Thursday, November 1, 2012

Chapter 9
Money Makes Community?
© Eso A.B.

After the lessons of the Bacchanal (the name comes from the name of the Roman God of wine, thus perhaps meaning events at a debauch) were absorbed, the city was let survive without the intercession of laws. The tragedy of King Pentheus’ mother Evanka (Agave), who had cut off the head of her of son, became known far and wide. Fiery upturned trees, symbolizing a community uprooted by a city, the crevices between roots filled with pitch or resin, sometimes holding the head of a he-goat (trag in greek=he-goat),  rose in the sky as flaming torches at, both, summer and winter solstices.

The ritualistic ‘Bacchanal’ that was celebrated at the foot of the tree or pole that held the roots came to be called a tragedy or “Theatre of ‘sacrificial violence’” Girard . Many hundred years of peace followed. Playwright Euripides most likely wrote the tragedy as a reminder what happens when the effects of reality wear off and violence begins to reemerge.

Dionysus, who had escaped the riot police of Thebes, became a theatre director and came to visit Thebes every year at Midsummer. The ritual-play reminded everyone of the bloody event that had cost the citizens of Thebes their sanity and King Pentheus his head and why it had happened. Cities all over the world learned from the event.

This is not to say that a ‘sacrificial event’ is everywhere the same. As we may remember (see Ch. 1), Jesus the Bogomil died in Constantinople as a result of being pushed into a roaring pit of fire. In Latvia, one of its kings was captured by an enemy and killed by the heat of a red hot iron crown that was put on his head. This is why the Latvians still light a ‘live’ fire and raise it into the air on Missummer’s Eve Festival of Dionysus-Yahnyi.

Alas, the Latvians no longer remember that the wood baskets that they raise were once the roots of an upturned tree. Nevertheless, we may guess that the reason goes back to Euripides’  “The Bacchae”, and the daring and—at the horrific—ritual invented by the King’s mother to detract everyone’s attention from her own bloody act. Indeed, her act, the invention of the ritual in which she places her son’s head among the roots of the tree, then raises the resin coated roots and stem, burning, into the sky as if it were the sun, may be viewed as the first act of theatre and tragedy.

While today the tradition of Midsummer’s Eve and Dionysian Festival—along with self-sacrifice as a communal custom—is long dead and gone, and organizers of Midsummer events have substituted the long ago community religious ritual with conventional entertainment by pop music and (at Stonhenge) with pseudo Celtic priests doing nothing, a writer’s imagination may, nevertheless, evoke the event with its religious meaning intact. Thus, the following is for the reader’s imagination, his-her own theatre in the head:

Imagine that the public brings to the Stonehenge a tree uprooted by a storm and with its roots still intact. The roots are then covered with tar, the tar is put to fire, and the tree is raised (upside down and with appropriate pulleys) in the air. After the roots have burnt and the fire has exhausted itself, the trunk of the tree is lowered; the burnt end of the stump is severed from the trunk and carried to a place of honor, where it stands until the arrival of the winter solstice.

Sadly, no one in Europe remembers today remembers that to keep the community strong, the head of the community once had to sacrifice his-her head to prove his-her right to have been its leader.

Today the pseudo heads of European governments receive upon retirement a political promotion to a backbench EU office in Brussels, or a chair on the advisory committee of a private company, or take a comfortable retirement check.*

Brussels, the capital city imposed on the European Union by European political elites, today suffers from a greater plague than Thebes ever did yesteryear. Brussels, built over the bodies of more than ten million Africans and over thousands of severed hands and legs of African children , all dead or crippled at the behest of King Leopold II of Belgium, is a city built with Money earned with more blood and pain than any other city in Europe. The urban monster—remade in the image of a seemingly kindly uncle from the EU and former premier of Belgium Herman van Rompuy—now proposes to compress European nations into a federated ‘black hole’ at Brussels, which is to play the role of a gravitational ‘attractant’ for the future of Europe. The key and lead word here is “global governance”. --without ever asking the people of Europe what they think of it.

Nevertheless, in spite of the king’s head as an object of sacrifice, nothing ‘refreshes’ for the public its sense of awe so much as someone taking self-sacrifice for the sake of the community seriously . For all the masterful staging of the ‘reality’ of the EU, it remains (now that the Money for the rigging is gone and unlikely to return) an unconvincing spectacle

Without necessarily agreeing with England’s PM Cameron on all his arguments (at above link), I agree on his basic principle, i.e. no lesser sovereignty any European country than England, no lesser choice to determine its national life and culture, an in and out choice with regard to the union, and so on.

Unfortunately, self-sacrifice has been removed as an agent of good government ever since the Superego of God has been replaced by the Superego of Money. This phenomenon (of Money determining the kind of government rules over a people) has only recently begun to return the swing of the scales toward a balance, which, hopefully, will bring our planet out of  the danger zone.

Our planet lies in tatters as the living land is turned into a desert; as arguments for increased energy supplies dismiss the tattered nature of the planet as irrelevant to its survival; as city life continues to be praised even as the city increasingly resembles the environment of a desert; and as the trillions in dollars that have been borrowed against the future are already causing innumerable deaths among adults and children of the population at large; and as the community of humans has been shattered by the Superego of Money for well over a century already.

In a matter of only a few centuries (predominantly the 19th & 20th) attachments that held human beings together as a community were politically invalidated and eliminated as effectively as the European Union has been hoisted on the people of Europe. With the arrival of the 21st century so-called ‘atheism’ , propelled by the inertia of Money (in spite of it becoming soon valueless) is advertising itself as irresponsibly as advertising that sells ‘sterile optimism’ in futuristic consumer items.

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