Tag Archives: Richard Wagner

Lawless Love: New Orleans Mardi Gras and Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Niebelungen….Can Civilization survive a merger? On Lundi Gras, the Ancient Krewe of Proteus tested the waters….

In 2017, Mardi Gras in New Orleans yields gigantic piles of trash, poisons thousands with excessive alcohol, and fosters a welfare oriented and sometimes criminal mentality, yet it is a uniquely community affirming ritual that nearly shuts down this medium-sized city and draws the attention of the rest of the world.  Mardi Gras allows (especially a lot of black) people an escape from the humdrum of poverty and ordinary life.  Like the Saturnalia of Ancient Rome, Mardi Gras is a time of reversal, an inversion of all the rules. 

In the years 1843-1883, Richard Wagner broke all the rules of music and theatre and made new ones, many of which we still follow in playhouses and cinemas and opera houses today (such as “dimming the lights” before and during a performance, which was a brand new idea in Wagner’s day).  Wagner equated hatred of Jews with love of art and civilization, especially music, and in so doing (and writing prolifically about it) he served as an inspiration for the German National Socialist movement, especially one Iron-Cross winning corporal who survived “the Great War”: Adolf Hitler.  

This year the Krewe of Proteus (founded 1881) brought Mardi Gras madness and Wagnerian passion together in a torchlight parade…. and the result was stunning and extremely impressive, if not quite terribly loyal to the plot or typical imagery of the operas.  But Proteus gave us an amazingly intellectual interlude in the utter squalor and depravity of most Mardi Gras events…. and one which surely went over the head of (I would estimate, unscientifically) more than 95% of the people assembled along Magazine Street and St. Charles Avenue Monday Night.

The parade received SOME local attention, e.g.: http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orleans/entertainment_life/festivals/article_be5d1948-d9bb-11e6-ad6b-4faaff249cf7.html, but well-over half of this town speaks a dialectical variety of English which cannot be called “educated”…. and the rest of the population isn’t overly steeped in European culture—the original Opera House (the first in the United States) at the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon Street, burned down in 1919 and is now the site of a modern hotel in the absolutely most depraved and degenerate blocks of Bourbon Street…. several blocks of which constitute one of the most depraved and degenerate (and dirty) “micro-neighborhoods” anywhere in the United States… I have written before on these pages about the destruction and degradation of beautiful New Orleans after 1865, and especially in the 20th century.  The City had reached its pinnacle in 1860…..and then a very destructive war happened….

But if one is the pinnacle or Zenith of all things Elite and Erudite in Western Civilization and the other marks the Nadir or even polar opposite of high civilization, what do “Der Ring des Niebelungen” and New Orleans Mardi Gras have in common?

Actually quite a bit: both exalt what can only be called “Lawlessness”, especially in the realm of love and sex…

To start off with, Wotan, in Wagner’s Ring, like his Ancient Greek Counterpart Zeus, can only be called a “philandering cad”…. I know this would be considered an insult in many quarters, but it is, statistically speaking, quite a “Godlike” or “Kingly” trait… and I confess I’ve lived that way myself for most of my existence…. although I can claim neither Divinity nor Royalty….  Wagner’s Wotan is a tragic character…. he is adventurous, generally idealistic, and seeks to build a beautiful new world (Valhalla).  And yet dies as he watches his world destroyed around him….by a fire set by his daughter….well, actually a fire set by ONE of his many daughters (Brunhilde) by Erda, ONE of Wotan’s many girlfriends/paramours/liasons… whatever it is proper for the King of the Gods to call his mistresses…. (Sidebar: in the original Icelandic and Norse sagas and tales, Erda (aka “Jörð” was the mother of the thunder and hammer God THOR with Wotan, not the Valkyrie Brunhilde….)

Aside from Wotan and Erde, Wotan also fathers the lineage which ultimately overthrows him—the Walsunga….first a male-female pair of twins, Siegmund and Sieglinde, who are separated in early childhood and meet once Sieglinde is married to a very beastly, babbitty, bourgeois bore by the name of Hunding….  “Naturally” or unnaturally, Siegmund and Sieglinde rapidly become an item one Spring AFTER (not in spite of, but because of) recognizing each other as long-lost siblings, and they have a child.  (Wotan’s wife Fricka, the goddess of Marriage [NOT love, but marriage] compels Wotan to kill Siegmund to avenge Hunding’s loss of his wife…. and Wotan’s daughter….to Wotan’s son…. talk about conflicts of interest, you know…. NO modern lawyer would ever know what to do with the Walsung estate…. IF Brunhilde’s immolation had left anything, which it didn’t….

Siegmund and Sieglinde’s lovechild….(Sieglinde dies in childbirth)….is SIEGFRIED… destined to become the boy who knew no fear… the Dragonslayer… and, not coincidentally, Brunhilde’s “POSSLQ”…. at least for a while….

Now any competent sociologist will tell you that families JUST LIKE WOTAN’s typify the underclasses everywhere, as well as the extreme upper classes (e.g. the British monarchy). But especially dysfunctional families are well-known as characteristic of the black community….in Chicago, South Central Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and New Orleans, and these are the families who most enjoy watching and trashing the Mardi Gras parades.

A substantial number of middle-class to upper class and truly, traditionally, elite Uptown New Orleans White Families and a lot of middle class white tourists from Peoria, Princeton (Illinois), Paris (Texas), Portland, Poughkeepsie, Punksetawny, and every other real or imagined “Pottersville” (cf. “It’s a Wonderful Life”)…. create some illusion of “racial balance,” or at least “diversity.”  But the overwhelming majority of the parade viewers on the street, “throw collectors” and Mardi Gras celebrants generally are mulatto (mixed race) and black African-Americans….and their culture clearly does not have any credal element that dictates “Cleanliness is Godliness.”

So the Krewe of Proteus has done something amazing…. they have made a brilliant parade out of the operatic tetralogy that inspired the Third Reich, and all its dreams of a thousand years of racial purity and Aryan supremacy…. and brought it to New Orleans where almost nobody understands it or “gets” anything about it.

Why did they (the Krewe of Proteus) do it and what does it mean?  “The Advocate” states that Proteus has a long tradition of operatic support….but this just isn’t enough.  Proteus was founded when Richard Wagner was still alive (albeit near the end of his life… within a year of the date that Wagner’s last opera Parsifal premiered on July 26, 1882, at the Festspielhaus in beloved Bayreuth….)…

All I can promise you is that I intend to find out…. And write more about this when I have more to report…. I confess I have a suspicion, a hope perhaps, that Krewe of Proteus is sending a highly concealed “Alt-Right” message that the same kind of elite which formerly ruled the West is still alive, and well, and hiding in New Orleans, biding its time for an opportunity to seize power once again…. in the land of pioneering “Third Way” Americans like Huey Long and Gerald L.K. Smith…..

The Socialist State as Executioner of Love and Passion: “It’s for their OWN GOOD”—2010 Netherlands Opera Production of the Flying Dutchman Captures the Spirit

Suicide must be absolutely illegal.  The State has an unquestionable duty to prevent it.  Any person who attempts suicide and fails must be put to death as the only secure preventive measure.

I can just hear them saying in the back rooms of the Lewes Courthouse and Crown Prosecutors’ and Police Offices: “We done it for their own good I tell you, those wretched ungrateful bastards!  We shot em for their own good we did; we put the miserable buggers out of their pain.  It’s what you do with rabid dogs and people who insist what they have rights, you know, they’re just like terrorists and you gotta shoot’ em all.   Sie mõgen viele Freiheit haben.  Zu viel Freiheit, Ich Meine.”

The Ingsoc Socialist State Prosecutors of the United Kingdom have effectively murdered Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest—it has ruined their lives at any rate—at the very least we can say without contradiction that the State has spiritually murdered these reckless and illicit (that means “unlicensed”, but not necessarily evil) lovers who fled to France last September.   Spiritual murder does not leave much blood on the carpet literally, but it stains the soul.  Of course, the Socialist State acted for the good of Megan Stammers and her parents.  The Socialist State acted to protect all minors, and it did so by grooming them to be good and compliant slaves of the socialist state.   The message could not be clearer: Big Brother is VERY definitely watching YOU.

And as the real life Ingsoc State of Oceania has fulfilled its duty to extinguish love and passion and set an example for all those who might imagine themselves following in Megan and Jeremy’s footsteps—of fleeing to live out there love on the continent.  The Socialist State is crowing that they committed this dastardly kidnapping and spiritual murder for the good of everyone involved, and it is obvious that love and passion and the freedom to express those feelings pose an insurmountable, intolerable threat to the status quo in England.  But there are two ruined lives on the stage—still breathing but crushed, ruined, destroyed.   I have felt a need to relate this tragedy to art and mythology and all of a sudden I realize that this event was entirely prophesied by a wildly modernist production of one of my favorite “merged artworks.”

Anyone who reads almost anything and everything that I write can tell that I am a cultural reactionary.   I hate modernism in almost all its forms.  But I am fascinated by the sheer Brilliance of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and what a blueprint it was for the happy modern (drugged, oversexed, and nearly brain-dead, hopelessly overwhelmed with media and medication) world we life in.  As a consequence I am often extremely prejudiced against modern stagings and productions of my favorite operas and theatrical dramas from the past, and that includes, of course, all of Richard Wagner’s works.  Approximately 15 years ago, exactly sometime last Fall anyhow, I took my son Charlie to his first live opera ever (in Houston).  He was 5 going on 6 then and probably just a tad too young to really appreciate everything, but not a day too young to be introduced to the great civilized ritual which is going to opera.  The opera in question was the Flying Dutchman.

This month, reflecting back, I happened across a production of that opera I had never seen before, Netherlands Opera 2010—Amsterdam State Theatre—Senta played by the truly marvelous singer and actress Catherine Nagelstad, whose portrayal of Senta bears my highest certificate of “Emotionally Credible and Real.”  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo3hhQTAsC0

Senta is a loner, caught between the major men in her life and obviously quite different from alienated from the other ordinary women around her.   She has developed an infatuation with a myth, a story embodied to her only by a picture on the wall of her father’s house, of Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken, a kind of Dutch “Davy Jones” figure, the captain of the ghost-ship “The Flying Dutchman.” 

Richard Wagner considered The Flying Dutchman, which premiered under the 29 year old composer’s (and librettist’s) own baton as conductor and director on 2 January 1843 in the Saxon Kingdom’s capital of Dresden (now the capital of the Free State of Saxony within the Bundesrepublik Deutschland), to be his first fully “mature” opera—wherein he became a poet as well as a musician (his words and thoughts, not mine—I actually like Wagner’s Rienzi quite a lot).  

Perhaps the “mature” part of Wagner’s composition was his earliest expression of the pseudo-Buddhist, quasi-Schopenhauerian notion of self-extinguishment in death being the key to salvation.  Almost all of Wagner’s ten “canonical” works (except for Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg) take this theme as a central point.  Senta, the very first of Wagner’s self-destructive heroines, is the only one who commits suicide in the commonly understood traditional sense, at least in Wagner’s libretto.  

Reading along in Wagner’s libretto as I watched the Netherlands Opera 2010 production, I could envision Senta’s words as expressions of thoughts that Megan Stammers may be having but cannot well express.  And of course, it is indisputable that Megan Stammers has at one or more points during this drama felt and expressed ideations of suicide.  That was part of the way in which SHE exercised control over and manipulated Jeremy Stammers—totally the opposite of the tripe and doggerel promulgated by the U.K. Crown Attorneys’ propaganda machine to justify their show trial with the fixed, fully controlled, totally ignorant jury.  I was thinking of posting some of those quotes here.  But once I got to the end of the opera video-file, I realized that the Amsterdam Theatre’s ending was much more important than any of Wagner’s text which is readily available in any language on the web as it’s all out of copyright.  But I urge all my readers to watch this production of Der Fliegende Holländer in memory of the now condemned and executed love that Megan and Jeremy shared.  

I realize that this is called a “Spoiler”—and it is indeed a spoiler of the unique and shocking ending of the Netherlands Opera 2010 production—so anyone who hates “spoilers” should stop reading right now.  As everyone who knows Wagner’s opera knows—-the Flying Dutchman (known to all literature EXCEPT the Wagner libretto as Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken) suffers from a self-invited curse brought on by blasphemy which condemns him to sail the seas until the very end of time, the Second Coming of Christ—“when all the dead arise from the sleep their graves, I will vanish into nothingness.”  

The only “early way out” or exit for the doomed Captain (and his somewhat unjustly included entire crew) is this promise, which one can only suppose Satan put in for giggles, that if the Dutchman could ever, on any one of his single days stops on land every seven years, if the Dutchman could ever, in a single day, find a woman who would “love him to death” (that phrase has acquired such a commonplace and prosaic sound in modern English doesn’t it, because nobody thinks of the original implication: being true and loyal until deathit’s a totally inconceivable thought to the modern mind anyhow—so why WOULD anybody thing about it?).  Realistically, the Dutchman’s odds of meeting a girl who’d like him at all, strange as he was, in a single day’s stop on land were pretty grim, never mind one who would fall in love with him and be true until death.  And his crew knew it and they really thought it was a pretty bad joke—they sing about it in their only chorus during the final act.  So for 500 years the Dutchman sails the seas, stopping every 7 years for one day on land, looking for a girl, then setting off to sea again.

Senta, the lonely girl, the dreamer, has become obsessed with the story of the Flying Dutchman—there is no explanation for why her father Daland had a picture of the Dutchman on one of the central walls of the family home in Norway.  Daland was an ordinary commercial sea captain who is hoping his daughter will marry a rich man.  Daland meets the Dutchman near Sandwike during a major storm.  Daland invites the Dutchman home to meet his daughter, apparently having no clue of either his daughter’s obsession or the Dutchman’s identity (despite the fact that he looks extremely strange and has a ton of treasure and an undamaged if very old ship, all utterly unexplained and unquestioned).  

Naturally, a pretty girl like Senta hasn’t gone unnoticed all her life and she has a normal young man interested in her, by the name of Erik—a huntsman.  In Richard Wagner’s original version, and in the Netherlands’ Opera version, the Dutchman and Senta need less than half of Act II to fall in love and become engaged.  Daland is thrilled that his daughter has chosen such a wealthy husband, and Erik is just kind of shunted off to the side.  Then in the original, and in the Netherlands’ Opera 2010 version, Erik tries to remind Senta that although he isn’t nearly as weird as the doomed Dutchman, he’s really an OK chap and they’ve had some good times together in the past.  

Though Senta is totally committed to the Dutchman, the Dutchman for all his immortality cannot read minds.  So when he sees Erik and Senta together he imagines that Senta is already being unfaithful to him—but unlike all other women who have previously betrayed him, he does not condemn her.   Instead the Dutchman just announces who he really is to everyone’s horror (and Dense Daddy Daland’s miserable confusion) and he sets sail.

Now here is where the Netherlands’ Opera’s production becomes prophetic of the story of Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest.   When the Dutchman sets sail according to Wagner’s original stage directions, Senta runs away from her father and family (and Erik), climbs a nearby cliff or promontory, calls after him, confirms her previously (freely and firmly granted) oath, “Hier steh’ ich treu dir bis zum Tod!”  (Here I stand, true to you until death!) and with that throws herself into the rocks and waves below.  

Senta’s self-sacrifice, her proud and enthusiastic suicide, in Wagner’s text, liberates Captain Vanderdecken from his curse, and his ship (the REAL “Flying Dutchman”) sinks (along with the crew, for who I feel some sympathy—THEY didn’t blaspheme and make deals with Satan, at least no more than most sailors and seamen do). From the wreckage of the Dutchman’s ghost ship, according to Wagner, the figures of the pale Captain and his new bride rise in spiritual freedom to live and love freed from earthly bonds, chains, and curses.   As Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche once somewhat ironically wrote, the story just ends there because it has to end there: once they are happy, no interest inheres in or attaches to the “happily ever afterlife” of Senta and Vanderdecken—once saved, the Dutchman is a quite ordinary spirit….and Senta has fulfilled her one great dream and purpose in life—which was to save Der  Bleiche Seemann.  

The Netherlands’ Opera 2010 production radically ditches Wagner’s libretto and substitutes an extremely grim modern “Socialist Realist” ending: seeing Senta’s self-destruction and suicide as imminent, inevitable, as a result of her blind passion and “mad, non-conformist” dreams, Erik, the young man who loves her (and oh, by the way, a rifle-carrying huntsman) shoots and kills her and the Dutchman.  Obviously, this was the only thing that any rational person could do with Megan, with Senta, with the dangerous Dutchman, or the Evil Paedophile Mr. Jeremy Stammers.

In this way, Erik has assumed the role of the State who knows best what is good for people, and mad-passion is NOT good for people.  Mad-passion leads to suicide and, well, you have to prevent young people from having these feelings that lead to suicide.  So you just have to shoot them.  Nothing could be worse than seeing your 15 year old daughter run away and be happily in love now, could it?

The Family is the Template and Tool of the State: the Importance of Keeping Children as Chattel Slaves—or, why Megan Stammers was a Threat to the U.K. Nanny State’s Socialist Public Order

Back in “the bad old days” before the Nanny State, children ran away all the time.  There are no statistics on such things, for the most part, because keeping careful statistics is also a feature of the Nanny State.  A hundred years ago, it is reasonably certain that the major scandal involving Megan Stammers and Jeremy Forrest is that they didn’t get married.  As I have commented before, given how anxious they were to be together, I’m quite sure that if marriage had been an available option, and especially an available “cure-all” option, Jeremy and Megan would now be man and wife—and given the status of modern marriage, that would surely be punishment enough for the both of them.  

But “morality” is not even remotely at issue in the Forrest-Stammers arrest and trial and (now) conviction.  And on the whole, that’s a good thing for the both of them—about the only good thing for them in the whole bloody picture in fact.   They are as immoral as Tristan und Isolde, Tannhauser and any number of the denizens of the Venusberg, the incestuous brother-sister couple Siegmund and Sieglinda, and the maidens of the Perilous Castle in the story of Parzifal.   But in fact, the Wagnerian couple of most relevance to the story of Jeremy and Megan is the Flying Dutchman and Senta.  

To relax my mind from the horrible stress of wanting to go over to Lewes in East Sussex and set off rocket launchers in the direction of the Court and prosecutor’s office (it’s a long shot from the South Jersey Shore, and I lack the necessary technology….unfortunately), I have been celebrating the eve of the Summer Solstice watching fireworks out my window and listening to the Flying Dutchman (a really peculiarly staged and set up 2010 Production of the Netherlands Opera, Netherlands Philharmonic, and the Amsterdam State Theatre; how peculiar? try to imagine Act II, if you can, the spinning scene, with a single spinning wheel in the middle of a rather luxurious modern lady’s spa, complete with swimming pool and totally out of place black men randomly stalking around [trying to pick up blonde Norwegian girls I guess?] with most of the girls wearing white terrycloth bathrobes and some walking around topless or in their underwear—yes, ahem, THAT peculiar).

Anyhow, the  plot of Der Fliegende Holländer juxtaposes an “Ordinary Mortal” Sea Captain, Daland, against the mysterious and effectively supernatural, vampiric, Captain Hendrick Vanderdecken (whose ship is called “The Flying Dutchman).  

The Dutchman is infinite in every way, unhappily immortal by a curse he invited upon himself, from which curse he can only be released by the eternal devotion of a woman who will be treue zum Tod.  It is one of the hard lessons I, and so many other men, have had to learn that women willing to true to until death are as rare and, at least in my generation, entirely as mythical as selkies, mermaids, and sea captains who sail the sea forever, but apparently R. Wagner knew this when he was 30, because it was at that age that he wrote and produced this opera, for the first time in Dresden, and Daland’s daughter, Senta, is in fact almost as eerily abnormal as Vanderdecken himself.

The way that this story bears on the story of Megan and Jeremy is just this—the Dutchman offers Daland literally a boatload of treasure if he will introduce him to his daughter.  This refers back again to “the bad old days” when children who DID not run away from home, especially girls, were often treated as chattels for exchange or barter.  Now, as it happens, Senta had already fallen in love with the myth of the Dutchman before the met the reality, but that is just the trope fantasy of the age of arranged marriages.  (Cf. Fiddler on the Roof: “Matchmaker, Matchmaker…..playing with matches a girl can get burned”).  

In the story of Megan Stammers, and the case of Jeremy Forrest, I think we see the darkest side of the Brave New World of Socialism in action: children must be controlled, and their residence and mating habits must be controlled, if the Socialist State is to have effective control over the future (and by this we mean the replacement and extermination) of the Anglo-Saxon and Celtic populations of England (and the Anglo-European population of America, as a whole).  

All slave societies seek to control mating habits.  The biological definition of a “domesticated animal or plant” is one whose reproduction is controlled by human agency.  The biological definition of a slave is, likewise, a human being whose reproduction is controlled by other human beings.

On this auspicious Summer Solstice 2013, I had occasion to speak several times to Melinda Pillsbury-Foster, a really dear and very respected friend now resident in Ashtabula, Ohio.  By some coincidence Thursday, June 20, in my Forward Day-by-Day Pamphlet not only celebrates the reckless love of God or quest for God’s love implicit in the Widows’ Mite, but also urges us to pray for the Diocese of Ohio, where Melinda is a devoted Church of Englander aka “Anglican Province V: Episcopal Church).  Melinda is a loving grandmother as well as conservative-libertarian activist who has done more than her share to save the White Race, and she was sadly recounting the story of one of her highly intelligent daughters (Dawn) who had made the decision not to have children.  Melinda is one person I know who is critically aware of the government’s ambitions to replace the current population of Western Europe and North America with a race of slaves.  

But slave-conditioning is unnatural, and that’s why the Stammers-Forrest case was so incredibly important, in my opinion, to the modern British government.  An example had to be made of this mad, reckless couple, to deter other couples who might be both more moral in the traditional Christian and Victorian senses and more reproductively oriented.

This is not just my opinion as a mad radical.  The “Child Custody” and “Family Protective Services” rackets in the United States are just that, and are being widely recognized as such, see, for example, Children_as_Chattel by Kurt Mundorf, (http://www.parentsinaction.net/english/Children_as_Chattel.pdf).

The life of my son and at least one of my son’s neighbors in Cedar Park, Texas, are examples of the nightmare that convinces me that Megan Stammers’ case is part of a very sinister plot against children’s freedom to choose.  

It is hard for me to accept and believe that it was eleven years ago, more than 20.7% of my life, since my wife Elena and I broke up at the end of July 2002, for the last and final time, leading to my son apparently developing some very severe developmental and emotional problems.  I have so often written about the villains in this psycho-drama, chief among them Attorneys J. Randall Grimes, Laurie J. Nowlin, and Judge Michael P. Jergins of the 395th District Court in Georgetown, Texas, in and for Williamson County.  It has been ten years since Grimes, Jergins, and Nowlin took control of my son’s life, and effectively destroyed it, and his psyche, and his will to freedom.  I have already sworn a vow never to forgive or forget them, but always to remind the world of where I first learned of the conspiracy to enslave all our children and make them prawns, I mean pawns, in the Brave New World game.

The issues were really quite simple: did I, as a father, have the right to discuss my son’s welfare with my son?  I have recently heard from a mother in Williamson County, reporting that Judge Jergins only recently compared her communications with her children as child abuse equal to her husband’s drinking.  Daniel Louis Simon, John Henry Franks, Michael Houghton, Rhonda Moe Malmquist, and so many more were the victims of this trio of criminals in Family Court and their relentless assault on freedom of speech and the rights of parents to talk to their children about what they wish and want.  Rhonda Moe was actually jailed for two months for her conversations with her son (Jergins’ original sentence against her was four months).  

Jergins’ told me that my open and frank discussions with my son amounted to “felony child abuse.”  Judge Jergins’ simply included illegal injunctions against free speech against all of the parents and children over whom he presided.  When John Henry Franks was enjoyed against discussing anything with his daughter, his daughter was barely a year old (and thus highly unlikely to be discussing anything at all).  Despite the fact that Judge Jergins’ injunctions against all manner of freedom of speech were utterly illegal and contrary to Federal and State Precedent regarding the issuance of “prior restraint” censorship against free speech, both the State and Federal Courts in Texas refused to review the matter meaningfully, and sanctioned me (and Dan Simon) for trying, rather severely, too. Judge Walter S. Smith of Waco particularly faulted me for spearheading a crusade to have the Texas Family Code declared unconstitutional as applied, to restrict fundamental, enumerated, “Footnote 4” rights.

My son Charlie tragically bears the scars of all this ordeal to the present day.  A friend of his from just down the street, whom I will call “Chris B” suffered even worse because he was a repeat runaway from home—and knowing me and who I was and what I stood for, he always ran to me.   I did what I could to protect him and give him the freedom he wanted.  But the State of Texas, those fine Williamson County Judges, found reason to go and get him from my home in Lago Vista.  And he too was scarred for life.  Arresting a runaway and treating him as a criminal is about as counter productive as any kind of law enforcement could possibly be.

I see no reason to think that parents know better how to make their teenage children happy than the teenage children do themselves.  That is why I believe in a fundamental right of teenagers to engage in exactly the same “self-emancipation” as runaway slaves.  Keep in mind that in the early 19th century, runaway slaves were treated alternately as insane or criminal, or as insane criminals.  

That is how our children who choose freedom are treated today.  The result of this treatment is that our children are being turned into one of three things: good slaves, criminals, or insane people.  I am more than slightly mortified that my own son, now an adult, has, as a result of Laurie J. Nowlin’s conditioning, at least in part, chosen a life which appears to linger at the border between the good slave and the insane person.  He has dropped out of college and apparently attempted to continue his own education with the remnants of my library, I guess, at our old home in Cedar Park under his mother’s watchful eyes and firm thumb.

And that is why I urge all freedom loving Anglo-Saxons and Anglo-Europeans to demand the immediate release of Jeremy Forrest and immediate and final emancipation for Megan Stammers, that they may live their lives, happy, sad, or indifferent, be a couple or not according to their own compatibility, not state control, and above all, that they serve as a beacon of hope and a template for the freedom of all children in the English speaking world to choose and determine their own future without state interference. 

Parents can and should always and eternally provide for, teach, counsel and advise their children, but the best way to teach them freedom is to let them be free.  The State should have no role in this at all except to give both parents and children a safe world in which to live and attempt to thrive as best they can.  But the State that exists to “protect and serve” on any micro-level, is a Slave-holding state.

Was the Castration of Pierre Abelard Just? Was his love for Heloise an Evil thing? More on Megan Stammers & Jeremy Forrest: Good Teachers and Good Students Tend to Fall in Love—making it criminal and prosecuting it is insane

Hopeless love, forbidden love, these themes frame some of the greatest love stories of all time.  Laws against incest, adultery, “underage” sex, “statutory rape”—all of mankind’s most primitive laws concern prohibitions on various kinds of sexual relationships.  These were the earliest human laws, as I first learned in my introduction to Cultural Anthropology from Victoria Reifler Bricker, teaching the work of Sir Henry Maine, L.H. Morgan and other pioneering anthropologists (mostly jurists) at Tulane, some 38 years ago this Fall.   Societies which have no other laws at all have “rules” regulating (or attempting to regulate) sexual behavior and, for the most part, failing.  I have long ago concluded that the laws against sex come first in human evolution because nothing takes precedence over sex in the human mind and psyche.

Most of Richard Wagner’s operas   concern forbidden love and the triumph of love over normative law and normal life itself.  But the leitmotif of forbidden love started long before Wagner.  Growing up, the story of Abelard & Heloise was somehow more tangible to me precisely because it concerned a teacher and his most devoted student.  I failed to see as a youngster, and now I still fail to see as an (almost, approaching) “oldster” why teacher-student love should ever be forbidden.  One of my favorite professors in College, Robert Wauchope, my first professor of Maya and Mesoamerican Archaeology, told the story of meeting and falling in love with his wife as a student, and in that (obviously not so ancient) era, it was apparently considered quite normal.  Robert Wauchope was a particularly good old Southern story teller, but I know that many others among my college professors met their spouses as students.  I had crushes on several of my female teachers throughout the years and (though nothing ever came of any of them, starting with a certain Miss Pomainville when I was 9 or something), it seemed about as natural as anything could be.  These “scandals” come up over and over again and they will obviously never end.  In the modern world, I would think that when the two people involved are culturally, ethnically, and socially similar, we just need to leave the alone.  Statutory Rape laws need to be modified to the point that intelligent consent is a defense.  “Intelligent Consent” needs to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis where the actual interactions of the parties and (in particular) the behavior of the younger (underage) party and his/her understanding of the nature of relationships is tested.  A line drawn at puberty would be much more rational, given the state of sex in TV, movies, and other media.  Pre-pubescent sex is  biologically unnatural and biologically pointless and so can be called perverted.  But the media sexualize even the youngest girls, in particular, in the modern world—and norms are formed through the media.  Wagner’s operas never deal with “underage” sex as a taboo—it simply wasn’t much thought about, I would guess, in the 19th century.  But his greatest forbidden (adulterous) lovers were probably Tristan und Isolde, and he frames their story with the most sublime music that has ever been written: http://news.yahoo.com/stemme-shines-isolde-wagners-love-story-145656373.html

But Back here in the modern world, we still just have to pray for the redemption of Jeremy Forrest and Megan Stammers, that they might enjoy their love again, before death…..(“Liebestod”)…..ok, after all this crap it will probably never happen.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-forrest-trial-married-teacher-1949177

Jeremy Forrest trial: Married teacher ‘told schoolgirl, 14, he loved her days before they kissed in classroom’

13 Jun 2013 07:58

Forrest allegedly pursued the teenager for sex and researched the maximum prison term he would get if he was caught

Married maths teacher Jeremy Forrest told a 14-year-old schoolgirl ‘I love you’ just days before they secretly kissed in his classroom, a jury heard today.

Forrest, 30, allegedly pursued the teenager for sex and researched the maximum prison term he would get if he was caught.

After showing the girl his marital home and telling her his marriage was a “hollow sham” the pair began to have sex at the house and at a hotel, Lewes crown court heard.

But the schoolgirl later feared Forrest was not telling the truth about his relationship when she saw “nice” messages his wife Emily had sent him.

The first secret kiss came after Forrest sent the girl a message via social network Twitter saying: “I have something to tell you tomorrow.”

The following day the schoolgirl, who cannot be named, met Forrest before lessons started at Bishop Bell CoE school, Eastbourne, East Sussex.

Speaking in a police interview recorded last October which was played in court today she said: “He said he thought he was in love with me and I said I had the same feeling.

“That’s when thing things became serious. The time we kissed must have been early May.”

The schoolgirl, now aged 16, said she visited his classroom each day but there was always someone around.

She said: “We had spoken about kissing each other. It ended up being in his classroom. I do remember being in his room.

“It was just me and him. He said ‘I really want to kiss you’ and I said ‘I really want to’.”

Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court today June 12 2013
Case: Jeremy Forrest arriving at Lewes Crown Court today
Adam Gerrard

The court heard how the secret kiss came weeks after the girl and Forrest had been tweeting each other privately and sending increasingly flirtatious text messages.

She told the court sex first became mentioned in text messages in May.

They exchanged intimate photographs, with the girl sending Forrest a topless picture of herself and one of her posed in a hoodie top and her underwear, the jury heard.

Forrest started meeting the girl out of school hours, driving her around in his black Ford Fiesta and taking her to his marital home at Ringmer, near Lewes, East Sussex, in June.

He showed her his 31-year-old wife Emily’s bedroom and watched TV before cooking her dinner.

The court heard Forrest told the girl, who was by then 15, that his year-long-marriage was a “hollow sham” and they talked about having sex.

She told the court he had removed his wedding ring and even said he wanted his parents to meet her.

She said: “He told me he didn’t want to take advantage of me, and I just didn’t have a problem with it anyway.

“It was what I wanted to do because of how much I liked him. Obviously I was worried and I spoke to my friends about it.

“He knew he would go to prison, lose his job and not work with children again, he was aware.

“There was no naivety and it was what I wanted, and I probably encouraged it.

“We would bring it up and I would say ‘Yeah, I really want to’.”

The schoolgirl said they planned to have sex in the first week of the summer holidays in July.

Jeremy Forrest Court Sketch
In court: Jeremy Forrest court sketch
Julia Quenzler/Caters

And the teenager described how they had sex twice in the spare room of Forrest’s home in the day while Emily was with her parents in Eastbourne.

She said: “The whole thing was pretty quick anyway, when it came to it.

“I think it was twice but I can’t remember. We just went back to what we were doing before – watching TV.

“It was just normal. I don’t think we spoke that much about it. I remember after, not feeling guilty or that I had done anything wrong.”

The jury heard how the couple also had sex in his car, but often in local hotels booked by Forrest including the Premier Inn at Polegate, near Lewes.

She added: “After having sex for the first time, it was like a pressure off. After a few times we got used to each other.”

The couple’s secret was discovered on September 19 when police and child protection officers interviewed the schoolgirl at home.

The girl said she panicked after her phone was seized.

She packed a bag, told her mum she was sleeping at a friend’s and was picked up by Forrest who drove them to Dover to catch a ferry to France on Thursday, September 20, last year.

She said: “He looked very anxious, very worried and frustrated in a way, because we knew we were going to be caught for something we didn’t think was wrong.”

The court heard Forrest abandoned his car in Paris and they caught a train to Bordeaux in south-west France.

She said they stayed in a hotel the first night, where they had sex, before moving to another.

Forrest was oblivious to the manhunt until he saw a news website.

She said: “He was saying ‘I’m going to go to prison. We are going to be caught’. I had to reassure him.”

Days later they were stopped by French police.

She said: “Before we were taken away I kind of mouthed the words ‘I love you’ and he did it back to me.”

Later she was asked whether she and Forrest had considered the consequences.

She said: “He did look up how many years he would be in prison, not for taking me to France, but for what had previously happened.”

The girl admitted to police it was a “relief” their relationship was in the open.

She said: “I’ve never felt what me and Jeremy have done, or being in a relationship, is wrong, because it feels right.

“I can understand why it is wrong because of the law, but it just didn’t feel wrong. I know my own mind. I know what I want.”

Later the court, attended by Forrest’s parents Jim and Julie, heard the schoolgirl soon suspected Forrest had lied to her about separating from his wife.

In a police interview on November 27 last year, she said: “I was quite suspicious in a way.

“To have a relationship with a teacher, that’s not something I would do usually.

“Because he had a wife it made it 10 times worse. He told me he was separated from December.

“I trusted him but then I started to see Emily tweeting things.”

She said Emily would write “nice things” and refer to him as “my lovely husband”, despite Forrest saying she was “violent and abusive”.

The girl said: “When I was with him she used to ring him constantly.

She also said a friend’s boyfriend saw Forrest in Brighton holding hands with his wife in August last year.

Forrest, of Bromley, Kent, denies a charge of child abduction.

The trial continues.

Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at Mirror.co.uk http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jeremy-forrest-trial-married-teacher-1949177#ixzz2WDoQyCGV
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Richard Wagner: the Founder of the Modern Theatre, Theatrical Style, and Godfather of Modern Love?

What a strange irony that the artistic creator of what is arguably the greatest music created by man in all of human history, the inventor of the modern stage and theatrical style, and the author of beautiful poetry and transformational tellings of ancient myth as Richard Wagner should be remembered by the world at large, as a matter of popular culture, for his anti-semitism.

And in relationship to that quote attributed to Hitler, “Whoever wishes to understand National Socialist Germany must know Wagner,” for which I still cannot find or verify a single time and place source, what an irony that the Man who dreamt of German Conquest and Domination of the World single-handedly, or as single-handedly as any ruler could, made inevitable the mass destruction of Germany and Austria, and yet is primarily remembered for his “destruction” of the Jews.

The term “Holocaust” is an ancient Greek term for “sacrifice by fire” or as the term is so often translated in the Bible, “a burnt offering.”  The Ancient Kings of Israel and Judah routinely sacrificed their own children as “burnt offerings”—this is a commonplace among the Western Semitic people, best documented archaeologically from the several decades of Harvard University excavations at Carthage in Tunisia (founded by the Phoenicians who sailed west from Tyre and Sidon in modern Lebanon, as closely related to the ancient Israelites as any people of the world could possibly have been).  Pits filed with burnt children sacrificial victims are among the most commonplace  “major ritual and ceremonial” finds at ancient Carthage.

The purpose of all human sacrifice is to generate new life.  It is well known that, early in his Chancellorship, Hitler urged the emigration of Jews to Palestine, and the Constitution of Palestine as a Jewish Homeland.  It is also well known that within 36 months and a fortnight of Hitler’s April 30, 1945 suicide in the Berlin Bunker, the State of Israel was announced by David Ben Gurion on May 14, 1948.  Furthermore, it is all but universally acknowledged that but for the “Holocaust”, Israel would most likely never have come into existence as a Jewish nation and homeland.  

So was Adolf Hitler really the extreme nemesis of the Jewish People of the World?  Or was Adolf Hitler really the Godfather of Israel, much as he was the Godfather of the United Nations and a single world in which nations (including, presumably, eventually, both Germany and Israel, as well as the United States, the United Kingdom, England, France, Spain, Italy, Scotland, and Ireland, are all to be abolished?

Nietzsche is famous for his axiom: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.  Did Hitler know or could he have envisioned that his actions would lead to the destruction of Germany?  His best generals all believed that this end was foreseeable.   So did Hitler know or could he have envisioned that on the barely cold ashes of Nazi Germany, Israel would be built?  

So who provided the greatest number of sacrificial lambs for the “burnt offering” or Holocaust offered to create the state of Israel?  Was it the Jewish Victims of Nazi Oppression, or was it the People of Germany who saw their world bombed and obliterated to smithereens?  How lost more lives?  Who gave more children?  Are these not legitimate questions for historical dialogue and research?

Wagner Bicentennial Symposium
Evil Genius:
Constructing Wagner as Moral Pariah, Part 2

wagner-013,016 words

Part 2 of 4

Wagner’s Racial Thinking

In addition to his concern about the baleful Jewish influence on German culture, Wagner, under the influence of Darwinism and the French racial theorist Arthur de Gobineau, became increasingly concerned about the fate of the White race generally. Wagner met Gobineau in Rome in 1876, and then again in Venice in 1880 when he read the French author’s bestselling An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Raceswhich had been published 25 years earlier.

Wagner thought that Gobineau had demonstrated in this famous essay that “we should have no History of Man at all, had there been no movements, creations, and achievements of the White man,” and was taken with his pessimistic notion that Western society was doomed because miscegenation would inevitably lead to the degeneration of the White race.

He nevertheless disagreed with Gobineau’s claim that this degeneration was unstoppable. In his essay “Hero-dom and Christianity,” Wagner writes that:“We cannot withhold our acknowledgment that the human family consists of irremediably disparate races, whereof the noblest well might rule the more ignoble, yet never raise them to their level by commixture, but simply sink to theirs.” The Jews, however, offered a unique exception to this general rule:

The Jew, on the contrary, is the most astounding instance of racial congruence ever offered by world history. Without a fatherland, a mother tongue midst every people’s land and tongue he finds himself again, in virtue of the unfailing instinct of his absolute and indelible idiosyncrasy: even commixture of blood does not hurt him; let Jew or Jewess intermarry with the most distinct of races, a Jew will always come to birth. [1] 

While accepting many of Gobineau’s basic premises, Wagner, in his 1881 essay about the German people entitled “Know Thyself” rejects the idea of complete Aryan superiority and writes about the “enormous disadvantage at which the German race . . . appears to stand against the Jewish.” Furthermore, when Gobineau stayed with the Wagners at Wahnfried for five weeks in 1881, their conversations were punctuated with frequent arguments. Cosima Wagner’s diary recounts one exchange in which Wagner “positively exploded in favor of Christianity as compared to racial theory.” Wagner proposed that a “true Christianity” could provide for the moral harmonization of all races, which could, in turn, help prevent the physical unification of the races, and thereby the degeneration of the White race through miscegenation: 

Incomparably fewer in individual numbers than the lower races, the ruin of the white races may be referred to their having been obliged to mix with them; whereby, as remarked already, they suffered more from the loss of their purity than the others could gain by the ennobling of their blood. . . . To us Equality is only thinkable as based upon a universal moral concord, such as we can but deem true Christianity elect to bring about.[2] 

Wagner had first developed the idea of a revolutionary new Christianity in the opera text Jesus of Nazareth (1849), which depicted Jesus as redeeming man from the materialism of the “Roman world . . . and still more, of that [Jewish] world subject to the Romans. . . . I saw the modern world of the present day as a prey to the worthlessness akin to that which surrounded Jesus.”[3] Wagner here drew heavily on Kant’s critique of Judaism. Enslaved to the Law, the Jews had rejected Jesus’ message of love; Jewish egoism and lovelessness had led Judas to betray him. The Jews had preferred “power, domination . . . [and] the loveless forces of property and law, symbolized by Judaism.”[4] Wagner’s hope for the emergence of a “new Christianity” to act as a bulwark against miscegenation and the degeneration of the White race has not transpired, although some Jewish commentators see it as having being realized in the ideology and practice of National Socialism.

For the Jewish music critic Larry Solomon, in Richard Wagner “all the racist historical models from Luther to Fichte, Feuerbach, Gobineau, Hegel, Schopenhauer, and Chamberlain, come to full maturity.”[5] Yet, despite the irate epithets routinely directed at Wagner, most of his assertions are objectively true — not least his many warnings about the dangers of the Jewish economic and cultural domination of Western nations. The evidence shows that the races are unequal intellectually and physically, and race mixingdoes lead (on average) to the cognitive decline of the more intelligent racial party to the admixture. It should also be noted that Wagner’s racial views were mainstream opinions at the time he expressed them — not least among the leading Jewish intellectuals I cited in my review of Jews & Race — Writings on Identity and Difference 1880–1940.[6]

Wagner’s views on the Jewish Question strongly paralleled those of the leading Zionist Theodor Herzl. Both Wagner and Herzl saw the Jews as a distinct and foreign group in Europe. Herzl saw anti-Semitism as “an understandable reaction to Jewish defects” brought about by the Jewish persecution of gentiles. Jews had, he claimed, been educated by Judaism to be “leeches” and possessed “frightful financial power.”[7] For Herzl, the Jews were a money worshipping people incapable of understanding any other motives than money. Kevin MacDonald notes in Separation and Its Discontents that Herzl argued that “a prime source of modern anti-Semitism was that emancipation had brought Jews into direct economic competition with the gentile middle classes. Anti-Semitism based on resource competition was rational.” Herzl “insisted that one could not expect a majority to ‘let itself be subjugated’ by formally scorned outsiders that they had just released from the ghetto.”[8] Pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim notes that “Wagner’s conclusion about the Jewish problem was not only verbally similar to Herzl’s” but that “both Wagner and Herzl favored the emigration of the German Jews.”[9] Despite their convergence of opinion on the Jewish Question, Herzl avoided the opprobrium that was posthumously heaped on Wagner; intellectual consistency being the first casualty of Jewish ethnic warfare through the construction of culture.

Jewish Responses to Wagner’s Ideas

Basically ignoring whether Wagner’s views on Jewish influence on German art and culture had any validity, a long line of Jewish music writers and intellectuals have furiously attacked the composer for having expressed them. In his essay “Know Thyself” Wagner writes of the fierce backlash that followed his drawing “notice to the Jews’ inaptitude for taking a productive share in our Art,” which was “met by the utmost indignation of Jews alike and Germans; it became quite dangerous to breathe the word ‘Jew’ with a doubtful accent.”[10] Wagner was surprised by the hornet’s nest he had stirred up, and in a letter to Liszt noted that “I seem to have struck home with terrible force, which suits me purpose admirably, since that is precisely the sort of shock that I wanted to give them. For they will always remain our masters — that much is as certain as the fact that it is not our princes who are now our masters, but bankers and philistines.”[11]

Wagner’s critique of Jewish influence on German art and culture could not be dismissed as the ravings of an unintelligent and ignorant fool. Richard Wagner was, by common consent, one of the most brilliant human beings to have ever lived, and his views on the Jewish Question were cogent and rational. Accordingly, Jewish critics soon settled on the response of ascribing psychiatric disorders to Wagner, and this has been a stock approach ever since. As early as 1872 the German Jewish psychiatrist Theodor Puschmann, offered a psychological assessment of Wagner which was widely reported in the German press. He claimed that Wagner was suffering from “chronic megalomania, paranoia . . . and moral derangement.”[12] Cesare Lombroso, the famous nineteenth century Jewish Italian criminologist branded Wagner “a sexual psychopath.”[13]

In 1968 the Jewish writer Robert Gutman published a biography of Wagner (Richard Wagner: the Man, his Mind and his Music) in which he portrayed his subject as a racist, psychopathic, proto-Nazi monster. Gutman’s scholarship was questioned at the time, but this did not prevent his book from becoming a best-seller, and as one source notes: “An entire generation of students has been encouraged to accept Gutman’s caricature of Richard Wagner. Even intelligent people, who have either never read Wagner’s writings or tried to penetrate them and failed . . . have read Gutman’s book and accepted his opinions as facts.”[14] The long-time music critic for the New York Times, the Jewish Harold Schonberg, described Wagner in his Lives of the Great Composers as: “Amoral, hedonistic, selfish, virulently racist, arrogant, filled with gospels of the superman . . . and the superiority of the German race, he stands for all that is unpleasant in human character.”[15]

Another prominent refrain from Jewish commentators like Jacob Katz, the author of The Darker Side of Genius: Richard Wagner’s Anti-Semitism, is that Wagner’s concern about the Jewish influence on German culture stemmed from his morbid jealousy at all the brilliant Jews around him like Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer and Heine. Taking up this theme, the music writer David Goldman insists that: “Wagner ripped off the scenario for his opera ‘The Flying Dutchman’ from Heine and knocked off Mendelssohn’s ‘Fingal’s Cave’ overture in the ‘Dutchman’s’ evocation of the sea. Wagner tried to cover his guilty tracks by denouncing Jewish composers he emulated, including Giacomo Meyerbeer. Wagner was not just a Jew-hater, then, but a backstabbing self-promoter who defamed the Jewish artists he emulated and who (in Meyerbeer’s case) had advanced his career.”[16]Boroson, writing in the Jewish Standard, likewise claims that Wagner’s envy of Meyerbeer’s success “played a pivotal role in Wagner’s suddenly becoming a Jew-hater.”[17]

Numerous sources trace Wagner’s anti-Semitism to his perception that a clique of powerful Jews (led by Meyerbeer and Halévy) had thwarted the staging of his Rienzi in Paris, and “at his dependence on money lenders, mostly presumably Jewish, at this time.”[18] Carr notes that from early in his career Wagner’s profligacy “put him in hock with moneylenders who were usually Jews.” Already in Magdeburg where he courted his first wife Minna, “he railed at having to deal with the ‘Jewish scum’ because ‘our people’ offered no credit. In Paris he pawned his goods to Jews and did work he felt was menial for, amongst others, Maurice Schlesinger, a Jewish music publisher. Schlesinger’s cash helped ward off starvation but that made the struggling composer feel no better.”[19] Magee notes that the two-and-a-half years Wagner spent in Paris trying and failing to establish himself was “the worst period of deprivation and humiliation he ever had to suffer.”[20]

Invoking Freud and the Frankfurt School, the Jewish music writer Marc A. Weiner in hisRichard Wagner and the Anti-Semitic Imagination, claims that: “Wagner’s vehement hatred of Jews was based on a model of projection involving a deep-seated fear of precisely those features within the Self (diminutive stature, nervous demeanour and avarice, as well as lascivious nature) that are projected upon and then recognized and stigmatized in the hated Other.”[21] Weiner’s view echoes that of the Jewish psychiatrist Theodore Rubin who views anti-Semitism as a “symbol sickness” that involves envy, low self-esteem, and projection of one’s inner conflicts onto a stereotyped other.[22]

All these various theories, where Wagner’s criticism of Jewish influence is made a scapegoat for his own psychological frustrations, vastly overemphasize the irrational sources of prejudice and effectively serve to “clothe the Jews in defensive innocence.”[23] According to these theories, anti-Jewish statements are never rational, but invariably the product of a warped mind, while Jewish critiques of Europeans and their culture always have a thoroughly rational basis.

Another well-worn theory has it that Wagner may have been part-Jewish, and that his anti-Semitism was his way of dealing this unedifying prospect (a variation of the “self-hating Jew” hypothesis). It is claimed that Wagner’s biological father was not his presumed father, the police registrar Friedrich Wagner who died of typhus shortly after Wagner’s birth, but his stepfather, the successful actor and painter Ludwig Geyer. However, there is no evidence that Geyer had any Jewish roots. In his biography of Wagner, John Chancellor states plainly that he had none, and that: “He [Geyer] claimed the same sturdy descent as the Wagners. His pedigree also went back to the middle of the seventeenth century and his forefathers were also, for the most part, organists in small Thuringian towns and villages.”[24] Magee is even more categorical, stating that: “Geyer was not Jewish, and it had never occurred to anyone who knew him to think that he might be. He came from a long line of church musicians; for generations his forebears had been Lutheran cantors and organists in the town of Eisleben. There was nothing Jewish about his appearance that might have misled people who were ignorant of his background.”[25]

Chancellor blames Friedrich Nietzsche for first raising the question of Geyer’s possible Jewishness to add extra sting to his charge of illegitimacy, after the philosopher famously fell out with Wagner after years of close friendship. In his 1888 book Der Fall Wagner(The Case of Wagner) Nietzsche claimed that Wagner’s father was Geyer, and made the pun that “Ein Geyer ist beinahe schon ein Adler” (A vulture is almost an eagle) — Geyer also being the German word for a vulture and Adler being a common (but not exclusively) Jewish surname. Magee, while agreeing that Nietzsche undoubtedly intended to rile Wagner with the suggestion of his possible Jewish ancestry, believes Nietzsche’s words also represented a jibe of a quite different kind.

Wagner, a provincial with a regional accent, a lower-middle class family background, and a long personal history of penury, had risen late in life to walk with kings and emperors; and somewhere along the way (strikingly reminiscent of Shakespeare, this, as so often) he allotted himself a coat of arms. This was revealingly (it shows what he thought his descent was), the “Geyer” coat of arms, prominently featuring a vulture against the shield while the kings and emperors would have been displaying their royal or imperial eagles. I think it is more than likely that Nietzsche was being sarcastic about Wagner’s self-promotion to the arms-bearing ranks of society with his “a vulture is almost an eagle.”[26]

If, as has been often claimed, Wagner was concerned with denying the possibility that Geyer may have been his father (because of Geyer’s possible Jewish ancestry), why would he have adopted the Geyer coat of arms and insist it be prominently displayed on the cover of his autobiography? This obvious fact apparently did not deter Gutman who contended that Richard Wagner and his wife Cosima tried to outdo each other in their anti-Semitism because they both had Jewish roots to conceal. While offering no proof whatsoever that Geyer was Jewish, Gutman maintained that Wagner in his later years discovered letters from Geyer to his mother which led him to suspect that Geyer was his biological father, and that Geyer might have been Jewish. Wagner’s anti-Semitism was, according to Gutman, his way of dealing with the fear that people would think he was Jewish. Derek Strahan recycles this discredited theme in a recent article, noting that: 

Geyer’s affair with Wagner’s mother pre-dated the death of Wagner’s presumed father, Friedrich Wagner, a Police Registrar who was ill at the time young Richard was conceived, and who died six months after his birth. Soon after this, Wagner’s mother Johanna married Ludwig Geyer. Richard Wagner himself was known as Richard Geyer until, at the age of 14, he had his name legally changed to Wagner. Apparently he had taken some abuse at school because of his Jewish-sounding name. Could his later anti-Semitism have been motivated, at least in part, by sensitivity to this abuse, and by a kind of pre-emptive denial to prevent difficulties and suffering arising from prejudice?[27]   

According to the only evidence we have on this point (Cosima’s diaries, 26 December 1868) Wagner “did not believe” that Ludwig Geyer was his real father. Cosima did, however, once note a resemblance between Wagner’s son Siegfried and a picture of Geyer.[28] Pursuing the theme that anyone who expresses antipathy toward Jews must be psychologically unhealthy, Solomon draws a parallel between Wagner and Adolf Hitler in that: “Both feared they had Jewish paternity, which led to fierce denial and destructive hatred.”[29] For Magee, these theories, which are now widely entrenched in the Wagner literature, are the “crassest falsehood,” and: “The idea that Geyer might have been Jewish, or even that Wagner thought that he might have been, is pure fabrication, distilled nonsense.”[30]

Notes

[1] Richard Wagner, “Hero-dom and Christianity,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In:Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 6 (London: 1897; repr. 1966), 275–84,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/waghero.htm

[2] Richard Wagner, “Know Thyself,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 6 (London: 1897; repr. 1966), 264–74,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagknow.htm

[3] Quoted in Paul Lawrence Rose, German Question/Jewish Question, 361.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Larry Solomon, “Wagner and Hitler,” http://solomonsmusic.net/WagHit.htm

[6] Brenton Sanderson, “Jews and Race: A Pre-Boasian Perspective,” The Occidental Observer, February 1, 2012, http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2012/02/jews-and-race-a-pre-boasian-perspective/

[7] MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 57.

[8] Ibid., 54.

[9] Daniel Barenboim, “Wagner, Israel and the Palestinians,”http://www.danielbarenboim.com/index.php?id=72

[10] Richard Wagner, “Know Thyself,” Ibid.

[11] Magee, Wagner and Philosophy, 352.

[12] Quoted in Martin Kitchen, The Cambridge Illustrated History of GermanyIbid.

[13] Christopher Nicholson, Richard and Adolf: Did Richard Wagner Incite Adolf Hitler to Commit the Holocaust (Jerusalem: Gefen Publishing House, 2007), 131.

[14] Monsalvat website, “Parsifal and Race: Wagner’s Last Card,”http://www.monsalvat.no/racism.htm

[15] Harold Schonberg, The Lives of the Great Composers (New York: W. W. Norton, 1997), 268.

[16] David P. Goldman, “Muted: Performances of Wagner’s music are effectively banned in Israel. Should they be?” Tablet, August 17, 2011, http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/music/75247/muted

[17] Warren Boroson, “Richard Wagner — The Devil Who Had Good Tunes,” Jewish Standard, August 7, 2009, 16.

[18] Michael Steen, The Lives and Times of The Great Composers (London: Icon Books, 2005), 464.

[19] Carr, The Wagner Clan, 83.

[20] Magee, Aspects of Wagner, 26.

[21] Marc A. Weiner, Richard Wagner and the Anti-Semitic Imagination (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1997), 6.

[22] Theodore Isaac Rubin, Anti-Semitism: A Disease of the Mind (New York: Barricade, 2011), 12.

[23] Quoted in MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 58.

[24] John Chancellor, Wagner (New York: HarperCollins, 1980), 6.

[25] Magee, Wagner and Philosophy, 358.

[26] Ibid., 360.

[27] Derek Strahan, “Was Wagner Jewish: an old question newly revisited,”http://www.revolve.com.au/polemic/wagner.html

[28] Quoted in John Deathridge, Wagner: Beyond Good and Evil (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2008), 1.

[29] Solomon, “Wagner and Hitler,” Ibid.

[30] Magee, Wagner and Philosophy, 358.

The Richard Wagner Bicentennial—I cannot understand myself or the World without reference to Richard Wagner and his Music

The reader may recognize in my title here an allusion to Adolf Hitler’s famous (alleged) comment, “Whoever wants to understand National Socialist Germany must know Wagner.”  I have been searching all day and I cannot find a firm anchor for this quote: when and where did Der Fuhrer utter or write these words?  Did Hitler ever even actually say or write these words at all?  The phrase obviously does NOT derive from Mein Kampf because there was no “National Socialist Germany” to understand when Mein Kampf was written. 

And yet, although I can tell you honestly, really and truly, that although I am not a National Socialist by any stretch of the imagination (I simply despise both communism and socialism in all their forms and avatars), that one quote, that one statement, has always made me feel as though perhaps there was something good and decent in Hitler, especially since all the world, even his most ardent detractors, refer to him as “a great genius” and clearly, Richard Wagner was a much detested genius during his lifetime also.   I look at Nazi apologetics in the “New Right” Identity movement and I cannot say that I buy any of their excuses for the invasion of Poland.  I look at Germany, including Dresden, Leipzig, and Bayreuth (the three cities most closely connected with Wagner), and all I see is the legacy of Nazi destruction, of Hitler’s thousand year Reich compressed to ashes and rubble.   And buried in those ashes and rubble is the true moral genius of the civilization that gave us Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Goethe and Wagner.  

Many of my earliest memories in life play in my mind to the accompaniment of the Wagnerian Music which was everywhere in every one of my family members’ homes.  Lauritz Melchior and Kirsten Flagstad were like family members almost.  

To me, Wagnerian music is the music of liberation and love.  All of the grim restrictions of Baroque and early polyphonic harmony which make Bach’s counterpoint and inventions the most towering achievement of any classical music student’s early formative life.  Wagnerian music transcends life and death, and his poetry and drama teaches us that love is greater than life or death.

It is at this point in my own analysis that I fail to see “love” as a major theme of the Third Reich, and in so failing I cannot see how an understanding of Wagner and Hitler’s National Socialism go hand-in-hand.  Richard Wagner has planned to write an Opera about Jesus Christ.  I wish he had finished it or even started it to the point that we might know his thoughts on what it might have been.  But Wagnerian concepts of “liebestod” and sacrifice of life for love seem Christian, even as Wagner himself for most of his life rejected any sort of Christian moral compass in his own existence.  

I always felt that the book which most nearly approximated my own fascination with Wagner was Jacques’ Barzun’s Darwin, Marx, and Wagner.  Now, up to a point, if you mix the study of Darwin, Marx, and Wagner with a little bit of Freud and Jung, you come close to understanding not only National Socialism in Germany but most of the 20th century in general.  Jungian Archetypes all meet their downfall in Wagner.  Freudian psychology is oddly more consistent with Wagner’s tension between fathers and sons, sons and mothers or aunts, and brothers and sisters with other “taboo” women.  Yet for the most part, in Wagnerian Operatic Poetry, and contrary to historical legend and myth among the Germans and Vikings, women are the universal saviors of men.

It is for this reason that I have so often compared Buffy the Vampire Slayer with Senta, Elizabeth, Isolde and Brunhilde.   The Leitmotif “Death is Her Gift” covers all of these key Wagnerian women.   Redemption through Buffy’s death and sacrifice knows few other parallels in history or myth, except for the death of Jesus Christ…. a figure of ambiguous sexuality at best, neutral sexuality or asexuality alien to most non-Christian religions.

Constructing Wagner as Moral Pariah, Part 1

Posted on May 14, 2013

Evil Genius:
Constructing Wagner as Moral Pariah, Part 1

4,763 words

Part 1 of 4

Richard Wagner was a one man artistic and intellectual movement whose shadow fell across all of his contemporaries and most of his successors. Other composers had influence; Wagner had a way of thinking named after him. It has been claimed that “never since Orpheus has there been a musician whose music affected so vitally the life and art of generations.”[1]

A significant biographical feature of the composers that followed Wagner was how they grappled with his legacy. Some, like Bruckner and Strauss, imitated him; some, like Debussy and Bartok, rejected him; and some, like Hugo Wolf, were almost paralyzed by the immensity of his achievement. Wagner’s influence extended to writers and intellectuals like Proust, Joyce, Lawrence, Mann, Baudelaire, Eliot, Nietzsche, and Shaw. Given his huge impact on Western culture, Bryan Magee has strong grounds for his contention that “Wagner has had a greater influence than any other single artist on the culture of our age.”[2]

Wagner was a deeply polarizing figure in his lifetime, and no other composer has provoked such extreme antipathy or adulation. It has been said that his music has been loved and hated more immoderately than that of any other composer. Wagner was notoriously unscrupulous in his personal life; but his sexual and financial misdemeanors pale into insignificance beside the vastness and originality of his compositions. Even the anti-Wagnerites have had to acknowledge the magnitude of his achievement, and his most fanatical detractors (a great many of them Jewish) have reluctantly agreed with Tchaikovsky, who wrote of the Ring: “Whatever one might think of Wagner’s titanic work, no one can deny the monumental nature of the task he set himself, and which he has fulfilled; nor the heroic inner strength needed to complete the task. It was truly one of the greatest artistic endeavors which the human mind has ever conceived.”[3]

One hundred and thirty years after his death, Wagner retains a cultural prominence that surpasses any of his contemporaries. The excellence of his music has ensured its popularity has never waned, and Wagner is still well represented on recordings, on radio, and in the theater. Wealthy Wagner devotees travel the world in pursuit of live performances of his fifteen-hour, four-night opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Every year thousands still make a pilgrimage to the small Bavarian city of Bayreuth where in 1876 he inaugurated a festival devoted to his own music. The appeal of Wagner’s music, libretti, and stagecraft has ensured his music dramas remain useful to opera companies around the world as a reliable income source, even in straitened economic times.

It is, however, Wagner’s standing as “a notorious anti-Semite,” and the intellectual establishment’s obsession with him on this basis, that has increasingly molded his image in the popular consciousness. A long line of books and documentaries have explored Wagner’s anti-Semitism and his putative role as the spiritual and intellectual godfather to Hitler. In the Jewish-dominated cultural milieu of the contemporary West, this meme has taken on such a life that Wagner’s name is seldom mentioned today without the obligatory disclaimer that, while admittedly (and unfortunately) a musical genius, his reputation is forever sullied by his standing as a morally loathsome anti-Semite. A consequence of this, notes William Berger, is that for many people, Wagner “has become symbolic of everything evil in the world.”[4] Indeed, Wagner’s reputation is now so thoroughly tainted that one almost never encounters a serious examination of his ideas. As the cultural commentator Adrian Mourby notes: “The notion that artists don’t have to be as beautiful as the works they create is a commonplace now — except in the case of Wagner. ‘Judaism in Music’ is what has made him the unforgivable exception.”[5]

Judaism in Music

Kevin MacDonald observes in Separation and its Discontents that Richard Wagner is perhaps the best known intellectual who focused on the Jewish domination of culture.[6] Wagner first expounded on what he saw as the pernicious Jewish influence on German art and culture in his 1850 tract Das Judenthum in der Musik (usually translated as Judaism in Music or Jewishness in Music), which was published under pseudonym in 1850.[7] Wagner’s essay took up the theme of a previous article by Theodor Uhlig in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik that was critical of the “Hebraic art taste” that Uhlig thought was manifest in Meyerbeer’s grand opera Le Prophète.

Wagner attempted in his essay to account for the “popular dislike of the Jewish nature,” and “the involuntary repellence possessed for us by the nature and personality of the Jews.” He concludes that Germans instinctively disliked Jews due to their alien appearance, speech, and behavior, noting that “with all our speaking and writing in favor of the Jews’ emancipation, we always felt instinctively repelled by any actual, operative contact with them.”[8] Wagner here simply stated an obvious fact: that Germans, like all other racial and ethnic groups, were ethnocentric, and this colored their interactions with a fiercely competitive resident outgroup like the Jews. According to Wagner, “We are deliberately distorting our own nature if we feel ashamed to proclaim the natural revulsion aroused in us by Jewishness . . . Despite our pretended liberalism we still feel this aversion.”[9]

Wagner argued in Judaism in Music that Jewish musicians were only capable of producing music that was shallow and artificial because they had no connection to the genuine spirit of the German people. He observes that: “So long as the separate art of music had a real organic life-need in it down to the epochs of Mozart and Beethoven, there was nowhere to be found a Jewish composer. . . . Only when a body’s inner death is manifest, do outside elements win the power of lodgment in it — yet merely to destroy it.”[10] Jews had not fully assimilated into German culture, so did not identify with and merge themselves into the deepest layers of that culture, including its religious and ethnic influences — the Volksgeist. According to Wagner, “our whole European art and civilization . . . remained to the Jew a foreign tongue.” The Jews “through an intercourse of two millennia with European nations” had never fully abandoned the posture of “a cold, nay more, a hostile looker-on.” The entry of the Jews into nineteenth-century European society was for Wagner the infiltration of a wholly alien and antagonistic group whose success symbolised the spiritual and creative crisis of German and European culture.

The same thesis was advanced by Zionist intellectuals like Ahad Ha’Am (the pseudonym of Asher Ginsburg). Kevin MacDonald notes that both Wagner and Ginsburg “developed the idea that Jews could not have their own artistic spirit because they failed to identify completely with the surrounding culture.”[11] In Wagner’s view, higher culture springs ultimately from folk culture. In the absence of Jewish influence, German music would once again reflect the deeper layers of German folk culture. For Wagner, “Judaic works of music often produce on us the impression as though a poem of Goethe’s, for instance, were being rendered in the Jewish jargon. . . . Just as words and constructions are hurled together in this jargon with wondrous inexpressiveness, so does the Jewish musician hurl together the diverse forms and styles of every age and every master. Packed side by side, we find the formal idiosyncrasies of all the schools, in motleyest chaos.”[12]

For Wagner, Jewish art was characterized by imitativeness, and therefore, by shallowness and superficiality. This was exemplified by the compositions that dominated the music scene of his time. From the depth and intensity of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven, the music of the concert hall had descended to the superficiality of Mendelssohn — who had diverted the “tempests of revolution” into soothing salon music. Similarly, opera had fallen from the musical-dramatic peaks of Gluck and Mozart to the barren flatlands of Meyerbeer and Halévy. For Wagner, all that was meretricious in Grand Opera could be ascribed to the Jewishness of its composers — whose work amounted to a series of glib surface effects. He writes: “Of necessity what comes out of attempts by Jews to make art must have the property of coldness, of non-involvement, to the point of being trivial and absurd. We are forced to categorize the Jewish period in modern music as the period of consummate uncreativeness – stagnation run to seed.”

Bryan Magee observes that “to write works of this kind was to make use of art as a mere means — a means of entertainment, a means of giving pleasure and getting to be liked, a means of achieving status, money, fame. For Jews it was a means of making their way in an alien society.”[13] It certainly worked for Meyerbeer, with the first hundred performances of Le Prophète in Berlin alone netting him 750,000 marks — almost 200,000 marks more than the entire sum Wagner received over nearly two decades from his patron King Ludwig II of Bavaria.[14]

Wagner’s thesis has been roundly condemned by Jewish commentators, and yet the Jewish music commentator David Rodwin, while labelling Wagner’s essay “a vile anti-Semitic screed,” admits there is substantial truth in the “aesthetic eclecticism” that Wagner identified as a unifying feature of Jewish composers.[15] Regarding Wagner’s attribution of “imitativeness” as a particularly Jewish trait, Jacob Katz likewise acknowledges that: “Jewish qualities may quite naturally appear — for better or for worse — in artistic creations of Jews, even of those who have joined non-Jewish culture. It would therefore be preposterous to dismiss categorically all observations from the mouths of anti-Semites as prejudicial misconceptions.”[16] Magee calls Wagner’s thesis “unbelievably original” and notes that:

One does not need to share Wagner’s view of Mendelssohn, who came from a Christianized and highly assimilated family, to see that his argument is substantially correct. . . . A really great creative artist is one who, in freely expressing his own needs, aspirations, and conflicts, articulates those of an entire society. This is made possible by the fact that, through his earliest relationships, mother tongue, upbringing, and all his first experience of life, the cultural heritage on which he has entered at birth is woven into the whole fabric of his personality. He has a thousand roots in it of which he is unaware, nourishing him below the level of consciousness, so that when he speaks for himself he quite unconsciously speaks for others. Now in Wagner’s time it was impossible for a Jewish artist to be in this position. The ghettos of Western Europe had only begun to be opened in the wake of the French Revolution, and their abolition was going on throughout the nineteenth century. The Jewish composers of Wagner’s day were among the very first emancipated Jews, pastless in the society in which they were living and working. They spoke its language with, literally, a foreign accent.[17]

According to Magee, Wagner failed to notice that he was describing a transitional phenomenon — that the creations of Jewish composers would inevitably become “deeper” and more culturally authentic as the descendants of emancipated Jews assimilated into their host societies. Magee cites the emergence of Mahler and Schoenberg in the late nineteenth century to illustrate his point.

Drawing on the thesis of Heinrich Laube’s book Struensee, Wagner argued in Judaism in Music that Jews had also degraded German art by introducing their commercializing spirit into it. In February of 1848, at the funeral of Wagner’s mother, Laube had commiserated with his friend Wagner, equating the sadness of the hour with their mutual despair at the state of German art and culture, noting that “On the way to the station, we discussed the unbearable burden that seemed to us to lie like a dead weight on every noble effort made to resist the tendency of the time to sink into utter worthlessness.” As the preface toStruensee makes clear, this “worthlessness” consisted in the flowering of Jewish commercial values. Wagner’s only remedy was to “plunge dully and coldly into the only thing that could cheer me and warm me, the working out of my Lohengrin and my studies of German antiquity.”[18] Regarding the Jewish tendency to convert art into a branch of commerce, Wagner writes:

[All] is turned to money by the Jew. Who thinks of noticing that the guileless looking scrap of paper is slimy with the blood of countless generations? What the heroes of the arts . . . have invented . . . from two millennia of misery, today the Jew converts into an art-bazaar. . . . We have no need first to substantiate the Jewification [Verjudung] of modern art. It springs to the eye and thrusts upon the senses. . . . But if emancipation from the yoke of Judaism appears to us the greatest of necessities, we must hold it crucial above all to assemble our forces for this war of liberation. But we shall never gain these forces by merely defining the phenomenon [of Judaism] in an abstract way. This will be done only by accurately knowing the nature of that involuntary feeling of ours which utters itself as an instinctive repugnance against the Jew’s prime essence. . . . Then we can rout the demon from the field . . . where he has sheltered under a twilit darkness . . . which we good-natured humanists ourselves have conferred on him.[19]

For Wagner, Judaism was the embodiment of the bourgeois money-egoist spirit, and he observes that: “When our social evolution reached that turning-point at which the power of money to bestow rank began to be openly admitted, it was no longer possible to keep the Jews at bay. They had enough money to be admitted to society.” Wagner believed that Jews “will continue to rule as long as money remains the power to which all our activities are subjugated.” He later confessed to his friend (and future father-in-law) Franz Liszt that: “I felt a long-repressed hatred for this Jewish money-world, and this hatred is as necessary to my nature as gall is to blood. An opportunity arose when their damnable scribbling annoyed me most, and so I broke forth at last.”[20] In Judaism in Music Wagner finds the plea for Jewish emancipation to be “more than commonly naïve, since we see ourselves rather in the position of fighting for emancipation from the Jews. The Jew is in fact, in the current state of the world, already more than emancipated. He rules.”

While stressing the harmful effects of the Jewish financial domination of German society, Wagner believed that the Jewish manipulation of language and art was infinitely more pernicious than their control over money. In his essay “What is German?” (1878, but based on a draft written in the 1860s) he states that culture, not economy, lies at the heart of German identity, and that Jews had bought the German soul and turned German Kulturinto a sham, a mere image; and in doing this had destroyed “one of the finest natural dispositions in all the human race.”[21]

Wagner believed that the German people had been endowed with a uniquely rich inner life which had been forged during the crucible of the Thirty Years War. The body of the nation had almost been annihilated, “but the German spirit had passed through,” and amidst the physical ruins the Germans once again realized they were a nation of the spirit. This spirit had been preserved in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, and the German spiritual mission in the world was to proclaim “that the Beautiful and the Noble came not into the world for sake of profit, nay, not for the sake of even fame and recognition.”[22] Wagner thus viewed the new festival theater he built in the Bavarian town of Bayreuth in 1876 as the Grail Castle of a reborn, spiritual Germany. Far from the cosmopolitan theaters operated by city-dwelling Jews, Bayreuth would allow the German nation to regain a sense of its true self by experiencing the mythic force of its own ancient epic — theNibelungen. Through Bayreuth, Wagner wanted to reclaim German art and culture from that “race of mediators and negotiators whose influence was . . . to spread its truly ‘international’ power more and more widely over Germany.”[23]

Wagner repeatedly observed (and lamented) the fact that the Jews had stormed the fortress of German high culture, especially its music, and had successfully “brought the public art-taste of our time between the busy fingers of the Jew.”[24] A host of Jewish middlemen had gained a damaging hold over the critical press, publishing, theaters, operas, orchestras, art galleries and agencies. This Jewish cultural ascendancy in Germany was, of course, to reach its zenith in the Weimar Republic. Despite his stated views, Wagner twice refused to sign the “Anti-Semites Petition” of 1880 (presented to Bismarck) which complained about the very economic domination that so troubled him. The Petition, which quickly won 225,000 signatures, stated:

Wherever Christian and Jew enter into social relations, we see the Jew as master, the indigenous Christian population in a subservient position. The Jew takes part only to a negligible extent in the heavy labor of the great mass of the nation. But the fruits of his [the German’s] labor are reaped mainly by the Jew. By far the largest part of the capital which national labor produces is in Jewish hands. . . . Not only do the proudest palaces of our large cities belong to Jewish masters whose fathers and grandfathers, huckstering and peddling, crossed the frontiers into our fatherland, but rural holdings too, that most significant preservative basis of our political structure fall more and more into the hands of the Jews. . . . What we strive for is solely the emancipation of the German Volk from a form of alien domination which it cannot endure for any length of time.[25]

Cosima Wagner gave several explanations for her husband’s refusal to sign the petition, among them that he had already done as much as he could for the cause, that a petition he had signed against vivisection had failed, and that the new appeal was addressed in servile language to Bismarck, who by this time Wagner loathed.[26] Wagner deplored the “Jewishness” of the new German empire, which he thought, thanks to Bismarck, had turned out to be a real-politischer state, rather than a truly German one. In 1878, Wagner wrote that “Bismarck is creating German unity, but he has no conception of its nature . . . His conduct is a disgrace for Germany . . . his decisions have brought forth from the Jews a petition of thanks.” When Bismarck spoke out against the Anti-Semites Petition it only confirmed Wagner in his conviction that Bismarck had “a pact with the Jews.”[27]

For Roger Scruton, it was Wagner’s determination to use his art to escape from the increasingly commercialized world of art he detested, a world “where value is price and price is value,” and where entertainment is considered more important than art, that is central to his genius. Wagner escaped “to a garret, high above the market place” in conscious reaction against the sentimentality and disingenuousness of the art and music at his time.

The operas of Wagner attempt to dignify the human being in something like the way he might be dignified by an uncorrupted common culture. Acutely conscious of the death of God, Wagner proposed man as his own redeemer and art as a transfiguring rite of passage to a higher world. The suggestion is visionary, and its impact on modern culture so great that the shockwaves are still overtaking us. . . . In the mature operas of Wagner our civilization gave voice for the last time to its idea of the heroic, though music that strives to endorse that idea to the full extent of its power. And because Wagner was a composer of supreme genius, perhaps the only one to have taken forward the intense inner language forged by Beethoven and to have used it to conquer the psychic spaces that Beethoven shunned, everything he wrote in his mature idiom has the ring of truth, and every note is both absolutely right and profoundly surprising.[28]

Wagner fled from the commercialized world of art into the inner realm of the imagination. He believed that the idealism and heroism of a bygone age could be rekindled to dwell among us again. He strove to create a new music public that would not just identify with the Germanic heroic ideal, but embrace it as part of an idealistic nationalism that eschewed the bourgeois values of the mid-nineteenth century. In this endeavor, he strived to connect at an emotional rather than a rational level with his audience. As Wagner once wrote of his Ring cycle: “I shall within these four evenings succeed in artistically conveying my purpose to the emotional — not the critical — understanding of the spectators.”[29] This was in keeping with his dictum that art should be “the presentation of religion in a lively form.”

It was precisely this quality in Wagner’s works that most repelled the Frankfurt School music theorist and critic Theodor W. Adorno, who likened Wagner’s famous system of leitmotifs to advertising jingles in the way they imprinted themselves on the memory. For Adorno, Wagner’s musical innovations led to feelings of disorientation and intoxication that seduced audiences and rendered them docile and dangerously susceptible to political persuasion. In every crowd applauding a Wagnerian work, Adorno insisted, lurked “the old virulent evil” of “demagogy.” Elizabeth Whitcombe notes that:

Adorno believed that Wagner’s work is “proselytizing” and “collective-narcissistic.” Adorno’s complaint about the “collective-narcissistic” quality of Wagner’s music is really a complaint that Wagner’s music appeals to deep emotions of group cohesion. Like the Germanic myths that his music was often based on, Wagner’s music evokes the deepest passions of ethnic collectivism and ethnic pride. In Adorno’s view, such emotions are nothing more than collective narcissism, at least partly because a strong sense of German ethnic pride tends to view Jews as outsiders — as “the other.” It is also not surprising that Adorno, as a self-consciously Jewish intellectual, would find such music abhorrent.[30]

Adorno’s jaundiced assessment of Wagner was encapsulated in Woody Allen’s quip that: “When I hear Wagner I have the irresistible urge to invade Poland.” Scruton points out that Wagner’s attempt to engage his audiences at the emotional level of religion (which so perturbed Adorno) was already doomed when Wagner first conceived it. The main problem being that:

[Wagner’s] sacerdotal presumptions have never ceased to alienate those who feel threatened by his message. Hence modern producers, embarrassed by dramas that make a mockery of their way of life, decide in their turn to make a mockery of the dramas [in so-called Regietheater/Eurotrash productions]. Of course, even today, musicians and singers, responding as they must to the urgency and sincerity of the music, do their best to produce the sounds that Wagner intended. But the action is invariably caricatured, wrapped in inverted commas, and reduced to the dimensions of the television sitcom. Sarcasm and satire run riot on the stage, not because they have anything to prove or say in the shadow of this unsurpassably noble music, but because nobility has become intolerable. The producer strives to distract the audience from Wagner’s message, and to mock every heroic gesture, lest the point of the drama should finally come home.

As Michael Tanner has argued, in his succinct and penetrating defense of the composer, modern productions attempt to “domesticate” Wagner, to bring his dramas down from the exalted sphere in which the music places them, to the world of human trivia, usually in order to make a “political statement” which, being both blatant and banal, succeeds only in cancelling the rich ambiguities of the drama. In contemporary Wagner productions we see exactly what the transition from modernism to the “post-modern” world involves, namely, the final rejection of high culture as a redemptive force and the ruination of the sacred in its last imagined form.[31]

In the conclusion to Judaism and Music, Wagner asserts of the Jews that “only one thing can redeem you from the burden of your curse: the redemption of Ahasverus — going under!”[32] Although this has been taken by some commentators to denote actual physical annihilation, in the context of the essay it refers to the eradication of Jewish separateness and traditions. Wagner advises Jews to follow the example of the German-Jewish political writer and satirist Ludwig Börne by abandoning Judaism. In this way Jews will take part in “this regenerative work of deliverance through self-annulment; then we are one and un-dissevered!” Wagner was calling for the assimilation of Jews into mainstream German culture and society. He thus offered to take Hermann Levi, the first conductor of his last opera Parsifal, to be baptised. Under the influence of Darwinian thinking (promoted in Germany by Ernst Haeckel), Wagner later came to favor expulsion over conversion, and thus paralleled the trajectory of German anti-Semitism over the course of the nineteenth century, which “shifted from demands for Jewish assimilation by intellectuals such as Kant and the young Hegelians in the early part of the century, to an increasing emphasis on the ethnic divide separating Germans and Jews.”[33]

Wagner republished Judaism in Music under his own name in 1869 with an extended introduction, leading to several protests by Jews at the first performances of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. In the introduction he writes that: “Whether the downfall of our culture can be arrested by a violent ejection of the destructive foreign element I am unable to decide, since that would require forces with whose existence I am unacquainted.”[34] This second edition of Judaism in Music was published in the same year as Wilhelm Marr’s influential Der Sieg des Judenthums über das Germanenthum (The Victory of Jewishness over Germanism). Historian Richard Evans claims that by the end of the 1870s Wagner had read Wilhelm Marr’s essay and had “broadly agreed with it.”[35] In 1878 Wagner confessed that “It is distressing to me always to come back to the theme of the Jews. But one cannot escape it if one looks to the future.”[36] In his late essay “Religion and Art” (1881), he described the Jews as “the plastic demon of the decline of mankind,” and declared: “I regard the Jewish race as the born enemies of humanity and everything that is noble in it; it is certain we Germans will go under before them, and perhaps I am the last German who knows how to stand up as an art-loving man against the Judaism that is already getting control of everything.”[37]

________________________________

Notes

[1] Paul Lang, Music in Western in Western Civilisation (London: J. M. Dent, 1963), 878.

[2] Bryan Magee, Aspects of Wagner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 56.

[3] Quoted in Martin Kitchen, The Cambridge Illustrated History of Germany (London: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 195.

[4] William Berger, Wagner Without Fear: Learning to Love – and Even Enjoy – Opera’s Most Demanding Genius (New York: Viking, 1998), 373.

[5] Adrian Mourby, “Can we forgive him?,” The Guardian, July 21, 2000,http://www.guardian.co.uk/friday_review/story/0,3605,345459,00.html

[6] Kevin MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents: Toward An Evolutionary Theory of Anti-Semitism (1st Books Library, 2004), 60.

[7] Richard Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 3 (London: 1894; repr. 1966), 79-100,http://www.jrbooksonline.com/PDF_Books/JudaismInMusic.pdf

[8] Ibid.

[9] Bryan Magee, Wagner and Philosophy (London: Penguin, 2001), 349.

[10] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[11] MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 184.

[12] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[13] Magee, Aspects of Wagner, 27.

[14] Jonathan Carr, The Wagner Clan (London: Faber and Faber, 2007), 83-84.

[15] David Rodwin, “Wagner Was Right: Eclecticism and the Jewish Aesthetic,”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkfGEqo3YjQ

[16] Quoted in MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 98.

[17] Magee, Aspects of Wagner, 24.

[18] Paul Lawrence Rose, German Question/Jewish Question: Revolutionary Anti-Semitism from Kant to Wagner (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1992), 360.

[19] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[20] Richard Wagner, letter of April 1851 trans. by W. Ashton Ellis, In: Correspondence of Wagner and Liszt 1841-1853 (London: 1897; repr. 1973), 145.

[21] Richard Wagner, “What is German?” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 4 (London: 1894; repr. 1966), 151-69,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagwiger.htm

[22] Ibid. (Italics in the original)

[23] Rose, German Question/Jewish Question, 376.

[24] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[25] Quoted in MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 52.

[26] Jonathan Carr, The Wagner Clan, 75.

[27] Rose, German Question/Jewish Question, 372.

[28] Roger Scruton, Modern Culture (London: Continuum, 2000), 69.

[29] Richard Wagner, “A Communication to my Friends,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In:Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. 1 (London: 1895; repr. 1966) 269-392,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagcomm.htm

[30] Elisabeth Whitcombe, “Adorno as Critic: Celebrating the Socially Destructive Force of Music,” The Occidental Observer, August 28, 2009,http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2009/08/adorno-as-critic/

[31] Scruton, Modern Culture, 69.

[32] Wagner, “Judaism in Music,” Ibid.

[33] MacDonald, Separation and Its Discontents, 165.

[34] Richard Wagner, “Some Explanations Concerning ‘Judaism in Music,’” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works Vol. III (London: 1894; repr. 1966), 77-122, http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wagjuda2.htm

[35] Richard Evans, The Coming of the Third Reich (New York: Penguin, 2005), 33.

[36] Rose, German Question/Jewish Question, 377-78.

[37] Richard Wagner, “Religion and Art,” trans. by William Ashton Ellis, In: Richard Wagner’s Prose Works, Vol. 6 (London: 1897; repr. 1966), 211-52,http://users.belgacom.net/wagnerlibrary/prose/wlpr0126.htm

“Der Anarch”—Asserting our Sovereign Individuality and Sovereign Citizenship as not only “Anarchen” but also “Ubermenschen” is the only path to resist Totalitarianism in the United States and around the World

You see a lot of insults being heaped these days at the core Constitutional concept of “the sovereign citizen” as a political or philosophical movement these days, as if it were conjured up by a bunch of illiterate hillbillies  who just want to hide their moonshine & pot-liquor from “the feds” and the “revenuers.”  Credible reports from all over the United States suggest that local police are everywhere being taught to watch out for the dangerous “sovereign citizens” who assert their constitutional rights “too often or too loudly” as subversive terrorists.  My perspective on such matters is: MAY THE LORD OUR GOD BLESS, KEEP, AND PROTECT ALL SUBVERSIVE TERRORISTS WHO FIGHT FOR THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, JUST AS HE KEPT AND PROTECTED PATRICK HENRY, GEORGE WASHINGTON, THOMAS JEFFERSON, JAMES MADISON, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, and ANDREW JACKSON BEFORE….

And ever since Liza Mundy published my identity as an “Anarchist” (she left out the “Traditional, Jeffersonian, Southern Constitutionalist” modifiers to that label) in the Washington Post on October 6, 2009, I have repeatedly been asked to explain myself—how can I be an “anarchist?”  Doesn’t that mean I just want “chaos?”  Well, up to a point, I will admit that “chaos” to me seems preferable to computer driven and enforced high-tech “order.”  I would rather live in Early Anglo-Saxon or Norse Viking Society or at the edge of the Western Frontier in 18th Century Virginia than in any of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, George Orwell’s 1984, or Jerry Brown’s Barbara Boxer’s & Dianne Feinstein’s California 2013.

But it happens that living in a “leaderless” society and accepting no man as an arbiter of YOUR OWN DEFINITION of “good and evil” (or going beyond such things) has a very respectable historical pedigree….  Today I just want to celebrate Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche and Ernst Jünger— http://www.ernst-juenger.org.  

Ernst Jünger was an anti-Nazi German Conservative and Intellectual of the highest calibre and standing.  He lived until the age of 102, from 1895-1998, beating even my grandmother Helen for longevity (she only made it to 101).  

My political philosophy is fundamentally anti-modern and therefore truly “conservative” whereas Naziism, like George H.W. Bush’s & George W. Bush’s Socialist-Corporatism (which includes Obama and the Clintons, by the way), is fundamentally modernist—embracing technology as a means of oppression and control by monitoring.  

No  “Traditional, Jeffersonian, Southern Constitutionalist” could possibly tolerate the Department of Homeland Security, the National Defense Authorization Act, or any of the now thousands of related executive orders.  GHW Bush, GW Bush, WJ Clinton, HR Clinton, and BH Obama are all fundamentally students and followers of Stalin, Mao, and perhaps even Hitler. (1) 

I am much more a student and follower of Ernst Jünger.

Jünger was among the forerunners of magical realism—a very broad topic into which I think you could integrate everything from Joss Whedon’s Buffy-the-Vampire Slayer TV Series to Terrance Malick’s films (include “To the Wonder” and “Tree of Life”).  A friend of mine from the Ukraine recently commented that Jünger’s view of life and the current historical trajectory involves the “re-mythologization of the world,” the protection, preservation, and restoration of individual imagination, instinct, intuition as major factors in world politics and society.  

My supplement to this is that all historical interpretations and political philosophies are essentially mythologies informed by more-or-less gross reorderings of the events of individual, local, regional, national, continental, and global existence.  The mythology of American Constitutional Law depends entirely (these days) on the so-called “Civil War” of 1861-1865, except to the degree that it is supplemented by the post-1945 One World Religion of the Taboo Holocaust and the Credal virtues of the United Nations.

Jünger’s vision in The Glass Bees (1957, German title: Gläserne Bienen), of a future in which an overmechanized world threatens individualism, could be seen as a direct critique of Artificial (robotic) Intelligence and even this “Aryan Traditionalism” you’re looking at (which reminds me so much of “The Santa Fe Plateau and New Age Alchemy” of Yosi Taitz, Daylight Chemical, and similar companies….)

Jünger was an entomologist as well as a soldier and writer, a “manly man” but sensitive poet with training in botany and zoology, as well as a soldier, his works in general are infused with tremendous details of the natural world.

One of Jünger’s most important literary contributions was the metahistoric figure of Der Anarch (“the sovereign person”), which evolved from his earlier conception of the Waldgänger, or “Forest Goer”.  Der anarch is Jünger’s answer to the question of survival of individual freedom in a totalitarian world, and it is ten thousand times more relevant today than it was 57 years ago as he was writing.  It is developed primarily through the character of Martin Venator in his novel Eumeswil.   Der Anarch IS not only the original “Sovereign Citizen”, at least the original “post Hitlerian” sovereign citizen, he is also a Nietzschean Ubermensch, with the capacity to retake his sovereignty from tyrants and maintain it, like the Superman, even in the forest, even in the Mountains, even in the Desert.

I totally believe in the sovereignty of each person and I hate the notion that the sovereign citizen has become the object of such ridicule in our society—a terrorist profile in the target of DHS.  What is clear is that we need to reassert our freedom in more articulate and fluent ways.  Fluency is required and intellectual heritage must be asserted because of the intellectual snobbery bred into us and our by the 20th century.  This snobbery led to such atrocious and fraudulent (incomprehensible) disasters as George W. Bush having degrees from both Harvard and Yale (it’s amazing what money can buy) and Obama attending Columbia, Harvard, and (worst of all) actually teaching at the University of Chicago—teaching constitutional law, no less, at MY alma mater as a successor to Michael W. McConnell—a concept which simply shocks and derails me.

Academic snobbery, which L. Frank Baum once ridiculed as a “Wogglebug Education” even after the Wizard’s dispensation of Brains to the Scarecrow was not a factor in the foundation of America, by men whose minds and mental capacities are simply beyond equal anywhere. No, lack of degrees and academic affiliation quite simply didn’t bother the extremely well-educated under-institutionalized Founding Fathers of the USA such as Patrick Henry and Benjamin Franklin one little bit….and didn’t actually have much of an impact on intellectual or philosophical careers in the 19th century either—consider that Richard Wagner never went to a music conservatory, Charles Darwin dropped out of Medical School and only grudgingly completed a degree in divinity at Cambridge, which he, oddly enough, never really used….and the lack of formal education completed by such legendary U.S. Presidents as Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln is a part of every schoolboy’s and schoolgirl’s learning—or at least it used to be before modern education norms set in.

In this same spirit, Ernst Jünger rejected all the titles and honors offered him by Hitler’s Third-Reich, and when assigned as a cultural attachee during the occupation of Paris, chose to hang out with subversive and degenerate artists…  This is the true legacy of a genuine Anarchist, and the world would do well to remember how important the “leaderless” spirit can be when “Obama’s going to change things….Obama’s going to make it happen” as some of the children’s school songs now go….

(a)  Unlike so many modern critics of 20th-21st century totalitarianism, I cannot automatically group Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco in the same list as Stalin and his Soviet successors, or Roosevelt and his Keynsian modern American Successors. I think Hitler was in fact much more of an ordinary person than any of these others, but at the same time he had higher and more “humane” [i.e. romantic, not necessarily rational or sensible] ideals than either of the Bushes, the Clintons or Obamas, however grotesquely inept he may have been in achieving, implementing, or realizing those ideals.