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Thread: The Art of Being a Gentleman

  1. #41
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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack The Ripper
    The ideal of the gentleman was the successor to the ideal of the warrior-prince, it did not appear ex nihilio. We have to progress through the cycle again to get that far.
    Yes, there is something in what you say. However as men of "Tradition" there is no reason why we cannot as individuals subscribe to a chivalric code of honour which is entirely Aryan in its Weltanschauung.
    I concede though that the gentleman is a rare phenomenon in this age of the Kali Yuga when all values are reversed and are in decline.

  2. #42
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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    The institution of the gentleman, and the code of conduct with which he was expected to comply, was associated with a rural, pre-industrial culture ruled by a thriving aristocracy. As society became more urbanized, the concept of the gentleman survived, at least for a time, but was under siege from the aggressive, greedy behaviour associated with the rising commercial class during the industrial revolution.

    I would say the decline of the gentleman as a social institution (if one may call it that) is associated with the decline of the gentry as a class. One can still subscribe to the values of the gentry today, but in our crass, rude, commercialistic society, this unfortunately amounts to nothing more than an individual idiosyncracy, a mode of behaviour that is no longer rewarded by society. Speaking personally, I can't count the number of times my own attempts to be civil to people have been met with rudeness, ingratitude, or worse. Even so, it is worth making the effort to behave in a civil fashion, if only to prevent oneself from being dragged down into the morass of crude, slovenly behaviour that afflicts society today.

  3. #43
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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    I'll try to elaborate on this further but for now I'll give a gist of my arguments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gentilis
    What do you all think about the decline of the chivalry in contemporary society.
    A great tragedy.

    Was it inevitable?
    No. Nothing is inevitable except in retrospect.

    Has the gentleman's code of honour, morality and civility ceased to be relevant in the modern age?
    Absolutely not!

    Can there be a revival of chivalry? Hard to say... if radical feminism can die out at a faster rate anything is possible. But then there are other factors like the media and governmental bodies which have also served to undermine the traditional role and importance of chivalry in Western Civilization.
    Of course chivalry cane be revived. Chivalry is based on noble virtues based in eternity! They do not go "out of fashion".

    But then again, perhaps chivalry is its own worst enemy. Chivalry has two weak points: 1) it is self-destructive because of its predilection for things like dying honourably rather than surving another day in the skin of a rapscallion;
    So honour is a bad thing?

    2) because it is an code of conduct which is transmitted by example and not from the dictates of the written word, chivalry is extremely vulnerable to distortions, omissions, misappropriation, neglect or even outright abandonment -- largely due to societal change.
    Yes and no, there was no one code of chivalry but much has been written on the topic. I even have an anthology with several works dealing with this matter.

    Many people try to associate the decline of chivalry to industrialization and urbanization....this is nonsense. In fact the rise of courtly love and chivalry actually occured in the Middle Ages when cities were booming and rising.

    The problem is not industrialization/urbanization per se but what kind of system through which they arise. In a more traditional-based society, urbanization is more compatible with chivalry. In a capitalistic society, they're not. It's because Europe was already governed by a system hostile to chivalric values is why urbanization and industrialization seemed to serve anti-chivalric ends, but it was not because urbanization/industrialization itself are anti-chivalric.

    In fact Im re-reading Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War by Allen J. Frantzen, where the greatest boom of chivalric notions and ideals occured in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; well into the industrial age. If anybody wants I can post excerpts from this book, but please be aware Im short on time to do so.

    No chivalry is not out of date, although following word for word the old Medieval texts are not going to be useful. Rather there must be a creative re-discovery of the old chivalric traditions, much like what did happen in the 19th and 20th centuries(and Frantzen does mention the differences between the 19th and Medieval versions). In fact theres ton of literature trying to promote this like this site:

    http://www.chivalrytoday.com/

    Nor is the decline of the gentry necessarily the cause either. I prefer the Renaisance ideal of chivalry in many ways more than the Medieval one; since the Renaisance de-emphasised ones social class in terms of adhering to chivalric ideals(although interesting the Medieval period did not place too much emphasis on social class either, or at least not as much as we tend to think it did). In fact this obsession with linking chivalry with the ideals of a certain class is sadly the result of Marxist scholarship and many nationalists themselves have fallen into the trap.

    I'll elaborate more on this later, since this is a topic very dear to me.
    Last edited by Taras Bulba; Sunday, October 31st, 2004 at 07:30 PM.

  4. #44
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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    It was not urbanization per se, but the industrial revolution and the market-based economic system associated with it that played a significant role in the decline of the gentleman. The entire structure of social values that encouraged gentlemanly behaviour was displaced as the landed gentry went into decline, in terms of their social and economic importance, relative to the rising mercantile class, who did not attach much significance to chivalry. Incentives to behave in a gentlemanly fashion declined accordingly. I don't think one has to be a Marxist to recognize that the displacement of the old aristocracy by the new mercantile elites was associated with, and likely played a causal role, in the decline of gentlemanly values.

  5. #45
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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    That wasnt my argument, my argument is against the association of chivalric values with any one particular class. Even in the Medieval sense, chivalry(or its basic precepts) were not confined to the aristocracy, could find its equivalents even among the Serfs.

  6. #46
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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    Is chivalry dead?

    “Chivalry was born in the court of King Arthur and laid to rest in the trenches of World War I. So goes the popular history of an enduring medieval icon, the knight in shining armor who rode out to defeat his foes and to rescue damsels in distress. Chivalry, we were told, both inspired mindless homage to tradition and perished with it. With young men filled with illusions of chivalry were ordered to walk into machine-gun fire, an ancient brotherhood fell before the weapons of the new age. That scenario is an emblem of various themes – betrayed idealism, bitterness, the futility of pitting men against machines – that characterize “the myth of the war,” in Samuel Hines’s language, “a myth of ruination” that set a generation adrift….Chivalry did not die with World War I. In the early 1990s the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency created a series of promotional videos for the US Marine Corps using knights, swords, and horses in various configurations. In 2002 funding for the “Crusader” missile system was canceled with great fanfare. Street gangs, the Ku Klux Klan, and honorable organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, echo the heroic masculinity of chivalry every day. In every case chivalry reinforces group identity as it models heroic masculinity. Whether we are excited or disturbed by these avatars, we need to understand the medieval ideas, the moral and theological meanings, beneath them, for these ideas, old though they are, help explain violence in the modern world.”
    --Allen J. Frantzen Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War pg.1-2;8-9

    Interesting that he mentions street gangs, cause sadly thats the only place nowadays were anykind of masculine toughness(though extremely perverted) can be found in society. This is probably one reason why its so attracted to people, even white males. In our effeminate society, the gangsta image provides a strong image of bravado and toughness. Sadly its an image of tough masculinity that ignores many of the more important sides of masculinity, basically a balance with some form of compassion and decency.

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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    What is the purpose of chivalry?

    “Chivalry cannot stop the wheels of war, that is clear. But as its waters wash away blood, they enable us to see the chariot wheels, the circles of sacrifice and grief, more clearly. Chivalry reminds us why there is war: not because God wills it, as Honore Bouvet claimed, not simply because the world is enmeshed in cycles of violence, as Rene Girard claims, but because ideas and traditions can be worth dying for – and worth killing for. Chivalry explains why such dedication, single-mindedness, love, even bloody-mindedness are, after all, necessary and good.”
    --Allen J. Frantzen Bloody Good: Chivalry, Sacrifice, and the Great War pg.263

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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    Indeed Frantzen's book is a must for anybody interested in the question of chivalry and its impact on modern society.


    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...glance&s=books

    Book Description

    In the popular imagination, World War I stands for the horror of all wars. The unprecedented scale of the war and the mechanized weaponry it introduced to battle brought an abrupt end to the romantic idea that soldiers were somehow knights in shining armor who always vanquished their foes and saved the day. Yet the concept of chivalry still played a crucial role in how soldiers saw themselves in the conflict.

    Here for the first time, Allen J. Frantzen traces these chivalric ideals from the Great War back to their origins in the Middle Ages and shows how they resulted in highly influential models of behavior for men in combat. Drawing on a wide selection of literature and images from the medieval period, along with photographs, memorials, postcards, war posters, and film from both sides of the front, Frantzen shows how such media shaped a chivalric ideal of male sacrifice based on the Passion of Jesus Christ. He demonstrates, for instance, how the wounded body of Christ became the inspiration for heroic male suffering in battle. For some men, the Crucifixion inspired a culture of revenge, one in which Christ's bleeding wounds were venerated as badges of valor and honor. For others, Christ's sacrifice inspired action more in line with his teachings--a daring stay of hands or reason not to visit death upon one's enemies.

    Lavishly illustrated and eloquently written, Bloody Good will be must reading for anyone interested in World War I and the influence of Christian ideas on modern life.

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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    I was raised to be a gentleman and I raised My son also to be gentleman. While we are not perfect, we would never abandon our Southern Heritage,which holds the code and honor high. We will always hold that most perfect example as our light and inspiration the perfect warriour and Gentleman Robert E Lee.

    The southern gentlemen is still alive and well. Deo vindice

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    Post Re: The extinction of the Gentleman

    I don't believe chivalry is dead, nor the gentleman extinct. Sadly though I find it is no longer a widespread phenomena. In my opinion much of this is due to a growling, bitter feminism [I have experienced this myself] and the shyness of some men as well. Chivalry is still a latent tendency and will return, I think, in a better age.

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