Friday, March 5, 2010
My much influenced views on the castes: Merchants
In a rash and impatient way that defines my soul as I know it, I have decided to post my very first "article", only minutes after creating this blog and designing its colour schemes. Needless to say, this is a subject I have much to say on, but so little of it comes from myself and my own observations, but rather influenced by Evola's own words. While I certainly have my own spin to put on this issue, I by no means feel obligated at all to take full credit. My views are not unique in my own opinion, but I do admit that much of these were my observations even before committing to reading Evola, though I by no means consider myself fully learned on him or his subjects.
Enough rambling on myself, which this blog is only partially about. Instead I will be writing about the castes as I understand them. I won't speak of the spiritual caste Evola mentioned fondly, as I have no idea how much of that may or may not be true, though I'm certain he believed in it for an absolutely justified reason.
As I understand it, and definitely as it is today, there are two remaining, and we'll be dealing with the one in power today, the one I have the most to say about.
The caste of the merchants. These are men of industry and profit, trade and the extension of worldly matters brought on by the previous order, the warrior aristocracy. In the broadest sense, these are the people who run the world as it is today, the people who have brought much of what we both praise (such as, in my opinion, their nice sense of fashion) but also that we loathe, the decadence and idleness that corrupted the old aristocracy.
You may be wondering what I mean by corruption. Many confuse the "feudalism" of the 17th and 18th century with the feudalism of the middle ages, the system that embodied the beautiful spirit that was Europe. For example, we imagine starving, ragged masses slaving for their masters who dance, play card games and live luxuriously in their grand palaces; the image of Louis XIV and his Kingdom embodies this.
This is in stark contrast to "true" feudalism (admittedly, this is a hard position to argue as scholars debate what is true feudalism), where the nobles actually did owe some service to their subjects, and the King had limited power due to his reliance on his nobility.
It was in the medieval elite's best interests to serve their subjects enough so that they themselves may eat and have status of their own. By no means was this system one of people working for a greater good, but this produces a symbiotic relationship.
Legally, of course, a noble owed little to serfs, but it just so happened that his duties often benefited his direct subjects more than the King himself. I'm losing track here however, this isn't about the nobility of the middle ages, but the merchant families that corrupted the feudal aristocracy.
The Kings of France needed their nobility to perform many actions, especially militarily. France under Charles VI and his son Charles VII was a Kingdom struggling to remain in control by the Valois dynasty. Beginning with Louis XI, in France at least (A King I have come to love and loathe at different points), the power began to shift from the nobility to the monarch itself. This is seen as logical evolution to many, and the Kings of France thereafter excepting a few such as Louis' own son, operated under the principle that the King was the source of power and thus all obligations fell to him. Louis XI therefore lays the foundations for the first absolute monarchy, and he was no popular man with his nobles. So how did he survive?
Louis was known to have dressed in the fashion of merchants, and to even mingle amongst them. Louis infact had nothing but admiration for the merchants of Europe, and had protected many families against the Catholic Church (though he was apparently quite zealous in his private life), and not just to dress as them and protect them, but actually mingle amongst them, though in secrecy. As such, it's no surprise that Louis turned to the merchants, the "middle class" so to speak, to keep his authority in check. Although the greatest threat to his power was the practically independent Duc de Bourgogne, Charles the Rash was also quite absorbed by merchants, though this was due to family history.
The merchant families were ones of great wealth often, and Louis XI used this to his advantage. He allowed them to buy titles rather than keep the nobility "of the blood", certainly a progressive innovation by most peoples standards. However; this is absolutely the first seeds of corruptions, done with what can certainly be seen as intention. The merchants often were people of great idle pleasures when not selling goods. Most of the extravagant and outlandish fashions that came out of Europe have tracings from these families and people, and believe me, I'm not complaining in every sense, I love 18th century fashion in particular.
However; when culture becomes dominant from this one class, this means new introduced behaviours. As the nobility had lost all of their "true power", in the sense of actually having obligations and the power that came with it, they adopted meaningless pass-times. Gone were the days when a son took up his fathers arms and defended the name and honour of his family; the era of games and folly had begun. It was charming in its own right, but when one recognises the corruption and how its impacted society today, one must oppose it.
The "merchants" became capitalists, and were instrumental in both the American Revolution and French Revolution, especially in the latter may I say. The myth of the people revolting for the most part is untrue. The "peasants" in Paris (peasants didn't truly exist in cities in reality) have always been an unhappy bunch, and when a certain man of such depravity and filth incited them into rioting, the rest was history. Rather than explain this cretin, I'd rather just give a link lazily via wikipeda, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Philippe_II,_Duke_of_Orl%C3%A9ans.
In particular, pay heed to the section "Role in the French Revolution". Even Wikipedia must admit he may, in fact, have orchestrated some of the food shortages due to his hatred of the establishment. This character wasn't really a champion of the people (and they certainly were ungrateful enough to murder him at any rate), but rather an opportunist who saw his own chance at the throne. It's no coincidence that his son eventually became King, something I could easily cite as a conspiracy.
To keep things short from here on, this is the culture that has killed what was beautiful about the world beyond our clothes and luxuries. The diversity of Europe is a thing of the past. People only want to be the same, especially those in support of a disgusting concept such as the "European Union", a superstate dedicated to making the continent into some bastard off-shoot of the United States of America.
Trade and industry dominates the world today. We no longer should care for our families and friends, but that of a collective nation. Our role in life is to make them money, and lots of it. In short, this is the class I despise more than any other, for it's the class that has killed what it truly means to be an individual, despite their supposed championing of individualism.
This is a topic I will surely speak of again, but I am done for now. The next article on this subject will cover the "lowest" order, serfs. The commoner. I wish you a pleasant day, whomever reads this.