He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls. — Proverbs 25:28
Hulme’s personality was a curious mixture of intellectual brilliance, aggressiveness, and sheer buffoonery. At school, when he was required to apologize to a mathematics master whom he had tormented to tears, he composed the apology in the form of an illuminated manuscript, and sang it to the astonished man. Yet he was a brilliant student, and particularly in mathematics; he won two scholarships at his school, and when he was awarded an exhibition at Cambridge, his headmaster wrote: ‘I feel they have not offered him as much as he deserves.’ But at Cambridge he took only a third in his first May examinations, and when he was sent down during his second year, for knocking down a policeman, his academic status was apparently almost as low as his disciplinary one.
In London he was equally clownish and bullying. He once held Wyndham Lewis upside down on the railings of Soho Square, and on another occasion, when Henry Simpson, Hulme’s principal opponent in the Poets’ Club, appeared at one of the Frith Street gatherings, Hulme threatened to knock him down the stairs (which were four flights long). He carried a knuckle-duster with him always, and a lady of whom he was fond recalls that when her conversation became too self-centered he would thump her on the arm with it and exclaim, ‘Forget you’re a personality!’
This last remark is significant, for Hulme’s aggressiveness was intimately connected with his theories; he seemed to desire so strenuously that people should see things as he saw them that he would assert his ideas by sheer force if necessary. With Hulme, as with many powerful men, the separation of idea and action was not natural or easy. — From Sam Hynes’ introduction to Further Speculations by T. E. Hulme
In recent times it has been fashionable to talk of the levelling of nations, of the disappearance of different races in the melting-pot of contemporary civilization. I do not agree with this opinion, but its discussion remains another question. Here it is merely fitting to say that the disappearance of nations would have impoverished us no less than if all men had become alike, with one personality and one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its collective personalities; the very least of them wears its own special colours and bears within itself a special facet of divine intention. — Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, Nobel Lecture in Literature 1970
The loss of personal values and of an individual particularity is certainly a major evil of our times. Arbitrary government that creates and is created by herd-mentality; mass-production that so blindly produces as deliberately to destroy part of its own product; the vast automatism of contemporary life whose diversions are as mechanical as its labour; the authority of abstractions like the State, are all hostile in grain to the spirit of place and to the sensitive human vision which discloses and interprets it. — H. J. Massingham, The English Country
The dedication of the patriots who refuse to compromise will remain as long as they have life. It is for them a duty to carry the torch of a glorious past through an inglorious present and hand it over to what, if they can make it so, will make it a glorious future. We who know the strength and insidiousness of diabolical influences standing athwart their path can at least, in all humility, salute them and offer them all the support in our power. The Captains and the Kings have departed, the aristocracy has turned craven, the squirearchy has gone bad, but the true Loyalists of every land still advance into the battle with hearts unafraid and with intrepid souls. — A. K. Chesterton, The New Unhappy Lords
Knud Erik Larsen (1865-1922)
Men who are physically strong are more likely to have right wing political views -
Men who are strong are more likely to take a right-wing stance, while weaker men support the welfare state, researchers claim.
Their study discovered a link between a man’s upper-body strength and their political views. Scientists from Aarhus University in Denmark collected data on bicep size, socio-economic status and support for economic redistribution from hundreds in America, Argentina and Denmark.
1819 Caricature by English caricaturist George Cruikshank. Titled “The Radical’s Arms”, it depicts the infamous guillotine. “No God! No Religion! No King! No Constitution!” is written in the republican banner.
Preserve a quiet conscience and you will always have joy. A quiet conscience can endure much, and remains joyful in all trouble, but an evil conscience is always fearful and uneasy. — Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
Typically, Banfield explains, poverty is merely a transitory phase, restricted to the early stage in a person’s working career. ‘Permanent’ poverty, by contrast, is caused by specific cultural values and attitudes: a person’s present-orientedness or, in economic terms, its high degree of time preference (which is highly correlated with low intelligence, and both of which appear to have a common genetic basis). Whereas the former-temporarily-poor-yet-upward-moving-individual is characterized by future-orientation, self-discipline, and a willingness to forego present gratification in exchange for a better future, the latter-permanently poor-individual is characterized by present-orientation and hedonism. Writes Banfield:
If [the latter] has any awareness of the future, it is of something fixed, fated, beyond his control: things happen to him, he does not make them happen. Impulse governs his behavior, either because he cannot discipline himself to sacrifice a present for a future satisfaction or because he has no sense of the future. He is therefore radically improvident …. He works only as he must to stay alive, and drifts from one unskilled job to another, taking no interest in his work …. He is careless with his things … and, even when nearly new, they are likely to be permanently out of order for lack of minor repairs. His body, too, is a thing ‘to be worked out but not repaired.’
While high time preference is by no means equivalent with crime — it also may find expression in such perfectly legal forms as personal recklessness, insensitivity, rudeness, unreliability, or untrustworthiness — a systematic relationship between them still exists, for in order to earn a market income a certain minimum of planning, patience, and sacrifice is required: one must first work for a while before one gets paid. In contrast, specific criminal activities such as murder, assault, rape, robbery, theft, and burglary require no such discipline: the reward for the aggressor is tangible and immediate, but the sacrifice — possible punishment — lies in the future and is uncertain. Accordingly, if the degree of social time preference is increased, it can be expected that the frequency of aggressive activities will rise. As Banfield explains:
The threat of punishment at the hands of the law is unlikely to deter the present-oriented person. The gains that he expects from the illegal act are very near to the present, whereas the punishment that he would suffer — in the unlikely event of his being both caught and punished — lies in a future too distant for him to take into account. For the normal person there are of course risks other than the legal penalty that are strong deterrents: disgrace, loss of job, hardship for wife and children if one is sent to prison, and so on. The present-oriented person does not run such risks. In his circle it is taken for granted that one gets ‘in trouble’ with the police now and then; he need not fear losing his job since he works intermittently or not at all, and as for his wife and children, he contributes little or nothing to their support and they may well be better off without him. — Hans-Hermann Hoppe, Democracy - the God That Failed
The first decades of the Inquisition’s operations were not as fully documented as they were after 1540, but historians now agree that these were its bloodiest days and that perhaps as many as fifteen hundred people may have been executed, or about thirty a year. Turning to the fully recorded period, of the 44,701 cases tried, only 826 people were executed, which amounts to 1.8 percent of those brought to trial. Together, this adds up to a total of about 2,300 deaths spread over more than two centuries, a total that is a far cry from the ‘conservative’ estimates that more than thirty thousand were burned by the Inquisition.
In fact, fewer people were executed by order of the Spanish Inquisition over more than two centuries than the three thousand French Calvinists who were killed in Paris alone during the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. Or compare this with the thousands of English Lutherans, Lollards, and Catholics (in addition to two of his wives) that Henry VIII is credited with having boiled, burned, beheaded, or hanged. The fact is that during the entire period 1480 through 1700, only about ten deaths per year were meted out by the Inquisition all across Spain — and usually to repeat offenders! By modern Western standards, of course, even ten executions a year for various acts of religious nonconformity seem a dreadful excess. But during the time in question there was no religious toleration anywhere in Europe and capital punishment was the norm for all offenses, religious or otherwise. In context, then, the Spanish Inquisition was remarkably restrained. — Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity : How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion
One reason Roman men so often married very young girls was their concern to be sure of getting a virgin. But an even more important reason was a shortage of women. A society cannot routinely dispose of a substantial number of female newborns and not end up with a very skewed sex ratio, especially when one adds in the high mortality rate associated with childbirth in all ancient societies. Thus, writing in the second century, the historian Dio Cassius noted the extreme shortage of Roman women. In a remarkable essay, Gillian Clark pointed out that among the Romans, unmarried women were so rare that ‘we simply do not hear of spinsters…. There is not even a normal word for spinster.’
As further evidence of the acute shortage of women, it was common for them to marry again and again, not only following the death of a husband, but also after their husbands had divorced them. In fact, state policy penalized women under fifty who did not remarry, so ‘second and third marriages became common,’ especially since most women married men far older than themselves. Tullia, Cicero’s daughter ‘was not untypical… married at 16… widowed at 22, remarried at 23, divorced at 28; married again at 29, divorced at 33 — and dead, soon after childbirth, at 34.’ Another woman was said to have married eight times within five years. Apparently, there always was a considerable surplus of marriageable men.
The best estimate is that there were 131 males per 100 females in Rome, rising to 140 males per 100 females in the rest of Italy, Asia Minor, and North Africa. In contrast, the growing Christian communities did not have their sex ratios distorted by female infanticide, on top of which they enjoyed an excess of women to men based on the gender difference in conversion.
This would have resulted in very substantial differences in overall fertility between pagans and Christians even had the average woman in each group had the same number of children. If women made up 43 percent of the pagan population of Rome (assuming a ratio of 131 males to 100 females), and if each bore four children, that would be 172 infants per 100 pagans, making no allowance for exposure or infant mortality. But if women made up, say, 55 percent of the Christian population (which may well be low), that would be 220 infants per 100 Christians — a difference of 48 infants. Such differences would have resulted in substantial annual increases in the proportion of the population who were Christians, even if everything else were equal.
But there are compelling reasons to accept the testimony of ancient historians, philosophers, senators, and emperors that everything else was not equal, that the average fertility of pagan women was so low as to have resulted in a declining population, thus necessitating the admission of ‘barbarians’ as settlers of empty estates in the empire and especially to fill the army. The primary reason for low Roman fertility was that men did not want the burden of families and acted accordingly: many avoided fertility by having sex with prostitutes rather than with their wives, or by engang in anal intercourse. Many had their wives employ various means of contraception which were far more effective than had been thought until recently; and they had many infants exposed.
Pagan husbands also often forced their wives to have abortions—which also added to female mortality and often resulted in subsequent infertility. Consider the instructions the famous Roman medical writer Aulas Cornelius Celsus offered to surgeons in the first century. Having warned that an abortion ‘requires extreme caution and neatness, and entails very great risk,’ he advised that the surgeon first kill the fetus with a long needle or spike and then force his ‘greased hand’ up the vagina and into the uterus (there was no anesthesia). If the fetus is in a headfirst position, the surgeon should then insert a smooth hook and fix it ‘into an eye or ear or the mouth, even at times into the forehead, and then this is pulled upon and extracts the foetus.’ If the fetus was positioned crosswise or backward, then Celsus advised that a blade be used to cut up the fetus within the womb so it could be taken out in pieces. Afterward, Celsus instructed surgeons to tie the woman’s thighs together and to cover her pubic area with ‘greasy wool, dipped in vinegar and rose oil.’
Both Plato and Aristotle linked their positions on abortion to threats of overpopulation, but that was not the situation in the Roman Empire in the days of early Christianity. Rome was threatened by a declining population and, consequently, there was much concern to increase fertility. In 59 BCE Julius Caesar secured legislation giving land to fathers of three or more children (he himself had only one legitimate child, but many bastards, one with Cleopatra). Cicero proposed that celibacy be outlawed, but the Senate did not support him. In 9 CE Augustus promulgated laws giving political advantages to men who fathered three or more children and imposing political and financial penalties on childless couples, unmarried women over the age of twenty, and upon unmarried men over the age of twenty-five. Most subsequent emperors continued these policies and Trajan even provided substantial subsidies for children. But nothing worked. By the start of the Christian era, Greco-Roman fertility had fallen below replacement levels so that by the third century CE there is solid evidence of decline in both the number and the populations of Roman towns in the West. — Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity : How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion
The most beneficial factor in the rise of Western civilization was the fall of Rome! Like all of the ancient empires, Rome suffered from chronic power struggles among the ruling elite, but aside from that and chronic border wars and some impressive public works projects, very little happened — change, whether technological or cultural, was so slow as to go nearly unnoticed. This prompted the distinguished Roman engineer Sextus Julius Frontinus (40–103 CE) to note that ‘Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for further developments.’
Instead, as the centuries passed most people continued to live as they always had, ‘just a notch above barest subsistence… little better off than their oxen.’ Of course, as much as half of the population of the empire consisted of slaves who, in effect, were oxen. But even most free Romans lived at a bare subsistence level, not because they lacked the potential to achieve a much higher standard of living, but because a predatory ruling elite extracted every ounce of ‘surplus’ production. If all production above the bare minimum needed for survival is seized by the elite, there is no motivation for anyone to produce more. Consequently, despite the fabulous wealth of the elite, Rome was very poor. As E. L. Jones noted, ‘emperors amassed vast wealth but received incomes that were nevertheless small relative to the immensity of the territories and populations governed.’
When the collapse of the Roman Empire ‘released the tax-paying millions… from a paralysing oppression,’ many new technologies began to appear and were rapidly and widely adopted with the result that ordinary people were able to live far better, and, after centuries of decline under Rome, the population began to grow again. No longer were the productive classes bled to sustain the astonishing excesses of the Roman elite, or to erect massive monuments to imperial egos, or to support vast armies to hold Rome’s many colonies in thrall. Instead, human effort and ingenuity turned to better ways to farm, to sail, to transport goods, to conduct business, to build churches, to make war, to educate, and even to play music.
But because so many centuries later a number of examples of classical Greek and Roman public grandeur still stand as remarkable ruins, many intellectuals have been prompted to mourn the loss of these ‘great civilizations.’ Many who are fully aware of what this grandeur cost in human suffering have been quite willing even to write-off slavery as merely ‘the sacrifice which had to be paid for this achievement.’ To put it plainly, for too long too many historians have been as gullible as tourists, gaping at the monuments, palaces, and conspicuous consumption of Rome, and then drawing invidious comparisons between such ‘cosmopolitan’ places and ‘provincial’ communities such as medieval merchant towns.
In any event, there was no ‘fall’ into ‘Dark Ages.’ Instead, once freed of the bondage of Rome, Europe separated into hundreds of independent ‘statelets.’ In many of these societies progress and increased production became profitable, and that ushered in ‘one of the great innovative eras of mankind,’ as technology was developed and put into use ‘on a scale no civilization had previously known.’ In fact, it was during the ‘Dark Ages’ that Europe took the great technological and intellectual leap forward that put it ahead of the rest of the world. How could historians have so misrepresented things?
In part, the notion that Europe fell into the ‘Dark Ages’ was a hoax perpetrated by very antireligious intellectuals such as Voltaire and Gibbon, who were determined to claim that theirs was the era of ‘Enlightenment.’ Another factor was that intellectuals too often have no interest in anything but literary matters. It is quite true that after the fall of Rome, educated Europeans did not write nearly as elegant Latin as had the best Roman writers. For many, that was sufficient cause to regard this as a backward time. — Rodney Stark, The Triumph of Christianity : How the Jesus Movement Became the World’s Largest Religion
Thus says the Lord,
‘Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths,
Where the good way is, and walk in it;
And you will find rest for your souls.’ — Jeremiah 6:16
The notion that Christianity was a religion of outcasts in the Roman Empire is totally erroneous. One need only peruse the Roman Missal and observe the social background of the early Martyrs to see that Christians could be found in all layers of society — among the patricians, the families of senators, the emperor’s family, among actors and intellectuals. Nobody can maintain that the early Fathers of the Church were mostly simpleminded illiterates. Ignatius of Antioch, Tatian, Justin, Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Clement of Rome, Lactantius, Minucius Felix, Clement of Alexandria, Polycarp of Smyrna, Irenaeus, and Novatian were first rate intellectuals, spiritual men — and certainly not ‘social reformers.’ A religion of slaves undermining an aristocratic-heroic commonwealth: This picture is totally unhistorical. But there always will be a certain breed of ‘conservatives’ with a pagan-heroic outlook who are prone to see in Christianity a weak, unmanly faith of crybabies. — Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, Leftism: From de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse