And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight
Where ignorant armies clash by night. (M. Arnold)

Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain... (T.S. Eliot)

The darkling plain is here. This is the waste land: England, America, Russia, China, Israel, France....

And we are here as victims, or as spectators, or as perpetrators of tortures, massacres, poisonings, manipulations, despoliations.

Hic Rhodus! This is the place to jump, the place to dance! This is the wilderness! Was there ever any other? This is savagery! Do you call it freedom? This is barbarism! The struggle for survival is right here. Haven’t we always known it? Isn’t this a public secret? Hasn’t it always been the big public secret?

It remains a secret. It is publicly known but not avowed. Publicly the wilderness is elsewhere, barbarism is abroad, savagery is on the face of the other. The dry sterile thunder without rain, the confused alarms of struggle and flight, are projected outward, into the great unknown, across the seas and over the mountains. We’re on the side with the angels.

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs... (W.B. Yeats)

...is moving its slow thighs against the projected wilderness, against the reflected barbarism, against the savage face that looks out of the pond, its motion emptying the pond, rending its banks, leaving an arid crater where there was life.

In a wonderfully lucid book titled Beyond Geography, a book which also goes beyond history, beyond technology, beyond civilization, Frederick W. Turner (not to be confused with Frederick Jackson Turner, the frontiersman’s advocate) draws the curtain and floods the stage with light.

Others drew the curtain before Turner; they’re the ones who made the secret public: Toynbee, Drinnon, Jennings, Camatte, Debord, Zerzan among contemporaries whose lights I’ve borrowed; Melville, Thoreau, Blake, Rousseau, Montaigne, Las Casas among predecessors; Lao Tze as long ago as written memory can reach.

Turner borrows the lights of human communities beyond civilization’s ken to see beyond geography. He sees with the eyes of the dispossessed of this once beautiful world that rests on a turtle’s back, this double continent whose ponds emptied, whose banks were rent, whose forests became arid craters from the day it was named America.

...a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight …

Focusing on the image, Yeats asked,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?

The vision is as clear to Turner as it was to Yeats:

The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle.

Seers of old returned to share their visions with their communities, just as women shared their corn and men their hunt.

But there is no community. The very memory of community is a fogged image out of Spiritus Mundi.

The seer of now pours his vision on sheets of paper, on banks of arid craters where armored bullies stand guard and demand the password, Positive Evidence. No vision can pass by their gates. The only song that passes is a song gone as dry and cadaverous as the fossils in the sands.

Turner, himself a guard, a professor, has the courage of a Bartolomé de Las Casas. He storms the gates, refuses to give the password, and he sings, he rants, he almost dances.

The armor comes off. Even if it is not merely worn like clothes or masks, even if it is glued to face and body, even if skin and flesh must be yanked off with it, the armor does come off.

Of late, many have been storming the gates. Only recently one sang that the net of factories and mines was the Gulag Archipelago and all workers were zeks (namely conscripts, inmates, labor gang members). Another sang that the Nazis lost the war but their new order didn’t. Ranters are legion now. Is it about to rain? Is it the twilight of a new dawn? Or is it the twilight in which Minerva’s owl can see because day is all done?

* * *

Turner, Toynbee and others are focusing on the beast that is destroying the only known home of living beings.

Turner subtitles his book, “The Western Spirit against the Wilderness.” By Western Spirit he means the attitude or posture, the soul or spirit of Western Civilization, known nowadays as Civilization.

Turner defines Wilderness the same way the Western Spirit defines it, except that the term is positive for Turner, negative for the Western Spirit: Wilderness embraces all of Nature and all the human communities beyond Civilization’s ken.

In A Study of History, Arnold Toynbee expressed enthusiasm for history and for civilization. After seeing the rise and fall of the Nazi Third Order and all the refinements it brought in its train, Toynbee lost his enthusiasm. He expressed this loss in a book called Mankind and Mother Earth. The vision in this book is kin to Turner’s: Mankind is rending Mother Earth asunder.

Toynbee’s term Mankind embraces the Western spirit as well as the human communities beyond Civilization’s ken, and his Mother Earth embraces all life.

I’ll borrow Toynbee’s term Mother Earth. She’s the first protagonist. She’s alive, she’s life itself. She conceives and births everything that grows. Many call her Nature. Christians call her Wilderness. Toynbee’s other name for her is Biosphere. She is the dry land, the water and the earth enveloping our planet. She’s the sole habitat of living beings. Toynbee describes her as a thin, delicate skin, no higher than planes can fly and no lower than mines can be dug. Limestone, coal and oil are part of her substance, they are matter that once lived. She selectively filters radiation from the sun, precisely in such a way as to keep life from burning. Toynbee calls her an excrescence, a halo or rust on the planet’s surface, and he speculates that there may be no other Biospheres.

Toynbee says Mankind, human beings, in other words We, have grown very powerful, more powerful than any other living beings, and at last more powerful than the Biosphere. Mankind has the power to wreck the delicate crust, and is doing it.

There are many ways to speak of a trap. It can be described from the standpoint of the self-balancing environment, of the trapper, of the trapped animal. It can even be described from the standpoint of the trap itself, namely from the objective, scientific, technological standpoint.

There are as many ways to speak of the wrecking of the Biosphere. From the standpoint of a single protagonist, Earth herself, it can be said that She is committing suicide. With two protagonists, Mankind and Mother Earth, it can be said that We are murdering Her. Those of us who accept this standpoint and squirm with shame might wish we were whales. But those of us who take the standpoint of the trapped animal will look for a third protagonist.

Toynbee’s protagonist, Mankind, is too diffuse. It embraces all civilizations and also all communities beyond Civilization’s ken. Yet the communities, as Toynbee himself shows, coexisted with other beings for thousands of generations without doing the Biosphere any harm. They are not the trappers but the trapped.

Who, then, is the wrecker of the Biosphere? Turner points at the Western Spirit. This is the hero who pits himself against the Wilderness, who calls for a war of extermination by Spirit against Nature, Soul against Body, Technology against the Biosphere, Civilization against Mother Earth, god against all.

Marxists point at the Capitalist mode of production, sometimes only at the Capitalist class. Anarchists point at the State. Camatte points at Capital. New Ranters point at Technology or Civilization or both.

If Toynbee’s protagonist, Mankind, is too diffuse, many of the others are too narrow.

The Marxists see only the mote in the enemy’s eye. They supplant their villain with a hero, the Anti-capitalist mode of production, the Revolutionary Establishment. They fail to see that their hero is the very same “shape with lion body and the head of a man, a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.” They fail to see that the Anti-capitalist mode of production wants only to outrun its brother in wrecking the Biosphere.

Anarchists are as varied as Mankind. There are governmental and commercial Anarchists as well as a few for hire. Some Anarchists differ from Marxists only in being less informed. They would supplant the state with a network computer centers, factories and mines coordinated “by the workers themselves” or by an Anarchist union. They would not call this arrangement a State. The name-change would exorcize the beast.

Camatte, the New Ranters and Turner treat the villains of the Marxists and Anarchists as mere attributes of the real protagonist. Camatte gives the monster a body; he names the monster Capital, borrowing the term from Marx but giving it a new content. He promises to describe the monster’s origin and trajectory but has not yet done so. The New Ranters have borrowed lights from L. Mumford, J. Ellul and others but have not, to my knowledge, gone further than Camatte.

Turner goes further. His aim is to describe only the monster’s spirit, but he knows it is the monster’s body that destroys the bodies of human communities and the body of Mother Earth. He says much about the monster’s origin and trajectory, and he speaks often of its armor. But it is beyond his aim to name the monster or describe its body.

It is my aim to speak of the beast’s body. For it does have a body, a monstrous body, a body that has become more powerful than the Biosphere. It may be a body without any life of its own. It may be a dead thing, a huge cadaver. It may move its slow thighs only when living beings inhabit it. Nevertheless, its body is what does the wrecking.

If the Biosphere is an excrescence on the planet’s surface, the beast that is wrecking her is also an excrescence. The Earthwrecker is a rust or halo on the surface of a human community. It is not excreted by every community, by Mankind. Toynbee himself puts the blame on a tiny minority, on very few communities. Perhaps the cadaverous beast was excreted by only one community among the myriads.

* * *

The cadaverous beast excreted by a human community is young, it is at most two or three hundred generations old. Before turning to it, I’ll glance at human communities, for they are much older, they are thousands of generations old.

We are told that even human communities are young, that there was an age when all was water until a muskrat dived to the seabottom and brought earth to the turtle’s back. So we’re told.

Supposedly the first walkers who benefited from the muskrat’s exertions were giants or gods who are nowadays called dinosaurs.

Modern graverobbers have been digging up these god’s bones and displaying the bones in glass cases of Positive Evidence. The graverobbers use these bone cases to bully all stories other than their own out of human memory. But the graverobber’s stories are duller than myriad other stories, and their cases of bones shed light only on the graverobbers themselves.

The stories are as varied as their tellers. In many of the stories, memory strains to reach an age when it, memory, was lodged in a grandmother who knew the swimmers, crawlers and walkers as her kin because she walked on her hind legs no more frequently than they.

In one ancient account, the first grandmother fell to earth from a hole in the sky.

In a modern account, she was a fish with a snout who, having playfully practiced breathing by sticking her snout above water, survived thanks to this trick when her pond dried up.

In another ancient account, the Biosphere swallowed several grandmothers before the general progenitor made her appearance, and is expected to swallow this progenitor’s great grandchildren. Toynbee may turn out to be wrong about the relative power of the two protagonists.

Many stories tell of miniature grandparents, midgets; a modern account calls them tree shrews.

These midgets inhabited the earth while the giants, the dinosaurs, walked about in the light of day. Prudent tree shrews climbed down to feast on insects at night, not because the giants were mean, but because of the discrepancy in size. Many of the tree shrews were satisfied with this arrangement and they remained tree shrews. Some, undoubtedly a small minority, wanted to walk about in the light of day.

Fortunately for the restless ones, the dinosaurs were among the grandmothers swallowed by the Biosphere. Former tree shrews could bask in the sun, or dance and play in broad daylight, without fear of being trampled. Minorities among these grew restless; some wanted to crawl, others to fly. The smug, conservative majorities, happy with their capacities, fulfilled by their environments, remained what they were.

* * *

The managers of Gulag’s islands tell us that the swimmers, crawlers, walkers and fliers spent their lives working in order to eat.

These managers are broadcasting their news too soon. The varied beings haven’t all been exterminated yet. You, reader, have only to mingle with them, or just watch them from a distance, to see that their waking lives are filled with dances, games and feasts. Even the hunt, the stalking and feigning and leaping, is not what we call Work, but what we call Fun. The only beings who work are the inmates of Gulag’s islands, the zeks.

The zek’s ancestors did less work than a corporation owner. They didn’t know what work was. They lived in a condition J.J. Rousseau called “the state of nature.” Rousseau’s term should be brought back into common use. It grates on the nerves of those who, in R. Vaneigem’s words, carry cadavers in their mouths. It makes the armor visible. Say “the state of nature” and you’ll see the cadavers peer out.

Insist that “freedom” and “the state of nature” are synonyms, and the cadavers will try to bite you. The tame, the domesticated, try to monopolize the word freedom; they’d like to apply it to their own condition. They apply the word “wild” to the free. But it is another public secret that the tame, the domesticated, occasionally become wild but are never free so long as they remain in their pens.

Even the common dictionary keeps this secret only half hidden. It begins by saying that free means citizen! But then it says, “Free: a) not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being; b) determined by the choice of the actor or by his wishes...”

The secret is out. Birds are free until people cage them. The Biosphere, Mother Earth herself, is free when she moistens herself, when she sprawls in the sun and lets her skin erupt with varicolored hair teeming with crawlers and fliers. She is not determined by anything beyond her own nature or being until another sphere of equal magnitude crashes into her, or until a cadaverous beast cuts into her skin and rends her bowels.

Trees, fish and insects are free as they grow from seed to maturity, each realizing its own potential, its wish — until the insect’s freedom is curtailed by the bird’s. The eaten insect has made a gift of its freedom to the bird’s freedom. The bird, in its turn, drops and manures the seed of the insect’s favorite plant, enhancing the freedom of the insect’s heirs.

The state of nature is a community of freedoms.

Such was the environment of the first human communities, and such it remained for thousands of generations.

Modern anthropologists who carry Gulag in their brains reduce such human communities to the motions that look most like work, and give the name Gatherers to people who pick and sometimes store their favorite foods. A bank clerk would call such communities Savings Banks!

The zeks on a coffee plantation in Guatemala are Gatherers, and the anthropologist is a Savings Bank. Their free ancestors had more important things to do.

The !Kung people miraculously survived as a community of free human beings into our own exterminating age. R.E. Leakey observed them in their lush African forest homeland. They cultivated nothing except themselves. They made themselves what they wished to be. They were not determined by anything beyond their own being — not by alarm clocks, not by debts, not by orders from superiors. They feasted and celebrated and played, full-time, except when they slept. They shared everything with their communities: food, experiences, visions, songs. Great personal satisfaction, deep inner joy, came from the sharing.

(In today’s world, wolves still experience the joys that come from sharing. Maybe that’s why governments pay bounties to the killers of wolves.)

S. Diamond observed other free human beings who survived into our age, also in Africa. He could see that they did no work, but he couldn’t quite bring himself to say it in English. Instead, he said they made no distinction between work and play. Does Diamond mean that the activity of the free people can be seen as work one moment, as play another, depending on how the anthropologist feels? Does he mean that they didn’t know if their activity was work or play? Does he mean we, you and I, Diamond’s armored contemporaries, cannot distinguish their work from their play?

If the !Kung visited our offices and factories, they might think we’re playing. Why else would we be there?

I think Diamond meant to say something more profound. A time-and-motion engineer watching a bear near a berry patch would not know when to punch his clock. Does the bear start working when he walks to the berry patch, when he picks the berry, when he opens his jaws? If the engineer has half a brain he might say the bear makes no distinction between work and play. If the engineer has an imagination he might say that the bear experiences joy from the moment the berries turn deep red, and that none of the bear’s motions are work.

Leakey and others suggest that the general progenitors of human beings, our earliest grandmothers, originated in lush African forests, somewhere near the homeland of the !Kung. The conservative majority, profoundly satisfied with nature’s unstinting generosity, happy in their accomplishments, at peace with themselves and the world, had no reason to leave their home. They stayed.

A restless minority went wandering. Perhaps they followed their dreams. Perhaps their favorite pond dried up. Perhaps their favorite animals wandered away. These people were very fond of animals; they knew the animals as cousins.

The wanderers are said to have walked to every woodland, plain and lakeshore of Eurasia. They walked or floated to almost every island. They walked across the land bridge near the northern land of ice to the southernmost tip of the double continent which would be called America.

The wanderers went to hot lands and cold, to lands with much rain and lands with little. Perhaps some felt nostalgia for the warm home they left. If so, the presence of their favorite animals, their cousins, compensated for their loss. We can still see the homage some of them gave to these animals on cave walls of Altamira, on rocks in Abrigo del Sol in the Amazon Valley.

Some of the women learned from birds and winds to scatter seeds. Some of the men learned from wolves and eagles to hunt.

But none of them ever worked. And everyone knows it. The armored Christians who later “discovered” these communities knew that these people did no work, and this knowledge grated on Christian nerves, it rankled, it caused cadavers to peep out. The Christians spoke of women who did “lurid dances” in their fields instead of confining themselves to chores; they said hunters did a lot of devilish “hocus pocus” before actually drawing the bowstring.

These Christians, early time-and-motion engineers, couldn’t tell when play ended and work began. Long familiar with the chores of zeks, the Christians were repelled by the lurid and devilish heathen who pretended that the Curse of Labor had not fallen on them. The Christians put a quick end to the “hocus pocus” and the dances, and saw to it that none could fail to distinguish work from play.

Our ancestors — I’ll borrow Turner’s terms and call them the Possessed — had more important things to do than to struggle to survive. They loved nature and nature reciprocated their love. Wherever they were they found affluence, as Marshall Sahlins shows in his Stone Age Economics. Pierre Clastres’ Society Against the State insists that the struggle for subsistence is not verifiable among any of the Possessed; it is verifiable among the Dispossessed in the pits and on the margins of progressive industrialization. Leslie White, after a sweeping review of reports from distant places and ages, a view of “Primitive culture as a whole,” concludes that “there’s enough to eat for a richness of life rare among the ‘civilized.’” I wouldn’t use the word Primitive to refer to a people with a richness of life. I would use the word Primitive to refer to myself and my contemporaries, with our progressive poverty of life.

* * *

The main part of our poverty is that the richness of life of the Possessed is barely accessible to us, even to those of us who have not chained our imaginations.

Our professors talk of fruits and nuts, animal skins and meat. They point to our supermarkets, full of fruits and nuts. We have an abundance our ancestors didn’t dream of, Q.E.D. These are, after all, the real things, the things that matter. And if we want more than fruits and nuts, we can go to the theater and see plays; we can even sprawl in front of the TV and consume the entire world-wide spectacle. Hallelujah! What more could we want?

Thanks to our professors, we barely have access to our dangerous, demonic, possessed ancestors who thought fruits and nuts were not the real things but trivia, who abandoned themselves to visions, myths and ceremonies. Thanks to our professors, we now know that visions are personal delusions, myths are fairy tales, and ceremonies are play-acting which we can see any time in movies.

We even know a lot about Possession. Possession is ownership. We possess houses and garages and cars and stereo equipment, and we’re constantly running to possess more; there’s no limit to what we want to possess. Surely it must be said that possession is our central aim, not theirs.

Rare is the professor who, like Mircea Eliade, frees himself of the armored vision and sees through the iron curtain of inversion and falsification. And even Eliade fogs what he sees by claiming to find analogies and vestiges in our world. The strait that separates us from the other shore has been widening for three hundred generations, and whatever was cannibalized from the other shore is no longer a vestige of their activity but an excretion of ours: it’s shit.

Reduce to blank slates by school, we cannot know what it was to grow up heirs to thousands of generations of vision, insight, experience.

We cannot know what it was to learn to hear the plants grow, and to feel the growth.

We cannot know what it was to feel the seed in the womb and learn to feel the seed in earth’s womb, to feel as Earth feels, and at last to abandon oneself and let Earth possess one, to become Earth, to become the first mother of all life. We’re truly poor. Thousands of generations of vision, insight and experience have been erased.

Instead of abandoning ourselves, instead of savoring what little we can of their powers, we define and categorize.

We speak of Matri-archy. The name is a cheap substitute for the experience. It is a bargain, and we’re always on the lookout for bargains. Once the name is on the door, the door can be closed. And we want doors to stay closed.

The name Matri-archy is on the door of an age when women knew themselves, and were known by men, as the conceivers, as the creators of life, as embodiments of the first being, as first beings.

To know the name on the door is to know nothing. Knowledge begins on the other side of the threshold. Even the name on the door is wrong. Matri refers to mother, but archy comes from an altogether different age. Archy refers to government, to artificial as opposed to natural order, to an order where the Archon is invariably a man. An-archy would be a better name for the door. The Greek prefix “an” means “without.”

On the other side of the threshold, the possessed mother returns to her body and proceeds to share her experience with her kin, just as she shares fruits and nuts.

Our tongues would be hanging out for the fruits and nuts. But her sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews are hungry for the experience.

When the mother shares the experience, she also shares the thousands of generations of vision and insight, the wisdom that helped make her experience so meaningful, so frightfully profound. She doesn’t apply chalk to a blackboard. She doesn’t write a textbook. She hops. She sings. She begins the “lurid dance,” the “orgy” that will one day terrify the Christians.

Her cousins and nieces join in the dance. They let go, they abandon themselves to her songs, her motions. They too let themselves be possessed by the spirit of earth. They too experience the greatest joy imaginable.

The nephews also abandon themselves; they too are possessed, enriched. But when the ceremony is over, they sense that they have less to look forward to than their sisters. They know they’re not creators of life, first beings. In The Flounder, Günther Grass vividly portrays the inferiority complex of these nephews, these males in the state of nature. They’re studs. They’re sexual objects. They’re the ones who preen and ornament themselves to make themselves attractive to women, like peacocks, ducks and other cousins of theirs.

The nephews take phallus-shaped spears and arrows to the woods, and they return to the village with meat. But they know that meat, if not as common as fruits and nuts, is still trivial compared to their aunt’s trips of possession and self-abandon, for such trips bring one face to face with the very springs of Being.

The nephews also seek visions. They too are heirs to thousands of generations of observation and wisdom. Their uncles saw to that. They know that the forest is not the thing it has become for us: a meat corral, a lumber factory. They know the forest as a living being who teems with living beings. They too, like their aunt, let go of themselves, let themselves be possessed by the spirit of a tree, of a place, of an animal. If they’ve learned much, and well, they even look up, above the forest. They strive for the sky. And on rare occasions the spirit of the sky possesses them. They fly. They become sky, feeling all its motions, sensing all its intentions. They become the sky who mated with earth and gave birth to life. A man who returns to his village with such news is much and has much to share, more than mere meat.

What trips those must have been! Such profound celebrations of life have no counterpart, no analogy, in what Turner calls “the narrow, unsexed, anthropocentric version that Western Civilization has become uncomfortably familiar with ...”

Just how far progress has brought us is revealed by the occasional tourist who happens on a seer. The tourist listens to the old man who somehow slipped into our age from the other shore. The tourist sits fidgeting through what he calls a “seance,” snapping photographs. At the end of it all, the tourist produces a photograph which proves that the seer didn’t fly, didn’t even rise from his seat. And the tourist leaves, happily convinced that they, not he, are dupes and morons.

Photographs show what we’re most interested in: the surfaces of things. They don’t show qualities, spirits.

Some of the people who left the human communities remembered some of the qualities. They remembered some of the joys of possession — not possession of things but possession of Being.

They remembered — but vaguely, foggily. Surrounded by things, they lost the ability to express the qualities. They knew the age they had left was more valuable, more pure, more beautiful than anything they found since. But their language had gone poor. They could speak of what they lost only by comparing it to things of their world. They called the forgotten age the Age of Gold.

* * *


An armored one asks: If the Age of Gold was so valuable, so beautiful, so pure, why did people leave it? If the Civilized remember it, why don’t they rush back to it? If it was so comfortable, why don’t farmers throw away their plows and return to digging sticks? (This same questioner also asks: If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?)

There are answers to these questions. But the questioner does not want to hear them. He already knows the answer. Humanity left the state of nature because Civilization is a higher stage. (Higher stage of what? The armored one will never tell. He quickly turns to something else.)

The theory of the higher stage is as old as Civilization itself. One of its more influential modern versions originated with a nineteenth century lawyer who lived in upstate New York, Lewis Henry Morgan.

A consultant to speculating businessmen, a Republican politician and a racist, Morgan nevertheless found time to do a study of his neighbors in upstate New York, devastated remains of once-numerous Iroquoian communities. Morgan’s racist predecessors Washington and Jefferson had insisted the Iroquoians were children but Morgan thought the Iroquoians had reached a stage between childhood and adolescence.

Morgan generalized his racism into a ladder, every rung of which gleams with racist polish. He made no effort to disguise his contempt; on the contrary, he flaunted it; such contempt was (and still is) a mark of refinement in America. He named the lowest rung, the stage of infancy, Savagery. He named the next rung, the stage of childhood, Barbarism. And of course he named the top rungs Civilization, the topmost American Civilization. On this topmost rung sat Morgan with the Great White Race. The professors of America were so flattered they elected Morgan president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The professors would later regret their vote. Morgan’s racist ladder was borrowed by the agitator Karl Marx and the revolutionary businessman Friedrich Engels. Marx intended to patch the ladder but never found the time. It was Engels who patched Morgan’s ladder. He didn’t patch much. He borrowed the ladder intact, with all the racist polish of Morgan’s nomenclature: Savagery, Barbarism, etc. Engels patched only the ladder’s summit. He renamed Morgan’s topmost rung, and he placed a yet higher rung above it.

Engels changed the name of Morgan’s Great White Race to Capitalist Class, and on the rung above it he placed the leaders and followers of Marx’s political party. And in this form, Morgan’s racist ladder became the official religion of the USSR, China, Eastern Europe and other lands where the names of the rungs are stuffed into the heads of schoolchildren as a catechism.

Of course as soon as the agitators got hold of the ladder, American professors didn’t want to be caught with their hands on it. They forgot Morgan. (This is easily done in places where memory is at the mercy of publishers of written words.)

But racism did not vanish from America, and Morgan’s ladder was too good a thing to leave to the agitators. The archeologist V.G. Childe, although himself a Marxist, gave the ladder an aura of respectability by filling its rungs with all the latest Positive Evidence. And the ladder came back to America, not quite as an official religion but more as a last resort, as something to use in emergencies. Reference to “the state of nature” always creates emergencies.

The ladder, the theory of higher stages, of course explains why people left the state of nature. That’s what it is designed to do. The title of Engels' book is The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. The explanation is simple, lucid, in fact mechanical, and can be taught in elementary schools. All we have to do is look away from living beings and concentrate on things. The ladder is a thing. So are its rungs. And the connections between lower and higher rungs are also things. They’re devices. Childe misleadingly named his book Man Makes Himself, giving the impression that his subject was a living being. For Childe, Man himself is a thing, a container of objects and devices; Matter is the core and Man the excrescence.

The device responsible for Man’s passage from the rung called Savagery to the rung called Barbarism is a gadget called the Material Conditions, or more fully, the Level of Development of the Productive Forces. This same device is responsible for the passages to all the higher rungs.

Marx and Engels, and also Morgan, lived at a time when the material conditions, literally the ground itself, slipped from under the feet of the former rulers, the hated barons and bishops: capitalist owners of mines and factories were buying up the lands of the aristocrats. Marx and Engels prognosticated that the ground would similarly slip out from under the capitalists, and they projected their wish to the first dawn.

In terms of this projection, Man exists for thousands of generations as a Savage. Then, three hundred or so generations ago, material conditions become favorable for something higher than savagery. These conditions include agriculture, metallurgy, the wheel, etc. Once he has all these things, Man is able to generate a surplus product, a margin. (Turner, too, succumbs to this part of the theory.) This surplus, this margin, is what supports, literally feeds, the brave new world that now becomes possible: kings, generals of armies, slavemasters, bosses of labor gangs. Man had always wanted rulers, permanent armies, slavery, division of labor, but he couldn’t realize these dreams until the material conditions became ripe. And as soon as they did become ripe, all progressive-minded Savages leapt unhesitatingly to the higher rung.

(Reader: do me a favor and reexamine the theory of higher stages first. Then tell me if you still consider my caricature exaggerated.)

This theory of higher stages can be taught to small children because it is a fairy tale. There’s nothing wrong with fairy tales. But the proponents of this one claim it is something else; they are contemptuous of fairy tales.

* * *

The so-called material conditions were nothing but aids to feasting, walking and floating. They were like canes to old men. Their variety and complexity attest to the ingenuity of human beings. But the centrality of such things to us is no proof that human beings in the state of nature revolved around fruits, nuts and canes. Little as we know of their great moments, we do know they were not industrial fairs, celebrations of new inventions, gadget displays. Things may have been useful, but they were trivia compared to the moments when one made contact with the beginning, the source of life, Being itself.

The trivia are ancient, and may have been more varied in the old days than they are now. When fruits matured on high branches, all kinds of hooked poles, ropes and ladders were devised to reach the fruits before monkeys reached them.

People knew themselves as cousins of animals. Many of their implements enabled them to copy the ways of animals. On the banks of rivers and lakes, people devised all types of rafts and canoes so as to float like ducks and swans. They stored nuts for winter use after the manner of squirrels. They scattered seeds after the manner of birds. They wove nets after the manner of spiders. They stalked deer after the manner of wolves. Wolves have strong teeth and jaws. People sharpened sticks and stones. (Our archeologists picture them chipping away, all day long, like zeks. We’re projecting again. Those people were not coerced by what Toynbee calls “impersonal institutions.” They had no reason to go on chipping after it stopped being fun.)

Modern diggers have even unearthed the remains of ancient cities at places in Anatolia and the Levant, places later named Shanidar, Jericho, Çatal Höyük, Hacilar. At Shanidar the whole community shared a cave as a winter shelter; the cave dwellers used metals. At Jericho people caved themselves in by building a wall, probably to protect themselves from hostile interlopers. These people seem to have done little or no planting. To the north of them were people who planted seeds and herded animals but did not build cities or walls. And across the world from them were the ancestors or predecessors of the Ojibwa, who practiced metallurgy on lake Superior, making beautiful copper ornaments and implements.

None of these people developed “impersonal institutions.” They remained kin. They went on sharing all they had and all they experienced. The copper users of Lake Superior did not plant seeds or herd animals. Perhaps they could have, but they had no earthly need to. They did have dogs. Dogs apparently domesticated themselves, either because of an incomprehensible love for human beings or because of a parasitic urge. But what satisfaction could come from developing strains of parasitic, doglike elk or moose?

The material objects, the canes and canoes, the digging sticks and walls, were things a single individual could make, or they were things, like a wall, that required the cooperation of many on a single occasion. I would guess that the builders of the first Jericho’s walls ceased to be wall-builders the moment they were done; they returned to more important activities. I would even guess they built the wall in order to pursue the more important activities undisturbed.

As for the surplus product, the famous Margin these implements supposedly made possible: Sahlins and others have shown that communities with many implements and communities with few, in lush environments and in harsh ones, were all surrounded by surpluses. After all the people had eaten their fill, after all the insects and birds and animals had eaten their fill, there was still a virtual bounty that fell to earth and fertilized the next spring’s new shoots. Many animals and many people stored what they expected to use during an average winter, but no one hoarded more than that; free people didn’t need to.

* * *

Most of the implements are ancient, and the surpluses have been ripe since the first dawn, but they did not give rise to impersonal institutions. People, living beings, give rise to both. And it is not Man or Mankind who is responsible, but one isolated community, a tiny minority in Toynbee’s words.

Furthermore, this tiny minority does not give rise to such institutions in the most favorable material conditions, say in the lush woodlands around the Great Lakes or the abundant forests of Africa or Eurasia. They do it in the least favorable material conditions, in a fiercely harsh environment.

Diggers will actually unearth and decipher tablets which shed light on some of the first moments of impersonal institutions.

The tablets are in Sumerian, a language that may have originate in Central Asia. The authors are the first literate men. The villages where they live are called Erech, Ur, Eridu, Lagash. The villages are located in the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The place will called a Fertile Crescent ages later, to explain why donkeys have tails.

The first tablets don’t speak of the place so favorably. They describe it as a hellish place and make one wonder why those people stay there. They are set on farming in a jungle. The rivers flood yearly, fertilize the valley and turn it into a swamp.

Women plant seeds. One year the flood is so violent it carries off the crop as well as the houses. The following year there’s not enough water, and the plants dry up and die in the burning heat of the sun.

Surely the villagers must start thinking of returning to the more favorable conditions of Central Asia, where they did not have to spend so much time and energy on mere survival, where they had time for more enjoyable activities.

But they are tenacious. The grandmothers call the old men to a council. These men have been dreaming. The women urge the men to dream of a dependable water supply, neither too little nor too much.

The men are undoubtedly offended at being called away from their mental transports for the sake of such trivia. They probably have to be called to a second council and then a third, this last during a famine.

The old men sluggishly respond. They may have seen how beavers assure themselves of a dependable water supply. They dream. They see that what is needed is a dam, canals and drainage ditches. But who is to build these? Certainly not the old men. They are not beavers. They call the young men together and explain the dream.

The young men have been doing nothing at all, so they are eager to show themselves willing and generous givers.

But no one knows how to proceed. The old men may or may not dream up the plans, but they certainly do not supervise the actual doing. They choose a strong young man, a Lugal; they tell him to go look at beavers. The old men then return to their more important philosophical endeavors.

The Lugal, which means strong man in Sumerian, may or may not learn from the beavers, and he may or may not do the planning. He certainly does the supervising. Wasn’t he designated by the elders?

When the ditches and canals are dug, the Lugal returns among his peers, proud but not yet haughty. Nothing has changed yet. Such cooperative ventures were infrequent but not uncommon in communities of kin.

But this is Erech, a place where the gods obviously don’t want people to live. A single flood carries the whole works into the sea. The women call the old men to another council. This time the elders choose a yet stronger young man and urge him to study the beavers more conscientiously or dream more profoundly. And this time the banks and dikes hold, at least initially.

But Erech remains a materially wretched place, and before long the banks begin to crumble. The experienced Lugal is called to repair the banks and dikes. The Lugal and his cousins complain that they should have called a moon sooner, when the banks were still repairable; now they have to rebuild the entire works. This happens twice, at most three times, before the Lugal insists on having a seat in the council of elders, so as to have a say in choosing the time to repair dikes.

Springs pass and winters pass, filled with feasts, festivals, dances and games.

The elders of Ur, and even those of Lagash, designate Lugals to go study the irrigation works of Erech.

One elder of Erech and then another die of old age; they are replaced on the council by newcomers.

By now the Lugal is a more experienced elder than the newcomers, and he expresses himself about other things than dikes. He becomes haughty, and his cousins stand behind him. He and they, after all, are the ones who provide Erech with a dependable water supply. The Lugal even dares to tell an old grandmother where not to plant her seeds.

One day the Lugal is found dead, murdered by a deity, a deity known to be in close contact with the insulted grandmother. A new Lugal is chosen, a less haughty one, and the elders are more careful to keep him out of their council.

There is no positive evidence for any of this. The fact is that the Sumerian tablets are mysteriously silent about the deeds of the women and elders at the time of the first Lugals. And as time goes on, the tablet-scribes help people forget that Sumerian women were important, that elders once sat in council, that there was age before the first Lugal.

* * *

But I’ll return to my story.

The people of Ur and those of Lagash have completed their water works. These grow more extensive every year.

One year the drainage ditches of Lagash overflow into Ur’s canals, flooding and ruining Ur’s works.

This so infuriates the Lugal of Ur, called Urlugal, that he leads his spear-armed cousins against those of Lagash. The enraged youth of Ur destroy their neighbors’ water works and pursue fleeing Lagash people to the desert. In their rage they murder several foreigners, desert nomads whose paths they cross.

When at last the besieged Lagashians beg for an end to the violence, the victors, Urlugal at their head, impose a fiendishly heavy burden on the defeated. The man of Ur demands reparations from the Lagashians, who are to rebuild their own waterworks and those of Ur as well. Lagashians unwilling or unable to support such a burden are invited to bring large gifts to the man of Ur, at specified periods.

Urlugal is determined to keep track of all the tribute gifts owed to him, for he’s as tenacious as those ancestors of his who did not abandon the Fertile Crescent. To keep track of the gifts and givers, he sends one or two of his cousins to Erech to study the marks some of Erechlugal’s men have been making on clay tablets to keep track of the best times to repair dikes. Urlugal’s men soon make clay tablets of their own, and onto these tablets they chisel wedge-shaped marks to signify the names of those in Lagash who still owe tribute gifts, and the amounts.

All these events do not happen within a single Urlugal’s lifetime. Urlugal is only one of the names of Ur’s Lugals. The Sumerians have hundreds, perhaps thousands of Lugals, and the scribes invent yet more names of Lugals to fill the time between themselves and the first dawn. For the Sumerians, the interval between themselves and the Beginning is not as brief as it will later become for Christians. The tenacious Sumerians reckon in millions.

I latched on to Urlugal because of his telling name, so I’ll stick with him. He’s still collecting tribute from Lagash. His nephews are having a ball supervising the canal work of their neighbors instead of doing it themselves.

Now alarming news arrives. Some of Urlugal’s cousins went hunting, perhaps in the forests of Lebanon. One of them returns, with barely enough life in him to tell the tale. The hunters were attacked by spear-armed nomads; all were killed but the teller. The attackers are probably kin of the foreigners killed by Urlugal’s men during the foray against Lagash.

Urlugal immediately prepares to lead his strongest cousins against the murderous foreigners. The elders try to cool the hotheads, suggesting that the foreigners were avenging the victims of Urlugal’s initial raid, and another raid will only lead to more reprisals. But the hotheads will not be stopped.

Urlugal and his cousins, still flushed by their victory over Lagash, set out towards the Lebanon forest. They actually find a camp of foreigners. They raze it to the ground and murder most of the nomads. On their way back with the captured animal herds, the men of Ur are attacked by another band of foreigners. The forest seems to teem with foreigners.

Urlugal and many of his cousins are killed. The survivors abandon their loot and flee back to Ur in disarray.

All Ur is in a rage. Someone reminds the angry crowd of the elders’ prediction and he’s immediately killed. The survivors and their cousins clamor for the appointment of the strongest and most determined among them as Lugal. The victors over Lagash will not be bested by mere foreigners, they will not be flies to spiders who live in no cities and plant no seeds. The council of elders, beset by the entire town’s rage, hesitantly appoints the new Lugal.

The enraged warriors set out against the foreigners. They send scouts ahead so as not to be trapped in another ambush. They transport their supplies as well as Lugal himself on wheeled carriages; the Lugal can thus save his strength for the actual battle, and the men from Ur can move faster than any foreigners. They find several camps of nomads and raze every one to the ground.

They return to Ur — this time not only with captive herds but with captive foreigners as well. The returning warriors are embraced by their worried kin. For a fortnight all Ur is taken up with feasts, dances, celebrations. The elders, men and women, prepare generous offerings to the spirits and powers who made victory possible. Special offerings are made to the Lugal’s deity.

When the celebrations end, the flushed warriors, the heroes, are not about to return to repairing the canals. The stint of the Lagashians is about to end. In fact, the Lagashians are complaining that they’ve already done more for Ur than they ever agreed to do. Who’ll do the repairing now? The Lugal’s cousins had long been supervising defeated Lagashians and they’re not pleased by the prospect of replacing the defeated.

The captured foreigners are put to work on the canals. Each of the Lugal’s cousins is now a Lugal, a supervisor. The Sumerian word is Ensi. This is a sub-Lugal, an assistant to the Lugal, a boss but not the boss.

Nomads continue to harass Ur’s hunters and travelers. But news of their raids is no longer alarming. The Lugal leads frequent expeditions against the unintelligible Semitic-speaking foreigners.

The elders no longer object to these expeditions, prudently confining themselves to visionary and philosophical activities. Occasionally the Lugal consults an old man or woman about the likelihood of victory, but otherwise he keeps a respectful distance from them.

The Lugal now looks forward to these expeditions, for each new raid brings new foreigners to Ur. There are now enough foreigners in Ur to repair canals in every season. Soon the captives from the earlier expeditions are recruited to expeditions against new raiders.

Now foreigners do not only repair dikes. They also repair the houses of old men and women. They do the Lugal’s chores and soon the chores of Ensis.

Sumerian women still give birth to the plants in the field, but now they do this by maintaining close and continual contact with Earth and with the spirits responsible for nurturing the plants. The actual scattering of the seeds is done by captured foreigners.

And who are the foreigners? Surely we can recognize them as the first zeks! They are workers, proletarians, full-time laborers. The Sumerian language comes from another age. Just as it has no word like King, Ruler, Emperor, President, it has no word like Zek, Worker, Slave. Sumerians continue to call the lugal Lugal, and they continue to call the foreigners Foreigners. But in an incredibly short time, Ur abandons the exotic world of seers and visions.

* * *

I’ve been using the present tense. Ur is Now. It is not exotic at all. It is our world.

What happened?

I’ve already disposed of the Marxist explanation. Favorable material conditions did not give rise to the first Lugal of Erech. Material conditions remained what they were for generations, and the people of Erech had no access to the best of them. Material conditions begin to change only after the first Lugal, and from then on they change fast.

Pierre Clastres will say there was a revolution — not a material but a political revolution. This is a good way to put it, but it is true only in retrospect. The Sumerians obviously undergo a great change; we can call this a revolution, but they do not experience it as one.

From the standpoint of the Sumerians, nothing changes. In a sense they never leave the state of nature. This is probably what accounts for the exoticism that will continue to cling to what we will call “early civilizations.” The Sumerians haven’t become zeks. They’re still possessed. Sumerian women still give birth, not as machines for the production of soldiers and workers, but as living beings in close contact with the sources of Being. Sumerian men, especially older ones, still seek contact with the spirits of the winds, the clouds, even of the sky itself. In fact, they devote themselves to their searches more completely than they ever could before. Now all their energies are devoted to the dances, festivals and ceremonies. They no longer have to concern themselves with the trivia of material survival. The trivia are all done for them.

Furthermore, the Lugal and his men bring far more generous gifts to the spirits than could ever be given before. The Lugal’s men have even built permanent shrines to all the spirits and powers, incredibly beautiful shrines, and around the shrines they’ve placed gardens and filled them with all the creatures of the deserts and forests.

Never before have people shown such homage, such respect, to the beings responsible for life. It is true that the Lugal builds the greatest shrine to his own deity. This is obviously presumptuous on the haughty Lugal’s part, since he cannot know that the spirits accept the hierarchic arrangement into which he places them. This is a type of revolution. But the Sumerians are not now going to turn against the Lugal for his haughtiness. They’ve gotten used to it, and instead of irking them, it now makes them smile with a certain pride. It is thanks to him that they can devote themselves so completely to the wellbeing of their city.

I have to admit to my questioner that the Sumerians would not part with a single one of the new implements. They do not long to return to the timeless Golden Age. They are in the Golden Age, more so now than ever before.

But the golden Sumerians are no longer all of Sumer. In fact, in some later scholarly accounts, the golden Sumerians will not even exist. They will be dismissed with a single word. The word is Temple. The devotees of Inanna, the loving daughter of the Moon; the communicants with Anu, the spirit of the sky, are not the users of the new implements. They are not he administrators of the irrigation works, the builders of the great palaces, the heroes of the military encounters. They are what we will call Priests and Priestesses, oracles and diviners. All that is left in Sumer from the state of nature has shrunken to what we will call Religion.

Perhaps some of the women who no longer scatter seeds, perhaps some of the men who no longer hunt or herd, feel some nostalgia for the old days. But there is no evidence of a “back to the land” movement among the Sumerian clergy. The scribes who chisel the tablets are the Lugal’s hired men; they are not hired to record the nostalgia of the clergy. The only clues we have are the gardens which the Lugal’s men build and fill for the Temple’s residents.

These Temple gardens are mysteriously lush for small towns surrounded by non-urban vistas and in walking distance from forests and mountains — and the Sumerians are such good walkers. Could it be, as Turner will suggest, that the world outside the city is already becoming a wilderness?

We should look carefully. The world outside Ur is not the wilderness our word will designate. Their wilderness clearly is not the forest or desert, the plants or animals, since the nature-loving Temple residents have all these brought into the city.

Could it be that their wilderness is the wilderness created by the Lugal and his men: the battlefields surrounding all of Sumer’s towns, the setting of raids and counter-raids, the scenes of torture, slaughter and capture? A priestess who wanted to commune with the Moon by a forest pond would have to set out with an armed escort. It has become more practical to bring a shrunken pond and forest into the precincts of Ur.

If the former free community has shrunken to a Temple, an excrescence of that community has grown extremely large, for the Temple is now surrounded by a bustling city, almost modern in every way except in its religion — perhaps not altogether modern but at least perfectly intelligible to us.

There are rich and there are poor, since the families of Ensis are no kin of the foreigners and share nothing with them. There is a market, since the well-to-do no longer gather grow or hunt their own food. There are generals and their soldiers. There are record-keepers and there is even a school for scribes. And it all runs like clockwork.

Let’s look more closely. If the people in the Temple are golden, those outside are of baser metals.

The Semitic-speaking members of the labor gangs, married and with one or more children, not quite Sumerianized yet, remember better days. It might not be altogether insane to suppose that these first zeks love their Ensis no better than later zeks will love theirs. Some of the victories celebrated on the tablets are against foreigners already in Sumer; in other words, they are victories over rebelling zeks.

The foreigners are maltreated, overworked and despised. They are neither free nor whole. They are the dispossessed. Some of their children might face a brighter future, especially those who go to war and butcher other foreigners bravely enough. The Sumerians have not yet progressed to the higher stage of hereditary misery. Even so, the lot of the Sumerian zeks is in no sense golden.

Rousseau, and before him de la Boetie, will wonder about situations like these. In any given labor gang, there are many zeks and only one Ensi. What keeps the zeks from ganging up against the Ensi? Why do people reproduce a miserable daily life?

Let’s glance at the Ensis. They are materially well off. But they are beset by fears, and at least one Ensi is paranoid. He’s afraid to be murdered by the zeks in his gang. He has already executed several conspirators. He’s afraid word of his incompetence might reach the Lugal. And, the gods forbid! he suspects someone in the Temple nurses a grudge against him.

There’s something else about the Ensi. His zeks aren’t free or whole. But neither is he. Except when they rise, or gang up against an Ensi, the zeks are not determined by their own nature or being, by their own choices or wishes. The tasks they spend their days on are not their own. But those tasks are not the Ensi’s either.

The Ensi knows of a work gang whose supervisor was murdered by zek conspirators. The murdered man was replaced by a man with a different outlook and altogether different interests. Yet once he was supervisor, the new man did the very same things as the murdered supervisor, and in almost the same manner.

Strange thoughts come to the Ensi’s mind. Could it be, he wonders, that the only man in Ur who is his own man is the Lugal? Now he wonders if even this is true. He has heard of a town whose Lugal was killed along with most of his Ensis in an uprising of zeks. When the Ensi first heard the story, he wasn’t surprised that there was an uproar, that many of the activities which emanated from the Lugal’s will came to a standstill. But now he remembers that very few activities came to a complete halt, even during the interregnum between Lugals. He even remembers that no council of elders replaced the dead Lugal; the elders stayed in the Temple and locked its gates. Many of the town’s activities, important ones and that, went on as before, like the clockwork of the Ensi’s descendants.

Yet stranger thoughts come to the Ensi. It seems to him that the town has a will of its own. But he knows it doesn’t. The only one in town with a will is the Lugal. The Ensis only execute the Lugal’s will. And if the zeks have a will at all, it is a will to break out. The Ensi concludes that it is pointless to think. Thinking is the job of priests and oracles.

One of the Ensi’s distant descendants in a much later Ur, a scribe called Thomas Hobbes, will know that the Ensi is trying to understand Civilization with ideas that come from the state of nature. This Hobbes will know that Ur is no longer in the state of nature, it is no longer a community of self-determined human beings.

* * *

Hobbes will know that Ur is no mere city. Ur is a State, maybe even the first State. And a state, Hobbes will say, is an “artificial animal.” It is something brand new, something neither Man nor Nature dreamt of. It is “that great Leviathan called a Commonwealth, or State, in Latin Civitas, which is but an artificial man.”

Like the thinking Ensi, Hobbes will know that this artificial man has no life of its own, and he will ask, “may we not say, that all automata (engines that move by themselves by springs and wheels as doth a watch) have an artificial life?”

The Ensi cannot yet visualize a watch. The more advance Hobbes will no longer be able to visualize nature or human beings. He will ask “what is the heart, but a spring; and the nerves, but so many strings; and the joints, but so many wheels...?” In a world of watches, the Leviathan will not appear as strange to Hobbes as it appears to the Ensi.

Hobbes will picture the Leviathan as an artificial English man: masculine, blond, with a crown on its head, a scepter in one hand and a sword in the other, its body composed of myriads of faceless human beings, zeks.

Hobbes will insist that the Leviathan has the head of a man. He might agree with the yet later poet Yeats that the beast has “a lion body and the head of a man.” But he will insist on the man’s head. He will know that the zeks are headless, that they are the springs and strings that operate the body. He will think the monster contains one free and whole man, the Lugal. Hobbes will be able to call the Lugal a King, Monarch, Ruler and other names besides, because his language will have been enriched by the intervening proliferation of Leviathans.

The philosophical Ensi already knows better than Hobbes that the beast has neither the body nor the head of a man, whether English Sumerian. The Ensi knows that even the Lugal, the freest man in Ur, cannot go hunting in the morning, fishing in the afternoon and dancing at night, as his own spirit moves him. He knows of a Lugal who went off hunting only twice, and the second time, while the Lugal was in the woods, his favorite Ensi replaced him as Lugal, and the former Lugal had to beg for asylum in a neighboring city. The Ensi knows that a Lugal who let himself be determined by his own spirit would quickly be overthrown by Ensis or even zeks, and that even the Temple would be in an uproar.

The Ensi, less advanced than Hobbes, is as yet more familiar with living beings than with springs and watches. He cannot envision the Leviathan with either a human head or a lion body. He might use Hobbes’s first description and think of the beast as an artificial animal, but not an animal as graceful and limber as a lion.

He might think of it as a worm, a giant worm, not a living worm but a carcass of a worm, a monstrous cadaver, its body consisting of numerous segments, its skin pimpled with spears and wheels and other technological implements. He knows from his own experience that the entire carcass is brought to artificial life by the motions of the human beings trapped inside, the zeks who operate the springs and wheels, just as he knows that the cadaverous head is operated by a mere zek, the head zek.

Among the speculations this Hobbes will give us as offerings to his Ur will be the claim that the zeks actually contracted themselves to imprisonment within the carcass, or as he will put it, that the head made an agreement with the body, if not in Hobbes’s Ur then at least in the original Ur.

The philosophical Ensi, who has by now retired to the Temple, already knows better. He knows the zeks are foreigners who were brought to Ur by force before they even understood the Lugal’s language; the zeks agreed to no contract then, and they haven’t done so since.

The Ensi even remembers that the defeated Lagashians who contracted themselves to repairing Ur’s canals made this agreement only at the point of spears.

Furthermore, no Lugal ever advanced Hobbes’s claim; he would have been laughed out of office. The Lugal knows that even the elders didn’t appoint him, since the elders no longer do any appointing; they take care of the shrines. The Lugal claims that his power comes to him from the violent spirit who lodges in the Ziggurat or artificial mountain. This sprawling man-made phallus shape is the real head of the Leviathan, and it made no contracts.

* * *


The surplus product, the famous margin, did not give rise to the Leviathan. On the contrary, it is the Leviathan that gives rise to the margin. Communities of human beings needed this margin no more than communities of wolves.

Bes need a margin to feed their queen. The Leviathan needs a margin to feed, not only the gods and their shrine keepers, but mainly the Lugal and the Ensis and the Scribes as well as all the springs and wheels with which to make war.

The first Leviathan does not revolutionize the material conditions of production, for it institutes these; it is itself synonymous with material conditions of production. The first Leviathan revolutionizes the conditions of existence itself, and not only of human beings but of all living beings and of Mother Earth herself.

The surplus product makes its appearance together with the vessels that hold it. Human communities have long had baskets and vases, although rarely more than they could carry from winter to spring camps. They did not need them. With the rise of the first Leviathan there is a virtual technological revolution in vessel production. Turner, and Mumford before him, mention the proliferation of bins, storage jars and clay vats that now makes its appearance.

In fact Ur, enclosed by walls and stocked with grain, is itself a large vat, a town-sized storage bin.

The surplus product is merely another name for Leviathan’s material contents, its entrails. It can hardly exist by itself, suspended in mid-air, “ripe” for the beastly carcass to form around it.

Communities of free people had usually stored enough food to last them through an average winter, and although some of their dreamers were excellent weathermen, they often had to skimp and squeeze when the sky outwitted the dreamer.

The first Leviathan stores enough for the worst possible winter and then some, since free people no longer do the work. A living being so stuffed would suffocate and explode. There are hoards of every conceivable product. And where there are hoards, there’s trade.

Trade is very old. In the state of nature, trade is something people do to their enemies. They don’t trade with kin.

A person gives things, just as she gives songs or stories or visions to her kin. The receiver may or may not reciprocate on some other occasion. The giving is the source of satisfaction. We will be so far removed from this, we will not understand. That will be our shortcoming, not hers.

She trades only with enemies. If a hostile group, whether near or distant, has something she wants, she and several well-armed cousins go to the hostiles with something the hostiles might want. She offers her gift, and the hostiles had better offer the thing she wants on the spot or she’ll carry her gift right back to her village.

Soon after the rise of the first Ur, trade becomes extensive. Virtually everyone is now everyone else’s enemy. When you give someone a gift, you expect what you went for; you keep careful records on your clay tablet, and woe to him who defaults.

A single view of the hoards gives rise to a new human quality. This quality becomes so widespread that we will not believe it did not always exist: Greed.

You can see that over half the grain in the storage bins rots every year, unused. And you know that in the Zagros Mountains and in the Levant there are camps of foreigners who rarely store enough food to tide them through a hard winter. Those in the Zagros Mountains wear beautiful fur garments, and those in the Levant derive a purple dye from shells.

You, a Priest’s brother and an Ensi’s cousin, set out toward the Zagros Mountains with forty zek-drawn cartloads of grain, a years output of forty zeks. You go at the end of a long, hard winter. You get ten fur robes for every cartload. They claim not to have so many furs. Perhaps it has dawned on them that they are being plundered, that the relation they’ve established with you is not a relation between their furs and your grain, but between themselves and the zeks who harvest the grain, and that you are a thief who is stealing from both.

So you rush back to Ur with your grain and return to the foreigners’ camp with you cousin the Ensi and a band of well-armed men. The Ensi’s men remove the robes from the foreigners’ backs. There still are not enough robes, so the Ensi’s men return to Ur with several of the foreigners’ sons and daughters.

Ur has progressed to the stage of engaging in foreign commerce.

* * *

There is some evidence that Sumerian traders followed their greed as far east of Ur as India, as far south as the first or second cataract of the Nile. Before speculating about their trips, I have to digress into another matter, because modern prejudices have made a mess of the little evidence there is.

Many if not most of the first archeologists will be enlightened, progressive and unabashed racists. The appearance of the murderous Leviathans will be a great moment for them, and they will claim that the Leviathan of the appropriate race was the father of all the other Leviathans.

A little later, during the Community of Nations era, the racism will have to be toned down somewhat. It will be said that the people in Egypt as well as those in Persia and India were all endowed with the genius to devise permanent war machines, that they all developed their own Leviathans independently during the same few generations by coincidence.

The feat of launching a Leviathan will be considered a sign of genius. But is this feat a sign of genius or of mental debility? Who but imbeciles would step out of the state of nature and into the entrails of an artificial worm’s carcass for no good reason? The suggestion that numerous human communities succumb to this idiocy at a given moment, each of its own initiative, is neither plausible. It takes genius to keep the monster away.

There are plenty of ways of keeping the monster away. Unfortunately for human communities, not all these ways lead to a safe refuge. For the sake of brevity, I will reduce these ways to two: the community can remove itself physically from the monster’s reach, or it can stay where it is and try to hold its own against the beast.

The earliest tablets do not record the movements of communities outside of Sumer’s sphere. It will be suggested that the last migrants to the double continent on the opposite side of Earth from Ur, the Inuit people, begin to cross from Siberia to Alaska to Greenland at about the same time when the first Leviathan is set in motion. There will be no proof that these people are being pushed by others in an early version of the now famous analogy of falling dominos. Toynbee and others will document such movements for later ages, when military exploits by Chinese generals will send people camped by China’s wall running across the length of Eurasia to Rome’s gates, pushing all others before them. We will know that a vast number of Eurasian communities will successfully keep themselves out of the monster’s reach until the Leviathan called USSR swallows the last of them in our time.

Physical removal, namely fleeing or as we will say, dropping out, effectively removes one from the monster’s reach. But ultimately none flee for good, since Leviathan will shrink the size of the world and turn all places of refuge into cleared fields.

And not all communities want to flee. Their valleys, groves and oases, the places where their ancestors are buried, are filled with familiar and often friendly spirits. Such a place is sacred. It is the center of the world. The landmarks of the place are the orienting principles of an individual’s psyche. Life has no meaning without them. For such a community, leaving its place is equivalent to committing communal suicide.

So they stay where they are. And they are kissed by the monster’s grotesque lips. Artifacts of Sumerian origin will be found in early Egyptian as well as Indian sites. We will not know who carries the artifacts, but we will know that it is easier to walk from Mesopotamia to the Nile in the age of the first Ur than in our age, even after Urlugal begins to turn the region into a “darkling plain swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night.” Compared to what modern Leviathans will make of this region, the darkling plain of Urlugal’s age is a peaceful garden, and an Ensi’s cousin would have no trouble walking in it.

As for the more distant places, we will know that when the sea and land caravans between the Fertile Crescent and India are first mentioned in records, they are mentioned not as something new but as something very old, and the first mention of the silk route to China will not be an inaugural address.

Leviathans eventually become enormous, as large as continents. But we should not project this enormity to the early days and expect these first contacts to be frequent and to involve lots of people. In some circumstances, near a source, a pebble can change a whole stream’s course. We all know of the later traveler Marco Polo, who acquired a taste for Chinese pizza, spaghetti and ravioli and carried his taste across the entire length of Eurasia, totally transforming the Italian diet. I would guess that only two visits, one by the Ensi’s mercantile cousin and the second by the Ensi and his punitive expedition, would make a strong impression on any community in the state of nature. And Sumerian merchants travel far, by land and by water, to distant places they call Dilmun, Magan and Meluhha.

I’ll let the reader speculate about the details of such encounters. I’ll only say that, after the children of the defaulters are kidnapped by the spear-armed goons, a member of the community who speaks of the positive wonders of Civilization is a moron, not only in his kin’s eyes but in ours too.

* * *

Here we reach a problem that has plagued people since the age of the first Ur, the problem of resistance. Some of us will wish, in retrospect, that the communities within Ur’s reach had destroyed the first monster in its lair, while it was isolated and not very large.

Apparently numerous communities in the Zagros mountains and in the Persian plains try to do precisely that, and they fail.

Others, less sanguine, perhaps less confident of the might of their gods in the face of armor and wheels, do the next best thing to fleeing: they wall themselves in, thus walling the monster’s claws out. The walls protect these resisters from Ur’s claws but do not keep the resisters out of Leviathan’s entrails.

Why do the resisters fail? This is an important question, the question of Life against Death. Norman O. Brown will make it the title of a very informative book.

Pre-state communities were gatherings of living but mortal individuals. All their secrets and all their ways were passed on directly, by word of mouth. If the keeper of important uncommunicated secrets died, her secrets died with her. Enmities and grudges died with their holders. The visions and the ways were as varied as the individuals who experienced and practiced them; that’s why there was such a richness. But the visions and ways were as mortal as the people. Mortality is an inseparable part of Life: it is Life’s end.

We will keep projecting modern institutions into the state of nature. There were no institutions in the state of nature.

Institutions are impersonal and immortal. They share this immortality with no living beings under the sun. Of course they are not living beings. They are segments of a carcass. Institutions are not a part of Life but a part of Death. And Death cannot die.

Ensis die and zeks die, but the labor gang “lives” on. Generals and soldiers die, but Ur’s army “lives” on and in fact grows larger and deadlier. Death’s realm grows but the living die. This creates problems that resisters have not, so far, been able to deal with.

Those who try to destroy the first Leviathan by storming its walls, the Guti and others in the Zagros mountains, the Elamites in the Persian plains, the Canaanites and other Semites of the Levant, cannot dispatch a simple war party with an informal chieftain as in the old days. A war party from a single camp won’t reach even the outskirts of Ur. They have to gang up with other camps, with as many as possible, before even contemplating a serious raid. And once they do gang up and attack, they cannot disperse and return to village life as they always could before. They may even defeat Ur’s main army, but before their victory celebration ends they get word that Ur’s undying army has already massacred more of their kin.

So, since they bothered to gang up, they stay ganged up. The young men don’t lay down their spears. This is unprecedented, but how else are they to resist the monster? They’ve committed themselves to staying and they feel constrained to accept the horrible consequences.

Their armed men do unto the foreigners what the foreigners do to them. They return with captured Sumerians, and the captives are put to work on local shrines and fortifications.

Technology progresses by leaps and bounds. Death’s real expands. Soon there are many Leviathans. There’s Elam in the Persian plains, there’s Mari and Ebla and others in the Levant, and there’s talk of a Guti Leviathan somewhere in the mountains. The brave fighters succeed in defeating only themselves.

* * *

Those who wall themselves in fall into a similar trap.

Communities built walls before, at Jericho for example. But they built a wall once. Wall-building was not an institution among them. The hostiles camped outside were not Urlugal’s undying army. They were another community who either moved to another site, or who found husbands and wives among those of Jericho, and ceased being hostiles.

This is no longer the situation faced by the builders of walls on the banks of the Nile, by those raising the walled Mohenjo Daro on the banks of the Indus, by those who would slightly later enclose themselves in fortresses in Central Anatolia.

The Leviathanic intruders are not communities of free mortals. They are emissaries from something that neither leaves nor dies. Even their memories are not human but are stones carried in pouches. Jericho’s walls will no longer do. The walls have to be high and strong, and they have to be repaired as often as the ditches of Erech.

The seasons pass and the generations pass, yet the walls must still be maintained. And maintained they are, generation after generation.

The seeress who dreamt of the need for these walls has experienced her last important vision. From that day on her kin have paid her scanty attention; they’ve been hovering around her brother, Pharaoh, who in his person combines the offices of Sumerian priest and Sumerian Lugal.

Walls cannot be permanently maintained with a temporary division of labor. At first free cultivators of the soil are invited to help build the walls, in exchange for stimulating visions as well as grain plundered by Pharaoh’s men from other cultivators. And the free peasants do build, apparently of their own accord, sublimely beautiful walls and pillars and shrines, with surfaces covered by sculptured and painted motifs rich with meaning to everyone on the Nile.

But a permanent division of labor is compulsory simply by being permanent, and compulsion is soon as common on the banks of the Nile as on those of the Tigris. What was done voluntarily by one generation is expected of the next, and is imposed. Egypt is no longer a place where people share ways; it is now a place where some impose laws on others. Ways were always living ways; laws are not ways of free people. Laws are Leviathan’s ways.

The tasks performed for Pharaoh are not freely chosen; they are imposed tasks, forced labor.

And like a living worm that reconstitutes itself from a mere segment, a complete Leviathan is excreted by the Pharaoh’s household. The builders and craftsmen are no longer invited. Pharaoh now leads armies northward to Sinai and the Levant, southward to Nubia. He returns with captives. He imposes heavy tribute on those not captured and leaves tribute collectors in distant garrisons. Like the Lugal, he now has scribes who keep track of the tribute, and he sends punitive expeditions.

Pharaoh too has an artificial memory now, a data bank as we will call it. His scribes have devised a script of their own as have scribes in distant Mohenjo Daro on the Indus. The characters and the materials are different, but the aim is the same. And Pharaoh’s scribes, like the Lugal’s, have devised an artificial year, a calendar, the earliest form of clock, to be able to foresee the days when the tribute crops turn ripe.

How sad! All this is being done to protect the old ways from the onslaught of a beast with “a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun.” All this is being done for the sake of the spirits of the valley, for the ancient community’s gods.

We must remember that enlightened progressives who would do all this for the sake of productive forces, for Science and Technology, for the Leviathan itself, have not been born yet. Perhaps the cities of Sumer, amazingly secular cities, already contain precursors of modern progressives, but even there the god in the Ziggurat comes first.

In Egypt there is not even a glimmer of progressive enlightenment, and there won’t be for at least a hundred generations. There the aim of all violence, of the capture of foreigners, of the rending of communities, is to preserve the old community, to defend Life against the great cadaver. All the killing of the raids, invasions and wars is sacrificial killing. It is done for the sake of Life, for the sake of the spirits of the animals, the plants, the river, the underworld and the sky.

But the world of the spirits shrinks, as it had in Sumer, and becomes confined to the Temple, which in Egypt is also the Pharaoh’s household.

Unfortunately for the Egyptians, Life cannot be preserved in a sealed jar. It atrophies, and at last it dies.

This sad, slow death can be seen in Egypt’s paintings, its sculptures, in its lore, in its shrines.

The earliest painters and sculptors clearly still breathe the air of the community Pharaoh’s household intends to preserve intact. These people are still in touch with women who leave their bodies and visit the underworld, with men who extend themselves toward the sky and fly, with people who actually speak to the Jackal and the Ibex, for the gods still mingle with the people. Pharaoh’s early craftsmen still know such seers, but not many, and the next generation knows even fewer.

There are still seers who have visions and revelations, but who knows what foreigners inspired them? Ultimately only Pharaoh’s visions can be trusted, and Pharaoh takes care to confine himself to the visions of the old ones.

The gods stop mingling with the people from the day when Pharaoh undertakes to defend and preserve the gods. And despite all Pharaoh’s efforts, the gods die. I suspect it is because of his efforts that they die. I don’t presume to know much about deities, but it seems they cannot support Leviathans any better than people support plagues; gods are among the cadaver’s first victims; the beast is deicidal.

The death of Egypt’s gods is recorded. After two or three generations of Pharaoh’s protection, the figures on the Temple walls and pillars no longer jump or fly; they no longer even breathe. They’re dead. They’re lifeless copies of the earlier, still living figures. The copyists are exact, we would say pedantic; they seem to think that faithful copying of the originals will bring life to the copies.

A similar death and decomposition must pale the songs and ceremonies as well. What was once joyful celebration, self-abandon, orgiastic communion with the beyond, shrinks to lifeless ritual, official ceremony led by the head of State and his officials. It all becomes theater, and it is all staged. It is no longer for sharing but for show. And it no longer enlarges the participant, who now becomes a mere spectator. He feels diminished, intimidated, awed by the power of Pharaoh’s household.

Our painting, music, dance, everything we call Art, will be heirs of the moribund spiritual. What we call Religion will be another dead heir, but at such a high stage of decomposition that its once-living source can no longer be divined.

* * *

While the ecstasy of the former living community languishes within the Temple and suffers a slow and painful death, the human beings outside the Temple’s precincts but inside the State’s lose their inner ecstasy. The spirit shrivels up inside them. They become nearly empty shells. We’ve seen that this happens even in Leviathans that set out, at least initially, to resist such a shrinkage.

As the generations pass, the individuals within the cadaver’s entrails, the Ensi as well as the zeks, the operators of the great worm’s segments, become increasingly like the springs and wheels they operate, so much so that sometime later they will appear as nothing but springs and wheels. They never become altogether reduced to automata; Hobbes and his successors will regret this.

People never become altogether empty shells. A glimmer of life remains in the faceless Ensis and zeks who seem more like springs and wheels than like human beings. They are potential human beings. They are, after all, the living beings responsible for the cadaver’s coming to life, they are the ones who reproduce, wean and move the Leviathan. Its life is but a borrowed life; it neither breathes nor breeds; it is not even a living parasite; it is an excretion and they are the ones who excrete it.

The compulsive and compulsory reproduction of the cadaver’s life is the subject of more than one essay. Why do people do it? This is the great mystery of civilized life.

It is not enough to say that people are constrained. The first captured zeks may do it only because they are physically constrained, but physical constraint no longer explains why the children of zeks stick to their levers. It’s not that constraint vanishes. It doesn’t. Labor is always forced labor. But something else happens, something that supplements the physical constraint.

At first the imposed task is taken on as a burden. The newly captured zek knows that he is not a ditch-repairman, he knows that he is a free Canaanite filled to the brim with ecstatic life, for he still feels the spirits of the Levantine mountains and forests throbbing inside him. The ditch-fixing is something he takes on to keep from being slaughtered; it is something he merely wears, like a heavy armor or an ugly mask. He knows he will throw off the armor as soon as the Ensi’s back is turned.

But the tragedy of it is that the longer he wears the armor, the less able he is to remove it. The armor sticks to his body. The mask becomes glued to his face. Attempts to remove the mask become increasingly painful, for the skin tends to come off with it. There’s still a human face below the mask, just as there’s still a potentially free body below the armor, but merely airing them takes almost superhuman effort.

And as if all this weren’t bad enough, something starts to happen to the individual’s inner life, his ecstasy. This starts to dry up. Just as the former community’s living spirits shriveled and died when they were confined to the Temple, so the individual’s spirit shrivels and dies inside the armor. His spirit can breathe in a closed jar no better than the god could. It suffocates. And as the Life inside him shrivels it leaves a growing vacuum. The yawning abyss is filled as quickly as it empties, but not by ecstasy, not by living spirits. The empty space is filled with springs and wheels, with dead things, with Leviathan’s substance.

* * *

The once-free human being increasingly becomes what Hobbes will think he is. The armor once worn on the outside wraps itself around the individual’s insides. The mask becomes the individual’s face. Or as we will say, the constraint is internalized. The ecstatic life, the freedom, shrinks to a mere potentiality. And potentiality, Sartre will point out, is nothing.

This reduction is most visible in the cities of Sumer, Leviathans which are amazingly modern in this respect as well. It becomes so visible that the Sumerians themselves start to notice it. It is not the increasingly stupefying ritualization of the Temple’s activities that bothers them, nor even the evermore noticeable inner emptiness of the Ensis and their families. All this seems to be accepted as a consequence that follows the need for a dependable supply of water and zeks. What bothers them is that descendants of the first Sumerians are themselves being reduced to zeks. The main instrument of this reduction is trade, or as we will call it, business. The Sumerian city, more than any other early Leviathan, is a heaven for businessmen.

A businessman is a human being whose living humanity has been thoroughly excavated. He is by definition a person who thrives in, and on, the Leviathan’s material entrails. People reduced to things are amongst the objects in the beast’s entrails and are obviously fair game to this hunter of profits. The businessman’s axiom, long before Adam Smith will publicize it, is: Every man for himself and the gods against all.

We’ve already seen how the Sumerian businessman reduced a community of foreigners to debtors, then defaulters, finally zeks. He now applies the same economic wisdom to foreigners inside Sumer, and at last he stops distinguishing between foreigners and Sumerians.

The reduction goes so far that by the time of the reign of Urukagina, even the Lugal is bothered by it. And this Lugal decides to do something about it, or at least publishes a tablet stating such an intention.

This Urukagina, who assumes the office of Lugal of Lagash at a time when his southern neighbors have already adorned the banks of the Nile with the first pyramids, may not be the first reformer. He’s the first documented reformer. He is the first of many who will put the wellbeing of the entire worm ahead of the wellbeing of a segment. He can see that the greedy profit-seekers, who are a mere section of the whole, have been distorting the cadavers coherence, its very ability to move, by eating up all its entrails. He proclaims that the vipers “shall not gather fruit in the poor man’s garden,” they shall not reduce Sumerians to zeks.

By placing the welfare of the entire worm above that of its swelled segment, this reforming Lugal, like many of his liberal successors, unleashes forces which overwhelm him. Relying on his memory of earlier stages of the worm’s existence, he presumes to know the best, or most just, arrangement of the worm’s segments.

The first Urlugal presumed to know the hierarchy of the gods and got away with his presumption because the gods were already weak and dying.

Urukagina doesn’t get away, because the segment he attacks, although by definition dead, is not weak. Retribution takes the form of an invasion from Umma. Urukagina is swept out of office by Lugalzaggizi of Umma. Urukagina is killed, so are his liberal Ensis and most of their zeks, and Lagash is razed to the ground.

The town of Umma is not known either for its power or its courage, and it doesn’t suddenly acquire these qualities. Its strongman Lugalzaggizi does not invade Lagash with Umma’s forces. The necessary forces as well as the technology needed for an invasion are in the segment Urukagina attacked. Lugalzaggizi is the instrument of the reformer’s downfall not because he champions the powerful, but also because he knows something Urukagina did not know.

Lugalzaggizi understands that the head of Leviathan is not where it was a year or a generation ago, nor where Urukagina thinks it ought to be. Just as the Lugal’s god is always the god in the phallus-shaped Ziggurat, so the Leviathan’s most powerful segment is always its head. Such is Leviathanic justice, and Lugalzaggizi, not Urukagina, is the true champion of the worm.

Lugalzaggizi’s championing of the powerful gives him allies in all of Sumer’s cities. Perhaps they are all beset by reformers nostalgic for an earlier Leviathanic order. Lugalzaggizi’s forces overrun all of them.

Before all the corpses are buried, Lugalzaggizi is Lugal of Umma, Lgash, Ur and Erech. His scribes describe him as the Man of Erech, the One and Only. The Tigris-Euphrates valley is occupied by a single Leviathan. Sumer is one for the first time. The worm has eaten all its predecessors. Lugalzaggizi’s scribes also describe him as the Lugal of Lugals, an expression which his Semitic-speaking subjects translate as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

But the days of even this Almighty are numbered. Just as Sumerian speakers are no longer all priests and Ensis, Semitic speakers are no longer all zeks. By way of marriage, physical prowess or toadying, grandchildren of zeks are in the palace and in the Temple. Those in the Temple presume to give the names of long-forgotten Semitic deities to the Sumerian gods, give the vulgar name Ishtar to the daughter of the Moon. Sumerian-speaking priests no longer seem to care; many of them must know that the Sumerian gods are no longer anything more than names. Besides, many of the brothers of the Semitic-speaking priests are Ensis — so many, in fact, that it would be imprudent to insist that Ishtar’s real name is Inanna. Furthermore, in the outlying cities along the road from Sumer to the Levant and the Sinai, there are not only Semitic-speaking Ensis but even a few who presume to the office of Lugal. Such a one is Sargon the Akkadian.

Sargon is Sumerian in everything but his language. He apparently began his career as an Ensi to the Lugal of Ur, for whom he collected tribute from a Levantine province. When Ur fell to Lugalzaggizi, Sargon named his province Addad and assumed the post of Lugal. He has been observing Lugalzaggizi’s fat Leviathan, something we will call an Empire, for a whole generation. Suddenly he figures out something that even Lugalzaggizi doesn’t know; his scribes say Ishtar told it to him. Sargon knows that the phallus-head of the Leviathan is for all the powerful, not only Sumerian-speaking powerful.

All the powerful who have felt the least bit slighted find a champion in Sargon. Following Lugalzaggizi’s lead, he captures his mentor and sweeps through the cities that gave rise to the first Leviathans.

A single Leviathan, as long as the Nile and several times wider, now sprawls over the entire Fertile Crescent. Its entrails contain Mesopotamian Umma, Ur, Lagash and Erech as well as all the cities along the roads to the Levant.

Sargon, who started his career as tribute collector, knows as well as any Pharaoh or Lugal what the worm does best. It eats tribute, not only to feed the Lugal and his Ensis, who now have Semitic names, but above all to feed the increasingly violent gods in the Temple, gods as dead as the Leviathan itself, and just as hungry.

* * *

The feats and fates of Urukagina, Lugalzaggizi and Sargon are the subject of what we call “history.” Mary Jane Shoultz has demystified the word. When we speak of real History, of His-story, we mean His-story. It is an exclusive masculine affair. If women make their appearance in it, they do so wearing armor and wielding a phallus shape. Such women are masculine.

The whole affair revolves around phallus shapes: the spear, the arrow, the Zigguat, the Obelisk, the dagger, and of course later the bullet and the missile. All these objects are pointed, and they’re all made to penetrate and kill. The Mesopotamian Zigguat and the Egyptian Obelisk man-made mountains which point at the sky, forecast the day when males will tear the atmosphere’s ozone layer and propel themselves to airless spaces where once only gods flew.

Many, from Euripides to Bachofen, Shoultz, Grass and Turner, will ask why His-story is so exclusively masculine. They will remember the stud-like character of the human male in the state of nature and will wonder if the Leviathanic feats that constitute His-story are the male’s revenge.

With the rise of the Leviathans, women are debased, domesticated, abused and instrumentalized, and then scribes proceed to erase the memory that women were ever important. Diamond says that literacy, which Shoultz calls Maleliteracy, is ideally suited to erase the past from memory. In the old communities, what one elder forgot another was likely to remember, and traditions could hardly be lost unless the whole community met disaster.

But as soon as social memory loges on the scrolls and tablets of scribes, a single directive from Pharaoh or Lugal can erase a whole portion of the past, or even all of it. In Egypt many early cartouches, nameplates will be found with the barely-discernible name of a woman, the Matriach; on all of them, the woman’s name is erased by later scribes, who then place the name of a man in the cartouche.

The woman is the mother; she’s Earth; she gives birth to Life. But the man no longer feels inferior; he has immersed himself in the Leviathan, which is neuter and gives birth to no life, but which doesn’t need to give birth, since it is immortal. Empowered by Leviathanic armor, the males hit back.

Turner will cite one of the bedtime stories told by Sumerianized Akkadians who share power with Sargon. They still remember the primal mother, Tiamat, the first progenitor of life. But now they make her out to be as dead as Leviathan, saying that heaven and Earth herself are formed of her dismembered carcass. Marduk, Sargon’s god, is her dismemberer. In Turner’s words, Marduk “smashes her skull, splits her body like an oyster, and the obedient winds whisk her blood away.” Turner will point out that the violent Marduk will have a long line of Earth-hating successors; or contemporary Lugal Reagen will try to be the last.

His-story is a chronicle of the deeds of the men at the phallus-helm of Leviathan, and in its largest sense it is the “biography” of what Hobbes will call the Artificial Man. There are as many His-stories as there are Leviathans.

But His-story tends to become singular for the same reason that Sumer and now the whole Fertile Crescent becomes singular. The Leviathan is a cannibal. It eats its contemporaries as well as its predecessors. It loves a plurality of Leviathans as little as it loves Earth. Its enemy is everything outside of itself.

His-story is born with Ur, with the first Leviathan. Before or outside of the first Leviathan there is no His-story.

The free individuals of a community without a State did not have a His-story, by definition: they were not encompassed by the immortal carcass that is the subject of His-story. Such a community was a plurality of individuals, a gathering of freedoms. The individuals had biographies, and they were the ones who were interesting. But the community as such did not have a “biography,” a His-story.

Yet the Leviathan does have a biography, an artificial one. “The King is dead; Long Live the King!” Generations die, but Ur lives on. Within the Leviathan, an interesting biography is a privilege conferred on very few or on only one; the rest have dull biographies, as similar to each other as the Egyptian copies of once beautiful originals. What is interesting now is the Leviathan’s story, at least to His scribes and His-storians.

To others, as Macbeth will know, the Leviathan’s story, like its ruler’s, is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The ruler is killed by an invader or a usurper and his great deeds die with him. The immortal worm’s story ends when it is swallowed by another immortal. The story of the swallowings is the subject of World His-story, which by its very name already prefigures a single Leviathan which holds all Earth in its Entrails.

* * *

Withdrawals of human captives from the entrails of the dead worms are at least as common as the swallowings of small Leviathans by larger ones. People do not only revolt. People actually leave, escape, get out. They try to do so all the time. They frequently succeed.

Sargon’s reign was long. His empire lasted for two generations. It ended when “all lands revolted against him and beset him in Agade,” in the words of a Cuneiform tablet. Nothing is left of the enormous Leviathan that sprawled over the entire Fertile Crescent.

Unfortunately, segments of the decomposed worm remain scattered over the countryside, and each segment tends to recompose itself into a complete worm. Dead things have powers living beings lack. Biologists will try to give this strange ability of the dead to the living, by a process called cloning.

Some of the fragments, the ones containing the rich and powerful, succeed in giving motion to a new worm, and a new Leviathan punishes the withdrawers by reducing them to outright slavery, to perpetual zekdom. Sargon’s successor Rimush even extends the worm’s carcass over the Elamites in the Persian plains.

There are revolts in every quarter, and at last Rimush is killed by his own guards. He’s succeeded by Naram-sin, called “God of Agade” by his own scribes, but this god’s empire is in a state of continual decomposition. The captives in this Leviathan’s entrails invite kingless nomads from every quarter to help them tear up the monster from the inside.

The intestinal wars last long into the next successor’s reign. At last Elamites withdraw, Lagashians withdraw, and then the entire beast breaks into little pieces. Zeks even abandon the canals.

The great Leviathan is destroyed, for many people permanently. A similar Leviathan will not rise again in this part of the world until four generations later. Anarchy returns to the Fertile Crescent.

Unfortunately this is not the anarchy of a former age. The human beings who have withdrawn from the Leviathan are maimed. Their armor doesn’t come off. In many the potentiality to by human remains nothing. The region itself has been turned by the warring Leviathans into an inhospitable wilderness. And some of the allies, for example the Gutians, who had been invited to help overthrow the great worm, try to set in motion a worm of their own, modeled on Lugalzaggizi’s and Sargon’s. Nevertheless, the captives withdraw, apparently preferring even this flawed anarchy to the Leviathanic order.

During the very generation when anarchy return to the former Sumer-Akkad, Pharaoh’s conscripts walk away from their pyramid-and-palace-building assignments, turn against Pharaoh and against all his priests’ official rites, and restore some degree of anarchy to the Nile as well. Pharaoh’s zeks return to their villages and try to resume life as it was lived in the old days. Fractured segments of the monster that was headed by the Memphis monarch lie scattered on the Nile’s banks. The fallen Pharaoh’s former agents try to give motion to some of these segments. “Seventy kings during seventy days” reveals the degree of their success.

And a generation or two after the collapse of these two giants (archeologists will disagree about the chronology), a third attempt to launch a Leviathan flounders. Mohenjo Daro on the Indus is abandoned by its inmates. The details of this withdrawal will not be known because the script will not be deciphered. This withdrawal will be a mystery to people with Civilized brains, and it causes will be sought in floods, droughts, invasions and even a “tectonic shift.” If one is convinced that people would never leave the entrails of Civilization, then one has to resort to tectonic shifts to explain why people do leave. But if one is not so convinced, then the mystery is not why people leave, but why they stay inside as long as they do.

The people by the Indus are spared from being shackled by a State for many generations. Those by the Tigris and the Nile are not spared so long.

Here it should be pointed out that the segments of decomposed Leviathans have an unfair advantage over communities of free human beings. The segments are like machines. If they’ve merely been abandoned and haven’t rusted too badly, they can be oiled put back into operation by any good mechanic. The segments, being dead things, may corrode; they will never die.

But human communities, once dead, stay dead. Communities of living beings are clearly inferior in this respect. Put somewhat differently, Death is always on the side of the machines.

This has tragic consequences for those who at last succeed in disencumbering themselves of the heavy carcass. They cannot return to the old communities, for these have been destroyed by generations of plundering, kidnapping and murdering Civilizations. People cannot resume; they have to start over again. We should not assume that the ways, what we will call Culture, nurtured and cultivated over thousands of generations, can be regenerated overnight. It may well be that such ways require the cultivation of many generations.

But the people struggling to launch a new Beginning don’t have an age in which to do it. They’re camped in the midst of Leviathanic segments, machines which any good mechanic can reactivate and use to put a whole generation’s efforts to naught in a single campaign.

This is precisely what happens. On the Nile, segments of the decomposed Leviathan are put back into operation in Thebes and Heracleopolis, and both grow into complete worms. On the Tigris-Euphrates, in fact in Erech, the strongman Utukhegal gets hold of the unwieldy worm the Guti had set in motion, only to be overthrown by his own deputy; but this deputy, Urnammu, succeeds in getting the entire Sumero-Akkadian Leviathan back into motion, again stretching it from the Levant to Elam. All the efforts to launch a new Beginning are brought to naught; they’re not interrupted; they’re killed.

After two generations the captives of the regenerated monster withdraw again. This time the Sumero-Akkadian Leviathan is abandoned for good. But armored Sumerianized Semites insist on tinkering with the segments, and at Ashur they set a new worm into motion, this one manned by zeks from among new Semitic foreigners, Amorites.

Five generations later, descendants of the Amorite zeks launch a Leviathan of their own in Babylon, where they continue to call labor-gang bosses “overseers of Amorites.” And five generations after that, the Amorite Hammurabi stretches the Babylonian worm over ancient Urukagina’s realm, while the Amorites’ former masters, the Assyrians, stretch their worm over the western provinces of Lugalzaggizi’s realm.

Meanwhile, unnamed people from the forests and mountains of the Guti have carried bits of Mesopotamian armor across all of Eurasia to China, for such is said to be the origin of the Yang Shao culture. Only two generations later there’s a script and a Hsia Dynasty whose founder, Yu, is credited with providing a reliable water supply.

To the west of the Fertile Crescent, in Anatolia, where women will continue for many generations to celebrate Earth’s unstinting fertility, at two spots often visited by Assyrian merchants, there are already incipient worms, later known to Egyptians and Assyrians as Hittites.

Every new model has accessories its predecessors lacked. The segments left on the Levant by the decomposition of Sargon’s monster are reconditioned into mobile, octopus-like monstrosities that will transport Phoenician commerce to places far beyond the reach of more stationary worms. The Phoenician merchants at Byblos and Ugarit even recondition the hieroglyphic and cuneiform scripts into a far more efficient too, the alphabet.

Human communities regress while the worms progress. The Leviathan’s greatest achievement, as L. Mumford will suggest, is to reduce human beings to things, to remake men into efficient mechanical fighting units.

All this is depressing. The realm of Death expands. And since Death is to Life as Night is to Day, when Death’s realm expands, Life’s contracts. The inhuman tale truly signifies nothing human.

Having mentioned some of the main protagonists who set themselves up against human communities and against Mother Earth herself, I’ll turn to a small group of people who who withdrew from the entrails of one of the great Leviathans. These people were insignificant to everyone but themselves at the time of their withdrawal and would have remained insignificant if their Jewish, Christian and Islamic heirs had not carried the shadow of their withdrawal to every previously safe refuge on the globe.

These people are, of course, the Israelites who withdrew from Egyptian Civilization, and at this point I have to say that I’m surprised the armored questioner who smugly threw the positive wonders of civilization in my face, since part of his armor is made out of the detritus of this small group who walked away from the wonders.

* * *


The book at the origin of today’s Civilizing Religions does not begin with Civilization-builders, say with Sumerians who launched the first Leviathan. Its first chapter tells of an earthly garden, Eden, a place reminiscent of the state of nature. Its second chapter tells of the withdrawal of people from the entrails of a large Leviathan. The book then uncritically describes these people’s attempt to launch a Leviathan of their own, but the Book goes on to tell of painful and often insupportable captivities in the bowels of other worms. The overall impression it gives is that the wonders of Civilization are not positive, life-enhancing wonders.

Withdrawals from Civilization are so numerous and so frequent that the life-eating worms appear to be in a continual state of decomposition.

The exodus of Israel from Egypt is not a major withdrawal, but it is a well-documented one, so that we can get an inside view of some of the actions and even some of the thoughts of the participants.

The subjects of the exodus are zeks in Egypt, but they seem relatively privileged zeks. They are pre-literate. They are not people of a single mind, as they reveal later in the story, and if they are not even of a single tribe, they will be welded into one by their later common experiences.

They have not been in Egypt long, only a few generations, so that they remember there’s a world outside of Egypt. Their reference to the earthly garden may even be a memory of a world outside Leviathan. Turner will suggest that the only garden they remember is the Mesopotamian garden of the Lugal and his Akkadian successors.

This may actually be the case with some of them, but I suspect that most of them have something else in mind.

Forty generations after their exodus from Egypt, these people’s scribes will write their Book; in it they will accurately tell of political and military events described on tablets and scrolls available to modern scholars, but not available to the scribes. The memories of pre-literate people are long. People who remember the deeds of Pharaohs, Hittites and Assyrians can also remember that their own ancestors once lived in communities of free human beings, whether in Yemen or Ethiopia, and that these ancestors communed with animals, with Earth, with the spirit of the sky and the spirit of the apple tree.

I suspect that they remember, and call Eden, what others remember as the Golden Age. And if they are uncomfortable in Egypt, the memory that there is an outside, even a pleasant, idyllic outside, must stimulate in them a desire to leave the greatest and wealthiest of all ancient Civilizations.

Despite their nostalgia for what Morgan and Engels will call a more primitive stage of existence, a stage that was not a mode of production, these relatively privileged zeks are not unaware of the material and social conditions of their own age. They know that the Egyptian Leviathan is only one monolith among others, and they seem to know a great deal about the others. This is not surprising, since they remember recent ancestors more vividly than they remember Eden’s Adam, and at least one of these recent ancestors, a man called Abram, hailed from Harran, a town at the very crossroads between the world’s major Leviathans. Even if this Abram did not live near the governor’s palace or the Temple but on the outskirts, he was surely familiar with the inner city and its gardens, and probably with the gardens of other cities as well.

Abram must have been even more familiar with the merchants and soldiers of the great Leviathans, since Harran lay on the road taken by Assyrian traveling salesmen seeking windfall profits in Anatolia, and the salesmen’s peaceful daytime commerce led almost inevitably to clashes of ignorant armies by night, transforming Harran’s outskirts into a darkling plain.

Abram’s kin were surely swept into the confused alarms of struggle and flight. They might even have fought alongside Egyptian or Hittite armored men as auxiliaries. It is unlikely that they were ever auxiliaries to Assyrians, since their Book will express only horror and fear of the death squads sent out by the tyrants of Ashur and Nineveh.

The scribes will write that their ancestor Abram already worshiped only Yahweh, but this is surely wishful thinking on their part, since Abram’s grandchildren will still be honoring several nature gods in their later captivity in Egypt.

We are not told exactly when or why Abram’s kin made their way, or were taken, to Egypt, but there were many occasions when such a journey would have been opportune or even necessary.

* * *

The repeated attempts of Lugalzaggizi’s Akkadian and Amorite successors to set the world-embracing Leviathan back into motion had the unintended effect of setting many of the world’s peoples into motion.

We’ve already seen how disturbing a visit by a merchant, the merchant’s cousin and a few armored men could be. Communities of seed planters and communities of pastoral nomads took up arms, either to protect themselves from future visits or to try to recover their captured kin.

In Anatolia, influential women urged the Pankuš, the council of all, to defend their ways from the onslaught of Death’s merchants, and the more powerful consorts of influential women began to build walls. Later Hittite scribes will refer only to the powerful consort on their tablets, and will refer to him as King Labarnash the first, but they will remember that the king was a mere consort because the women will remain proud and strong into the Scribes’ time. Anatolian women will not be debased so easily; over fifty generations later, Herodotus will speak of Anatolian “Amazons,” and there will still be powerful women in Anatolia into Rome’s patriarchal age.

While the more settled communities resisted the monster by walling themselves in, more mobile pastoral nomads did as the Guti had done and stormed the gates of the cheating Leviathans. By this time the grasping tentacles of the various Leviathans had disrupted the great grandparents of virtually all the peoples who would storm the gates of Leviathans in later ages, great grandparents of Sanskrit and Iranian speakers, of Tungus and Turkish speakers, of Mongols, Finns and Magyars. The Mesopotamians called them Kassites, Hurrians and Mittani. The Egyptians called them Hyksos. The Anatolian-adopted Hittites are said to have originated among them.

Many of these kingless people rode horses and some wielded iron implements, but this did not make them any more Civilized than the copper-using ancestors of the Ojibwa on the Great Lakes; the horses and iron became productive forces, they became Civilization’s technology, only after they became part of Leviathan’s armory.

These peoples were not afraid to attack cities, and fury drove many of them to make a complete mess of their disrupters’ urban centers. Sanskrit-speaking Kassites federated with Elamites razed most of the Amorites’ empire to the ground and reached the very threshold of Babylon.

The Kassites’ cousins, called Hurrians by the Assyrians, former their own federation of mounted men in the Armenian highlands and harassed Ashur as well as Ashur’s Levantine outposts.

The people or peoples called Hyksos federated with Egyptian armies and chased Assyrians from the entire Levant.

The Hittite army allied with Hyksos, Hurrians and Kassites sacked commercial Aleppo, the jewel of the Levant, as well as distant Babylon itself, helping the Kassites impose on Amorites the very burdens the Amorites had imposed on Kassites.

It may be that Abram’s kin helped Hyksos oust Assyrian outposts from the Levant and accompanied some of their fellow-auxiliaries to big brother’s homeland on the Nile, where life would be less swept by confused alarms of struggle and flight. Or it may be that they sought refuge on the Nile a generation later, when mounted Mittani did to Assyria’s realm what the Kassites had done to Babylon’s.

It is also possible that Abram’s kin were captured by the victorious Amoses. Or, a couple of generations after that, they might have been taken to the Nile by a zek-hunting expedition sent out by the second Tutmoses.

It seems likely that Abram’s heirs were already established zeks on the outskirts of Karnak or even further south when Menelaus and his Myceneans fortified their towns on the northern shore of the Mediterranean, when a volcanic eruption in Crete flattened the communal stone lodge which would later be called Minos’s Palace.

They probably saw, and may even have helped build, Queen Hatshepsut’s palace on the Nile’s other shore, one of the most beautiful architectural wonders anywhere, before or since—a palace surrounded by lush tropical gardens which would later revert to desert sands. But they were not impressed by this wonder. Like zeks elsewhere, they probably felt pains in their joints when they viewed the great monuments of their masters. For this same reason they couldn’t have been thinking of the Lugal’s garden when they remembered Eden, and they could hardly have thought their ancestors had originated in a Lugal’s garden.

They were still in Egypt when Queen Hatshepsut was murdered by her successor, when scribes rubbed her name off the cartouches, manufacturing positive evidence that proved there had never been a woman Pharaoh. The zeks must have wondered if all this really had to be done to erase the memory of a woman who had never claimed to be anything other than a man.

The captives could not have known that while Hatshepsut’s name was being besmirched and forgotten in Egypt, the woman-hating Theseus, a Basileus or commander of a band of Myceneans, was defeating Anatolian Amazons, killing Antiope, enslaving her sisters, and entrenching himself in fortified Troy.

* * *

The Israelites in Egypt were by no means ignorant of the ways and deeds of the great Leviathans of their time. We can even suppose they were not of one mind about these ways and deeds. Some among them, like some among the Hyksos, were probably modernizers who thought Lugalzaggizi and other pacifiers of enormous regions brought peace and not the spear. The modernizers were undoubtedly a minority. The majority must have been what we would call Primitivists, people who looked back nostalgically to the ancient garden and its nature gods.

The modernizers among them could not have felt at ease either among their fellow immigrants or among their Egyptian hosts, since numerous Hyksos had been expelled for their foreign views and ways at the time when respectable Egyptians replaced their former confederates as administrators of the Sinai and the Levant. The modernizers could only have felt resentment when the third Tutmoses sent Egyptians ignorant of all Canaanite languages to administer the Pharaoh’s lands in the Levant and to protect these lands from the cruel Mittani, and the would-be ambassadors must have been enraged when the second Amenophis married the daughter of the Mittani Artatama and then formed an alliance with these charioteers against the Hittites.

The children or grandchildren of modernizers as well as primitivists must have been repelled by the third Amenophis, who not only continued the hated alliance with the Mittani and sent embassies to horrid Assyria, but who also married his own daughter. This unspeakable tyrant’s rule went on for almost two generations; fortunately the Ishtar sent by Mittani to help the tyrant live yet longer failed.

Modernizers must have breathed freely for the first time when a royal modernizer rose to the office of Pharaoh as the fourth Amenophis and changed his name to Akhenaten. If this Pharaoh was not the first totalitarian, he was the first revolutionary totalitarian.

It will be said in our day that the grandfathers of Moses learned their monotheism from Akhenaten, who will be thought to have invented it. I think this Pharaoh did not have to invent what had been the common practice his Ziggurat-raising neighbors for more than fifty generations. He could have learned some of the details of this practice from the Semitic immigrants in and near his palace.

The Pharaoh decreed that just as he was the king of kings and lord of lords, so Aten the Sun would henceforth be the god of gods. The revolution was not in the decree but in what followed. Armed bands of newly constituted Priests of Aten, escorted by the Pharaoh’s armies and probably by modernizing immigrants, stormed the Temples of all other gods and expropriated all other priesthoods, giving all the lands and palaces to Aten. This was a forerunner of the more famous religious wars which would devastate Europe at a later age. Egypt had never before experienced such iconoclasm, such persecution, such internal violence.

Unfortunately for the modernizers, conservative priests loyal to the ousted gods, squadrons of them, rose up against the usurpers and against their god Aten. If any of the immigrants had found favor with Akhenaten, they were in trouble now. After placing nine-year old Tutankhamun on the throne, the idol-worshiping priests proceeded to treat the monotheist’s partisans as they had been treated. A new purge of foreigners began. This was a good time to leave Egypt.

If Akhenaten did not give the Israelites monotheism, he did do them a different favor: he had abandoned the Levant when he had called his armies home to smash idols. But the persecuted quickly learned that the Hittites had replaced the Egyptians as the Levant’s occupiers, so the Levant might not be safe for Egyptianized Semites yet.

So the Israelites stayed where they were and lay low while army commander Horemheb besmirched Akhenaten’s name, claiming the monotheist’s administration had been corrupt, his tax collections fraudulent, his requisitions arbitrary, and his army a band of pillagers.

The Israelites might have heard that zeks allied with nomadic Arameans had recently ousted Babylon’s tyrant and that Assyrian death squads had promptly invaded Babylon and inflicted abominable mutilations on the rebels. So still the Israelites stayed where they were while the first and then the second Ramses did to the memory of Akhenaten what the third Tutmoses had done to the memory of Hatshepsut: erased it.

* * *

At last the awaited day approached.

The second Ramses, a megalomaniac who ordered mountain sized statues of himself built all over Egypt, decided to conquer the world. This Pharaoh drained Egypt of food and supplies in order to provision his armies. He marched westward and reduced free Libyan tribes to tribute-paying subjects. Then he marched east and north, toward the Levant, with the largest army ever assembled. This army, which provisioned itself on route by plundering every community along its line of motion, gave rise to undying resentment along the entire southeastern Mediterranean coast.

Meanwhile, the forewarned Hittites conscripted the largest army ever assembled north of Egypt and prepared to face the invaders, their army giving rise to resentments along the middle sea’s entire northeastern shore.

The two slouching armored giants met at Kadesh on the Orontes. The scribes of the Egyptian and those of the Hittite both claimed their Lord had been victorious, but the Leviathans of each began to decompose the day after the victory.

The victorious Hittites returned to Anatolia and were beset by resentful Mycenean and other bands of armed adventurers. None of the Hittites’ Anatolian subjects were willing to keep supporting Khatushilish’s palace or his army.

On the Levant, the Hittites still held Carchemish, but Assyrians led by Shalmaneser put an abrupt end to Hittite Carchemish. The Assyrians went on to “slay the host of the Mittani” and might have swallowed the entire Levant if they had not had to turn eastward against resurgent Babylonians aided by Elamites.

Phoenician mercantile cities, particularly Tyre and Sidon, free at last to feed their own Baal and Moloch instead of the gods of their Hittite overlords, dispatched their large ships to Libya and elsewhere in Africa, to the Aegean and the Adriatic, in fact all the way across the Mediterranean and into the Atlantic. They left signs of their visits in many parts of the world, but they did not reveal their destinations to competitors.

By the sheerest coincidence, at the opposite side of the globe, across an ocean that would not be officially sailed until a certain Columbus performed the feat, colossal heads were sculpted, heads of people who look nothing like anyone who ever lived anywhere near Tehuantepec, the so-called Olmec heads. It would of course be insulting to suggest to present-day Nahuatl and Maya people that their ancestors did not invent practices like the building of Ziggurats or the feeding of human victims to Baal. But such a suggestion would not have been insulting to those people’s ancestors, who actually insisted they had learned much from strange-looking foreigners who hailed from the sea.

Be that as it may, on the Mediterranean the great ships’ merchants gave rise to defensive leagues equipped with small ships, and these soon set out on plundering expeditions of their own.

The whole world seemed to have been set in frantic motion.

The second Ramses returned to the Nile in time to celebrate his feat, and he ordered his sculptors to portray the victory at Kadesh on the walls of every new Temple, a different moment of the battle on every wall.

But soon Ramses’ Leviathan decomposed as surely as his foe’s. A palace conspiracy almost did the Pharaoh in. Zeks in labor gangs refused, simply refused to perform their assigned tasks. This was an early recorded instance of a strike. The concern expressed by the scribes suggest it might even have been a general strike. And then news came that seaborne Libyan and other mysterious foreigners were raiding the Nile’s delta.

If the Israelites were ever going to withdraw from their Egyptian captivity, this was surely the time.

* * *

The withdrawing captives place themselves in the charge of a Moses, an Egyptian at least on his mother’s side. (In Egypt names and wealth are still passed through the female line, an ancient custom the scribes and Pharaohs could abolish with no better success than the Anatolian Hittites.)

Moses may be a minor palace official who fails to rise because of his family connections among the foreigners. The man’s later utterances are fanatically patriarchal, and this fanaticism cannot be explained by pointing to the patriarchal tendencies of pastoral nomads; materials will be found which show Israelite pastoral nomads worshiping female as well as male deities in Egypt. His father was probably an official during Akhenaten’s reign, lost his office when the monotheistic Pharaoh fell, and has since been grumbling and airing his modernist views to his compatriots. The son, Moses, obviously rejects his mother as well as her people and chooses to become a champion, a deliverer, of his father’s and half-brother’s people.

We will have no good reason to undermine Moses’ motives, to attribute his choice to resentment. The Book portrays him as a principled member of the ruling class who casts his lot with the oppressed, and we can accept that and start with it. He’s as ideally suited for the task of leading the captives out of Leviathan as any Ensi’s cousin. He has merely to say, “Let my people go,” and his former fellow-officials and even relatives will issue the necessary orders and passports.

The destination is clear. Moses will lead the captives to Canaan, which has recently been vacated by all the large armies, and at least two of the occupiers are not likely to return soon: the Egyptian is tied up by strikers, conspirators and raiders, and the Hittite seems, from all reports Moses must have heard, to be decomposing altogether, beset by continual famines and hostile raiders. The third large army, the Assyrian, is busy elsewhere; its tyrant Tukulti Ninurta is on the Tigris subduing Babylonians and Elamites and proclaiming himself King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Sun of all the peoples. So Canaan seems like a safe place of refuge, at least for the time being.

But to Moses’ followers, at least to the “primitivists” among them, Canaan means something else; it means a common language, an original common home; it probably means something like the Eden they’ve wanted to return to. Why else would they call a war-torn Levantine province “the promised land”?

There is no reason to assume Moses is a modernizer like his father, especially in view of the fact that he does leave Egypt with the zeks. The Book makes it clear that there are no modernizers in the entire band of wanderers. In fact, these people’s disgust with the amenities of Civilization is so profound that it will be felt by the Civilized urban scribes who forty generations later will still write with revulsion of the “fleshpots” of Egypt and the “harlot” Babylon.

Moses was clearly no modernizer in Egypt. But once he’s out on the desert sands, and some of the people pull toward Yemen, others toward the Red Sea and Ethiopia, Moses has to decide just exactly who and what he is.

The Moses of the Book is not a modernizer. He does not think that the lubrication and streamlining of a Leviathan can have any human meaning. He’s as repelled by Ashur, Khatti and Ur as any of his followers.

But where is the promised land? Most of his followers are apparently primitivists. And apparently they are either weak or blind, since it should be clear to them that once they safely reach the desert, Moses can do nothing more for them. They cling to him, either because of loyalty or because they are still intimidated by the former member of the Egyptian palace staff.

Moses is neither a modernizer nor a primitivist. It is clear that he is an armored man who is unable to remove his armor. He is like Lenin. He seeks within, but finds no destination there; all he finds in himself is bits of Leviathanic armor. He hates Ur and Ashur, and his contemporary Tukulti Ninurta makes him shake with rage. But the only voice inside him is the voice of Lugalzaggizi, the voice of the Almighty, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Male of Males. Lenin will hear the voice of Electrification. Yet Moses hates every specific King of Kings, just as Lenin will hate capitalists. Moses abstracts the King, makes him a god, just as Lenin will abstract Electrification and make it Communism.

By this act Moses projects his inner emptiness, his armor, his own dead spirit, into the very Cosmos.

If any in that group think of Eden as a Lugal’s garden, it is Moses. The gods are all dead for this upper class Egyptian. For him there is no Eden, there is only Leviathan.

It is ironic that this man for whom there is no outside should have been the one to lead the others out.

Of course he hadn’t thought all this out before he left Egypt, and perhaps he expected the armor to come off, perhaps he hoped some glimmer in him would come alive. But nothing does. Only an abstraction stirs inside him, bodiless, sexless, neuter and immortal. The abstraction is Leviathan itself, as concept.

We will all know that his followers do not like what they hear. As soon as he turns his back they form the ancient, sacred circle of the old community. They abandon themselves. They dream. They are possessed. They honor a golden calf, not because she’s golden but because she’s feminine, because she gives birth to life, because she’s Earth’s and because she is Earth.

The people know the difference between the dead idols of the Egyptians and the living symbols of their own ancestors. The remember. Their insides haven’t gone dead. They are zeks and children of zeks. They always knew the armor was a burden they would shed one day, and when the day comes, they are able to shed it.

Moses is challenged. He can respond by going to them, by listening to their voices. He’s still Moses the man, the potential human being. He’s free. He can let the living glimmer inside him open up, like an egg; he can choose to come alive.

But Moses responds by turning his back to them. He lets the armor take over. He stiffens. W. Reich will say he becomes rigid. He chooses to let the potential remain Nothing, to let the armor extinguish the little glimmer of Life there was. He lets Leviathan speak through him. And the voice that speaks is not that of Akhenaten, the Sun, but that of Lugalzaggizi, the Lord of Lords.

The armor speaks of no garden. It expresses “a vision of life that is spiritually light years removed from the mythic community,” as Turner will put it. The voice of Leviathan speaks of Commandments and Punishments. It does not speak of ways, of paths to Being, but of laws, of closed gates. It does not say: Thou canst and Thou shalt Be. It says: Thou shalt not.

And woe to those who disobey. Just as the thing, Leviathan, has its police to persecute, torture and execute those who stray from its justice, so the concept of Leviathan, Yahweh, has its police.

But the concept’s police is not itself a concept. Moses gives this task to the life-giver herself, to Nature—not all of Nature, but only her irruptions, only her violence, all condensed and concentrated as in Lugalzaggizi’s own god in the Ziggurat. Earthquakes, storms, floods and plagues are Yahwehs’s instruments of persecution, torture and execution. The goddess worshiped in the calf is turned against her worshipers.

And now comes the crowning touch. Now Moses becomes an actual forerunner of Lenin. “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” This is something Moses may well have learned from Akhenaten. This is modern. No Sumero-Akkadians have yet been able to impose the “no other.” Moses does not put on mere bits of armor; he wears the whole thing.

The Commandment still has a Sumerian form, but its modern meaning is spelled out:

And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it.

The Pharaoh’s former official knows that captives from free communities have to be made over into zeks; they have to be domesticated, they have to be forced to eat their freedom.

But the calf-worshipers still resist. They rebel. They are ready to withdraw again, this time from their own Leader’s Leviathan.

So the armored man drops the veil and makes the armor visible to all. He stops being a medium though whom Lugalzaggizi speaks. He becomes Lugalzaggizi. He sets in motion a general purge with a police which is neither a concept nor Earth’s concentrated wrath:

“Put ye every man his sword upon his thigh, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.” And the sons of Levi [they will later form a Defense League] did according to the word of Moses; and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

This massacre is the first Holocaust perpetrated in the name of Yahweh. And there is neither human recourse nor human justification. “I am that I am.” This is Dogma.

The anti-human, anti-natural face of what will later be called Totalitarianism, has to be worn together with the rest of the armor. Every last speck of human skin has to be concealed. Leviathan has neither life nor soul. It is that it is. It is its own sole goal. It is Death, unmitigated, unjustified, unexplained.

We will get used to Science, Technology and the Secular State; we will not be horrified by the inhumanity of this man’s vision; some of us will even be impressed by the progressive, nay prophetic, character of it.

But those who left Egypt, those of them who are still alive, cannot stomach the monstrous regression, and Moses knows it. If he doesn’t act quickly, the mass murder will be followed by mass suicide or by an Exodus of those who are left. “I am that I am” is not enough for people who still remember.

So he brings out the famous Covenant. He has already told them, “if ye will hearken unto My voice... then ye shall be Mine own treasure...” Now, like a horse trainer, he tells them how they will be treasured, what reward their obedience will yield them. They will reach the Promised Land. But in this land they will remain zeks. The curse of toilsome labor will not be lifted from them. The land will not be Eden, a place which no longer exists for this armored man (just as women don’t exist for him; only the sons exist; women are nothing but childbearing machines, vessels which might as well be made of clay, the stuff to which Earth herself has been reduced, stuff which is to be manipulated and mutilated).

The Promised Land is a new Leviathan, and the treasured will be rewarded as Lugalzaggizi’s Ensis are rewarded. Thou shalt expropriate the others. Thou shalt inherit great and goodly cities which though buildest not, and houses full of good things which thou filledst not, and vineyards and olive trees which thou plantedst not.

This is the land of milk and honey, and Moses’ troops are to storm it like Pioneers:

And I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, The Hivite and the Jebusite...

It is significant that the Canaanite, the cousin, is to be the first victim. Leviathan has no kin. Whoever stands in the way, whatever lives outside it, is its enemy. All beings not encased in its entrails, whether people or animals or trees, are its enemy.

...Replenish the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

This, as Turner points out, is a declaration of war against the Wilderness, and this word has now taken on an awesome meaning: it refers to “every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” This is Leviathan’s declaration of war against all Life.

Moses dies, but the “sons of Levi” actually reach the Promised Land, the land of their one-time kin. And they do not arrive as kin; they do not form the ancient circle or revive the lost community. They arrive like Tukulti Ninurta’s armed Assyrians, as the Nemesis of their former kin. One of the sons of Levi, a man called Deborah, a forerunner of the armored Joan of Arc, fills the Pioneers with genocidal hatred. She, or rather he, exhorts, raves and gesticulate to enrage the sons against every last Moabite, Hazorite and Canaanite in the Promised Land.

Moses dies, but the Leviathan he sets in motion is immortal, and if in time it, too, will be swallowed, its Concept will one day light the way of monstrosities undreamt by Lugalzaggizi or Moses.

And thou shalt consume all the peoples that the Lord thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them...

As Turner will observe, this is a description of things to come; this already foresees the “dark clouds over Africa, the Americas, the Far East, until finally even the remotest islands and jungle enclaves are struck by fire and sword and by the subtler weapon of conversion by ridicule.” This is already the discovery of the New World.

* * *


The Israelites who withdraw from Egyptian captivity and then proceed to set in motion a worm of their own do not, by their efforts, introduce anything new to the Levant, despite their mentor’s innovative theories.

They occupy fields and lodges of those they are able to defeat militarily, and then they try to follow the dead leader’s precepts.

In addition to giving them the abstract Yahweh, Moses, is said to have been given his heirs numerous laws by which to keep themselves clean in the Abstraction’s immortal eyes. After keeping themselves clean for two or three generations, they start to copy the ways of their unclean neighbors. Raving orators have fits of frenzy as they try to figure out just what it was that Moses had had in mind.

Such public outbursts, fits and trances seem to have been common in all the ancient Leviathans, and they make those places seem almost free compared to the controlled-communication cages we will live in.

Having gotten used to the lodges and fields of the expropriated Canaanites, some of the orators wonder if Yahweh might not want his chosen people to have some of their Phoenician neighbors’ “good things,” or some of their Philistine neighbors’ iron weapons and military efficiency. One raving prophet discovers that the Israelites have only the concept of King of Kings whereas the people of the east, the Assyrians, have the real thing in the person of Ashur-rabi the second.

A man called Saul accepts the challenge and quickly emulates the Assyrians by levying troops. Saul is killed while testing the strength of his troops against the iron Philistines, and a man more familiar with the ways of iron giants reconditions the Israelite Leviathan into something comparable to the Philistine worm. King David then reduces the sons of Levi who have survived until now into efficient killing machines deployed in a permanent army supplemented by iron mercenaries.

With this force, the monarch is at last able to fulfill the rest of Moses’ and Deborah’s dream, to reduce Moab, Ammon, Edom and Aram. He then allies with the Phoenician Baal-worshippers of Tyre against his former Philistine allies, revealing by the ease of his victory that the iron men were not giants.

The victorious monarch, egged on by another orator, emulates the Baal-worshippers by building a Temple for his god. The fact that this god is not a dead relic from a pre-Leviathanic past but the King of Kings, the abstraction of Leviathan itself, bothers no one. The god of this Temple is treated exactly the same way as the gods of the Ziggurats.

King David’s son inherits the crown and reduces yet more people in the god’s name, and powerful subservient men fill their houses with good things, also in the god’s name, exactly as Babylonians do in Marduk’s name, Assyrians in Ashur’s and Phoenicians in Baal’s. The god’s origins and traits are different, but nothing else is, even after the unified Leviathan splits into two bickering Leviathans called Israel and Judah. The stories are Sumero-Akkadian, the Law is Babylonian, the proverbs are Egyptian, the psalms are Phoenician.

There is a glimmer of something different when the orator Elisha rages against this lack of originality on the part of a people with such an unusual god, but this orator does not succeed in launching a new start or even a second Exodus.

Stanley Diamond will point out that the Book of Job is an apology for this unwillingness to move in a humanly more meaningful direction. Personal wealth in a sea of poverty seems unreconcilable with older modes of sociability to the archaic-minded Job, until he convinces himself to accept the wealth as a reward for blind submission to the inscrutable god.

The smugness of the much later Puritans described by Max Weber is already being publicly aired. Such complacency will not be denounced until the Egalitarian shepherd Amos rails against it, but by then it will already be too late, as Amos himself will see from the writing on the wall. The third Tiglath Pileser will recondition a moribund Assyrian Leviathan into an efficient war engine and start swallowing all of Mesopotamia and the Levant. The militarist’s successor, the second Sargon, will swallow the first State of Israel and will deport its inhabitants, and Sennacherib will deal a similar blow to the State of Judah. It will be during their long captivities in Assyria and then Babylonia that the heirs of Moses will forge something new. The memory of the Messiah who led them out of an earlier captivity will give them not only hope but a solidarity uncommon among captives of any age.

* * *

This lack of originality on the part of Moses’ liberated heirs cannot be attributed to encirclement by hostile counter-revolutionary armies, an excuse Lenin’s heirs will use later. The Israelites in Canaan are not bothered by the armies of the giants nor even those of the pygmies for twenty or ten generations (the number depends on whether or not one can trust the generally-accepted chronology; its trustworthiness will be questioned).

The Hittite giant stops bothering anyone on the Levant because it drops out of the picture altogether. This slouching Leviathan that faced the might of Egypt at Kadesh decomposes so completely that the Greeks who later plant olive trees on its buried fortresses will not even remember its name. The Israelites who write the Book will remember only the Hittites’ name, and the grandeur of this Civilization’s progress will not be remembered until archeologists of our day dig it out from under mounds of dirt. No massive invasion or drought or tectonic shift is needed to explain the breakdown of this heir to Mohenjo Daro’s fate. Egyptian scribes who witness their monstrous neighbor’s demise say simply that no one stood up for Khatti. The bands of Myceneans, Phrygians and Ionians resisting conscription into the Anatolian Leviathan’s armies are able to storm Khatti’s last fortresses for the same reason that Attila the Hun will later be able to sack Rome. The monster has been evacuated.

The immortals do die, after all, and not only when they’re swallowed by larger Leviathans. The immortals also die when their human contents withdraw and let the carcasses rot. The artificial worms have no life of their own.

Dancers form circles around Cybele, the Earth goddess, and celebrate their recovered freedom. They will still be dancing ten or fifteen generations later when visiting Athenians will describe them as peoples ruled by queens, which is how the later Athenians will understand people who are ruled neither by archons nor by kings.

It would be an exaggeration to say that nothing remains in Anatolia of the Hittite worm. Former conscripts, the iron-armed Mycenean and Ionian bands of male adventurers and killers whose exploits Homer will celebrate, are unhealing wounds left on Cybele’s Anatolian Earth by the late Leviathan. The segments continue to operate. But these segments remain nothing but pests on the outskirts of peaceful villages until the Phoenician octopus fills them out with its purple ooze.

The Egyptian giant stops bothering the Levant for similar reasons, although this Leviathan does not decompose as completely as its Hittite neighbor. It freezes. Having to promote potential conspirators, having to buy off leaders of striking labor gangs, having to negotiate with former provinces that defected to Libyan adventurers, Egyptians no longer venture to do anything their predecessors didn’t do. This conservative posture gives Pharaoh, priests and people ample occasion to show proper respect to the dead gods in the temples and shrines. Wasn’t this the main goal of the worm’s founders? The gods come first in Egypt; modernism and secularism would only sweep away what little still remains of a long-dead past.

The Assyrian giant also leaves the Levant alone, at least for the twenty or ten generations before it swallows and deports the Levant’s Israelite and Phoenician inhabitants. But I’ll return to this giant later.

First I’ll look at the pygmies, the Phoenicians of Tyre, Sidon and other independent enclaves, the next-door neighbors of the Israelites in Canaan. These seaborne salesmen are called Red Men or Purple Men by people on all coasts their ships can reach because the Phoenicians have a world monopoly on purple dye and they guard it well. Their purple cloths and garments are as precious the world over as gold and uranium will be in later ages.

* * *

The sons of Levi establish the closest relations with their Phoenician neighbors, going so far as to marry women of Tyre and even, on occasion, prostrating themselves to Baal. I suspect that it is precisely this closeness that helps explain the lack of originality of the Levantine Israelites. The curse of labor falls heavily on the planters and reapers who give a substantial part of their yearly harvest for their wealthy neighbors’ purple garments and other good things, most of them from distant places.

The prejudiced of later ages will portray all Jews as merchants, but from King David’s time until King Hezekiah’s the ins and outs of commerce are more alien to them than Baal is. They are farmers, or more accurately, peasants. In our day we would say that the two small Israelite States are economic colonies of the rapacious Phoenicians, they have neither the time nor the energy to be original.

The garments and other trinkets which the men of Tyre give so generously to their hard-working neighbors cost the Phoenicians little, and in return the mercantile towns are supplied with much of their needed cattle and grain from their own friendly hinterland. They don’t need to send ships to Anatolia or Syracuse to secure these necessities, and can fill the ships with lighter and far more precious things than cattle and wheat.

The Phoenician merchants, whose main secret is to give things that cost them little and take things that cost others much, carry ever larger amounts of things abundant in one place to another place where such things are rare. And they continue carrying until the originally abundant things are depleted at their source, at which point they start to deplete another source.

Before the time of King Solomon of Israel and his father-in-law King Hiram of Tyre, trees as well as elephants teemed in the Levant. After the reigns of these kinsmen, the Levantine trees are all in hulls of ships and walls of temples, and elephants have become as exotic on the Levant as caribou.

Big Phoenician ships now cross the Red and the Arabic seas to gather tusks from Indian elephant-killers greedy for Levantine purples and Libyan ores. In terms of the reduction of living beings to forms that can be carried on ships, and in terms of reshuffling murdered fauna and flora from places where they thrive to places where they cannot thrive, the Phoenician artificial octopus is a greater rapist of the Biosphere than all the earlier Leviathans combined. The Western Spirit against the Wilderness will owe to Phoenicia much more than purple dyes.

The twenty or ten generations that start with the demise of the Hittites and end with the Assyrian conquest are the great age of the Levantine metropolis, not of its economic colony. The octopus-like Artificial Men of tiny Tyre and Sidon are the only Leviathans still operating west of China, and I would even venture to guess that the relative quietism of the war engine called Assyria is due at least in part to the onslaught of exotic commodities, the purchase of which strains even Assyrian means.

Yet the Phoenician precursors of Athenians, Venetians and enterprising Americans are more poorly documented than any other ancient Leviathan. We learn of them mainly from what others say of them. The merchants carry their secrets with them to the grave.

All we know is that their octopus-like empire consisting of ships and trading posts embraces many if not most of the world’s shorelines. We know that they establish their ports on the shores of Africa and on Spain’s Atlantic shore. Barry Fell will suggest that the Phoenician ships cross rough ocean ages before the sailors of Seville will, and others will suggest they might even venture across the peaceful ocean and give rise to statues of bearded men on Polynesian islands.

We will know that on the Italian peninsula, during or shortly after King Hiram’s reign, Etruscans suddenly learn to write their own language using Hiram’s alphabet and that in Attica as well as Anatolia the more settled of the roving adventurers also learn to write, and with the same alphabet. We will know of that many of these trading posts, whether Gadir (Gades, Cadiz) or Tarshish on the Atlantic shore, or the famous Carthage, Sardinia or Sicily, or the numerous posts on the Adriatic and Aegean seas which later acquire Greek names, quickly grow into octopus-like monsters which plunder and deplete their own hinterlands with the thoroughness of their founders, in order to be well supplied with items when the great ships come in.

Thanks to the progressive activities of the secretive Phoenicians, western Eurasia is well on its way to becoming a thick web of interlocking tentacles, a place where a free human being can neither jump nor stand nor sit.

* * *

The Phoenician octopus feeds on Israelites and on other peoples drawn to the Mediterranean by an initial decision to resist Leviathanization.

We’ve seen that earlier Leviathans provoked Steppe peoples to flee or defend themselves, and that either alternative set off waves of motion that could even be felt in distant China.

Mittani, Kassites and Hittites were some of the many who braced themselves to confront the Leviathan head-on and then found themselves trapped in a Leviathanic net of their own making. Once armored and entrenched, the iron Hittites then set in motion new waves with their conscript-hunts and tribute-raids.

Myceneans, Ionians and Dorians may have descended to Anatolia and the Greek mainland and archipelago in response to Hittite provocations. Linguistically these people are cousins of Hittites, Kassites and Mittani, of Aryans who showed up in India, and even of the Persians who will eventually succeed to the whole of Anatolia and the Levant.

Iranian- (or Indo-European) speaking and Turkic-speaking people seem to move together in the steppes. Later they will turn up together on the borders of Rome’s empire; at least they’re not strangers to each other. Some of these people are seed planters who move only when pushed; others are pastoral nomads. Some of them are horse-breeders who can move quickly from Mesopotamia to China, and a few forge their weapons out of iron.

Mycenean Greeks were already in Anatolia and on the Greek mainland during the heyday of the Hittite Leviathan. Mycenean vases dating from the middle Hittite period will be found in Cyprus, Egypt and the Levant, and as far as Sicily and Ireland; Mycenean olive oil must have been transported to all these places in Phoenician ships, since there will be no evidence of a large commercial Mycenean fleet. They made occasional use of a script, but had neither a king nor a permanent army. Their former community had shattered, but they had not yet encased themselves in a Leviathan of their own, although their Theseus tried hard. They either joined Hittites on conscript hunts or else went tribute hunting on their own; newcomers of almost identical speech didn’t treat them as kin but as enemies. The Myceneans fortified their towns and held off the newcomers, probably with Hittite aid. Almost immediately after the demise of the Hittites, one after another of the Mycenean strongholds began to fall to the Ionian and Dorian Greeks.

The indignities suffered by the newcomers before their arrival will not be accessible to scrutiny, since the later Greeks will choose to forget their pre-Leviathanic past. We can nevertheless try to form some idea of the nature of these indignities by looking elsewhere.

On an Assyrian tablet contemporary with the destruction of Mycenae, the scribe of the first Tiglathpileser boasts that in a single campaign to the region north of Lake Van, the tyrant and his army captured thousands of Mushki, by which name the Assyrians designated Phrygians, Hurrians, Greeks and other speakers of Indo-Iranian languages.

The Greeks sweep their Mycenean predecessors away during the period when the Phoenician commercial empire is at its height. Like their Guti predecessors, the Greeks form tribal leagues of warriors led by a Basileus, a one-time priest who is now a war chief. Also like the Guti, they remain federated for such a long time that they lose all contact with their original communities. Of their own former deities they bring mainly Zeus, the spear-throwing thunderer who guides the war chief. They take the Minotaur, the Labyrinth, Helen, Artemis and Demeter from Anatolia and Crete. The Phoenician ships bring them Cadmus, Europa and a Leviathanic project.

The earliest federations, among them the famous Agamemnon’s, seem as determined as the much later Mongols to sweep away every trace of what the Greeks will later call Civilization. They raze fortresses and don’t rebuild them, flatten palaces and don’t copy them, destroy writings and don’t learn their script. They use the tablets of Hittite scribes as stones in walls of new fortresses. Their spears are their gods and they live for battle.

But when the big ships come in and unload purple cloth and ivory, the heroes commit themselves to regaling the strangers with gifts next time. Their neighbors, especially the women among them, squeeze the oil out of olives and the juice out of grapes. The Greeks offer to protect the neighbors instead of harassing them, and they offer some of the gifts they’ve received from the Phoenicians. They post guards at shrines and dance-grounds where women become demented with drink and gang up against the protectors. And the Greeks stock up on vases.

Agamemnon’s grandsons turn up on the Aegean’s shores as merchants of wine and olive oil. One after another enclave becomes a tentacle of the Phoenician octopus.

When the head of the octopus is swallowed by the Assyrian worm, each Greek tentacle is on its own.

This story is usually told as the shadowy emergence of the Greeks out of darkness and into the light of Civilization. But at least one Greek who is not yet armored experiences the sequence as something quite different from an emergence into Light.

The poet Hesiod remembers better times. He is a contemporary of the Assyrian invasion of Phoenicia, and thus a contemporary of the Greeks preparing to launch a commercial empire of their own.

Hesiod writes of five ages or generations of mortal human beings. The earliest, pastoral nomads who lived somewhere in the steppes and mountains, were

a golden race... And they lived like gods without sorrow of heart, remote and free from toil and grief... They dwelt in ease and peace upon their lands with many good things, rich in flocks and loved by the blessed gods.

These first ones are not altogether gone; they

roam everywhere over the earth, clothed in mist, and keep watch on judgments and cruel deeds.

While still in the steppes, the communities of pastoral nomads were disrupted by agents of a Leviathan, and there appeared

a second generation which was of silver and less noble by far. It was like the golden race neither in body nor in spirit... Zeus the son of Cronos was angry and put them away, because they could not give honor to the blessed gods who lived on Olympus.

When the earth covered the disoriented second generation, there appeared those who federated against the disrupters;

a third generation of mortal men, a brazen race, sprung from ash trees; and was in no way equal to the silver age, but was terrible and strong. They loved the lamentable works of Ares and deeds of violence; they ate no bread, but were hard of heart like adamant, fearful men. Great was their strength and unconquerable the arms which grew from their shoulders on their strong limbs. Their armor was of bronze, and their houses of bronze, and of bronze were their implements... These were destroyed by their own hands and passed to the dank house of chill Hades, and left no name...

Then came the war chiefs praised by Homer, the

hero-men who are called demi-gods, the race before our own... Grim war and dread battle destroyed a part of them, some in the land of Cadmus at seven-gated Thebe when they fought for the flocks of Oedipus, and some, when it had brought them in ships over the great sea gulf to Troy...

Last comes the fifth generation, Hesiod’s own, the victims and accomplices of wine and olive merchants, the Greeks at last initiated into the arts of Civilization by their Phoenician guides. Hesiod writes,

Would that I were not among the men of the fifth generation, but either had died before or been born afterwards. For now truly is a race of iron, and men never rest from labor by day, and from perishing by night.... Might shall be their right: and one man will sack another’s city. There will be no favor for the man who keeps his oath or for the just or for the good; but rather men will praise the evil doer and his violent dealing.... Envy, foul mouthed, delighting in evil, with scowling face, will go along with wretched men one and all. And then Aidos and Nemesis, with their sweet forms wrapped in white robes, will go from the wide-pathed earth and forsake mankind to join the company of deathless gods...

Hesiod’s remembrance of things past gives him a power Moses had lacked: the power to remove his Leviathanic mask while still enmeshed in a Leviathanic web. We will call such a power “critical theory,” an insipid name for it. This power will later be shaped into a dagger with two edges, but not by the Greeks to whom Hesiod gives it.

Hesiod’s fellow Greeks turn their backs on the gift he so freely gives them because, at the very moment when he is reminding them of their Golden Age, the Assyrian Leviathan is swallowing the Greeks’ Phoenician mentors and guides, and Hesiod’s companions are preparing to hurl themselves into an octopus of their own.

* * *


The Phoenician octopus and its later Greek, Venetian and other offspring will come to be seen as something altogether different from the Assyrian worm. There will even be those who will see the octopus as a form of human freedom. I intend to show that this is an optical illusion.

There is no doubt that the two Leviathans differ. The artificial worm’s claws and fangs, its armies, are usually attached to the body, whereas the tentacles of the artificial octopus detach themselves from the body and can be said to move about freely, especially if the tentacles are ships. The worm is largely landborne whereas the octopus tends to be seaborne.

There is no doubt that two different types are in question. The point is that these are not types of human community but types of Leviathan. Both are what Hobbes will call “artificial men.” Each of them is an automaton, a machine, and like other machines it can sometimes be converted or adapted to do what the other does.

The main difference between them does not lie in the way the tentacles move nor in the medium through which they move nor in the size of the head, but rather in the way the two automata use the already-mentioned surplus. Both live off the surplus product of zeks’ labor. But the worm uses most of its surplus to enlarge its head and body, its officials and armies, whereas the octopus keeps most of its surplus continually circulating between sources and destinations.

This different treatment of the surplus gives each a specific advantage over the other. The one tends to have greater wealth, the other greater power. An efficient and flexible octopus—and the Phoenician cities seem to have been both—can suck an ever greater part of Mother Earth into its tentacles. The Phoenicians not only could but apparently did carry a vast proportion of plundered and denatured Biosphere in the holds of their ships. But with all this wealth, the Phoenician octopus was still at a disadvantage to the Assyrian worm in terms of power, as a single campaign led by the third Tiglathpileser revealed.

We will be surprised by the ease of the Assyrian conquest. We will think the wealthy can buy power as easily as the powerful can grab wealth. We will think of the British Empire, an octopus with the power of a worm, or of the American Empire, a worm with the tentacles of an octopus.

The Phoenicians do buy armies. A few of Levi’s grandsons, in fact, distinguish themselves as mercenaries in those armies. But armies eat up the surplus in the ships’ holds, and the heads of the mercantile houses know that all the wealth of Phoenicia comes from taking the things in the holds to places where they’re precious, and from filling the holds with cheap things that are precious elsewhere. The merchants also know that large armies acquire insatiable appetites and threaten to swallow all the things in the ships’ holds. And of course the merchants are right.

When the third Tiglathpileser’s war engines knock down Phoenicia’s gates, the Assyrians do not inherit a world empire of floating tentacles. The Assyrian militarists do not need to deport Phoenicia’s merchants, and they may not even want the floating empire to end. But the moment their hungry armies plunder the ships’ holds, the Phoenician octopus collapses. All that’s left of it are the pieces of tentacles beyond Assyria’s reach, the outposts on both shores of the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic. The parent of all these outposts rots like the empty ships in its harbors. The ships, whose holds now contain only what’s left of a once lush Levantine forest, will eventually sink. The trees in the ships’ holds will have no heirs because the soil on which they grew has been washing into the sea since the day it lost its cover. This soil, still rich with living organisms, will join the sunken ships in the bottom of the Mediterranean, where both will gradually turn into offshore oil.

* * *

The Phoenician seaborne octopus was initially nothing but a tentacle or outgrowth of Sumerian and Egyptian landborne worms, and one might wonder how the octopus managed to stay loose for as long as it did, especially in view of its unavoidable military inferiority vis-a-vis the Assyrian monster.

We will have to keep reminding ourselves that the landed worm is a coherent and efficient entity only in the wishful thinking of a Hobbes. Continual decomposition is the normal state of artificial worms in the field. The human beings reduced to springs and wheels never cease to resist this reduction. The beast’s military campaigns against external as well as internal resisters, namely its attempts to halt the decomposition, are in fact the stuff of His-story.

Decomposition was also the normal state of the Assyrian Leviathan during the twenty or ten generations of Phoenicia’s heyday.

When the Hittite Leviathan collapsed, Assyria’s Tukulti Ninurta led his army to capture and enslave thousands of the fallen empire’s stranded soldiers, probably thinking to gain as much power as the other lost. But Assyria did not gain by this capture, and the sudden scarcity of boasting tablets suggests that in trying to feed its enlarged army, Assyria lost the ability to sustain itself. Babylonia as well as Elam withdrew from the monster’s east, and when the first Tiglathpileser recovered these losses, federated tribes of Mushki tried to storm Assyria’s west. The great grandfathers of Medes and Persians are said to have been among these angry Mushki.

Assyria’s attempt to hold on to its extremities by military means apparently failed; the tablets speak of famines and withdrawals. Hurrian-speaking Mushki established themselves in a fortress called Uratu in the Armenian mountains, and even Assyria’s Semitic-speaking zeks, both Aramean and Chaldean, began to withdraw from labor gangs and armies. The second Ashurnasirpal moved the head of the Assyrian Leviathan from Nineveh to Kalah to be closer to the rebels’ strongholds, but his successor, the third Shalmaneser, faced an even larger resistance, and this Civilizer had to raze Nineveh as well as Ashur to restore a Pax Assyriana.

Even then Assyria’s troubles weren’t over. The Hurrians of Urartu attacked in concert with zeks undermining Assyria from within, so that the third Ashurdan suffered what in Assyrian eyes must have been the greatest ignominy: military defeat on every front. And then his successor, the fifth Ashurnirari, suffered the even greater ignominy of being overthrown by the uprising of his own capital, Kalah. For all these reasons, the Assyrian Leviathan did not even begin its career as swallower of all it competitors until twenty or ten generations after Tukulti Ninurta’s capture of the stranded Hittites.

Assyria’s third Tiglathpileser, called Pulu the Restorer by his contemporaries, was another of those great innovators along the wide path that leads from Barbarism to Civilization. Inhuman cruelty had been practiced by the Civilized before. This progressive monarch’s innovation was to deport entire populations from their familiar places of refuge to strange places where they had to depend on the conqueror’s generosity even for food.

The second Hiram of Tyre is mentioned on Assyrian tablets as a willing vassal; apparently this Hiram tried to buy his reprieve from the Assyrian tyrant. We’ve seen how much such a reprieve would cost Tyre and the other Phoenician cities.

Damascus, Edom and the little State of Israel with its capital at Samaria, tried to resist Pulu the Restorer, but King Ahaz of Judah and his troops served the deporter as auxiliaries who helped Assyria repress the resisters. Many heirs of Moses, people as well as prophets, rebelled against this collaboration, and Ahaz was succeeded by King Hezekiah, who walled his kingdom in against the Assyrians. But by now all other independent Levantine Leviathans had been battered or turned to vassals by Pulu’s successor, the fifth Shalmaneser, and the next Assyrian, the second Sargon, beat down the gates of Samaria and is said to have deported its entire population of twenty-seven thousand. Judah was now the last independent Leviathan on the Levant.

The second Sargon’s reign is another great leap forward for Civilization. This tyrant is far ahead of his Akkadian namesake in death-technology, inhuman cruelty and sheer killing power. Like his namesake, he sets out to conquer the world. At Khorsabad he builds a palace which will be dug up by our contemporaries: its impersonal, intimidating hierarchic sculpture and architecture expresses unequalled cruelty and terror.

This Sargon, also like his namesake, sets in motion forces that will swallow his successors. Already in his own reign, withdrawing Chaldeans and Arameans allied with Elamites find a champion in a former zek called Merodach-Baladan and leave the Assyrian no rest.

Sargon’s successor Sennacherib, beset by continual rebellions, sacks and massacres most of his empire’s inhabitants. During this madman’s reign the Assyrians at last beat down the Kingdom of Judah and deport most of its inhabitants, they impound Phoenicia’s empty ships, and they massacre the Chaldean and Aramean rebels at their Babylonian stronghold.

Then, under Essarhaddon, the Assyrians destroy Phoenician Sidon, besiege impoverished Tyre, and proceed to invade Egypt.

Ashurbanipal, the last tyrant of Assyria, inherits an empire embracing the entire known Leviathanic world, and lives to see his empire shrink to the size it was before Pulu set out to restore it. Ashurbanipal consoles himself by becoming a librarian and contemplating Assyria’s past greatness on the thousands of cuneiform tablets he collects at Nineveh. He is the precursor of historical scholars who will find similar consolation in their libraries.

Egypt, the Levant and Babylonia emerge from the decomposing Assyrian Leviathan, scathed and unable to resume.

Something else emerges, something that was set in motion by the world-raping Assyrian war engines: another federation of tribes from the steppes and mountains.

The avatars of this new assault from outside are the Medes, who easily install themselves in all-but devastated Elam. Behind the Medes are the federated speakers of Turkic and Iranian tongues whom the Greeks will call Scythians and Persians. The newcomers help Naboplassar the Chaldean oust Assyrian power from Babylon and then join Naboplassar in putting a definitive end to Assyrian His-story.

Naboplassar the Chaldean, an armored man who spent his youth in the Assyrian war machine, seems to think the newcomers irrupted out of the Eurasian steppes in order to help him raise Babylon to the glory of fallen Nineveh. The Chaldean destroys the last remains of Assyrian power hiding out in ancient Abram’s town, Harran, and then proceeds to the Levant.

The next Chaldean, Nebucadrezzar, tyrant over a populous Babylon of glittering wealth and wretching poverty, reduces the by-now immiserated Levantine cities, and installs Zedekiah of Judah as puppet governor of Tyre, Sidon, Moab as well as Judah, but when Zedekiah offers to perform a similar service for Egypt’s Pharaoh, the Chaldeans of Babylon besiege Tyre, burn Jerusalem, and deport the remaining Levantine Jews to Babylon.

This is as far as the Chaldeans are able to stretch their neo-Babylonian Leviathan. Nabonidus, the last of Neboplassar’s heirs, like Ashurbanipal the last Assyrian, is an antiquarian. The newcomers from the steppes overrun every stronghold ever held by Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians or neo-Babylonians.

* * *


With the Arrival of Medes, Persians and Scythians, we get a glimpse, but only a glimpse, of what has been brewing in the cauldrons of the witches and shamans of the Eurasian steppes and mountains.

When the Guti, Kassites, Hittites and Greeks arrived, we couldn’t look into their past because they forgot or repressed every memory of it. The Greek Hesiod remembered only that the past was golden compared to his own age, but he forgot most of the details.

When the Persians arrive, they remember a visionary, or a movement of visionaries, called Zarathustra, and they will preserve the surviving traces of this memory in books.

It is not known if this Zarathustra lived in the steppes or on the outskirts of the neo-Babylonian empire, or even if he was a man or a community.

Zarathustra reduced Hesiod’s five generations to two: one is outside the Leviathan, the other is inside.

The outsider is Light, Ahura Mazda, associated with the spirits of fire, earth and water, with animals and plants, with Earth and Life. Ahura Mazda is the strength and freedom of the generation Hesiod considered the first, the golden.

The insider is Darkness, Ahriman, also called The Lie. Ahriman is the Leviathan as well as the Leviathanic armor that disrupted the ancient community.

Nietzsche is going to recognize that Zarathustra called on human beings to rise in stature, to be more than merchants of wine and olives. Zarathustra announced and perhaps even proclaimed the war of Ahura Mazda against Ahriman.

This war would not be a polite exodus led by an official. Zarathustra knew that followers led by the nose would not recover their freedom. Ahriman is in the world and in the individual. The war against Ahriman is waged in the world and in the individual. It is simultaneously a struggle against Leviathan and against the armor. It is waged with fire, the great purifier. The mask is burned off, the armor is burned out, the Leviathan is burned down. And woe to the world if the fire should fall to Ahriman, to the hands of armored men!

In spite of Zarathustra’s warnings and precautions, the fire of Ahura Mazda does fall into the hands of an armored man, Cyrus, great-grandson of Achaemenes the Persian. This Cyrus did not hesitate before leading people by the nose. Trained by the Medes who inherited not only Elam but also everything the Elamites had learned from a hundred generations of Mesopotamian Leviathans, Cyrus like Moses let himself be pulled by his armor.

Those who are letting themselves be pulled by the nose don’t see Cyrus’s armor. All they see is Cyrus’s mantle, the mantle of Zarathustra. They think Cyrus isn’t leading them back into the same old trap, but to an altogether different place.

Among these followers are numerous outsiders whose communities have been mauled by the Mesopotamian Leviathans, people from steppes and mountains, from Parthia, Afghanistan and India. Numerous armored insiders also follow Cyrus, those who earlier expected the Chaldeans to destroy, not restore, the Assyrian monster.

One of these armored insiders, a man called Isaiah who can think of liberation only very narrowly, only in terms of his own immediate circle, thinks Cyrus is the Messiah:

I [the Lord] have roused up one from the north, and he is come...
And he shall come upon rulers as upon mortar,
And as the potter treadeth clay.

To open the blind eyes,
To bring out the prisoner from the dungeon,
And them that sit in the darkness out of the prison-house.

Thus saith the Lord to his anointed,
To Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden,
To subdue nations before him,
And to loose the loins of kings;
To open the doors before him,
And that the gates may not be shut:
I will go before thee,
And make the crooked places straight;
I will break in pieces the doors of brass,
And cut in sunder the bars of iron...

The expectations of the less armored are undoubtedly larger. The Persian wearing Zarathustra’s mantle can give rise to such expectations because there is revulsion from the Strait of Gibraltar to the China Sea, and the object of the revulsion is Leviathan.

In distant China people are saying that the armor and the mask of Leviathan are not the Way. They are learning to experience joy from the rising of the sun and the gushing of a brook from a source, not from the fall of an enemy and the gushing of blood from a wound. They are starting to shed the armor. They are saying that the human being, who was so much, is becoming very little.

In India people are saying the Leviathan and its artificial distinctions and hierarchies is not the ultimate reality, is no reality at all. They are breaking all their ties to the Leviathan and concentrating on burning out the armor that has wrapped itself around their innards. They are intent on removing every last splinter, for they too remember that human beings were much, that human beings used to fly.

From one to the other extremity of the wide continent, circles of women are dancing around fires celebrating the emergence of new human beings out of the ashes. All of Eurasia is dancing.

If we must label the dance, we can call it a generalized rejection of Civilization and all its masks and armors.

We cannot call the dance “religion.” The way of a free human being is All; there is nothing above it. Religion is a part of a Leviathan; it may have started as a way but it is no longer one; it has been mangled and turned into a part of a Leviathan’s armor.

We do not learn of the revulsion or of the expectation of human renewal from the dancers themselves because ignorant armies, Cyrus’s foremost among them, break up the circles.

We learn from the children and grandchildren who have not themselves danced, but who have heard.

In China the visions of Zarathustra’s equally shadowy contemporary Lao Tze are gathered up in books and come to be known as The Way.

In India the visions of one called Gautama are collected and come to be considered by masked and armored as techniques for removing the mask and armor.

In Greece, echoes of the hopes stay with the women who continue to dance and who remember having seen a new Dionysus emerge from ashes. Echoes stay with musicians who gather with Pythagoras of Samos in order to renew the hopes.

The main outlines of what Turner will call “the crisis cult,” Christianity, precede it by twenty-five or thirty generations. And the main outlines of the inversion of the crisis cult also precede it, and by at least as many generations. The Persian Cyrus who wears the mantle of Zarathustra and the later Indian Ashoka who wears the mantle of Buddha are both forerunners of Constantine and the Popes.

* * *

The Persians who overrun the neo-Babylonian empire of the Chaldeans do not reactivate the Assyrian war engines. Such a turnabout would not sit well with the expectations of the followers.

Cyrus moves slowly, with squadrons of elephants, camels and horses. He doesn’t need Assyrian terror. He simply walks his army across Eurasia. The sheer size and appearance of his moving host inspires terror, and the memory of Assyrian cruelty urges submission.

By the first few years of the reign of Cyrus’s son, the Persian Leviathan embraces Egypt too, and encompasses worlds the Assyrians had only heard of.

Meanwhile, the visions of Zarathustra are reduced to a religion. People who wanted to be more are urged to remain less and to wait. Priests demonstrate their unfaltering commitment by copying and preserving the Way, the Avesta, in a book. The same priests convince the people that the renewal will come as surely as day follows night, but not during the reign of the great Cyrus. The renewal will come after the people die, for they will then cross the bridge to the path that leads to the realm of Light and there, only there, Saoshyant the Savior will raise them out of Death’s grip.

After the great Cyrus himself goes seeking Saoshyant on the path beyond the bridge, his son Cambyses guides his armored host across the Levant and all the way down the Nile. The sheer exoticism of the Persian’s traveling circus disarms any Egyptian who has a mind to resist. The Persian mocks the ancient Temple practices when he arrives, but he makes up for his mockery by promising to support the Temple. He promises to care for all the Temple’s needs, so that Pharaoh and his priests can have even more time to devote to the gods.

What Cambyses doesn’t tell is that some of his train, Levantine and Babylonian merchants, will stay behind when the great army returns to the Fertile Crescent. Egypt had raised its defenses to spare itself from the rapacity of the Mesopotamian merchant, and it was spared for a hundred generations. But by the time Assyrian merchants came no Egyptian remembered why the first wall had been built, and now that Cambyses leaves, few notice the busy men with wares.

Victorious Cambyses leaves Egypt, but instead of finding garlands he finds half his realm up in arms against him. It turns out that Cyrus’s former followers really did think Cyrus and his son had come from the north to set fire to the tribute-collecting machine, not to make it run. Cambyses heads toward ancient Abram’s city, Harran, where the last Assyrians tried to hide from their uprisen zeks, and there, it is said, the son of Cyrus commits suicide.

Persians join with Chaldeans and Arameans in celebrating the death of the tyrant, and a follower of Zarathustra proclaims the end of Leviathan.

But Darius, a distant cousin of Cambyses whose title is in his might, surrounds himself with armored men nostalgic for Assyria, and with these men and methods he represses the rebels and repairs the tribute-gathering Leviathan.

Darius then proclaims himself King of the realm “by the grace of Ahura Mazda.” Whatever hope individuals have managed to keep alive now rot inside them like the empty ships of Tyre.

His-storians will call Darius “The Great” because he restores Assyrian methods to a far larger realm, to a Leviathan that stretches over half of Eurasia, from the southern Nile to the basin of the Indus.

But now, at last, the Egyptians remember why they built their wall. At last they notice that the merchants’ takings are huge compared to those of the tribute-gatherers who take far more than all of Egypt’s Temples need and give precious little of it to the Temples.

Egyptians try to withdraw from the Persian Leviathan, but the great Darius has access to conscripts from half the world, and his recruiters go seeking more in the forests and valleys south of Egypt, disrupting communities, setting in motion waves which will affect Africa as earlier waves affected Eurasia.

The great army beats down Egypt’s walls, definitively. By the time great Persians, great Greeks and great Romans are through with Egypt, the world’s wealthiest kingdom will be the world’s poorest colony.

The Persian Leviathan has now eaten every other Leviathan in the world. The existence of a distant Chinese Leviathan is suspected, but few go there, and the stories told of it by Scythians cannot by trusted.

In any case, the Persians know there’s a world outside of Leviathan closer at hand than China. They turn their attention to the Scythians, the fleet riders and iron-wielders who accompanied the first Persians to the Fertile Crescent but who have not yet been incorporated into Darius’ realm. Darius and his host set out to repair this oversight. The huge army follows the abandoned Hittite route across Anatolia, traverses the Hellespont, moves on to Thrace.

But the Persians, with all their Assyrian and Babylonian armor, have forgotten just how fleet the steppe people used to be—and still are. The Persians catch a raider here, another there, but can find no city, no palace, no temple, not even a central camp. The armored men cannot imagine how people can live like that: in the woods, without labor gangs. This, to Leviathan’s armored men, is Wilderness. And Darius decides that his army, big as it is, is not yet big enough to swallow the wilderness.

* * *


Returning eastward from Thrace, the Persians tangle with Aegean and Anatolian Greeks, people called Mushki on ancient tablets. The Persians’ own one-time Scythian companions.

It is true that the Aegean and Ionian seas are veritable hornets’ nests of petty quarrels, feuds and never ending wars among puny cities.

But on closer inspection the former Mushki are not at all as the Assyrian and Babylonian tablets describe them. They speak the Greek dialect of the Persians’ own original tongue, but in all other respects those the Assyrians called Muski are Phoenicians-not like the Phoenicians of Darius’s day, but like the ancient world-embracing Phoenicians. They write their Greek with Phoenician characters, wear Phoenician garments, tell Phoenician tales, travel in Phoenician ships, and every little city has trading posts in every part of the Mediterranean, just like the Phoenicians.

Every city, called a Polis, has shrines to gods, some of them Phoenician. But the Temple is not where the gods are. The gods are in Agora, the marketplace.

The men of the polis are all merchants of wine and olives-all, that is, except the slaves-and all swindle and lie as expertly as Phoenicians. They claim to derive their physical strength from their vigorous exercising in the sun, but the Persians quickly learn that at least part of the Greeks’ strength comes from the shiploads of wheat which arrive daily, and although the Greeks try to lie about the source of the wheat, Darius discovers that these former Mushki have no trouble locating the Scythians; like true Phoenicians, they give a few jars of olives and some jugs of wine to a few Scythian strongmen and they return to the Aegean with all the wheat they can eat.

The Assyrian-armored Persians instinctively see the weak spot of these tiny Greek Phoenicias with their floating empires: the Greek cities cannot feed large armies; they must keep their wealth afloat and even to maintain it. The Persians know they can be masters of every Anatolian polis in a single campaign.

But such a campaign is unnecessary. The Greeks also know their own weakness, and each Ionian polis outdoes all the others in emptying all its visible coffers and ships to regale Darius the Great with more gifts than his army can carry to Persepolis. Like the second Hiram of Tyre, the Greeks try to buy their way out of the world-embracing Leviathan’s entrails.

The great Darius, cynically “King by the grace of Ahura Mazda,” surely recognizes something that makes these Greeks differ from all their predecessors.

The Greeks know that their gods are dead, that the Temples are empty. When they listen to a recitation of Hesiod’s description of the age when gods mingled with men, the listeners concentrate on counting the strophes in Hesiod’s lines.

Darius must wish the Persians who listen to recitations of Zarathustra’s visions would learn to concentrate on meter and verse. Darius’s own cynicism surely helps him recognize that the Greeks are becoming something we call Secular, and he surely thinks them unique in this, for he cannot know that distant Chinese are at that very moment hurling themselves into a similar secularism.

The Greeks still make, or pretend to make, sacrifices and offerings to their gods; they don’t kill and plunder for the sake of killing and plundering. But when they go to their Temples and shrines, the Greeks do not concentrate on gods, even dead gods. They concentrate on the lines, forms and colors of the roofs and columns.

How is this possible? The old Phoenicians couldn’t bear to live without their dead Baal, they couldn’t bear to see themselves as mere merchants of purple and ivory.

The Greeks can bear this no better than their mentors. They dread the thought of a new Hesiod describing a sixth generation made of no metal whatever but of wine and olive oil stored in clay vases. They speak of everything except the wine and olive oil and the slaves who harvest, squeeze and store the olive oil and the slaves who harvest, squeeze and store the juices. No, they do not think themselves merchants of wine and olives. They think themselves expert judges of lines, forms and colors, even those on the outside of the vases.

The Greeks are what we call Connoisseurs of Art. They’ve performed the feat of transferring the Temple’s activities to the Agora. They’re able to do this because few of their Temple’s activities came from their own past; many come from Phoenicia and never had much meaning for the Greeks.

When they’re through ransacking the Temple, they’ve forged activities that no longer have any connection to their own or anyone else’s past. What to all others is the sole reality loses all its reality among the Greeks. The great enactments are reduced to Drama, the shrines to architecture, the visions to Painting and Sculpture. The externalization of visions becomes Art; the internal probings become Philosophy; the sharing becomes Rhetoric.

The Greeks have inverted the relation between the Temple and the Leviathan. For all their predecessors, the artificial beast, however large and strong, was a mere tool, an instrument for feeding the dead gods in the Temple. But the Greeks have taken the fragments of their disemboweled Temple and turned them into mere ornaments of their Leviathan. The only god they worship is this polis, although they worship only a polis that is properly adorned.

Their Aristotle will think that their enactments and ornaments serve to purge people of their armor, to purify them, but this man will see many things through lenses that invert for him things clearly visible to others. The Greeks’ enactments and ornaments serve to prevent people from purging and purifying themselves, for they cover up the armor, mask it, give it the appearance of Art.

Darius the Persian must know that the Greeks are far ahead of his Canaanite subjects on the Levant who actually worship the abstraction of Leviathan, but who treat this abstraction as if it were a Sumerian god and make their actual Leviathan subservient to it. These Canaanites even persecute Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites, Samaritans, Phoenicians and other Canaanites who do not worship the abstraction in their Temple.

Only much later people who claim to be heirs of Moses will learn to worship the actual Leviathan, but in this they will be heirs of the Greeks and of the later English Greeks of Hobbes’s age who will try to perform the feat of worshipping Leviathan unadorned.

Darius and his strongmen learn what they can, and soon their capital Persepolis and their administrative center Susa fill with buildings which are not Temples and with monuments which are not shrines. Soon Architecture rises on the Fertile Crescent, for the first time, and Persians who had sought the light of Ahura Mazda find the artificial light of Art.

During the reigns of Zerzes and Artazerzes, the Persian Leviathan becomes increasingly adorned, and by the reign of the second Darius it is as pretty as a polis.

By the time the third and last Darius flees from Aristotle’s world-renowned pupil, the Persians will know of Zarathustra almost as little as the Greeks, and although the Greeks will render the name as Zoroaster, they will know only the name.

* * *

The Persian rulers try to stay out of the Aegean hornets’ nest, where every little polis would try to draw the entire worm into a petty feud against a neighboring polis.

Consequently, not every Greek polis falls into the Persian Leviathan’s embrace. And the unswallowed Greeks do not hesitate to exploit the handicap of their brethren, any more than Phoenicians hesitated to exploit the ignorance of their fellow-Canaanites whose Egyptian captivity had given them no understanding of trade.

Actually, not all Aegean Greeks benefit from the plight of their Anatolian brethren. Some, like the Spartans, are not able to derive any benefit from it. The Spartans, many generations earlier, had tried to remain in what Hesiod called their first age. Women had remained important among them, and men had been content to behave more as ornaments than as masters. But the Spartans had made the mistake of trying to preserve their vanishing community by forcing others to provision it, by conquering and enslaving their Messenian neighbors. Instead of preserving anything worth keeping, this act had turned the Spartans into frozen armors glued to their spears, ever-fearful that the former Messenians reduce to Helots would rise and extinguish the little that was left of Sparta.

The Greeks who gain from the Ionians’ discomfiture are the ones who have preserved nothing from their past, those of Corinth, Aegina, Eretria, and above all Athens.

Dracon’s laws have reduced seed planters to debtors, and former debtors are now slaves who ornament merchants of wine and olives. For the merchants, the world is an object of plunder. Earth is not Mother. She’s a swirl of moving atoms, just like the polis.

Every little city, although a hornet to Darius, is in fact the head of an octopus, with free-moving tentacles probing every cove and crevice along the Mediterranean’s shores, with trading posts and colonies on the shores of Africa, Spain and Italy. The Greek tentacles try not to cross paths with the tentacles sent out be Carthage, Gades or Tartessus, for the Greeks are not sure of their commercial prowess in the face of the actual Phoenicians who still operate from these places. But the Greeks, especially the Athenians, go everwhere else, and nothing deters them from sending ships full of merchandise to the outposts and colonies of the unfortunate Ionians who have to empty their ships to please Persian Darius. And by defeating the fleet sent against them by Darius’s son Xerxes, the Athenians save themselves from paying tribute to Persia and quickly become as wealthy as their Phoenician mentors’ surviving heirs, the Carthagenians.

* * *

Now begins the rise of that great and greater Athens so highly admired by the later Western Spirit and its so-called Renaissance. The following six generations will teem, in armored Western eyes, with infinitely varied “forms of freedom.”

The “forms of freedom” will be visible to those who look at Athenian Rhetoric and not at the slaves, grapes and olives.

Athenian rhetoric proclaims that the Anatolian cities are now free and can resume where they left off.

But the undefeated Athenian navy embraces them all in a Delian Confederacy, a rhetorical name for the Athenian Empire. Caian and Lydian towns which politely refuse to be embraced are coerced by the seaborne Athenian octopus that replaces the landborne Persian worm.

Discord reaches the metropolis itself. Two parties form, a Worm Party and an Octopus Party.

The authoritarians in the Worm party know that an empire needs a large concentration of military power to keep from dismembering.

The merchants in the Octopus Party, led by the constitutional tyrant Pericles, know that the wealth of Athens comes from its freely-moving tentacles, and that a large military concentration would eat up the sources of the wealth, empty the ships and lose the empire. The merchants know that the tentacles are not free human beings but bits of armor, parts of the polis, splinters which, like arrows, serve their purpose only when they’re loosed.

For this mercantile good sense, Archon Pericles will be praised in a later day as a defender of freedom.

Pericles defends the freedom of commodity circulation, not the freedom of people. Two thirds of the population of the very metropolis consists of zeks, of labor gangs engaged in mining, quarrying, crafts, personal service. And the cities in the Athenian Empire are tribute-payers like the cities in the Persian Empire.

The Worm Party is defeated, but Athenians do not give up their wormlike aspirations. They try to embrace their entire hinterland, Hesiod’s Boeotia, within their Empire. This leads to war with Thebes as well as Sparta, and the Athenians under Pericles begin the metamorphoses, the almost daily change from a flexible octopus to an entrenched worm, to and fro. Under Pericles they send tentacles to Egypt, yet build walls. Defeated by Spartans and their allies, the Athenians give up their land empire, but they rush to reduce sea colonies Samos and Byzantium.

Inside the metropolis itself rise what Toynbee will describe as supremely beautiful architectural works paid with imperial tribute exacted by Athenian armed force and, I would add, by commercial wile.

Periclean freedom is the freedom of claws and tentacles to grab whatever can be reached. It is the function of the supremely beautiful art and architecture and drama to conceal the claws and tentacles, first of all from the Athenians themselves.

The Athenians are nevertheless aware of the claws and tentacles, since they operate them. Only later apologists for other claws will see nothing but supreme beauty in Periclean Athens.

Flushed with the power of successful imperialists, Archon Pericles and his fellow merchants go too far. The Athenians themselves call such overreach Hubris: blind arrogance. They try to grab for themselves the overseas outposts of Corinth.

But Corinth is not an Ionian polis disabled by Persian tribute collectors. Corinth is a next-door neighbor, second only to Athens in overseas possessions.

Now begins the tale of inhuman violence by land and by sea, of enslavements, massacres and plagues known as the Peloponesian War and preserved for etenity’s perusal by Thucydides.

Every Athenian ally, every confederate and every colony rebels against the form of freedom Periclean Athens had shared with them.

After more than a generation of fratricidal and genocidal war, Athens is reduced to just another polis, a polis overloaded with monuments of past glory.

And the reduced Athenians become pious. They order the execution of a man called Socrates because he announces publicly that the Athenians’ gods are dead. They’ve been dead for ages, but this is not the time to announce their demise. Without the cover of their gods, Athenians are only wine and olive merchants, and not first rate merchants at that. The Phoenecians of Carthage on Africa’s northern shore are shrewder, and among Greeks, Syracuse has outrun Athens in size and wealth, if not in beautiful works.

The great age of Athens is over. Athens has risen and fallen. All that’s left is Plato’s attempt to found the ideal Leviathan, the perfect polis.

Plato is a typical Athenian. He speaks of the Leviathan with the language of the Temple. He concentrates on the ornaments that conceal the armor. He refers to slaves, grapes and olives only when he explains that some are born to squeeze the juices, others to sell them. Actually, he thinks slaves will be happy if someone explains this to them.

Plato does not know, cannot know, that a contemporary of his in distant China is devising an almost identical theory using the language of Leviathan itself, unadorned.

This exact contemporary of Plato is Shang Yang, minister to the Duke of Ch’in who is their heir to a worm segment on China’s western edge, a segment that may have been carried there by Assyrian-influenced pastoral nomads or even by Scythians.

Shang Yang’s ideal polis has none of Plato’s frills. The philosopher-king of this Republic starts things moving by making the land of peasant communities a marketable commodity. Next, merchants impoverish the peasants and drive them into debt. Now the Duke expropriates the defaulting peasants, or else the peasants themselves sell their land to get out of debt. Either way, the ancient community based on kinship is broken up, the land passes to the Duke and his henchmen, and a large number of landless former peasants is available for labor gangs and armies. On this solid basis, Leviathan is constructed. It is bonded by coercion. Its elders are the secret police. Its argument is terror. Music, poetry and morality subvert its ends and are totally liquidated. The purpose of the machine is to enlarge itself by perpetual war and preparation for war.

* * *

Plato and Shang Yang both find monarchs to whom to offer their services, but only Shang Yang’s accepts the offering. The Syracusan tyrant to whom Plato offers his services has no use for the frills. Syracuse no longer uses the language of the Temple.

Plato’s admirer and pupil Aristotle puts the master’s wisdom into textbooks, a form suitable for the Academy, and when Philip the Macedonian invites this philosopher to tell his son Alexander all there is to know about the polis, Aristotle accepts the invitation.

Philip himself has been getting along without the philosopher’s wisdom. He started out by repairing a rusty segment abandoned in Thrace by Darius the Persian during the hunt for Scythians. Philip knows things that Aristotle doesn’t know. He knows — perhaps intuitively, perhaps he’s heard of Phoenicia’s fate — that a seaborne octopus is no match for a landborne worm, especially now, when every polis in the Aegean has been exhausted by Athens’s attempt to be both an octopus and a worm.

The last defender of the Athenian octopus is a man called Demosthenes. Others send embassies to Phillip. The Octopus Party founded by Pericles seems to have perished with the sea empire.

Demosthenes defends the octopus. But Demosthenes is an Athenian and an orator. He speaks Rhetoric, the ornamented language that conceals instead of revealing. If he wer Shang Yang he would speak directly of the wine and olives, he would remind his fellow Athenians that their wealth, such as it is, still comes from the continual circulation of the commodities in their ships, and that even a brief visit by Philip’s army would empty the ships; should Philip stay longer, the ships would stop moving and the Athenian merchants would become as poor as their slaves.

Demosthenes’ listeners would be deaf even to Shang Yang’s clear warnings, because the Athenians prefer to face several Philips rather than another Peloponesian war, and other Greeks cannot imagine the Macedonians being worse than the Athenian Confederation. They invite, or at least pretend to invite the Macedonian, silencing all who call for resistance.

And of course they’re wrong and Demosthenes, or rather Shang Yang, is right. Athens fares no better in the entrails of a Macedonian worm than the second Hiram’s Tyre fared in the Assyrian worm.

The story of the Greek polis and its free-moving tentacles is completely over. Leviathanized humanity has taken another great step up the ladder. Philip of Macedon will be a name known to every schoolchild.

The only polis left is distant Syracuse, situated on an island halfway between Italy and Carthage, and Syracuse will never be as pretty as Athens still is. The Athenians had ransacked their Temple and pulled its contents into the Agora, they had already profaned what was once sacred, but they had done all this with painters’ brushes, with Art. The Syracusans do it with butchers’ knives, and soon their Archimedes will sell the power of the visionary to a tyrant who will turn them against Life itself, against Mother Earth. This Archimedes will boast “Give me a place to stand and I’ll move the world,” and when the tyrant kills with the inventor’s levers and pulleys, Archimedes will shout “Eureka!” Syracuse is no longer a pretty polis. It is situated between the ornamented world of the Greek polis and an unadorned future world of labor gangs and killing machines whoe dried up visionaries will express their lethal moral precepts by translating “Eureka!” into “It works!”

As soon as Philip enters, Achaean Greeks leave their beautifully ornamented cities. Their ships start to rot and will soon join the ships of Tyre on the bottom of the sea. The former wine and olive merchants hire themselves out to any ruler with wealth enough to engage mercenaries. From now on there will be Greeks on both sides of every war in eastern Eurasia west of China.

Philip is apparently murdered by order of young Alexander’s mother. The brave Demosthenes proposes a decree to the memory of the tyrant’s murderer.

But the tyrant’s son is not about to put into practice precepts he learned from Aristotle. Neither his mother nor his father’s strongmen have this in mind. Even if Alexander looked behind his teacher and learned on his own about the grapes and olives, there’s nothing he can do to make the octopus run.

So twenty-year old Alexander lets himself become “the Great.” He lets a handful of strongmen call him General of the Greeks, and he sets out with his flatterers to become King of Kings and Lord of Lords, following paths broken in for him by Crus, two Sargons and Lugalzaggizi, at last burning out in Babylon at thirty-three.

Many of the remaining Greeks leave the polis to help raise the General of the Greeks to the throne vacated by the third and last Darius, and they encounter fellow Greeks hired to keep the Persian from falling off his throne.

These Greeks, at least some of them, become administrators of the realms carved out of Alexander’s unwieldy Leviathan by the strongmen who’d had precisely this in mind when they’d set out with Aristotle’s pupil. Each strongman becomes a King of Kings in one or several of the myriad languages of Alexander’s decomposed Leviathan, and soon Greek ornaments, the frills that will later be hailed as “forms of freedom,” adorn, cover and conceal the fangs and claws of every conceivable type of artificial worm.

* * *

After the greatest of all Greek victories, the Greeks who welcomed Philip are shackled by tribute collections, conscript hunts and night searches — what we will call taxes, law and order. The very homeland of the polis is invaded, occupied, garrisoned, and plundered, first by Philip’s former strongman Antipater, then by Alexander’s mother, later by a sequence of Antigonuses, Demetriuses and Philips, until a fifth Philip experiences the fate of the third Darius and falls into the jaws of the next Leviathan. Another His-story ends. Enthusiasts for the polis become librarians and antiquarians.

This sequence of atrocities will turn up in books of His-story as an edifying sequence of advances. But these events are not experienced as human advances by those who live them.

The playwright Menander expresses the depth of his enthusiasm for the march of Civilization by reflecting, “Wisest is he who has fewest expectation, and happiest who dies young.”

The philosopher Zeno no longer has even a shred of the patriotism of his predecessor Aristotle and Plato. In Zeno’s eyes, everything in the Leviathanic world is a necessary evil. The enthusiasm of the polis-builders gives way to the resignation of zeks.

Epicurus says it too: Hell is right here, it is the man-made world you’re in, and the gods are too remote to help you, so live unobtrusively and, with luck, you’ll have nothing to fear.

There are some, called Cynics, who go even further. They say there’s nothing at all human about Leviathan, and the only human alternative is to disregard Polity altogether and live by one’s conscience.

Not since Hesiod’s age have Greeks turned their backs on Civilization so completely.

The resistance, rejection and withdrawal are either skipped in accounts of His-story, or else they’re compartmentalized and explained away as “religion.” Yet these are the only parts of the story tat have any human meaning. All the rest is a tale of worms, a tale of huge, maneating, earthwrecking artificial worms.

The story of Alexander’s successors is a tale of cruelty and war between rival Leviathans trying to eat each other. They all end up being eaten by a worm manned by new pastoral nomads fed up with conscript hunts, tribute raids and merchant caravans. Nomadic Parni tribes through whose lands the caravans move to China and back set out to shorten Civilization’s career, but like so many predecessors they end up stretching a Parthian Leviathan over the eastern provinces of Alexander’s realm.

Next door to Parthia, Cheng puts Shang Yang’s precepts into practice and becomes Shih Huang-ti, first emperor of a unified Chinese Leviathan.

In the Mediterranean, everyone’s eyes are on Syracuse, the last surviving wealthy and powerful Greek polis. Syracuse is starting to tangle with the Carthaginian octopus. But we will look elsewhere, because we will know that both Syracuse and Carthage are going to be swallowed — Carthage will in fact be destroyed — by a worm no one can see yet, a worm called Rome.

* * *


We will be able to look at Rome closely. It will be an extremely well-documented Leviathan because it is enamored with its own His-story. We will be able to ask if Latin tribes really did step out of the “darkness” of the Eurasian steppes into the “light” of Mediterranean Civilization because the productive forces were ripe and waiting for them, if the “Barbarians” stormed the gates of Civilization because they were eager to take on the refinements and enjoy the amenities of the Higher Stage. In the case of Rome, we will not have to speculate; the story is set down and preserved.

Only the beginnings are shadowy. The Romans say they desended from twins suckled by a wolf. They share this myth with Turks, so it may be that one group borrowed its origin myth from the other, or that a section of a once-single people changed its language but retained its origin myth. In any case, a totem animal is important in Rome’s past, and a wolf at that.

We first see the Romans camped on the outskirts of Etruria.

The Etruscans, we may remember, are Phoenicia’s clients. They are the Greeks of Italy. The Etruscans are octopus-like. The Greeks call Etruscans Pirates, which means merchants whose competition the Greeks don’t want. The Etruscans have fleets of ships, like the Greeks and Phoenicians. They have cities with temples and shrines, like the Sumerians.

The Latins are to the Etruscans what the Mushki were to the Assyrians and the Scythians to the Greeks. The Latin language, in fact, is of the same family as that of the Mushki and Scytians, and it seems likely that these people were close kin in a not too distant past, and that women and Earth deitities were as important to them as they remain among other kindred people called Sarmatians.

Etruscan merchants, in order to placate and please their gods, exploit not only overseas victims, but also those in their hinterland, namely Samnians, Sabines and Latins.

The exploited tribes form a league to defend themselves from the exploiters.

The Etruscans try to pacify or exterminate the federated resisters. But like Phoenicians and Greeks, Etruscans are not overly strong on land. They are an octopus. Their strength is in the holds of their ships.

Thefederated tribes of Latins, Sabines and Samnians do not aspire to install themselves in the mercantile establishments of the Etruscans. On the contrary, they figght to eradicate Etruscan Civilization from the Italian Peninsula. They are animated by revulsion toward the “fleshpots,” not by admiration.

They war against Etruria for four generations.

The fighters’ goals and souls are maimed by the long war. Yet even then the former outsiders do not rush to become what the Etruscans were. They let the Etruscan commercial empire sink into the sea. They let the ships rot. Romans will still be shy of ships when they themselves set out to sea many generations later.

The Latins and their confederates are not lured by the “ripeness of the productive forces.” They are repelled by these forces and they federate to destroy them. But while federated for four generations something happens to them. They undergo what P. Clastres will call a “political revolution,” although the transformation is gradual. The generals become permanent, and so do the soldiers. The peasants who feed the army also become permanent, and their contributions come to be expected and finally enforced.

During four generations a community of equals is metamorphosed into a society of three classes, and the federated tribes become terribly similar to the destroyed Etruscans.

Roman narrators speak of two classes: plebs and nobles.

The plebs are under consraint. They are no longer free human beings. In some respect they haven’t changed much: they hold festivals to the goddess Ceres, Mother Earth, who nurses their seeds. This Ceres is the twin sister of Demeter and other Indo-Iranian goddesses.

The nobles have changed much. Their war god is an abstraction they call Optimus Maximus, and thiks god is surprisingly like a deified Etruscan merchant: on receiving a given quantity of offerings, he is expected to confer a given of number of advantages or military victories. The nobles have become suspiciously like Etruscans. They are not at all the men of the people their grandfathers were.

The magnitude of the challenge maimed the original community, and in this sense, despite their seeming victory, the Latins are defeated. They are maimed because most of them cannot cope with the new-fangled military machine and some of them can cope with their most basic requirements only be coercing and expropriating others.

At this point the Romans themselves look like Etruscans to some of their own confederates and to other outsiders, but not to themselves. The Romans do not realize that Samnites and Celts are turning against the very things Romans turned against earlier. Perhaps plebian soldiers do realize this, but they are dpendent on the grains the noblemen expropriate from peasnats, and the Roman military nobility is renowned for an unusual lack of imagination. The Romans turn their forces against the egalitarian Celts as if the Celts were Etruscans, and then they lead their armies against their former allies, destroying every Samnian village.

The Roman nobles, like the earlier Spartans, have become armors frozen to their spears, but unlike the Spartans, the Romans are going to try to spread their armors over the world’s entire surface. They begin by annexing and repressing their former Sabine allies.

Roman plebs seced and refuse to give further support to the arrogant nobles. The haughty nobles face this challenge by resroting to a Periclean device: they raise the plebian soldiers to the status of lesser nobles with plebs of their own. Now the interests of the former plebs coincide with those of the highest nobles. This is a device we will call cooptation or recuperation.

The Romans then set out to swallow every other tribe, federation and city on the Italian Peninsula. The Romans are more singlemindedly militaristic than the Assyrians ever were. Rome not only has a powerful army; Rome is a powerful army, and it is nothing else.

* * *

Romans call their city a Res Publica, a Public Thing. They know it is a thing, a made thing, an artifice, long before Hobbes will announce his discovery. Roman soldiers die in battles, but the Public Thing marches from victory to victory; it does not die; it cannot die; it is a Leviathan. The Romans have become Civilized.

But oddly, their revulsion, their hatred toward Civilization, continues to animate them even now.

They help Syracusans expel Carthaginians from Sicily, for in the Carthaginians they recongnize the Phoenician traits they had hated in the Etruscans. The Romans defend Syrancuse by absorbing it, and they turn all of Sicily into a Roman province.

Then the Romans turn against the Greek cities on the Italian peninsula. They destroy these cities with the ferocity they’ve shown toward Civilized Etruscans and Carthaginians. Unlike the Assyrians and Persians, the Romans are not satisfied to ruin cities by exacting tribute. The Romans raze the Greek cities to the ground, confizcate the land, enslave the inhabitants, recruit the Greek peasants into their army.

Themselves encased in a Leviathan shaped like a worm, the Romans still can’t stand a Leviathan shaped like an octopus, and they never will. They continue warring against the ogre their ancestors considered Civilization, the Etruscan city-state. In this sense the entire Rise of Rome is an unceasing war against Civilization.

The Greek parts of Italy are literally extirpated by the Roman army. The land itself is carved up into immense estates which are given to lesser nobles and plebs. The former Greek lands are named Latifundia and are worked by gangs of chained slaves.

This strange combination of a grotesque Leviathan with a fierce hatred of Leviathanic accomplishments is not unique to Rome, even among documented cases.

Ch’in Shih Huang-ti’s Leviathan expands over China during the generation when Rome expands over Italy, and with the Assyrian methods recommended by Shang Yang: war, treachery, assassination, slaughter, deportation. The Ch’in militarists are intent on rooting out all the traditions and accomplishments of every region they invate, reducing all populations to labor gangs, burning all books except Shang Yang’s. After half a generation, insurgents in every part of China rise up against the monstrosity and successfully overthrow it. Shang Yang had not heard of Pericles; his writings did not include the precept that potential insurgents can be turned into impassioned collaborators when they are given Latifundia.

During this same generation, Great Alexander’s armored heirs, Antiochuses and Seleucuse, march their armies from Egypt to the borders of China trying to reduce populations to a similar misery, but unlike their Chinese and Roman counterparts, these heirs of a Greek Leviathan try to preserve some of Civilization’s ornaments and amenities.

By enslaving the Greeks of Italy, the Romans themselves become aware that the war machine can be beautified, ornamented. The Romans learn Art from their Greek slaves, but they learn reluctantly. They are almost Modern in their reluctance; they are almost ready to say that a killing machine is beatiful if it works. They are not quite that modern, and they let Greek craftsmen conceal the brutal militarism with Architecture, Sculpture and Painting. They learn Aesthetics, that strange ability to see in blood gushing from a wound only the beauty of the shape and color.

Having turned all of Italy into an armed camp called Rome, they hit out in every direction, as if the whole world consisted of Etrurias disturbing their harmony, or as if a perpetual motion machine had been set off by the Etruscans and none could thereafter stop it.

They turn up in Greece itself, at first as protectors of the “Free and Autonomous Greeks” from the fangs of the grasping strongman Antiochus, then from the fangs of the last Philip, and finally from the Greeks themselves, who knew before the Romans ever came that other names for protected freedom are subordination, submission and slavery. Rome is a thirsty army, and soon the only resectably independent man in any former Greek polis is the man who sucks the polis dry to make drinks for the Romans. The Greek city-state is already ancient history.

The Romans are still reacting against Civilization in its Etruscan form when they turn their immense war engine against North African Carthage. The hate-filled speeches (Cato’s are best known) are irrational and incomprehensible in view of the actual threat of Carthage to Rome. On numerous occasions the Cartaginians try to buy their way out, the same way the second Hiram bought his city’s way out of Assyria. The Cartaginians’ last resort is to try to march on Rome itself, but it is foreknown by both sides that a seaborne octopus cannot defeat a landed worm now any more easily than ever before.

The final destruction of Carthage has no precedent in the SUmerian, Akkadian or even Assyrian past. The last independent Phoenician city is isolated, besieged, attacked, totally destroyed and then burned. Its inhabitants are scattered to the world’s four corners as slaves. Still not satisfied, the Romans flatten what buildings and walls remain standing, plow the ground and sow it with salt, so that neither a house nor a crop will ever rise where Carthage once stood, so that the very memory of the city’s existence will be erased.

The rest of the story is equally revolting. North Africa, Iberia, Gaul, Macedonia, Thrace, Anatolia, the Levant, all become Rome. The inhabitants are either killed or enslaved or transformed into killing machines. Small Leviathans as well as free communities are shattered. Ancient traditions are broken and forgotten. Human beings are killed or maimed.

Yet how many pages will be devoted to the greatness of Rome! And how many pages to the technological ingenuity of Rome’s war engines! Why not praise death itself? Death is an even greater killer than Rome. Is it the ornamented Greek palaces and monuments in the capital that make the brutality so reputable? If so, then to win such praie, Death need only hire Greek artists.

* * *

Rome’s greatness will be posthumous. Among those in Rome’s entrails, only the few in the worm’s head love it; all others hate it, and many try daily to destroy it.

Those in the head are few; they are the nobility, including generals and politicians, the Latifundia owners, and those the Romans call Equites.

These Equites are confidence men on horseback. They are the hustlers and contractors who get things done. They command slave gangs in olive groves and vineyards. They do the importing, the exporting and the arranging. They are tax farmers and they are pirates. They place themselves at every interstice and bottleneck of the unwieldy empire. In a future Rome across the great water, such confidence men will be called Businessmen.

All these people love Rome.

The growing number of dehumanized hangers-on for whom the circuses and games are performed also love Rome. But these lovers no longer think of the brutality or the pluder as offerings to the gods. They love the plunder and brutality as such. They are becoming what we will call Sadists.

The beloved of Sadists are Masochists, but the majority of people have not yet sunk to that level. The vast majority of the Res Publica’s population consists of zeks, internal and external zeks: slaves and provincials. In the capital city alone there are a quarter of a million slaves. The internal zeks rebel continually despite the intimidating omnipresence of the world’s strongest garrisons. Some slave revolts become insurrections embracing whole regions, and in three known cases, during a period of two generations, insurgent slaves hold their own against Roman armies for as long as three years.

The provincials resist as fiercely as the slaves. Hardly a year passes without expeditions to massacre and repress rebels.

And the enormous legions themselves give rise to ever greater rebellions. The armies have to be fed. Tax farmers squeeze provincials who have already been plundered by the passing legions. And then retired soldiers return to the provinces as propiretors of the provincials’ lands, rewarded for the years of loyal service. The rebellions and uprisings against this regime last years, even decades, and are too numerous to list.

The ongoing repression of so many rebels on all fronts is what gives rise to the hardened organizers of mass murders who officiate over the graduation of the Res Publica to a yet higher stage. Caesar is the killer who reduces the west, Pompey the killer who reduces the east, Crassus the killer who lines the roads of Italy itself with six thousand crucified slaves.

Three mass murderers cannot share a single crown, and Caesar, to be translated as Tsar and Kaiser, becomes the face of what Hobbes will call the Artificial Man.

The world-embracing Res Publica becomes a single man’s plaything, an Empire.

After swallowing Egypt and suppressing the noblemen who preferred the former Public Thing, another mass murderer, Octavian, becomes the Sun, Pontifex Maximus, earthly incarnation of the abstraction called Optimus Maximus, the Latin version of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

* * *

Rome stretches from Gibraltar to the Armenian highlands and Parthia from Armenia to India/ The world has fallen into the entrails of Leviathan, where it is dark, where life is nasty, brutish and short, where human beigns are driven by fear of early, violent death, where a person can neither stand nor lie nor sit. Hobbes and his contemporaries will project Leviathan’s traits to the world outside Leviathan in order to justify the enclosure and reduction of all that is still outside.

To the zeks of Rome and Parthia, the day when Octavian Augustus becomes the Sun is even darker than the day when Darius became Ahura Mazda. No living veing can draw warmth from such a sun.

Already in the days of the Chaldeans’ neo-Babylonian Empire and even earlier, there was a movement abroad to cleanse the world with fire, to burn down the light-obstructing Leviathan.

Now, in the days of Potifex Maximus Octavian, there is an even greater movement, both abroad and at home. What Turner calls “the crisis cult” is only one among many parts of this movement. Unfortunately for humanity and for nature, the crisis cult that will eventually father the Western Spirit takes root in a dark corner where light is expected to shine forth from Optimus Maximus, from the lightless abstraction of Leviathan itself.

The “crisis cult” does not spring out of the air but out of the attempts of human beings to disencumber themselves of the integument that dehydrates them. And it is not a “cult.” It is a living way that becomes da cult only when it is re-encased in the artifice’s integument.

There are some notable continuities from the time of Chaldeans to the time of the Imperial Romans.

In China the Tao Te Ching, the Way that recognizes the LEviathan as an obstacle and nothing but an obstacle to wellbeing, inspires people to drop out of all the highly organized activites offered by the State. The Chinese drop-outs may have been influenced by post-Periclean Greeks, since some of their bas-reliefs are said to be similar to those done by Greeks in neighboring Bactria, and some of their bronzes are said to be identical to those of Scythians. But in China there is no movement of mass withdrawal — not quite yet.

West of China, there seems to be some continuity between the State-burners of earlier and later days. Apparently Darius’s waving of the candle did not altogether exnguish the light.

There is a fascinating clue in The Holy Scripture themselves. It seems to have gotten there because of someone’s oversight. Such oversights are not uncommon in The Book. We’ve already seen that the words of a certain Isaiah who hailed Persian Cyrus as the Messiah got into a chapter named after a differenet Isaiah who lived several generations before Cyrus. The scribes had a lot of material, and they had to put edifying visions and formulations into one or another of the chapters. When they got tired, they apparently failed to make sure the material came from attested and certified Mosaic sources. One such fragment got into the chapter on Daniel.

The main Daniel is said to have been an Israelite who live in exile among the Chaldeans of Babylon. Interspersed with this Daniel is a shadowy character who lives much later, probably in the days of Rome and Parthia, who speaks the language not of Moses but of Zarathustra, and who looks for the coming, not of Yahweh, but of Ahura Mazda. This man speaks of a Zarathustrian sequence of ages, which are empires, and he visualizes the empires as Leviathans.

And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings; I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked off... And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had tree ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and was said thus unto it: “Arise, devour much flesh.” After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the sides of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly: and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the foots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things...

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth...

The fourth beast... shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces...

But the judgment shall sit, and his dominion shall be taken away to be consumed and to be destroyed unto the end

In the days of Pontifex Maximus Octavian, the identity of the four beasts becomes clear. The first is the Chaldean, the second the Persian, the third the Hellenistic Greek, and the fourth may be the Parthian but is most likely the Roman. And after the fourth there are no more. The sequence ends. The fourth breaks the world into pieces and is itself broken. After the fourth beast there is Light, the light of Ahura Mazda.

The agency that overturns the fourth beast is supernatural. But this does not exclude human participation. The most spirited revolutionaries are those who think the gods are fighting alongside them.

Dreams are the stuff the world is made of, and such dreams are self-fullfilling prophesies. In the midst of the hell that Rome has made of Earth, it will not be long before someone comes and announces, “I come to cast fire upon the eart.” This one means the earth that is Rome, the fourth beast, the last. He comes to announce the end of His-story.

Rome does burn. But stirring its ashes, lo and behold another lurking beast, a fifth, with lion body and head of a man, a beast that shared the firebringer’s cradle, a Church.

* * *


The Persian King covered himself with the mantle of Light, of Ahura Mazda. The Christian Church will cover itself with the mantle of reborn Osiris. Both have to lie continually to deny that they’ve put the mantles over machinery and to keep the mantles from slipping off.

The fire that spews out of Leviathan’s jaws is a stolen fire. It is stolen from those who come to burn the monster. Neither lives nor fire are freely given to the monster; both fall into it as a trap, and once inside they try to find a way out, to burn their way out.

The reign of Octavian Augustus the first Emperor of Rome is not a time of first things but of last things, it is not dawn but dusk. It is the time when the fourth beast, the beast with great iron teeth and ten horns, has already devoured the whole earth, has already tread it down, has already broken it in pieces.

O ye hypocrites, ye discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times?

We will be trained. We will see the colossal architectural monuments rising up in the metropolis and will think they are beautiful, they are the signs of the times. We will hear the demented outcries of the idol-worshippers abandoning themselves to uncontrolled orgies and will think they are an abomination.

But there’s sorcery in the air, for suddenly the orgies grow beautiful and the architectural monuments turn into abominations.

Anatolians once abandoned themselves to Cybele, Earth, mother of all Life. Greeks of Anatolia and Acheae once took part in orgies around Earth’s daughter Demeter, the Grain that sprouts yearly from Cybele’s womb, and around Persephone, Earth’s granddaughter who caught and cradled the seeds in the nether world. The dance with Cybele and her brood was all that was real to them, all that had meaning. When the Greeks hurled themselves into war and commerce they tried to forget Cybele, but they still remembered her son the spear thrower and her daughter the huntress with the arrows, and they built shrines to Cybele’s grandchildren, and they ornamented the shrines.

Roman legions carried off Greek builders and ornamentors, and now shrines rise up in Rome — but look closely: the ornamented shrines rising in Rome are not shrines to Cybele or to any of her grandchildren. Cybele’s daughter Ceres-Demeter is remembered in Rome only by slaves, and not well remembered even by them. The copies rising up in Rome, copies on a colossal, intimidating scale, are absolutely empty. They are not shrines. They are nothing but monuments to the victories of Rome’s legions, colossal monuments to colossal massacres. Rome’s architecture is a celebration of human sacrifice. It is an abomination.

Roman celebrants of Death are raising their abominations in every provincial capital from the Nile to the Ebro. But the plazas in front of the rising monuments are becoming desolate. Only dead souls stay in the vicinity of the abominations and only bribes and circuses keep even the dead souls from abandoning the plazas. Living people are withdrawing. They sense in their guts that “This generation shall not pass.”

On the Nile, people rush into their Temples to protect their gods from Roman architecture. It is a wonder there are still people in Egypt with such strength in them. They were bent by the weight of Persian tribute, emaciated by the burden of Greek Ptolemy’s plunder, utterly destroyed when Roman generals grabbed all that was left and sent it to Rome. They have abandoned fields that were fertilized by the Nile since before the first Pharaoh, and rather than forcing the Nile to feed Rome, they are letting the fields revert to sand. Once the world’s envy for their wealth of grain, they are beggars now; they barely eat.

Yet here they come, carrying dead Isis and her twin Osiris and the twin’s double Serapis out of the Temples. It is the first time those stifled gods have been out in fresh air since the first wall was built around them.

And then the emaciated beggars perform a feat that seems superhuman for people in their condition. They begin to dance around the dead gods, they go on dancing, and the dance itself seems to give them strength, for they stop feeling the exhaustion and the misery, they feel weightless and free. And the eyes of the calf-like Isis seem to come alive, and her nostrils seem to breathe — surely this is a delusion; the goddess has been dead for a hundred and twenty generations.

Delusion or not, others who are less emaciated also see the gleam and feel the breath. Roman soldiers weighed down by their armors rush into the Temples that have not yet been turned into architecture, and they too rush out carrying Isis, Osiris and Serapis into the fresh air.

The soldiers carry the Egyptian deities to every region where Roman legions march, to every region from which soldiers are recruited; North Africa, Gaul, Italy itself, Greece, Anatolia, the Levant.

And everywhere people recognize in Isis their own abandoned past, their golden age. And they too withdraw from the architectural monuments, they too abandon the plazas, they too join the circles of dancers and feel strength returning to their limbs and meaning to their minds. They discover beauty far from the architectural wonders which are places of desolation.

Can ye discern the signs of the times?

Isis is neither an idol nor a cult, and she is not a stranger to any of the people who welcome her. Wherever she is carried, the people recognize her as Earth, abandoned and betrayed Earth, the mother and the daughter, the soil and the grain. The recognition brings people alive, and their life brings her alive.

It Italy Isis is recognized as Earth’s daughter Ceres — we will still call her Cereal, but we will be trained to think farmers or agricultural zeks make the grain; some of us will think machines make it.

In Greece and Anatolia, Isis is recognized as Cybele’s daughter Demeter, and her twin brother Osiris or Serapis is obviously and alter-ego of Demeter’s daughter Persephone, the one who went underground, the one Demeter tries to bring back up.

And of course Isis is familiar to everyone on the Levant, even in Judaea. She’s the one the fleeing Israelites danced around as soon as they reached the desert — until Moses chained them to his Law.

The reborn Osiris is also familiar on the Levant: he’s the Babylonian Tammuz, the Anatolian Attis, the Greek Adonis. He rises every spring and descends every fall. He’s all vegetation.

Just as new vegetation rises every spring, the dancers will rise renewed after the long night. They know this because they feel it in their limbs as they dance. A vanished strength is in their emaciated limbs. It is a strength which will vanquish all of Rome’s legions.

Soldiers themselves are removing their armor. Those who don’t find Osiris in Egypt find Mithras on the borders of Parthia, and they carry Mithra to every part of the realm. This Mithra was a minor light at the time of Zarathustra, but ever since Darius seized and extinguished the light of Ahura Mazda, people have been seeking the one who still carries the light. The Roman soldiers call him Mithras, the reborn, the carrier of Ahura Mazda’s light. They take him as far as the British Isles. In many places Mithra merges with Osiris. Those who celebrate with Mithra acquire the fire with which to bring the new dawn.

Soldiers overthow their commanders; at times they desert in mass. Peasants leave their lands untilled in order to keep food from Roman tax gatherers. Urban people move to the country so as to avoid all participation in official activities. The well-known Jewish dropouts called Essenes stay away from Roman as well as Judaean burdens and obligations.

The forms vary. The withdrawal is vast and it keeps on growing. We would call it a generalized resistance with revolutionary overtones.

Unlike the first Persians, these resistors are not storming the Leviathan from outside. They are insiders; many but not all are zeks. Unlike the Israelites in Egypt, these resistors are not heading to a place outside, for they think there is no outside; the fourth beast has devoured the whole earth. Unlike Moses, these resistors are removing their armor before the great event, so as not to find themselves in the desert with nothing inside them but another Leviathan. Rome reveals all of Leviathan’s qualities, and none are preparing to walk into a fifth beast’s jaws. This is communicate in many ways; one way is: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Whatever else “the kingdom of heaven” may mean, it does not mean Babylon, Persia, Rome, nor any other Leviathan. And it does not mean Death — not yet. An ode quoted by Turner says,

And I became like the land which blossoms and rejoices in its fruits.

People are joyous, not because their end is at hand, but because its end is at hand. They’re joyous because the new day will bring something as different from Leviathan as day is from night. “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” for the living, and as a living paradise, an Eden, a golden age, a community of free human beings in harmony with Isis and Osiris and all of Cybele’s children: plants as well as wolves, birds and fish as well as insects. Such a “kingdom” is a new dawn; it is the end of His-story, the end of Leviathanic time.

Furthermore, people are not waiting for the dawn. They are dancing already. They are recovering the lost community before the last day. They’ve stopped recognizing distinctions between masters and slaves; “neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common” as the later Book will say. They’ve started sharing while in the Leviathan’s entrails. Sharing is the heart of the lost community. It is antithetical to Leviathan’s very existence, as Shang Yang knew so well. By having all things in common, the resistors are melting the beast from within its entrails.

* * *

The decline of the Roman Empire began when Rome was still a Res Publica. What happens when Octavian becomes first emperor is that the decline picks up momentum. From now on Rome is in a continual state of rapid decomposition, and so is Leviathan itself.

Parthia is as riddled as Rome with resistance, withdrawal and outright rebellion.

And the third Leviathan, the one whose existence is barely suspected in Rome, is shaken by the Rebellion of the Red Turbans, which comes close to removing the segments from which another Chinese Dragon can reconstitute itself. The Chinese rebellion is probably not related to the movement at the western extremity of Eurasia, but this is not certain. People called Sarmatians or Alans are known to Chinese and also to Roman border guards. Farmers called Sakae in Turkestan will be found (by archeologists) to have Greek objects as well as Buddhas crafted in distinctly Greco-Roman styles and it well be determined that Sakae villages lie on the silk route between Rome and China. And the influence is not necessarily from west to east. The Way, Tao, could easily travel from China to the Mithra movement in Parthia, and thence to Rome with Mithras.

The Levantine province called Judaea is only one of the Roman provinces in which the various forms of withdrawal are combined, fused and reformulated. But this is the province which will give rise to world-embracing Christianity and Islam. In retrospect, it is a misfortune for nature and humanity that so much liberatory experience should pass through the gate of such a Leviathanized region. The ways in which the resistance will be deflected, neutralized and inverted are already in place in Judaea, and in fact precede the anti-Roman resistance.

Already in the days of the early Persians, soon after Isaiah announced that Cyrus had come “to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,” the scribe Ezra and his followers showed to what use they would put their freedom. They went from Babylon to the Levant as conquerors, imposed a Book written in Babylon on Jews who had remained in the Levant, and empowered by their Book and by Persian Artaxerxes, made themselves Judges. And as Judges they reversed the Persian policy of tolerance and returned to their own earlier tradition, turning against Phoenicians, Ammonites, Moabites, Edomites and Samaritans, preaching intolerance and hatred, prohibiting intermarriage with people less pure than themselves. They took prisoners into the dungeon and closed the seeing eyes. They established a Leviathan that had more in common with Assyria than with Persia because they carried within them the Sumero-Akkadian armor Moses had not been able to shed, because the god in their Temple was not an inverted Ahura Mazda but an abstracted Lugalzaggizi.

When Alexander’s heirs swept the Persians from the Levant, Judaea was beset by hatred, intolerance and an ongoing civil war, but the lot of Judaeans grows yet worse when Pompey’s Roman legion invades the Levant. The people defend themselves and they are devoured, sacrificed to the architectural monument Pompey raises in the capital. Thousands are sold by Pompey’s businessmen into slavery.

By the time Emperor Augustus installs Herod as King of Judaea, the population in this province is as hungry for good news as the population of any other.

* * *

The resistance in Judaea will eventually be symbolized in an individual called Jesse or Joshua, a carpenter’s son. The virtue of centering on an individual is that the subject is clear: the subject is a mortal, a living being, a person. It is difficult to say much about a collectivity without giving it Leviathanic traits, because a collectivity shares with a Leviathan some traits which an individual lacks. But the pitfalls of centering on an individual are the very ones that led earlier Israelites from the entrails of one beast into the jaws of another.

Actually, many of the pifalls are avoided by the Judaean resistance against the Fourth Kingdom because the Judaean resistance has more in common with the resistance elsewhere in the Roman Empire than it has with the heritage of Moses.

The “Follow me” theme is remarkably underplayed in a context where people cherish the memory of ancestors led out of captivity. This Jesse does not promise to lead them to any new Canaan, and instead of saying “Follow me,” he says, “The kingdom of god is within you.” This is something very different from “Follow me.” This suggests that something is being repressed internally as well as externally, that liberation can only begin with self-liberation, that the repressive armor must be cast off or cast out — and this removal of the armor is something an individual can only do himself.

The Leviathanic “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” motif is also remarkably underplayed, at least by the initial resistance. The son of Mary does not say the Abstraction speaks through him. He invariably says, “I say unto you.” In other words, he speaks for himself, as a single human being, which is quite remarkable in a context where previous orators almost invariably wore the mantle of Yaweh, Leviathan’s very “soul.” And he presents himself, not as agent, angel or messenger of the abstract Lugalzaggizi, but as a son of god or of woman or of man, namely as a living human being who eats, shits and dies like wolves, eagles, snakes and human beings. He makes it quite clear that he considers the King of Kings’ priests as much a part of this world as the moneylenders; both are part of the world he has come to cast fire upon.

The fire does not come from the tradition of the burning bush but from the tradition of Zarathustra: it is a cleansing fire. The Zarathustrian Daniel had referred to “fiery flames,” “wheels of fire” and “a fiery stream” as attributes of the one or the many who would consume the fourth and last beast. In Jesse’s time this fire is being carried by Mithra because Ahura Mazda was swallowed by the Persian Leviathan.

We will not know how familiar the Judaean resistors were with Isis, Osiris and Serapis, but the stories or gospels composed by Jesse’s friends give mounds of powerful clues.

First of all, Mary, the Mother, plays a very prominent role in a corner of the world where women had been systematically downgraded for tens of generations. She is not explicitly called Mother Earth, but her crucified son goes under the ground and then rises up, like vegetation, like Demeter’s daughter Persephone, like Isis’ twin brother Osiris. This news is not at the margins of the myth but at its core.

And the news goes deeper. The crucified Jesse is like Serapis the bull, Osiris’s double. By his death, he redeems the living. New shoots are fertilized by fallen plants. Death is overcome, its finality is taken away, it is reduced to the stage that proceeds renewal. Out of the dead fragments sprout the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, and every living thing that moveth upon the earth. The bull or the lamb gives himself for the sake of the living, for Mother Earth’s renewal.

This powerful affirmation of Nature and Life is at the opposite pole from “Have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth.” Moses called for the sacrifice of the living to Leviathan, the Artificial Man. The resistors are calling for war against life-hating Leviathan. And they don’t want to wait: “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Their torches are already lit. “This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”

This generation does not pass. This generation sees the world set on fire and watches the world burn. Dominion over the fish and over all the living gives way to celebrations of Nature’s renewal, rites enacting the death and rebirth of vegetation, feasts of love (Agape), festivals of gratitude to the Earth Mother Cybele-Demeter-Isis-Mary.

* * *

Unlike the captives who withdrew from Egypt by removing themselves physically, the Roman captives withdraw by removing themselves from the artificial beast’s shell while still inside. The effect is quite different. The Egyptian worm retained its coherence. The Roman one loses it. The innards become detached from the shell and acquire a life of their own. The disconnected shell, with all its armor, architecture and art, is from now on nothing but a loose funnel-shaped carcass spread over the world, keeping out sunlight and fresh air.

Already during the reign of the first Emperor, the beast’s shell starts to fear its own entrails: nine thousand Praetorian Guards protect the Emperor from his Empire; and already the second Emperor, Tiberius, becomes a tool of his bodyguards.

The third Emperor, Caligula, already draws all the conclusions that follow from this: the head, totally disconnected from its innards and even from its limbs, bonded neither to nature nor to people nor even to the rest of its machine, is free to do whatever it wills, however unnatural inhuman or irrational. Only the murder of Caligula by his bodyguards saves the shell from shattering to pieces.

Nero, the fifth, stretches the artificial freedom of the Prince even further. We’re told he was a decent, even a gifted person before his accession. Be that as it may, Nero quickly sees what Caligula had seen earlier: the loosened head of Leviathan has access to an artificial freedom not available to any living beings. All others are free within the bounds set by nature; they are free when they are constrained by no other bounds. The Roman Emperor is constrained by no bounds whatever, not even the bounds of his own character, for as Emperor he is as characterless as Optimus Maximus. He can be totally arbitrary; he can do anything as well as the opposite, and if he keeps his eye on his bodyguards, no one and nothing can stop him. He can murder his own mother and deify his girl friend Sabina Poppaea. He can purge, torture and kill by a mere turn of the wrist. He can experience himself as Pallas Athena and Zeus by giving Greeks their freedom one moment and taking it away the next. He can even experience the joy of the resistors by setting fire to Rome and watching it burn. He can fly as freely as the visionary of the ancient community, but unlike the visionary, who returned to his body and shared his experience, Nero keeps on hovering over nature and humanity and has nothing to share but their doom.

Some of the oddest words written are words of praise for the disconnected but lethal shell called the Roman Empire. Gibbon is going to focus on the period between the twelfth Emperor and the seventeenth, and he will call this mankind’s “most happy and prosperous period.” Why? Because this is the only period when Rome’s emperors pretend not to know what Caligula and Nero knew, pretend that the Prince of Rome is a normal human being just like any other, pretend that all’s well in Rome. Rostovtzeff will say that never, until the rise of modern America and England, “has a larger number of people enjoyed so much comfort...and never [not even in America and England] did men live in such a surrounding of beautiful buildings and monuments.” Rostovtzeff’s statement reveals exactly what he will be looking at.

This highly praised period is precisely the period when the machine’s decomposition goes into high gear. The internal resistors trying to topple the enormous machine start to be aided by outsiders. Eventually the concerted action of resisting insiders and outsiders will free Earth from Rome.

When Gibbon’s happy period begins, Nerva accedes to the Roman throne and Pan Ch’ao at the world’s opposite end conquers the Tarim Basin, pushing waves of pastoral nomads westward. A wave of Scythians and Sarmatian Alans turns up in Dacia (on the Danube) and on the borders of Anatolia; some of the Sarmatians are adopted by Dacians and war alongside them against Rome. Nerva’s successor Trajan, Emperor by grace of his army, can neither expel nor absorb the Danubians, cannot reduce them to a Roman province. The Roman army exterminates the entire populations of Dacians and repopulates the area with Romans, as was done at Carthage. But the Carthaginians were the last of the Phoenicians, whereas the Dacians are the visible tip of the rising iceberg.

Rome has proclaimed genocidal war against Eurasia’s remaining population; it can no longer reduce yet more human beings to provincials. The next militarist, Hadrian, tries to wall the attackers out, but the wall imprisons the Roman Empire. From this point on, the hideous shell begins to crack, and no glue can repair it.

Hadrian’s last victory is against resisting Judaeans, and it is as “happy” for Rome as the victory over Dacia: the Romans slaughter the rebels, destroy Jerusalem, ban Jews from the Levant, and thereby launch Jews on a diaspora and send Judaean resistors inspired by Jess proselytizing all over the realm.

* * *


The Roman Empire continues to decompose rapidly-but not rapidly enough for the resisters. Every year brings new surprises; every season more springs pop, more wheels get jammed. But the artificial worm lingers on, and it keeps on lingering far too long for any resistance movement to remain what it was.

It must be remembered that machines have the perverse ability to do the same thing the same way for as long as they operate. The ability is built into machines. But people do not have this ability. They change, they die, they are replaced by others who perceive and behave differently.

The early resisters have some clear and powerful conceptions; the generations that follow them eventually invert every one of these conceptions and turn the initial commitment on its head.

In retrospect we can see that the paths of betrayal are already paved before anyone has recourse to them, but this tells why the betrayal follows these paths, not why the betrayal takes place.

I think the explanation is to be sought in the Leviathan first, and only secondly in the baggage inherited by the initial resisters.

The Leviathan places human beings in a situation they do not meet anywhere else in the Biosphere except in rare places like Sumer. In Sumer, the weather dried the fields up or else washed them away, not once or twice in a lifetime, but over and over again. Nowhere else, not in lands that border on ice nor in lands that border on sand, does Nature force human beings to become mirror images of their disasters. The Leviathan places every person it can reach in such a situation. Its tribute collectors, recruiters, procurers, rapists and cheaters beat on people with the regularity of a clock, forcing them into constant defensive responses which gradually also take on the regularity of a clock.

The rebels who take part in the feasts of Agape, in the festivals of rebirth and rejuvenation, suddenly or gradually withdraw from tasks expected of them by the guardians of Roman order.

The State responds to this withdrawal by maligning, persecuting and incarcerating resisters, even forcing some of them into arenas with unfed lions for the amusement of the circus crowds.

The resisters try to protect themselves by forging links outside the Agape feasts, even by seeking protectors among the guards. This is understandable in view of the persecution, but we can already see, with hindsight, that such links, which do not grow out of love and are not based on sharing, will in time form a noose which will strangle the initial commitment. The resisters are forming links which will bind them into what militants of our day will call The Organization.

Initially the rebellious visionaries were at one with every life-affirming strain, and they apparently borrowed freely from all of them. But as soon as they define themselves as Christains, they have to make it clear, to their patrons and to themselves, just how they differ from the followers of Moses, from enthusiasts of Mithra, from celebrants of Isis, Osiris and Serapis. And as soon as they make this clear, they have ton convince themselves that their own group has the most valid or the truest conception; if another group had it they would not have very good reasons for remaining Christians.

Once they turn away from other resisters, it does not take the Christians long to turn against them. The Christians are no longer at one with every life-affirming group. First they turn against the way others affirm life, gradually they turn against life.

At this point they find ready-made formulas — the paths paved for them by forerunners. “There shall be no other gods before me.” This puts an end to Isis, Osiris and Serapis. The Christians add insult to injury by calling former friends Idolaters. This is shouted in extremely bad faith. The Christians know perfectly well that Isis and her brother are powerful symbols of primordial events, symbols which the Christians have attached to their own Jesse, whom they now call Jesus. They are shouting Idolatry without looking into their own baggage, without seeing that the abstraction they’ve inherited from the old Book, the King of Kings, the abstraction of Lugalzaggizi, symbolizes nothing primordial or even natural. They are shouting Idolatry without remembering that they are the ones lugging around an Idol to every part of the world.

The Organization seems to have its own logic. Some members are better than others at explaining away the ido in their closet, and these quickly become the Sheperds; the title of those who do not explain things so well is obvious. Soon there’s talk of shepherds who mislead their flocks, of false prophets. But who can tell which prophet is false? Only the most conscious of the Shepherds; these are now called Presbyters and Deacons. But even Deacons err, and their errors can only be spotted by a Deacon of Deacons, a Bishop.

Each group of participants in an Agape feast becomes a Church. The past engagements of many of these Christians predispose them to accept some kind of hierarchic arrangement. They had though of Osiris as a Leader with Apostles. Many of them had thought of themselves as followers of the leader Moses.

Even so, to many of them the Churches are starting to look like provinces of the Roman Empire; all that missing is the Emperor. And an armored Roman who manages to rise to the post of Bishop now announces that the groupings are real churches only if their bishops are “appointed by Peter and Paul;: he means by a self-appointed spokesman for Peter and Paul, like himself.

* * *

The resisters’ descendants have backed away from the monster’s mirror image into its jaws. Many of them know it, and the shepherds have to prevaricated quickly and sharply in order not to lose their flocks. They borrow Darius’s trick of wearing Ahura Mazda as an outer garment. The Hierarchs present themselves as the door to salvation. But everyone can see that the hierarchs lead nowhere, that they maintain themselves in power over congregations just like Roman officials.

So the Church officials borrow another trick from the Persians. They locate Salvation in the realm of the dead. And who can be sure the Bishop is not the door to such a salvation?

The church will go far along the same road, but already there are resisters who dissociate themselves from Christians for the same reasons earlier resisters withdrew from Imperial Rome.

Visionaries called Gnostics reject all attempts to organize counter-monsters in order to oppose the monster that shackles the world. They say the Archons, especially the Archon of Archons in the old testament, do not only enslave the body but also hold captive the spirit of human beings, encase the spirit in armor, put people to sleep. The Gnostics aim to remove the armor, to wake from sleep, and they insist that such awakening can only come if one remembers the primordial events that gave rise to the monster, not if one forgets.

In Anatolia, where Cybele once danced, the spirit of the initial resistance is kept alive and deepened by a large circle around prophetesses Priscilla and Maximilia and a man called Montanus. These people are convinced the empire is falling dand do all they can to help it fall quickly, going so far as to refuse to produce children for the Roman legions and plantations. They interpret “the kingdom of god is within you” to mean that every man as well as every woman is a potential visionary. They will later be liquidated by the Christian Church for their failure to repress the humanity of women. The official Christians do not acknowledge this group’s prophetesses, and refer to the group as Montanists, after the man. Those in Prscilla’s circle consider the lies and compromises of the official Christians abominations and are convinced such Christians will find Paradise neither in this world nor in any other.

Many other resisters turn away from the Romanization of the Christians. Some rejoin the circles around Isis and continue to affirm and experience the joy of Earth’s generation and regeneration.

Others are drawn to the visions of a man called Mani, who embraces the liberating insights of Buddhists, Zarathustrians, Gnostics and early Christians, but rejects the Old Testament and its Leviathanic god. Mani’s formulations spread from Persia throughout the Roman Empire and as far eastward as the Chinese wall, but Mani himself falls victim to the Shahanshah, the King of Kings of a reconditioned Persian Empire.

The Parthian Empire fizzled out when the legions led by Roman Trajan, and then those dispatched by Roman Marcus Aurelius, sapped Parthia’s last strength. The vacuum was not filled by Zarathustrian light, but by the army of a Persian called Ardashir, grandson of Sassan, who proclaimed himself King and later Shahanshah by the grace of Ahura Mazda.

It is in this context that Mani, a young Zarathustrian familiar with Greek philosophy and with various strains of the resistance movement in the Roman world, experiences a vision. He sees the wealth and power of the new Persian rulers as gifts of light-devouring Ahriman, not of Ahura Mazda.

Hounded out of Persia by the Zarathustrian priesthood he exposes, Mani finds refuge among Indian Buddhists who confirm what he already knows, namely that the Leviathan is not the ultimate reality, that it is no reality at all.

Mani returns to reconditioned Persia during the more tolerant reign of King Shapur, but he can see that the people loved by Zarathustra, the seed planters and harvesters who celebrate Earth’s life-giving powers, are the most oppressed people in the realm, subject to unbearable land taxes, personal taxes, forced labor and military recruitment.

Mani does no reconcile himself to the dark Leviathanic world. He’s convinced that light will prevail, even if fourteen hundred years of unceasing fire are needed to burn the monster down. King Shapur’s successor Vahram imprisons the aging rebel, and established Zarathustrian priests have him murdered in prison.

* * *

West of Persia, the vast shell still called the Roman Empire comes so undone from its human contents that the huges sprawl literally loses all rhyme or reason.

The armored legions, with all their advanced technologies, still overrun the provinces from one extremity to another, but the legions are no longer limbs of the artificial worm; they, too have come loose; they function for not other purpose than their own.

The monster no longer has a head, since the metropolis itself had been reduced to merely another province, merely another object for plunder for the most powerful legion.

Emperor Severus Septimus parades the head of his predecessor in Rome, but the viewing of such a spectacle is the only privilege still available to those who live in the capital. The Senate has long been a powerless relic. Laws are made and implemented by Praetorian guards and military strongmen recruited form other provinces.

Christians and other resisters are persecuted. Freeholders are squeezed into debt and reduced to the same status as the slaves: they are serfs on Latifundia owned by absentee military heroes.

Emperor Carcalla imposes yet another burdensome tax by calling all subjects Citizens and therefore accountable for citizenship tax, payable in kind by serfs.

The activity of the whole enserfed population goes to feed the hated legions, and the central aim of each legion is to raise its strongman to the post of Emperor.

The inner putrefaction of the Roman Leviathan is so advanced that none can grasp why this monster still stands. There are no longer poets or architects who ornament the brutality. The only thoughts expressed are the thoughts of resisters. The only thoughts about Rome are speculations about the agency that will at long last topple the lingering carcass.

The agency that actually toplles the already decomposed Roman Leviathan takes the form of federated tribes who issue out of the Eurasian steppes. These tribes are not provoked into motion by Rome alone but by the entire Leviathanic complex that now stretches over Eurasia’s southern half.

In China, peasants inspired by Tao, the Way, dress up in yellow turbans, arm themselves with any tool that can serve as a weapon, and try to drive Leviathan out of their part of the world.

While Chinese occupiers of the Tarim Basin return to China to repress the peasants, the occupiers’ armored accomplices hasten to replace the former occupiers and overrun the lands of communities of Hsiung-nu. Many Hsiung-nu stay on their home grounds and defend themselves; their descendants will overrun China itself three or four generations later.

Other Hsiung-nu flee westward. They will be called Huns when they reach the borders of Rome.

During the reign of Severus Septiums and his successor, these Huns form federations with Alans, Goths and other Steppe peoples and attack the caravans that move between Rome and the Tarim Basin; it is possible that they hold ancient grudges against the cheating merchants who lead these caravans, but we will not know.

The attacks of the Steppe peoples and the counter-attacks by Roman and Persian armies et off waves of motion in every part of Eurasia. Goths, Alans, Huns and others turn up on the northern borders of Persia, in Anatolia, even in Thrace by sea. Franks federated with Turkic-speaking Alans invade the Gallic provinces known later as France and Spain.

These people do not come to recondition the Roman Leviathan but to bury it; they use Roman scultures and inscriptions as stones in the walls of their lodges.

Rome responds to the newcomers as it had responded to the Dacians: by enslaving and massacring them. But some of Rome’s legions are defeated by federations of newcomers, and in one province after another, Roman soldiers and sometimes whole legions join forces with the newcomers against Rome.

* * *

And then something no one had expected happens. It happens the very year when Hsiung-nu and other nomads at Eurasia’s opposite extrmity overrun and dismember the Chinese empire.

A strongman and his legion of largely Christian soldiers repress a rebellion in Britain and proceed to invade Italy, oust the ruling emperor, and install themselves in the seats of power. This strongman, a certain Constantine who worships Optimus Maximus as well as the Sun, attributes his victory to the god of his Christian soldiers, and he proclaims himself Christian.

Now the Emperor is the Pontifex Maximus, namely the high priest, not of Optimus but of Yahweh, and the abstraction of the Israelites becomes the god of Rome’s legions. Constantine is Emperor by the grace of Jesus Christ, and the largest strain of the inner resistance movement is recuperated.

Henceforth the Christian god marches at the head of the Roman legions, and any god that marches at the head of Roman legions is a twin of Optimus Maxiums.

At the Council of Nicea, the newly-arrived theologian Constantine insists that the Father, the Son and the Ghost are on the same level and of the same stuff. The Son is no longer Osiris-Serapis the reborn. All three are now a new three-headed abstraction, and their collective attributes are those of Optiumus Maximus. The Father is no problem to the counciling theologians since He already had the attributes of Optimus. But the Son cannot be so brutally reduced and inverted. Ah, but he can be. Caligula and Nero demonstrated that the Emperor of Rome can do anything. Constantine demonstrates this again.

All those who object to such a mutilation are called Schismatics and Heretics. The resistance has come to power, but its first aim is to liquidate all resistance. The wars of Israelites against Ammonites, Edomites and Moabites are now remembered as precedents for a holy war, and now the persecutors of the resisters wear the halos.

Optimus Maximus has not concerned himself (or itself) with the affairs of other deities. But now that Optimus is converted into Yahweh the jealous god who wants no other gods before, bside or behind him, this god proclaims an unprecedented war against all other gods — unprecedented everywhere except Judaea.

The first to fall before the armored idol of idols are the gods who symbolize primordial natural events: Isis, Osiris, Serapis, Mithra. And as soon as the field is cleared of all but Christians, the wrath of the theological legions turns against the Schismatics and Heretics in the midst of the Chistrians.

The heresy-hunt inverts every tenet the Christians had stood for. Henceforth, “I say unto you” will be heard only from the mouth of Pontifex Maximus; any other individual who expresses his vision will be a false prophet or, worse yet, Satan’s tool.

The stories told by four friends of the crucified Jesus are slapped between the covers of a book, called The Gospels, and proclaimed to be the final words, the last testament. There will be no more visions, no more speculations, no more revelations, no more dreams. If Optimus-Lugalzaggizi has anything to say to His congregation, he will say it to his congregation’s officials.

The spears and daggers, the war engines of Rome’s armies are now aimed, not only at invaders and conspirators, but also at the imaginations of dreamers and visionaries. The bars and fetters that had imprisoned bodies now incarcerated minds.

Gnostics no longer leave their studies. Manicheans flee for their lives. Anatolians inspired by Priscilla, Maximilia and Montanus to express themselves freely, to share their visions, will be repelled by the prospect of having Emperor Justinian’s bishops forced on them; they will lock themselves up in their churches and set the churches on fire.

This is the moment when Christianity ceases to become a Way, a resistance movement, and becomes a religion, a cult. It no longer leads anywhere and it promises nothing, for its priests and bishops have already arrived and are exactly where they wanted to be: they are simultaneously shepherds of the cult and officials of the Roman Empire.

And now the sheep are told that the inhuman, unnatural brutality of Leviathan does no reside in the monster but in its victims!

The priests name the abomination Sin, and they lodge Sin in the individuals who suffer its ravages. Again the Old Testament serves the purposes of the armored legions, for it tells that the first woman was corrupted by Satan, ate forbidden fruit and fell from Eden, taking all her posterity with her. Roman woman-haters join forces with Moses and claim that the people are the ones who are corrupt, not the King of Kings.

Manicheans protest that the misfortunes of the people are miseries, not sins; that the perpetrators of the brutalities, not their victims, are the sinners. But Manicheans are now hunted down by Roman Christians as Christians were one hunted down by Roman Pagans.

The Roman Leviathan tries to recondition itself by swallowing its negation, but it is already too late. The Christian Emperor slouches toward Byzantium to found a new capital while Celtic Scots and Picts with painted bodies and armed with arrows invade the large island beyond the Empire’s westernmost province, Franks and Visigoths settle permanently in Gaul, Alans and Goths and Huns show no respect whatever for Emperor Hadrian’s wall.

And at last the artificial beast cracks. The Empire splits in two. Greek Byzantium becomes the new capital, but of only half the empire. The western provinces fall to the same fate as the westernmost island and by falling, the priests would now say, they sin, for they abandon the refinements conferred by Roman Civilization.

* * *


The ancient Greek city called Byzantium inherits all the refinements of Roman Civilization and also all the rot. It becomes the head of half the former worm. It retains the machinery of the entire worm while the body continues to decompose and shrink.

The former boundaries of the Roman Empire are the only Kingdom of Heaven to which the Emperors in Byzantium are committed. The abomination abhorred by the early Christians is Paradise to the Byzantine Christians.

All that Christianity contributes to this eastern half of Rome is “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” the fanatical attempt to impose what later imperialists will call Gleichschaltung. Such a Gleichschaltung will be realized by much later Leviathans which learn to reduce people to appendages of technology.

The Byzantine Empire fails to realize either its Roman or its Christian goals because it is nothing but a languishing sequel to the rapidly decomposing Roman Leviathan.

The war against all gods other than the three-headed Optimus Maximus is carried out with the fanaticism and thoroughness of the Israelites, from whome this bizarre undertaking is inherited.

The Temple-State is inaugurated already during Constantine’s reign, and Pagan centers are plundered to decorate the State Church. Bishops and priests are exempted from taxes, and since the fortunes of the rich are bequeathed to the Church, its officials become as wealthy as owners of Latifundia.

The taxes themselves are paid by serfs, cultivators who are fixed to plantations and forced to part with a third of their crops.

In the North African province, peasants armed with clubs rise up to restore their lost equality, and the Byzantine rulers declare a holy war against the priests who side with the peasants, stigmatizing the rising as a Donatist heresy.

The war against paganism and heresy halts briefly when an old-timer ruler named Julian tries to restore the pagan gods for the same reason Constantine chose the Christian god: to enhance the killing power of the legions. But Julian destroys all faith in the killing power of the pagan gods when he leads a legion to devestate Persia, orders his ships burned behind him, and perishes with most of his legion before reaching the Persian capital.

It is idle to speculate if Julian’s victory would have restored the respectability of the pagan gods; we know that his defeat seals their fate. His immediate successors ban all non-Christian practices, close the temples, expropriate them, and institute an inquisition. Celebrants of Isis, Osiris and Serapis become criminals who are hunted by the theological police; Manicheans are deprived of all rights and become objects of plunder and persecution.

* * *

The attempt to eliminate human diversity fails. As soon as all non-Christian beliefs and ceremonies are eliminated, the same diversity of beliefs and ceremonies reappears among the Christians themselves, and the war against outsiders continues as a war against schismatics and heretics among the insiders.

If Christianity consisted only of Lugalzaggizi-Optimus, its prison would be narrow indeed, and Gleichschaltung might be an achievable goal. But as Gibbon will observe, Christianity is a composite of polytheism, pagan ceremonies, fabulous martyrs, relics, miracles, saints, incense and tapers. It once tried to embrace a vast resistance movement, and it retains its past as froxen baggage permanently embedded in its Gospels.

The so-called Donatist peasants who rise against their landlords are heretics because they think the crosswearing landlords, wealthy officials and vicious military squads repressing the peasants do no have anything in common with the Jesus or the apostles of the Gospels. These African peasants are among the first of a long tradition of rebels who will accuse official Christians of being anti-Christs. Byzantium sends a legion to repress the peasants and the heresy, but Byzantium fails. The peasants invite a Gothic tribe named Vandals by the Byzantines. These Vandals settle in North Africa as deliverers of the Donatists. The Vandals build a large fleet, gain control over most Mediterranean commerce, and hold off Byzantium’s armies for four and a half generations.

But not all heretics find deliverers. We’ve already glanced at seeresses Priscilla, Maximilia and other Anatolians who thought the Gospels intended to encourage the creative imagination, not repress it. Stigmatized as Montanist heretics, persecuted by Emperor Justinian’s police, these feminist Christians protest against the heresy-hunt by immolating themselves.

The Byzantine emperors declare war against Egyptian and Levantine Nestorians who insist that the Son was a human being, and then against Monophysites who insist He was a god.

* * *

But all the victories against idols, idolaters and heretics do no more for Byzantium than they did for the Israelites. The remnant Roman Empire continues to Decompose. Visigoths and Ostrogoths set up camps just outside the Empire’s boundaries and insist on staying. Huns establish themselves just North of the boundary, defeat every army Byzantium sends against them, and force tribute payments to go to from the Roman Emperor to the “Scythian Shepherds.”

The Huns are no longer fleeing from Leviathan. Armored with Leviathanic traits and technologies during their long defensive war, they are now attacking on every front. They invaded China. They destroyed the Gupta Empire in India. They defeated Byzantium’s armies. They defeat Persia’s Zarathustrian ruler Firuz and install themselves in Persia’s eastern provinces.

The defeat of Persia’s armies by Huns is followed by a social revolution in Persia. Manicheans and radical Zarathustrians rise up against clergy and nobility, redistribute lands, and establish classless communities where sharing replaces hoarding. The Sassani aristocracy and the Zarathustrian clergy are overthrown. This is the oment the Byzantine Emperor chooses to invade Persia.

The prospect of Byzantine serfdom frightens Persian revolutionaries, familiar as they are with the numerous persecuted Christian heretics who have found refuge in Persia. The Persian aristocrats recruit an army of huns and Arabs to crush the revolution and massacre the Manicheans. The Persian nobility and clergy are restored — but not for long.

Both the Byzantines and the Persians enlarge their armies by recruiting in arabia. They do not know they are training their own gravediggers.

Now another one of Civilization’s great men accedes to the Byzantine throne, a warmonger named Justinian who tries to bring back the days when armored letgions devastated the world from one extremity to the other.

Autocrat Justinian dispatches a vast floating army to North Africa, to devastate the realm of the Donatist peasants’ Vandal deliverers.

The Byzantine army tries to reinclude Rome in the Roman Empire by ousting the Goths, and it proceeds to achieve this aim by invading and repopulating Italy. Peasants spared by the armies are killed by the famines. Italian cities are abandoned by their starving inhabitants. The Byzantines do smash the Ostrogoths and regain Rome, at least until the Lombards arrive and chase the Byzantine officials to their last Italian footholds, Venice and Ravenna.

After depopulating Italy, the Byzantine armies march against Persia.

All these wars exhaust the two remaining Leviathans west of China. These vast military undertakings with their costly technologies and enormous armies are all borne gy the enserfed peasantry, not by a mercantile network. Sassanid Persia is heir to the land worms of the Fertile Crescent, and there’s nothing Greek about the Byzantine Empire except the location and language.

Byzantium is no more an octopus than its Roman parent was. Byzantium is a worm with a fleet, and its wealth comes, not from the circulation of commodities in the holds of ships but from the burdens borne by the peasantry. This makes the peasants hospitable to all invaders who make incursions into Byzantine territory. Invaders grow more numerous the more the Leviathans stir up the Steppes and Arabia.

The Byzantines bribe people called Avars to plunder and destroy communities of Slavs.

The same year, Persians bribe iron-armed Turks to plunder Huns and other Turks.

The Slavs and Turks will later dismember both empires and be welcomed by peasants as deliverers from unbearable oppression.

In their continuing wars against each other, Byzantium and Persia have recourse to ever-more recruits from Arabia. The Persians, attacked by Arabs allied with Byzantium, occupy the Levant and Egypt as well as part of Anatolia. The Persians even reach the walls of Byzantine itself with an army of Avars, Bulgars, Jews and Slavs.

Byzantine Emperor Heraclius counterattacks with an army of Khazar Turks. The Byzantines and their Turkish troops overrun the Levant; they plant a True Cross in Jerusalem to celebrate their victory over the Zarathustrians, Jews and heretics.

If the Byzantines know that a man called Muhammad and his followers are just then occupying Medina, this information cannot be very important to them.

Four years later this Muhammad’s followers defeat a Byzantine army in the southern Levant. During the next seven years, these Arabs who are perfectly familiar with Byzantine technology and military tactics occupy all of the Roman province of Syria including Jerusalem as well as the provincial capital Caesaera, all of Egypt including Greek Alexandria and, a generation a a half later, all of North Africa, taken so recently from the Vandals at such a great cost, including Byzantine Carthage. And wherever the invaders go, they are welcomed as liberators by Byzantium’s oppressed peasants and persecuted heretics.

Now the Roman Empire is confined to Anatolia and the Balkans. Muhammad’s followers are now of interest to all Byzantium, whereas Rome’s former far-flung provinces are of interest only antiquarians.

The successor to the monster that once encased a third of Eurasia’s peoples still exists, but it is no longer a viable Leviathan. The capital, pretending that it is still the head of a world-embracing Leviathan, continues to maintain an imperial court and its corps of guards, a nobility whose former far-flung Latifundia are now as distant as Rome’s former provinces, priests enough to shepher a continent of sheep, as well as the imperial army.

The remaining peasants are now virtually expropriated. The consequences are obvious. Bulgar peasants align themselves with a local potentate who proclaims himself Khan, Slavic peasants proclaim themselves independent of the Byzantines, and at last Anatolian peasants welcome Seljuk Turks as deliverers from an oppression beyond human endurance.

Then Frankish and Norman knights arrive from Rome’s former western provinces, not as allies, but as seekers of spoils in what remains of the Empire.

And the most miserable moment comes when Venetians, descendants of the last Byzantines in Italy, divert the Fourth Crusade and make Byzantium itself the victim of the greedy fanaticism of Western Knights.

Constantine’s polis is all that’s left of the Roman Empire.

The fall took long, so long that none remember what was supposed to follow the fall of the Fourth Kingdom. Consequently none are surprised when the Turkish army of a certain Uthman moves across Anatolia (a region called “Rome” by the Turks) and turns Constantine’s polis into the capital of a fifth kingdom.

* * *

Already before the Turks extinguish the last remnant, it becomes clear that the liquidation of paganism and heresy did nothing to arrest the decomposition of the Empire, and also that the heresy-hunts failed to extinguish resistance.

Either through contact with Turks who remembered Mani, or through contact with Persians who remembered the great uprising of the Persian peasantry against the Sassanid nobility and Zarathustrian aristocracy, Byzantium’s Bulgar converts rediscover the Manichean heresy. They call themselves Bogomili, “God-lovers,” and they consider Byzantium’s Christian priests agents of Ahriman, whom they call Satan. They are convinced that it is the oppression of peasants that is sinful, not the peasants. They say the evil ones are not the poor and miserable, but the landlords and tax collectors who make people porr and miserable. They urge peasants to brighten their lives and the world by withholding their crops and their services from Satan’s agents.

The Bulgars carry the message to Serbs and Bosnians who share it with Italian residents and visitors of Dubrovnik. The Italians carry ancient Mani’s vision, couched in the Pope’s language, to their Lombard, Norman and Frankish neighbors.

* * *


When Byzantine Emperor Justinian dispatched to Persia the army that had devastated Italy, he set more waves in motion than he probably intended to.

The besieged Persian ruler Nushiravan, “The Immortal,” was the strongman most responsible for suppressing and massacring the peasants and Manicheans who had risen against Persia’s nobility. Unablte to count on the loyalty of the recently repressed Persian peasants, the Immortal sent recruiters to Arabia and confronted the Byzantines with an army of camel nomads.

The nomads fought well, and both Leviathans sent recruiters to Arabia. Then both tried to establish permanent garrisons on the peninsula.

Byzantines allied with Christian Abyssinians occupied Yemen and destroyed a Jewish kingdom in which Christians had been persecuted. The year Muhammad was born, the Persian army occupied Yemen and ousted the Christians.

Muhammad and his companions are not ignorant of the powers and ways of Leviathans.

By Muhammad’s generation there are probably very few people in Eurasia and much of Africa who are unfamiliar with Leviathans. Even the large islands beyond land’s eastern end have been shackled by an Emperor, and a successor to the first Japanese Emperor has already learned or rinvented the stratagem of wearing his robe “by the grace of Buddha.”

The Arabs have been closer than the Japanese to the main centers of Leviathanic activity. They have, in fact, been closer than most peoples, and for a very long time.

The Akkadians who became the heirs of the first Leviathan were very close kin of Arabs, as were the Canaanites and the Arameans; some of the Arabs’ Abyssinian cousins across a narrow waterway were Pharaohs of another Leviathan.

Much of the trade between India and the Mediterranean has been passing through Arabia for generations. Arab camel caravans have served as the carriers of much of this trade. And Arabs have become mercenaries and victims of the two warring Leviathans on their borders. So they know just about all there is to know about Leviathans, and they’ve been careful not to shackle themselves with one of their own.

* * *

The man called Muhammad conducts caravans from Mecca to Damascus for a woman called Khadijah. He is familiar with Byzantines as well as Persians, with Christians as well as Jews.

He has met men who served as mercenaries for one or the other army. Many of these men return proud, not of their qualities, but of the qualities of their paymasters. They think the immortal Shah or the autocratic Emperor is a god, and they think Ctesiphon or Constantinople is Paradise. Some of these men would like to turn all Arabia into such a Paradise.

Muhammad is familiar with rich men, like the Quraysh in Mecca, who thank their own qualities for their wealth, thank their wealth for their wellbeing, and share neither with others. He’s familiar with some who thank a stone for both.

Muhammad knows from his own experience that he is able to lead his caravans safely to Damascus only because of the numerous oases, the fine weather, the strength hof the camels, the food available along the way. He knows that neither wealth nor the Emperor of Rome nor the Shah of Persia nor a stone protect hima long the route. He knows that these are not gods. In fact, hirelings of the rich, Byzantine and Persian mercenaries and stones are among the obstacles along the route. He expresses this knowledge as the Jews express it: “There is no god but god.”

He is baffled by Jews who insist that the god is more violent and jealous than the Shah and the Emperor combine. In this man’s experience the god is generous beyond measure and infinitely merciful. If this were not so, very few caravans from Mecca would ever reach Damascus. In this he is closer to Christians, who consider the god’s son merciful and loving. But the Christians, instead of expressing their gratitude to the merciful god, spend their time philosophizing about whether the god is one or three.

Persian armies overrun Syria, chase Roman soldiers and the True Cross out of Jerusalem, and advance as far as Egypt.

Numerous Quraysh become even wealtheir by dispatching caravans with supplies to the Persian invaders.

Former Byzantine mercenaries conspire with agents of the ousted army, expecting yet greater wealth from the return of the Romans.

Arabia becomes increasingly Leviathanized.

For untold ages Arabia has been encircled by abominable places where the rich gouge the poor, where kin and friends cheat each other, where permanent overmen lord it over hereditary underlings. And now there are Arabs who consider such places Paradise and want to turn Arabia into such a place.

The camel driver and his friends are saddened, perhaps incensed by this. They know that the Roman and Persian worlds are not the merciful god’s Paradise but the devil’s. The visionary Muhammad knows that Paradise is like the place the Jews call Eden, a real place located somewhere in Yemen or in Abyssinia before the days of big armies and gouging merchants. He knows that Arabia is no longer Paradise, but it is not yet its opposite. People still treat their kin as kin. Few neglect the poor, the widows and the orphans. Some are indecently rich, but even they don’t lord it over anyone, for they know their good fortune may not last.

Muhammad and his friends cannot do anything about the Romans and the Persians. But they can raid the caravans of the Quraysh and distribute the supplies among the poor.

The Quraysh, not surprisingly, attack the caravan looters.

The visionary and his friends flee to Medina and proceed to defend and organize themselves a little more seiously. They welcome to their ranks all people who understand that there is no god but god and who demonstrate their understanding by showing their gratitude to the merciful god.

Even some Jews join the organization. But other Jewish camel nomads are repelled by the ostentatious demonstrations of gratitude to the arbitrary and violent Almighty, and they become hostile to the organization and then to the looting. The hostile Jews are ousted from Medina.

At this point the camel driver and his followers have become an “Ummah.” THis owrd translates into English as “community,” and refers in this case to a “community of believers.” But this Ummah is no longer a loose circle of friends or a community of kin. The basis for admission is not kinship but acknowledgement that there is no god but god. The Greeks would have called the Ummah a Polity; I would call it an Organization. It is not yet a Leviathan and Muhammad is not yet a king. But he is already a Hakim, a Judge, and this is something quite different from a family elder.

While the armies of Byzantine Emperor Heraclius run the Persians out of the Levant and inland toward the very walls of Ctesiphon, Muhammad and his Median allies confront bands of Quraysh in two battles, and although the odds are against them, they defeat the Quraysh both times. The victors conclude that the merciful god is on their side. They are emboldened to no end.

None say it publicly, since the prophet doesn’t say it, but m,any suspect the prostrations to the merciful god ar not only good in themselves but also contribute to victories against superior odds. The god is obviously a relative of the Christians’ Optimus Maximus, and may even be the same entity.

* * *

The prophet dies and his faithful son-in-law Ali expects to succeed to the prophet’s post, but the prophet’s father-in-law Abu Bakr is elected Caliph, “Successor.” Abu Bakr lives only two more years, but during these years the Ummah becomes an Arabian Leviathan, and the Successor becomes something very similar to a Lugal, a Shah, a King.

The basis for membership in the Ummah narrows somewhat; it is now necessary to admit that there is no god but god, and that Muhammad is his prophet. But there are no requirements beyond this, and many well-trained soldiers are attracted to the obviously successful armies of the Ummah.

In two years all of Arabia is unified by armies dispatched from Mecca or Medina. No opposition can hold its own against them. And the merciful god rewards the victorious soldiers with untold loot.

But something is being forgotten, namely the fact that Arabia has never before been overrun by armies, that it has never before been unified under a military command. This is not altogether forgotten. There are uprisings and rebellions in every part of Arabia. Entire armies defect from Abu Kakr’s command. The rebels are probably as incensed as the prophet himself was early in his life; they do not think Arabia is being turned into Paradise.

Umar, a man well versed in military matters and Leviathanic ways, is the Successor to Abu Bakr as well as to the insurgency in every part of Arabia. This man deflects the anger by leading his armies out of Arabia, toward a foreign conquest. He chooses his generals from among the insurgents and from among the hate Quraysh.

The Caliph’s armies overrun the Levant, capture Heliopolis, Emesa, Jerusalem, Aleppo, Antioch and Caesaera, sweep away forty generations of Roman Civilization, enrich themselves with loot beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. If any soldiers thought the merciful god was not on their side, they have no such thoughts now. Clearly the god is fighting alongside the “Muslims,” Submitters, and the loot is the god’s reward for “Islam,” Submission.

The Muslim warriors grossly underestimate the help they get from Christian peasants and urban zeks who have been dreaming of throwing off their yokes for generations. Most of these Christians welcome the Muslims and immediately submit to the merciful god, who at last delivers them.

But to the few who resist the armies of Islam, the invading god has all the attributes of Lugalzaggizi and Optimus Maximus.

Under Umar and his successor Uthman, Muslim armies are welcomed as liberators in most of the Roman Empire’s remaining provinces and in all of Persia, where peasants have not forgotten their suppressed revolution.

The Persian rulers and their Zarathustrian priests find refuge in the Chinese capital Ch’ang An, where they join Nestorian Christians hounded out of Byzantium by the heresy police, and where they will soon be joined by Huns ousted from the imperial palace of Bactria by Muslim armies. And then Byzantine ambassadors arrive in Ch’ang An to ask for the Chinese Emperor’s help against the armies of Islam.

* * *

The rampaging new Leviathan runs into trouble right at the start. The intentions of the founders cannot be so unceremoniously cas aside, at least not all the intentions.

The third Caliph, Uthman, is the prophet’s son-in-law, but he is also a descendant of the Quraysh and Umayyah families who warred against the prophet. Right after his accession he replaces generals and governors chosen by Abu Bakr and Umar with members of his own family. These men grow fat with spoils. They bury whatever egalitarianism is still left in the Ummah, and on top of all this, Uthman proclaims that his version of the prophet’s message is the only valid Quran, and has all other versions destroyed.

Angry Muslims storm Uthman’s house in Medina and assassinate the Caliph.

After a civil war between the two factions, Ali, husband of the prophet’s first daughter Fatimah, at last accedes to the post of Caliph.

But the circumstances of Ali’s accession as well as the material interests of the Umayyads conspire against him, and he, too is murdered. His son Hassan gives way to an Umayyad, and four generations of Umayyad Caliphs and their armies spread Islam as far westward as Africa’s Atlantic coast and as far eastward as the wall of China.

But the breach between the two factions will not be healed.

The defenders of Uthman try to reconcile the amenities of Leviathanic life with the sayings of the prophet.

The defenders of Ali, called Shi’ites, will never reconcile themselves to the power the hate Quraysh wield in the prophet’s own camp, but only some of them view their cause as a commitment to the egalitarian ways of Arabian camel nomads like the prophet; others view the struggle in purely genealogical terms.

Still others, Kharijis, reject Uthman as well as Ali, and some of their initial formulations reject the Leviathan as well. They say righteous Muslims elect a mere teacher, an Imam, and not a ruler. They say the greedy power-seekers in the guarded palaces are not Muslims at all, but infidels.

Egalitarian rebels in every province of the vast Islamic Empire, especially Shi’ites, overthrow the Umayyads, who will go on ruling only in Spain.

But the Abbasid Caliphs who now come to power, first as allies and then as repressors of the egalitarians, do not restore either the form or the spirit of the Ummah of the prophet’s day. On the contrary, they restore the aristocratic Leviathan swept out of Persia by the initial Muslim invasion.

Under the second Abbasid Caliph al-Mansur, the Sassanid Persian court and even the etiquette are restored-everything except the Zarathustrian priesthood. Tax gatherers gouge peasants to support wars, ostentation, art, architecture, as in bygone days.

Leviathan, that unintended excrescene that grows out of human communities and then liquidates them, once again wears the mantle of yet another liquidated community.

The Abbasid Caliphate is the heir of Sumer-Akkad, Phoenicia, Babylonia and Persia. Its connection with the prophet is similar to the Byzantine Empire’s connection with the apostles. Instead of ruling by the grace of Ahura Mazda, the Caliph and his grandees rule by the grace of the merciful god. The persecution of people who celebrate nature, Mother Earth, in any form whatever, is carried on as thoroughly as in Byzantium, and the Manicheans are hunted down just as mercilessly.

Unlike their reduced Byzantine neighbors, the Muslims do not persecute ways that have become religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism, because their realize that religions are ways that have come to terms with Leviathan.

* * *

Abbasid islam is the heir of some of the world’s main landworms, but also of the Phoenician octopus.

It is the first time since the debacle of Periclean Athens that the two forms of Leviathan have been combined for very long in the same body. This makes the Muslims whose capital is Baghdad much more Greek than the Christians whos capital is Byzantium.

The Byzantine Christians are heirs to Rome’s congenital antipathy toward any type of octopus, an antipathy reinforced by early Christians’ rejection of all types of Leviathan, the clawed as well as the tentacled. By the grace of Lugalzaggizi-Maximus, the Christians’ Roman origins do not predispose them to embrace loose tentacles.

Islam, on the contrary, comes into the world with loose tentacles. The tentacles have not come to Islam from the occupied former Canaanite centers on the Levant, for these lost virtually all of their Phoenician traits during the long Roman occupation.

Islam’s tentacles come from the Arabian Peninsula; they arrived with this Leviathan’s founders.

Commodity caravans traversed the Arabian peninsula already before the heyday of the Phoenician commercial empire, and continued to traverse Arabia ever after.

The first Muslims as well as their prophet were caravan drivers, and they put the ambience, the precepts as well as the experience of caravan drivers into the Book that serves as pretext and guide for the whole Islamic Empire, the Quran.

The Abbasid Caliphs and their network of governors and armies are only a part of the Islamic Leviathan. This part consists of a landowning oligarchy with all the Sassanid Persian traditions except the official language (and even the language reverts to Persian in certain regions). The monarch is an absolute autocrat who rules through a vizier, a police, spies and armies. The entire establishment is supported by traditional methods of plunder and extortion, imposed externally on foreigners who are expropriated and enslaved, internally on women who are enslaved and on peasants who are reduced to agricultural zeks.

In all this, the Islamic Leviathan does not differ from Assyria.

But this is not the part of Islam that spreads the Quran as far south as central Africa and as far east as Indonesia. The initial fervor of armies of egalitarians embarking on holy wars against oligarchic monsters disappears when the armies are led by oligarchs. The size of this Leviathan would be small if the agents of it spread were viziers and generals.

After the initial military success, Islam spread by its other part, a part that consists of the heirs of the Arabian camel nomads. It is the caravan drivers, not the viziers, who cherish the Quran; it is they who are the Imams (teachers) and Ulama (learned men); it is they who carry Islam to realms not reached by the Caliph’s armies. And it is they who persecute and liquidate nature-lovers, Manicheans and all other “idolaters and heretics” who refuse to be reduced to dependent factors in a network of circulating commodities.

The octopus functions inside the worm almost as if it were independent, in a situation of minimal contact. The merchants, who consider themselves and undoubtedly are, the prophet’s true heirs, are not linked to the military hierarchy by any form of mediation. They have neither State-appointed priests nor a State-supported Temple.

In this the Muslims resemble Jews-not the ancient Jews who had a State, a king, a State-supported Temple and priests, but the Jews of the diaspora who congregate around a rabbi, a teacher. This is understandable, since the first Muslims, who made much of Old Testament traditions, were familiar only with Jews of the diaspora, to whom priests and a State-supported Temple were exotic and barely-remembered relics of a vanished past.

The Muslim merchants acknowledge the military authorities out of prudence, not conviction. As M. Hodgson will observe, Muslims consider individuals responsible to Allah, not to the vizier, and the only restictions they accept, at least in principle, are those imposed by the merciful god, not those imposed by a military official. Since they reject the Jewish concept of a “chosen people” or nation, they insist on the unrestricted freedom of movement of all caravan drivers who demonstrate the understanding of the fact that there is no god but god and Muhammad is his prohpet. They extend these rights to other merchants as well, but not without reservations.

Consequently, even if they grudgingly pay border taxes extorted from them by military strongmen, they recognize no national boundaries. Every province of the realm is a fit region for commerical plunder, but always within the limits of decency imposed by the Quran.

The records suggest that the precepts of the Quran are applied only to trade carried on with other Muslims. No limits of decency are imposed on trade with foreigners considered unclean, idolatrous or demonic. Trade with outsiders takes the form of piracy, plunder and expropriation and the merchants do not hesitate to reduce even human beings to commodities.

Thus the Islamic Leviathan does not exclusively or even primarily consist of fangs and claws. It is a vast network of tentacles that move by land as well as sea. These tentacles are merchant caravans which transport commodities on dromedaries, horses, camels, or in the holds of ships.

The plunder of the Biosphere by means of sophisticated technological devices progresses by leaps and bounds. Large silver mines are gouged in Central Asia. The silver is refined, carried to China and traded for silks and porcelains. In India it is traded for spices and ivory. The merchants’ records no longer have to be kept on clay tablets or on Egyptian payrus. Paper and later papermaking are carried from China to every Islamic commercial center. Water mills are used in Mesopotamian agricultural production. Technological improvements are made in all vehicles of land as well as sea transportation. Human ingenuity flows into devices and containers which hold and preserve the precious and the perishable.

(I can’t resist mentioning once again the moronic theory that depicts productive forces “ripening” until they “give rise to” or “make possible” the “transition to a new social form.” Such “productive forces” do not exist apart from the “social form.” The artifices are integral parts of the artificial worm, they are nothing but its attributes. The technologies are the claws and fangs of the Leviathan. Silver mines and later water wheels do not give rise to the Islamic Leviathan; It gives rise to them. The types of technologies developed by a Leviathan depend primarily on the type of Leviathan in question, not on the “state of developmednt of global productive forces” cited by artifice fetishists. The Phoenicians developed, near the very dawn of Civilization, a maritime technology that would be unmatched until the appearance of a Leviathan with similarly extended tentacles.)

The Islamic mercantile caravans are the first extensive network of far-reaching tentacles isnce the demise of the Greek octopus at the hands of the Macedonians. The Muslims, not the Byzantines, are the successors of the ancient Greeks. And they know it. They translate the main works of Greek philosophy, literature and natural science into Arabic and Persian. Western Christians will later discover what they call their Greek heritage not in Greece but in Muslim Spain, and they will have to learn Arabic to recover that heritage.

The Muslim merchants, like the Greeks, reduce women to household slaves. They congregate in the marketplace. They discuss everything from Ptolemaic astronomy to Aristotelian philosophy. They are aware of the conflict between the calculating rationalism demanded by their commercial dealings and the piety demanded by their gods (singular in the case of Islam.) The Greeks moved their speculative activities out of the Temple and into the marketplace; the Muslims never had such a Temple. The Greeks reduced their shrines to ornaments which covered their commercial tentacles; the Muslims cover their tentacles borrowed from Romans, Persians and Indians who acquired them from Greeks.

* * *

The two forms of Leviathan coexist in Islam but not comfortably, and both give rise to the types of forces that decomposed and eventually brought down earlier Leviathans.

Merchants who are not too scrupulous about the sources of their profits regard courtiers as fit objects of plunder and often drive them into debt and ruin. And of course the militaristic courtiers retaliate by overtaxing and sometimes plundering merchants.

And both the military and the mercantile establishments continually exploit what Toynbee will call internal as well as external proletariats, namely overworked laborers and peasants as well as foreigners who are subjected plunder, expropriation and enslavement.

The Abbasid Caliphate, and the unified caliphate itself, are destroyed by a combination of internal as well as external agents similar to those we’ve seen before.

Peasants in the Empire’s central province rise up against the landlords, successfully defeat the Caliph’s armies, redistribute the land, restore some measure of equality, and hold on to their gains for an entire generation.

To subdue the peasants, the Caliph does what his Sassanid predecessor did: he recruits his army abroad, this time among the iron-armed Turks. The Turkish mercenaries defeat the peasant uprising, known as Babak’s revolt, and are retained as the Caliph’s personal guard, something like Praetorians.

Revolts continue. Slaves rise in lower Mesopotamia and, together with egalitarian Kharijis, try to restore a classless community to a region which has been without such a community longer than any other part of the world. They too are suppressed by the Caliph and his Turkish troops, but India, Persia, Egypt and North Africa defect from the Empire, and soon Arabia falls out.

The Turks are converted and the realm of Islam actually grows larger, but the empires of the increasingly numerous independent potentates become quite small, and gradually the former Turkish guard and the mercenary troops trained in suppressing rebellions seize the palaces of the potentates.

The Turkish rulers reinforce themselves with troops of Turkish pastoral nomads, and these nomads destroy the wealth of the landed oligarchy by killing peasants and turning farm lands into pastures. The nomads have no use for farm lands or towns or administrators, and they destroy many of the productive forces that “ripened” before their arrival.

The Turkish rulers who conscript nomadic tribes are themselves overthrown by their own troops, and new Turkish strongmen are able to put the available productive forces to use only by first breaking the spirit of the nomadic tribes. Fatimid rulers of Egypt and North Africa run into similar problems with nomadic Berber troops.

The Turkish rulers, although converts to Islam, tend to have less respect than their predecessors for the commercial houses and caravans, taxing and often plundering merchants to support military ventures. They tend to turn various Islamic Leviathans into worms.

Consequently Islamic commercial ventures thrive at the fringes of Islam and even outside the empire of believers. Islamic merchants control the overseas trade of China, and their land caravans transport Chinese silks and porcelains along all overland routes west of China. These caravans regularly pass through lands inhabited by mounted iron-wielding Mongols.

The behavior of the caravan drivers toward people they consider idolaters may be what enrages the Mongols against the Civilized, if the Mongols are not already enraged by the continual attacks of Chinese border guards and mercenaries.

During one and the same generation, demented killers known to Muslims as Western Franks and enraged mounted Mongols from the borders of China pounce on the central provinces of Islam with a determination to destroy every trace of Civilization.

The central Mesopotamian and Levantine provinces never recover from these assaults, although Islam as a world embracing Leviathan does recover, largely by the Chinese method of absorbing the invaders. Eight or nine generations later, Islam will confront an even greater challenge, this one in the form of carriers on the Western Spirit who arrives as merchants and claim to be heirs of Romans and Greeks.

* * *


To get something of an overview of what Turner calls “The Western Spirit,” I have to go back to the days when strongman Constantine transfers the Roman capital to Byzantium.

The transfer does not go over well in Rome. The Roman Empire may have been an abomination in the eyes of Christ, but Rome is determined to remain the abomination’s capital, even if it has to lie.

Prevarication becomes the West’s major art. From the day when a Church official names himself the Vicar of Christ and a Goth parades his puppet as Emperor of Rome to the day when the biggest empire of zeks in Leviathan’s entire His-story will speak of itself as The Free World, everything in the West is a lie.

Lying becomes necessary and then compulsive because the people who fall heir to the rubble of the westernmost edge of the Roman Empire are so dehumanized by their struggle against their adversary that they forget not only their initial intentions but also their very origins and identity. All that remains of their former selves is the violence of their struggle to preserve themselves, and sheer violence cannot view itself in a glass; it must prevaricate; it must cover itself with masks and then with more masks over the initial masks, because the violence keeps showing through.

Turner’s subtitle is far too polite. The Western Spirit is no only against Wilderness; it is against nature as well as humanity, against truth as well as beauty. The Western Spirit is adept at putting exceptions in showcases; in real life it represses the exceptions.

The story of the Western Spirit actually begins long before Constantine transfers the capital to Greece-at least twenty or twenty-five generations before. It begins when the Roman Res Publica, flushed with its victory over Etruscans, defeats and then subjugates Gauls or Celts, enslaves them, turns them into zeks, and then walls them in. In the long peninsula known as Gaul and later as France and Spain, the republican Romans force Celts, Iberians and the Iberian Phoenicians into gold and silver mines, plunder their crops, cheat them, and slaughter all who protest.

People to the north of Gaul, free people who had gone where pleased when they pleased, pause before they enter Roman Gaul, for they enter at the risk of their lives. When they return to Gaul in a different season, then find that a yet larger portion of the world’s land has turned lethal to freedom and life. It is as if the known world were sinking into the sea.

The loss is tragic. We well be able to imagine how those northerners felt about the warmth and beauty of the Mediterranean’s shores because we will know how later northerners will feel.

Some few people may be inhospitable and warlike, but no people can make a portion of the world off limits to a single bird, animal or person. The very notion is repugnant to free people. Not even gods have the power to keep people from going where they please.

The northerners enrage the Roman border guards in skirmishes, but the northerners invariably lose; they are massacred. Those Roman fight like unreal things; they walk directly into ambushes; they don’t flee even when half their own men fall; they just keep on advancing and killing; there fear on the faces of individual men but the column has no fear; it isn’t human.

We will know absolutely nothing about this part of the story because the people who live it take their knowledge to their graves. But it does not take much imagination to suppose that before long most northerners know that the world’s south is off limits to them, that half the world is occupied by something murderous and inhuman.

We will know from Roman writers that the skirmishes become more frequent, that several federated bands gang up against Roman strongholds. When Franks are first mentioned by name, they arrive with Turkic-speaking Alans who originate near China. The two groups may not know each other’s language, but they understand each other perfectly. They understand that the entire lower half of the world is occupied by something violent beyond description; they understand that if that thing continues to spread, it means the end of freedom and the end of life.

We’ve seen how Rome responds to the attacks: by genocidal massacres, by slaughtering every member of a hostile band.

A twenty year war is terribly long. A war that lasts twenty generations is beyond the imagination’s grasp. The weather in Sumer is benevolent compared to such an ordeal.

By the time the northern Franks, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Burgundians and others at last succeed in breaching Rome’s frontiers, they fight like unreal things; they walk directly into ambushes and won’t flee when their men fall; they keep on advancing and killing. They still remember themselves as free human beings — Frank means free — but all they remember of their freedom is the freedom to kill Romans and the desire to destroy Rome.

By the time the Emperors scribe writes that Franks have been permitted to settle in one part of Gaul, Burgundians in a second and Visigoths in a third, the scribe is in the Emperor’s palace in Byzantium, the Emperor’s own army consists of Goths, Huns, Alans and Arabs, and the permission is a lie which the scribe may well believe, because he cannot believe that the westernmost part of the Roman Empire has completely decomposed. Later writers will not believe this either, and they will cover it up by listing the various rulers of the “Western Empire’ — but they will list a different ruler for every year, and several rulers for some years.

The Franks, Burgundians and Visigoths no longer need anyone’s permission: they now confront only each other. But they can’t believe this either. Something they fought so fiercely for so long cannot suddenly be gone. A Frankish strongman calls his puppet emperor of Rome, and the Goths go on warring against Rome until they set up their puppet as Emperor. Every lie is a pretext for renewed violence, and Rome’s main activity, human sacrifice, becomes the main activity of those who have ruined Rome.

The lies become bizarre when a Church official in the city that is no longer the Empire’s capital steps into the picture. This official undoubtedly seethes with frustration. He spent more than half his life climbing to his post, and now finds himself surrounded by Franks and Goths in the capital of a province which, god forbid! is no longer in the Roman Empire!

This Christian declares himself Potifex Maximus, a title venerable in Pagan Rome and attached to every Pagan emperor since Augustus, but a title hardly appropriate for a Christian. The official then proclaims that he’s a descendant of the apostle Peter, and even that he’s Peter in person. Arbogast, the Frankish strongman, is still listening, so the official raises himself yet higher. As Pontifex and Peter in Person, he is more than a mere apostle; he is the Vicar of Christ. And as Christ’s Vicar he is higher than the Emperor; he’s supreme; he’s Optimus Maximus.

The official can say anything at all, because Arbogast the Frank knows the simple man is a crude liar and Arbogast doesn’t care what the man calls himself. What interests the Frank is the information none will stop Arbogast and his Free Men from raping the remaining Vestal Virgins and plundering what’s left in the palaces of Augurs, pagan Pontiffs and Sybinllines. The Franks can continue their war on “Rome” with impunity: Church officials and Byzantine soldiers will consider Franks who commit such deeds holy and pious.

With the sanction of the self-styled Vicar of Christ, Arbogast and his band of Free killers proceed to rape, pillage, murder and expropriate people who consider the Pontifex Maximus a laughingstock. Our name for such an outrage will be “Pogrom.” The scribes of the Pontifex name it “The conversion of Rome’s inhabitants to Christianity.”

Dripping with blood and burdened with loot, Arbogast’s Franks go on to claim their prize. They enter Gaul, they march into the Paradise that was off limits to twenty generations of their ancestors. But they don’t enter to enjoy the warmth or the beauty of the Mediterranean lands. They enter to rape, pillage and expropriate. This is all they know how to do; it has been all they’ve known for generations.

In Gaul the victims are already Christians, but the agent of Pontifex who accompanies the Franks doesn’t blink an eye. The victims were converted by Arius, and Arius was a heretic, therefore they deserve to be cast down to hell alongside the Pagans. And none can impugn the Christianity of the Franks, for they are the scourge of god against all enemies of Saint Siricius, the Vicar of Christ.

Arbogast and his gang do not have the whole field to themselves. Franks are not the only people walled out of the south. Everyone in the north was walled out. And now others rush through the breach, all as marked as the Franks by the eternity of war.

Visigoths are joined by mounted and ferocious pastoral nomads from every part of the Eurasian steppes, people whose names are preserved as Alans, Sueves, Vandals, Burgundians and many others. The strongman Alaric puts himself at the head of these varied bands, calls himself the King of the Goths, and leads the hardened veterans through most of Italy’s cities.

All the generations of frustration, of pent-up hatred, at last find release in an orgy of violence which probably has no precedent. The marauders pillage and murder at will. Their animals turn Italy’s latifundia into pastures. Italians who are still in cities die of famine; those who eat die of plague.

Alaric’s hordes proceed to the famous Sack of Rome. They are joined by forty thousand slaves. Earlier slaves rose up to recover their lost equality, to reestablish human community. But that was many generations earlier. The slaves who join the Visigoth marauders want only revenge, they want blood, they understand the newcomers perfectly.

When the Visigoths are satiated and turn toward Gaul, Huns arrive, with allies picked up along the entire route between Mongolia and the Danube.

Roman Civilization becomes what it will remain forever after: colossal ruins. This is the holocaust the early Christians looked forward to. This is the last judgment, the day of reckoning, the end of the Fourth Kingdom.

Not since the demise of the Hittites has a large Leviathan decomposed so totally.

As the nomads from the forests and steppes turn more agricultural lands into pastures, the cities are abandoned, they become places of desolation where ornaments that once decorated Greek temples hide rotting corpses.

Roman architectural marvels become rain shelters, and soon their ornaments and inscriptions are incorporated in the walls of village lodges built by former slaves and outsiders. Large parts of Italy are completely depopulated .

The Emperor in Byzantium pays Attila the Hun a large tribute to dissuade the newcomers from devastating the last tiny seats of imperial power left in the west, Ravenna and Venice.

A scribe writes, for the record, that the puppet Roman Emperor of the Suevian strongman Ricimer exempts his subjects of all their debts to the State, rescinds all taxes, puts an end to tribute payments, and grants self-government to the inhabitants of cities. The scribe remembers better days; he cannot write that the Roman Empire has become a free-for-all, a wilderness.

Hobbes, too, will lie. He will say that the Leviathan has reverted to a state of nature. Rousseau will be the first to call Hobbes a liar. Such a “wilderness” exists nowhere in nature, and not a single element in it is natural. This wilderness is as artificial as Leviathan itself. The activities taking place now, pillage and murder, are the same activities that took place when the Leviathan was hale and hardy. The only difference is that they are done in a disorderly manner now; they were done in an orderly manner before.

People dehumanized by the Leviathan are playing with the artificial beast’s decomposing segments, they are playing with the artifices we call technologies. This is some form of play; it is some kind of dance. But it is not a dance found anywhere in nature, either among animals or among human beings. It is the death rattle of a decomposing Leviathan.

* * *

If the nominal, hastily converted Christians of the West knew anything of the hopes of their Levantine precursors, they would know that hose hopes are all coming true.

The Fourth Kingdom has fallen and no fifth kingdom takes its place.

Away from the ruins, away from the main routes taken by roving bands of marauders, former slaves and zeks are joining with the peace-minded among the marauders and founding new villages, free villages of seed planters and pastoralists.

The only person dreaming of the next kingdom is the Pontifex Maximus, and he’s dreaming of rehabilitating the fourth. This man and his staff of priests, by a lie that is surely unequaled in grossness, has metamorphosed the resistance against the abomination that was Rome into the last repository of all that was Rome. The lie alone is incredible in its magnitude. What is even more incredible is the extent to which these manipulative prevaricators succeed. They do not succeed right away. They bide their time. Their patience is inhuman, it is demonic, it lasts from generation to generation, it persists the way only a Leviathan can persist. For this patience, all the early Vicars of Christ will be proclaimed saints by their later heirs.

The Vicars, also called popes, do not work on the independent villagers — not yet. They work on the strongmen who head bands of marauders.

Pope Siricius showed the way when he worked on Arbogast. This came to nothing. But never mind, there are hundreds, even thousands of Arbogasts. The Suevian Ricimer is an even tougher grand boss than Arbogast. Ricimer installs the puppet Majorian, then the puppet Severus, then the puppet Anthemius, calls each Emperor of Rome while Pontifex Leo invests each Emperor with authority. Ricimer is the power behind the throne, Pontifex is the god behind it. But Anthemius takes his role too seriously, Ricimer himself kills the puppet, and before the burial Ricimer himself is killed by Goths, Huns and Burgundians who sack Rome yet again.

Burgundian strongman Gundoblad installs his candidate, but to no avail. So Gaiseric, the Vandal, tries a different approach; he installs Odovacar, but not as Emperor of Rome; Odovacar is called Patrician of the Pope’s diocese of Italy, nominally under the protection of Byzantium’s armies. This seems to work — until the entire tribe of Ostrogoths invade Italy and dispose Odovacar.

So nothing comes of it all, and the Pope has to start all over again, this time with Ostrogoth strongman Theodoric. The puppetry is dropped, and Theodoric proclaims himself King of Italy. This works, and the Pope is the anointer of Ostrogoth kings for a generation, until Byzantine Emperor Justinian’s army depopulates Italy trying to reinclude in in the Roman Empire.

The eastern Emperor spoils it all. The Popes, anointers of kings, don’t want to go back to being officials of a Church with headquarters in Byzantium. They are loyal to the Roman Empire, the real one, Octavian’s, not Justinian’s.

* * *

The Popes are precursors of Hobbes. They know that an operating Leviathan needs a single head. Heaven is ruled by a single king. As in heaven, so on earth.

The problem is that the operating Leviathan has its head in Byzantium, and the Popes’ own world is overrun by numerous violent war chieftains and their mounted Knights. The Byzantine Leviathan is unacceptable because it has no office for a supreme Potifex Maximus, at least none for the saints in Rome.

So the project is to rehabilitate the defunct Leviathan out of the bands of marauding Knights. Such a project requires constant, careful and calculated prevarication.

Hampered by the Byzantine Empire’s depopulation of Italy, the Popes cannot get anything rolling in the immediate vicinity of their seat. They do better when they turn to Siricius’s favorites in Gaul, strongman Arbogast’s descendants, the lethal Franks.

One of the Frankish Knights, a killer named Clodovech, grandson of Merovech, seems almost to know what it takes to rise from marauder to King.

Many of the Franks have married their Gallic and Latin neighbors and have settled down to hunting and even some planting. They still cherish the memory of the ages of violence, but their lives are not as full of great moments as the lives of their ancestors. Those who not only cherish the memory of the violence but also continue to live like their ancestors are the mounted Knights with their loyal gangs of retainers.

The grandson of Merovech is one of the greats among the Knights. This Clodovech operates from an island fortress on the river Seine, a site once inhabited by people called Parisii, a Celtic clan. In order to prevent disputes about who shall not have access to the fortress, Clodovech engages assassins to liquidate his brothers, cousins and all other disputants. Clodovech has undisputed access.

Nothing in Frankish tradition absolves such fratricide, and the spirits of the murdered kinsmen visit Clodovech’s dreams. Such ghostly visitors will be portrayed in Shakespeare’s account of the experiences of Clodovech’s later Scottish counterpart Macbeth.

Unlike Macbeth, Clodovech knows of a Latin called the Pope who has medicine to absolve virtually any deed. Although Clodovech is not a Christian, the Pope absolves him, since the king of heaven would not withhold his grace from a man who is already, by his very deeds, almost a king.

From the Latin medicine man, Clodovech learns that land is not what his Frankish kin think it is. The Franks think Earth is the mother of all living beings and cannot be the preserve of any man or group of men. They fought for twenty generations against Romans who tried to turn a portion Earth into a private preserve. Clodovech learns that Earth can be one man’s preserve, and can be treated like any other war booty.

The absolved chieftain and his marauding Knights set out with higher aims: their object is the land itself. If Latins could turn a portion of Earth into a Roman preserve, so can Franks. They invert their ancestors’ long struggle, but this bothers no one: Knights are not known for their familiarity with ethical considerations, the Honor of a Knight is in his sword and his spear.

The inspired adventurers swear loyalty to Clodovech and set out to kill all the remaining Imperial soldiers still in Gaul, all good Christians. Then they go after Thuringians and Alemanni. Blocked by stubborn Alemanni, Clodovech again has to resort to the Latin holy men who accompany his band. He makes a deal. If the god of the holy men helps the Franks defeat the enemy, Clodovech will allow himself and his sons to be doused with holy water.

Optimus Maximus does for Clodovech what He had earlier done for Constantine, and the Frankish marauder becomes Clovis, a Roman Catholic soldier of faith.

Clovis obligingly appoints bishops from among the holy men, and also from among his most loyal marauders; this is a formality that merely amuses the knowing Knights.

Armored with lies, the Frankish adventurers now turn their spears against enemies who appear to be Visigoths, Burgundians and Ostrogoths, but whom the Catholic Franks now know as Heretics, followers of Arius, demons in disguise. Every pillaging expedition is now a holy war.

The grandson of Merovech is eventually stopped, and the great grandsons inherit the war booty, which consists mainly of lands. The appointment of bishops will turn out to have been as important as the conquest of the lands.

The bishops appoint priests, and the priests go among the people and preach.

* * *

The priests speak Latin to a population that speaks Germanic dialects.

The people do not understand either what the priests say or what they want. The inhabitants of the former Roman Empire, Celts and Latins as well as Franks, intermarried and no longer distinguishable, now live under Frankish law: Earth is common to all, to former slaves and zeks and also to their flocks of animals.

The priests claim to be keepers of the law, but their law is Roman, it is Latifundia law.

The inhabitants, whether former slaves or former serfs, are all Franks now. They take their flocks where they please for the first time since Romans subjugated Celts; if they don’t venture far, it is not because they recognize boundaries, but because they fear marauders.

Yet the priests speak of boundaries, of domains, of god’s kingdom and of an earthly kingdom.

The Roman dreams of Christian priests are frustrated and postponed by the complete collapse of the institutions and habits of subordination. The former Roman serf or slave is not quite free, the former Frankish tribesman is no longer free, but neither the one nor the other is a subject. In principle each is as free as a Knight.

Knights are bound to each other only by freely taken oaths. One who swears to be another man’s man is a vassal, and vassalage, among Franks, is equivalent to comradeship. In a band of free men, it is an honor to swear fealty.

Free pastoralists and planters are bound by no other ties. They swear fealty to the local marauder, so long as he agrees to do his marauding elsewhere. They join him on some of his expeditions; in good seasons they make gives to him. And they expect the same from him. The relation is mutual. It is a relation of mutual aid among people who have lost most of their traditions, but retain fealty and cultivate violence.

Fealty does no eliminate violence. It makes violence a littles less unpredictable: sworn companions do not attack each other.

Taxes, tribute, debts and all forms of compulsory labor and service have come close to vanishing. There is no functioning Leviathan in the West. This is what makes the Roman clergy despair; there is order in heaven but no on earth.

Later apologists for a reconstituted Leviathan will say that relations of fealty, which they will name Feudalism, are more degrading than Leviathanic relations of serfdom, slavery and wage labor. Such apologists will speak of “dark ages,” of times when people ate grass; they will have nasty names for all pre-Leviathanic relations.

Actually, fealty is not on its way in, but on its way out. It is part of the culture the Goths and Franks have been losing. Soon they will lose even their tongues. Soon nothing will remain of their ancient culture except the violence and war to preserve that culture. The invaders who occupy the decomposed Roman Empire let all their traditions lapse. Their culture is reduced to a single theme. All their songs and stories, most of their festivals, are celebrations of deeds of violence.

Ancient Greeks also nursed traditions of violence, but the Greeks merged with conquered communities who were still celebrating the annual rebirth of the daughter of the the Earth Mother.

The Gothic invaders merge with a population of slaves, zeks and armored men who have even fewer human qualities to contribute than the invaders themselves.

In a context of such unsublimated violence, all relations are unstable, not just fealty relations. It is the violence that accounts for the instability. In a world where greatness is measured by the head count of dead victims, strongmen do not long remain equals of the weak. Oaths freely sworn by a weaker to a stronger become duties; gifts freely given by villagers to a local Knight become obligations.

Eventually the duties and obligations become compulsory, but not right away. The free villagers do not except such a reduction. They gang up with each other and kill the strongman. They retreat into the forests and hills to defend themselves.

Knights do not become hereditary aristocrats in one generation. This transformation takes long, and the main reason it happens at all is that something is constantly on the backs of the villagers, something that saps their energy, something that reduces proud, free and violent human beings into submissive, unfree and violent zeks.

This something is the blackfrocked priest who follows every villager like a shadow, even up the hills and into the forests.

The priest has hierarchy embedded in his brain. God is on the top rung, angels on the next, demons on the lowest, and each kneels to the rung above. This is order. The villagers’ resistance is chaos, and Satan is the author of chaos.

This does not go over well among free people. They want to know why they must be so.

The priest’s first trick is to cite miracles or ghosts and even to perform tricks such as moving the lips of a statue of Holy Mary, but only the feeble-minded enjoy these tricks. So the priest must resort to Plato’s “necessary lie”; he tries to explain that some are made of gold, others are meant to mine it; some are made to be carried, others to carry.

But the villagers see through this lie too: they still remember that the local Knight is the grandson of a villager no more golden or delicate than themselves.

Now the priest resorts to the really big lie, the contribution of the pseudo-Apostle Paul to the Western Spirit. The priest blames the victim for his misfortune. He says the villagers are sinful, and their sin is the cause of their misery. People were happy until Satan enticed them into sinning, into eating forbidden fruit. By sinning, people fell from happiness into misery. Remaining sinful, they’ve remained miserable ever since. The cause of the misery is not the Knight but the villagers themselves; they are their own greatest enemy.

Relatively free villagers are not easily taken in, even by robed, death-like medicine men who mumble chants in an incomprehensible language. But these villagers’ heritage is poor, and each of them remembers the times he committed, or at least intended to commit, murder, pillage or rape. They recognize themselves as sinful, as fallen human beings. This still doesn’t explain why they should fall while the Knight rises. Now the priest’s other explanation comes into focus. God made some men to murder, pillage and rape with impunity; He made others to bear the misery.

Villagers who swallow these lies become servile villeins on a a Lord’s manor; and the earthly order begins to take on the attributes of the Roman Catholic Heaven.

The commitment of those who came to bring fire to the Roman Leviathan has been turned into its opposite. The priests are the greatest allies of the strongmen who repress resistance. The Church gains power because it is Roman, not because it is Christian.

* * *

The great marauders soon realize that the priests do them a much greater service than merely lending their god’s help in war. The priests pacify the villeins; they turn rebellious pastoralists and planters into obedient servants. The priests do this for the Visigothic Tulgas and Ervigs, for the Anglo-Saxon Oswys and Pendas, for the Lombard Ariberts and Grimoalds, for the Frankish Theuderiches and Childeberts. I am focusing on the realm of Clodovech’s heirs but because that is where the priests are most successful. The priests succeed not because they are loyal to Clodovech’s heirs but because they are loyal to Rome, the old one, Octavian’s.

The great-grandsons of Clodovech, marauders all, lose interest in the affairs of their villeins and become preoccupied with the hunt and with the formalities of entertaining guests. By the seventh generation after their lethal progenitor, the Frankish Knights, now called kings, leave the administrative chores to a mayor in their palace.

After the assassination of a mayor called Eborin, a man called Pepin of Heristal acquires this post. Peopin is a contemporary of the Zarathustrian priests and rulers seeking refuge in the capital of China because Umayyad Caliphs and Muslim armies are wielding power in Persian lands.

Pepin of Heristal knows nothing of China or Persia, but he knows that Muslim armies are also at the southern borders of Pepin’s own realm. They have been invited there by all but one of the sons of the Visigothic strongman Witiza. One of Witiza’s sons, Roderic by name, seized his father’s palace and tried to follow the precedent of Clodovech, but he wasn’t quick enough. Witiza’s other sons invited the renowned Muslims to cross over from North Africa and help unseat their usurping brother Roderic.

The armies of Islam are welcomed to Spain by most pastoralists and planters and by all schismatics, heretics and Jews. The Muslims receive such a warm reception that they proceed over the Pyrenees to the realm of the Franks.

The heirs of Clodovech are preoccupied with hunting and entertainment. Neither Childebert nor Dagobert nor Chilperich pay any attention to the newcomers from Africa and distant Arabia.

But the natural son of Mayor Pepin, a Knight called Charles, enlists the Pope’s agents to help him recruit an army for a holy war.

The Pope’s clerics nickname Charles “the Hammer,” and they consider his cause holy because it serves the Catholic Pope’s Roman purposes. The Roman Empire’s actual capital, Constantinople, is besieged by the same Muslim enemies of Christendom, but its defense is not holy to the Pope, who defies the Byzantine Emperor’s request for help.

The Mayor is the Pope’s man. Charles the Hammer pushes the Muslims under Abd-ar-Rahman to the other side of the Pyrenees.

Head of the biggest army north of the Pyrenees, the Mayor lets the king confine himself to hunting and entertaining. When the Hammer dies, his son Pepin the Short deposes the last of Clodovech’s heirs, with the Pope’s consent. In exchange for the consent, he leads his army to Italy, defeats a Lombard army, and donates a portion of the peninsula to the Pope.

Pepin’s donation displeases not only those who question Pepin’s right to donate a portion of Italy, but also those who ask: Who is Pepin? It answer both questions, the Pope’s scribes forge a document which proves that Emperor Constantine had already granted that portion of Italy to the Pope. Armed with these two phoney donations, the Pope is on surer ground than ever before.

Pepin’s son Charles, called The Great already in his lifetime, lays the foundation of a new empire, and the Roman Pope is its patriarch.

The great Charles, son of the short Pepin, ends all disputes over the Pope’s lands by conquering the Lombards and getting himself crowned “King of Franks and Lombards.” Charles makes an alliance with Muslim Ibn-al Arabi of Barcelona to attack Umayyad emir Abd-ar Rahman of Cordoba, but Basque warriors destroy the rearguard of the Frankish army.

Charles the Great then turns his armies northward to realize the Pope’s dream and perpetrate one of the ugliest ironies in Leviathanic His-Story. Only recently allied with one Muslim against another, the Catholic armies of Charlemagne turn northward to wage a holy war against infidels.

The infidels north of Frankish Gaul are Saxons, Frisians, Danes, Avars. They are descendants of people who were blocked from the south for twenty generations by Rome. Those who fought against the Roman occupation are now Franks and Lombards. Those who retreated and defended themselves from the Roman monster and from dehumanization are still in the forests and on the riverbanks to which they retreated.

Those who stayed behind and cherish the memory of their ancestors’ long war, but unlike those who invaded the Empire, they have not been reduced to compulsive looters and killers. Their free communities still retain many of their ancient traditions. Marauding Knights are not altogether absent in the north, but none of them have succeeded in imposing tribute or forced labor on the free villagers.

Now, for the first time, Roman armies are pouring beyond Rome’s former frontiers and invading lands of the north, something they could never do before. The Roman Catholics can advance because the northerners are split as they never were before; the Knights, who tend to monopolize the weapons, defect to Charlemagne’s armies, attracted by prospects of booty and power.

The free communities of Saxons fiercely resist the Catholic armies for more than a generation. They disarm Knights who go over to the Christians. They defeat Charlemagne’s armies.

Charlemagne’s trained killers massacre several thousand Saxons at Verden; they capture and enslave several thousand more. Yet the Saxons go on resisting. One of the resisters’ own guerrilla fighters comes to terms with Charlemagne, but the Saxons still fight on.

The Catholic militarists resort to the Assyrian stratagem of mass deportations and to the Roman stratagem of granting the conquered lands to military heroes.

The Popes have at last realized their dream. The Roman Leviathan seems to be rehabilitated, and Arbogast’s heirs are running it.

The invaders carry desolation to Avars, Scandinavians, Slavs and Huns. The Avars are completely destroyed.

Scandinavians form seafaring brigades, and they continue the resistance by raiding and pillaging Catholic strongholds. Slavs resist by forming a Moravian Leviathan of their own. Huns mount fleet horses and attack Catholic settlements as well as armies.

Massacres and deportations convert the majority of Northern Europeans to Christianity. The freedoms so long defended from the Roman Leviathan now become increasingly restricted. The northern forests become the booty of the invading army. The chief marauder gives away portions of the forests to the biggest and most loyal killers in his band, who are now called earls, bishops and kings.

Fealty is no longer an oath between equals. It has become hierarchic. Every chief is now the vassal of a higher vassal and all are vassals of the emperor. Land is the vassal’s chief reward.

The inhabitants of free communities sink to being peasants on a lord’s manor, and gradually they become what Rome could not make them: serfs. All services and gifts they once gave freely are now enforced by violent guardians of Leviathanic order. Peasants, many of them descendants of pastoral nomads, still let their animals forage in the forests, the commons, but they do so at the sufferance of the forest’s lord. Mother Earth is becoming the preserve of the most lethal strongmen.

* * *

The Christianized human beings who are shackled with bonds of servitude — bonds which some of them had shaken off and others had never before experienced — do not passively reconcile themselves to the serfdom imposed on them. Their resistance becomes massive.

The Church tries to preclude this resistance by working on the violence so central to what Turner will Call the Western Spirit. We’ve already seen how the Pope’s agents used the doctrine of sin to lodge the blame for oppression within the immiserated victim.

After Charlemagne’s conquests, priests go everywhere, they turn every village, manor and hamlet into a parish, and the notorious training camps and prisons known as monasteries begin to do the landscape.

Disinherited Knights as well as frustrated resisters are recruited to the monasteries and transformed into adepts of the faith. In these establishments, which are nothing but early schools, human beings are systematically broken, the way horses or oxen are broken, to bear weights and pull loads. They are separated from their own humanity, from all natural activities and sequences, and taught to perform artificial activities and identify with Leviathanic sequences. They become disciplined springs and wheels engaged in a routine that has no relation to human desires or natural cycles.

The clock will be invented by monastic beings because the clock is nothing but a miniature monastery whose springs and wheels are made of metal instead of flesh and blood.

Such total repression rarely succeeds among beings not made of metal. The forms in which the repressed humanity returns are not recorded by the monastic scribes, although inmates and graduates of monasteries will invariably attribute a practice they will call “sodomy” to infidels unfamiliar to them; this may or may not be a clue to the contents of a monk’s unrepressed night life.

Priests and monks carry to every hamlet the repression of the natural and the devotion to the artificial. They try to make every peasant a repressed monk.

This violent repression of everything natural is the main link between the Catholicism of the West and the Judaism of the Levant. “Have dominion over the fish...and over the fowl...and over every living thing” is interpreted, by the pacifiers of the West’s free peasants, as a declaration of war against all natural urges to resist enserfment. The fish and the fowl are the freedom and the independence of the peasant.

Fused with the doctrine of sin, one big lie superimposed on another, the call fro dominion is an invitation to what we will call “self-management.” The peasants are to do to themselves what god does to the world and what the nobles do to the peasants. They are to remain violent, and to turn their violence against their own natural urges and desires, above all the desire to recover their freedom. The peasant is to declare war against his own self, against his body and all its needs and drives.

Those who don’t have the sense to resist the priests start appearing on the roads of Europe with whips, applying lashes to themselves. The West’s free northerners and liberated southerners are totally dispossessed. Western Europe, where Muslims who bow to their god five times a day are considered Satanic infidels, becomes a circus of penitents epiating their sins by inflicting imaginative tortures on their own bodies.

The greatest of the penitents, the ones raised to sainthood by the Church, “have been guilty of the greatest sins against creation,” in Turner’s words, “racking themselves on wheels, hacking religious emblems in their breasts, causing themselves to be partially buried in graves or hanged on gallows, burning themselves on ovens, lick up up vomit or drinking the blood of diseased patients.”

No previous Leviathan had so completely degraded its human contents. Never before have people turned the Leviathans’s violence on themselves. The Popes and their establishment have achieved an unprecedented victory. Their Lugalzaggizi-Optimus Maximus, a synonym of Death, has mastered the feat of imposing its dominion over the living by means of their own minds and hands, the feat of making human individuals commit slow and torturous murder against themselves.

* * *


The Church’s project of rehabilitating the Roman Leviathan on its west-Eurasian home-grounds succeeds — but only for an instant, a fleeting instant which gives rise to lasting illusions.

Charlemagne’s neo-Roman Empire in Frankish garb is neither a rehabilitated Fourth nor a new Fifth Beast. It is no more than the last death-rattle of the moribund Roman worm, a sudden burst of flame among the cinders of a burnt-out fire.

The stench emanating from the unburied decomposing carcass will continue to attack western nostrils, but the artifice will never again be set in motion.

Muslims, Byzantines, Turnks and Mongols seeking a Leviathanic name for the West will continue to refer to Europeans as “Franks” because there was a Frankish Leviathan once upon a time, not because there continues to be one.

Western Eurasia will be treated like a single entity with a continuous story because trained falsifiers will have a monopoly on the West’s record keeping.

The Roman Catholic chroniclers of the heavenly and earthly Leviathan are schooled to see unity and continuity where there is none, to see what they’re looking for, not what they’re looking at. They tell of the Earthly City even when cities disappear from the West, when there is no Leviathanic unity nor continuity but only dismemberment and decomposition.

The centuries of militancy, preparation and propaganda yield the Church no Earthly City. THe Church’s chosen champion, the Frankish Roman Empire, is like ancient Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus, who went from victory to victory until he was totally ruined. The Church’s scribes will nevertheless depict ever-greater triumphs of their cause. They are trained not to recognize defeat. Self-defined as Catholic, namely all-embracing, the Western Church seeks total a dominion so vast, that every collapse of its real empire seems minor and ephemeral, even the collapse of its last empire.

Like militants of later days, Catholic militants seek ends so broad that virtually any means seem instrumental. Their daily practice degenerates into an unprincipled power-serving opportunism that is ever-ready to smear the previous day’s goals and perpetrate atrocities against the previous day’s allies. In the eyes of such opportunists Emperor Charlemagne was great and Holy Roman Emperor Otto is greater.

But if Charlemagne was barely more than the chieftan of a gang of marauders, Otto is neither Holy nor Roman nor an Emperor.

The Church cannot accept the fall of the Roman Empire because it sees the Empire as the World and itself as the Empire’s soul. The entire apparatus of the Church continues to act as a vast bureaucracy administering a world-embracing Leviathan during all the centuries when no Leviathan stirs in the West.

Charlemagne’s ephemeral Frankish Empire serves the Church as confirmation that the Beast does move, but a close look reveals that this Beast is not only ephemeral but also illusory. It is not a functioning machine. It is a composite made up of pieces that come from different machines, and the pieces don’t mesh together, they are like prows of ships combined with clock springs. Clocks will serve a purpose on ships, but a mound of prows and clock springs will not yield either a ship or a clock.

Another suggestive metaphor would be a nervous system existing apart from a body. The Church trains and deploys a vast bureaucracy fully capable of serving as administration and police of the Roman Emperor and his provincial governors and tax farmers in the time of Octavian Augustus. But in the time of Frankish marauders, this colossal bureacucracy dangles in a void, and no amount of anointing water can glue such a bureaucracy to such an army and make it a functioning Leviathan.

The Franks are still Free Men who prove their worth by their prowess, and the only loyalty they honor is loyalty to the brothers and comrades who help them get booty. Loyalty to an Emperor, devotion to the orderly functioning of the Imperial machine, are as alien to them as fealty is to the Roman Popes.

The Franks were glad enough to treat the very land as war booty, but this has not turned them into officials of a territorial State. On the contrary, the Franks have turned lands into attributes of persons. Thus Lotharingia, for example, is neither a colony nor a province, such as Gaul was in Roman days. Lotharingia is the sum of Lothar’s holdings in any given year, and it can change from one year to the next, like Lothar’s clothes.

This is true not only of Lothar but also of his sworn companions-in-arms, his vassals. Each vassal is rewarded with booty in the form of lands over which he is Lord, and he in turn rewards lesser vassals with large parcels of his lands.

The parcels, called Manors, are not fiscal and administrative units of a territorial State. The officials deployed to all these “parishes” by the Church officiate in a vacuum. The Lord of the manor serves as liege-lord, be he near or distant, and if his liege-lord is at war with his neighbor’s, he will war against his neighbor. And such wars are not rare. That’s why the walls of the Lord’s lodging are three feet thick, why there is a moat before the entrance, why the Lord and his retainers move about in heavy armor lugging tree-length spears. In such a context, trained administrators of territorial units are exotics from a different world.

The Frankish Lords are still familiar only with the personal relations of their vanquished community, whereas the Churchmen are trained to think the hierarchic relations of the Roman Empire are the only possible community.

The Lord and the Priest are not only exotic to each other. They are also incompatible. The world of each excludes the other. The Lord is probably grateful to the Priest for pacifying the cultivators of the land with stories of the evils of this world and the glories of the next. The Lord is grateful because he is fed, not by the land, but by its cultivators.

The peasants feed the Lord and all his companions, their families and thier horses. The peasants build the moat as well as the thick walls. They grind the Lord’s wheat and carry his water. On occasion they are even recruited to fight his wars.

The peasants, whether their ancestors were Franks, Latins, Celts, Levantines or Africans, are no longer free. Some resisted, some tried to flee, but all the liege-lord’s vassals ganged up against them. They are part of the manor. They come with the parcel a vassal receives as booty. They have been reduced to serfs.

It is among the serfs that the priests do their officiating. To the Priests, the Serfs are equal to the Lords in the eyes of God, they are all citizens of the Empire, as they were to Roman Emperor Caracalla, and therefore all are equally bound to pay a head tax, a tithe or tenth of all their produce.

This tithe is sent to Rome and from Rome it filters down the hierarchy in a properly Leviathanic manner, supporting the administrative apparatus of the inexistent Empire.

But the tithe is so much food that doesn’t reach the Lord’s table. The Lord hates to see the tithe leave this manor, and he will soon try to control not only the tithe but also the Priest on his manor. He wants the peasant’s surplus product on his table, not on the parasitical Pope’s.

Such an attitude could not be at greater variance with the Priest’s, whose Roman training predisposes him to want to gather all surplus produce and send it to the center, from where it would filter down in a properly Leviathanic manner.

In practice, Lord and Priest accommodate to each other, but during all the generations that they coexist, each of them draws a line he will not cross. They remain antithetical. Each remains a component of a different entity.

* * *

Books will be written to tell readers that Leviathanic “modes of production” rise in the West when “productive forces ripen,” that the manors of the Lords “develop into” territorial mercantile States, with Churchmen serving as “midwives.”

Many of these books will be like “before” and “after” pictures with an elaborate argument that demonstrates how the earlier structure “developed into” the later one. Written by dialecticians adept at showing how things develop into their opposites, many of the arguments will be convincing and some positively elegant, but they will tell readers everything except the fact that the earlier structures were burned down.

The fact is that the West inherited Rome’s “productive forces,” among the world’s “ripest,” and let them rot. The fact is that the manor will stay a manor longer than any Egyptian dynasty lasted and will never develop into a territorial State, a proper Leviathan. The fact is that the Church is not the “midwife.” The Church is committed to Octavian’s Rome, not to the territorial commercial States of the later West; Charlemagne’s Empire comes as close as the Church will get to its goal.

The Leviathanic forms come from outsiders. They are not adopted by flexible Christian Westerners, who will exist only in later stories. They are violently imposed on the ruins of the dismembered Frankish Catholic Empire. And the “midwives” who initiate the avatars of the later Western Leviathan are enemies of the Franks, of Rome, of the Church, or all three.

The gravediggers of Catholicism’s only real Western Empire, Charlemagne’s, are set in motion by Charlemagne’s own armies of Free Men who test their freedom and their manhood by turning everyone on Europe’s fringes into an inveterate enemy of Franks.

But by attacking the Muslims south of them and then turning north against neighbors of the decimated Saxons, the Franks are no longer tangling with weaker communities. They are tangling with peoples as heavily armored with Leviathanic traits as the Franks themselves. The Muslims of Spain are the westernmost province of Eurasia’s most powerful Leviathan this side of China. The Danes, Slavs, and Avar Huns of the northern woodlands, although not as armored as the Muslims, have long been using Leviathanic weapons to try to preserve what remains of their communities. When all of these peoples retaliate against the Franks, the Empire of the West collapses for good.

* * *

Scandinavians — their descendants will be known in the West as Vikings, Northmen, Normans — are the first to retaliate against Frankish violence. Danes already took up arms to defend their Saxon neighbors from the Frankish massacre. By the time the Franks subjugate Saxony by depopulating northeastern Germany, the Danes are building a fleet against Charlemagne’s Christians.

This fleet is followed by numerous larger fleets, no longer defensive ones. The northerners organize vast military undertakings against the disintegrating Frankish Empire. They begin by raiding the Empire’s outer fringes: Frisia, England, Ireland.

The Vikings take their Steppe horses with them on their large ships, terrorize all of Europe, sack and destroy Frankish strongholds at all major rivers, plunder Asturias, Portugal as well as Paris. They arrive as Conquistadores of vast portions of the Carolingian Empire, dismemberers of the last Roman Empire of the West. Vikings invade parts of Gaul, Apulia in Italy, all of Sicily, all of England. Adopting Frankish languages, availing themselves of Roman bureaucrats, they impose themselves as rulers, undermine the power of manor lords, and then launch a revamped Roman Frankdom into maritime plundering expeditions, into vast commercial undertakings of seaborne piracy and conquest.

The northerners who are provoked by the Roman Catholic invaders of Saxony into such a vast and long-lasting response are as familiar with Leviathanic ways as the Franks themselves. The fact that Vikings are not explicitly named in the records of Leviathans prior to Charlemagne’s suggests that they have not wanted to tangle with the Leviathans until they had to.

Vikings may have been among the northerners who warred against the Roman Empire’s enclosure of southwestern Eurasia. Unlike Franks and Goths, the Scandinavians did not pursue the war for twenty generations, and they were not among the dismemberers of the real Roman Empire. They returned to the fastness of their fjords, separated from Leviathanic armies by icy seas, and nurtured their language, mythology and ancient ways — up to a point. They did not become reconciled to the beastly enclosure of the world’s warm half. And they did break through. BUt unlike the Franks, they did it without storming Rome’s walls. They found a path to the Mediterranean which bypassed the Roman Empire and all its legions, a path from the Baltic to the Black Sea along the rivers that traverse Russia. It is not known how long the Scandinavians were familiar with this path, nor if they were among the “Scythians” with whom the Greeks traded on the Black Sea’s shores.

By the time Frankish armies firs tangle with Vikings, the outposts along the Scandinavians’ eastern path are already commercial empires engaged in trade and politics with the Byzantine Empire. At a time when there are neither cities nor trade in the Frankish West, Vikings who call themselves Rus, whom the Byzantines call Varangians, dispatch commercial fleets from the cities of Novgorod and Kiev.

Like the Phoenicians and their Arab successors, like the Ottawas of another time and place, these Scandinavians try to compensate for the loss of half the world by turning themselves into intermediaries who carry objects between the enclosed lands and their homeland.

Just as they bypassed Rome to reach the Middle Sea, they bypass Byzantium to reach the Levant and exchange their furs, teas and honey for Muslim silks, spices and silver. They do this on their own, without Christian intermediaries. When they do have recourse to Byzantine scribes and icons, they do so in order to appear before the Muslim merchants as the Third Rome, not as a province of Byzantium.

Undoubtedly hoping to enhance their own lives and ways by their carrying, in time they cease to be what they were and become what they do. The Scandinavian Rus become rulers of the first Russian State, a water-borne commercial empire, an octopus; they become carriers of Leviathanic tentacles to parts of Eurasia reached by no previous Leviathan.

By tangling with Vikings, the Franks dig a grave for their own Empire of serfs, manor lords and fealty relations. The Scandinavians north of Saxony will not become serfs or vassals of a liege-lord; in fact, they will not leave Frankish institutions much space in which to develop.

Many of the West’s major transformations come to it neither from the inner dynamics of the feudal Lord’s manor nor from the Papal See but from Scandinavia, just like Muslim silver, which the Northmen monopolize in Western Europe for several generations.

* * *

Vikings are not the only people whose ire the marauding Roman Catholic Franks provoke. The Pope-anointed latter-day Romans also tangle with Slavs, Magyars and Muslims, even though the Vikings are formidable enough to dismember the Knightly Empire. The converted Franks fare no better against the others than against the Vikings.

Most Slavs live in agricultural communities far from Leviathans at the time of Charlemagne, but the Slavs attacked by the Frankish marauders do not.

After completing their devastation of Saxony, the Franks turn against Lithuanians, northern Srbi or Sorbs (later called Wends), and Moravians. Lithuanians and Sorbs give the Catholics a lot of trouble later. Moravians do so right away.

Moravians are communities of cultivators long familiar with Leviathanic relations. It is not known if some of their ancestors were among the Scythians who traded with the Greeks or if later ancestors took part in the long war against the Roman Empire. It is known that already at the time of the Frank Clodovech, the Moravians had formed a defensive alliance similar to that of the ancient Guti and all their successors. Mounted Avar Huns at war with Byzantium had tried to reduce the agricultural Moravians into permanent food suppliers, and the Moravians had defended themselves from such a reduction by rallying their forces behind a strongman.

Charlemagne’s Franks exterminate the Avars. Less violent people would have formed a lasting alliance with the grateful Moravians. But the Knights anointed by the agents of Optimus Maximus form no alliances. The Frankish marauders proceed to treat the Moravians as the Avars had.

Moravian cultivators will not be agrarian zeks to Franks any more willingly than to Avars, and they again have recourse to their defensive league, this time behind a strongman called Moymir.

The Frankish threat does not recede, and the Moravians remain leagued. Moymir’s son Rastislav welcomes Serbian prelates Cyril and Methodius to Moravia to help organize a more permanent defensive establishment with scribes and with records written in Cyrils own alphabet, a proper Leviathan like those with which southern Slavs and Bulgars defend themselves from Byzantine recruiters and tribute-seekers.

Increasingly enmeshed by Leviathanic relations of their own making, unwittingly losing what they’re intending to defend, the Moravians succeed in repulsing at least two major armies of Frankish invaders and in expanding their defensive league over regions later called Slovakia, Bohemia, northern Hungary and southern Poland.

More Cyrillic bureaucrats arrive from Serbia to help administer this State, but Serbia is far and the prelates do not arrive quickly enough, so the next Moravian strongman, Sviatopluk, invites Latin prelates to fill the administrative posts.

With its bureaucracy revamped, Moravia holds off yet more Frankish invasion forces, but collapses in the face of mounted Avars, namely Magyar Huns provoked by Byzantines as well as Franks.

The revamping of the Moravian bureaucracy will be described by Rome’s scribes as a deed of the Roman Church, an accomplishment called “the Conversion of the Moravians.” The militant church marches from victory to victory, like Pyrrhus; every victory brings it closer to its Doom.

The Moravian Leviathan, with its population of cultivators who share a common language and traditions, its centralized military organization and its bureaucracy of ecclesiastical clerks, may have affinities with the early Roman Res-Publica. It has no affinities at all with the Roman or Frankish Empires. It is a precursor of what we will call a “nation state,” an early gravedigger of everything Frankish, Roman, Catholic and Imperial.

Those who hail “the conversion of the Moravians” conveniently forget what their institution stands for. If it had been the aim of the Roman Church to serve as the bureaucracy of anything other than a rehabilitated and all-embracing Roman Empire, it could have gone to Byzantium, which at least had memories of empire as well as imperial pretensions. To boast of being the tail that wags the dog takes gall. To boast of being Sviatopluk’s tail takes the hardened cynicism of the propagandist, the public liar.

It is true that the communities of Moravian cultivators gain nothing from the Catholic bureaucrats who administer their initially defensive league. However, Moravians happen to be among the few who actually read the Book of the Catholic clerks and call the lies of the Catholic establishment.

It is true that the Moravian State lasts for only a generation before it is ruined by angry Magyar Huns. But this State is immediately followed by a long line of successors. It is already the prototype of the Leviathanic form that will sweep liege-lords and manors from the field.

While their Empire falls to pieces, Frankish marauders nevertheless go on attacking Scandinavians, Slavs and Magyars.

The attacked continue to retort in kind, but they do something else besides. They form themselves, in very quick succession, into Moravian-style defensive Leviathans administered for their respective strongmen by bureaucrats trained by the Roman Church.

The Moravians’ kin and neighbors launch a Bohemian Leviathan headed by Vaclav and Premysl.

Vikings follow with a Danish Leviathan headed by Gorm the Old and Harold Bluetooth.

Magyar Huns gather in a Hungarian Leviathan headed by Arpad.

Communities of free cultivators of fields, Polenyi in Slavic, become encased in a Piast Dynasty headed by Miezko.

The proliferation goes on and on. Europe’s geography is being launched.

Frankish Catholics do not put an end to Viking or Magyar raids. Scandinavian rulers curb the Vikings. Hungarian rulers curb the Magyar raiders. Each of the indigenous Leviathans later called nation-states does to its human contents what neither Romans nor Franks could do to them: domesticates them.

But the forms of the domestication are neither Roman nor Frankish. The boundaries of these States are the limits beyond which liege-lords and manors cannot spread. Each of these Leviathans serves only its own ends. The only Empire to which they are loyal is their own. They can be turned to provinces of another empire only by being destroyed, since they were constituted as defenses against provincialization by Frankdom or Rome and this remains their central aim. They recognize the supremacy of the Pope only so long as the Papal See remains a supreme traing ground of bureaucrats whose first loyalty is to the national ruler, whose first devotion is to the cause of genocidal campaigns against other Catholic nation-states or even against the remains of Frankdom itself.

These nations are Catholic only so long as the Catholics are national. Later on, when bureaucrats will be trained at home and Rome’s services are no longer needed, the depth of all the “conversions” will be exposed by overnight “reformations.”

The Moravianization of Europe’s frontiers, or rather the proliferation of Leviathans in the form of nation-states which encircle and shrink Frankdom’s Rome, precludes the very possibility of rehabilitating an Empire of the West, whether Roman or other. The Pope’s Roman dream will be revived only twice, and much later, by two megalomaniacs, but their Romes will be Paris and Berlin, neither of them will seek anointment from Pontifex Maximus, and neither will realize the dream. Charlemagne’s Empire is not a beginning but an end.

* * *

Rome’s scribes do not seek Frankdom’s northern debacles as defeats, but they do recognize their Empire’s southern adventures as less than victories.

Already in Charlemagne’s own lifetime, the proud Franks deliberately seek the enmity of both of the Leviathans west of China. It is probably only their ignorance of the existence of the Far Eastern Leviathan that keeps the Franks from trying their swords and spears against that adversary as well.

The Franks try to subjugate Byzantium’s last outpost in the West, commercial Venice, and they cross the Pyrenees to chase Spanish Muslims.

The Catholic Empire’s antipathy to Venice comes to it from Frankish, Roman as well as Christian sources. The recently and incompletely Leviathanized Franks still consider trade to be something one does to one’s enemies, and the ecclesiastical thought-molders among the Franks share old Rome’s antipathy to any type of Octopus with freely-moving tentacles, be it Etruscan or Carthagian. The Roman antipathy is supplemented by the Book’s description of Christ’s treatment of the money-chargers.

Westerners consider trade demeaning to Christians. They call it sinful. The few eastern spices and cloths they use come to them from Jews, whos existence in the West is not publicly acknowledged; the invisible Jews are considered foreigners, even though the Jews have been in Gaul and Italy longer than Goths.

The Venetians are Christians and also heirs to the mercantile traditions of Adriatic Greeks. Ever since the reduction of their Byzantine metropolis by the armies of Islam, their own city has been turning into an independent octopus, or at least into a tentacle of the Islamic octopus.

The relation of Venice to Arabic mercantile centers in the Levant probably resembles the relation of ancient Greeks to Phoenicians.

The Venetians, like the Russian Vikings who find their way to the Levant from the Black Sea, are apprentices to the Muslims. They deliver timber to the once-forested Levant, as well as enslaved human beings who are not always “heathens.” They take from the Levant luxuries, some of which originate in distant India and China.

The Venetians respond to the Frankish threat by taking to the sea, and the notoriously unseaworthy Knights cannot either subjugate or eliminate the Christian merchants.

The Franks stop molesting Venice only after the Byzantine metropolis recognizes the apparatus of the Frankish Knights as the Empire of the West, namely another Pyrrhic victory. The Byzantine recognition will not prolong Frankdom’s existence by a day, whereas Venice will undermine all of Frankdom’s principled antipathies.

* * *


Vikings, Slavs, Magyars and Byzantines confine Romanized Frankdom to a field whose dimensions are modest for an all-embracing, namely Catholic Empire.

Islam will undermine and cut short the development of any Frankish project even within the narrow field left by the others.

The incursion of Charlemagne’s army into Islamic Spain does nothing for the Franks and it warns the Muslims of the existence and character of the Frankish Empire.

There isn’t even a war. The two sides are too unequal. We must be careful not to project later Western traits into earlier events. The Muslims are armored with weapons and technologies of Central Eurasia’s Leviathans. The Frankish Knights are armored with coats of mail which serve them best in their forest bouts against each other.

The Knights have acquired inflated conceptions of their mission and power from their megalomaniacal spiritual advisers, but they were formidable only when they bullied and slaughtered Saxon peasants. They did less well in the face of Vikings, Magyars and Moravians. They disintegrate in the face of Islam.

Charlemagne’s son Louis, called the Pious, reassures himself of Frankish prowess by staying close to the icons that promise Franks the world and far from the gaping jaws of all the lions of the West, but this strengthens the western Empire about as much as Byzantium’s recognition.

Pious Louis is overthrown by his own sons, who promptly turn their spears and vassals against each other.

Muslims retaliate against grandfather Charlemagne’s incursions by raiding and then conquering Sicily. The decapitated Catholic Leviathan, plunged into civil war by the founder’s grandsons, has already lost its ability to respond. North African Muslims move up the coast of Italy, using Palermo and then Bari on the Peninsula’s very coast as bases from which they proceed inland. Soon they are pillaging Naples, fortifying themselves in Apulia, and moving toward the territory the Popes claim to have recieved from Constantine.

The Muslim invaders reach Italy from a region they name Ifiquyah, a region which was known as Carthage before it became a Roman province called Africa. The Tunisian Muslims are unwittingly and belatedly avenging the exterminated Carthaginians while the latter-day Romans are dividing their Empire into three Kingdoms, none of them capable of saving Rome.

The pathetic Vicar of Christ, supreme Pontifex of an empire that no longer exists, has to face Hannibal’s successors on his own in a struggle which is neither memorable nor Roman. The fourth Leo saves only himself, by walling himself into a part of Rome. His prison will be called the Leonine City although it will have no affinity to a lion beyond the name. Still later it will be called the Vatican.

And the Pope’s long-sought Frankish Empire, now divided into three Frankish Kingdoms, leaves the Pope in his prisonbecaise the Imperial grandsons are not able to cope even with their own problems. Bald Charles cannot stop Vikings from plundering the coasts of Gaul nor from reaching Paris itself. Brother Louis, called The German, can confront neither united Moravia nor the Vikings plundering the northern coasts. And Brother Lothar, supreme Lord of Lotharingia, experiences his father’s fate of seeing Lotharingia split into three yet smaller parcels of Empire. One more such division and the Imperial parcels will not exceed Moravia in size.

It might be thought that the heirs of the Franks would at that point copy their neighbors and constitute themselves into nation-states. This doesn’t happen. Having once tasted Empire, the Franks will be as inflexibly devoted to phantoms of past forms as the Pontifex of Rome. Changes will be imposed on both by outsiders.\

Franks and Popes will in fact pretend that the Empire never ceased to exist. The Pope will anoint whichever of Charlemagne’s heirs is able to reach Rome, and when Frankish heirs become extinct, the Popes will crown any adventurer who allies with the Pontifex. The Popes will call these anointees Holy Roman Emperors, namely Emperors in the eyes of God and the Pope.

The heirs of Charlemagne, beset by invaders, do not fall defending Frankdom; they tear each other apart before the invaders reach them.

In the face of independent Moravians and raiding Magyars, the easternmost sector of Frankdom breaks out in feuds which dispose of the last heirs. The Franks are replaced by Catholic Saxon frontier commanders who devote themselves to doing to others what Franks did to the Saxons. The first of these, Henry the Fowler and his successor Otto, spread desolation among Scandinavians, Magyars, Slavic Wends and Poles. Otto visits the Pope and demands an Imperial crown for his eminently Frankish and Catholic deeds.\

The Pope, a twelfth John who calls himself Octavian, Prince of Rome, already knows that the only Roman Empire left is the Pope’s own Leonine City. The Pope nevertheless crowns Otto because the genocidal Saxon frontier army is all that is left of the Catholic imperial project. The Lotharingian part of Frankdom is extinct, and the western home base of the Franks disintegrated in the face of Viking and Muslim incursions.

When Muslims established themselves on the Provencal coast and Vikings besieged Paris, a congress of Knights removed the last Frankish Emperor in order to resist the invaders. The grandson of one of these Knights, a Hugh Capet, retains the title King of the Franks, but his dominion is confined to Paris. This Capet’s descendants will expand their dominion only after they are thoroughly Vikingized and Islamized.

* * *

The Northmen who besiege the heart of Frankdom are in Gaul to stay. They take over a large portion of Gaul and rename it Normandy. Their headman Hrolf or Rollo becomes Duke of the Normans. Intimately familiar with their long-time enemies, these Vikings claim, with tongue in cheek, that Normandy was a donation of the last Frankish Emperor to Duke Rollo. In time they even adopt the language and some of the ways of the Franks. And they transform Frankdom into an entity that will be familiar to us, but which is exotic and antithetical to the Catholic Franks.

The Normans bring maritime commerce — the Catholic name for it is Piracy — to the heart of Frankdom. The Normans, like their northern kinsmen and like the Venetians, are clients of Levantine mercantile houses; Normandy is another tentacle of the Islamic seaborne octopus.

French-speaking Vikings replace Jews as carriers of exotic luxuries. Their northern kin carry Muslim cloth and silver all the way to Iceland and Greenland, and Eric the Red transports Islamic luxuries all the way to Vinland (in “North America”) twenty generations before other Europeans discover the existence of such a place.

The ships of the Northmen return to the Levant laden with furs, timber and enslaved human beings, although the Vinland ships do not return. The Vinlanders apparently discover something more important than Muslim silver, something they’ve all but lost, and they stop communicating with their Leviathanized kinsmen.

The year that their cousing Knut or Canute becomes King of England as well as Denmark, turning the North Sea into a commercial highway, French-speaking Normans, nominally Christians, accompany a mercenary called Rainulf to Muslim Sicily and seek their fortunes either as agents of the island’s Islamic merchants or their successors. Hiring themselves out as mercenaries, the Normans, like their Turkish contemporaries further east, become their employers’ masters and successors.

Other Normans quickly follow Rainulf’s lead, and in less than a generation mercantile Normans occupy the seats of mercantile Muslims in all of Sicily and most of southern Italy.

Nominally, Christians have ousted Muslims from Italy. But the Popes who see these events know better; they know that the new merchants differ from the old only in their refusal to bow to the merciful god and in their greater rapacity.

Even Byzantine Christians recognize in the Normans a greater threat than Islam.

In a rare alliance, the Pope gangs up with the Holy Roman Emperor as well as the Byzantine Emperor to try to oust the Normans from Apulia and Sicily.

The Normans defeat the rare alliance and capture the ninth Leo, the Pope. After an unrecorded session consisting of blackmail or opportunism or both, the Pope excommunicates his Byzantine allies and embraces the Islamized Normans as his personal vassals. The next few Popes are creatures of Normans, whom the Popes invest as “Dukes of Apulia and Calabria.”

The Norman successors to Italy’s Muslim strongholds and subjects proceed to do what Italian Muslims had never done: they attack Christian Byzantium from the west.

Two of the former allies, the Holy Roman and the Byzantine, renew their alliance, this time against the Muslim army under the Norman Robert Guiscard fighting alongside the Pope. The two Emperors are defeated and the victorious Muslims and Normans celebrate by plundering Rome before marching eastward to conquer the Byzantine Empire. Beset by the Northmen from Sicily, Byzantine Emperor Alexius abandons the attempt to reconquer Anatolia from the Seljuk Turks who call Anatolia “Rum” or Rome. Emperor Alexius confronts the Normans with a mercenary force of Venetians and Varangians or Russian Northmen.

Robert Guiscard is not as successful as William the Conqueror; he dies in Byzantium and so does the Norman Roman Empire.

And mercenary Venice, formerly Byzantium’s main fleet, defends the Empire from Normanization at the price of taking ovar all the Empire’s maritime commerce.

* * *

The Venetians succeed where the Normans failed. They turn the Mediterranean into a Venetian commercial highway. Long apprenticed to Levantine merchants, like the Etruscans and Greeks before them, they now launch an independent octopus of their own. They can do this at this moment no only because their Byzantine overlord has become permanently disabled, but also because their Islamic Levantine instructors have become shackled by a Turkish Leviathan which, being land-oriented and wormlike, tends to repress the free movement of Muslim commercial tentacles.

Catholic Normans and Byzantine Venetians, enemies on watery battlefields, once apprentices to Arabic merchants and now masters, carry not only Arabic wares but also Arabic mercantile ways to the heart of Europe. Venetians will long retain their maritime trading monopoly. Normans, the metamorphosed Pope’s favorites, are quickly joined by Lombards, Burgundians, Flemings, even Franks.

Markets spring up on the roads between the formerly self-sufficient manors. Serfs initially sent out by their Lords to inspect exotic wares become apprentices to the merchants and soon buy their way out of the manors.

The markets grow into mercantile towns, and each town tries to be a Venice. Each town sends out tentacles of its own and tries to impose a monopoly of trade in its own “Mediterranean.”

The mercantile townspeople, called Burghers in Frankdom, maintain their independence from the armed marauders who surround them by the Arabic method of provisioning and bribing the mounted Noblemen.

While this is happening to Frankdom’s south, former Scandinavian strongholds on Frankdom’s northern fringes announce the formation of a league of commercial cities, the Hanseatic League, and proclaim to the world their monopoly over all maritime trade between London and Novgorod.

I’m tempted to call this transformation “Islamization” of Europe but the term would express an exaggeration. Arabic markets, mercantile ways, caravans and commodities do spread throughout Europe, but Europeans do not begin to bow to merciful Allah. Europeans remain committed to the god of Roman legions, Optimus Maximus. Their religion becomes Islamized only in the sense that they gegin to worship Optimus Maximus in the forms of hoards of Muslim silver. Such idolatry is clearly un-Islamic.

The fact that commodity markets, towns full of Burghers and silver money come to Europe from Islam will be a mystery to profound theoreticians who will seek the roots of expanded commodity production in the self-sufficient Frankish manors. But this is no mystery to Europeans who undergo the transformation. As soon as they discard their Roman antipathy to financial transactions and their Catholic antipathy to financial transactions, Europeans, especially southern, formerly Frankish Europeans, look to Islam for the rest of the armor that goes with the commercial ways.

Frankish fealty and Catholic absolution give neither warmth nor completion to Burghers’ lives, and mercantile Western Europeans become avid readers of Islamic texts translated into Latin by multi-lingual Jewish scholars in Muslim Spain. The philosophy of Ibn-Sina and the mathematics of al-Biruni become more important to Burghers than the Lives of the Saints. The Plato and Aristotle of the later “western tradition” are part of the Islamic culture now absorbed by the West.

The Roman worm which the Church tried to revive during a millenium is replaced by a plethora of landborne and seaborne octopus-shaped Leviathans, by Meccas, Medinas and miniature Baghdads, by a network of Venices, each devoted to monopolizing the whole field, each considering itself an Athens.

* * *

It is precisely at this moment that the Pope of Rome, one named Urban, announces a holy war against Islam, the First Crusade:

Turn the weapons which you have stained unlawfully in the slaughter of one another against the enemies of the faith and the name of Christ.

Frederick Turner will lucidly analyze the holy war as an externalization of the violence previously turned inward. In its genocidal sweep, in the magnitude of its lie, in its exploitation of repressions and resentments, the Pope’s proclamation already announces everything the West will become.

The holy war against unbelievers begins at home, against Jews, at a time when Westerners no longer need Jews because Lombards as well as Franks are themselves carriers of merchandise. The pious Frankish and Catholic antipathy to trade becomes principled by expressing itself in massacrews at a time when the perpetrators of the massacres are starting to compete with Jews for goods and markets.

Those who hate Jewish merchants crusade alongside those who hate Jewish competitors in a holy alliance of exploiters with their own victimized clients. With one and the same stroke, the ones consider themselves regenerated into a community of free Franks while the others think themselves regenerated into Greeks translated into the Frankish Latin from Arabic.

Like all the Westerners’ later religious, political and commercial propaganda, the Holy War against Infidels is a tissue of lies which has something for everyone, and what it offers to each is incompatible with what it offers all others. It offers some the prospect of becoming what they no longer are, others the prospect of becoming what they never were.

Under the banner of the big lie, people whose free communities are repressed beyond retrieval nevertheless retrieve lost communities, lost kinship and lost freedom, but only during the instant when they slaughter imagined enemies of all they lost.

Fields of corpses are the confirmation of the Westerners’ regeneration. The lost humanity is regained by means of a sacrificial act. The humanity of others is the offering.

The massacre of Jews at home is only a preparation, a mere rehearsal for the first act of the holy war. Turner will say,

It is the Crusades that truly commence the pattern of large-scale, international Christian violence against all unbelievers that at last bear arms its cindered fruit in the ruins of Tenochtitlan.

Western Catholics who do not know where the Levant is located, who for a millennium had considered Rome the center of the world, suddenly learn from Norman and Venetian merchants that Jerusalem is the real center. They find Jerusalem by following the paths of the mercantile pioneers, and once there,

they laid low, without distinction, every enemy encountered, (in the words of the Archbishop of Tyre, cited.)

Everywhere was frightful carnage, everywhere lay heaps of severed heads, so that soon it was impossible to pass or to go from one place to another except over the bodies of the slain...It is reported that within the Temple enclosure alone about ten thousand infidels perished...

The extermination of the Nahuatl, Quechua, Algonquian, Iroquoian, Polynesian, African and East Asisn populations is already announced. Cortez, Pizzaro, Cass, Andrew Jackson, Cecil Rhodes, Adolph Hitler and Richard Nixon will later be names for similar faceless Knights who perpetrate the same genocide on other Jerusalems.

The human face is extinguished by a Leviathanic mask which is itself masked, veiled, hidden. The purpose of the veils is to show the Western European as something he no longer is or never was, and to hide what he has become.

Still more dreadful was it to gaze upon the victors themselves, dripping with blood from head to foot,

the Archbishop tells, gazing through the veils at the Leviathanic masks.

But the victors themselves gaze only at the veils. Inspired by Troubadors who sing of Frankdom’s bygone glory and by priests who chant in Latin about resurrection, the Knights, see themselves as saviors of the Holy Land from Infidels, as successors to the rebels who intended to cast fire upon the Leviathanized world, as something they will never become and never were.

Any and every lie is worn as yet another veil. Tears shed for Jerusalem’s defamation by Arabic infidels are supplemented by tears for Byzantium’s desolation in the face of Turkish infidels. The Crusaders demonstrate their love for poor Byzantium by tearing what’s left of it to shreds.

And at the end of all the piously veiled holocausts, a Frankish Baldwion installs himself as the merchant king of Levantine Edessa, a Norman Bohemond as the merchant of Levantine Antioch, a third pious Catholic as King of Jerusalem. Instead of casting fire upon the Leviathanized world, they’ve thrust spears and daggers into its living inhabitants. Then they proceed to expropriate the dead, donning their clothes as well as their roles. Franks and Normans are now at the Mediterranean source of the eastern cloths and spices. They run mercantile houses that supply Venetian ships. Their sons marry Muslim women and praise Allah five times a day, for his infinite Mercy.

* * *

The western kin of the Levantine Northmen remain committed to Optimus Maximus, the god of crusading legions, and to Lugalzaggizi, the patron of aggressive Leviathans. With the towns, commercial networks and centralized political institutions thrust upon them by Muslims, Vikings and Slavs, the Westerners are hastily armoring themselves with every Leviathanic trait accessible to them. Local merchants in every quarter supplement and then replace Jews as well as Normans. Numerous cities circumvent the monopolists of Venice and grow wealthy by provisioning the overseas Crusaders and returning with Levantine spices and silver. Crusaders return from their plunder of Byzantium with kidnapped weavers and launch little cloth-producing Levants in the heart of Gaul and Italy.

Soon serfs who flee from manors in search of the free air of commerce find only the constraint of wage labor in cloth-producing cities like Florence, Ghent and Bruges. Having burned their bridges, the former serfs have little alternative but to accept what they find.

Serfs cannot safely leave their manors, but many other aspects of their humanity have not yet been expropriated. The activity, the animals as well as the crops are theirs, and they provision the Lord on terms set not by force or by markets but by custom.

This now comes to an end. The Lord starts to infringe on custom, he demands greater dues and his demands grow exorbitant.

The Lord now sells his excess grain to merchants for money, because he needs the money to buy town luxuries-and also to buy necessities. He even buys cloth now, because the cloth produced by the urbanized weavers is cheaper and often better than the cloth produced by serfs.

The concentrated urban weavers are no longer serfs. They’re zeks, labor-camp inmates, instruments. Neither their activity nor their product is their own.

Theoreticians of progress will explain the Before and After by describing a “development” of cottage weavers into industrial weavers. The theoreticians can do this because, once commerce rules, merchants will get their cloth in every way possible, and any of the more modest ways can be called transitional to the grander. But the fact that Florence, Bruges and Ghent are industrial towns, namely cities with labor camps, already three generations before Mongols disable the Levantine parents of these towns. What happens later is that the camps spread, they supplant other forms of cloth production.

The activity of the Burghers pressures the proud Lord into becoming an economic calculator himself. he now weighs cloth against grain before he commissions his serfs to weave, and if he goes to town for his cloth, he needs money. To get the money, he needs more products from his serfs. He appoints a Maire, Bayle or Bauermeister to supervise the work of the serfs, and frequently the Knightly Lord, although usually the supervisor, acquires an unprecedented interest in agricultural technology.

The Knight, a horse connoisseur, now discovers that horses are faster draught animals than oxen. He or his foreman makes sure the peasants use shoulder-harnesses to get the horse to harrow and till.

And the Knight starts asking about water mills, which are taken for granted in Islamic Mesopotamia but which would have aroused only the Knight’s yawns earlier.

Just as suddenly, and precisely at the time when Mongol raiders begin to close off the Kiev route along which Vikings carried slaves to Islam and silver to the West, former Franks open silver mines in the Herz Mountains and the Alps. The silver has been in the mountains all along, but Franks who didn’t use money would have abhorred the thought of burrowing into caves for it.

The so-called productive forces do not give rise to Leviathanic social relations in Western Europe any more than elsewhere. The technology is nothing but the Leviathan’s armory, and both arrive in the West together. The fangs and claws originate in China, Persia, Arabia and elsewhere; they come to the West from Islam, directly or by way of Viking carriers. The vaunted technological ingenuity of the Burghers will be another Western lie. The purpose of this lie will not be primarily to make people proud of the West, but to make zeks proud of the claws and fangs that reduce them to zeks.

* * *

Something else now begins in Western Europe, something we will call “population growth”: a steady increase in human numbers as continuous and persistent as the Leviathan itself. This phenomenon seems to exist only among Leviathanized human beings. Animals as well as human communities in the state of nature do not proliferate their own kind to the point of pushing all others off the field.

We don’t know how animals, wolves for example, limit their numbers, but we know that they do. We also know that some animals, for example locusts, do not do this very well. But locusts periodically end up pushing themselves off the field, so that not even locusts experience ongoing population growth.

Of human communities we know, from their mythologies, that they exist in a cosmic context where every living being and every member of the community has a special meaning. Such communities reproduce their part of the meaningful context, just as Earth reproduces their part of the other varied parts. They venture into meaninglessness only when they are disrupted or threatened with extinction, and even then they do not automatically have recourse to “population growth.”

The zeks of the increasingly Leviathanized West, both urban and rural, no longer exist in a context. Mythologies that filled them with meaning are beyond memory’s reach.

The increasingly numerous urban zeks concentrated in factories are, in fact, despoiled of every last trace of community, and in this sense they are more like domesticated cattle or sheep than like human beings in the state of nature. Zeks do not reproduce a meaningful context. They simply reproduce. No part of the context is up to them, because they are part of no natural context. So-called working communities, namely labor gangs, are as artificial as the Leviathan. They are, in fact, the Leviathan’s springs and wheels, its entrails, in the Crusading West as in the first Sumerian Ur. The concentrated weavers are the first zeks in Europe since the demise of the Roman Leviathan.

Serfs are nevertheless fleeing from manors in order to breathe the free air of town zeks because the serfs themselves are being reduced to agricultural zeks. Later worshippers of a son of Optimus Maximus called Progress will deliberately obscure the despoliation of planters and cultivators; they will describe a steady ascent from a hellish Dark Age to an electrically illuminated Heaven.

We will have to burrow through libraries of lies to learn that the cultivators maimed by Roman Civilization reconstituted some form of community after the Leviathan’s demise. Armored Frankish Knights with their networks of vassals and their code of martial honor seriously infringed on the integrity and freedom of the communities of cultivators, but the Knight’s coat of mail and tree-length spear were ill-adapted to serious Leviathanic ventures. The Knightly domain was a coherent Leviathan only in the dreams of Catholic Churchmen. Progress-worshippers will call the period a Dark Age precisely because it lacked any coherent His-story, any Leviathanic development. After the Knights’ initial disruption of the agrarian communities, manorial relations and dues were regulated by Custom, which means that they remained what they were from one generation to the next.

The agrarian communities are not only disrupted, they are destroyed beyond repair, when Custom is replaced by Market and Force. The cultivators suddenly lose their world. The land, which had always been common to all living beings, is now invaded by foremen and labor gangs intent on making Eart produce for the town market. The forests which provided game and timber as well as forage for domesticated animals are suddenly as out of bounds to serfs as the Roman Empire was to northerners. All of Earth’s free gifts start to be called “waste,” and the opposite of “waste” is the despoliation of Earth, animals and people for the sake of products saleable in town markets.

And the Church is at the forefront of all this change. The Church is the rough beast which, its hour come round, slouched toward Bethlehem to be born, and its hour come round again a millenium later, to be reborn. The Church will later be called an enemy of Progress and a partisan of “natural economy.” The Church will always present itself as something it is not, and some will always believe its claims.

The Crusading Church is the greatest single merchant of Europe. Its prelates are experienced opportunists. Its Optimus Maximus is the father of Progress and its Lugalzaggizi is the godfather. Optimus’s antipathy to the trade of others, and Lugalzaggizi’s call for dominion over fish, plants and animals is an ancient invation to transform all of Earth’s forms of life into commodities. In the vernascular languages coming into daily use, Optimus Maximus translates as optimal production for maximum profits.

Pious Cisterian monks are among the first Catholics to leap head-first into commercial, profit-oriented agriculture. The Cisterian ventures are Agro-Business from the very start; they are not “natural economies” that “develop” into commercial ventures because of some inner dynamic or dialectic. The Cisterian businessmonks consolidated scattered farms, centralize managerial functions, hire what they call “lay brothers,” namely paid agricultural laborers, armies of them. The monks drive independent peasants off the land, and they sell their products at town markets.

The Pope takes the very offices of his Church to market. His stock of relics is a bazaar in no way inferior to Baghdad’s or Cairo’s, and he even traffics in intangibles such as absolutions or pardons over which he holds an absolute and unchallenged monopoly. The Church veils the rapacity with the robes of saints and apostles while rushing to stuff the Pontifex into the new Leviathan’s head; only after it fails to make him the new beast’s Vicar will the Church become piously moral.

* * *

The Crusading Westis already announcing what it will become. A little more lubrication will make it the most formiddable worldeater ever to emerge out of Spiritus Mundi.

Europe’s southern city-states and northern nation-states are all rushing to form tentacles as long as Islam’s, and successors to the post of Holy Roman Emperor are trying to embrace all the independent emirates within a unified caliphate.

The Emperor is no longer the Pope’s anointed, not since the Pope’s alliance with Normans and Muslims. The conflict between Pope and Emperor is not over the realm’s Islamization, but over who shall rule the realm. From Barbarossa on, the Emperor wants to reduce the Church to the Empire’s clerical staff, appointed by the Emperor and at his beck and call. The Emperor defends old principles and antipathies no more than the Pope. In fact, during the Crusades against Islam, Emperor Frederick the Second recruits Sicilian Muslims for his war against the Pope. The new Holy Emperors are successors to Charlemagne’s Franks only in their devotion to violence and their greed for booty in the form of land.

The Islamization of the West is nevertheless complete. The Westerners do not bow to the merciful Allah, who has some but not all the attributes of Optimus and Lugalzaggizi. The Westerners do something Muhaammad enjoined his followers no to do. They bow to a stone. They worship Optimus in the form of Muslim silver, and are already worshippin Him in the form of Alpine and Herz Mountain silver. The silver is part of Earth’s skeleton, but gouged out of her body it is a dead thing. This dead thing is what enjoins its worshippers to have dominion over the fliers, walkers, and crawlers, and also over the Biosphere, over Earth herself.

Phoenicians, Greeks and Arabs already despoiled Earth’s life-teeming surface, but they did so with something of a bad conscience. Their Baal, Hera and Allah retained some poorly-remembered connection with Earth.

Christians plunder with a godd conscience. Their plunder is not offensive to their god. It is in fact the Dominion he calls for.

And Christian merchants add a new dimension to their plunder: they spiritualize or liquefy the land itself. Catholic Knights had already treated the land as war booty. Catholic Burghers go a step further; they treat the land as a commodity. The Frankish lust for land is democratized. A sum of silver coins is now equivalent to a parcel of land. The merchant’s money is his liquid assets; when he purchases an estate he can sit on his real assets.

Manors start to liquify under the feet of Lords who failed to see the signs of the times, and even the names of Knights begin to liquefy and flow toward the households of moneyed Burghers.

The whole world is being liquefied, reduced to Value, whose solid equivalent is Silver. The Burgher’s heirs will try to liquefy Earth irreversibly by reducing her to the Value embodied in another stone, a stone that fissions, uranium.

* * *


All this progress is fiercely resisted by its victims. Those who will refer to the Western Leviathan as “We” will alternate between denying this resistance and maligning it.

Peasants form leagues of self-defense against the suddenly profit-crazed Lords and work-supervisors. Weavers turn against the merchants who hire them.

Everywhere in Europe, townspeople and countrypeople turn against the entrie ecclesiastical hierarchy. In Flanders they attack priests and withhold tithes, not because the ecclesiastics are enemies of commerce but because they are the grossest of the traffickers. A Tanchelm of Antwerp calls the Church a brothel. The priests and the Pope himself are its pimps. They sell saints, apostles and the Holy Mary for a fee, and are ever-ready to sell themselves.

In Brittany, dispossessed peasants are heirs to a long tradition of glorified violence. They are capable of sweeping parish priests, abbots, bishops and the Pope himself out of Europe, and the prelates know it.

That’s why the priests talk about Sin: to make people turn the violence inward, against themselves.

That’s why the Pope proclaims a Crusade against Unbelievers: to deflect the violence, to turn it against others. A violence that could in the past be deflected away from Rome toward communities of Saxons can also be deflected away from Catholic prelates toward local Jews and distant Arabs. The Church will even turn the violence of the resisters against resisters themselves, but this feat will not leave the Church unscathed.

A man called Norman Cohn, a friend of authority, law and order, will in our time document a millennium of resistance, maligning every episode of it.

A serious scholar is one who takes the Pope at his word and discounts the words of rebels. A ranter is one who takes the rebels at thier word and discounts every word of the Pope. Cohn will be a solid, serious scholar, not a fanatical, ranting extremist. The words of authorities, especially the police, will be his rock, his positive evidence, His-story. Cohn will say that Church dignitaries protect Jews attacked by fanatical extremists. he will depict the entire resistance as a precursor to the Nazi Party — that will be his thesis — and he will come close to saying that every rebel is a Hitler.

A frivolous ranter, in other words one who does not take His-story seriously, one who refers to authority as “It” and not as “We,” will see an altogether different picture while looking at the same resistance.

Cohn will know that the supreme authority in the West, the second Pope named Urban, gets the applause of all the realm’s dignitaries when he says,

Turn the weapons which you have stained unlawfully in the slaughter of one another against the enemies of the faith...

With tried and tested methods of serious scholarship, Cohn will say that the Pope didn’t really mean it.

When a Bishop lodges his persecuted supplier of luxuries in the servant quarters of his palace, Cohn will pretend the Bishop is appalled by the violence and not relieved that the violence is turning against the Unbeliever’s house instead of the Bishop’s.

Cohn’s peers, professors who will massacre Vietnamese peasants from desks at a State University will pretend to be appalled by atrocities of Calleys who turn the professors’ words into deeds, but the professors’ real rage will be against the resisters who turn their weapons against the Calleys. The serious professors will heap all the deflected violence, Authority’s own violence, on the heads of the rebels resisting Authority’s violence.

The resistance is the only human component of the entire His-story. All the rest is Leviathanic progress.

And the resistance is not slow in coming. As soon as the West ceases to be a tournament ground where malfunctioning and incompatible segments of different Leviathans turn on each other with armored horses, long spears and coasts of mail, as soon as functioning springs and wheels set into motion the lethal tentacles of a coherent mercantile Leviathan, the West becomes as riddled with resistance as ancient Rome.

Even the “crisis cult” that had intended to cast fire upon the Leviathanic world is rediscovered, but not right away. A millennium of deflection and distortion have made that “crisis cult” more serviceable to repressors than to resisters.

The Flemings who withhold tithes and call the Church a brothel probably get their clue from the ecclesiastics’ own words, which the rebels contrast with the ecclesiastics’ deeds. The peasants who form self-defense leagues are probably inspired by one or several of the examples of cultivators who, like the Moravians, formed leagues to protect themselves from Leviathanic incursions.

The inspiration of yet other rebels comes from further back and further away.

I take it for granted that resistance is the natural human response to dehumanization and, therefore, does not have to be explained or justified. The forms of resistance are sometimes original but usually they are inspired by earlier forms.

* * *

The largest, most profound and most lasting resistance movement comes to Europe from the same direction as the new Leviathanic components, the East, and it establishes itself in the very heart of Frankdom.

Initially known as Cathars, the rebels are inspired by the doctrines of Bulgarian Bogomils. The doctrines contain elements of Persian Zarathustrianism, elements which predate, and were embraced by, the Christian “crisis cult” when it was yet a Jewish heresy.

The Zarathustrian elements appeared in Bulgaria in the form given to them by Mani. The Manicheanism may have come to the Bulgars from Islamic Persia, where numerous peasant rebels were inspired by the anti-Leviathanic import of Mani’s formulations, or from the Steppes, where Turkic cousins of the once-Turkic speaking (but now Slavic) Bulgars were actually converted by Manichean militants.

Mani’s insights are carried to Adriatic Serbs by Bulgarian militants, across the Adriatic from Burovnik to Venice by Byzantine sailors, across Italy to Gaul by migrating Italians. Before long, most of the people of Provence, Frankdom’s underbelly, are latter-day Manicheans, or Albigensians, as their contemporaries call them because the town of Albi is one of the rebel centers.

Although they continue to use terms made familiar to them by generations of Christianity, the Albigensians are neither Christian purists nor Christian heretics. They are anti-Christian. They translate the sacred Book of the Christians into the Provencal language, not in order to recover their lapsed Christianity, but in order to convince themselves that the anti-Roman “crisis cult” described in the book has nothing to do with a Vicar and his bishops, abbots and priests. They do consider the Book’s central character a prophet, but only one among many, and they do not think the prophetic gift is confined to a single individual or a single time.

The Albigensians have no use for the guilt-inspired doctrine of the pseudo-Apostle Paul, the doctine of Sin. Thus they are immune to the entire repressive apparatus of the Church, the apparatus consisting of confessions and pardons, of imminent and promised salvations, of threatened excommunications and marketed absolutions. In their eyes, the greatest Sin is the misery of the dispossessed, and this is not caused by Adam’s fall but by the rapacity of commercializing Lords, priests and monks, whom they call evil.

They do borrow the Christain terms Good and Evil, but they give these terms Zarathustrian contents: Good means Ahura Mazda or Light; Evil means Ahriman or Darkness. Christianity’s dominion is an era of Darkness, centuries of stony sleep vexed to nightmare, in the eyes of these western Bogomils as in those of the later poet Yeats.

The Albigensians do not, to my knowledge, recover Mani’s symbolism of Fire as the instrument with which to destroy the great artifice, but they do think that, through their efforts, Evil will be defeated and dismembered, not in some distant Christian heaven but in Gaul itself.

The Cathars of southern Gaul are not the only radicals in the hastily-Leviathanized West, although most of the others are directly or indirectly inspired by them.

While the serious people, who consider themselves the “men of substance,” are busy introducing windmills, horse-drawn plows and blast furnaces to farms and mines, the dispossessed, who are considered “extremists,” are turning against the progressive labor camps.

In Gaul, just north of the Albigensians, are resisters called Vaudois who call themselves the Poor Men of Lyons. Relics of their anti-Catholic radicalism will survive to our day among Waldensians.

Similar groups are constituted in the Pope’s own Italy, with names like Pauperes Lombardi and Humiliati.

The resisters are not all Manicheans; some remain nominally Catholic. But like the Provencal Cathars, they reject the Church hierarchy, the donctrines of Sin and Purgation and therefore the apparatus of pardons and indulgences, and none of them accept the dispossession of Europe’s once free peasantry as either natural or god-ordained.

Even a Cisterian monk called Joachim of Fiore, abbot of Corazzo, has a revelation directly inspired by his anti-Catholic contemporaries. Joachim rediscovers the Zarathustrian sequence of Beasts of Leviathanic Ages, and he applies the insight to his own age. He revives elements of the original “crisis cult.” Just as the First Age, the age of fear and servitude to the Father, as he refers to early Judaism, was superceded by the Age of the Son, so the Second Age, the age of submission to the Church, is about to be superseded by a third, an Age of the Spirit, characterized by love, joy and freedom. Thus the Church, contrary to Augustine’s teaching, is not the kingdom of god on earth, and the accomplishments of Crusading Europe are not signs of the first days but signs of last days.

Joachim even ventures to predict that three and a half years before the end of the Second Age, the Anti-Christ, a rapacious mercantile monarch (Joachim actually refers to Frederick the Second) will destroy the corrup Church, and then the Emperor too will be swept away by a liberated humanity.

Many of the resisters are convinced that by their own efforts they can evade the transformations invading Europe, transformations which in their eyes can only immiserate and maim human beings.

Much of the inspiration and insight come from abroad, but it is not mere contact with Zarathustrian, Manichean and other doctrines that turns people into active and often militant resisters.

An individual intimately familiar with the daily rapacity may remain unmoved by critics of the rapacity. She or he must make a choice, she must decide to turn against the authorities and to join the circle of resisters. Sucha a decision disrupts a person’s whole life, and it needs to be motivated by very good reasons. The good reasons are expressed in the language of the time, not in the language of some future time. A revelation or a visitation is a very good reason. The revelation might come in a dream, or in a vision, or in what we will call a complete mental breakdown. Before this experience, everything was noise and nothing had meaning. After the experience, everything is clear. Now the individual wonders why others are so blind. She might become impatient with the others and leave them to their blindness, or she might decide to return to the others to help them see.

All this is very understandable, very human, and it has been taking place in human communities for a long time. But such sudden disruptions of individual lives are also disruptions of Leviathanic existence. After such experiences, an individual abandons the sequence of meaningless intervals of Leviathanic Time and recovers some of the rhythms of communities in the state of nature.

This is why Leviathanic His-storians will discount, malign and try to exorcise such experiences. Contempt and ridicule will be favorite weapons of the serious scholars who will pretend to give unbiased accounts.

Norman Cohn, for example, will go out of his way to talk about the revelations of millennarian resisters. He needs say no more. Equally armored readers will immediately share Cohn’s contempt towards individuals who are so pathological as to be guided by their own dreams and visions. The scholar and his armored readers will take it for granted that only the revelations of judges and scholars have validity.

Cohn’s ridicule will reach heights of scholarly contempt when he tells of individuals who consider themselves Messiahs, who convince themselves that their efforts can help save Mankind from Leviathanic dehumanization, enslavement and doom. Cohn need not exclaim: How naive! How criminal! how well deserved the jailing, the torture, the hanging, the burning! Such exclamations will come automatically to readers who consider their duly constituted authorities the only possible saviors of mankind and Leviathan the only possible Messiah.

* * *

Cohn will condemn the resisters only on paper, and too late to harm anything but our memory of them. The Church and its long secular arms do the actual arresting, jailing, torturing, burning and killing. With a millennium of experience in prevarication, deflection and repression, the Church is no novice as hangman.

The first act is to sponsor a certain Giovanni de Bernardone, nicknamed Francesco, who would have been a resister similar to many of the others if he had not let himself be turned into a tool of the Church.

This Francis has a visions, abandons his former life as well as his wealth, and goes among the poor and dispossessed. At a time when lands are becoming private property, when rapacity is rewarded with wealth and power, this man extolls poverty, community and generosity. At a time when Earth and all its living beings are becoming objects of mercantile plunder, he speaks of kinship with animals, with Earth, with the Sun.

At any earlier moment during its first millennium, the Church would have condemned the nature-worshipping Francis as a heretic and or unbeliever.

At the time of Cathars and Humiliati, the Church resorts to the ancient Persian trick of repressing Zarathustrians by wearing the mantle of Ahura Mazda. A Pontifex shrewdly named Innocent, the third of that name, invites the nature-worshipper and sponsors him. Francis allows himself to be thus used, perhaps deluded into thinking that he has converted the Pope.

By this recuperation, the Church pretends to be everything its enemies are. Individuals inclined to resist are drawn into the Franciscan Order, which looks and acts just like other groups of resisters.

Once in the Order, most of the former partisans of universal kinship will be molded into a heresy police while a small minority is allowed to go on displaying the mantle of the founder.

Francis himself becomes aware of the ruse at the end. He dies marked by the stigmata of an earlier resister, thereby trying to communicate with his last act that his whole life has been as deflected and betrayed as the life of his Judaean forerunner.

Of course the Church, which already a millenium earlier reduced the stigmata of Jesse or Jesus to decorations on its mantle, promptly adds another set of scarlet ornaments to its cloaks. Francis is turned into a saint, the Franciscan Order into a cudgel against resisters. This abominable recuperation will be remarkable until our time, when the metamorphosis of partisans of universal liberation into policemen and jailers will be so frequent that it will no longer seem remarkable.

Already during the lifetime of the nature-worshipper, Innocent the Pope demonstrated how well he understood and appreciated Francis by simultaneously launching an altogether different Order, the Dominican. The founder of this one was a human clock, its recruits flesh-and-blood filing cabinets, its aim to impose on social life the regularity of clockwork. This is the Technological Order, the Order of the Inquisition. Its members approach nature with instruments of torture. Correct faith, like correct time, is a matter of adjusting certain springs and wheels.

As soon as the repressive apparatus is complete, an apparatus Franciscans serve by recruiting resisters to the holy war against resisters, the Pope proclaims the Albigensian Crusade.

If the Western invasion of Christian Constantinople and the dismemberment of the Byzantine Empire counts as the Fourth Crusade, the holy war against domestic Unbelievers is the fifth.

Paris-based succesors to the Frankish depopulators of Saxony repeat the accomplishment of their predecessors, this time against the Frankish population of southern Gaul. The eighth Louis, ruler of Paris, called The Lion, leads the Christian Crusaders who turn the Pope’s word into bloody deed. All the towns and villages of the Albigensians are destroyed. From the southern mountains to the shores of the Mediterranean, Frankish-speaking Manicheans and their sympathizers are hunted like animals. A whole population is exterminated. The Parisian Lion expropriates his victims and becomes King of a nation-sized realm.

The crusade against domestic Unbelievers, proclaimed and executed by the duly constituted authroities and not by the resisters, is the forerunner of the Nazi crusade against Jews.

This apparatus for the extermination of domestic and foreign Unbelievers, this Crusading Europe that turns piety and resistance itself into instruments for the crassest large-scale expropriations, is already the Modern West. Everything that is coming is more of the same hypocrisy, which will later be called Reason and Science, and more of the same armor, which will later be called Technology. Even the cynicism of later merchants will not surpass that of merchants who cash in on the crusading fervor by organizing a Children’s Crusade, transporting and selling piously bloodthirsty youngsters to Levantine slave dealers.

* * *

The plundering holy warriors expropriating Jews, Muslims and Byzantine Christians have thier equivalent in the north in a holy order of Teutonic Knights. Closely tied to the mercantile rulers of the growing cities of the Hanseatic League, these noble Knights and priests are already responding to newly-discovered worlds by massacring the indigenous inhabitants and despoiling the environment. They do not yet suspect the existence of a continent-sized new world across the western ocean, although their contemporaries, the Mongols, already have a map which includes the Vinland recently visited by Viking seamen.

The western Vinland, America to us, would not yet interest the Teutonic Knights. The Mongols are familiar with the extent of Eurasia. But the Knights share with other Europeans a provincialism that considers the limits of the Ecumene, the world that matters, to be a few days horseback ride from Rome.

Vinland, in any case, is far away across much water, and the land-and-wealth minded Europeans still have unconquered “natives” on their east, all reachable by land. The “natives” are Turkic-speaking Finns, Baltic-speaking Lithuanians and Prussians, among numerous others.

The Teutons know nothing of Incas or Algonquins, but they are already Conquistadores and Pioneers. Their aim is to exterminated the indgenous population, expropriate the crops, fields and lodges, and resettle the land with domesticated German Catholics destined to be agents or victims of Hansa merchants. Where they succeed, for example in Prussia, only the name of the indgenous Baltic inhabitants survives. The people and their culture become extinct. In this manner the Knights, like their successors, transform New Worlds into the Old World, or as Turner will put it, they eliminate the Wilderness.

This way of enlarging the Ecumene is not new, but if we look closely we can see some new elements. Ancient Assyrians and Romans exterminated and deported populations alien to them, but in general they did this only to people who resisted being reduced to tributaries and recruits. Rome’s extermination of Carthage stands out as an exception. The immediate predecessors of the Teutonic Knights, Charlemagne’s Franks, massacred Saxons for the sake of material booty for the victors and spiritual salvation for the victims, but the Leviathanic coherence of the Frankish military apparatus was less lasting and coherent than Rome’s or even Assyria’s, and a rudimentary Moravian-type league could hold them at bay.

The Teuronic Order is in many ways similar to the earlier Frankish army, but the similarities are misleading. The later army cannot as easily be held at bay as the earlier. This is because the Teutons are connected to a network of commercial cities. This connection gives the Teutonic militarists a continuity and coherence their Frankish forerunners had lacked. The Teutons lose battles, but the war goes on, and it will keep going on until the Wilderness is reduced to forms susceptible to commercial manipulation by the Hanseatic merchants.

* * *

If ancient Phoenicians had acted in concert with Assyrian militarists, they would in this respect too have been forerunners of the leagued cities founded by the Phoenicians of the north, the Vikings. The Phoenician octopus did treat the Assyrian worm as an object of plunder, a vast market for Phoenician commodities. But the two entities did not act in concert. They were in fact mortal enemies. As soon as the Phoenician ship was touched by the Assyrian claw, it capsized.

The Hanseatic cities, like Venice, Genoa, Barcelona and other cities of the south, are performing a feat the ancient Phoenicians could not manage.

The Burghers of Europe are actually making use of the anachronistic worm segments abandoned in every part of Europe by the aborted (so to speak) Frankish Leviathan.

By provisioning the military machines for Crusades against Muslims, Albigensians, Baltics and Slavs, the Burghers are treating the worm segments as markets, and are plundering them to the hilt. Yet the Knights are returning the favor by procuring for the merchants new sources of commercially exploitable materials and by exterminating human obstacles to commercial exploitation.

The bourgeois bride knows that this marriage is very happy, in fact extremely profitable, for her mercantile brothers.

The lordly husband doesn’t know that this arrangement is almost as deadly for his Crusading peers as for the victims of the Crusades.

The Burghers wring the nobility dry. They appropriate to themselves all the wealth squeezed from serfs by manorial dues, as well as the lodges, the lands and finally even the names of the noble manor Lords. The Burghers do all this by means of commodity exchange.

The Lords do not know they are digging their own graves. The causes of their sudden and rapid immiseration are invisible to them because their code of martial honor makes the Lords obtuse and because the marriage is sealed by a good priest of the Roman Catholic Church.

The children of the marriage are all good Christians, and each of them extends Peter’s dominion over an ever-larger Ecumene, one with spears, one with commodities and the third with words, one as Knight, one as Burgher and the third as Priest. The loss of one is the gain of the other and the keys to Heaven remain in the family.

The Burghers are very happy with this arrangement and they do all they can to prolong it. They will even try to reproduce the same arrangement when their Crusading partners become extinct. When the aristocratic military machines cease to be efficient procurers, the Burghers will have to launch military machines of their own. That event will be pompously and exaggeratedly misnamed a “bourgeois revolution.” On occasion, and only in dire need, will Burghers constitute themselves into militias, but such engagements interfere with business and Burghers will have an aversion to them. Burghers will evade such engagements by rehabilitating the extinct Crusading establishment. They will set up and pay for general staffs that head bands of heavily armed professional killers, and they will treat their own military establishment exactly as they treat the Crusading establishment, as a vast market from which they will reap windfall profits by provisioning it to the hilt.

* * *

Like other happy marriages sealed by priests, the marriage of senile, rural Frankish Knighthood with a youthful, Muslim-inspired urban Bourgeoisie is riddled with conflicts.

Although Burghers are intensely happy with the arrangement, their happiness is concentrated in their purses and not actually experienced in living emotion. The fact is that, as in the days of Assyrians and Phoenicians, the wormlike segments do try to swallow the loose tentacles, despite the fact that all are parts of a single Catholic family. The Burghers, continually on the lookout for champions who will keep them out of the jaws of a worm, frequently find themselves encased in their champion’s worm.

This conflict will go on into our day, long after Knights and Warrior Priests become extinct. Burghers will be swallowed by military establishments the Burghers themselves set up and maintain, because some of the heavily armed strongmen will still not understand the rules of the game.

The conflict becomes bizarre and complicated when tentacles metamorphose themselves into worm segments and vice versa. Even a summary description of all these metamorphoses would fill a library. Norman England, for example, expels Jewish merchants and becomes a formidable mercantile tentacle of the Hanseatic League in its relations with Gaul and Italy, but it takes the form of a militaristic worm in its relations with the Welch, the Scots and the Irish. At the other extreme is the Papal See in Rome, which sees itself as a worm and aspires to be the sole worm, the all-embracing Empire, but which behaves exactly like a rapacious mercantile octopus in its daily secular practices.

Up to this point, wormlike and octopuslike Leviathans could be distinguished from one another, although the distinctions began to blur already in the Islamic world. In the West, the two forms of Leviathan become so intertwined that it becomes impossible to characterize the Western Leviathan as either one beast or the other. The beast is something the world has never seen before.

I’ve shown that the emerging West is not a “child,” an outgrowth, of the Frankish Roman Empire, but it does resemble that entity in being a composite of previously incompatible and mutually alien elements. The previous composite never became a coherent, functioning machine, but this is precisely what the Crusading West does become.

The Roman Pope’s dream of rehabilitating the defunct beast is at last realized, but the beast has a shape the Pope cannot recognize, and it is out of the Pope’s control.

Even the last remains of the Catholic Empire are no longer what the Pope would have them be.

The largest remains of that entity are a French Kingdom and a Holy Roman Empire.

The French Kingdom has more affinities with a Moravian-style nation-state than with its imperial predecessor. The ruler, a King of Parisians until the Albigensian Crusade and the subsequent expropriation of the Manichean victims enlarges him to a King of France, is the strongman over a limited territory inhabited by people with a largely common speech. The realm is not an empire, and it is clearly not Catholic, namely universal or all-embracing. The French monarchy, in fact, has so little use for Rome or its Vicar that it tries to reduce the Ecumenical Ecclesia to a French spiritual police. The fourth King Phillip actually installs a Pope of his own in the heart of once-Albigensian Provence, reducing Catholicism to a nathional department of ideology and propaganda, anticipating the later Reformation by eight or nine generations.

The worm segment that comes to be called the Kingdom of France is part of a larger entity, but this entity is neither Frankish nor Roman nor Catholic. The irony of the Crusading Knight turning into a vendor of Islamic wares is repeated in France when the first of the noble mounted Peers becomes a champion of the Burghers who are secreting a mercantile network in the form of fairs over the entire territory of Gaul. The bourgeois tentacles support and maintain the royal worm as a shield and cudgel agaisnt the so-called Aristocracy, namely the smaller worm segments left in Gaul by the decomposed Frankish entity. By this alliance, the bourgeoisie inserts the French monarchy into a network that extends from the Levant to Iceland, and decorates the royal palace with cloths and metals that come from as far as China and Senegal. This insertion of the ruler into the empire of commodity exchange makes the first of the French as dependent as the last on costs of production, on prices, and on cyclical commercial crises.

The Holy Roman Emperors retain more affinities with their Frankish predecessors than the French monarchs, but even these anachronisms turn against the hand of the Anointer. The imperial institution, stabilized by a Hohenstaufen dynasty and then permanentized by a Habsburg dynasty, is not actually a sequel to the Empire (such as it was) of Charlemagne, but to that of Otto, Holy Rome’s frontier cudgel against communities of Slavs.

Despite their crusading fervor, the Emperors are not tools or extensions of Rome’s Peter. They treat the Holy See as ungenerously as the French King does. Ever since the Pope recruited Normans and Muslims to war against the Emperor, Pope and Emperor have more often been mortal enemies than allies, and ever since Barbarossa, Emperors have tried to reduce Churchmen to spiritual overseers of imperial estates. The Holy Emperors need the connection with Christ’s Vicar, since that’s all that makes them Holy and Emperors; in mundane actuality they are not even kings.

If the French monarchy is already a nation-state, the Habsburg Empire is a real-estate operation. It exists to acquire, hold and lease lands. Like Lothar’s Lotharingia, the Empire of Rudolf or Albert Habsburg could just as well be called Rudolphiana or Albertingia, since it is not a specific place with definite boundaries; it is a changing list of Rudolph Habsburg’s or his son’s holdings.

Sustained by a military organization of serf-holding retainers who take their share of spoils, the Empire continues to be Holy because it continues to be Christianity’s cudgel against Slavic, Baltic and Turkic peoples of the northeastern frontier. After the Baltic communities are exterminated, the Empire turns on the Slavic nation-states, transforming Moravia and Bohemia into imperial estates. Opportunistic marriages and inheritance laws supplement war as instruments of land acquisition.

The purpose of all the seizures, confiscations and expropriations is eminently Christian and as Holy as the Empire itself. The purpose is to have dominion over the fish and over the fowl and over everything that moveth upon the appropriated land.

The democratization that accompanies the wealth-snatching operations of the single-minded Burghers makes the high purpose of the Emperor filter down to every European. We’ve already seen that the liquid assets of Burghers are exchangeable for estates, called private property, where even pious Burghers have dominion over everything that moveth. The Europeans describe this glorious possibility with the saying, “Every man is Emperor in his own house.” The “house” may be anything from a serf’s hut to a nation-sized estate, and even serfs with prospects of becoming apprentices to urban Burghers begin to dream of putting God’s command into practice.

Converted Europeans, especially enserfed ones, have had generations of training in dominion over their sinful selves. They’ve chained their emotions, desires, urges and everything that lived inside them. Many of them, successors to Albigensian and other resisters who hid from Inquisitors or pretended to conform, try to regain their lost humanity; I will say more about them. But many others, perhaps even a majority, are domesticated, seriously maimed and heavily armored.

The armored European hungers to repress other Sinful beings as he has repressed himself. Dominion over everything that moveth on a privately owned piece of real estate is what makes a person a self-respecting Christian, and a good Christian is henceforth, and by definition, a Worldeater.

* * *


Worldeater — swallower of worlds and destroyer of the Biosphere — is already an apt, funtionally descriptive name for the Western Leviathan at the time of its inception in Crusades against Infidels. But such a descriptive name will not be acceptable to Westerners until the post-ecclesiastical cleric Hobbes and his contemporaries Bacon and Descartes take up the calling of advertising their beast’s powers.

At the time of the Crusades, an earlier Bacon is already castyin greedy glances at the Biosphere, but the lethal character of the Western beast is not yet visible either to those in its entrails or to outsiders.

The Universal, all-embracing or Catholic Church has been carrying the project of total dominion for a millenium, but even Churchmen fail to see that their dream is a last being realized because it is not being realized on the Churchmen’s terms. The ecclesiastics have gotten used in relegating their dominion to the hereafter, and in the here-and-now they hurl themselves into the rush for spoils. Because of this greedy shortsightedness, the Churchmen fail to lodge their Organization at the helm, in the new beast’s head, and by the time they become aware of their oversight, they will already have missed their chance.

Viewd from abroad, the Crusading Westerners do no look like claws and tentacles of a new Leviathan, but rather like invading Barbarians storming the walls of Civilization. To Byzantines and Muslims, the Westerners are still Franks, and the lethal Franks are not the only barbarians at the gates. Byzantium itself is simultaneously battered by Frankish holy warriors from the west and by Ottoman Turkish holy warriors from the east, while Islam is pestered by the much more formidable Shamanists from the northeast, the Mongols.

The Westerners are Franks to Ottomans and Mongols too, and although the Turks do not make common cause with their fellow-topplers of Leviathans, the Mongols do consider the Westerners allies, at least potential allies.

Khan Qubilai welcomes Italian Catholic emissaries to the Mongol court, and the Catholics accompany the Shamanists who invade the far-eastern Leviathan and topple the Sung Dynasty. The Western Catholics do not only witness the Mongol transvaluation of Chinese values but also participate in it. The Catholics are part of an administration that raises former barbarians to bosses while reducing Sung Chinese to barbarians with no rights.

The famous Marco Polo is one of the Westerners who returns to tell the tale. Others stay in China; among them are Papal envoys who devote themselves to the holy work of converting to Catholic Christianity those Chinese who are already Nestorian Christians.

Far Western and far Eastern Eurasians are reminded of each other’s existence. The Westerners henceforth know that a dazzling Leviathan sprawls in the east, whereas the Easterners have no reason to modify their opinion that barbarism is a function of distance from China’s wall.

The Shamanists as well as the Christians who remain in China are eventually absorbed by the oldest continuous Leviathan in existence, and they too learn to think that the sun sets among barbarians.

The Westerners leave scars in China, but little else, whereas numerous dishes from the Chinese cusine, as well as printing and explosives, are carried westward through the ephemeral world-empire of the Mongols.

The western contemporaries of Marco Polo, of Qubiai Khan and of an obscure Turkish Amir known as Uthman or Osman are encasing themselves in a Leviathan of their own. Osman are encasing themselves in a Leviathan of their own. This Western Leviathan will eventually encase the entire Biosphere, it will metamorphose Mother Earth into an archipelago of labor camps filled with slaves, zeks, Ensis, Lugals and scribes. But none of the contemporaries of the Italian long-distance traveler can as yet recongnize the Leviathanic potency of the West, least of all his Catholic contemporaries.

The Westerners are terminating their apprenticeship to Viking and Muslim masters, but they are not really setting out on their own. They are losing their identity, ceasing to be what they were, and becoming what their enemies were. They are not inventing, discovering or developing anything new. Everything comes to them from their tutors.

The only element that can be called the Westerners’ own is their habit of lying about what they are doing. They do this better than they do anything else. They’ve been trained by legions of Vicars of Christ. In their own eyes, the Westerners are not appropriating the profits and posts of Islamic Infidels; they are saving souls, their own as well as those of their victims. An oligarchy of owners of liquid capital is already at the head of the Western Leviathan, but in their own eyes thge oligarchs as well as their clients are drawing closer to Heaven, to God’s Kingdom, to Eden, the all-but-forgotten community in the state of nature.

For a millennium Westerners saw a Roman Empire where there was none. Now that they are at last becoming Leviathanized — but in unacceptably Infidel ways — the Westerners see no Leviathan where there is one. This habit of denying what they are will keep Western Europeans running frantically from themselves to the furthest corners of Earth.

Western Europeans are not the first Leviathanized human beings who think themselves what they no longer are or never were. We’ve seen that the first Leviathanized human beings, the Ur-beings, were pioneers in this as in so much else. The Sumerians turned their former world into a wilderness, but they took care to carry parts of the disrupted world into their Temple garden. Inside the garden they could think they had never left the state of nature, or at least that they hadn’t gone very far They were as close to their forgotten community as Death is to Life.

The Western Europeans know that they left the state of nature, but they do not yet want to know they’ve entered the entrails of Leviathan. Human beings who unabashedly affirm themselves as segments of an artificial worm, as springs and wheels, will not appear in the West until several generations later, when contemporaries of the English scribe Hobbes will institute the worship of Leviathan itself, raw and unadorned.

Although the Church, with its Roman commitment and its Maximizing deity, already carries mor than a mere seed of Leviathan-worship, the later worm-worshippers will have to break with the Church to institute their novelty. This is because the Church cannot rid itself of the baggage that came to it from the anti-Roman crisis cult.

The Church of Rome, like the Temple of Ur, retains vestiges of a forgotten time and a vanished place. These vestiges give the Church its aura of being something other than what it is. The vestiges, for the Church as for the early Temple, are vestiges of the ancient human community in the state of nature. The Sumerians thought of the community temporally, as a Golden Age. The Christians think of it spatially, as a place called Eden. The Sumerian Temple gave its inmates the illusion that they were still in that community, or at least in a moribund facsimile of it. The Catholic Church gives some of its inmates the ame illusion, but it makes even these feel guilty about being where they think they are, and it leaves all others suspended in a quandry called Limbo.

* * *

The Church induces in its believers — its sheep, as it calls them — a condition some of our contemporaries will call schizophrenia. This is because the Church originated among resisters who intended to participate in the overthrow of the ruling Leviathan and expected the Kingdom of Heaven or Eden to follow the beast’s fall. The Church, like many other monsters, reduced the original resisters to paintings and statues decorating its pillars, walls and windows, while treating as heretics all living resisters with similar commi8tments and expectations.

The Church performs this feat with the help of its doctrine of Original Sin. This doctine is built out of a story placed into the first book of the Old Testament by woman-hating scribes in the ancient Persian-sponsored Kingdom of Judah. The original story is a simple-minded polemic against the primal goddess, the Earth-mother, and by implication against all women.

According to this story the woman, Eve, is not the mother. The man, Addam, is the mother. He gives birth to her, with help from the Father of Fathers, who plays midwife. The fact that the woman does subsequently give birth to living human beings is played down. What is played up is her inconstancy toward the Fathers and here illicit affair with a Serpent. By consummating her affair, she spoils the polemicist’s male harmony and provokes the Father of Ffathers to chase the entire family of of Eden.

Ancient ISraelites and their successors used this story as its authors meant it to be used: to insult and depreciate women. Jews did not derive a doctrine of Original Sin from the story. On the contrary, they becamethe apple of God’s eye, the Chosen people, and even the deity’s scourge against Edomites, Moabites and others.

Christians, starting with the pseudo-Apostle Saul or Paul, put this story to an altogether different use. They use the story to justify their own betrayal of the original resistance movement. Just as Adam and Eve had betrayed Eden by committing the original sin of eating fruit from the tree of knowledge, so Christians betray the ways of their uncompromisingly anti-Leviathanic founders by hurling themselves into opportunistic Leviathanic ventures.

By arbitrarily treating the first betrayal as the cause of all the later betrayals, the Christians wash away their blame for all their opportunistic lies and crimes. All the blam flows to Eve, the original sinner. By eating the fruit, she brought about the Fall of all her progeny.

Up to this point, ths story is still a myth, one among many origin myths. But at this point the Church transforms the origin myth into a cudgel, an instrument of blackmail. Just as the CHurchmen’s own dirt could be washed off and give to Eve, so the sins of all the fallen can be purged and given to Satan. Fallen, sinful humans can be washed clean, they can be saved. Jesus and his Apostles descended to Earth to save the fallen. The Pope is the Savior’s Vicar and his sole surviving Apostle. The Church is the door to Paradise. In order to be saved, a sinner need only serve the Church faithfully, give tithes unstintingly, pay large bribes for the remissions of major crimes, and will all his properties to the Church.

Those who devote their very lives to serving the Church as monks and nuns are rewarded with earthly Edens called monasteries and convents, enclosed and lifeless replicas of the state of nature, Christian versions of Sumerian Temple gardens. These elect even recover some of the ways of the lost kinship community by sharing all things in common and by considering each other brothers and sisters.

But the conscientious among these elect devote many of their Edenic days and nights to guilty musings about their undeserved grace, since as Eve’s progeny they are as sinful as the greatest emperor or the smallest thief. Guilt leads the elect to serve the Church yet more devotedly.

As for the non-elect, they can neither lie nor stand nor sit in the Christian world, they have to keep moving, and if they run fast enough they might reach Paradise, but only in the Afterlife.

This Afterlife is an umbilical cord, something like an Afterbirth but far more important. In Christian thought, Death is the real birth, and the decomposition after death is the Life that matters. The umbilical cord is what the Church provides, or rather, this is what the Church is, the Door. By offering and withholding this umbilical cord, the Church manipulates one after another generation of Western Eurasians.

The doctine of Original Sin is the key to the Church’s power. That’s why the Church cannot rid itself of the components that go into the making of this doctrine. The fall from Eden is the doctrine’s central component, and thus the Church itself is the vehicle that carries the memory of an Eden to human beings who have never been outside the entrails of Leviathan.

The Church deploys a vast thought police known as the Inquisition, and it resorts to witch hunts and heresy hunts to liquidate implications and conclusions other than its own.

But the Church fails to repress the news it cannot help but carry.

The causes for the failure are probably numerous, but some are obvious.

Firstly, the daily practice of Pope, priests, monks and nuns does not live up to the standards the Church holds out to laymen, and people who think of the Church as a whore and of Churchmen as pimps are not likely to let the piety police intimidate them into avoiding their own conclusions.

Secondly, secretive successors to Albigensians continue to spread a Bogomil message among good Christians, and this Manichean message acts like a powerful acid on the doctines of Original Sin and therefore on the entire repressive machinery of the Church.

The result is that a generalized resistance movement, one as thoroughgoing and as commited as the anti-Roman crisis cult and more widespread than the geographically localized Albigensian movement, turns against the newly-launched Western Leviathan with the Church’s own language.

Later secular and fundamentally tamer resisters, even those among them who are not Progress-worshippers, will dismiss the post-Albigensean movement because the resisters who turn against the Western Leviathan and its Church express an even greater interest in Salvation and the Kingdom of Heaven than the official repressors of the movement. We will have to remind ourselves that resisters normally express themselves in the language of their time and place. Furthermore, the terms used by the post-Albigenseans are not conservative Catholic terms which the resisters infuse with radical meanings. On the contrary, the terms were initially radical expressions which the Church infused with repressive meanings, so that we can say the resisters are reappropriating their own language.

* * *

Anti-Catholic, or more accurately, anti-Christian resisters become as numerous as Burghers in hastily-Leviathanizing Western Europe. The resisters, characteristically behind the times, aim all their blows against the former central power, the Church; they do not yet know that some of the Burghers have already displaced the Pope in a newly-constituted beast’s head.

Many Burghers, those with much to lose, already recognize the resisters as a threat to all Leviathanic power, not merely the Church’s. Such Burgher’s lose no time in making common cause with priests as well as knights against the resisters. And they do more. Just as the Church launched the Franciscan Order to channel potential resisters into a cul-de-sac, the Burghers launch movements of their own to drive other potential radicals into similar cul-de-sac.

Attaked and therefore hysterical Churchmen, the main record-keepers, add to the confusion by calling all non-conformists Heretics, whether they are zeks or Burghers, whether they are Manicheans or Christians, whether they are radicals or recuperators.

And among the radicals, as among other Westerners, everyone thinks himself another and is thought to be a third.

The Albigensean communities of southern France were exterminated by armies of Crusaders. But individual Cathars manage to escape from Provence and to carry their Bogomilism to every part of Europe. Apparently less sectarian than many ealier or later radicals, the Manichean Cathars form friendships and in time merge with Humiliati, Waldensians, Joachites, Brethren of the Free Spirit and others whith whomthey share the distinction of being hunted by the Inquisition. They do not merge with Franciscans, recognizing these pseudo-resisters as kin to the Inquisatorial Dominican police.

The radicals carry their news to every part of Western Europe. Records tell of persecutions, burnings and hangings of heretics on most routes between Italy and Scandinavia, from England to Hungary.

The “Poor Men of Lyons,” for example, wander all the way to Bohemia-Moravia after eighty of their companions are burned in France by the executioners of the Inquisitorial police. They will later be known as Waldensians, after Peter Waldo, one of the Poor Men who finds refuge in Moravia and dies there.

Women are prominent among the radicals. Maguerite Porete and Jeanne Dabenton, both of whom are captured by the Inquisition and burned, are among the better known.

Bypassing the male-dominated official rostrums and pedestals, independent-minded women travel from town to town, usually singly or with a male companion, and spread news which undermines the repressive priestly and knightly hierarchies. Most of them are visionaries and militants; some of them are theoreticians and writers. Their contemporaries call them Beguines. Their male companions are called Beghards.

These migratory radicals find accommodations in every town, in houses of sympathizers. In larger towns and cities, Beguines and Beghards are too numerous for private houses and are put up in hostels with names like “Society of the Poor” or “House of Voluntary Poverty.” The very names of the hostels announce that these women and men are not in tune with the times. At these gathering places they share news of common friends, of the heresy police, of major and minor insurrections against the ruling powers.

This informal network consisting of friendships and guest-houses keeps the wandering radicals better informed than the information-gathering fuctionaries of kings and bishops. But the radicals do not share their news with functionaries, not even with Brethren of the Common Life, another Franciscan-type Order launched by the Church, this one to trap potential Beghards.

The numerous wandering radicals will be called everything from Christian heretics to latter-day Apostles. Some will say these radicals are Protestants before their time, others that they are early Christians long after their time.

The categories hide more than they reveal; they reduce and sometimes ridicule and malign the radicals. When businessmen write of people devoted to Apostolic Poverty, they expect readers to smile condescendingly. The categories are in the main designed to explain the radicals away.

The radicals are numerous, many are highly imaginative, their inspiration comes from distant places and times, and they stimulate each other to rethink their commitments and start over again. They are as varied as human beings can be. They nevertheless share some large commitments, and it is these commitments that make them anathema to ecclesiastical and lay authorities.

The radicals are explicitly committed to freedom and to community. The very names they give their informal groupings, names like Brethren of the Free Spirit, announce both of these commitments.

It is misleading to call these radicals Christians, either Apostolic or Heretical. The Apostles, after all, were Jews whose stories became the gospels of the Christian Church. If Christianity is the religion instituted in the Roman Empire with the help of Apostolic gospels, Old Testament and Imperial forms of organization, people like Marguerite Porete or the Brethren of the Free Spirit are not Christians at all, since that religion is precisely what they reject.

Later Protestan Reformers of Christianity will borrow, tame and denature some of the radicals’ insights, but this will make Protestantism contain some anti-Christian elements; it will not make the earlier radicals Protestant Christians.

I would call these radicals An-archists. The Albigenseans among them help all of them disencumber themselves of the Christian doctrine of Original Sin and to consider the Archon, no the first woman, the sinner. Yet even the name An-archist is misleading if it associates these radicals with some later wearers of that name who are committed neither to freedom nor to community.

The Beguines, Beghards, Free Spirits and their friends are not part of what Yeats will call “the darkness,” the “twenty centuries of stony sleep.” Thay are an awakening from the stony sleep.

When ancient Egypt fell into the entrails of the Roman Leviathan, some Egyptians denuded of everything except vague memories rushed into their temples and breathed life into long-dead deities.

When Europeans begin to fall into the entrails of the Leviathan that will encase them to our day, many of them repeat the Egyptian feat. The Europeans no longer remember Isis or Osiris, they no longer know the Earth Mother or the cycle of vegetation by any of their former names. Yet they, like the Egyptians, breathe life into the long-dead and now even nameless deities.

The Free Spirits refuse to identify with the Pope’s absentee overlord. They are pantheists. They say Nature is deity, every existing thing and every living being is divine. The individual’s relation to such a deity is not one of fear, sbumission or obedience, but one of respect, admiration, love. Europeans will soon come in contact with distant people who call such a deity a Great Spirit.

Unlike the recuperated St. Francis, the radicals know that they do not need a Church, priests or sacraments to mediatte between themselves and deity. The Church is nothing but an obstacle; it makes separations where there was unity; it overturns kinship and usurps community. The separations are the only real sin, and the agents of separations are the evil ones. The aim of the radicals is to overthrow the separation, to remove the masks and armors, to return to the original unity, the lost community of free loving kin.

Marguerite Porete even writes a sort of manual to help others remove their armor. She calls her book a Mirror of Simple Souls. It is a profoundly anti-Christian work. When a repressed Christian looks into a mirror, a free human being is to look out. Christian humility and self-denial are not the goal, they are part of the condition to overcome. Zarathustrian light, a light so bright that it blinds, shocks the individual out of the dark Leviathanic pit, wakes her from the centuries of stony sleep. Outside the pit there’s an undreampt-of joy, there’s exultation, not in an Afterlife but in Life. The wakened person recognizes the repressiveness, the sinfulness, of the separations; she recognizes herself as Life, as Earth, as Deity. She mates as freely as other divine beings, enjoys the sexual act, and knows that the Sin is in the priests and their other doctrine. She rediscovers the ancient community of free, sinless beings, and she sees the community fenced in by repressive powers, by artificial obstacles. Without qualms, she turns to sweeping away the obstacles: the sacraments and preachers and their salvation machinery, the Virgin and the Saints and God himself. Communities of free human beings are to reappropriate the powers usuruped by Leviathans with no more qualms, “with such peace of mind, as they use the earth they walk on.”

This messasge is no Christian heresy. It is as far from anything Judeo-Christian as the wisdom of Dakotas, Ojibwas and other communities as yet unknown to Europeans.

* * *


Marguerite Porete is burned by the Inquisition. Thousands of her sisters and brothers are burned by the Inquisition. The Church is determined to keep Europe Christian, if need be by depopulating it.

This reign of terror is not perpetrated by radicals, extremists, revolutionaries. It is perpetrated by the serious and solid people, the authorities, the doctors of theology and the bishops, the royal councillors and mayors. And it is not a sudden outburst, a single event, but an ongoing process of institutionalized murder.

Europeans who do not see Marguerite Porete’s light have less reason to exult than the persecuted radicals. Life outside the Temple is a vale of tears, a wilderness traversed by greedy armies of sinful men tearing each other to shreds. And the Temple itself gives no shelter, offers no salvation; the Temple is nothing but a chamber of grizzly instruments of torture.

Europeans fleefrom the Church, from Europe, from themselves, in ever greater numbers. Former crusaders against Muslim infidels establish themselves in Muslim mercantile webs on the Mediterranean’s islands, on the Maghreb’s shore’s, on the Levant. Europeans rush to become what their hated enemies were. They rush to be anything other than what they are. Meaning, freedom and community are elsewhere, and henceforth Europeans will keep reaching elsewhere for them.

Europeans are already looking for America, long before they “discover” or name the world across the Ocean. They are fleeing because Europe is an empty pit, it is the Inquisition’s dungeon.

Later apologists will speak of Europeans being eager to spread their Culture, their Way of Life. If by culture we mean the ways and wisdom of communities of free human beings, Europe is no culture and has no culture. The last Europeans who have culture are radicals burned by the Inquisition. What’s left is Civilization, something very different from culture. Civilization is a humanly meaningless web of unnatural constraints, it is the organization of repression within the entrails of Leviathan. Civilization is the “culture” of a Leviathan’s springs and wheels. And Europeans know that their states are not communities, their laws for the maintenance of civility are not a culture, and their imposed tasks are not ways of free human beings, even if they name the tasks “callings.” They seek Culture by learning Greek and Latin and reading works from far away and long ago.

The frenzied rush away from one’s self is the exact opposite of what happened in communities of free human beings. In such communities, the goal was to realize one’s self, to become everything one could be, and to insert the fully-developed self into a meaningful cosmic context. Communities which gave individuals such meaningful context had, or were, cultures.

The de-populated Europe of the later Crusades, already turning into a spring or a wheel, rushes headlong from where and and from what he is to something completely different, to something new, to America. The unnamed goal is still nothing more than a mythical place in a Scandinavian saga and a closely guarded secret of Basque cod fishermen. But the European is already discovering little Americas in Muslim silver, in Senegalese gold, in Indian spices and in Chinese silks and porcelains. Wealth from trade enables him to buy what he no longer is. We’ve seen that even a serf who turns merchant and amasses enough wealth can make himself as free a Frank as his ancestors, at least in name.

* * *

The ever-more frequent and ever-longer wealth-seeking voyages of Venetian and Genoese vessels stir up the balances of the Biosphere, and not only those which the merchants intend to stir up. The ships return to Genoa and Marseilles with more than foreign gold and spices. They return with foreign rats.

Rats are not new in Europe. But the rats that come off the ships bring something Europeans are not prepared for, something their bodies are unable to resist. And the newly risen towns teeming with former serfs aspiring to be noblemen by passing through burgherdom give the visitor a favorable social context in which to do its lethal work.

This visitor, an unintended consequence of foreign commerce, is a mass murderer even more formidable than the Inquisition. Known later as Bubonic Plague, but described by contemporaries as Death itself, mounted and armed with a scythe, this newcomer of Europe kills one third of the subcontinent’s population in its first attack.

Europeans eventually acquire immunities which enable the Plague bacillus to lodge in human homes without destroying them, immunities acquired earlier by the visiting rats that carry the bacillus to Europe. In other words, Europeans become carriers of the bacillus. But this acquisition takes many generations.

In a much earlier outbreak of a different Plague, when Roman legions stirred up other balances, a vast proportion of adult Romans died of Smallpox over a period of several generations before Romans became carriers of Smallpox and only children died of it. So also the later Europeans continue to die of the Plague in vast numbers for several generations.

Of the two killers decimating Europe’s population, the Inquisitioncarries off fewer victims than the initial outbreak of Bubonic Plague, but the Plague is more democratic. They killer from abroad carries off militants of houses of voluntary poverty as well as officials of the Catholic Church, poor zeks as well as wealthy Burghers, serfs as well as Knights.

Some of the radicals think the Plague brings the end, the Last Judgement. They think nature, Mother Earth, the Divinity, is at last turning against the Leviathanic claws and tentacles tearing her hair and rending her bowels. This turns out to be wishful thinking. Mother Earth may well be capable of such a feat, but for the time being she gives no indication of such an intention.

The European Leviathan actually emerges strengthened by the Plague, and not only by the gradual acquisition of immunization.

In a community of free human beings, the outbreak of Plague would bring unmitigated disaster. But a Leviathan is an inverted community. Its His-Story is a sequence of human disasters. The human beings trapped in a Leviathan are mirror image of their disasters. In a Leviathan, as its inmates succintly and cynically observe, one man’s loss is another’s gain.

Merchants lose many of their customers. But they also lose many of their competitors, and this is very important to them. They’ve been clamoring to expel Jewish competitors for several generations. Latter merchants will say, with Christian veracity and with tongues in cheeks, that competition is the driving force of trade, but they will know perfectly well that monopoly is the driving force.

The decimation of competitors is not all the surviving Burghers get from the Plague.

Just as the rhythm of natural catastophes shaped the living activities of the first Sumerians, the removal and isolation of Plague victims shapes the civil institutions of European towns.

The bureaucracies of health and sanitation as well as the places of preventive detention and the quarantine wards will survive after Europeans cease to be victims and become carriers of the Plague. The places vacated by Plague victims will be filled with visionaries whose poverty will not then be voluntary. The civil bureaucracies will enable Burghers to carry on the work of the Inquisition in the name of Sanity, Rationality, Health and Medicine.

The Burghers think themselves peaceful and quiet, and they want their towns to run as peacefully and quietly as clocks where nothing stirs but the springs and wheels of commerce. This is of course wishful thinking, since the commerce itself continues to stir up the Biosphere and to provoke violent responses from human subjects who resist being reduced to springs and wheels. The Burghers’ wishful thinking will eventually lead them to try to man their clocklike towns with work-machines or Robots which are themselves products of the Burghers’ factories.

Burghers want to be what they are and where they are no more than other Europeans. Their present is a mere passage from a miserable past to a noble future. Their later doctrine of Progress will turn every present place into a mere vehicle flying through time to a future place.

* * *

We heard someone ask: Who would ever want to leave the amenities of Civilization and return to a Primitive state of nature? We can now see that the questioner is Leviathan itself, simulating a human voice. Human beings, even those encased in the most formidable Civilizer among Leviathans, try with all their might to burrow, run and even fly out of the accumulating rubble of amenities burying them alive. And not just the radicals among them. All of them.

The radicals are merely more explicit than others about their desire to leave. And the radicals survive both plagues. Decimated by domestic Inquisitors and by rats from abroad, the insurgency actually picks up momentum.

Cultivators of fields in every part of Europe rebel against the replacement of customary dues by the onerous obligations imposed by commercializing landlords and greedy priests.

News of the uprisings is carried everywhere by wandering radicals, more quickly than later newspapers will carry such news and without the distortions and censorship that will be imposed by newspaper reporters, editors and owners.

In Flanders, weavers who have for generations been clothing European Burghers and Knights while themselves becoming denuded, rebel against the entire coalition of priests, nobles, patricians, merchants and master craftsmen arrayed against them. The rebelling zeks seize the palaces of the powerful and try to destroy the power of the civil institutions, forming themselves into associations or brotherhoods they call Compagnonades. Attacked by Leviathanic armies, the associated weavers defend themselves by resorting to a Guti or Moravian type league headed by a military strongman.

The cloth merchants shrewdly transfer their investments to England, where the King promises iron protection and where the merchants expect to find zeks more docile than the Flemings. Flemish weavers are practiced insurgents; in an earlier uprising they hung priests, seized the properties of the Church and distributed the wealth of the otherworldly institution among the poor.

The cloth merchants are disappointed with England. The channel has not kept either the news or the radicals themselves froom reaching Eurasia’s westernmost islands.

Even a dignitary of Oxford University has been speaking of Churchmen as pimps and of the Pope as Antichrist. This professor, Wyclif by name, has no more use for the All-embracing Church than any of the radicals. He is not himself a radical, and he is insistently Christian, but he considers the entire hierarchy of priests, bishops and popes as well as the entire machinery of salvation by absolution, in other words the entirety of institutionalized Christianity from Constantine’s day to his own, a vast hoax.

Anticipating the English Reformation, Wyclif considers nation-states the only worthy type of Leviathan, and he would break up the Universal Church into various little churches, each loyal to the civil rulers of the national realm, each concerned with the spiritual wellbeing of the realm’s subjects and not with the business of amassing wealth.

Radicals spread news of the professor’s lectures, and even descendants of the founders of Europe’s first nation-state flock from Moravia to Oxford to hear Wyclif. The students, less committed to Christianity and respectability than the Oxford professor, mingle with the people who, in the wishful thinking of the Flemish cloth merchants, were expected to be more docile than the radical weavers of Flanders.

To the merchants’ dismay and the students delight, the English are more radical than the outspoken Oxford lecturer, are in fact as well informed as any continental Beguines or Brethren of the Free Spirit. What’s more, the English radicals are not a few visionaries who move from town to town in couples. They are more numerous than anywhere on the continent.

All of England seems to rise up against Leviathan, peasants as well as artisans, even poor priests. And the rebels know what they don’t want as well as what they do want. They don’t want Civilization, which they call Usurpation. They don’t want the forests to be swallowed by gentle lords nor the lands by gentle priests nor the harvests by gentle merchants. They don’t want to serve or clothe or feed the networks of usurpers who grow ever gentler from the labor of the denuded zeks and serfs.

The poor priests, called Lollards, go among the rebels with Wyclif’s English translation of the Book, and read aloud about a place called Eden where there are no priests or lords or merchants, where human beings were kin and shared all things in common.

This Eden is not as distant to the English as it will become. The English may not remember the first pregenitors, but they do remember the usurpation of egalitarian conditions. Many of the usurpations are as recent as the Norman invasion and are still going on.

Eden is what the rebels want, and they are not asking the King to grant it to them; they are determined to get it with the strength of their own arms.

The rebels march across England to Canterbury and London. Countryside and towns empty as the cultivators and the journeymen, the unskilled, the unemployed and the wanderers join the Eden-bound insurgents. They head for the prisons, storm them, and welcome the liberated inmates to their midst. One of the inmattes is a poor priest called John Ball, a bard incarcerated for his songs. This bard succinctly summarizes the entire program of the insurrection with the couplet,

When Adam delved and Eve span
Who was then the gentleman?

This Lollard warns,

Good folk, things cannot go well in England nor shall until all things are in common and there is neither villein nor noble, but all of us are of one condition.

Readers would do well to re-read his this warning, for it does not announce a Utopia in which all are villeins or workers.

The nightmarish will to universalize labor camps, which will later pass for radicalism, is what the English rebels are against. The English insurgents announce the end of the Leviathanic world, not its completion. The condition the insurgents want is not a universal villeinage but universal freedom; it is the condition of communities of free human beings in the state of nature, unencumbered by Leviathanic separations and usurpations.

The rebels say common people can cast off their yoke if they will; they can gather the wheat and burn the tares. The wheat is Eden. The tares are priests and lords, lawyers and judges, masters and merchants.

The tares are not the persons but the roles, the masks, the armors. One of the rebels, the outspoken Wat Tyler, even invites King Richard the Second to cast off his mask and armor and join humanity. But the King’s mask will not come off. Royal agents murder the hospitable Wat Tyler. And now the rebels turn their arms against the persons with sticky masks and armors, including the Archbishop.

No Flemish merchant will again hope to find in England docile hands for concentrated cloth production. Henceforth investors will venture out in the company of the King’s armed guards and hangmen.

Uprisings repeatedly shake Richard’s England until the monarch and many of his dignitaries are forced out. The usurping successor fares no better; the insurgents are not up in arms to replace a Plantagenet with a Lancaster. In fact, during the first Lancaster’s reign, many of the gentler people accomplish the feat of burning off masks and armors; landed Lords as well as wealthy townsmen cast their lot with the rebels.

England remains hot with insurgency until the second Lancaster, Shakespeare’s Prince Hal, forsakes the drunken Falstaff and resorts to foreign war, the most ancient method of quelling domestic rebellion. The fifth Henry leads armed Englishmen across the channel to spend their strength and their lives warring against French priests, lords, merchants and other gentlemen.

The year the English overrun Normandy and reach Paris, armed Portuguese merchants conquer the Muslims of Ceuta and install themselves in the once-Phoenician outpost on Africa’s northern coast, on the side of Gibraltar facing the Atlantic.

* * *

English and Portuguese armed men will go abroad, but Moravian students have in the meantime left England and returned home, some inspired by Wyclif’s lectures, others by insurgents’ dreams and deeds.

The returning students, diplomas in hand and rebellion in their hearts, do not start the fire that begins to rage in Prague and quickly spreads to all of Europe; they merely add kindling to a fire that is already blazing.

Neither England nor radicalism are strangers to Bohemia-Moravia. The English ceased to be strangers when the sister of Bohemia’s King Wenceslas became English Richard’s Queen Anne. And radicalism has been at home in Central Europe ever since Slavs sought to protect themselves from the onslaught of Charlemagne’s armies. When Bogomilism first reached southern France, Cosmas of Prague was already reminding Bohemians and Moravians that they had not always lived in the entrails of an Imperial Leviathan, that their ancestors had shared all things in common and lived in communities without thieves or poor people.

The radicalism has until now been confined to the words of outspoken individuals who spread news of Albigensians and Free Spirits to Christendom’s easternmost frontiers, and to the deeds of stubborn peasants who refused to pay dues and tithes to Imperial and Papal hierarchies. Waldensian and other refugees from Provence have carried Bogomilism almost full circle to the neighbors of the Serbs and Bulgars who have in the meantime been swallowed by the Ottoman Turkish Leviathan.

Neither Church nor Empire nor Commerce are held in high esteem by country and townspeople who sing a rhymed chronicle contrasting the ways of the ancient community with the commercial Imperial institutions, who applaud Jan Milic of Kromeriz when he speaks of the Church as the Antichrist, and who agree with Jan of Brno when he says private property is the original sin.

Even the most erudite strains of radicalism have been as much at home in Prague as in Oxford ever since royal Wenceslas’s and Anna’s father Charles, anointed Emperor by the Pope, planted the Holy Roman Empire’s only university in Prague.

Central Europe is as ready to withdraw from Leviathan’s entrails as England when the witnesses of England’s insurrection return home, and the only question is when and how.

The Pope stirs up the burning embers by ordering more funds to be raised for the Church through the sale of indulgences and relics. The University in Prague is a treasure chest of relics, including Jesus’s diapers, nails from the cross, even a supply of the Virgin’s milk.

But the University’s Rector, a man called Jan Hus, has exceptional integrity for a Catholic dignitary, and some of his appointees and associates are outspoken radicals. One of these, Nicholas of Dresden, call sthe Church the Babylonian Whore of the Apocalypse, “drunken with the blood of the saints,” an imitation of Ceasar and not of Christ. Another, Jakoubek of Stribro, says the ways of the ancient human community were Christian ways, not the institutions of the Catholic Empire.

Rector Hus refuses to raise funds for the Roman Pontifex, condemns the sale of relics and indulgences, and publicly calls the Pope a Simoniac, a merchant of spiritual goods, in other words a religious pimp.

The Pontifex retorts by excommunicating the Rector, and the Papal authorities of Prague execute three radical students.

These acts fan a fire which will at frist only singe the Church, but which will in time ruin the Roman Vicar’s all-embracing Empire.

The executed youths are immediately venerated as martyrs. The people of Prague attack priests and town magistrates.

News of the events is carried to the countryside and then to Hungary, Poland, Lithuania. The words of Hus, abbreviated to slogans, appeal to peasants, merchants and noblemen. Pay no tithes to Simoniacs! Seize the properties of the Church! Burghers and nobles hear the call to nationalize and appropriate vast tracts of Church land.

Peasants and zeks hear something quite different. Long-repressed desires and dreams add fuel to a fire that burns ever more deeply into Leviathan’s very core, and soon the movement is far more radical than the University Rector or most of his associates.

The honest Hus journeys to a Church council in Constance to disown what he did not say and to defend what he did say. Like many of the Conspiracy Trial victims of a later age, he is still loyal to the power that condemns him. He trusts the safe-conduct given to him by Emperor Sigismund, and he thinks his dignified colleagues gathered in Constance, philisophical theologians like Jean Gerson, Pierre d’Ailly and Pawel Wlodkowicz, are men of his integrity.

Wlodkowicz, in fact, came to Constance soon after Poles and Lithuanians devastated an army of Teutonic Knights in a battlefield near Tannenberg. The Cracow Rector wants the Pope to recognize accomplished fact and to deprive the Teutonic Order of its power over Eastern Europe. He argues that the Catholic Knights have no right to conquer peoples they consider infidels.

But Wlodkowicz and his reasonable colleagues lack the patience to hear Hus’s reasons. They owe their positions to the Church and not to free communities. They do not see how anyone could reasonably consider Church dignitaries like themselves cruel, powerful, luxurious, fornicating, gluttonous Simoniacs. They overlook the Emperor’s phoney safe-conduct and order their former colleague burned.

The fire that burns Hus sets all Europe ablaze, transforming a theological dispute into a social revolution so far-reaching it makes its subsequent French and Russian sequels seem like conservative, if terribly bloody, putsches.

The associates of the martyred Rector continue to wage their theological struggle from their desks in Charles’s University, but the rest of Moravia’s population turns to the implementation of desires and dreams their martyr had disowned at the Council that condemned him.

Journeymen, helpers, servants, beggars, prostitutes, thieves and slum dwellers join with cultivators of the earth to recover the lost community of kinship and love. A population literally withdraws in mass from the centers of Leviathanic power, the cities and agricultural estates. Determined to make a new start, people appropriate uninhabited hillsides, riversides, forests, and at each site they launch a community of kin where all things are shared in common, where there are neither bosses nor workers, neither nobles nor serfs, where agents of the Church cannot even enter.

Yet even while recovering communities and freedoms which once actually existed on those very hillsides and in those very forests, revolutionary Bohemians and Moravians, like other Europeans, still think themselves other than what they are, and elsewhere. At a hillside near Prague, the radicals of the newly-risen community consider themselves Hebrew contemporaries of the Apostles, and they call their hillside Mount Tabor, after a place in the Levant where some expected Jesus to reappear.

But the Taborites are not waiting for Jesus to reappear. Each member of the newly risen community is already her or his own Savior, and even those who were blind and mum until they reached Tabor begin to see and to express their visions soon after their arrival.

Former Waldensians among the Taborites, themselves further radicalized by the events, erode whatever awe for ordained priests and officials still lingers in the newly-liberated communitarians.

The Waldensians reject all religious orders as worthless. They say the Pope and all his cardinals as well as the Emperor and all kings, dukes, princes and bourgeois magistrates are usurpers and imposters. They say the only Purgatory is the poverty in which so many people are forced to live. They say Christians are idolaters because they prostrate themselves to a cross and to images of saints.

The anti-Christianity of the Cathar-influenced Waldensians will remain exotic to most Taborites, but repeated confrontations with Christianity’s secular arms will make a growing number of Taborites close kin to Bogomils.

* * *

News of the Bohemian and Moravian communities is carried to every part of Europe by the informal network of wandering Beguines and their companions. Despite English King Henry’s war, which turns all roads of Gaul into death traps, people who hear the news make pilgrimages from every corner to the Taborite communities.

Among the pilgrims are numerous Flemish Beghards from Lille, Tournai and Brussels. The Taborites call them Pikarti.

These radicals, probably former weavers who recognize their own desires and dreams in the Moravian communities, settle among the Taborites and introduce elements which further deepen the witdrawal from Leviathanic social life. They reject not only authority in all its forms, whether religious or secular, but also repression in all forms, particularly in the form of dehumanizing labor. If cloth-making requires the concentration of human beings in sunless prisons, then free spirits can dispense with clothing as readily as they can dispense with priests and nobles.

The Pikarti — and soon numerous Taborites are Pikarti, also called Adamites — remember or rediscover the freedom of human communities in the state of nature. Expressing their dreams in Zarathustrian symbols acquired from Manicheans or Joachites or even from the testaments themselves, the Adamites expect the last Leviathan to collapse as soon as all free spirits withdraw from it to the five liberated cities on the mountains.

When that day comes, none will need to work:

You will have such an abundance of everything that silver, gold and money will only be a nuisance to you.

People will again enjoy nature’s bounty as Adam and Eve once did. There is no need to work in the meantime either, while waiting for the day of the final collapse, nor is there any need to starve:

You will not pay rents to your lords any more, nor be subject to them, but will freely and undisturbedly possess their villages, fish-ponds, meadows, forests, and all their domains.

In other words, the Adamites hasten the arrival of the egalitarian community in the state of nature by redistributing the world’s monopolized bounty through plundering raids on the domains of the rich.

The expectation of the imminent collapse of the last beast is not mere wishful thinking. In our day such expectations, couched in the language of our time, will be called revolutionary theories, and some people who are totally immersed in the ruling language will even give such prognostications the name Scientific.

The expectations are not wishful thinking because the revolutionaries do not wait for the stars to implement their wishes. On the contrary, the revolutionaries cast themselves in the role of the beast’s beheaders. Their prognostications are commitments, statements of the revolutionaries’ intentions.

* * *

And the Holy Roman beast does in fact collapse in the face of “the five cities,” as the Taborites refer to their league of more than five communities.

When Taborites learn that Emperor Sigismund, the one who gave Hus a safe-conduct to death by burning, intends to install himself in the seats of Imperial power, the radicals overthrow the government in Prague. Taborites converge on Prague from their hilltop communities and take over the guilds, which promptly install themselves in all the seats of power.

There is not much fighting. The Emperor has few loyal followers in Prague. The few who do defend Church or Empire, whether bishops or imperial dignitaries, are killed by being thrown through the windowns of their offices.

Emperor Sigismund appeals to the Pope, who proclaims a Crusade against the Infidels in the heart of Central Europe. This extends the era of the Crusades into the age of gunpowder and of the Italian Quatrocento, the so-called Renaissance; it makes the last Crusaders contemporaries of Portugal’s overseas commercial empire.

The Imperial army sets up extermination camps at various castles and begins to liquidate captured Taborites as earlier Crusaders liquidated Albigensians. But the Crusaders do not fare as well against Taborites as they once fared against much more pacific Albigensians. Five Imperial armies of Crusaders from Germany, Hungary and even France attack the leagued “five cities” of the Taborites, and each of the Crusading armies is demolished as decisively as the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Tannenberg.

Later military analysts of the French Revolution will figure out that the two sides are unevenly matched, and that the weaknesses are all on the side of the Imperials. The noble German and Hungarian estate owners, with their bands of gallant retainers and their serfs recruited into a military corvee, are relics from another age. They simply cannot stand up against a popular uprising, against an armed population fighting for life, for home, and for a beautiful tomorrow.

The Taborites fight furiously, viciously. They observe none of the gentlemen’s rules of war. They are the first to resort to gunpowder. Taborite armies run the Crusaders down to Hungary, Silesia, Saxony and Thuringia, and even chase Imperial enemies into Lusatia and Brandenburg.

The Crusade against Central European Wyclifites, Hussites, Taborites and other Unbelievers is a sequence of Catholic defeats. The Pope will not proclaim any more Crusades. The so-called Hungarian Crusades against Ottomans are a defense of Hungary’s eastern frontier from Turkish perpetrators of an Islamic holy war.

The Crusading ear ends. Less than three generations later, Central European nobles, many of them grandsons of Crusaders against Wyclifites and Hussites, will extirpate Catholicism from their domains by expropriating the Church of it land and wealth. From the standpoint of the All-embracing Church, the blow will not be less deadly because it is dealt by the rulers of nation-states and not by free communities.

* * *

The communities of the “five cities” are not defeated by the combined armies of the Catholic Church and the Holy Roman Empire. The story is much sadder. The Taborites are at war for more than a generation. They are defeated by their own military victories. They suffer the same fat as the Guti who ganged up against Sumerian militarists in the Fertile Crescent, as their own Moravian ancestors who formed a league against Avars and then against Franks.

The self-defeat of the Taborites is not a simple affair, and it is not predetermined. The Taborites are actually more conscious of the predicament than later resisters, and the initial Taborites are far less addicted to violence than most other Europeans.

The conservative Hussites among them, who are mainly poor priests and play a role similar to that of Lollard priests in the earlier English uprising, abhor armed confrontations, and the radical Waldensians so prominent among the Taborites are principled pacifists who consider war the main Leviathanic institution to be overcome by the newly-risen communities of sisters and brothers.

The most violent of the early Taborites are the radical Adamites, for whom the peaceful Eden of the imminent future justifies every present atrocity. In the view of the Adamites, “all the evil ones who remain outside the mountains will be swallowed up in one moment”: all the evil doers are to be killed, all the houses destroyed, every last entity of the old world to be wiped out.

But the Adamites cannot wage a war. They can at most carry out successful raids. They reject all institutions, including the institutions required by a functioning war machine. The Adamites combine traits of those we call guerrilla bands and terrorists. Militarily the Adamites are the weakest of the Taborites.

It is not Adamite violence that spreads throughout the Taborites movement. When Taborites organize their military institution, they simultaneously rid themselves of the Adamite radicals in their midst. The Taborites who organize the invincible armies that will hold Crusading Europe’s entire military machine at bay are associates of the peace-minded Hussites, not of the violent Adamites.

There seem to be two movements which pull in diametrically opposed directions. The first movement is a withdrawal from the entrails of Leviathan, the second is a self-defense agaisnt the monster’s attacks.

The withdrawal movement is a time of self-abandon, of mask and armor removal. Daring radicals and visionaries are embraced as kin, every new sect has its day, all are heard and absorbed, and everyone ventures into undiscovered realms.

All this abruptly ends when the self-defense begins. Self-abandon gives way to a new rigidity, masks and armors are put on, exotic visionaries are distrusted, then ostracized, finally eliminated.

Most of the Taborites abhor violence. Tabor is itself a refuge from the daily violence of Leviathanic constraint. In Tabor, as a radical puts it, people “cannot be commanded by anyone, or excommunicated, or forbidden anything; neither the pope nor any archbishop nor anyone alive has authority over them for they are free.”

But the Taborites abhor the prospect of a reimposition of Leviathanic constraint by the Empire’s armies even more than they abhor violence. And the Imperial Crusaders do not even promise to reimpose former constraints; they are out to exterminate the Taborites.

Pacifist Waldensians may foresee the consequences of organizing a military self-defense, but they are not likely to stop people from defending not only their human gains but their very lives.

The preparations for the first armed confrontation do not announce a reversal of Tabors direction, an end to the ever-deeper movement of liberation, a turn toward militarism. No lordly generals are invited to institute military machine among the Taborites. Peasants with revelations, wandering radicals and poor Hussite priests, namely the very militants who have tended to monopolize discourse and define priorities all along, are the people who call for and organize the defense.

Later generals like Jan Zizka, Zbynek of Buchov and others are initially nothing more than Lollards, poor preachers. Zizka, for example, is a peasant who served in the army of a Polish lord at the Battle of Tannenberg. Even pacifists hail the battle that put an end to centuries of Teutonic violence. The fact that victorious Polish and Lithuanian nobles will impose over northeastern Europe the very serfdom imposed by the defeated Teutons is not yet known.

Zizka does not seek to reimpose any of the visible trappings of a knightly military organization. He remains poor and unadorned as any Hussite priest. Furthermore he’s blind. What he gives his fellow-Taborites is not a visible military hierarchy but his inner visions.

Perhaps, if the war had ended after the first battle, the Taborites would have returned to non-military activities, to the problems of living in Paradise on earth, to the problems of reconstituting free communities based on love and kinship.

But the defeat of Sigismund’s army at Vishehrad is not the end of the war; it is the beginning. The Emperor’s anachronistic army is Leviathan’s army and, like the weather of Sumer, it goes on attacking, it goes on threatening to flood and destroy the “five cities.” Leviathan is nothing but a machine for grinding out armies. And the Taborites go on defending themselves, forming an alliance of communities similar to that of their Moravian ancestors, placing their trust in military leaders.

The blind military visionary Zizka, himself a peasant, does not try to transform the peasants and former zeks of Tabor into trained legions of armored Knights. He urges people familiar with flagellants to beat down the enemy with iron-tipped flails. He urges peasants to go to battle with their farm wagons, and to mount cannons on the wagons.

Even numerically superior forces of Crusading Knights are cut to pieces by weapons that will later be called Tanks, and the combined military might of Church and Empire fails to make a single breach through a wall of armored farm wagons.

The Taborites, like the Sumerians, become a mirror image of what they’re fighting. They turn into an impregnable fortress. And they impose on themselves all the constraints the invading Leviathan fails to impose on them.

The defenders of Tabor are peasants and townspeople as well as Hussite nobles who appropriate the lands of ousted Churchmen and Catholic nobles.

Adamites fail to distinguish friendly Hussite nobles from hostile Catholic ones, and they plunder the estates of allies as often as those of enemies. Adamites as well as other radicals remain committed to freedom from forced even though the bounty that could support free communities is on the private estates of barons and burghers.

While Adamites plunder the barons and urge peasants to abandon their sinful misery, Zizka and other military men negotiate with those very barons to provision the Taborite armies with produce created by the forced labor of the peasants on the estates.

Defense remains a priority in Tabor, and the Adamites clearly disrupt Tabor’s defensive apparatus. Soon the exotic but attractive Adamites become exotic but dangerous in the eyes of many Taborites, especially in the eyes of Hussite priests who associate more readily with Hussite Barons than with anti-Christian Pikarti.

Hussite priests elect an elder to arbitrate theological disputes. In practice this elder is a bishop who is charged with judging the correctness of the views of erring Taborites. The Hussite priesthood becomes a church. The Bishop’s judgments are excommunications. Adamites, Free Spirits, Beguines, Beghards and their numerous sympathizers are condemned as heretics, and several hundred are expelled from Tabor.

The radicals go to forests and river islands to found free communities of their own, communities without bishops or forced labor or permanent armies, and some apparently without clothing. They do not leave books about themselves, and will be known only from the reports of their maligners, reports which will depict the Adamites as numerous, vivacious, and restrained by few if any inhibitions.

One of the radicals, a priest named Martin Huska, allows himself to be lured back to Tabor to defend his views. Like Jan Hus at Constance, Martin Huska remains loyal to the institution that condemns him. Like Hus, he defends his views, in Huska’s case the anti-Christian view that “Paul’s institution of gathering in the Church will not be observed.” Instead of gathering in a Church, the Adamites gather at meals or banquets which they call love feasts. Love play and sex are integral to the feast, since the Adamites reject every trace of the Christian doctrine of Sin.

Also like Jan Hus, Martin Huska disowns practices he never advocated, such as the plundering raids of the Adamites. This is all his judges want to hear. Huska is imprisoned, and General Zizka himself, allied with a baron, leads a Taborite army against a nearby settlement of Adamites.

The violent raiders resist fiercely, but the violence of the Adamites is no match for the institutionalized violence of the Taborites.

The invincible Taborites then launch a crusade, or a terror, against the remaining communities of radicals expelled from “the five cities.” Only the names of some of the Adamite victims survive, names like Maria, Rohan the blacksmith, Peter Kanish.

Radicals who survive the terror return to wandering, in couples or in small groups, as Beguines or Beghards; some join with disillusioned Waldensians. Martin Huska, like Jan Hus before him, is burned by his fellow disputants, his judges.

Disencumbered of its radicals, Tabor goes on to defeat Europe’s last armies of Crusaders, first under General Zizka, then under General Prokop.

But the victorious Tabor is not the Kingdom of Heaven, it is no longer even a league of free cities. Tabor is now an independent city-state provisioned by a dependent countryside. It has more in common with the Leviathan it opposes than with the free communities its radicals announced . It may be the first modern state with a popular army driven be patriotism instead of fealty, but it has ceased to be a beacon of freedom.

The extermination of radicals is followed by the extirpation of radicalism. The initial heterodoxy of the “five cities” is replaced by an increasingly narrow and conservative orthodoxy. Defense remains the priority, and for its sake, Taborite priests keep narrowing even their religious differences from Hussite barons, merchants and Prague theologians whose religion differs from Catholicism only in the meaning given to the rite of drinking wine and eating bread.

The final confrontation is not between Taborites and Catholic Crusaders, but between Taborites who merge with the conservative Hussites and Taborites who only now decide that the compromises have gone far enough. It is too late for such a decision. The resisters have nothing to stand on but the previous day’s compromises.

During a generation of spectacular victories, Tabor as a community of free human committed slow suicide. The Reformation of Christianity has begun.

* * *

The vision of a reconstituted community of free human beings in the state of nature survives among radicals ejected from Tabor, who carry the vision first of all to Germany, where most of the anti-Taborite armies were recruited.

Soon there are thousands, even tens of thousands of German-speaking peasants who call each other Brothers and Sisters, refuse to pay taxes or tithes, and insist that all wood and water and fields and pastures be enjoyed by all, as they were before the Leviathanic usurpation. Massive insurrections shake Europe from Holland to Hansa.

European scribes will concentrate on the Progress of their Leviathan in order to mask the fact that the European Leviathan, like the ancient Assyrian, is in a continual state of decomposition. Withdrawal is the human response to Progress, and Leviathan’s own agents know it. Every form of immersion in Leviathan’s entrails will wear a human face by simulating withdrawal, as in Sumer.

The Church will soon cease to be Europe’s Temple, but Europe will not therefby cease to have a Temple. The successors to the Church will, if anything, be more Sumerian than the Church.

Heirs of the first Taborites will at last shatter the catholic dominion of the Church, but heirs of the last Hussites will deflect the blow. A Luther and a Calvin will repeat, this time consciously, the Franciscan feat of channeling potential resisters into a cul-de-sac.

But by then the heirs of Europe’s last Crusaders will already have launched the cruellest, bloodiest and most bizarre simulated withdrawal in all Leviathanic His-story. By the time self-styled Protestants gang up with nobles and burghers to eject every trace of freedom, kinship and community from their simulated withdrawal, counter-reformed Catholics are already devouring the last remaining freedom, kinship and community on the planet, they are appropriating what they lack by eating it.

Before long, near-sighted heirs of Tabor’s visionaries will constitute themselves into an Order of United Moravian Brethren and will carry a sickly memory of Adamite love feasts to the last genuine love feasts celebrated by the last victims of Europe’s deflected desire for freedom, kinship and community.

* * *


The Taborite communities that commit slow suicide are contemporaries of communities of Guanches murdered by mercantile Catholics. The Guanches are the last free inhabitants of Atlantic Ocean islands called Canaries, the first non-Europeans exterminated by seekers of Fortunate Isles.

The Guanche communities were previously visited by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Muslims, yet they survived until a Norman adventurer called Bethencourt settled among them at the time when Rector Jan Hus refused to sell indulgences. By the last Hussite extinguish the unintended consequences of the Rector’s refusal, the Guanches are on their way to extinction. The hospitable Guanches, like the radical Taborites, are not allowed to live in Eden.

A millennium of Christianity has taught Europeans that fallen human beings live in Sin. The dictum is not passively accepted by Christian Europeans. It is actively implemented. Those who do not live in Sin shall not live at all.

If the Sinful European cannot reach Eden, he can at least enforce the Fall. By taking up this task the European is saved. He becomes the scourge of God. The innocent are the damned. Henceforth opportunism and greed are the inner signs of salvation, and Fortunate Isles are the fields in which the Scourge of God can expropriate and exterminate the Sinless at will.

The Canaries are not far from the continent’s shores, but they are already part of the New World in the West, they are already America.

* * *

While the last Taborites and Guanches are exterminated, Europeans experience their Renaissance, their Rebirth, their metamorphosis, into something other than Christians, other than Europeans, and other than human beings.

The wandering artists and scholars who initiate the Italian Quatrocentro are as mobile as Beguines and Beghards, but they are not seeking self-realization in a human community. They are seeking self-annihilation in the service of a ruler, any ruler. The self-dehumanization of the scribe becomes the ideal of a social movement in Western Europe.

The artists and scholars are not altogether innovative. Self-instrumentalization for the sake of economic gain is already normal practice of Burghers, and enforced instrumentalization for the sake of another’s gain has always been the lot of zeks. The peculiarity of renascent artists and scholars is that they instrumentalize themselves for anther’s gain, like zeks, and they shape themselves to degrees of instrumental perfection unmatched by any previous living beings. These human tools, individuals like Bramante, Machiavelli and the renowned Da Vinci, are the forerunners of the Genius as well as the Expert.

Even though their peculiarities are not altogether new, these animate instruments have no real predecessors.

There were artisans or craftsmen already in ancient Sumer and Egypt, but these people emerged from their apprenticeships as tool users, not acrobats of one or several crafts, and the ancient artisans served the Temple and its gods, not naked power. The difference is not as great as the terms suggest, but it is not insignificant. In practice, artisans built the ruler’s palaces and war engines. But the veil that hid their practice, the Temple and the gods, were vestiges of a lost human community, and these vestiges still exerted a certain moral force, making the pious artisan, in practice, a very limited instrument. The men of the Renaissance are not artisans. They are Artists. They are perfectly amoral, retain no vestige of human community, and there are no limits to the uses to which they can be put.

Perhaps the scribes of Pharaoh or Lugal honed themselves to a similar degree of perfection and served a usurping Pharaoh or Lugal as devotedly as they had served a predecessor. But the scribes were instruments for record-keeping and for little else, whereas the great men of the Quatrocento are equally adept in every domain a ruler may wish to enter.

Greece, Rome and China had their scribes, painters, builders and tinkerers, but most of these were artisans, not Artists. Men like Shang Yang, Plato, Aristotle and Archimedes, in their readiness to sell the secrets they uncovered to a ruler, already announced the Artists of the Quatrocento, but only Shang Yang, an early Machiavelli, and Archimedes, with his ethic of “It Works!” qualify as real forerunners. Plato and Aristotle still valued detachment more than employment, and this attitude made them blunt instruments to the rulers to whom they offered themselves.

Frankish vassals could often be made to do acrobatic feats for their liege lords, but fealty, a remnant of an ancient community, made a vassal loyal to a given lord, not to power as such. And as instruments, the hot-headed mail-armored vassals tended to be clods and bunglers compared to a Da Vinci.

Even the Church, during its millenium of dominion, contained few real forerunners of the great men of the Quatrocento. Some of the saints performed unmatched feats of self-repression, others were acrobats of self-torture who evacuated themselveds in front of Optimus Maximus as unabashedly as the genii would evacuate themselves in front of a Patron. But the saintly acrobats tended to perform their feats against themselves, whereas the Renaissance acrobats turn on the world.

So-called Alchemists, contemporaries but no necessarily friends of the saints, turned on the world already during the Catholic millennium. But people like the exceptionally famous Doctor Faustus tended to be shadowy characters. Unlike their famous successors, the Alchemists, as ready to sell their secrets as Archimedes, could find no patron except the devil.

It is precisely among the shadowy characters that the forerunners of the celebrated men of the Renaissance are to be found. Even ancient communities had their occasional Shamans who applied their secrets to killing instead of healing their own kin. In the early Leviathans, successors to such people unveiled nature’s secrets to concoct killing machines, instruments of torture and poisons. But in the Temple-States, such torturers and executioners performed rites of purification before returning to human society, and during the Catholic millennium they wore hoods.

The Church launches a murderous persecution of women healers, and calls such women Witches, precisely at the moment when practitioners of what used to be called Witch-craft remove their hoods and publicly advertise their lethal powers. The Church is itself a genius, a past master at such monstrously ironic deflections.

But the Church is not such a genius at seeing where its interests lie. It always seems to be several generations behind the times. The Church is blinded by the mad rush of its own prominent men into the treasure chests. Many of the newly prominent Alchemists and unhooded torturers are themselves Churchmen, and one of them even becomes Pope.

* * *

The new men, who will be known as Scientists, Engineers, Doctors and Professors, and will eventually be known simply as Experts or Executives, have no more use for the Church than Adamite radicals had. The formerly hooded men owe their sudden prominence, not to the Church or even to its deflection of their evil onto the perennial Eve, but to the amoral daily practice of Europe’s Burghers.

We’ve already seen that commerce or trade, what the Burghers will call Business, is the practice of treating fellow human beings as enemies. European Burghers learned Business from Islam, directly or indirectly, and by the Quatrocento they’ve absorbed Viking practitioners of the craft, expelled Jewish competitors, and are in the process of expropriating their Muslim masters.

We’ve also seen that European Burghers acquired the practice but not the code of their Islamic masters. Muslim merchants perpetrated their craft within limits imposed by a prophet who was himself a merchant, and within limits imposed by the notion of a merciful god. In practice the limits were flexible, but they were nevertheless there, like the ethical precepts that guided and limited ancient artisans.

The Europeans acquire the trade but not the Quran or the merciful Allah, and the consequences of this partial conversion to Islam will be felt by the entire Biosphere. The Gospels of the Europeans, authored by people who hated merchants, reject trade in its totality and consequently contain no specific guidelines for traders. And the European deity, Optimus Maximus, the god of armored legions, is no more merciful than the most rapacious merchant, and is as readily a god of maximal profits as a god of victorious legions.

Consequently the code of the European merchant is quite different from the code of his Islamic counterpart. The European merchant is guided by no ethical precepts whatever. There is no limit, either human or natural, to what a European will do for profit.

Rapacious and totally unrestrained plunderers and despoilers undoubtedly existed among Muslim merchants as well. But in Islam such men had to do their dirty work under cover, they had to remain shadowy, they had to wear hoods. In Europe such men can do their dirty work where everyone can see them, and they wear no hoods. Unequalled plunderers like the Welsers, the Fuggers and the Medicis become ostentatious heroes, the most prominent Europeans of the day.

It is the European Burgher’s code that enables and even encourages ingenious torturers, poiseners and executioners to emerge from under their hoods. This code is simple, but it will not be put into words until a successor of Hobbes, an Adam Smith who will be neither an Adam nor a Smith, articulates it as: Do unto others whatever brings you profit.

This so-called Adam will be silent about the corollary of this dictum, and his successors will remain silent until our near-contemporary Nietszche expresses the collorary: Dehumanize yourself in order to be exalted. The corollary does not come to re-Levianthized Europe from Islam, but from the practice of saintly Christian self-tortures called Anchorites. These forerunners of unabashed power-servers outdid themselves in ostentatiously maiming and eradicating all their human qualities so as to be exalted by Optimus Maximus, and their deity rewarded them by inspiring good Christians to depict the humanly revolting feats of the sainted Anchorites on the walls and windows of every parish church.

Until the Renaissance, Europeans considered Usery a monstrosity. They associated the practice with alien ancient Etruscans and Carthaginians or with alien contemporary Jews and Muslims, and they called its practitioners bloodsuckers. Now European Usurers who call themselves bankers and investors replace saintly Anchorites in the paintings depicting the exalted.

For profit-seekers as for power-servers, nothing human and nothing natural is sacred. Human community is as unknown as the most distant star, and nature is a treasure-house of objects for plunder. Burghers reduce people as well as land to saleable commodities, and Scientists will further reduce both to atoms manipulable by power-artists.

* * *

The scribes of this movement call their nature-hatred Rationalism and their misanthropy Humanism. Naming things the opposite of what they are is a talent inherited from the Church.

Until the Renaissance, a proposition or a deed was reasonable if it was in harmony with the human and natural context. Irrational, Unnatural and Inhuman were kindred terms if not actually synonyms. Yet now that human powers of reasoning are placed at the service of the most inhuman and unnatural as well as irrational propositions and deeds, the accomplishment is hailed as Rationalism.

The later so-called Enlightenment will sever reason from every human and natural context, and the full harvest of this triumph of the irrational masked as reason will be reaped when atoms of Hiroshima living beings as well as their environment are splintered by the next-to-last invention of this irrational “reason”.

Unprecedented misanthropy is clothed as Humanism by masters of inversion schooled by a millennium of Vicars of Christ.

The Humanism of Machiavelli and his great contemporaries is the “humanism” of Plato’s Chinese counterpart, Shang Yang, minister of the Duke of Chin. The reader may remember Shang Yang as the pioneering devotee of unadorned human communities from States, and who hone his vision into a sort of alchemy of power, a technology for the systematic destruction of human freedom, kinship and community.

Shang Yang merely put into words the practice of Gulags since the beginning of Ur-time, but the putting into words was no mean feat. The Gulags themselves had not dared to put their practice into words. Gulags had covered their practice with the Temple’s words. Gulags themselves had not covered their practice with the Temple’s words, and had even in their own eyes served the gods in the Temple, namely the remnants of the human community, and not sheer power.

Shang Yang’s vision was so brazen that it had few sequels, even in China, until Italian artists of power saw what their Chinese forerunner had seen. A few Generals of Roman Legions as well as Emperor Octavian’s successors Caligula and Nero had attempted to overcome the Temple language and repress the last lingering remnants of community, but the repressed returned to Rome in such a flood that Nero’s successor Constantine was forced to swim with the tide to keep from drowning. While Machiavelli and his great contemporaries are probably Shang Yang’s first full-blown successors, it is doubtful that Marco Polo informed them of the existence of their forerunners.

The inspiration of the Renaissance power-artists comes, not from an Italian translation of Shang Yang’s works, but from a study of the practice of Europe’s own successful Burghers. Usurers are the greatest Lords and princes of the realm. Greatness comes, not to those who serve the gods, but to those who serve the devil. The exalted are not principled devotees of the human community, the radical seekers of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth, for they are burned by Inquisition. The exalted are the unprincipled devotees of the fourth beast of the Book of Daniel, the servants of Leviathan.

What makes Humanists of misanthropists is the illusion, slightly later spelled out by Hobbes, that the beast has a human head.

But these Humanists are a priesthood that sacrifices humanity as well as nature on the altar of a hideous idol whose human face is a sham as old as Ur. The Leviathan is a thing, and from its standpoint, humanity as well as nature are also things, objects, either obstacles or potential instruments. The beast travels through Time by eliminating the obstacles and appropriating the instruments. The great men of the Quatrocento are the beast’s scouts, they are the first avowed trail-blazers of Leviathan.

These acrobats of Leviathanic power not only outdo themselves in the unprecedented thoroughness of their scouting, they also run to outdo each other in a trail-blazing so conscientious that it foresees future obstacles and reaches out for future instruments. Every being, every place and every object that was once infused with layer upon layer of contextual, symbolic and literal meaning, is now scrutinized as potential obstacle or instrument.

Reason, the human power to comprehend meanings, becomes degraded into an instrument for dissolving meanings. The reasoner, instead of aiming to grasp the cosmic context of seemingly isolated phenomena, now aims to isolate phenomena from any context. Meaning is replaced by definition, reasoning by analysis, mythology by science.

The artists of isolation will call themselves Natural Scientists, but their Naturalism is as bogus as their humanism. Nature is no more the reason for analytic acrobatics than human community is.

The entire undertaking is a quest for obstacles and instruments. The obstacles sought are not obstacles that threaten human communities or natural environments, obstacles like Leviathan. The search is for obstacles in the way of Leviathan. The instruments sought are potential beaks and claws as well as potential springs and wheels for Leviathan.

The inhuman and unnatural fruits of the quest are placed on the threshold of the Prince’s palace, for him to use against humanity and nature. The designers of springs and wheels compete with each other for the favor of the Prince, and each wants a patron favorable to his most inhuman and unnatural designs.

The innovators and decorators no longer even pretend to make offerings to a Temple with its lifeless relics from a lost community and its dead gods. For the first time, the offerings are openly and even ostentatiously placed on the altar of Leviathan.

* * *

The Renaissance is something new, but it is not a rebirth. The Rebirth is as bogus as the Humanism, Rationalism and Naturalism.

Europe’s consummate word-jugglers depict themselves as reborn Athenians, something they are not and never were, so as to avoid seeing themselves as what they are, so as to avoid seeing themselves as stunted Muslims.

The Renaissance is not a birth but debut. It is Leviathan’s coming-out party. It is the beast’s first public appearance in its own clothes, namely with nothing on but its fangs and claws. The Renaissance is Leviathan’s naming ceremony. It is a feast celebrating Leviathan in its own name and for its own sake.

Henceforth Leviathan is Europe’s god, and Lugalzaggizi as well as Optimus Maximus fall into the artificial beast’s shadow. Marduk is demoted from boss to troubleshooter of the earthly King of Kings. Naked power is god. The purpose of decorations and ornaments is no longer to veil the beast’s claws and fangs but to render them more visible.

Ancient Greek painters and sculptors created facades which hid the power of the Polis and the wealth of wine and olive merchants behind their lost community’s dead gods.

The bogus reborn Greeks of the Renaissance dispense with all facades. Dead gods are still the subject of the ornaments, at least initial, but the ornaments are no longer hung on facades, they are hung directly on the claws and fangs, on the fortresses and palaces of the cloth and silver merchants. And very quickly, the ancient Temple’s shrines and gods cease to be even the subjects of the ornaments. The beast itself creeps across the canvas. At first the Leviathanic patron appears only in a corner, peeking at relics of a dead mythology with pretended reverence. Soon a proud patron constitutes the foreground, the mythological subjects a mere background which becomes ever darker until at last nothing is lit up but the mug of a ruler, a temporary occupant of the beast’s head.

Da Vinci, not satisfied with the incomparable beauty of the canvasses with which he decorates the palace walls of great profiteers and murderers, runs to his patrons with sketches of submarines, flying machines and killing instruments designed to raise mass destruction to a level of perfection achieved by his paintings.

The Renaissance artist’s self-abandoned to the beast is so total, the artistry is so consummate, that it seems to reach a limit of what is humanly possibly. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and the other greats have no real forerunners; they will also have no real heirs.

Those capable of such total devotion to Leviathan will not be able to master the artistry, and those capable of the artistry will not be able to annihilate their humanity so totally. The devotees of Leviathanic power will eventually degenerate into the artistic morons we will know as advertisers and propagandists, the self-styled “commercial artists,” while artists will become so incapable of Leviathan-worship that they will be regarded by Leviathan’s good people as degenerates and will be called “Bohemians.”

The wall separating power-servers from “Bohemians,” like the wall separating Science from Art, will start to rise already during Quatrocento. The very apprentices of the greats will no longer be able to achieve simultaneous mastery as Leviathan’s ornamenters, scouts and instrument-makers.

The apprentices who remain consummate ornaments will tend to keep to their studios, and already by Rembrandt’s time some of them will have become so repelled by the Patron’s world they will turn their backs on Leviathanic subjects, will bypass claws, springs and wheels, in a quest for human and natural objects.

The scouts and instrument-makers, so-called Savants, soon to become Bureaucrats and Scientists, will never turn against the hand that feeds them. These power-servers, although no longer painters and sculptors, will be the true heirs of the Renaissance. They will remain carriers of the specious Humanism, Rationalism, and Naturalism of the great men of the Renaissance. The power-servers will make it increasingly difficult for their former colleagues to find human or natural subjects, for they will systematically and with consummate artistry reduce all human and natural subjects to manipulable Leviathanic objects. They will be Leviathan’s claws and fangs.

Or rather, the so-called Humanists will become Leviathan’s claws and fangs after they replace the priestly bureaucrats who have been exercising these functions for over a millennium.

The priests are inept power-servers, not because of any personal failings, but because their institution works with a self-imposed handicap. The Church has been as devoted to Leviathan as any Renaissance artist, but the Church, as we’ve seen, cannot rid itself of disfigured relics of human freedom and community, relics that have repeatedly come to life and ruined its Leviathanic ventures.

The new bureaucrats call themselves Humanists precisely because they are not similarly encumbered by any relics of human freedom or community. They drink much from the Church’s millennium-deep well of experience, but they have no fear that their institution will cause weeds of Eden to crop up in stone palaces. Their institution is Leviathan, a beast that decomposes all seeds of Eden.

The new power-server is a tabula rasa on which only the pseudo-thoughts of Leviathan are written. He is a State-made, State-licensed and State-employed psudo-man, a phenomenon Hobbes perceptively recognizes as a spring or a wheel.

The State-servers naturally hasten to appropriate for themselves the Chruch’s scribe-training centers, the universities. These centers, already factories for the production and licensing of power-servers, now begin to mass-produce Renaissance men.

Every prince, banker and merchant can now purchase clerks who are not clerics, servants who are loyal to no one but the boss who hires them, exectuives and executioners who do not try to reconcile the boss’s will with the god’s will.

* * *

Rulers have dreamt of availability of secular bureaucrats ever since Moravians resisted Franks by constituting themselves into an incomplete nation-state. The nation-state can now be completed.

Hussite priests, contemporaries of the first Renaissance artists, already offered themselves as substitutes for Catholic clerics in a reconstituted Bohemian-Moravian nation-state. The Hussites, finding no ruler with a powerful enough army to defend the projected nation-state from Holy Rome’s army of Crusaders, unwillingly allied themselves with Taborites whose army was adequate to Hussite need but whose aims went far beyond it, and they lost the army when they turned against its aims.

Marin Luther will learn from the Hussite mistake. Luther will urge rulers to war on two fronts, simultaneously attacking the Church and anti-Church peasants and radicals who think the newly-constituted nation-state is a mere passage toward a reconstituted human community.

Rulers assured that they are the be-all and end-all of the Reformation rush into Lutheranism for the same reason their ancestors rushed into Christianity, namely for the booty. Every greedy Prince with a strong enough army expropriates the Church of all its earthly wealth and lands and replaces clerics with Renaissance men.

The Lutherans themselves, considered obscurantists by their Humanist collegues, are in fact also Renaissance men, not in terms of their artistry or their learning, but in terms of their blind devotion to Leviathan, and once established in ministerial offices, they are power-servers first, Lutherans last and only on Sundays. And the Doctrine of Sin so carefully salvaged and preserved by the Reformers is so serviceable to Reformed Leviathans as it was to the Church.

The Church as well as the peasants are the victims of the expropriators who call their property-grab a Reformation. The Church loses its material as well as its spiritual power in vast domains earlier converted to Catholicism over the dead bodies of countless sacrifical victims. The peasants and radicals lose their lives as well as a good part of their hopes.

Peasants bore little love for the Lords, and none whatever for commercializing Lords who enclosed woods and pastures while simultaneously squeezing ever-greater dues out of the peasants. But before the advent of Luther, peasants had shared one thing with their Lords, namely an undying hatred of the Catholic Church and its tithe-gatherers. If only the Lords would turn their weapons against the Churchmen, the old community would be restored, since the Lords would not maintain the hierarchy without the Catholic hierarchs at their backs and in their offices.

Luther burns down the single communality between Lords and peasants, a commonality that had tied conservative Hussites to radical Taborites, and invites the Lords to accomplish the feat of retaining the Roman hierarchy while exproprietating Rome. Both can be accomplished by the slashing , burning and hanging of peasants.

Protestant hierarchs replace the Catholics at the Prince’s back, and the readily available bureaucrats-for-hire replace the clerics in the offices.

Anabaptists and other radical successors to the Taborites are hunted and exterminated by Protestant national armies which kill more viciously and effiently than the last Holy Roman Cursaders.

European geography starts to become the congeries of seemingly-independent repressive nation-states invisibly but indissolubly interlocked by the tentacles of bankers and merchants.

The Church is no longer needed as universal trainer of bureaucrats since each State begins to operate its own factories for the production and licensing of power-servers.

* * *

The State-licensed Renaissance men, already similar to merchants in their enmity toward nature and community, become even more similar in their desire for monopoly. The Reborn and Reformed scribes do not only rush to replace clerics in all posts of power. They also rush to establish themselves as the sole vendors of every conceivalbe service Leviathan might require.

In this rush, the bureaucrats complete the rape of the human populations encased in the Leviathanic segments. Lords have already appropriated all pastures and forests, merchants have appropriated every object that can be moved from its source to a market. State-licensed experts now proceed to appropriate the very talents of the unlicensed population and to render Leviathan’s “subjects” totally denuded and dependent objects.

Healers, navigators, builders, story-tellers and even visionaries are displaced and then silenced by State-licensed Masters and Doctors of Medicine, Astronomy, Architecture, Philosophy, MetaPhysics. Everything human beings did by themselves and for themselves is taken over by State-licensed monopoly.

The Church, always strong in prevarication but never in foresight, plays right into the hands of the expropriators by choosing this moment to unleash an Inquisition against women who are healers. The Church cannot openly lash out against the Humanists replacing its clerics in all centers of power, since prominent Churchmen were the first Humanists. The Church seeks scapegoats.

Witch-burner Torquemada’s fires are lit, not for Humanists, but for converted Muslims and Jews, and for healers. Neither merchants nor commercializing nobles protest the burning of their competitors, nor do doctors of Medicine protest the burning of healers.

The Doctors will later wield a machinery less spectacular than the Inquisitor’s fire to eliminate the unlicensed, but this silencing machinery is as yet no more than a distant project. And the Doctors need to remove the popular healers as urgently as merchants need to remove commercially-experienced former Muslims and Jews. The so-called witches, heiresses to the informally transmitted knowledge of herbs and illnesses, are known to be healers, whereas the Doctors, notoriously ignorant of all this lore, are intent on establishing a State-licensed monopoly over illness so as to police the sick. The Doctors will eventually appropriate some of the herbal knowledge of the exterminated witches, but the healing will always be incidental to the policing. They will persecute illnesses even if they have to turn human beings to vegetables or cut them to shreds.

Medicine is only one of the human domains over which the State-licensed Masters and Doctors establish their monopoly. In every domain, human talents and powers are transformed into powers wielded by a police. Everything people did for themselves comes to be done against them by Leviathan’s licensed agents. Human beings as well as the Biosphere fall under continual police surveillance.

Powers wielded by living beings to enhance their lives are appropriated by a dead thing, the almighty edifice, Leviathan. And Leviathan does not use its policing to enhance life but only to further enhance its policing powers, to fatten the artifice, to enlarge the realm of the dead.

Leviathan’s licensed agents even move to expropriate radical visionaries of their memory of human freedom, kinship and community. State-licensed visionaries, Masters and Doctors of Letters, Philosophy and Metaphysics, send their tentacles probing among the last traces of memory’s remembered humanity. The lettered Doctors appropriate the witches’ healing arts. The licensed scribes display the “Golden Age” in official tracts and poems. They appropriate the Age in which there were neither Doctors nor Patients, neither Lawyers nor Criminals, neither Lords nor Serfs. They display their conquest the same way a hunter displays the antlers of a murdered deer, as trophies.

The Golden Age becomes the private property of Men of Letters, and like the private domain of a Lord, its owner has dominion over its fish and over its fowl and over every living thing that moveth in it. The Golden Age becomes a piece of real estate, a literary commodity, a dead thing. The State-licensed Men of Letters who corner this commodity establish their monopoly over it the same way merchants and Medical Doctors establish their monopolies: by eliminating competitors.

When the monopolies of the Golden Age come face-to-face with communities of free human beings who have never left their Golden Age, the Savants are on the side of the merchants condemning Unbelievers and the Doctors condemning healers to death by fire. Like the preachers of Sin who turn on the sinless with instruments of torture, the licensed Savants turn on free communities with Leviathanic claws and fangs. The first Anthropologists, like the later ones, are not anti-Leviathanic radicals. They are Leviathan’s agents, its eyes and ears. Their aim is not to live in human communities but to live off them. They are head-hunters. Their Calling, their specific Profession, is to shrink human communities to trophies which hang alongside deer antlers in Leviathan’s gameroom, its Museum of Natural Science.

Europe’s Civilized head-hunters, witch-burners and world-eaters are already face-to-face with vast new fields in which to exercise their Leviathanic powers because, while merchants and bureaucrats were consolidating their initial monopolies, Spanish seamen “discovered” Europe’s long-sought America.

This discovery is obviously not a human discovery, since human inhabitants of the world across the Ocean have always known of their world. Nor is the discovery a European discovery, since Viking adventurers as well as Basque fishermen already knew of the land across the water.

The discovery is a Leviathanic Dis-covery. The European Leviathan, recently fortified by Scientists, Bankers and Doctors, is the entity that dis-covers a new world. The notorious Columbus and his murderous successors do not cross the water as free human beings but as Leviathan’s claws and fangs, as armored beastly tentacles.

By another one of those ironies that makes Europe freakish even among Leviathans, the beast is initially sent across the great water by those Leviathanic entities that are vanishing from Europe, not by those that are emerging. The first Pioneers are Inquisitorial Catholics of the last Holy Roman Empire; the initiation of the dis-covery is their last act.

* * *


Potawatomi storytellers of the Great Lakes told of a certain Wiske, an ancient trickster who, long ago, almost became Archon over Nesh-nabe, over free people.

This Wiske was not altogether villainous to the Potawatomi. In ceremonies enacting his deeds, he wore the long-eared mask of the Hare totem. It was said that he helped the destitute, the trapped and the lost. His nephews said he gave the people webbed shoes so they could traverse the snow, canoes so they could float on water, as well as spears and arrows so they could feed themselves.

Wiske’s nephews thought much of their uncle’s gifts, and they expressed their gratitude by returning gifts of similar magnitude. They pulled Wiske over the snow, paddled him over the water, and fed him all he could eat.

Wiske was on the verge of becoming a Potawatomi Lugal. But the land around Kichigami, the lush woodlands, prairies and forest openings surrounding the Great Lakes, was not “the Fertile Crescent.”

Potawatomi women and men gathered in a Council and pondered on the gifts given and received by Wiske.

The Council concluded with an unprecedented resolve. Banishment was unheard of. It was doubtful if the Council of gathered Neshnabe had the authority to banish a member of the community; each person was free to follow her own dream wherever it led. Yet the Council banished Wiske.

The free people of the lush woodlands of Kichigami were happy without an Archon. They were happy because they were free. The good uncle was told to take his gift-giving disposition to a northern land of ice or to a southern land of fire, to a place where, it was thought, he might find people who were destitute, trapped and lost.

Armored Europeans will be interested in learning if this Wiske actually existed, and when he existed.

This was not what interested the Potawatomi. Wiske existed in the present. The story was reenacted in songs and dances, at ceremonies and festivals. Wiske was always a member of the community and he was always exiled.

The paradox will be problematic to people trapped in linear, Leviathanic time. The Potawatomi knew linear time as well as rhythmic time, and they also knew that what mattered, what was humanly important, did not take place in linear time.

Wiske’s gift-giving, his elevation and his banishment were rhythmic events, like the heart’s beat, like the sun’s rising, like vegetation’s rebirth. Rhythmic events were the subjects of songs, of dances, of the frequent ceremonies and festivals.

To know that Wiske “actually existed” was both impossible and trivial. Such events will be considered ‘facts’ and “raw data” by the Leviathanized because the linear progression of such events constitutes Leviathanic time, namely His-story. The Leviathanized will remember only fragments of the sole events they consider worth remembering because the memory of such events will not be lodged in living human beings but on stone tablets, on paper, and eventually in machines.

The Potawatomi were not data-processing machines nor computers for the storage of trivial information. They needed “raw data” about as much as they needed Wiske. They made Wiske the butt of many of their jokes. Among the Potawatomi, the almighty Archon got no further than to be the subject of funny stories.

Part-human, part-beast, and possessing the Leviathanic virtue of existing forever, Wiske the gift-giver reappeared in the jokes as the long-eared, long-membered and long-tailed Trickster, forever setting traps for animals and people and forever trapping himself.

Jokes were for laughs. Linear events, namely unexpected disruptions of life’s rhythms, were usually funny. Sometimes they were tragic.

If the tragedy was repeated, then the event was not linear but rhythmic, and it was already known. Rhythms were grasped with symbols and expressed with music. Musical knowledge was knowledge of the important, the deep, the living. The music of myth expressed the symphony of rhythms that constituted the Cosmos.

* * *

Yhe Archon, the Civilizer, namely Leviathan’s personification, was a familiar character to free human beings in very close touch with nature’s rhythms. And the Civilizer was ejected by the free human beings. Both of these statements will be jarring to many, perhaps most, of my contemporaries.

How could the Potawatomi have known so much about Leviathan when even most of us will think we’re free individuals encased by nothing but air? And why would they eject the bringer of so many amenities, of institutionalized social life, of law, of order? The answers are as related as the questions, but being a product of linear upbringing and therefore inept in expressing kindred thoughts with symbols, I will have to take up the questions separately. I will deal with the ‘why’ first.

Even during the coldest winter days, when the branches of evergreens sagged from their weight of snow, the human child was born into a very warm context. The warmth did not come from the walls of the bark lodge, which failed to block all draughts, nor from the fire on the floor, but from the radiant people welcoming the newcomer.

The child was expected; she was already an important personage; her arrival completed the community. Soon after her birth, she was ceremonially named, not arbitrarily but very carefully. The Totem, namely the community of the newcomer’s kin, possessed a number of names, as the sky possesses a number of stars, and the community was not quite whole, was in fact uneasy, if the names were not carried by living individuals. Everyone attended the naming ceremony because all were enhanced by the newly-named. The names did not run out. The Potawatomi were not committed to what we will know as Population Growth, and it is said that they did not experience the phenomenon.

The newcomer provided a missing rhythm. The name expressed the community’s embrace of the missing rhythm and also some expectations about the music that might be heard.

But the specific rhythm of the newly-named could be foretold no more than the final shape of a tree can be foretold from a seedling. The child was placed in no school to stunt her growth to the expected size and shape. On the contrary, the girl-child as well as her newborn brother were left free to emulate, or ignore, uncles and aunts, cousins among the animals, everyone and everything under the Sun, not excluding the Sun.

The grownups watched, not to close doors, but to open doors, to let the children wander where they would unharmed.

By the time the Potawatomi children were old enough to have expectations of their own, they were prepared to be their own guides. Dream lodges were set up in the forest, one for the girl, another for her brother. The youngsters fasted until a Totem spirit visited them. The spirit usually appeared in the form of an animal, and was usually not the same spirit whose name the child wore. The spirit promised to guide the child along a specific path, namely to give the child an individual rhythm, and the spirit offered the child certain powers with which to achieve the rhythm, powers with which to light the path.

Henceforth the children were on their own, bound neither by laws nor by the community’s expectations. Their own dream spirit helped them decide whether or not to live up to the ancestor whose name they carried. If they decided not to, they would be renamed after the first act that revealed the children were determined to follow distinct paths.

The boy, carrying his guide’s offerings in a beautifully adorned bag, and knowing that he could call on his guide simply by fasting, set out on his own to face a cosmos whose grandeur and mystery will be inaccessible to our imaginations. We will know something of his feats as a hunter or a warrior, as a long-distance walker, as a lover. We will know less of the depth of his friendships with kinsmen or strangers, and almost nothing of his friendships with wolves and bears whose tracks he followed, whose signals he tried to grasp, whose universe he tried to understand. And we will know nothing at all of his fasts on mountain tops or alongside green mirror-like tree-surrounded lakes, of the journeys he undertook with his guide across and through the water to the place of life’s origin, of his flights on the guide’s wings to the sunset land where his ancestors gathered.

We will know that he eventually returned to his Totem with meat and with numerous stories, and that he married his beloved’s sister because his beloved had in the meantime married a youth who had not stayed away for so long. We will know that he spoke of his exploits and his voyages to his children and also to his sister’s children, the nephew and niece whose dream lodges he built in the forest.

We will think that his strength left him when he gave up warring as well as hunting, when he became a peacemaker, storyteller and lone wanderer.

We will not know that he revisited a mountain top he had known in his youth, fasted until his guide came for him, flew to the land beyond the sunset, joined his beloved, he as youthful as on his first trip, she as beautiful as on the day he first saw her, and traveled with her alongside him across and through water to the place of Life’s beginnings.

If we knew all this, we wouldn’t ask why the man resisted encasing himself in our linear, visionless Order. Isn’t it our longing that expresses itself in a story about a European called Faust who turns his back on respectability, on the esteem of his colleagues, on law as well as religion, so as to have access to a personal guide and personal powers available to every Potawatomi?

The man’s older sister, in the meantime, created a music that will sound less ‘romantic’ to our ears. She too followed her own dream, but she found it possible to fulfill her own guide’s expectations as well as the community’s. She lived up to the Totem ancestor whose name she proudly continued to carry. She threw herself into the Totem’s activities, perhaps reacting against her lonesome brother; perhaps she, too, thought him excessively ‘romantic’.

Like her name-ancestor, she turned bark of birch trees into canoes and winter lodges and tree-sugar baskets; she turned the skins of animals into cloaks, skirts, moccasins and medicine bags. Her own spirit inspired the colorful quilled symbolism with which she finished everything she made.

Like her ancestor, she was one of the preparers of the ceremonial welcoming of spring’s new shoots, and after her marriage she was also a preparer of the ceremonial expulsion of Wiske, but the words she sang and the steps she danced were inspired by her own spirit.

Like her ancestor, she gathered herbs and became familiar with their general uses, but when her son was attacked by something he ate, she had to learn from her own spirit how to combine and administer the herbs while singing him back to health.

Her son as well as her daughter later took after her lonesome younger brother, but she was neither disappointed nor surprised; she knew that the children were following their own dreams, as she herself had.

Her dream had guided her to the center of the festivals and ceremonies, to the village council and the medicine lodge. Nothing her kin did or knew was alien to her.

Yet some of us will pretend to be honest when we ask why she was so vigorous in expelling Wiske from the ceremonial circle, why she would have been repelled by the prospect of becoming a housewife in a Civilized household, even the Archon’s.

Can we not recognize that in the fullness of development of universal human capacities she exposes the immiseration of the shamefully stunted products of Civilization? Can we not see that this Potawatomi matron who excells as Architect, Shoemaker, Shipbuilder, Furrier, Dramatist, Painter, Composer, Dancer, Druggist and Doctor already surpasses the many-sided Genius, the notoriously flexible Renaissance Man?

Shouldn’t the question be inverted? Shouldn’t we ask why we are fascinated by a Da Vinci, instead of asking why she is repelled? Is it because Da Vinci dangles from Leviathan’s neck like a cowbell, whereas she stands on ordinary dirt?

Why does a Da Vinci gleam for us among the beast’s innumerable cowbells? Is it because, after all the stunting and spirit-breaking that makes us Civilized, we still want to be what she was, but can no longer become even what he was, can only applaud what Leviathan becomes instead of us?

* * *

To some of us it will be crystal clear why the Potawatomi woman as well as her younger brother were repelled by the prospects held out to them by the generous Wiske. But we will ask how people who were never encased in a Leviathan’s entrails could know enough of such a condition to be repelled by it. This question has been given numerous answers, all of them speculative, all songs or stories. The quality of the songs has been declining ever since written words began replacing living voices, ever since Leviathanic records began replacing human memories. The story I’ve been telling is not from the heyday but from the decline, yet I’II go on singing it because at least some of its cadences disrupt and even wreak havoc on the stupefying, passively-accepted official tunes.

I’ve been telling a story about human resistance to a beast that originated in Ur, a beast whose artificial progeny would eventually swallow all human communities and, by our time, begin to eat the Biosphere.

I’ve come to some of the last human communities swallowed by Leviathan, and I find them resisting the beast already before it reaches them. How do these people already know what they are up against? Is it possible that the beast is not one but many, that Ur is not in Sumer but wherever people gather, that Leviathan is as natural to human beings as hives to bees? Anything is possible, but the admission of such a possibility is cynically misanthropic and it precludes envisioning any exit from the trap. Such a possibility cannot be admitted into a song of freedom, because its admission is a prognostication of Earth’s doom.

I cannot deny that human beings on all the world’s great islands are able to encase themselves in Leviathan’s entrails, since they’ve all demonstrated this ability. I can deny that such a condition is as natural to them as hives to bees, and the rest of my story will affirm that it is not.

How could the Potawatomi have had any wind of the Leviathanic currents stirring in other parts of the world? The Great Lakes were as far removed from such currents as any refuge on the globe. Stories have been told about Leviathanic currents that blew from continents called Atlantis and Mu, but the stories of sunken continents raise more questions than they answer, and most of their tellers place Leviathan, not living beings, at the Origin.

The breezes need not be sought on sunken continents; they could have blown to the Great Lakes from every one of the four directions. I know as little about these four winds as about Mu, but my story can soar more easily on the winds than on sunken continents.

The north wind carried news of people who wandered over the land of ice. Linguistic cousins of the Potawatomi, called Lenni Lenape, preserved a scroll which vaguely referred to their own one-time journey over the land of ice. Other linguistic cousins, called Cree, inhabited the northern river valleys and forests that separated the Potawatomi from Aleut, Athabascan and other peoples of the north. Some of the northerners are said to have come from Eurasia more recently than others, some after Lugalzaggizi launched the first Leviathan on the first imperialist venture. We’ve seen that people attached to their homelands tried to resist the Leviathan by confronting it head on, whereas others resisted the beast’s embrace by fleeing beyond its reach. If we knew something about the waves of migration set in motion by the outward thrusts of Eurasia’s Leviathans, we might know that some of the more recent migrations across the northern Strait were the fringes of an anti-Leviathanic resistance movement.

The west wind carried news of great mountains and of seafaring people beyond the mountains, people with large sturdy oceancraft who braved the currents and stormy waves to hunt ocean monsters and gigantic fish. Many of the seafarers, people called Nootka and Kwa-kiutl, Tillamook and Bella Coola, were distant linguistic cousins of the Potawatomi, and many other linguistic cousins, people called Kutenai, Spokan, Okinagan, Atsina, Arapaho, Ojibwa and Menomini, inhabited the mountains, plateaus and plains separating the Potawatomi from the western seafarers. The westerners are said to have maintained sporadic contacts with Chinese and Japanese carriers of Eurasia’s Leviathanic ways, but we know as little about these contacts as we do about Mu. We don’t even know enough to speculate if any of the Trickster lore shared by the Potawatomi with their linguistic cousins, the lore about Hare, Coyote and Raven, expressed responses to carriers of Leviathanic ways.

The east wind carried news of close cousins of the Potawatomi, people of the sunrise who would be remembered as Abenaki, Penobscot, Massachuset, Wampanoag, Pequot, Narraganset, Mohigan, Lenni Lenape. Removed from Eurasia by an Ocean they had no reason to cross, these people, or at least some of their ancestors, are said to have had brief views of human beings who hailed from the other side. Ancient Phoenicians, Libyans and Celt-Iberians are said to have ventured across the stormy Ocean. Vikings actually left a saga describing their trip across. Biscayan, Basque and other European fishermen did not ask Ferdinand and Isabela’s permission to fish for cod near shores inhabited by cousins of the Potawatomi. The easterners’ contacts with Eurasians were apparently no rarities, but our knowledge of them is as poor as our knowledge of Mu.

The south wind carried more substantial news, and our knowledge of it is not so sparse. Across a narrow strait from the Potawatomi villages there were large villages of Iroquoian speaking people who lived in long rectangular lodges, people later known as Wendats or Wyandots. These longhouse people, as well as their linguistic cousins further to the east, remembered having migrated northward from a far-away land. They had fled from stone giants, flying heads and maneaters. These dreaded beings are of course mythological subjects, airy creatures of the imagination, not solid historical entities like Nero, Caligula and Constantine. The Wendats who told of these beings were not interested in His-story, but in their own cosmic context.

The cosmos of the Wendats, who were peaceful corn and bean cultivators in northern woodlands, included monsters that did not exist in the north. With poetic accuracy and succinctness, Wendat myths gave an outsider’s view of beings uncannily similar to stone pyramids taller than jungle trees, to feathered serpents, to masked priests who sacrificed human beings. The Wendat cosmos included a Leviathan, most plausibly the Leviathan that stirred in Yucatan already before Frankish tribesmen stormed the walls of the Roman Leviathan in Eurasia.

It is likely that news of the southern Leviathan reached the Potawatomi already before the Wendats’ ancestors fled from the stone giants of southern jungles. The Beautiful Valley just south of the lakeshores of the Potawatomi was once dotted by earthen mounds, large and small, many of them in complexes enclosed by token walls demarcating a sacred space. The tales of the earliest mound-builders have not survived, but later mound-builders remembered southern origins, and their temple-topped earthen pyramids bore affinities with the stone giants of Yucatan and Central Mexico.

The practice of raising mountains over the bones of the dead was not kept up in the northern woodlands, but one element of that practice survived among the people of the Great Lakes. This element was the Feast of the Dead. The bones of deceased kinsmen were carefully preserved. Once a year, villagers from every corner journeyed to a gatheringplace and buried all the bones in a common grave. There the bones of strangers mingled with each other, and the living descendants of those in the grave ceased to be strangers, for their ancestors were eternally bound to one another.

In the northern forests, the great burial ceremonies were not occasions for the introduction of Leviathanic relations, but occasions for enlarging the world of kinship. Continually pulled apart from one another by their own dreams, the free villagers were continually drawn together by ceremonies that embraced all who could reach the festival grounds. The genuine solidarity of human beings whose ancestors shared common graves would not have been enhanced by the artificial unity imposed by the force of Hobbesian Leviathanic peacekeeping institutions.

The Potawatomi who ejected Wiske from their midst probably felt Leviathanic breezes from every direction, and surely from the south, long before French Jesuits and Voyageurs reached the Great Lakes.

* * *

If we think of Eurasia as a model and of His-story as Fate, we can easily convince ourselves that the Potawatomi would eventually have fallen into the entrails of a Leviathan, notably the southern one, even if Europeans had not crossed the Ocean. But if we think of Eurasia as a freak and of His-story as an aberration, we can just as easily convince ourselves that the community of freedoms we call Nature or Paradise would never have vanished if the Europeans had not brought Leviathanic holocausts across the water.

In Eurasia, the artificial monsters expanded with seeming inevitability. I’ve shown that the inevitability is an illusion created by scribes who overlook the numerous vanished Mohenjo Daros and Hittites, scribes who are trained not to see the decomposition that accompanies every functioning Leviathan.

The inevitability is an illusion, but the spread of the artifices over the length and breadth of the continent is not. All of Eurasia ends up in Leviathan’s entrails.

But there is no reason to project such a fate across the water. There are, in fact, indications that the stone giants did not fare as well in the world across the water as they fared in Eurasia, indications that the Potawatomi ejection of Leviathan was more prevalent in this world than the Leviathanic encasement of free communities.

We’ve seen that the Eurasian monster spread very quickly. At first there was only Ur, the Beginning of something unprecedented. Soon there was Lugalzaggizi, then Sargon and a world-empire.

No comparable speed can be found across the water, where the first artificial beasts appear to have been sluggish, even moribund from the start. The monstrosities remembered by the Wendats were admittedly younger than Ur, but not young enough to explain their sluggishness.

Olmec heads and Ziggurat-like stone giants were apparently contemporaries of the first Ocean-faring Phoenicians. By coincidence, architectural marvels appeared in Yucatan and Central Mexico at the time when Phoenicians set out on the great Ocean. Earlier in this narrative I suggested that this may have been no coincidence. But even if it was a coincidence, even if the ancestors of Toltecs and Mayas reinvented Tyre and Byblos in Central Mexico and Yucatan, the Leviathans on this side of the great water failed to swallow the double continent’s human communities and failed to confront the Biosphere as overpowering opponents.

These failures cannot be explained by the newness of this world’s artificial beasts, since the beasts existed for a long time. The failures cannot be explained by quirks or weaknesses in the beasts themselves. The cruelty of Aztecs was comparable to that of Assyrians or Spaniards; the architecture of Mayas to that of Greeks; the administration of Incas to that of Chinese or Persians.

Nor can the failures be explained by the absence of so-called material conditions. Those who cling to this pseudoexplanation must first explain why the most powerful of Leviathans will subsequently flourish in the very same material conditions. The so-called material conditions are Leviathan’s garments, not the ground it stands on.

In my view, the failure of this world’s Leviathans can be explained by the human resistance to their spread. The Potawatomi expulsion of Wiske is only one instance of that resistance. Wendats of the north’s woodlands had a low opinion of stone giants. Guarani people of the southern continent spoke with fear and loathing of The One. Hopi people of the north’s canyonlands told of gods destroying human beings who turned from the ways of living beings. Winnebago people of the Great Lakes made fun of the great gift-bringer, the Trickster.

In fact, even this world’s priests and militarists, namely Leviathan’s own agents, spoke of Civilization as something alien. On the northern as on the southern continent, the bringer of Leviathanic powers and amenities was remembered as someone who had come from abroad, had left again, and would return from abroad to reclaim his gifts.

The first Kukulkan-Quetzaquatal may have been a tentacle of a Phoenician or a Libyan octopus. The feathered serpent may have been the Phoenician adventurer’s headdress, or it may have been the deity on the ship’s prow. The man from afar would not have spoken a language foreign to the villagers who greeted him, but a language familiar to them. He would not have spoken of terms of trade, but of the cycle of vegetation and the cycles of life, death and regeneration, of sacrificial giving, of Baal. The hospitable villagers would have outdone themselves in giving all they had to the god-like foreigner who emerged from the sea.

Like the Potawatomi, the villagers who initially showered the feathered Wiske with gifts would grow tired of the burden, but being hospitable, they could not exile the foreigner. Consequently, so they told, Quetzaquatal exiled himself, promising to return. And the villagers returned to their own communities, their own ceremonies, their own visions, their own ways.

But the arrival of the serpentine god was remembered. The event was important, and important events were not what they would be for us: single, isolated, linear, unrepeatable. An important event was a cosmic event, and like other cosmic events, like the rising of the sun or the eclipse of the moon or the journey of a comet, it was rhythmic, cyclical, infinitely repeatable.

The visitor left scars in the form of fawning priests and ambitious admirers. Periodically — the Mayas actually measured the exact duration of the period — the scars reopened and Quetzaquatal reemerged from the sea.

The subsequent man-gods were undoubtedly local priests and admirers who clothed themselves in the foreigner’s fame, but they continued to insist on their foreign origin. The giftgiving resumed. Vast ceremonial centers sprang up in the jungle, stone cities with temples and palaces of incomparable beauty. And once again the beast was abandoned, the Leviathanic man was self-exiled. The stone cities reverted to jungle.

The ruins of abandoned architectural wonders will be found in our day by so-called Archeologists, who will be dazzled by the grandeur of what they find, and even more by the abandonment of places so ideally suited to being university campuses. The Arche- and Anthropologists will fill libraries explaining the abandonment in terms of every cause except human resistance. The prospect of their own academic centers reverting to what they call weeds will fog the Anthropologists’ imaginations.

* * *

In Eurasia, Leviathan destroyed communities and encased human beings in its entrails. Linear His-story replaced the rhythmic cycles of life. Music gave way to the March of Time.

But across the great water, living communities were not destroyed. On the contrary, the few Leviathans that emerged here seem to have been swallowed by the communities. Leviathanic time was submerged in cyclical time. The coming and going of the beast became part of the rhythm of life. The Leviathanic excrescence, like other excrescences, remained no more than manure. Music did not give way to the March of Time. Life did not give way to His-story.


If we continue probing through seas of facts for meanings, this too can be answered. Arnold Toynbee once spoke of two types of stimuli. One stimulus overpowered and incapacitated, the other revived and strengthened the subject.

The communities of Guti who tried to resist the Sumerian Leviathan militarily were overpowered already before they set out to respond. The moment the Guti constituted themselves into a permanent military organization they ceased to be what they wanted to remain and became what they opposed. As communities they were incapacitated before they took up arms against Leviathan. They gave themselves the illusion of resisting the beast even as they leapt into its entrails.

On the other side of the Ocean, the communities who hosted the first Quetzaquatal were not crippled by the initial stimulus, and they were able to respond in their own ways and on their own terms. They did not only curtail Leviathanic time, reducing it to rhythmic irruptions in the symphony of cyclic time. They also forced Leviathan’s own agents, whether priests or administrators, to confine themselves to the enactment of community rituals, to perform fertility ceremonies, to give unsparingly to rain deities and corn deities, to celebrate the cycle of vegetation, to enhance Earth and Life.

The communities who thus reduced Leviathan to their plaything did not always emerge unscathed. Leviathan was a lethal toy. Here as there it grew fat by eating human victims. But whenever it started to get obese, its period ended and the villagers let the jungle’s plants grow over it.

Communities as distant from Quetzaquatal’s landingplace as the Potawatomi became familiar enough with Leviathan to want to expel him from their midst.

And the myriad communities between the northern woodlands and the southern jungles, each as different from another as elk from quetzals, played with the monster or avoided all contact with it as suited their sensibilities.

My brief account is deliberately idyllic. The idyl is what the Europeans came to destroy. The so-called dirty realities, the cynical compromises, the vicious betrayals were nothing new to Europeans, who allied themselves with these against the other, against the pure, the beautiful, the new.

* * *


The idyl is gone now. Nothing is left but the dirty realities. Leviathan is all there is. These very words, written words, are inventions of the Lugal’s scribes. They cannot convey dream time.

Every meaning has been inverted.

“Central Africa,” “Australia,” “America” are not the names of places where free human beings ever lived. They are names of unprecedented holocausts, of gigantic colonies, of monstrous Leviathanic trophies. They are Leviathan’s “empty continents.”

From the vantage point of Death, all Life is an aberration. The languages of the two protagonists are mutually unintelligible. The very vocabularies are untranslatable. Leviathan’s world is a Wilderness to free living beings. The freedom of living beings is a Wilderness to Leviathan.

Free human beings were able to encompass Leviathan in their horizon and still remain free.

The Leviathanized cannot encompass free beings in their horizon and still remain Leviathanized. Once they grasp freedom they become Renegades. And the stiff-necked spokesmen of Leviathan know it. The questions: Who would abandon the amenities of Civilization? and Who would go back to the digging stick? are rhetorical questions practiced in front of a looking glass.

The Renegades from Civilization are notorious. They shed masks. They shed whole armors. They separate from previously indispensable amenities and experience a shedding of an insupportable burden. Mere contact with a community of free human beings gives them insights no Leviathanic education can provide. Nurturing contact stimulates dreams and ultimately even visions. The Renegade is possessed, transformed, humanized. Psyche-manipulators aware of Civilization’s discontents will try to induce such transformations within Leviathan’s entrails, but their most vaunted successes will be miserable failures. Civilization does not nurture humanity.

Communities were able to possess the Leviathanized.

But Leviathan cannot possess communities, it cannot possess living subjects. Leviathan can only possess things, dead things, objects.

Communities could remove masks and armors. Leviathan removes the scalp, the skin and the flesh.

Communities could help the repressed recover their humanity. Leviathan dis-covers unrepressed humanity and consumes it. Dis-covery, the removal of Earth’s cover, the liquidation of free beings, is in fact Leviathan’s central project, and communities that nurture free beings are its greatest enemy.

* * *

The entity that crosses the great water in the ships of Cristoforo, in English “Christ-bearer,” is more than the Western Spirit. What crosses the water in three ships is a body, octopus-like as well as worm-like but lifeless and artificial, the body Hobbes calls Leviathan. The body is described by the Dis-coverer’s last name, Colonizer, Colon in Spanish.

This Colon, thought by some to be a Converso, namely a Christian more Catholic than the Pope, thinks himself a second Moses leading Israelites out of Egypt. As heavily armored as the first, the second Moses carries the wilderness encased in his armor, and wherever he leads his Israelites is wilderness. Were he to lower his mask, loosen his armor, be it only for an instant, he might see communities of human beings with relationships, emotions and insights far more complex than his own. But he cannot loosen the armor.

If communities nurture the freedom of their members, Leviathans nurture the repression of theirs. The Leviathanized police each other. Only the isolated can get away. Crew and captain stick together, slave sticks to master. Each forces the other to deny his own vision, to see what he expects the other to see. Thus after accomplishing the feat of traversing the impassable chasm, after crossing the unsailable Ocean, these blinded men find in the New World what is most familiar to them in the Old.

Analytical-minded precursors of Natural Scientists, Economists and Anthropologists, Christ-bearer and his accomplices find things, objects, which they automatically categorize as obstacles or as potential instruments.

Heirs of the savagery of Albigensian Crusades, Taborite Crusades, Inquisitions and Witch-hunts, they see communities of Arawaks but name them Savages.

Carriers and agents of Leviathan, synonym for Maneater, they see communities of Caribs but name them Cannibals, Maneaters.

The names are not only projections. They are also definitions. Once defined, the obiects can be manipulated. Savages are potential instruments; they can be put to work. Cannibals are obstacles; they have to be liquidated.

Thus the Blessed Isles are converted into a Leviathanic wilderness or, in the other language, the Wilderness is converted into a part of Christian Civilization.

One participant in this atrocity with few if any precedents, Bartolom‚ de Las Casas, thought by some to be another Converso, sickens during the implementation of this grizzly enterprise, shedding mask as well as armor. This supposed heir of the persecuted suddenly identifies with the persecuted, thus performing a feat as rare in his own as in any other age. Unable, with the Inquisition at his back, to express his view of the hounding of Spain’s Jews, Las Casas rails loudly and clearly against the hounding and extermination of Arawaks. The more he sees of his fellow-Christians’ deeds, the more victims of Christianity he embraces, until his lone voice pleads for the defense of humanity from the claws of the Leviathanic beast. What is this Conversion to Christianity if not enslavement and bestialization? he asks. What are these Christians who turn an Eden into an infernal labor camp — are they gods or demons? What is the god that calls for such bloodletting, such monstrous sacrifices? Let the victims resist, he shouts, if need be by sacrificing the sacrificers. If maneating be wrong in the eyes of some superior being, let that being condemn the greater wrongdoer.

But Las Casas no longer has faith in a superior being. He addresses his pleas to the King of Spain, to the monster’s very head.

And the beastly head gives the protestor a hearing because it, too, is disturbed by the Dis-coverer’s feats, but for different reasons. Leviathan is able to slaughter the New World’s inhabitants, but it cannot make them work, it cannot enlarge itself by encasing them in its entrails. Soon after they are herded into the forced labor camps called Encomiendas, they perish, whole populations of them.

The King does not cry for the loss of the human beings but for the loss of what will later be called Capital and Technology.

Capital and Technology are not mere objects but relations of people to objects, not levers and drills but former human beings reduced to appendages of levers and drills. Without the human operators, the levers and drills are inert; they revert to Wilderness. And the point of the entire Leviathanic enterprise is to extirpate the Wilderness, to reduce lush tropical islands to the uniformity of plantations, to burrow through beautiful and precious places for stones, or in the beast’s own language, to make the desert bloom, to turn the savage and the wild into profitable gardens.

The legendary Midas cried because everything he touched turned to gold, even his food. The King of Spain cries for the same reason. Every living being he touches shrivels up and dies, not only the obstacles but the potential instruments as well. After all his borrowing from Genoese bankers, driving his realm into fiscal ruin, he wins only half an empire. The fields strewn with corpses no longer contain obstacles, but neither do they contain instruments.

The King’s ships have not only carried Conquistadores over the Ocean; they have also carried rats, viruses and bacilli. The Dis-coverers are not only carriers of Leviathan but also carriers of the Plague.

Disease, in fact, is the invader’s main weapon, but it is double-edged. It gives easy victory but it mangles the fruit of the victory. That’s why the King listens to Las Casas, pretends to become humane, revises the Encomienda laws. But it is all to no avail. The Blessed Isles become ever more depopulated, the labor camps remain inert, the gardens yield no profits, the empire of potential zeks is lost. To make up for the loss, the grizzly conquerors break up communities on an altogether different continent and import human beings immune to the Europeans’ diseases to people the labor camps with zeks and to bury the New World’s dead.

The New World is progressively emptied of its living beings. The double continent across the Ocean is on its way toward becoming the Europeans’ long-sought America.

Unlike the objects that turned to gold when Midas touched them, America is an object that glistens like gold but vanishes when Europeans touch it. The Spaniards who outdo each other in greedy grabbing cannot even hold on to the metallic gold which, melted down into ingots, finds its way into underground vaults of foreign lenders.

And the real gold, the one Hesiod named an age after — the sacred places, the myths, the cultures — vanishes from the very Biosphere, irretrievably.

At this point I can pose a rhetorical question of my own. If the implements that supersede the digging stick, if the notorious amenities of Civilization are so attractive, so irresistible, why do the prospective beneficiaries of all those wonders have to be decimated?

Despite beautification campaigns that outdo the very Church in sustained prevarication, the story of the Rise of Civilization in America will remain ugly beyond description. No amount of talk about Empty Continents that were filled with teeming life will be able to erase the memory of the teeming life that was turned into empty continents.

There will be talk of horses, of gunpowder and of rum. There will be talk of a superior technology and of a superior culture. There will be talk of everything but Death. Yet Death is the Conquistador, whether mounted on the horses or streaming from the guns. Death is the unspoken name of the superior technology. Death is the only superior culture of the community-less invader. And Death is no culture at all; it is the anti-culture, the eater of culture, Leviathan.

The cultured villagers gawk at the horses, but not for long. Horses they can understand. Horses are living beings, friends, cousins. Free human beings soon outdo the armored Europeans in horsemanship, they are soon equals of the mounted Turks of Eurasia’s steppes.

The gunpowder and the rum are stranger than the horses. The one serves only to kill, the other to stupefy. But even these are not strange for long to people already familiar with poisoned arrows and poisonous herbs.

What is strange beyond comprehension is the bearded entity inside the armor, an entity that looks and behaves like a human being but is clearly something else, for it takes without giving, is kin to none, exists in no community. What is strange and remains strange is the manlike limb of a dead thing, the spring and wheel of Leviathan.

The invaded are already familiar with Leviathan, but not so familiar as to have been evacuated by it. They’ve kept their communities intact, relegated Leviathan to the fringes, or expelled the beast from their communities’ very fringes.

The communities resist every incursion, every enslavement, every rape. The story of the invasion is also the story of that interminable resistance. It is interminable because it has no term, because it is not a cycle, because it is not part of the rhythm of life.

The resistance is not primarily a clash of arms, even if the spectacular battles of proto-Leviathanic Aztecs give the impression that the resistance is in the spears. The resistance is in the drums, not in the spears; it is in the music, in the rhythms lived by communities whose myths and ways continue to nurture and sustain them.

Nor is the invasion primarily a military venture, even if the successors to knightly Crusaders look like nothing but lethallimbed armors. The invasion is a silencing of music, a flattening of rhythm; it is a linearization of time, a destruction of the myths and ways that will later be called Culture, a war against communities that nurture freedom, vision and life.

The invaders are not ignorant of what they destroy. They are not only successors to Crusaders against Unbelievers but also to wandering Beghards and liberated Adamites. They are distant successors to communities that once resisted with music and myth. Themselves grandchildren of victims, they’ve been turned, like many before them, into passionate victimizers. They destroy with passion precisely because they know what they destroy. Themselves repressed, or in their own language Fallen, deprived of Eden, confined to a life of Sin, they are impassioned to repress the free, to universalize the Fall, to destroy Eden as irreversibly as Romans destroyed Carthage, to make Sin catholic or all-embracing.

* * *

The immediate successors to Christ-bearer Colon think of America as the Garden of Eden. Their intent, like that of their later Puritan, Liberal, Bolshevik and Nazi successors, is to turn the Garden into a forced-labor camp. To achieve this end, they must break human beings the way they break horses or dogs, they must eliminate the matrix that nurtures humanity, they must destroy community.

So-called Economists will later claim that the irresistible attractiveness of Civilization’s material amenities is the force that destroys the ancient communities. The wise men will economize on words by calling this force Demand. They will also economize on the truth. European clothes are worn by people who have lost their own; no free human beings are attracted to shackles.

His-storians will of course focus on military might as the force that destroys the communities, and they will paint pictures of youthful Alexander-like heroes storming the walls of cannibalistic monsters. But His-storians will shy away from any mention of communities, and they will become knownothings or experts of other fields rather than admit that their heroes perpetrate unprecedented chemical and biological warfare against untold living beings.

The celebrated European armies finish off victims who are already dying. The so-called amenities give an empty compensation to immiserated survivors. The force that destroys the communities is an initially unsuspected but later welcome ally, the Plague.

Ever since Europeans physically adapted themselves to viruses, bacilli and bubonic rats, they have been carriers of lethal epidemics. A book titled Plagues and Peoples will vividly describe what Conquistadorial feats Smallpox and Bubonic Plague can achieve against communities not previously exposed to them. The book’s author, William McNeill, will expose the great public secret behind the celebrated Conquests.

Hernan Cortez and his band of gold-sick marauders could not have exterminated the Aztecs, could not have destroyed their military machine, without an ally far more potent than Tlascala and other disaffected Aztec tributaries. Could not and did not. One of the Spanish marauders, Bernal D¡az by name, will leave an account of the famous Conquest of Mexico. He will nonchalantly mention that the Smallpox broke out in Tenochtitlan on the eve of the conquest, and he will mention the mounds of corpses and the crowds of afflicted, but he will concentrate on the Alexandrian features of his band-leader, for such concentration makes Diaz himself no worse than an ancient Greek.

The inhuman nonchalance with which Diaz mentions the Smallpox will be called Scientific Detachment by later Hisstorians. The much later McNeill, our contemporary, will broadcast news when he reveals that among human beings previously unaffected by Smallpox, three or four out of forty survive the disease. The ‘small’ in this plague’s name refers to the size of the skin irruptions, not to the power of the disease.

Armed with such a weapon, the mass murderers who depict themselves as Conquistadores and Pioneers have no forerunners. The feat is unprecedented. All of humanity’s moral codes melt in the face of these deeds. Nothing comparable was achieved by Assyrians, Chinese, Greeks, Romans or Mongols. Shang Yang did not even dream of including the Plague among the weapons with which to liquidate human communities.

A moral vacuum as unprecedented as the Conquista itself will enable later apologists to blandly overlook the lever that emptied the continent and launched the reign of laws of supply and demand.

The bland overlooking of the European’s great ally will begin already at the time of the second Conquista, the famous Pizarro’s. This madman’s cronies will concentrate so singlemindedly on the gold, they will not even mention the Midas whose touch empties Andean highlands and shorelands and turns them into lifeless gold.

After several generations, descendants of survivors will be as immune to the plagues as the Europeans themselves; only their children will be afflicted. They will then be able to repopulate their world. But by then it will be too late. By then the laws of supply and demand will have replaced the rhythms of the communities. By then the marauders will have appropriated the lodges as well as the fields; they will have burrowed into the sacred places, slaughtered the forests’ inhabitants and downed the trees. By then the myths and the music will be forgotten. By then Leviathan will have supplanted the spirits, razed the fields and launched His-story.

One of the invaders of the Andean Altiplano and the jungles beyond it, a man named Lope de Aguirre, knows that the killers from Europe are not mere men. The armored Aguirre knows himself to be a higher being, a scourge of god, a deity, for life recedes in the face of his advance. Aguirre knows that the Plague is a minor deity, a scout that opens the paths and empties the fields. He knows that Leviathan is the greater deity, for Leviathan finishes off what the Plague initiated, and Leviathan omnipotently disposes of the remains.

Aguirre also knows, as Shang Yang, Nero and Caligula already knew, that he who kills without limit or scruple, who holds kinless men with bonds of fear, who stimulates greed in potential instruments and terror in threatening obstacles, is beyond good and evil, above humanity. Aguirre concludes that such a god cannot be the underling of Scottish Mary’s Spanish husband, the distant emperor Philip Habsburg.

Aguirre declares war on the Emperor. This marauder’s defiant letter to Spain’s second Philip is the first American Declaration of Independence. It declares that the armored plague-carrier Aguirre, not the Emperor, initiated the killings, and therefore Aguirre, not the Emperor, will finish off the survivors and dispose of the remains. Viva la libertad! Viva Aguirre!

But the defiant declaration is too explicit even for Aguirre’s confederates, good Christians all, and will be relegated to His-story’s unlit dungeon instead of its showcase. Aguirre fails to become “the Great” because he neglects to express the terror, the fear and the greed with terms like Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Aguirre’s spiritual heirs, greater masters of language than their unpracticed forerunner, will realize Aguirre’s project, not on the southern continent but on the northern, in lands once inhabited by people who had not launched any proto-Leviathanic ventures, people who had exiled the Lethal Trickster from their midst.

Communities of Potawatomi and communities of their cousins will be touched by English-speaking Aguirres who are not subjects of Philip but of his Scottish queen, Aguirres who will first of all declare themselves independent of Queen and Pope so as to appropriate the lands and wealth of the Church and the Irish.

English marauders rally behind anti-Catholic Elizabeth in order to take full advantage of the achievements of Spain’s Conquistadores, for their Protestantism is initially nothing but a license to loot Spanish ships returning home with the New World’s gold. The first English outposts in the New World are pirates’ dens which hug the coasts.

Before venturing inland, the pirates, all respectable merchants, stuff their outposts with refugees who are either excessively or insufficiently Protestant for England’s official Reformers.

* * *

The Potawatomi of the Great Lakes will not hear the English language until the future Aguirres proclaim their own declaration of independence.

The Potawatomi as well as their near and distant cousins are nevertheless aware of the existence of the English on the world’s eastern shores, just as the ancestors of Franks were aware of the existence of armored Romans in Gaul. Long before seeing any of them, the Potawatomi are aware not only of the English but also of the French on the river that carries the water of the Lakes to the Ocean, and also of the Spaniards west of the Long River, the Mississippi.

Hunters and messengers bring news from all three directions, news of great deaths, inconceivable deaths, deaths not only of individuals but of entire communities. The deaths are brought by the bearded foreigners who emerged from the Ocean, even though most of the victims have had no more contact with the strangers than the Potawatomi themselves.

Long-distance killing is no mystery to the Potawatomi, who immediately recognize the feat as Wiske’s, the Trickster’s. The Potawatomi do not know that the plague-infected rats who disembark from the invader’s ships do not confine themselves to the invader’s settlements, nor do they know that other rodents as well as elk and deer carry the invader’s infections. They do know that Wiske once raped several village women from a spot on the opposite side of a pond by sending his member into the pond and across it along its bottom. They are not surprised by what they hear, and they will not be surprised when they finally see the bearded men’s fire-spitting rifles.

The Potawatomi know the news is important because they recognize it. Long-eared, long-membered Wiske is back again, more mischievous than ever, and far less generous to human beings than he was said to be. And of course they know what to do about the long-membered one: expel him from their communities, exile him to lands where life is nasty, brutish and short, push him away from the lush and teeming woodlands and lakes.

Kin from several villages gather at a place that will continue to be known as The Strait. They prepare a vast expulsion ceremony to purge themselves of the Leviathanic monster as they’ve done since the first days.

But halfway through the ceremony, the beats of the drum become arhythmic and singing voices drown in cries of pain. The Potawatomi of The Strait are attacked by the long-distance killer. Smallpox or Bubonic Plague reach the Great Lakes long before the carriers do.

The villages of the Potawatomi become burial grounds. Survivors flee toward the bay of the Winnebagos, far to the north. When French Jesuits first reach The Strait a generation later, they will find earthen mounds, forest openings for corn fields, as well as painted rocks, but no human beings.

The survivors are few in number. Preserved memories of the events will speak of one out of twenty. McNeill will confirm that such would be the death toll of a first outbreak of Smallpox. Subsequent attacks of Smallpox — and they recur every few years — take a smaller toll, but they alternate with outbreaks of Bubonic Plague and with other maladies long known in Eurasia as children’s diseases.

Apologists who will speak of the European Plague-carriers as ‘We’ will of course deny the event. They will demand Positive Evidence. They will pretend to want to see and count the corpses. But they will actually not want to even hear that Potawatomi communities ever existed on The Strait. Writers of edifying textbooks for children, they will portray killers who emptied lush and teeming woodlands as builders who made deserts bloom. They will say ‘We’ transformed lands where no one and nothing ever lived into thriving industrial parks, ‘We’ turned empty lots into Disneylands.

The survivors are not able to challenge the apologists’ tall tales. The recurrent outbreaks of plague do more than kill numerous members of the communities. The plagues destroy the communities.

Of four hundred, twenty survive. Of forty, two survive. Two may remember the names of the vanished Totem, but they cannot regenerate the music. If one of the survivors is a storyteller, the other is not a youth to whom the teller can transmit his tales, and the tales die untold. If one is an herbal healer, the other is not necessarily inclined to absorb the herbal lore. One may remember the songs or the preparations for some of the great enactments, but two or even four or six are not enough to dance the dances or to feast or celebrate.

Some go off on their own, embittered because they sense that something, perhaps even their own guiding spirit, has betrayed them.

Others flee toward the sunset, toward the endless Plains beyond the Mississippi, even toward the great mountains.

Many join villages of equally displaced and disoriented survivors, gatherings of fragments of communities.

The united fragments do not constitute a whole. The gatherings are refugee camps, melting pots, not communities. The beat of the drum is arhythmic. The music is discordant. Continuities preserved since the Beginning are broken off, and the few remembered myths no longer speak of any shared beginning because the gathered fragments are not a Totem and share no common Beginning.

The myths of displaced persons are mere stories and the great enactments are mere ceremonies. Ways of living become ways to spend time. Time that can be spent without being lived is Plague time, Leviathanic time, His-storic time. The His-story of the Potawatomi and of all their cousins and neighbors begins with the plague, and this story is its story.

The countless ages that preceded the Plague are henceforth inaccessible to memory. The communities who remembered their entire trajectory since the Beginning are irretrievably gone. Their time is henceforth Dream time, unreal time, imaginary time.

Even the words we will use to describe what was lost, words like music, myth, ceremony and community, will be as empty as the continent becomes, because they will refer to no lived experiences accessible to any human being trapped in His-story. What is lost is of much greater human import than the things Economists will include on their ledgers.

The gatherings of survivors might recover some of the meanings, they might harmonize some of the music, they might reconstitute some of the vanished communities. But this could take generations, perhaps even countless generations. One of the few things we will know about Cultures will be that they were very old. And the survivors are henceforth not alone. Before they’ve even recovered from the Plague itself, they are already beset by invaders rushing to finish off what the Plague began.

The invaders do not break off their alliance with the Plague. On the contrary, bubonic rats continue to accompany the invaders in canoes as well as pirogues. The invaders go on dispensing the Smallpox as freely as they dispense the poisonous alcohol that dements its takers, as freely as they dispense the guns that turn disoriented Plague-victims into trigger-quick killers.

The potency of the epidemic diseases gradually diminishes, and the invaders resort to other weapons from their Leviathanic armory to finish off their victims, to liquidate the obstacles and civilize the potential instruments, to transform America into a labor camp.

Henceforth, namely after the initial landing of the invaders and their rats and bacilli, the invaders confront only Plaguesurvivors, fragments of communities, displaced persons.

Yet the fragments go on resisting, the Plague-survivors go on ejecting Leviathan from their midst, the displaced persons refuse to patch their wounds by covering themselves with the masks and armors of the Civilized.

The resistance persists from generation to generation, in the face of plagues, poisons and explosives. The story of that resistance has been repeatedly and powerfully told. It is a story that does not show Leviathan to be as natural to human beings as hives are to bees. It is a story that shows Leviathan to be an aberration which cannot be imposed, by wile or by force, on human beings who retain the slightest link with community, even a link as tenuous as the remembrance of a Dream Time.


I’m impatient to end the story of the artificial beast with human entrails. In a different work I will tell some of the details of the resistance to Americanization on the part of some of the world’s last communities. I cannot tell all, either there or here, because the struggle against His-story, against Leviathan, is synonymous with Life; it is part of the Biosphere’s self-defense against the monster rending her asunder. And the struggle is by no means over; it goes on as long as the beast is animated by living beings. It will conclude with His-story by summarizing, ever so briefly, the moments leading to its end.

By carrying Leviathan acrss the Ocean, Europeans stretch the beastly integument over the expanse of the entire globe. In the brief span of a few generations, all of Earth falls into the entrails of a single artificial beast. But by encasing all of Earth within one Leviathan, the Europeans do Civilization a disfavor, for they put a term on its further existence.

We’ve seen that earlier Leviathans were always in a state of decomposition. When one decompsed, others swallowed its remains. But when there are no others, when Leviathan is One, the tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing, is almost at an end.

Civilization, synonym of Capital, Technology and The Modern World, called Leviathan by Hobbes and Western Spirit by Turner, is as racked by decomposition as any earlier Leviathan. But Civilization is not one Leviathan among many. It is The One. Its final decomposition is Leviathan’s end. After twenty centuries of stony sleep vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, the sleeper is about to wake to the cadences of a long-forgtten music or to the eternal silence of death without a morrow.

It will be said of the Europeans who carry the beast to the world’s last places of refuge and who thereby put a term on the beast’s existence that they know not what they do. Their ignorance of themselves, of others and of Earth is proverbial, but it does not altogether account for their behavior. The Europeans are zeks, administrative zeks and menial zeks, children and grandchildren of zeks. If some of them remember ancestors who were no zeks, none of them can imagine the world of those ancestors, a world that was not a labor camp, and what they cannot imagine they cannot see, even while looking at it. In this sense they are ignorant. But they know that they are incomplete, that something inside them is stunted or dead, and they resent the slightest suggestion that others possess what they lack. The resentment makes them strike fiercely at any who pretend to be more, for Europeans are great equalizers — Democrats thay will call themselves — and they are determined to universalize their own condition. In this sense they are not ignorant for they know perfectly well what they do and also why.

The last Leviathan’s zeks are not conscripts but volunteers. They are not an altogether new phenomenon. Volunteer zeks existed in earlier Leviathans, but only on the margins or at the interstices where Roman Equites made themselves indispensable to their beast’s continued functioning. The volunteer zeks of expanding Europe are not on the margins but constitute the beast’s body as well as its head.

Tasks imposed by force on earlier zeks are taken up as Callings by the volunteers. With a gun and powder, the successor of a conscript serving military corvee is a virtual Nero. The killing power of his gunpowder is equal to the Emperor’s. And with a continent emptying before his every advance, the descendant of serfs faces the prospect of becoming a Habsburg, an Emperor with uncontested dominion over a realm of dead souls.

America is a land of promise for the self-conscripted zeks who help turn it into an empty continent.

The bonds of servitude are not cut or even weakened, but these bonds undergo a subtle transformation which renders them invisible to the pioneering zek. Tithes and dues are no longer paid to the visible and odious agents of parish and manor. The dues become costs which are paid at exchanges or markets, and at such markets what counts is not the buyer’s blood or station but only his money. At such markets, all of which are local manifestations of an interconnected world market, every buyer’s coin is equal to the Emperor’s, so that every buyer is not only the Emperor’s equal but is also just as free.

For the sake of such freedom, tasks considered onerous by serfs are self-imposed by the volunteer zeks. The clearing of stony or forested land, the digging and burrowing, the lifting and the hauling are all taken up with unprecedented conviction.

If after all the sweat and toil the emancipated zek finds himself in debt to sellers and lenders, his plight is no worse than the Emperor’s. If lenders drive him to ruin, he can move further west, join with pioneers emptying new lands of promise, and renew his freedom.

The volunteer zek does not resent the sellers who ruined him, for he is himself one of them. He does resent fellow-zeks who relegate their most onerous tasks to imported slaves, but he does not feel threatened by them for he knows that the slaves labor without conviction, for which he dispises them. He resents even more those whom he calls Renegades, namely fellow zeks who make themselves at home in communities of the continents’s survivors. He resents the Renegades not only because they are as lazy as the slave-owners, but because they dispense with the amenities that brand them as Human (he means Civilized).

His bitterest passion is reserved for the decimated communities in which the Renegades find refuge. The beings in those communities are not human to him. They are Cannibals. They will also be called Savages, Primitives, Natives, always with the same meaning. The pioneering zek spends his living days doing god’s calling, sweating and laboring, frustrated by stubborn Earth, beset by lenders. Yet the good-for-nothings, the Cannibals, pretend that food simply offers itself to them on its own, they hunt and fish like Nabobs or ancient noblemen, they spend their days as well as their nights howling and jumping like demented wolves.

Were the pioneer to admit their humanity, however briefly, however grudgingly, his innards would explode, his armor melt, his mask fall, for he would in that flash of light see himself as a zek, his freedom as self-enslavement, his market-Civilization as a forced-labor camp. The devil would try to tempt him to become a Renegade and, irony of ironies, he would fall, unlike Eve, out of blessed labor into cursed Eden.

Until Enlighteners provide him with a new language for the same enterprise, the pioneer’s humanity hangs on his exorcism of the devil, on his removal of the Tempter from his path. The pioneer is self-defined as a converter of heathen, a civilizer of the wilderness. Translated into meaningful language, the pioneer is self-defined as a zek committed to the extermination of the world’s free beings.

* * *

The old language, the language of salvation and damnation, of sin and the fall, becomes increasingly archaic in the land of endless frontiers, and it is more often an obstacle than a guide to enterprising invaders. Spanish- and French-speaking marauders are more committed to the old language than English-speaking ones, and the consequences are fatal for the archaic-minded.

The Spanish invaders of the southlands save all the gold and all the souls they can reach, damn the rest, and then freeze, literally freeze, stand still on a thin ledge, afraid of falling into the abyss in front or the one behind them. While Catholicism in Europe shrinks from attacks by Reformers and Enlighteners, priests multiply and churches rise in Spanish America, where congregations of the continent’s last survivors pay their respects to emaciated Toltec, Maya and Inca deities converted into Catholic saints. Becoming ever more marginal to the world-Leviathan’s great accomplishments, the descendants of the Conquistadores themselves become Natives, namely objects of plunder, for enterprising invaders who speak a newer language.

French invaders of the northlands fare even less well than the Spaniards.

French priests and treasure-seekers sail up the river through which the Great Lakes leave the land, a river they name Saint Lawrence. The French “discoverer” of the Saint Lawrence discovers Basque and Biscayan fishermen who give him a tour of the river’s mouth and environs and introduce him to the river’s permanent and hospitable inhabitants. The armored uninvited guests kidnap several of their hosts, leave Smallpox and Plague-infested rats among the rest, and return home with less than the expected gold from a northern Tenochtitlan.

Disappointed by their initial haul, French-speaking scavengers do not return in mass until three generations later, and on this voyage they find the treasure they seek. They find gold as well as souls.

The gold they find is not mineral but animal gold: marten, muskrat and beaver gold. They find a seemingly inexhaustible supply of fur coats, and the further up the river they sail, the more coats they find.

The coats were once winter garments of the numerous inhabitants whose villages dotted both sides of the river now called Saint Lawrence. The village sites are still visible, but the inhabitants have vanished, inexplicably.

The disappearance of the inhabitants is inexplicable only in the annals of the invaders’ scribes. The spreading of plagues is neither honorable nor brave in the eyes of the descendants of Franks, nor is such a deed Christian in the eyes of the French priests. Furthermore, French theologians are not anxious to weigh the sin of infestation against the sin of cannibalism, nor are French inquisitors anxious to identify the perpetrators of one or the other sin. French mirrors are not made for such uses.

The French see large communities shrink before their very eyes, and still their annalists make no sound; they tiptoe through the depopulated villages as if they were walking on eggs. The annalists even invent European-style wars between fictitious “tribes” to explain away the large empty villages.

The French cannot without embarrassment broadcast the sources of their windfall, for the greatness of their accomplishment would diminish.

The seemingly inexhaustible fur coats come from three generations of Plague-victims.

The epidemics themselves were not all brought by the French Dis-coverers of the Saint Lawrence. Some of the diseases undoubtedly came with the Dis-coverers’ Basque and Biscayan predecessors, others traveled northward from the coast, carried either by animals or by Dutch or English adventurers.

The Saint Lawrence French reap the Plague’s harvest. The ships of the royal company of adventurers return home laden with fur coats which are sold to waiting hatters at windfall profits. Out of the skins of the dead animals that once protected the Plague-victims from the winter’s cold rise cities, fortresses and missions.

While the skins travel toward hatters, French missionaries reap a harvest of souls. They go among kinless men, homeless women, orphaned children, among survivors of once-numerous communities.

The priests go to great efforts to learn the languages of the survivors, for they have an urgent message to impart: The Savior came among the displaced and disoriented and the poor in order to raise them out of their misery and turn them into subjects of King Louis’ realm.

Adult cousins of the Potawatomi recognize Wiske under the missionary’s black robe, but the children become French Catholics. Converted women find employment as fur dressers, converted men as hunters of new furs, but few of them become prosperous French Catholics because the overseas hatters continue to prefer the soft furs oiled by years of wear to the rough and unworkable new furs.

French America prospers, but not for long. The fur ships glut the European market and the windfall profits end. This is temporary. It recurs, but again only temporarily. The King orders several shiploads of furs burned, and the prices rise again.

A far greater disorder strikes French America. Young Frenchmen defect from the centers of Civilization. They become Renegades. Leviathan loses its hold on its human entrails. In the language of the frightened chroniclers, Civilized Frenchmen turn into Savages, yet no Savages become Civilized; even Catholic converts return to the Wilderness whenever the gates are left ajar.

The phenomenon is something like a counter-plague: the centers of Civilization become depopulated while the plague-decimated villages repopulate themselves with bearded adoptees. The question “Who would aband the amenities, etc.” is answered by decisions and by acts which cannot be kept secret by the French court or clergy because the defection is so vast it causes a scandal. The answer is: everyone who can. Centuries later, the last descendants of Winnebago, Ottawa, Potawatomi and other peopels herded to concentration camps by President Jackson’s armies will still retain the French names of the renegades.

This is not the first withdrawal of human beings from the entrails of Leviathan. I’ve mentioned many earlier instances of this phenomenon. Examples also exist in Spanish, English and Dutch America, some less and some more scandalous to the guardians of Civilization’s gates.

What is almost unprecedented in these escapes to the pre-American world is that the refugees or Renegades actually become members of functioning communities. Those communities are fragmented remnants compared to what they once were, in Dream Time. But even in their decimated condition they give the adopted invaders a wealth of freedom, kinship and community not available to Europeans for a very long time. Descendants of French Renegades will turn up later as storytellers, healers, keepers of songs and arrangers of ceremonies, as upholders and defenders of their hosts’ cultures.

The initial French Renegades are not closet-Adamites, Eden-seeking radicals. On the contrary, they are scions of French colonial Civilization, some are even sons of aristocrats. Their ability to compare the relative attractiveness of the two modes of existence comes to them as an unintended consequence of the organization of the fur trade. The Company dispatches travelers, voyageurs, to gather the fur coats of all villages accessible by water, for large quantities of fur cannot easily be transported overland. The voyagueurs travel singly or at most in twos, since the point is to return with a boatful of furs, not riders.

A single individual — sometimes even two — is free of the censorious pressure that represses a member of a group, the pressure to keep the armor tight and the mask from falling. Consequently the individual is able to respond to offered hospitality, friendship and love. And as soon as he responds, his stiffness starts to dissolve. He arrived as a scavenger. If his hosts offer to turn him into a kinsman, he will, slowly or quickly, realize that he can be more than a zek in a labor-camp.

French priests rail against the Renegades and threaten them with excommunication. French governors import the latest Paris fashions for the young ladies of Quebec and Montreal, and they send punitive expeditions against the Renegades, but members of the punitive expeditions also defect.

In fact, the governors’ only reliable soldiers are those who have just arrived from France, and New France defends itself from New England by giving large presents and larger promises to people who are still called Les Sauvages but are treated with ever-greater respect, for they are cousins now, kinsman, not figuratively but really.

The armies of New France are Ottawa, Ojibwa, Potawatomi and Wendat warriors, and these warriors, although European in their weapons, have their own strategies as well as their own aims. These strategies and aims probably do not encompass a reconstitution of the communities of Dream Time with help from plague-rimmune bearded kinsmen, but we will never know what they do encompass. The existence of French America is cut short by greedy English-speaking racists.

* * *

The English-speaking invaders who eventually swallow the entire northland do not allow themselves to fall into kinship relations with the continent’s former inhabitants. They, too, are scandalized by Renegades who walk out of their labor camps and never return to the life-style of zeks. But they are not merely scandalized. They raise impassable fences between themselves and the continent’s surviving inhabitants, fences which are forerunners of the electric barbed wire fences of our time.

These English Christians guide themselves with a terminology that comes to them, not from their Christianity, but from their practices of breeding sheep, horses and dogs. Terms like Mescegenation, Hybridization and Mongrelization become the guidelines for dehumanizations that have no precedent. Human beings are permanently branded, stigmatized, classified, in terms of their heredity, their so-called blood. No religious conversion, no services rendered, no dues paid can ever remove the stigma. The branded and all their progeny are marked for all eternity. In the face of such a barrier, English Renegades must be fortified by a determination and courage their French and Spanish counterparts do not need.

The invaders who set the tone of the whole English enterprise, the progressive spearheads of Leviathan, the Pioneers tout court, are the New Englanders who consider themselves purists or Puritans.

Next-door neighbors of the Saint Lawrence French, the New Englanders are beset by Renegades a few short seasons after their arrival. Alongside the purists who establish themselves at Plague-emptied Plymouth, non-purists establish themselves among the shoreland’s surviving inhabitants, at a place the Renegades call Mare Mount or Merry Mount.

The non-purists of Merry Mount let their eyes feast on the continent’s beauty and their ears to the villagers’ music. They let themselves be possessed by their hosts, with whom they dance around a maypole, a symbol of fertility. They let their masks and armors fall. And they laugh at the small-minded stiff-necked zeks who escaped from one labor-camp only to imprison themselves in another of their own making in a land inhospitable to labor camps.

The Puritans are not merely scandalized, they are driven to burning rage by the merry Renegades who expose the repressive fangs behind the purity. They dispatch a Puritan police led by the renowned murderer Miles Standish to raze Merry Mount to the Ground and to cut down the maypole, the symbol of fertility. They purify America of maypoles.

One of the survivors of the Puritan purge, a Thomas Morton, will continue to expose his victimizers with laughter in a satiric poem he will call the New England Canaan.

Puritans and their successors will speak much of Fate and Predestination and will think themselves as holders of Destiny’s interest-bearing certificates. But the path of these profiteers is paved with as many freakish quirks and cruel ironies as the paths of any of their Leviathanic predecessors.

I can only mention some of the grossest ironies. The Puritans are not, first of all, spiritual heirs of Catholic Crusaders who stormed the lands of Unbelievers. They are spiritual heirs of the Crusaders’ victims, heirs of Albigensians, Beguines and Beghards, of Wyclif and John Ball, of radical Lollards and insurgent peasants. Their burning rage does not come to them from Ahriman’s fire, the fire that consumes light in order to plunge the world into darkness, but from Ahura Mazda’s fire, the fire that expels darkness. Their project comes, not from the heritage of Leviathan’s builders and keepers, but from the heritage of withdrawers, of rebels against Leviathan. And their feat resides, not in the realization of this project, but in its complete inversion. This feat can be called great, for it surely has not equal since the day when the anti-Roman crisis cult emerged as Rome’s Church.

The inversion of Europe’s radical heritage is not all the work of the Puritans who plant themselves on the New World’s shores.

When Vikingized Europeans began to expropriate Jews and Muslims and occupy themselves with profits from trade and interests from moneylending, they incurred a loss which they could never quite compensate with their monetary gains. The Burghers lost Paradise, both in this life and in the afterlife. European noblemen could reach Paradise by killing infidels, European peasants by killing priests and noblemen, but the Burghers could reach nothing but more money. Having expropriated Muslims of their enterprises and ways but not of their merciful god, European merchants could not even look forward to the Earthly paradise promised by Allah.

Good Christians all, Europe’s usurers could not but suspect that they were Satan’s tools, sinners in this world, irremediably damned in the next. The bleakness of such reflections led most Burghers to confine their thoughts to the sums on their ledgers, and to leave thinking to clerics.

But some of the merchants were determined to find a substitute for the merciful Allah, so determined that they didn’t shrink from placing Mammon himself at Heaven’s gate. If a poor man could freely cross the heavenly threshold, surely a rich man could buy his way in.

The Swiss Burgher Calvin would even deny the poor free access to Paradise. Poverty, according to Calvin, confers no such privilege. The elect are chosen ahead of time, or rather out of Time, and the fortunes, or lack of fortunes, of sinful men affect their final destiny not a jot.

Calvin opens the gates of Paradise to merchants, but he gives them no tangible safe-conducts. The passports are issued by the Puritans, to themselves. And the passports of these Christians are, believe it or not, the very profits and interests from trade and usury.

The Puritans do not bend Calvin’s teachings, they do not read between the lines. The accuracy of their ledgers depends on their literal-mindedness. The Elite, the Damned, along with the rest of Creation are predestined. Signs of this predestination are in fact an open book, visible to anyone who can read them. Unmistakable signs of Salvation can also be seen, read, sensed. The Elite know themselves to be saved. Their savings in this world are the signs of their salvation in the next.

The profits and interests of the pure replace the miseries of the poor as passports to Heaven, investments in Paradise. The poor, with nothing to invest, are in fact excluded, predestined to damnation and poverty. And the impure, the profligates and libertines with all their pomp and circumstance, are ovciously out of the running from the start, they are Satan’s own brood. The gates of Heaven do not only open to Puritan merchants: they open to noone else.

Persecuted by the beast’s agents for their very righteousness, the Puritans withdraw from the beast just as the Israelites withdrew from Egypt. The analogy is not mine but theirs. It is they who find their predecessors in the armored Moses and the sons of Levi. The Puritans withdraw from the fleshpots of Egypt and sail to the Promised Land, which they name Canaan.

Others, among them English radicals, French Beghards, Moravian Taborites and Adamites, dreamt of just such a promised land, of just such an earthly Paradise complete with communities of human beings who knew how to enjoy and celebrate the gorgeous bounty surrounding them.

But to the pure English Israelites who actually reach the Promised Land, the promise is neither in the land nor in its surviving communities, but in the Puritans themselves, irrevocably, irredmediably and predeterminedly in themselves, and nothing they see, hear or touch can budge the rock of Puritan knowledge.

The Puritans are the first Americans, and henceforth wherever Manifest Destiny takes them, there is America, for it is not a place but a condition, a manifestation of the self-recognized predetermined Elect. The Puritans call it Canaan, and with very good reasons. Canaan is indeed the land of promise. What it promises to the Israelites is

dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

The English Israelites have come to denude the land of promise. Their intent is to make deserts bloom, for they are themselves the deserts.

The actual inhabitants of the lush New Canaan are marked for extermination already before the Puritans meet them. For the English Israelites know that they

will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, the Hivite and the Jebusite...

And thou shalt consume all the peoples that the Lord thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them...

Ill-equipped for their arrival in a Canaan not located between Egypt and the Fertile Crescent but in colder climes, the new Israelites do not refuse the gifts offered to them by people who remain hospitable after three painful generations of plague. The Puritans accept from their hosts the winter coats that will launch New England’s fur trade and they accept, as gifts, the forerunners of all-American sweet corn on the cob, Thanksgiving squash, Halloween pumpkin and Boston beans, free gifts which America’s food merchants will sell to the world.

To fulfill their destiny, the Puritans brace themselves for the attack, an attack they’ve known all along unavoidable, predetermined, since it is already consummated in the holiest of books. But they are embarrassed by all the gifts. They suppose that no Canaanite, Amorite or Hittite could have welcomed the first Israelites so generously, so disarmingly. Surely the Canaanites gave the Israelites a sign, a pretext, a provocation.

In the absence of any pretext, the Puritans have to invent one, and this is no problem for the pure. The New World’s inhabitants are not Puritans. Every one of their ways, and particularly their aversion to labor, marks them as Satan’s tools, as cursed heathen bound toward damnation. This is provocation enough for the first attack as well as all the later ones, it is provocation enough for total war against all the continent’s surviving inhabitants.

The first Canaanites to fall to these scourges of the Leviathanic god are seaboard cousins of the Great Lakes Potawatomi, called Pequots. The Puritans attack while the Pequots sleep. In the words of a participant in the massacre, one of the Elect sets powder on fire while another

Brought out a firebrand, and putting it into the Matts with which they were covered, set the Wigwams on Fire. [Both fires] meeting in the centre of the fort [as the Puitan chooses to call the Pequot village], blazed most terribly, and burnt all in the space of an hour.

Many courageous fellows were unwilling to come out, and fought most desparately through the palisades, so as they were scorched and burnt with the very flame and were deprived of their arms...

The courage of those fellows will not be forgotten. The foe vanquished in this first American military victory will be painted as formidable, as a Goliath confronting David. Such stout, brave fellows can be kept in their place only by means of the sternest measures, such as the killing of women and children, unprecedented in the New World, introduced to this continent by God’s own Elect. The god of Israel, and of the new Israel,

hath no respect to persons, but harrows them, and saws them, and puts them to the sword, and the most terriblest death that may be. Sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents. Sometimes the case alters, but we will not dispute it now. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings.

The Puritans do not dispute it now or later; they establish the precedent. Henceforth women and children perish as a matter of course.

Apologists for the Puritans will pretend, for purposes of military but not of economic explanation, that the Empty Continent teems with warlike tribes, all full of inhumanly courageous fellows.

Courageous they surely are, unflinchingly brave, sometimes stretching the limits of human endurance, none of which can be said of the rifle-armed incendiaries waiting to shoot enemies who are not completely burned.

David indeed! The story of this continent’s Goliaths is constructed out of a deliberate and malicious inversion of the term “warrior,” a term borrowed by the invaders from the people of this continent’s woodlands. Clashes comparable to the so-called wars of this continent’s warriors have been known in Eurasia as raids and feuds since the days of Sumerian military machines. Such raids and feuds required forms of bravery which were not needed by soldiers in Lugalzaggizi’s imperial army, and which become superfluous and even undesirable in the days of guns and powder.

By using the word “war” to cover the exploits of Braves as well as Puritans, apologists magnify the raids and feuds of the Braves while belittling the exploits of the Puritans, exploits which are already fully Modern wars of mass extermination, exploits which will in our time be given the name Genocide. Apologists who will shudder at the thought of raids and feuds while taking genocide for granted will not exhibit some new and progressive morality; they will exhibit the oldest and rankest hypocrisy.

The massacre of the Pequots is not an aberration in an otherwise peaceful story of God’s Elect in the promised land. The Pequot massacre is the model for all that follow, and the Puritans are every getting ready for the next. They deal the same way with all those who bring them food and clothing, guide them along forest paths, showm them how to harvest syrup from maple trees. All are Canaanites, Amalekites and Amorites, all are placed in Canaan merely to test the Puritans’ ability to carry out their destiny.

David is out of the picture altogether. Goliath is the Puritan himself, and Goliath’s god is none other than Optimus Maximus, who will receive His final incarnation in America as the Dollar.

The seaboard’s inhabitants are reduced to place-names in New England. The various peoples of the east, the totems, clans and federations of Pequots, Narragansetts, Massachusets, Wampanoags, all called Tribes by Bible-readers, will not be considered human beings but things, obstacles in the way of American progress.

The humanity of the Puritans’ victims will not be recognized until our time. The recognition will wait until Nazi emulators of America’s Pioneers perpetrate similar deeds on eminent Doctors, Lawyers, Merchants and Scientists. Only then will appear the numerous light-bringing books which talk with sympathy and deep imagination of the vanished communities of free human beings who were decimated but not broken, massacred but not defeated, displaced but not domesticated.

This is not to say that there cease to be radicals or renegades in English America. Radicals there are, and in such numbers that New England’s predetermined Elite is not done massacring Narragansetts before it has to turn to hanging nonconformists, jailing or deporting radicals, selling dissenters into slavery or burning them as witches.

God’s Chosen effectively silence the radicals, and with such energy that one wonders when the Saved find time to do their Saving. For save they do, and they invest their savings in fleets of ships. The ships carry products grown on Pequot and Narrangansett lands to Africa. There the ships fill their holds with human beings “predestined” to slavery in Virginia. The ships return home with Virginia cotton and tobacco. If radicalism could be exorcised once and for all, the whole enterprise would run like clockwork.

Canaan becomes a little England, an artificial octopus that sends its tentacles to every part of the glove. The New World becomes just like the Old. Or rather, the New World is consumed by the Old, it ceases to be a separate entity, it is all part of a single commercial empire.

Within this empire, which in reality is a network of exchanges and markets, States compete for privileged positions, and England outdistances all the other contenders. The reason for this is not as complicated as His-storians will sometimes make it seem.

We’ve seen that in commercial matters, octopus-like Leviathans have a distinct advantage over worm-like artifices, because the worm-like entities tend to eat up the contents of their ships and thus send the sources of their wealth, namely their own commercial fleets, to the seabottom. Holland is too small to remain a contender for very long. Spain as well as France are land-oriented monsters which cannot, like insular England, keep their fleets ever circulating from places where some things are plentiful to places where those things are scarce. Thus England becomes the metropolis of a Leviathan that soon embraces the entire world, and English America is not an outpost or a fringe, but an integral part of the metropolis.

* * *

English radicals, nevertheless, continue to think that by leaving England and sailing to America they can abandon the Old World and reach the New.

This is true only for those who become Renegades, who abandon not only England but America as well, who let themselves be adopted and possessed by the continent’s remaining communities. Such Renegades continue to be numerous, and few of them choose to return to Civilization even if only to tell their stories. In fact, it is said that Raleigh’s “lost colony” on the continent’s sandy outer banks moved inland and survived by hunting, fishing, singing, dancing, and neither Virginia Dare nor any of her relatives or descendants chose to reveal so much as their identity to Raleigh’s slave-owning successors.

The silence of Renegades is not self-imposed. The silence is imposed by the armored, the Civilized, who understand or even hear a Renegade no better than they understand or hear other people who are not zeks and do not spend their lives in labor camps.

Dissenters or Radicals who move from England or Europe to English America do not have to travel as far as the Renegades, and can in fact cover the same distance by staying home. The famous Quakers and the less well-known Unitas Fratrum, called simply Moravians in America, are among the European radicals who undertake such a voyage.

The first Quakers are part of a movement that tries to turn the world upside-down, at least in England. The radicalism of this movement will be described in our time by Christopher Hill. This is a movement that has its roots in the earlier uprisings of English radicals and peasants, roots that go back, by way of Beguines, Beghards, Free Spirits and Albigensians, to anti-Leviathanic currents that preceded the anti-Roman crisis cult. These radical currents erupt once again during the so-called English revolution.

While people with money who consider themselves God’s Elect remove the King and Archbishop in order to install themselves in the offices of English power, the radicals, who constitute the army that does the overthrowing, aim to remove the power of Aristocracy, Church as well as Money, and reconstitute on earth the Adamite Eden. People called Familists, Diggers, Ranters and the first Quakers are among the radicals who try to topple hierarchy, law and privilege.

The Protestant gentry establish what they, prevaricating like practiced Catholics, call their Commonwealth, and they promptly silence the “peasants, clowns and base people” who would “follow our example” by overthrowing the Protestant gentry as well as the Protestant Church.

Quakers who survive the repression, but emaciated and spiritless. They still long for an earthly Eden, but they become extremely patient. They renounce armed resistance, recognizing that the victory of the radical army led to a tyranny by its generals. They continue to reject the Leviathanic hierarchies of wealth and power, but in practice they limit their radicalism to denouncing the dishonesty and hypocrisy of the hierarchs.

Even this mild practice makes Quakers a bane to American Puritans, who hound, deport and execute the pale radicals with the viciousness of Catholic inquisitors and heresy hunters.

The first Quakers in America oppose the extermination of the continents original inhabitants, but few Quakers become Renegades, and the rest gradually acquire the dishonesty and hypocrisy they once denounced. Whether they were peasants or artisans in England, they all become businessmen in America, and like other invaders, they get their first windfalls from the expropriation of the original inhabitants. Renouncing arms as well as the incendiary methods of the Puritans, the Quakers resort to legal maneuvering and outright cheating, and they empty the Quakerland called Pennsylvania of its original inhabitants as thoroughly as the violent invaders of the Empty Continent. Like Moses, they intended to find a new world only while they were inside the old one; when they leave, they carry the old world with them.

The United Brethren, known in America as The Moravians, bring to America a radical heritage as old as that of the Quakers. The roots of this heritage are in Central Europe, specifically in Tabor.

We’ve seen that the heritage of Tabor reaches back to Waldensians, Free Spirits, Albigensians, and further back to Bulgarian Bogomils, Persian Manicheans and ancient Zarathustrians.

After the last Taborites were repressed, first by their Hussite allies and then by their Catholic enemies, isolated and secretive groups of Taborites preserved, if not the commitment, at least the memory of the attempt to reconstitute Paradise on the outskirts of Prague. Many of them took part in extensive peasant rebellions viciously repressed by German military aristocrats with Luther’s blessings and urgings.

Broken and intimidated by a persecution that never ends, Taborites who still survive become intent on showing the world they are not the fanatics they are taken to be, they do not come to set fire to the Leviathanic world. One of the most famous of these Taborites, Jan Amos Komensky, reduces the fire of the revolutionary to the light of the educator.

Hounded even as educators, reduced latter-day Taborites at last abandon Europe and scatter to every part of the world. Some of them try to establish new Tabors in America. Most of them succeed only in founding a Moravian Church. But some of them venture to the fringes of America and acquaint themselves with the people being persecuted as remorselessly in the New World as the Taborites were in the Old.

These Moravians cannot help but recognize that the communities outside the fringes of America have affinities with the dimly remembered Adamites. They take the plunge so dangerous in racist America and let themselves be adopted by surviving communities of Mahicans, Lenni Lenapes, Shawanos.

Unable to rid themselves of Komensky’s gift to their Church, the Moravians outside the fringes do not let themselves become brothers and insist on being teachers, although it is their souls and not those of their hosts that are dimly lit. Thus instead of partaking in the Shawano love feasts, the teachers from abroad prevail on Shawanos to attend a poorly preserved Adamite love feast which is disfigured to the point of looking for all the world like a Christian mass.

These Moravians preserved enough of the ancient heritage to guide them to the threshold of the communities, but not enough to help them cross it. These spiritual heirs of Tabor are English America’s first missionaries.

Unlike later missionaries, the Moravians respect and admire their hosts, for despite their unremovable pedagogical masks and armors, the teachers cannot keep themselves from suspecting that Tabor is on the other side of the threshold. Their numerous books and journals are unique in the sympathy and understanding with which the authors describe their hosts’ ways. These teachers’ books and stories will in fact inspire much of the meager literature in which American racists such as James Fenimore Cooper grant a shred of humanity to the vanquished Other.

Although they are no more than missionaries, the Moravians are hated by American Pioneers as only Renegades are hated. The sight of Moravian teachers living in mutual respect with “Savage Injuns” dements the Pioneers, drives them into the murderous rage characteristic of American lynch mobs. The continent’s inhabitants are vermin to the impatient Pioneers, who cannot wait to exterminate the inhabitants so as to appropriate and rape their fields, forests and streams.

In two of the most vicious massacres ever perpetrated, the Paxton Massacre and the Gnadenhutten Massacre, frontiersmen of American Progress and Civilization attack Mahican, Lenni Lenape and Shawano villagers who lodged and befriended Moravian teachers. Although there is not a single warrior among the villagers, the enraged Pioneers cut them to pieces.

Thou shalt consume all the peoples that the Lord thy God shall deliver unto thee; thine eye shall not pity them...

Neither pity nor respect nor understand them. America means the extinction of freedom, kinship and community, and also of their memory.

* * *


The English speaking Aguirres who spread death, slavery and ever-bleaker misery across the Dis-covered continent speaks eloquently of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Opposites merge, antonyms become synonyms on the Frontier, where all conflicts are reconciled. Zeks fight alongside their keepers, debtors alongside their creditors, borrowers alongside their bankers, suckers alongside their hustlers, in the most fraudulent extravaganza since the First Crusade.

Desolation beyond imagination’s grasp is carried to uncountable Jerusalems. In the northern woodlands alone, where General Washington’s orders to General Sullivan are “to destroy totally the villages of the Iroquois,” Anthony Wallace will tell that

The roster of destruction is a long one (and it earned Washington the name of Town Destroyer): Three towns on the Chemung River; three towns on the Tioga River; all of the dozen or so Cayuga and Seneca towns on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes; the half dozen Seneca towns on the route westward to the Genesee River; and the complex of settlements at Genesco itself... Before the Revolution, the Six Nations and their dependents had lived largely in some thirty thriving villages scattered from the Mohawk River to Lake Erie and the Ohio country. Of all these towns, by the spring of 1780 only two survived undamaged. The others were in ashes or empty, moldering in rain and wind...

To the Greak Lakes Ojibwa, Potawatomi and Miami who are not reached by Washington’s armies, who are the next Frontier, this terror that calls itself America is no carrier of life, liberty or happiness; it is Wiske gone totally mad. After eating the French, the victorious English declare a war against themselves and, under the guise of fratricide, set out to kill and expropriate the continent’s remaining original inhabitants.

The ostentatious Declaration of Independence, like the proclamation of the First Crusade, is a maneuver in a confidence game, a banner designed to align zeks alongside their keepers. The freedom it offers to zeks is not freedom from labor-camp zekdom, but freedom to kill with no holds barred. Happiness comes, like Salvation to the Crusaders, from the bloody sacrifice of victims. Devotion to such freedom becomes a synonym of Patriotism. The active Patriot is a mass murderer, the passive Patriot an enthusiastic voyeur of his team’s killings.

The beast behind the banner is not concerned with life, liberty or happiness, is in fact their greatest enemy. Hobbes has already published his Leviathan, thanks to which the beast does not only know itself by name, but also possesses a self-consciousness unavailable to Churchmen or to Lope de Aguirre. The beast knows that it cannot speak in its own name without losing the confidence of its human entrails. It knows that it must speak in terms of Life, Liberty and Happiness, and it acquires unprecedented eloquence in the use of such terms.

The fratricidal war of English against English, most viciously perpetrated by both sides against the continent’s surviving communities, has nothing to do with freedom, independence, happiness or anything else that is human. It is a purely internal, Leviathanic affair, a readjustment of the artifice’s levers and springs, a retiming of the machine’s valves. One set of springs and wheels, the Fur Interest, wants to keep the new continent’s woodlands and communities as its own preserve, while another set, the Land Interest, wants to enlarge its preserve.

Both interests are equally Leviathanic, both are Imperialisms, namely zek-makers, enlargers of the archipelago of labor camps erratically but totally administered by the World Market.

The Fur Interest is not as insignificant as it will appear to later observers accustomed to Steel, Oil and Uranium Interests. At the time of the famous Declaration, Fur is Europe’s Oil. The French Empire in America revolves around fur. The nascent Russian Empire in Siberia and America is a fur-trappers’ empire. England expropriated France of the sources of precious furs.

It may be nothing more than a passing fashion for Europeans to crown their heads with the skins of this continent’s animals, yet precisely such fashions move the levers and wheels of the worldeating machine we call Civilization.

The traffic in dead animals, like the earlier traffic in spices, yields super-profits, extraordinary Savings. In England these Savings are invested in the production of cloth and clothing, a production that is become increasingly industrial, increasingly dehumanizing. The relationship between the person and the tool is being inverted. The human being is becoming an appendage of a machine, usually called Hands. Some of the cloth produced in factories is carried to the fur hunters and trappers and exchanged for their furs.

The Fur Interest wants to preserve the New World’s woodlands as a Fur Factory and cloth market, something the vast conglomerate that sprawls over the continent’s cold north, the Hudson Bay Company, already is.

The Land Interest, personified in such fellows as Franklin, Washington, Lee and other famous Founding Fathers, has as much to do as the other with human freedom and independence.

Crazed buyers give their all for land titles because such titles are passports to Paradise. Each holder is a Hapsburg, an emperor of a real domain, with absolute dominion over the walkers and crawlers, the trees and the streams. The sale of lands expropriated from the continent’s former inhabitants to such buyers yields super-profits, namely Savings as extraordinary as those generated by the fur trade. These Savings are invested in fleets of ships that carry the produce of the expropriated lands to Africa, that carry enslaved Africans to Virginia’s cotton plantations, that then carry the Virginia cotton to England’s and New England’s cloth factories.

(My summary is excessively abbreviated. I should add that the American fleets carry enslaved Africans to other parts of the world as well, that the cargo sometimes consists of indentured Europeans...)

The land pimps get their Savings from the sale of the expropriated lands, and from the sale of the produce of the expropriated lands. Their life, liberty and happiness comes from the expropriation of more lands, and from the prospect of expropriating yet more. They’ll take the land, even if they have to wage war against the fur pimps who have the ear of the King. Their intent is not to eliminate the Savings that come from the fur trade; they’ll let John Jacob Astor get the furs from the French Canadians.

The two feuding Interests are not persons but personifications; they will eventually call themselves Corporations. These are not human beings who feud because they are personally touched, insulted or harmed. It is the Savings that are threatened or harmed.

The feuding Interests are alternative and conflicting ways of accumulating Savings. The Savings come from sequences of sales of the material objects stolen from the continent’s former inhabitants or squeezed from the zeks and slaves of factories and plantations. These mechanical and material sequences or processes constitute the commercial Leviathan’s blood-circulation, its internal motion, its pseudo-life.

The whole task of eloquence is to present the needs of these inhuman processes as urgent human needs. Preserving the sequence of exchanges that yields super-savings from animal skins is identified with Loyalty to the Empire and its King. Furthering the sequence that yields super-savings from animal skins is identified with Loyalty to the Empire and its King. Furthering the sequence that yields super-savings from expropriated lands is identified with Independence, Freedom and Happiness.

The zeks remain zeks whichever Interest wins, but they are nevertheless taken in, and want to be taken in, by the confidence men. They want to be taken in because they share the European longing to be something other than what they are, at least in appearance. They do not want to see themselves as zeks but as buyers and sellers, as Businessmen, even if they have nothing to sell but their labor power. A zek with a title to a plot of land on which to reproduce his labor power is a King of his roost, Lord of his realm, Master of his household. The volunteer zek has confidence in the eloquence because he thinks he’s just like the other Businessmen. His Savings may be no more that what he accumulates in his outhouse, but because he participates vicariously in the other’s as voyeur of Big Business, as peeper of Free Enterprise.

The outsiders like the Potawatomis, Outagami and Miami, the enterprising zek is demented, mentally enfeebled by the grind that constitutes labor-camp existence. This observation gives the outsiders yet another reason to stay away from the labor camps.

The enterprising zeks, understandably, do not like to be looked at by outsiders. The onlookers, as we’ve seen, fill the zeks with murderous rage, further dementing them. From the standpoint of the zeks, it is of course the outsiders who are mad. And according to the confidence-men who speak of zeks as industrious Pioneers, independent Yeomen and proud Workers, there is no outside; the who universe is a labor camp and anyone who denies this is a ranter, a lunatic. The two madnesses are mutually exclusive.

* * *

It becomes very important for the last Leviathan to deny the existence of an outside. The beast’s voices have to project Leviathanic traits into pre-Leviathanic past, into nature, even into the unknown universe.

The post-Hobbesian artificial beast becomes conscious of itself as Leviathan and not as Temple or Heavenly Empire or Vicarate of Christ, and it simultaneously begins to suspect its own frailty, its impermanence. The beast knows itself to be a machine, and it knows that machines break down, decompose, and may even destroy themselves. A frantic search for perpetual motion machines yields no assurance to counter the suspicions, and the beast has no choice but to project itself into realms or beings which are not machines.

All the sweat and labor expended hourly in the beast’s entrails presupposes the beast’s perpetual existence. The notion of a Progress that culminates in a final collapse is Christian but not Leviathanic. The notion is of a piece with Christianity’s commitment to the absurd, and is not altogether absurd if life is considered a vale of tears. But for Leviathan such a notion is contradictory, and Leviathan is an eminently logical entity.

Leviathanic existence, a vale of tears to Christians and outsiders, is to Leviathan a paved highway, and Progress along this highway cannot lead to an Apocalypse but only to more Progress.

Leviathanic self-consciousness expresses itself in the currents of thought known as Enlightenment, Illuminism, Masonry, Marxism, plus a few others. These currents supply the all-swallowing beast with a language suitable to its last days.

It is no longer necessary to identify savings with salvation or greed with devotion to a divine calling. Since expropriation and usury yield Capital Gains which are the basis of Progress, greed becomes Enterprise, and the cover-ups for ancient terms become superfluous because the terms themselves are discarded.

The merchant and banker no longer feel ashamed of inheriting Islam’s commercial practice but not its merciful god. Leviathan is all there is, It is god, and It is merciful to those who reinvest all their interests and profits.

To a Rousseau who says that Leviathan is an artifice imposed on nature and human beings by force and fraud, Enlightened merchants can now answer that all is artifice, nature as well as human beings as well as the very universe. The cosmos itself is nothing but a vast artifice, a machine, a clock wound up by the Great Artificer, the Mathematician. Terms like force and fraud cannot be applied to clockwork, and terms like inhuman and unnatural lose all autonomous meaning if the human and the natural are also mere clockwork.

The Catholic or all-embracing Church, always a few generations behind the times, misses yet another boat because of the langorous pace of its opportunistic prelates.

Long reconciled to spreading the mere forms of Catholicism over realms that resist the substance, Churchmen hurl themselves against the Enlightenment’s forms, against its language. The near-sighted Churchmen fail to notice that the Illuminists and Masons who reject the Catholic language retain the substance of Catholicism, and have in fact performed the feat of identifying that substance with the body of the dominant beast, something the Church has never succeeded in doing.

Blinded by the surface of their words, the Churchmen fail to notice that Creation and Machine mean the same thing, that both presuppose a Maker, an Artificer. They fail to notice that the Illuminists are more consistent monotheists than the Catholics ever were. They fail to notice that Newton’s Cosmic Mathematician, the Great Artificer who sets the vast clocks in motion on mathematical-physical principles accessible to Newton’s mathematical-physical principles accessible to Newton’s mathematical-mechanical mind, is none other than Lugalzaggizi the King of Kings as well as Optimus Maximus the god of armored legions.

Rather than hailing the rise of the Messiah of the Last Days and thereby placing themselves in the beast’s brightly lit cockpit, the langorous Catholics let themselves fall into the beast’s shadow, and Catholicism, the gate and cradle of the Enlightenment, is henceforth known as obscurantism.

Some of the Protestant sects try to grab the posts so narrow-mindedly bypassed by the Church, but they try too late, for the Illuminists, locked out by the Christians, in turn lock out the Christians.

The traditions as well as the personal leanings of the Illuminists predispose them to prefer the Vicarate of Christ, but being rejected, they subject themselves to the Vicarate of Satan, although rarely in such explicit terms. Only some poets among the Businessmen actually go so far as to identify Leviathan with Satan or Mammon, and only the most Illuminati of Masons explicitly align themselves with the fire of darkness, Ahriman’s, against the fire of light, Ahura Mazda’s.

Most Businessmen confine their thoughts to the sums in their ledgers and leave Metaphysics to the Eggheads. Nevertheless they all bask in the light shed over them by the Illuminists. Affairs can now be consummated which much less perfidy than was needed at the time of Christ’s Vicarate. It is no longer necessary to clothe the continual Leviathanic cheating, gouging and killing in a mantle borrowed from an anti-Leviathanic movement.

Those who wear the mantle of Ahriman or Mammon need not pay lip-service to apostolic piety, charity or poverty nor, for that matter, to simple honesty, respect for humanity. Nor need they fear, as Churchmen forever feared, that their own doctrines will turn against them when radicals discover the initial locus and intent of the doctrines, since no part of Ahriman or Mammon can be of service to radicals.

Henceforth radicalism will be external to the beast; radicals will all be outside agitators.

The Illuminati align themselves totally with the beast in an all-out war against all remaining outsiders.

The fact that there are still outsiders introduces a certain dualism into an otherwise consistent monism, but this dualism is not disturbing. The existence of the outsiders is denied while the outsiders themselves are exterminated. The monism is self-confirming. Everything is artifice, and whatever is not will soon be artifice. There is nothing outside but raw materials ready and waiting to be processed and transformed into Leviathanic excrement, the substance of the universe. Some raw materials resist the transformation more than others, but none can withstand the inexorable March of Progress.

The Enlightened have boundless confidence in their machine. Their monism is not a description but a prescription, a program, a military strategy, and it is no accident that so many of the Presidents of the machine’s American segment are military heroes. Before resisting materials can be processed in the labor camps, they have to be mined, harvested or otherwise separated from their contexts, and this breaking and separating is the special task of Leviathan’s armies. The Progress of the machine is first of all an unrelenting war against everyone and everything that is not a machine.

The boundless confidence of the Enlightened is epitomized in the Supply-and-Demand diagrams of Leviathan’s Economists. These diagrams, geometric depictions of interconnected see-saws with flashing lights and buzzing indicators, are a moron’s Paradise. So long as suppliers keep one eye on the diminishing supply of an object and the other on the increasing demand for it, they are sure to get a rise out of their Savings. In other words, the gadget really does do what it was made to do.

The world, unfortunately for the Economists, does not behave in conformity to their diagrams, and the commercial beast’s actual performance in the world does not warrant the confidence of the Enlightened. The March of Progress, which is Leviathan’s name for its war against resisting humanity and nature, is not a war figuratively but in fact. This war is not waged with see-saws or buzzing indicators, but with high-powered explosives and armies of trained murderers. This war is a long sequence of victories, but the victories are Pyrrhic. The reader may remember Pyrrhus as the ancient Albanian militarist who marched directly, from victory to victory, to his doom.

In order to reduce the world to see-saws and flashing lights, Leviathan must first render the world amenable to such a reduction, it must first transform raw materials into commodities and human beings into zeks who harvest, process and circulate commodities. This reduction of nature and people is not realized by Economists but by lynch mobs, militias and armies, namely by Leviathan’s police.

No natural catastrophe, no previous Leviathan destroyed human communities as well as their environments on such a scale. Lush forests and prairies are reduced to plowed fields. Entire populations of animals, sometimes who species, are exterminated. Human communities are gunned down and broken up, their last remnants deported to concentration camps.

Feathers, implements, and sometimes even stuff exemplars of the exterminated populations are displayed in museums as trophies of the victors. Trophy-hunters, called Archeologists, unearth the cemeteries of the extinguished communities so as to place even pipes and arrows of those who lived in Dream Time on display in the showcases of the victors.

The consumed unrenewable materials are replaced by synthetics. The exterminated human beings are replaced by zeks, by human beings, by human beings amenable to labor-camp existence.

Since even the best of zeks are not altogether amenable to the self-repression required by efficient labor camps, they too are replaced with synthetics, by machines, namely by things made of Leviathan’s own substance.

By undergoing what will be called Industrial and Technological Revolutions, the Great Artifice breaches all walls, storms victoriously through every natural and human barrier, increasing its velocity at every turn. But by the time the beast really gets going like a winged rodent out of Inferno, its own soothsayers will be saying an object approaches the speed of light loses its body and turns to smoke. Such object’s victories are, in the long run Pyrrhic.

* * *

The Beast’s victories are Pyrrhic in the short run as well.

The human communities that are decimated by plague and fire, their remnants shattered into splinters, deported and jailed, their last remains displayed as trophies, are not in fact defeated, they are never reduced to labor gangs.

Furthermore, the ghosts of those communities, still unreduced, install themselves in corners and closets of the synthetic beast and make their presence known with an interminable hiss or howl that perpetually rattles the unhappy inmates.

Neither plague nor fire nor gunpowder can suppress the ghostly look, the phantom glance that sees the innards as a labor camp and the inmates as zeks. Recoiling from the image reflected by the ghost-mirror, an image of a less than pardisial Today, the unhappy inmates go on hurling themselves toward the happy Tommorrow. Having arrived in America, they rush toward the next America. Already on the frontier, they stomp over each other to be the first Pioneers on the new frontier. And at every frontier the same jarring his, the same inimical howl and the same knowing glance goes on rattling them.

Contrary to the bedtime stories told by the rattled to their apprehensive children, free people simply do not line up at the recruiting posts of factories to apply for jobs. On this northern continent alone, the prospect of the frugal and productive life is greeted by every form of resistance known in Eurasia since the days of the Sumerians.

The surest way to protect oneself from the invading beast’s embrace, at least in the short run, is to withdraw beyond the beast’s reach. This is the resort of the countless human beings who migrate from oceanshores, woodlands, lakes and river valleys to this continent’s Plains.

These Plains, this vast refuge teeming with living beings, this pastureland for herds of numberless buffalo, limitless to the human eye, is nevertheless bounded, protected, isolated from the monster beyond. It is separated from the east by mountains, thick forests and the Long River, from the south by an impassable desert, from the west by impenetrable mountains, from the north by perpetual ice. Here refugees from decimated communities recover their interrupted rhythms, resume their dances, reenact their myths, reconstitute their music. They avail themselves of a European import that is not a synthetic, not a product of industry, but a living being and a friend, even a cousin, namely the horse. People who formerly paddled canoes, planted corn and sheltered in bark lodges arrive on horseback at councilfires surrounded by circles of buffalo-skin lodges. They are the world’s last free human beings.

Those who cannot, despite the ravages, exile themselves from their places of birth, the places where their ancestors lie, have no choice but to confront the invaders. Capitulators, namely applicants for jobs, are rare, so rare that invading Pioneers consider it axiomatic that “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

The resistance is fierce and long. It begins when Caribs and Arawaks turn their weapons against the first guests, and it does not end when Guatemoc and the last pain-racked, plague decimated Aztecs fail to retake Tenochtitlan from Cortez and his band.

The resistance goes on for sixteen generatiosn, four Leviathanic centuries during which the beast’s entrails are a perpetually armed camp and the inmates’ first Business is war.

Trophy cases will be stuffed with presumed weapons and portraits of Wilderness Heroes who dared stand in the way of inevitable Progress. The sad Guatemoc’s successors are proof of the invader’s prowess, and the sole proof. The greater the courage of the Wild Conspirator, the greater the feat of the Civilized Conqueror. The proportions of the real events are stood on their heads by the trophy collections which act on viewers like an inverting mirrors. Gigantic tusks and antlers of fabulous beasts recapitulate the fable of little civilized David pitting his modest strength against bullying Goliath.

Armed resistance coordinated by a military strongman and a general staff is a last resort as old as the Guti federation against expanding Sumerians.

Contrary to the Goliath fable, this continent’s strongmen, called Chiefs by the invaders, tend to be average or small in stature, large in vision; their strength is not in their limbs but in their speech.

Unlike the Guti and the Taborites, this continent’s resisters do not end up being encased by their own proto-Leviathanic military organizations. The various federations and alliances are temporary and they remain temporary; their continuity depends on their renewal at every council. If victory depends on the resisters’ becoming like the invaders, the resisters renounce victory and they disband, undefeated.

The armed resistance undertaken by the continent’s free human beings ties up Progress at every step of its March. The first Englishmen who plant a Virginia on the continent’s outer banks and thing their extremely friendly hosts would love to serve the English permanently are quickly disabused of their great expectations.

The friendly Wingina changes his clothes as well as his name and turns into a veritable Guatemoc under the disabused invaders’ very noses. Wingina and Pemisapan, unlike the Aztec, is accompanied by strong and healthy warriors, not by prostrate Smallpox victims, and the first Virginia, unlike New Spain, is reduced to a Lost Colony.

The English name their Nemesis a Conspirator, and they will give the same name to every warrior who successfully resists their incursion. The English reserve names like Patriot or Freedom Fighter for themselves, even though they are the ones conspiring to take the land and enslave its inhabitants, while the resisters are defending homelands and freedoms. As hypocrites and prevaricators, the Protestant English do not differ from the Papists they consider hypocrites and prevaricators.

French Catholics, not surprisingly, speak of a Conspiracy of Foxes when people of the Great Lakes federate to stop the expansion of New France into their forests and waterways. After almost two generations of war, the Foxes, decimated but still undefeated, disband rather than letting themselves become perpetual war machines in order to continue to confront the infernally persistent invaders. But the French war machine is exhausted by its war with the Foxes, and New France falls prey to the coastal English.

The English in turn try to introduce the amenities of Civilization to the transmontane forests, river valleys and lakes, and are greeted by “conspiracies” even more tenacious than those confronted by their predecessors. The Spaniards who confront Tupac Amaru and a reconstituted Inca stronghold in the Andes do not face the armed resistance that greets the invading English.

The fact that the continent is not empty and that its inhabitants have not been waiting to be Civilized is etched on English memory by a sequence of unprecedented military defeats.

The English are not greeted as liberators from a French yoke by the independent peoples of the Great Lakes.

The Potawatomi and all their cousins federate against the Scalpers, as the English are called by Great Lakes people who have not yet learned this practice. The federation’s first major encounter with the British is known as Braddock’s Defeat, one of the greatest reversals experienced by a European army in the New World.

English land speculators and fur traders nevertheless persist in claiming their God-given right to the woodlands, valleys and lakes, and find themselves face to face with a resistance the likes of which they haven’t yet seen.

All the varied peoples of the woodlands, lakes and valleys, as well as survivors from the invaded coastal lands, peoples of different ways and mutually unintelligible tongues, are united in a single federation and determined to drive the invaders back to the Ocean.

The federated warriors destroy all but two of the numerous British forts and military posts west of the mountains. The warriors fail at the Famous Fort Pitt because the fort’s commander, under orders from the British general, poisons the besiegers with Smallpox. And the warriors fail at the famous Fort Detroit because its siege would involve a loss of life perfectly acceptable to European militarists but totally unacceptable to this continent’s “warlike tribes,” as the English will persist in calling them.

His-storians will dub this episode “Pontiac’s Conspiracy,” adding another Goliath to their catalogue of monsters of the Wilderness, one that was too formidable even for the wily and wiry English David.

Yet the real Pontiac is a man of small stature remarkable as an orator but not as a killer, a man who seems to be responsible mainly for the decision not to risk the lives of brothers, cousins and nephews in a capture of Fort Detroit.

The real “conspirators” are numerous seers, some from the invaded coastal lands, who remember, and remind their kin, that their ancestors lived happily without guns, rum, cloth, or invaders from Europe.

The British are so thoroughly thrashed that, despite their retention of the two forts, they capitulate to the federated warriors, they promise to stay out of the lands west of the mountains.

The resisters disband. Their cultures do not encompass the possibility that solemn promises can be simple lies; if someone told them of the prevarications that stand out as the great moments of His-story, they wouldn’t believe it.

Some of the British, the Fur Interests, actually pretend to live up to their promise with the so-called Quebec Act prohibiting incursions over the mountains.

But the coastal British, most of whom are involved with the Land Interests, call the Quebec Act intolerable, declare themselves independent, and march over the mountains with guns and cannons.

The landgrabbers, henceforth known as the Americans, announce themselves to the world as Revolutionaries, as Democrats, as everything under the sun except greedy invaders and unscrupulous scalpers.

But to the Potawatomi and their Great Lakes cousins, honest George Washington and his fellow speculators in expropriated lands are nothing but greedy invaders and unscrupulous scalpers. The never-defeated peoples of the lakes and inland valleys reconstitute their federation and greet the Democratic Americans as they are greeted the Royalist British.

St. Clair and Harmar are not merely the names of two of Washington’s generals. They are names that stand out in American annals the same way Braddock does in British, names of outstanding military reversals, of undisguisable defeat.

In the face of such a foe, the resisters say Yea to life and No to Leviathan by disbanding rather than becoming comparable killing machines. Wayne’s famous victory at an invaded field of allen trees is achieved against the few remaining warriors who do not disperse because they have no homes to which to return.

The Americans eventually devise a strategy worthy of their enterprising spirit, a strategy of confidence. Cudgel in one hand and treaty in the other, they promise to advance no further, and whenever they get a few warriors to believe their promise, they advance.

The most notorious practitioner of this unspeakably hypocritical “gamesmanship” is a wily opportunist called Lewis Cass. This Cass is himself one of the land agents who sell parcels of invaded lands to settlers.

Title in hand, the pioneering settlers realize their dream of dominion by denuding the land of all its tress and animals. Lush woodlands teeming with life are transformed into the desolate fields known as cash-crop farms. The inhabitants of the woodlands are deprived of refuge as well as food. And now the notorious Cass, raised to the post of President Jackson’s Secretary of War, unleashes the American army against the remaining original inhabitants.

At this point, namely when the very environment is rendered uninhabitable to free human beings, when the undefeated resisters are literally undermined, the Americans no longer bother to cover up their genocide. The American program is straightforwardly named an “Indian Removal Bill,” explicitly and proudly genocidal.

Entire populations, including the Potawatomi, are uprooted from their ancestral homes as if they were weeds. Mass deportations that diminish the atrocities of ancient Assyrians are perpetrated by a club of Enlightened confidence men.

And the deportations themselves are yet another way of killing the foe without having to confront him in battle. The deportees, whose wellbeing along the route is entrusted to the emotionally obtuse and predictably corrupt American Army, die on route of starvation and disease because the enterprising military con men profitably sell the food and supplies intended for their charges to pioneering settlers along the routes to the concentration camps.

Settlers with titles rush to devastate the evacuated areas and to raise, on former councilgrounds, schoolhouses where the settlers’ children are taught to recite “Why I’m proud to be an American.”

The murderous invaders now come face to face with the continent’s last free human beings, with those who found refuge from the Leviathan on the endless Plains. Vast military campaigns supplemented by every trick in the American book fail to defeat the resisters. Lying promises are by now of no avail; the people of the plains know Americans are consummate liars.

Another atrocity that boggles the imagination is perpetrated by the agents of Reason and Progress. The world’s population of Bison buffalo is exterminated with a malice byond human comprehension in order to deprive the Plains people of their food and shelter. As destroyers of the very conditions of life, the Americans have no predecessors. An apex of mindless irrationality, this atrocity does not even have a name; no known beasts are capable of it. It is the deed of a mindless and lifeless synthetic.

Yet even after they are deprived of the sources of food and shelter, the emaciated Plains people go on resisting, and they still resist after they are deported to concentration camps.

The last resisters throw themselves into a dance, a Ghost Dance. The shared music, the rhythmic motions revive the emaciated resisters, raise them out of the concentration camp, transport them out of Leviathanic Time, beyond His-story. The dancing Plains people borrow from the Shakers and other Europeans who still retain elements of the European heritage of withdrawal. They dream of a Spirit who will guide them out of the monster’s entrails, a Spirit who will sweep away the invaders and revive the buffalo herds. Never before trapped inside the entrails of a Leviathan, this continent’s free people have no withdrawal heritage of their own; they’ve never before needed to withdraw; they were free outsiders. Disarmed, jailed and starved, they recapitulate the main themes of the anti-Roman crisis cult, the very cult which is still invoked by the American jailers to justify the genocide.

* * *

The last communities do a ghost dance, and the ghosts of the last communities will continue to dance within the entrails of the artificial beast. The council-fires of the never-defeated communities are not extinguished by the genocidal invaders, just as the light of Ahura Mazda was not extinguished by rulers who claimed it shone on them. The fire is eclipsed by something dark, but it continues to burn, and its flames shoot out where they are least expected.

Just as Ahura Mazda’s flame was carried to Albi in southern France by Bogomils and their western successors, the flames kept alive by this continent’s communities are carried to the darkest corners of Europe and America.

A Montaigne experiences a revelation when he sees that the people Europeans call Savages possess realms Europeans have lost. A Rousseau experiences a vision when he pushes obfuscating facts aside and sees that the process called Civilization has not been the boon his Enlightened contemporaries claim it to be but rather the bane that explains the Europeans’ loss. Blake, Melville and Thoreau sing these revelations to their school-stunted contemporaries, and despite an increasingly total schooling apparatus and an ever more ubiquitous press, the grandchildren of irredeemably Leviathanized zeks begin to stir with rhythms that come from outside their synthetic environment.

The fire that was to burn down the last beast of the Apocalypse, a fire kept alive by Free Spirits, Adamites, Ranters and rebelling zeks and serfs, is forgotten but not extinguished. Its flames are relit with kindling that comes from council fires of Cheyenne, Dakota, Potawatomi communities.

But the Leviathanic inversion of this fire by the next Church is already announced.

No less a personage than the Enlightened scientific economist Marx lodges Morgan’s version of an Iroquois community in the basement of his revolutionary edifice. The sharing ways of the Iroquois, dubbed Primitive Communism, linger in the basement of this edifice while laboring humanity passes upward, through slavery, serfdom and wage labor, to Fully Developed Communism.

The four beasts of Daniel as well as the three ages of Joachim di Fiore are processed for their upward passage by Humanity’s Productive Forces. Each stage is a Mode of Production. The context is a labor camp, and the revolutionary subjects are His-story’s objects, namely zeks, called Proletarians.

The Eschaton of this Apocalypse is still a labor camp animated by concentrated zeks, but it can be distinguished from all previous camps by the portentous fact that the Archons of the post-revolutionary polity are all members of the Paradisial Party. The eschatological police bully, incarcerate and kill by the grace of Ahura Mazda, just like ancient Cyrus. The repressors wear the free and sharing ways of the Iroquois as badges and armbands.

A farcical replay of the Roman Church’s expropriation and inversion of the anti-Roman crisis cult, the Revolutionary Church nevertheless succeeds in channeling numerous potential rebels into neo-Franciscan Orders, Leviathanic dead ends which, like the earlier Orders, become the vanguard of the repression. It becomes the main project of the stunted rebels to succeed where Businessmen failed, to destroy what human communities still remain, to eradicate the last traces of what Marx called Primitive Communism, so as to send all humanity scurrying up the escalator, past His-story’s concentration camps, the one ruled by the General Secretary of the Paradisial Party, a ruler who calls himself The Proletariat.

Revolutionary archons compete with Enlightenment archons in rending the Biosphere, turning the world into a place where free human beings can neither stand nor lie nor sit.

The last relics of the world’s communities are safely lodged in trophy cases which, their guards insist, contain all there is to know about communities.

The beast now turns on the zeks in its entrails, for they too, however stunted they may be, still posses what Quakers call an “inner light,” and any such light is anathema to Leviathan, whose element is the dark, the synthetic. Having eliminated the communities of outsiders, the Technological Wonder proceeds to generate outsiders inside its own entrails, to expunge human zeks and replace them with machines, with things made of its own substance.

This bizarre last act surprises only those who still take Leviathan at its word and think it rational. Its rationality is as artificial as its love of nature and its devotion to humanity. The beast that so cruelly and bloodily swallowed humanity so as to turn people into appendages of tools now shoves the appendages aside and generates pockets of human beings superfluous to its further progress.

The new outsiders are not radicals. They are people who happened to animate springs and gears which can now be automated, namely artificialized. The outsider may be scions od the most royalist zeks or managers, like the French Canadians who actually found kinship and community although they, unlike many of their contemporaries, didn’t know they wanted these gifts.

The displaced zeks languish, and it is not yet known if the Quakers are right, if the new outsiders do indeed still have an “inner light,” namely an ability to reconstitute lost rhythms, to recover music, to regenerate human cultures.

It is also not known if the technological detritus that crowds and poisons the world leaves human beings any room to dance.

What is known is that Leviathan, the great artifice, single and world-embracing for the first time in His-story, is decomposing.

From the day when battery-run voices began broadcasting old speeches to battery-run listeners, the beast has been talking to itself. Having swallowed everyone and everything outside itself, the beast becomes its own sole frame of reference. It entertains itself, exploits itself and wars on itself. It has reached the end of its Progress, for there is nothing left for it to progress against except itself. Being above all else a war engine, the beast is most likely to perish once and for all in a cataclysmic suicidal war, in which cas Ahriman would permanently extinguish the light of Ahura Mazda.

People waste their lives when they plead with Ahriman to desist from extinguishing the light, for such a deed would be Ahriman’s final triumph over Ahura Mazda, and the pleaders might learn too late that they are the ones who put the idea into the monster’s head.

Leviathan is turning into Narcissus, admiring its own synthetic image in its own synthetic pond, enraptured by its spectacle of itself.

It is a good time for people to let go of its sanity, its masks and armors, and go mad, for they are already being ejected from its pretty polis.

In ancient Anatolia people danced on the earth-covered ruins of the Hittite Leviathan and built their lodges with stones which contained the records of the vanished empire’s great deeds.

The cycle has come round again. America is where Anatolia was. It is a place where human beings, just to stay alive, have to jump, to dance, and by dancing revive the rhythms, recover cyclical time. An-archic and pantheistic dancers no longer sense the artifice and its His-story as All but as merely one cycle, one long night, a stormy night that left Earth wounded, but a night that ends, as all nights end, when the sun rises.

Detroit, March 1983