilled, and in the Eastern Empire at least it was a time of prosperity. It was simply that the Romans began to face far more menacing opponents than they had faced before that caused their fall in the West.

Your points have received a lot of attention from historians, so I hope to provide an opportunity to look at an alternative view which is at least as credible and backed up by historical sources, and is published by a reliable printing company: The Cambridge University Press. If ever you get the chance, I heartily recommend picking up Kim's book. If you can't afford to buy it (I can't), then I recommend trying to get it at the library, and if your library doesn't carry it to look at getting it on interlibrary loan, which is generally free. Interlibrary loan is just where if your library system doesn't carry the book, the library can borrow the book from another library system and let you check it out.

I enjoyed this discussion. Thank you for it. Smile
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#51
(12-09-2016, 03:55 PM)beneficii  (my postings in blue) Wrote:
Quote:"Hun" has of course become a by-word for destructiveness, with Attila recognized as one of the most evil persons to have ever lived. But put some of the fault on the rottenness of the Roman Empire which could no longer well defend itself. The distinction between Europe and Asia dates from ancient Greek times, when "Asia" meant practically anything to the east of the Aegean Sea and "Europe" anything to the west of the Aegean Sea. Eventually the Greeks started finding that there was much more to "Asia" than Persia, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Arabia -- and that "Europe" extended only as far as what is now Portugal.

Kim disputes the decline theory of the Roman Empire in his book, and I find his arguments convincing. In his book, he argues that Rome was actually very strong, and if it had faced simply the type of "barbarians" it had faced in the 3rd century crisis, it would have come out on top. The Huns were a type of enemy the Romans had never faced before; the Huns were actually very well organized, and had better weapons and tactics than the Romans. Were it not for the Huns, the Empire likely would have lasted indefinitely. Even if this seems dubious to you, I still suggest checking out the book--I have it checked out on interlibrary loan--as it is an impressive collection of evidence, introducing evidence from Inner Asian scholars which previously had largely not been considered by scholars of the West.

The Roman Empire had serious faults from its inception. The slave system precluded the rise of a viable middle class (see also the ante-bellum South) and the entrepreneurialism and innovation typical of that class. The Roman Empire had plenty of resources to resist barbarian incursions in the late 300s but not so many a few decades later.  The Goths and Vandals did far more damage to the Roman social order; the Huns were simply more objectionable.


Quote:As for the "evil" of the Huns, the kinds of atrocities they committed were really no different from those committed by various other peoples during this time period, including Germanic peoples. Kim criticizes the tendency of Western historians to explain away the various atrocities committed by Germanic peoples while using the same kinds of atrocities to condemn the Huns.

Quote:Similarities between the ancient Anglo-Saxons and the Huns   (the Huns never got to Britain!) are either coincidence due to a similar level of development or Hun influence upon Germanic tribes closest to the Huns and to the Angles and Saxons by diffusion. Something that works diffuses.

Exactly how far west the Huns got is something historians have had difficulty with. Some maps show them largely limited to the Carpathian Basin, while others show them getting as far west as about the Rhine River and even as far north as modern-day Denmark and southern Sweden. There appears to be memory among the Scandinavian peoples of Hunnic rule, such as a royal genealogy containing names that are similar to the names of Hunnic kings. There is also other evidence, like Hunnic brooches being found in the region. Lotte Headeager has been making the case for a Hunnic presence and rule in southern Scandinavian.

In view of the strength of the Huns I would not be surprised to find that Germanic tribal chiefs married Hun princesses to get some safety from the fearsome Huns.
As for Britain, no map as far as I can tell includes Britain in the Hunnic Empire. If, however, Headeager is correct about Hunnic rule in southern Scandinavia, then that would mean the traditional Anglo-Saxon homelands fell under Hunnic rule. This alone would make plausible Hunnic influence in Anglo-Saxon culture. Now, this of course says nothing about a Hunnic presence in Britain, but Green cites other sources suggesting that probably this is the case. Now, I'm sure you are familiar with Bede's famous list of peoples the Anglo-Saxons descended from, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes? As Green argues, this list is very likely a simplification, and her evidence for that is convincing. She cites another passage from Bede's Ecclesiastical History, this time Book V, Chapter 9, which appears to give a more detailed list of peoples the Anglo-Saxons descended from, a passage that has given historians difficulty:

Quote:He knew that there were very many peoples in Germany from whom the Angles and the Saxons, who now live in Britain, derive their origin... Now these people are the Frisians, Rugians, Danes, Huns, Old Saxons, and Boruhtware (Bructeri); there are also many other nations in the same land who are still practising heathen rites to whom the soldier of Christ proposed to go...

Some historians say that this was just a list of peoples that Egbert (the "he" talked about in the passage) wanted to preach to in the 8th century, but others such as James Campbell have argued that the "the sense of the Latin is that these were the peoples from whom the Anglo-Saxons living in Britain were derived", and those ancestors included the Huns. Marital alliances worked even in early-modern times, as with Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette of Austria. (Well, that one did not turn out so well!)


Quote:Another interesting passage is from Priscus, who quotes a Western ambassador to Attila's court named Romulus who says that in addition to forcing the Romans to pay tribute, he now ruled "the islands of the Ocean". Some historians have argued that this means the Baltic Sea, a reference to Thule or Scandinavia, which Romans at the time thought were a series of islands. However, others such as Peter Heather say that this refers to the islands of the Atlantic, which would undoubtedly include Great Britain.

Legends are not to be accepted as literal truth unless they are validated with evidence. Acceptance of legends as literal truth despite a lack of evidence is bad history. Attempting to associate vague stories with far-off lands is tricky, as with assumptions that the Phoenicians occasionally ended up in South America for a short time in history and that people since forgot about such journeys (perhaps accidental). 

Quote:As for other pieces of evidence, Hunnic-style brooches and gold earrings have been found in Britain, Anglo-Saxons seemed to use the Hun ethnonym in some of the names they gave their children, the Kings of Kent claimed connections to the Ostrogoths (and included an Octa in their genealogy, a name close to that of the Hunnic King Oktar). In combination with the other evidence, a possible Hunnic presence and even rule in Britain should be investigated.

Dissemination of artifacts is a commonplace reality. Roman coins have been found in China, which indicates nothing more than the desirability of Roman coins in trade -- and not that Romans ever reached China. Names? "Alexander" is found in one form or another in lands as disparate as Scotland and Indonesia, not that there was ever any extensive Greek settlement any closer to Scotland than the South of France or any closer to Indonesia than the Punjab. Alexander's fame spread far beyond the extent of his great travels.

Fanciful genealogies are commonplace. To be sure, descent from Charlemagne is a near certainty to any modern European of European origin,  and descent from Mohammad is reliably documented by Charles, Prince of Wales. But documentation of descendants of Mohammad is well documented. Such is not so with Attila the Hun or Genghiz Khan. Some genealogies have people descended from unlikely entities, as shown in the alleged descent of Japanese Emperors from a sun god.


Quote:Anyway, I have gone way overlong. There is a lot here, and I am excited about what future research may bring. And yes, I think this would be devastating to the intellectual foundation of white supremacy if my suspicions mentioned above prove true. Don't think the efforts of racists won't be hurt by such an attack.

One of the arguments for white superiority is that white people is that they look the least like the 'inferior' West Africans. But DNA tells a different story; distance in time and place from West Africa puts Australian Aborigines, First Peoples of the Americas, and peoples of East Asia even farther in genetic distance from West Africa. As a white person I will have to pass on any claim to superiority over Africans because of the corollary of 'racial' inferiority to other peoples.

Quote:As for the points about the evil of Trump, I think you should consider that the rest of the world has agency, and would have their own piece to say about the rise of Fascism in the United States. You should also consider their opponents in this country, once we've adapted to the new situation. Remember, at this stage in the Crisis the last time it happened, Fascism appeared to be on the rise, but it was subsequently defeated, and was discredited in the post-Crisis order.

American fascism in the form of the KKK has been discredited at least three times, which suggests that it must have some appeal to some base drive in human character among those who think that it can give them some claim to superiority. There is no Master Race. The only valid claim to superiority for anyone is of either legitimate achievement (and those with legitimate achievement typically consider themselves more fortunate than superior) or moral virtue that precludes any need to assert a claim to personal superiority.

America was a winner in World War II because its leadership was decent and humane. A fascistic America will find itself with enemies more like America in World War II than like the gangster regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo.  America can lose World War III because there are larger armies than ours with a huge potential for military protection.

Liberalism is still nearly a majority view in America... and it will not go away without its brutal suppression. Many Americans are intellectually wired for it, and a few years of its antithesis will not change that. The only campaign promise of which I have no doubt that he will keep is to stick it to the educated middle class. He may have promised jobs, something that any fascist can deliver. What those jobs will not have is adequate pay for anything beyond an animal level of survival. He could unwittingly rebuild a coalition as powerful as the New Deal Coalition, one that can give liberals (or at least pro-working-class populists) victories in unlikely places -- even without an economic meltdown or a catastrophic war. 48% of the electorate voted against him in the 2016 election, and more would have had they known what was coming.

There are just too many liberals in America to put them all in camps for political prisoners. We have a heritage of resistance to irresponsible government:

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Where is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when we need him most? In ourselves, if we can muster the courage, rationality, fairness, and compassion of the Last Founding Father of the democratic experiment in America. We don't need to burn any flags or shout profanities.

We can eschew violence and destructiveness because we don't need violence and destruction.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#52
I have ancestors who may have been hiding something. Both sides of the family. Surnames include "Leonard" and "Gibson".

One of those genetic tests might show something inconsistent between me and my musical tastes.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#53
We certainly see them at work bombing the Muslim non-white people in Syria, including the women and children and the hospitals, which Trump is all in favor of. Trouble is, of course, it creates more refugees.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#54
(12-14-2016, 12:51 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: I have ancestors who may have been hiding something. Both sides of the family. Surnames include "Leonard" and "Gibson".

One of those genetic tests might show something inconsistent between me and my musical tastes.

What ancestry do you think they are hiding? Huh
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#55
(12-14-2016, 06:36 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: There is no longer any question that the International Alt Right / National Bolshevik movement is a Pan movement. It is a Pan-White-Supremacist movement emanating from the Kremlin. Hanna Arendt would have deemed it thus:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/03/world/....html?_r=0

'“I’ve always seen Russia as the guardian at the gate, as the easternmost outpost of our people,” said Sam Dickson, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan lawyer who frequently speaks at gatherings of the so-called alt-right, a far-right fringe movement that embraces white nationalism and a range of racist and anti-immigrant positions. “They are our barrier to the Oriental invasion of our homeland and the great protector of Christendom. I admire the Russian people. They are the strongest white people on earth.”'

===================================

Pan movements are a key feature during the early phases of global genocidal conflict. We have seen this movie before.

These stupid dolts, Russia isn't even Western...
#MakeTheDemocratsGreatAgain
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#56
(12-14-2016, 08:36 PM)Odin Wrote:
(12-14-2016, 06:36 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: There is no longer any question that the International Alt Right / National Bolshevik movement is a Pan movement. It is a Pan-White-Supremacist movement emanating from the Kremlin. Hanna Arendt would have deemed it thus:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/03/world/....html?_r=0

'“I’ve always seen Russia as the guardian at the gate, as the easternmost outpost of our people,” said Sam Dickson, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan lawyer who frequently speaks at gatherings of the so-called alt-right, a far-right fringe movement that embraces white nationalism and a range of racist and anti-immigrant positions. “They are our barrier to the Oriental invasion of our homeland and the great protector of Christendom. I admire the Russian people. They are the strongest white people on earth.”'

===================================

Pan movements are a key feature during the early phases of global genocidal conflict. We have seen this movie before.

These stupid dolts, Russia isn't even Western...

I'd rather align with Japan, which doesn't claim to be Western and certainly isn't 'white'.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#57
(12-14-2016, 08:35 PM)Odin Wrote:
(12-14-2016, 12:51 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: I have ancestors who may have been hiding something. Both sides of the family. Surnames include "Leonard" and "Gibson".

One of those genetic tests might show something inconsistent between me and my musical tastes.

What ancestry do you think they are hiding? Huh

African, perhaps. Not much. But if so, then the one-drop rule would redefine me.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#58
(01-20-2017, 11:18 AM)pbrower2a Wrote:
(12-14-2016, 08:35 PM)Odin Wrote:
(12-14-2016, 12:51 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: I have ancestors who may have been hiding something. Both sides of the family. Surnames include "Leonard" and "Gibson".

One of those genetic tests might show something inconsistent between me and my musical tastes.

What ancestry do you think they are hiding? Huh

African, perhaps. Not much. But if so, then the one-drop rule would redefine me.

Would it?  Do you really think your taste in music is genetic?  How did it miss the rest of your family then?  Rolleyes
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#59
(12-09-2016, 04:13 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Thanks for your input, beneficii. I agree with your statement about the rise and fall of fascism.

Regarding the fall of Rome and the Huns, I'm not so sure. I think when the Visigoths invaded under Alaric in 410 and conquered and sacked Rome, the Empire was dead in all but name. The Huns just put the nail in the coffin.

It was a mix of factors perhaps: decline from within was certainly happening by all historical accounts. Authority was increasingly desperate and more tyrannical, most people were poorer and more miserable, and in the last century of Rome the people retreated more and more into a proto-medieval set up of lords and walls protection. It could be that these were the "islands in the ocean" referred to in your post. And the "barbarian" peoples were expanding and ready to fight more and more strongly and capably and take over.

Following up on the issue of Alaric the Visigoth sacking Rome as being evidence for Rome already being in an advanced state of decline. Kim disagrees, and in his other book, The Huns (Routledge, 2015), explains on pages 154-155 how in 395 a Hunnic invasion of Moesia province prompted the Visigoths under Alaric to unify their polity and to imitate Alanic and Hunnic practices. They shifted their emphasis to mounted warfare like that practiced by the Huns and were able to get a contingent of Huns to serve in their army. Because Hunnic military tactics were superior to Roman military tactics, this gave the Visigoths an advantage.

As mentioned elsewhere, the Roman army was not smaller than it was before and the Germanic soldiers serving there were no less loyal than the native Roman soldiers. Even before the arrival of the Huns, the Visigoths and Ostrogoths had the most complex societies of any Germanic peoples, and had already mixed quite a bit with the Alans.

So it wasn't so much that Rome declined, but rather it came to face new opponents it simply couldn't handle.
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#60
And yet the Empire had been demographically stagnating for a couple of centuries, trade was already breaking down during the crisis of the third century, the Empire itself broke into pieces, and the Huns themselves did not end up toppling the Empire, even in the West.  The very fact their army increasingly relied on Germans auxillaries and generals towards the end should be a sign.  

Historical revisionism is fun and all, but this sort of thing is a little absurd.  The Romans were not going from strength to strength until they encountered a civilization they couldn't handle, they had been falling for 3 centuries before Odoacer topple Romulus Augustulus.
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