Masculine Revival in the Face of the Machine State: From the Peace of Westphalia to the Marseilles Soccer Hooligan Clash and the Baltimore Riots
Note to reader: If you haven't read James LaFond's post "No Small Beer," or seen the related video, you should go there first.
The video is an hour long and well worth watching, but the gist of it is that there is a growing movement of Soccer Hooliganism in Russia. Young men are training and fighting one another in groups, and in 2016, around 200 of these Hooligans went to Marseilles during the World Cup and attacked their English counterparts. English Hooliganism has seen better days and they were unaware and unprepared for the battle. The video was put out by the BBC and has the predictable biases.
LL: James, you have observed that the Peace of Westphalia marked the beginning of "national machine warfare." Relatedly, Nassim Taleb has proposed, also citing the Peace of Westphalia, in "Antifragile," that the existence of nation-states, as opposed to city-states, feudal and tribal groups, led to the pattern of war of the twentieth century, with large scale conflict, and has left the world with far greater danger of catastrophic war than ever in history. This contrary to the popular view (from Steven Pinker) that violence, including warfare, is on the decline world wide. Taleb's point is that having numerous local skirmishes is much safer than having large powers in constant tension, and we won't know how bad it could get until it does.
JL: Lynn, first, violence within society continues to increase, counter to law enforcement data. Society is now more violent per foot space than it ever was. However, since our intellectuals deal in violence per 100,000 , an intrinsically dehumanized scale, we, like the wildebeest, are seen as rarely preyed upon. Medieval studies of violence show a high per-capita rate of violence. However, per-capita notions are artificial. What is important is violence per foot. How dangerous is the place where you live if you removed everybody but yourself and the predators? That is the psychologically impactive view, what produces alcoholism, drug addiction, suicide, ennui, decadence…
Furthermore, if we go along with the misleading and fundamentally flawed FBI notion of macro-data qualified violence we see the following when compared with my first hand survey:
In 1996, only 25% of violence came to the attention of law enforcement.
In 2016, only 5% of violence came to the attention of law enforcement.
During this 20 year period law enforcement has made a multi-layered commitment to reclassifying violence down, with home invasions becoming destruction of property, muggings becoming theft, etc.
Beyond this is the fact that most aggression does not result in legally definable aggression. Me following you to your car and then walking on by because your husband happens to be sitting in the car, when if he hadn’t I would have attacked you, is not definable by law enforcement.
Also, where murders may remain stagnant, with handgun killings staying steady nationwide and stabbing perhaps doubling, blunt force attacks, as the admittance of clubbing and beating victims do not trigger law enforcement responses as do gunshot, stabbing and rape admittances, have greatly increased, with cagey criminals averse to prison time switching to blunt force away from firearms and edged weapons.
Taking the above factors, from Baltimore City, into account, how can anyone look at a marginal decrease in overall killing stats across the nation, or a reduction of robbery stats [which are heavily massaged by reporting methods] and see a less violent world, where it is at least three times as violent.
A better way to rate aggression would be to track the sale and installation of plexi-glass counter shields at retail outlets and aggregate them, meaning the bulletproof counter installed on North and Maryland 40 years ago is still in use, and all of those built since, at an accelerating rate, actually amount to a manifold doubling of hostile points of aggression and predation across the real physical landscape rather than in the contrived theoretic landscape of the FBI macro stats.
As for the Peace of Westphalia, which traditionally dates the rise of the nation state, projecting force with conscription-based armies over kingdoms and republics employing feudal obligations and mercenary employment for force projection, here are my immediate thoughts.
The defeat of the Spanish tericos [combined arms regiments loyal to the king of Spain] that led to the Peace of Westphalia, killed whatever connection to warfare that heroism had, that is whatever the brutal 30 years war had not already erased. In a very real sense, that war, from 1618 to 1648 was when God was killed on the battlefield along with the divine right of kingship. Kings would now increasingly become a class of managerial despot compromised by their advisors. That war also saw the first WMD, the Hell-Burner of Antwerp. The Spanish were as evil as the rest of the players. But their soldiery still held to notions of heroism that would soon only find expression in dueling and prize fighting, which emerged at this very time as a plague on the officer class. We see honorable violence being pushed downward into society as the first modern slave armies [they emptied the prisons and whore houses to fill the ranks] sterilized war of meaning as it became a collective expedient.
LL: James, do you think the Russian Soccer Hooligans represent a return to tribal warfare? You point out in the comments to that article that these firms fight one another for practice. By fighting firm vs. firm, they signal the safety of their towns, and by joining up to fight the English, they can also signal national strength.
JL: The fact is that these hooligans are engaging in warrior pursuits with meaning as only a few hundred men of any nation can engage in meaningful warrior activity in the machine-minded armed services. Once you get below the special operations types you just have a welfare state-prison-school-system in uniform.
LL: I have mixed feelings about what they did in Marseilles, but I wonder if there aren't a few English and French who would think twice now about going to war with Russia?
JL: Such notions as national will for war are really obsolete. War is now a machined wraith of its former self, a form of macro-policing by globalists and doomed resistance by nationalists, and has been such since 1948. This Marseilles clash was about the Russians using the occasion to assert their masculine humanity over the decadent Brits, in essence saying, “We will remain Russians and men, as you are thrown on the scrap heap of humanity by the soulless system that your grandfathers fought to erect, which has now begun eating its own, reducing you to neither men or Englishmen, but a shadow without a ghost—you revolted against Modernity and sank into sloth and we carry on.”
The Russians are letting the British and the dying West know that they have all become like Tolkien’s ring wraiths—terminally, amorally domesticated ciphers.
LL: Looking back over this I have left out what I really wanted to talk about which is your idea about outsourcing violence.
We have seen that an individual man has the right to risk his own body in the violent endeavors of his choosing. You have made your life's work out of sharing your violent experiences, and we learned about some of the physical consequences last week.
By joining firms, these young Russian men compromise themselves to a group, albeit a small and highly accountable one. The leaders of the group are fighting alongside the recruits and we saw that the fighting and the leading are inextricably linked when Vasily indicated that he had retired from fighting and firm leadership, without distinguishing between the two. Moving up the scale any further removes the warrior role from the leaders who are responsible for disposing of their lives.
JL: Lynn, you have just described a real—if circumscribed within the confines of modernity—a real, actualized return to the hero bands of primal antiquity. Vasily and his men are Gilgamesh and Enkidu, Odysseus and his Crew, Jason and his Argonauts, Achilles and his Myrmidons and Beowulf and his dozen heroes. As strange as it seems Russian soccer Holliganism is a protest against outsourced aggression-based society and an expressed yearning for a return to a primal lifestyle.
LL: Thank you James.
‘No Small Beer’ - jameslafond.com
‘The European Age’ - jameslafond.com
(c) 2017 James LaFond & Lynn Lockhart