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The open steppe of the sea

Essay
bronze age pervert

The Open Steppe of the Sea

For man in America or Europe, not to speak of Azia, who lives in thickly-settled coasts there is almost no daily escape from the stench and filth of other so-called huemans—where to go to find solitude and quiet? This filthy race lives in cities literally built on piles of garbage and excrement and intrudes everywhere not only with its smells and often—most of world including its new leadership being of peasant stock—bumps into you physically and thinks nothing of it, but also in the persistent noise. You can’t escape the car and bike noise, the slamming of doors, random hammering, construction sites; parties and loud bars are some of few things that don’t bother me because is temporary and at least I can think these people are enjoying themselves…but small “get-togethers” where middle aged Latina woman speaks in loud rasping voice for many hours with unquenching energy, this needs to be forbidden. Schopenhauer has small essay on noise where he explains the hell that modern city even of his time gave to man of thought, for whom any sudden loud noise is an interruption in focus of mind: he singled out the crack of the whip of driver of horses and the slamming of doors, and these same two problems, now made much worse by transportation with engines and by neverending mechanized construction and reforms, are still the worst obstacles to a normal life in city.

I say story before how I met once a Mongol on train, one of his big complaints about life in America was the food: not enough meat! He told me “vegetables are something I’m still trying to get used to.” Yakuts and others from north tundra say the same: vegetables, not to speak of bread, taste to them like wood. What is this spirit that we have to worship bread and the grain? I can never accept that, and everything that goes with it, the way of life, the beliefs that developed around this…and the type of mind that was ultimately bred by the grain.

Anyway my Mongol friend said he could take occasional refuge in Korean restaurants: “at least they have…meat.” This was student on exchange program; America tries to influence and educate scions of important families, and in Mongolia there is special interest because of its location between Russia and Chyna. There is apparently tradition they have by now of playing Russia and Chyna off against each other, to keep their independence; so there is this interest. Then also there are gigantic mines: Rio Tinto owns majority stake in Oyu Tolgoi, one of largest copper mines in the world and biggest project in Mongolia (known) history. So America thinks it will educate or train the youth of some nations to the superiority of its political system like it used to during Cold War, but forgets that Soviet Union no longer threatening peoples like before, so they are less willing to deal with American quirks. But also forgets that end of that conflict let loose all of its own worst habits, which now all the world can see; and much bad was in the open even some years ago when I met this student, with the rentboy Luo robot as president and the Woke stirrings and apeoid hissyfit chimpouts of his second term already in full acceleration.

Is not just that man who thinks he has overcome danger lets himself go, but specifically that in having to oppose international communism, America was forced to keep somewhat its own genetic leftoid tendencies in check. But these were let loose once this theater of having to oppose the Soviets ended; and what was left was this mess of a gynocracy, of an elite or an occupational class who doesn’t know who it is, who almost doesn’t want to be;  who wants to elevate the slave and the stagnant as the highest type and ultimately to deny that anything can exist outside of this. The entertainments and ideals of this class, what is most visible—their outward “sell” pitch—doesn’t command respect of foreigners, no matter how much pious dolts on left and right bray about America’s supposed high ideals. This student had contempt for what he was told because he saw firsthand the only America that was actually celebrated was the America of depravity, of obesity and stagnation; whatever was good among Americans was disdained and suppressed, but the absurd and vile, whether a negrified commercial culture or deranged men putting on women’s clothing, this was celebrated. Who wants that in their own country? These efforts to educate the sons of foreign leaders to “liberal values” are now having almost always the opposite effect, especially when they get to see America’s day to day life. Instead he heartily agreed with me when I tell him to seek with his friends to overthrow the corrupt democracy in Mongolia and replace it with their own guardianship.

In this friendly talk, this very cheerful Mongol tell me something I haven’t forgotten, how constrained he felt by having to live only in cities and on set roads, and how in Mongolia you can just take a car and drive out on the open steppe. It’s a kind of feeling of freedom that once you have, you can’t forget and can’t replace. Imagine also the North American savages: not the ones shaped for serfdom in the overpopulated agrarian empires of Central America, but men hunting big game on open steppe of the Midwest. That experience of the majesty of open spaces and the freedom of movement, the quiet, the exploration and conquest—these last two words are in Portuguese the same—can never be replaced; and you can imagine how such a people will experience settled so-called civilization as only the greatest confinement and drudgery. They could therefore absolutely not tolerate slavery, which is often unfortunately rightly confused with civilization.

For a modern American man or Western man an equivalent experience is in hiking, mountaineering; but if you live in city any readily available hiking trails, you will encounter harridan often on these attempts to find solitude. And so quiet and nature is maybe above all available only in sailing and the sea. I’ve long thought that the maritime beginnings of the Anglos and Americans—its great poets and prophets are Melville, Conrad, Mahan, and similar thinkers of the sea—as also in fact of almost all Indo-European peoples in remote antiquity…I’ve often speculated that these maritime roots are not only spiritually analogous to the life of the steppe, but ultimately that both have the same origins. And that the ranging, exploratory, conquering mindset of the West, which it shares with many of the peoples of the steppe almost uniquely, was simply transferred from there, from the Great Earth Sea, to the great Ocean, but that the way of life of the two, and also the ultimate aspirations and thoughts, are the same.

According to Herodotus, the Phocaeans were the first Greeks to make long sea voyages: he claims they abandoned an older round merchant type ship for what is called the pentekonter, the fifty-oared sailing vessel. This is a precursor to the trireme, and both these ships were capable of achieving very high speeds, maybe not matched until the age of steamboats and engine boats. The pentekonter is the ship of the archaic Greeks, of the age around 800-600 BC when much of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and even beyond, was colonized. The Phocaeans were especially adventurous: from two harbors around the city in middle of Anatolian coast, they ventured out in great spirit and seeded colonies as far as Spain and were the founders of Massalia, the precursor of Marseille, plus quite a few others in Corsica, Sardinia, southern Italy. In Spain they made contact with the mysterious Tartessians whose king, a descendant of Atlantis, invited them to settle and join his city; and when they refused, he nevertheless liked them so much he send them moneys to build strong walls around Phocaea at home.

One episode from Herodotus that always stayed with me was when Phocaea was facing Persian domination, they decided simply to leave their city rather than submit. Packing their ships they took off with their women and children and left the city to the Persians, but empty. Their odyssey around the Mediterranean to find a new home is its own exciting story—could be miniseries better than made-up Netflix fantasy!—but after many adventures and wars including an attempt in Corsica, they founded the city of Elea in southern Italy, you can still visit ruins. It was to be a great city and birthplace of genius: Parmenides and Zeno were both from Elea, and city gave its name to philosophical brotherhood, the Eleatics. For sure in modern times you also find immigrants who leave motherland to escape oppression, but a whole nation packing up and resettling abroad is very rare. Maybe you can make a case for the Americans: it is possible the best Saxons left the English isles to escape Norman domination. But who knows. Such things are very rare: it shows so much however about the Greek understanding of what the city was…not the buildings, the location, the territory, but the men who held it together, their desire to live in power and liberty and in their own distinct way of life and by their own laws. And it reminds me of another telling anecdote from Herodotus.

When Darius attempted to conquer the Scythians who had been harassing his domains, and crossed over into Europe and ranged north of the Danube around 513 BC in great effort to subdue the people of steppe, his efforts came to nothing. He was never even able to close with them. What Herodotus says about them is so striking I should quote it here:

 

“The Scythians were more clever than any other people in making the most important discovery we know of concerning human affairs, though I do not admire them in other respects. They have discovered how to prevent any attacker from escaping them and how to make it impossible for anyone to overtake them against their will. For instead of establishing towns or walls, they are all mounted archers who carry their homes along with them and derive their sustenance not from cultivated fields but from their herds. Since they make their homes on carts,. how could they not be invincible or impossible even to engage in battle? They were helped in making this discovery by their land and their rivers, which foster and support this way of life. For their land is flat, grassy, and well watered, and the rivers running through it are not much fewer in number than the canals of Egypt.”

 

How not possible to remember the Phocaeans in reading this? Who also left their home for the flatlands of the open sea—and by the way returned to Phocaea to kill off the Persian garrison before setting on their searches for a new harbor. But they weren’t the only ones; other Ionian city, Teos, did the same and settled in Thrace founding city Abdera. This turn of spirit ran very deep in Greek life and most striking is when Athens herself took as a city entirely to the sea to fight the Persians in an image very much “Scythian” in feel. War with Persia approaching, Athens asked the god at Delphi what do—and the Pythoness answer to take trust in the “wooden wall.” Some thought this referred to old wall around the acropolis, citadel on the hill and take refuge there; but most decided it must mean themselves, that they—their ships—were to be the wooden wall that is salvation of the city. Themistocles persuaded them this was so and also to spend great moneys from recent silver mine to build many more ships. Through this one man saved the city: entire city became seaborne in wooden wall of the fleet, like Scythian nation lived in wooden fleet of carts on the move on the plains. In such way both defended themselves from and ultimately conquered the Persians: as Persia was at different times sacked from both sides, from west by Greeks, from east by steppe Massagetae and later by Parthians. In remote antiquity the Persians themselves had come from the steppe, but settled life will make you weak.

This readiness to turn to the sea and leave for new lands and conquests must have been very old in the Greek spirit: the Ionians and Aeolians themselves had in remote history left the Greek mainland to escape domination by the Dorians, or so it is claimed. I say claimed because the real reason for Greek presence on the Black Sea for example is possibly much older. Of all the Indo-European peoples, the Greeks are the ones whose earliest origins we know of most clearly, in written myths, in the stories of other peoples, and in an archaeological record that can be cross-checked more easily than in other cases. And it is likely an origin as seaborne adventurers, as literal conquistadores. The story of Jason and the Argonauts, of the great sea voyage not to but from the Caucasus—it was later only inverted—is the founding tale of the Greek nation. The worship of Mount Olympus in Thessaly, and the origin of so many Greek mythological heroes in Thessaly—Thessaly as the land of gods and heroes—corresponds again to the earliest beehive tombs in that fertile land, and the likely landing spot of the Aryan seaborne armada, originating in the Caucasus, that would in time become the Hellenes. They arrived in other words by sea and not by land, following stories of a pacific and fertile land of docile workers, ready for the taking. A wonderful book on such things is Robert Drews’ The Coming of the Greeks, which he has since updated with the likely story of the colonization also of temperate Europe.

But it is without doubt that the origins of the Greeks are literally of a steppe adventurer people that took without interruption to the other steppe of the sea and in fact never left it. Even Hellenic assertion in new homeland could only take place after the destruction of a pre-existing thalassocracy, that of the Minoans, and the struggles between the two peoples—ultimately they would merge—but the struggles left behind the dreamlike and unforgettable tale of Theseus and the Minotaur, Theseus’ rescue of Ariadne, his abandonment of the princess, and her exaltation on the island of Naxos by Dionysos. This primal myth which is the source of the most important and mysterious strain in Western imagination…I can only leave it be for now. But Dionysos the god of wine and quite a few other things—is also very much a god of the sea. If you do not believe this, read Homeric Hymn to Dionysos: a short vignette of the sea, where, captured by pirates who don’t know his divine powers, he is tied to the mast of ship. But he makes wine flow through the ship, and the mast sprouts vines and flowers! They are amazed. And he turn into a lion and the pirates into dolphins. And this is repeated in the myth of Arion, the inventor of the dithyramb Dionysiac poem style, who is also captured by pirates; they throw him in the sea but he is saved by a dolphin. The earliest recorded imagination of Aryan man is one of the deepest friendship with the beings of the sea: maybe not even need ships! Atlantis Directorate forces rode dolphin.

There is speculation that after a sojourn in Mesopotamia, this same people arrived in the Indus Valley—also by ship. But there is no speculation, only certainty, that the earliest history of for example the Germanic and Norse peoples is also that of seafaring nations. The early settlement of the English Isles, long before the global adventures of the Vikings, shows this is so, and was in fact only part of a larger pattern of people-wanderings that happened at least in half through watery ways. When the Scandinavian Vandals joined forces with the steppe Alans to first sack Rome, then take Spain, and finally and very quickly set up a seaborne pirate kingdom where Carthage used to be in North Africa, this seamless and natural transition is only a repetition of what I’ve talked above so far, that the steppe and the ocean are for certain peoples a “continuous biome.” The south and the sea, adventure, conquest and the tropics, called to the Vandals as it had repeatedly to other Aryan peoples of the north and the steppe, and as it would continue to.

Even when knowledge of the sea and sailing is lost, it is quickly regained by such peoples, whereas others—living on places with long coastline, even on islands—never think so much as to float a log or build a canoe. The Portuguese, when they first put their sights on nearby North Africa, they made moronic mistakes, had no knowledge of navigation. They quickly relearned it and through superhuman efforts of Henry the Navigator, in a few decades refounded this science once again and launched the age of exploration and colonization, the worldwide expansion of Europe. Portugal was not before this a sea power; it had only recently gained independence from Arab rule. It could have easily remained a stay-at-home “ethnostate.” But being a stay-at-home has never been in the Gothic blood. You look at how immediately they embarked on the most wide-ranging plans and searches away from home…you see…this is a matter in the blood. You look how a tiny country with as yet no seafaring tradition decide to send men like Pedro de Covilha and Afonso de Paiva, both very young, to explore as far as Ethiopia and India, places they in fact reached, as preparation and knowledge-gathering for great conquests: and you see the amazing adventures of these two men to undertake such travels in those times of danger; they embarked on these separate ventures alone—when they knew they could never return home—you see once again the Gothic lust for wandering and adventure and conquest reasserted. What is in the blood can never be forgotten.

Other peoples, the Chynese, when they briefly turned to the sea—they very quickly shuddered at what they found. They turned away from it very fast, the emperor shut it down. It frightened them or at least it frightened their rulers and mothers and senilocracy: because on the sea, as on the steppe, it is in one form or another the mannerbund, or the brotherhood of young warriors that determines the success of the venture. And for some peoples, for most peoples in fact, it is unacceptable, it is death, to allow such brotherhoods to form. But for others it’s impossible to prohibit this because the lust for conquest, adventure and broad horizons is too great. It remains to be seen if enough seed of Hyperborea remains in the world.

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