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Thread: Eternal Recurrence [by Prof. Eric Steinhart]

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    Lightbulb Eternal Recurrence [by Prof. Eric Steinhart]

    Eternal Recurrence
    Prof. Eric Steinhart (C) 1998
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    You Have Infinitely Many Lives

    Eternal recurrence, also known as the eternal return of the same, is the theory that history repeats itself exactly down to the smallest detail: you will be born again, you will live your whole life again, you will die again. You will re-live your whole life exactly as you have and will live it. In fact, if the theory of eternal recurrence is true, then you already have lived your life infinitely many times already, and you will live it infinitely many times again.


    Some Old-Timers on Eternal Recurrence

    Recurrence is an old idea, probably first taught by the Pythagoreans: "If one were to believe the Pythagoreans, with the result that the same individual things will recur, then I shall be talking to you again sitting as you are now, with this pointer in my hand, and everything else will be just as it is now."[1]

    The idea seems to occur in the Old Testament. The writer of Ecclesiastes 1:9 says: "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."

    Plotinus argues that there is an eternal return of Great Years ("Periods"). Each Period is exactly the same as the one before it:

    [Each Period] is "a periodical renovation bounding the boundlessness by the return of a former series . . . The entire soul-period conveys with it all the requisite Reason-Principles, and so too the same existents appear once more under their action. . . . May we not take it that there may be identical reproduction from one Period to another but not in the same Period? . . . Thus when the universe has reached its end, there will be a fresh beginning, since the entire Quantity which the Kosmos is to exhibit, every item that is to emerge in its course, all is laid up from the first in the Being that contains the Reason-Principles. . . . As in Soul so in Divine Mind there is this infinitude of recurring generative powers; the Beings there are unfailing. [2]


    Consequences of the Theory of Eternal Recurrence

    Eternal recurrence is a resurrection doctrine, since your body is resurrected each time it recurs. But it is not like the Christian doctrine of resurrection, since according to the Christians (e.g. St. Augustine) your body is recreated at some adult stage; but recurrence theories say that you are literally born again (rebirth).

    Eternal recurrence is entirely materialistic or physical, since it is your physical body that recurs. There is no soul or spirit.

    Eternal recurrence happens entirely in this world: there is no other world nor is there any better world (Heaven) nor worse world (Hell). This is it.

    Eternal recurrence is personal immortality. You live forever, both into the past and into the future. But you do not exist continuously: it is not eternal life.

    Eternal recurrence is not reincarnation, since you recur in your own body.

    You do not remember your past lives, since there is no consciousness between ocurrences nor memory of previous occurences.


    Nietzsche's Modern Theory of Eternal Recurrence

    Nietzsche's Presentation of the Eternal Return

    In modern times, the doctrine is most closely associated with Friedrich Nietzsche. Here's how Nietzsche first puts it:

    The greatest weight -- What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence -- even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!

    Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: "You are a god and never have I heard anything more divine." If this thought gained possession of you, it would change you as you are or perhaps crush you. The question in each and every thing, "Do you desire this once more and innumerable times more?" would lie upon your actions as the greatest weight. Or how well disposed would you have to become to yourself and to life to crave nothing more fervently than this ultimate eternal confirmation and seal? [3]

    In another book, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Nietzsche invents a character named Zarathustra, a wandering philosopher who has many adventures. In one adventure, Zarathustra climbs a mountain and argues with his arch-enemy, a dwarf named the Spirit of Gravity (sort of the spirit of depression and despair). Zarathustra has a vision of the eternal return:

    Behold this moment!, Zarathustra said. From this gateway [called] Moment, a long, eternal lane runs back: an eternity lies behind us.

    Must not all things that can run have already run along this lane? Must not all things that can happen have already happened, been done, run past?

    And if all things have been here before: what do you think of this moment, dwarf? Must not this gateway, too, have been here -- before?

    And are not all things bound fast together in such way that this moment draws after it all future things? Therefore -- draws itself too?

    For all things that can run must also run once again forward along this long lane.

    And this slow spider that creeps along in the moonlight, and this moonlight itself, and I and you at this gateway whispering together, whispering of eternal things -- must we not all have been here before?

    -- and must we not return and run down that other lane out before us, down that long, terrible lane -- must we not return eternally? [4]

    Later, Zarathustra talks with his animals, an Eagle and a Snake. They tell him that they understand his theory of eternal recurrence:

    Behold, we know what you teach: that all things recur eternally and we ourselves with them, and that we have already existed an infinite number of times before and all things with us.

    You teach that there is a great year of becoming, a colossus of a year: this year must, like an hour-glass, turn itself over again and again, so that it may run down and run out anew:

    So that all these years resemble one another, in the greatest things and in the smallest, so that we ourselves resemble ourselves in each great year, in the greatest things and in the smallest.

    And if you should die now, O Zarathustra: behold, we know too what you would then say to yourself -- but your animals ask you not to die yet! --

    "Now I die and decay" you would say, "and in an instant I shall be nothingness. Souls are as mortal as bodies."

    "But the complex of causes in which I am entangled will recur -- it will create me again! I myself am part of these causes of the eternal recurrence.

    "I shall return, with this sun, with this earth, with this eagle, with this serpent -- not to a new life or a better life or a similar life:

    "I shall return eternally to this identical and self-same life, in the greatest things and in the smallest, to teach once more the eternal recurrence of all things." [5]

    Nietzsche's Argument for the Eternal Return

    Here's Nietzsche's argument for the eternal return of the same:

    If the world may be thought of as a certain definite quantity of force and as a certain definite number of centers of force -- and every other representation remains indefinite and therefore useless -- it follows that, in the great dice game of existence, it must pass through a calculable number of combinations. In infinite time, every possible combination would at some time or another be realized; more: it would be realized an infinite number of times. And since between every combination and its next recurrence all other possible combinations would have to take place, and each of these combinations conditions the entire sequence of combinations in the same series, a circular movement of absolutely identical series is thus demonstrated: the world as a circular movement that has already repeated itself infinitely often and plays its dice game in infinitum. [6]

    Analysis of Nietzsche's Argument for the Eternal Return

    Nietzsche's argument is very compact. To understand an argument like this, you have to break it up and examine each part:

    (1) "The world may be thought of as a certain definite quantity of force and as a certain definite number of centers of force -- and every other representation remains indefinite and therefore useless" Definite means finite; indefinite means infinite. Infinite force is self-contradictory, so the world as a whole a finite quantity of force, and there are only finitely many ways to divide up this force into parts. Thus, there are only finitely many combinations of forces.

    (2) So, the existence of the world is a "great dice game". This image of the world as a game played with dice makes two points. First, there are only finitely many different ways the world is able to be (finitely man combinations of forces). If you play a game with one 6-sided die, there are only 6 ways it can come up. Second, changes in the world are in reality random, as if the history of the world were just a series of dice-throws.

    (3) In the great dice game, the world "must pass through a calculable number of combinations". If you throw two 6-sided dice, each can only come up 6 ways, so the two of them come up 6 times 6 equals 36 ways. There are only finitely many combinations of finitely complex things, like the forces in the world.

    (4) Time is infinite; it is infinite because it's absurd to think of it as having a beginning (when would it begin? -- time can't begin at any moment in time) or an ending (when would it end? -- time can't end at any moment in time).

    (5) So, "In infinite time, every possible combination would at some time or another be realized." This is true for any finite collection of finitely complex things like dice if the sequence of the combinations of those things is random. If you were to throw a die infinitely many times, the probability of every side coming up is 100%.

    (6) Indeed, every combination "would be realized an infinite number of times." This is true too. If you throw a 6-sided die 7 times, one of the numbers has to come up more than once. If you throw it infinitely many times, every combination will occur infinitely many times.

    (7) "And since between every combination and its next recurrence all other possible combinations would have to take place, and each of these combinations conditions the entire sequence of combinations in the same series". This is hard to figure out. Nietzsche seems to mean that every sequence of combinations (every history of the world) will occur infinitely many times. This is true for a finitely complex whole going through infinite random recombinations of its parts.

    (8) So Nietzsche concludes that "a circular movement of absolutely identical series is thus demonstrated: the world as a circular movement that has already repeated itself infinitely often and plays its dice game in infinitum."



    Evaluation of Eternal Recurrence

    Scientific Evaluation of Eternal Recurrence

    You can get into pretty weird physics talking about eternal recurrence. Some say that the Second Law of Thermodynamics implies that recurrence is impossible; others respond that the French mathematician Poincare proved a Recurrence Theorem that entails that recurrence is necessary for pretty much every physical system to which the Second Law applies. There are similar Recurrence Theorems for quantum mechanics. Some say that the universe goes through a cycle of Big Bangs followed by Big Crunches, then the cycle repeats. There are solutions to Einstein's space-time equations that are known as "closed timelike curves", which are basically circles in which time recurs. But all of that is ultimately beside the point. Eternal recurrence is not a physical theory.

    The eternal return of the same is a metaphysical theory. It's about the recurrence OF time, not any recurrence IN time. It says that time as a whole recurs eternally. So there is no physical evidence either for or against the theory. This means that you have to evaluate the speculative arguments for it, and against it, and make a rational, well-informed decision to affirm it or to deny it.

    Science is neutral for recurrence, as it is for reincarnation, resurrection and physical immortality. All these theories have coherent physical formulations, though they all require going beyond present-day physics.

    Comparison of Eternal Recurrence with Other Theories

    Suppose for a moment that all the theories of personal immortality are possible. Which theory is preferable in the sense that is the most human? Which theory of personal immortality is most likely to be immortality for you?

    I think the disembodied soul theory is the worst of all because I don't see how the disembodied soul preserves personal identity.

    Reincarnation, resurrection, recurrence, and physical immorality are all bodily theories of personal immortality. All these theories give you some kind of flesh.

    I think reincarnation fails to the extent that it says you could have non-human flesh. People don't "come back" as dogs or bugs or trees.

    Physical immortality has problems with birth, and, like reincarnation, it doesn't seem to give you any sort of human body after death.

    Resurrection makes the most sense as a theory of rejuvenation, as the idea that you have an astral body or spiritual body that is freed at death. The spiritual body is a super-body -- you'd be like Superman or Superwoman. The problem once again is that it isn't clear that Super-You is really you. It might be somebody else who was glad to get rid of you like you might be glad to get rid of a lousy suit of clothes you were forced to wear for 70 years. There's a sense in which your bodily flaws and limitations define who you are, either as negatives that you've got to cope with or that you struggle to overcome.

    Recurrence seems to me to be the best of all the theories of personal immortality, because it's the one that most preserves personal identity by preserving your body. Your recurrence replicas are your twins; some of them live lives that are exactly identical to yours, others live different lives. But, like real twins or clones, their bodies are the same as your body. They are you.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    References.
    1.Eudemus, Frag. 272 in G.S. Kirk & J. E. Raven, The Presocratic Philosophers (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1957).

    2. Plotinus, Enneads, trans. S. MacKenna, V.7.1-3.

    3. Friedrich Nietzsche, Die Frohliche Wissenschaft, trans. W. Kaufmann (New York: Random House, 1974), section 341. Die Frohliche Wissenschaft means something like "the joyful or happy wisdom or science"; so Kaufmann entitled his translation The Gay Science, but that was back in the day when "gay" meant happy or joyous. Today, "gay" often means homosexual, but that isn't what Kaufmann or Nietzsche had in mind.

    4. Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Penguin Books, 1978), III:2/2.

    5. Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, III:13/2.

    6. Friedrich Nietzsche, The Will to Power, trans. W. Kaufmann & R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Random House, 1968), sec. 1066.

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

    I'm aware that Moody Lawless advocates the idea of Eternal Return, but I believe this provides a problem amongst European Nationalists - if it is going to happen over, and over, and over ad infinitum, then why fight now? Nietzsche thoroughly appears to be against any sort of teleology (that is, everything is moving towards something), and holds true to the idea of a sort of cyclical, heraclitian flux. Now Nietzsche says there are a finite amount of forces in the universe, time is an illusion because it's just a subjective conception of eternity, and so the die will roll again and again and again, always bringing up every possible combination, each an infinite amount of times.

    If everything we've done has been done before, then this doesn't provide any sort of ethics - say, you try and put a sort of ethical imperetive based around Eternal Recurrance by saying "life your life as you would have it repeat for eternity" or something similar - then it doesn't matter what you do now because every combination is going to turn up anyway, so it really doesn't matter. I've read Nietzsche patched up the gap of his nihilism with Eternal Recurrance - but when I think about it I'm not sure ER is an escape from nihilism or just another way of looking at it.

    Also, how about the idea that forces inside the universe are going to effect and alter each other? How do the same combinations turn up over and over again?

    Spengler suggests that towards the decline of a civilization its ideas, seeds if you will, are passed on to the population that will create the next Culture. While this is a sort of organic history it doesn't have the problem of the same combinations turning up. While there is organic rise-height-decline-collapse structure, there is still linear progress, with the handing on of the fruits of one civilization to another.

    Nietzsche, despite a lot of people I know calling him an existentialist, didn't believe in free will - he believed we were driven by our biology and social conditions and national culture - in short, "fate". Now, as I've said, I know for a fact the finite amount of forces in the universe act on each other as well as on the infinite forces (Nietzsche believes these can be discounted from the equation), then the finite forces will themselves be altered, then the idea of eternal recurrance is ruined (because the finite forces themselves change) but the idea of some sort of fate is not.

    Fate for what is something I'm not sure of yet. Hegel suggests fate moves towards the idea of freedom - i.e. spiritual freedom, while Marx says fate moves towards freedom from economic nessecity. I don't really consider the final aim to be freedom. Survive, enhance and expand towards the final numerical, cultural and political supremacy of one race over all others, the incarnation of the race as the iron fist of fate wielding total supremacy over the universe, the total discovery of knowledge, the drive for life, power and the pursuit of excellence - that is, in my opinion, the final aim. And I don't think eternal recurrance does the job of filling in the gap of spiritual nihilism.

    Any thoughts?
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Personally I do not support the idea of Eternal Recurrence as I see it incompatible with any positive outlook on our Individuality and our Collectivity. It is basically a Materialist attack on Material Death. It is devoid of Spirituality and any yearn towards Idealism.

    From a Racialist outlook Eternal Recurrence is probably even more incompatible. Why work for a better future if our lives will be repeated in the exact same manner? There is no purpose. Basically Eternal Recurrence would only inspire us to live the most Utilitarian and Hedonistic life possible in an Individualist manner.

    I do not think that Eternal Recurrence would be compatible with a Racialist Metaphysics and Worldview, and in my opinion it is definitely not. There is no Nobility in living a cyclical existance through infinite time or eternity as there is no improvement, our life is cloned throughout eternity, that is what Eternal Recurrence holds.

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    Originally posted by Iovvs Optimvs Maximvs
    Personally I do not support the idea of Eternal Recurrence as I see it incompatible with any positive outlook on our Individuality and our Collectivity. It is basically a Materialist attack on Material Death. It is devoid of Spirituality and any yearn towards Idealism.

    From a Racialist outlook Eternal Recurrence is probably even more incompatible. Why work for a better future if our lives will be repeated in the exact same manner? There is no purpose. Basically Eternal Recurrence would only inspire us to live the most Utilitarian and Hedonistic life possible in an Individualist manner.

    I do not think that Eternal Recurrence would be compatible with a Racialist Metaphysics and Worldview, and in my opinion it is definitely not. There is no Nobility in living a cyclical existance through infinite time or eternity as there is no improvement, our life is cloned throughout eternity, that is what Eternal Recurrence holds.
    Nietzsche's philosophy is best viewed when you see that his entire weltanshauung was built as a philosophy for heroes. The idea of the übermensch is essentially the idea of a free spirited hero, solid yet flexible, sharp and smooth like a razor blade, driven by the will to victory, willing and joyful at the prospect of living one's life over and over again for eternity. This is entirely compatible with preserving individuality, but has no connection with any sort of racial nationalism (as I've suggested a final aim in my first post, towards the end), though Nietzsche was racist (comments about blacks in Geneology of Morals) and did advocate a united Europe, he was thoroughly against the notion of the State, preferring a sort of aristocratic anarchism. Because of this the Marxists have a really hard time pinning him down as an advocate of "bourgeois" morality and he absolutely despised the masses with their slave morality which is the foundation of Marxism.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Originally posted by Anarch
    Nietzsche's philosophy is best viewed when you see that his entire weltanshauung was built as a philosophy for heroes. The idea of the übermensch is essentially the idea of a free spirited hero, solid yet flexible, sharp and smooth like a razor blade, driven by the will to victory, willing and joyful at the prospect of living one's life over and over again for eternity.
    I do see this perspective to Nietzsche's World-View and under this view Eternal Recurrence does make sense and is compatible to it.

    It is entirely compatible with preserving individuality, but has no connection with any sort of racial nationalism (as I've suggested a final aim in my first post, towards the end), though Nietzsche was racist (comments about blacks in Geneology of Morals) and did advocate a united Europe, he was thoroughly against the notion of the State, preferring a sort of aristocratic anarchism. Because of this the Marxists have a really hard time pinning him down as an advocate of "bourgeois" morality and he absolutely despised the masses with their slave morality which is the foundation of Marxism.
    This is true in my opinion as well. It remains to see how Anarchism can be Aristocratic though. I think Nietzsche was an Elitist but not Bourgeois as presented in the Communist Bourgeois/Proletarian dichotomy, he certainly disdained the masses and their rule, probably the reason for his disdain for Socialism/Communism and perhaps Democracy. These forces hindered the Overman in his development and as such Nietzsche viewed them as evil, and from his perspective they are evil.

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    I read very little of the above because it's too long. But it can be summed up in one sentence.

    If something has the possibility of occuring once, then with respect to infinity, it has happened infinite times.

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    Originally posted by Iovvs Optimvs Maximvs
    I do see this perspective to Nietzsche's World-View and under this view Eternal Recurrence does make sense and is compatible to it.

    This is true in my opinion as well. It remains to see how Anarchism can be Aristocratic though. I think Nietzsche was an Elitist but not Bourgeois as presented in the Communist Bourgeois/Proletarian dichotomy, he certainly disdained the masses and their rule, probably the reason for his disdain for Socialism/Communism and perhaps Democracy. These forces hindered the Overman in his development and as such Nietzsche viewed them as evil, and from his perspective they are evil.
    Think Feudalism without a King. It could work - but not now, not with heavy industry, electricity, and nations that span continents and nuclear weapons. We're beyond that. Nietzsche viewed the bourgeois as cowards and the Communists as slaves. He hated democracy for the same reasons and I find that perfectly understandable.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Originally posted by Anarch
    Think Feudalism without a King.
    Clarify such a statement.

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    Post This World is No Utopia

    1.
    Feudalism without a King - then who would the peasants [and Barons] be in Fee too?

    I agree with so much that Anarch writes though, his grasp is incredible.

    2.
    The Tragic Aspect of the Eternal Return.

    For me The Eternal Recurrence of the Same [ERS] is not so much a choice as a reality. It is, as Anarch suggests, an articulation of what the Universe is in all its inhuman meaninglessness.
    That the Universe is Inhuman and without 'meaning' ['meaning' is of course a human notion] is very painful for us.

    It is recognition of this which leads us to Nihilism.
    Nihilism can crush us, or we can try and escape from it in various fantasies.
    OR, with the ERS, we can confront the meaninglessness by articulating it in a philosophical form, and then OVERCOME it.

    This is where the Heroic comes in; given that life is ultimately meaningless, we incorporate this notion as the ERS and then STRIVE to create great art, great civilsations and great Races.
    We try to create the Overman!

    And all this is TRAGIC!
    The ERS tells us that this is tragic because ultimately life is meaningless. Only the Tragic Hero takes on the ERS and tries to take on the gods and fate.

    This is why Oedipus and Dionysos are so important to Nietzsche.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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    Originally posted by Iovvs Optimvs Maximvs
    Clarify such a statement.
    Yggdrasil's review of The Seven Samurai probably best articulates my view of Nietzsche's aristocratic anarchism:

    The Seven Samurai


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    A Nationalist Classic.

    It is remarkable really.

    Back in the 1960's I used to read about a "Marxist" Japanese movie entitled "The Seven Samurai" which supposedly inspired an equally Marxist (or was it existentialist?) American western knock off entitled "The Magnificent Seven" starring Steve McQueen. Well, I saw the American version live at the theater and could not discern anything remotely Marxist about it - perhaps because I attended the wrong temple and lacked the cultural background necessary to understand Marxism.

    In my temple, Marxism appeared as a simple form of slavery for Christians, and I didn't see any of that in the movie.

    It was only a couple years ago that I managed to see and record the original Japanese masterpiece directed by Akira Kurosawa on the cable network.

    I was absolutely stunned.

    This is the most important and explicit nationalist movie I have ever seen.

    A copy should be available in the foreign films section of your local Hollywood Video. I urge you to rent and watch it once for the enjoyment and a second time for the nuance.

    The nationalist themes are not quite as in your face and obvious as they are in Braveheart, that other giant among nationalist classics, but it is a more important and more realistic treatment of the major dilemmas which haunt all modern nationalists. And for that reason, it has more important lessons for us.

    I suppose that any movie set in an impoverished village might be viewed as Marxist, as the village might resemble in the mind's eye of a modern, the kibbutz or the collective farm, where life is natural and inequality at a minimum.

    Of course, professing Marxists have no intention of living in an impoverished village themselves. Rather, this ideal is for others, and not so much a real village but rather an ersatz psychological village, to benefit those consigned to such a "natural" existence of centrally planned labor as may be chosen for them by Marxists.

    For indeed, Marxism in all of its modern flavors is a yearning for dominance over alien tribes and races which are needed and tolerated only because the Marxists disdain cleaning up after themselves, and need contented servants to do their dirty work (or in the Frankfurt School flavor, to consume and rack up debt). It is all about the propaganda and force needed to ensure a willing labor supply, with the romance of the Sthetl, or kibbutz, as the idealized model by which the Marxists rationalize for their own psychic comfort the imposition of equalizing poverty and labor upon the lesser races over which they hold sway. Same old slavery - different marketing.

    And as Professor Kevin MacDonald would clearly hold, the marketing of utmost importance is to the importuning minds of the Marxist elites themselves. One must delude ones self in this modern world, before one can successfully delude the masses.

    The Seven Samurai was produced in 1954, shortly following the defeat of Japan.

    When you watch this movie I think you will agree that its meaning to a Japanese of that era must have been crystal clear. The rather clear and obvious purpose is to bind up the wounds between the warrior class that has just lost a calamitous war, and the rest of the nation (symbolized by the farmers in this movie) for whom the war was a disaster.

    But I am not really concerned with the immediate meaning of this movie for a Japanese audience in 1954. Nor am I particularly interested in dissecting the elaborate "code" so deftly employed to remain within the obvious limits imposed by American censors who occupied Japan until 1952, and by their hand picked Japanese successors.

    Rather, I am intensely interested in its meaning for us as modern-day nationalists of a Euro-American persuasion.

    As I watched this movie, I was overwhelmed by the sense that it was speaking directly to me, with messages of overpowering modern importance. It may have been set in Japan, but it was not uniquely nor exclusively Japanese.

    The movie opens on a small farming village in 16th century Japan. The village is mired in poverty but is nevertheless plundered by bandits following every harvest. In our first encounter with the bandits, from a distance, their leaders appear to be wearing the familiar Viking helmets with horns coming out of them.

    Thus, not more than 5 minutes into this 3 hour and 20 minute epic, my code antennae are at max alert. After all, it was Viking marauders who just nuked Hiroshima and Nagasaki a few years back, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians over the issue of how Japan was to surrender - whether their Emperor would be required to shuffle on down to the banana boat, so to speak, in the process.

    It is not clear to me whether Japanese would react to these costumes in the same way. Doubtless the costumes are authentic suits of armor from 16th century Japan, but in all probability, the Japanese of 1954 would be at least as familiar with the horned helmeted image of the marauding barbarian Norsemen as they would the details of armor bandits might have used 500 years ago. In any event, the bandits are unmistakably alien in their appearance and demeanor.

    The villagers argue about whether to fight or negotiate, and consult the village patriarch who says they shall fight. He remembers a particularly bad season for bandits years ago and recalls that all the villages were burned down save one, which survived because they hired a few Samurai to defend them. The villagers are instructed to go find Samurai and hire them.

    Missing from the discussion is any mention of a "government" or even the concept of government. Recall that this drama takes place at a time when the Kings of Europe not only had sizeable standing armies, but had sizeable armies of clerks keeping tax records, and battalions of magistrates and sheriffs spread throughout the land, as well as professional cadres of court advisors. A troupe of 41 similar bandits operating anywhere within 16th Century Europe would have met a very quick and decisive end at the hands of the nearest national army.

    What we see spread before us in The Seven Samurai is a rich tableau of the natural libertarian state of nature, in which there is no mention of government at all. In passing, I should note the extreme irony that this perfect state of freedom from the restraints of government, and indeed the lack of any consciousness of what government might be, should exist in the most cohesive and racially homogeneous nation on earth. Perhaps that is the only soil in which true freedom can grow! Indeed, perhaps government as we know it was invented for the very purpose of amalgamating differing tribes, depriving them of their independence and suppressing their consciousness of ethnic difference, all in the service of empire.

    Instead of a plea to government, we have a candid debate among the villagers about the costs and benefits of paying tribute to the bandits as against the costs of hiring the Samurai.

    The primary impression one gets of the villagers is fear. Fear of strangers and fear of their own inability to put up a collective defense. In this sense, the movie is anthropologically correct. The villagers are all related by blood. They are a tribe possessed of a dual code, suspicious of the harm that may be inflicted by all strangers, by bandits certainly, and by the Samurai, probably.

    So at length, a few villagers set out to the large town with nothing more than a large bowl of rice with which to hire Samurai to defend them.

    In the next segment of the film we are introduced to the Samurai themselves. They have no coherent organization, and all appear to be freelance contract workers or fighters for hire. While there is mention of the fact that they are members of a Samurai caste by birth, you never see a Samurai woman, and indeed, the warriors are all "rogue males" mired in poverty, beset with exceptionally high mortality, having a very low statistical probability of passing their own genes on to the next generation, and an absolute zero chance of engaging in the kind of "high investment parenting" that would be required to produce one such as themselves.

    Like the warrior ant, they exist to sacrifice themselves for someone else.

    In a word, they are all "lone wolves," surprisingly individualistic for Japanese. None are members of any organized gang or male hunting group.

    Most are mired in poverty and live on the edge of starvation. While they may be members of a higher caste than the farmers, they are poorer, having no security, and possessing only the tools of their trade.

    In searching for defenders, the farmers judge these Samurai by the way other Samurai react to them. A particularly astute older Samurai rescues a child from a thief holding her hostage by disguising himself as a priest. After his triumph, a young Samurai begs him to be his "Sensei," his teacher, leader and guide.

    The farmers ask the aging Sensei to help them in exchange for three meals a day. He is convinced of the justice of their cause and agrees. The Sensei then hires five other Samurai on the same terms, and with a very rough farmer boy who wishes to be a Samurai, the seven return with the farmers to defend the village.

    On arrival, the Sensei speaks with the patriarch, and then takes charge, plotting strategy and organizing the farmers to building earthworks, constructing moats and destroying bridges so as to limit access routes into the village. He delegates to the other Samurai the job of teaching to farmers to fashion primitive spears or pikes from bamboo, and then training them in their use.

    All goes quite well until the seventh Samurai finds the farmers' cache of swords and armor taken from Samurai they have killed in the past - Samurai on the run from the armies of defeated war lords. The Samurai they have hired take this as an affront, and a repudiation of their sacrifices, but decide to continue to fight for the farmers despite their treachery.

    Is this all beginning to sound vaguely familiar to you nationalists?

    The Samurai hold themselves in readiness to protect their fellow Japanese at all times, but are hated and feared by them most of the time, absent a clear and present danger. The Samurai are held in contempt by those they live to protect. In fact, they are hunted down and killed when vulnerable. And it is only in times of dire threat that the ordinary people will value the Samurai and submit to the leadership and guidance of the Sensei.

    There are three houses that lie outside the perimeter of the village and are indefensible. The occupants of these houses mutiny and attempt to desert the defense of the village, only to be chased by the Sensei with his sword drawn. They submit and the Sensei delivers a stirring speech, which is the highlight of the movie.

    The outlying houses are three!

    The village has twenty!

    We can't endanger twenty for three.

    No outlying house can be saved while the village proper is destroyed.

    Remember! That is war!

    You're all in one boat.

    He who thinks only about himself will destroy himself too!

    Such selfishness will not be tolerated!

    I cannot imagine a more beautiful and moving statement of the nationalist credo! But you are going to have to see it in the dramatic original to truly understand.

    While the Samurai have only their traditional swords and bows, the bandits have three guns. Thus, the survival of the village is dependent upon the cunning, skill and disciplined use of traditional means and technologies against superior and alien technology.

    In the process of saving the village, and of killing all of the bandits, four of the seven Samurai are killed.

    The closing scene is one of the most powerful in any movie ever produced.

    The farmers are planting the rice. As the three surviving Samurai contemplate the scene of renewed economic activity and the restoration of normal village life, they turn to the burial sites of their fallen comrades.

    We see a grave site consisting of a large dirt mound, stark in its poverty and simplicity. At the top of the mound we see four smaller mounds with the Samurai swords emplaced as markers.

    In contemplating the scene the Sensei says to his trusted co-warrior:

    Again we're defeated.

    The winners are those farmers. (The nation!)

    Not us.

    And thus it will be always among those born with an independent and warlike spirit.

    In times of peace and prosperity, our own Euro-American village will not want to hear our message! And that is understandable, for according to the lessons of the of The Seven Samurai, this is in accord with the very nature of things among a people. However, as our Euro-American village begins to sense the danger, it will be our duty to respond for them and to expect nothing but danger, sacrifice and death in return.

    And as it happens, none of us can serve in any official capacity as guardians of our people as long as those services are under the thumb of alien masters.

    So in the meantime, it is our duty to wait patiently, and to hold ourselves in readiness.

    Every one of you has skills and a role to play.

    It is your duty to resist debt and conspicuous consumption. Do not allow your labor to strengthen our Marxist slave masters. Build your resources and contribute to the effort to spread our message to those with the spirit to hear and join our movement.

    It is your duty to spread your genes into the next generation.

    Any young lady who is willing to interact with you has already inherited the essential core of racial awareness that you seek. Remember, our ideas have been branded as markers of low status and low ability to support and nurture children. Stick to the socially acceptable displays of love, tenderness and dependability that are the psychological markers of evolutionary fitness in the sexual selection process. Display fitness for supporting her and nurturing her children in an appropriate male role.

    It is your duty to spread the message of your commitment and your calling in ways that do not diminish your own status or livelihood. Among probable enemies keep your counsel, yet spread the message diligently among our own who display a disposition to understand and respond positively.

    It is your duty to accumulate the resources to be a good missionary for the cause and to contribute to the efforts of others who display great skill in that calling.

    It is your duty to be patient and to remember that your calling is one of measured and disciplined sacrifice for a nation that will only value that calling in times of emergency and may never acknowledge nor approve your efforts on their behalf.

    As the emergency of our people becomes more apparent to all, one from among us will emerge as the Sensei, the Leader, the Fuhrer. We will know him when the time arrives.

    And when that Leader emerges, and upon taking diligent counsel announces to us that the time has indeed arrived, then shall we unleash the ancient hammer of Thor - the hammer of our hallowed ancestors and departed heroes! Only then shall we demonstrate to the other nations of the World just how seriously we take the survival of our own, and just how little selfishness and individualism we will tolerate until the emergency has passed and our independence and control over our own destiny have been assured.

    To the performance of all of the above duties I strictly enjoin each of you,

    as I remain faithfully yours,

    Yggdrasil-
    That's the best possible description I can provide.

    Moody, I understand the 'tragic' nature of Nietzsche's philosophy - however I find it utterly useless as far as an attempt to build a philosophy that supports some sort of racial nationalism. Something else is required I think.
    All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream at night, in the dusky recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity. But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams, with open eyes, to make it possible.

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    Aloysha; "Nietzsche was thoroughly against the notion of the State, preferring a sort of aristocratic anarchism".

    Moody Lawless replies; This is a misconception.
    Nietzsche advocated an Aristocracy with a RULING CASTE.
    He consistently opposed anarchism, and rather wanted an Aristocratic [=rule of the best] and Hierarchically ordered [Rangordnung] slave society, ruled by those he called 'The Masters of the Earth'.
    For this see his 'The Will to Power', particularly Books III and IV.
    Why are there beings at all, & why not rather nothing?
    [Leibniz/Heidegger]

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