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Old May 26th, 2006 #1
Geoff Beck
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Default #17 After Strange Gods: the social criticism of T.S. Eliot

The Truth is No Defense: 5/26/2006 #17
After Strange Gods: the social criticism of T.S. Eliot


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After Strange Gods (ASG) is the title of a thin book of social criticism authored by T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965) first delivered as series of three lectures for an audience at the University of Virginia in 1934. Its themes were sober and weighty: heresy and tradition, orthodoxy and blasphemy, and the necessary prerequisite of racial and religious homogeneity for a healthy society. The topics not so controversial for 1934, though, if spoken today at the University of Virginia would surely bring-on a firestorm of controversy.

Indeed it is both prophetic and relevant that this series of lecture were delivered at the University of Virginia, for no other institution has more manifested the buncombe which Eliot warned of in After Strange Gods. Indeed, ASG is a suppressed work of literature; so, great has been the moral inversion since Eliot gave his lecture that it now Eliot, and the ideas expressed in ASG, that are now heretical.

ASG soon after its first publication was vilified as anti-Semitic and intolerant; the denouncers were and remain largely Jews; and for that reason alone it deserves our attention; ASG rejects, what we now call "multiculturalism" in favor of a homogeneous culture and one in which the morals of the state project the morals of the population; ASG argues that art and literature are to be judged by their adherence and construction upon an organic moral, artistic, and philosophical tradition; and for this reason ASG also deserves our attention.

Unfortunately, this work has been out of print for more that 65 years. The author himself withdrew the book from publication. His reasons for doing so are not entirely clear. Those hostile to the content in ASG allege that Eliot was somehow shamed into withdrawing the work from publication. Most likely, though, his career was threatened, as are so many other men of prominence who defy Jewry.

In any case, since the work is rare, I'd like to use this broadcast to familiarize listeners to Eliot's social criticism. Tonight I'd like to summarize the themes explored by Eliot in ASG, alongside extended quotes from his book. My purpose tonight is to engage curious White Nationalist, those who who wish to know more about a great man and his warnings that our civilization -- our race -- which was, in 1934, headed for disaster.



Its important to begin tonight with a bit of historical background. The inter-war period, between 1918 and 1939 was a time of great societal disintegration and re-combination: liberal democracies, fascist and communistic states tore apart the fabric of European society. A society, which only years before had known confidence and supremacy for centuries. The Great War of 1914 - 1918 ripped apart the consensus which held European society together, and it has yet to return.

In ASG Eliot begins by discussing the futility of argument and the pointlessness of debate in a broken world; argument and debate which is incessantly manufactured by a popular press. Debate is designed to persuade and resolve, but Eliot asserts, in our age, embitters society:


Quote:
In our time, controversy seems to me, on really fundamental matters, to be futile. It can only usefully be practiced where there is common understanding. It requires common assumptions; and perhaps the assumptions that are only felt are more important than those that can be formulated. The acrimony which accompanies much debate is a symptom of differences so large that there is nothing to argue about. We experience such profound differences with some of our contemporaries, that the nearest parallel is the difference between the mentality of one epoch and another. In a society like ours, worm eaten with Liberalism, the only thing possible for a person with strong convictions is to state a point of view and leave it at that.

Exactly how a society forms a common understanding, that is a consensus, is of great interest to Eliot. It is rootless cosmopolitanism that is to be deprecated, says Eliot. Men must have a understanding of themselves, their distinctiveness, their place and locality must be independent from others; cosmopolitanism is wrecker of tradition:

Quote:
And you are hardly likely to develop tradition except where the bulk of the population is relatively so well off where it is that it has no incentive or pressure to move about. The population should be homogeneous; where two or more cultures exist in the same place they are likely either to be fiercely self-conscious or both to become adulterate. What is still more important is unity of religious background; and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable. There must be a proper balance between urban and rural, industrial and agricultural development. And a spirit of excessive tolerance is to be deprecated.
Tradition and orthodoxy, as filter for understanding, creating, and evaluating art and governing society are of paramount concern for Eliot. Tradition argues Eliot can be a good thing or a bad thing, it is not always a thing to be conserved. That is the conservatism as political philosophy is not universally applicable. Eliot asserts:



Quote:
Not only is it possible to conceive of a tradition being definitely bad; a good tradition might, in changing circumstances, become out of date. Tradition has not the means to criticise itself; it may perpetuate much that is trivial or of transient significance as well as what is vital and permanent. And while tradition, being a matter of good habits, is necessarily real only in a social group, orthodoxy exists whether realised in anyone's thought or not. Orthodoxy also, of course represents a consensus between the living and the dead...



Throughout ASG Eliot refers to orthodoxy, in contrast to tradition, as something of the of the "blood", of the "kin", something immutable. I have come to understand Eliot's idea of orthodoxy is what we might call an Ethnic Genetic Interest (EGI) or simply 'race'. Eliot's orthodoxy is, after many readings of ASG, I've come to believe, the permanent collective racial interest which binds our race to generations past; racial interests which are then reflected, whether opaquely or transparently - that is to say positively or negatively, in our traditions.

After defining tradition and orthodoxy Eliot comes to terms with the subject of heresy and blasphemy. Tradition, in Eliot's time, almost exclusively existed within the context of Christianity. Even as late as the 1930s it was still possible to conceive of Europe and the United States as a Christian civilization. Though, Eliot had his doubts this was still the case. In particular whether blasphemy, a necessary component of a Christian society, was still operable.

Quote:
...no one to-day can possibly blaspheme in any sense except that in which a parrot may be said to curse, unless he profoundly believes in that which he profanes; and when anyone who is not a believer is shocked by blasphemy he is shocked merely by a breach of good form; and it is a nice question whether, being in a state of intellectual error, he is or is not committing a sin in being shocked for the wrong reasons. It is certainly my opinion that first-rate blasphemy is one of the rarest things in literature, for it requires both literary genius and profound faith, joined in a mind in a peculiar and unusual state of spiritual sickness.
What Eliot suspected, before most others of his time, was that Christianity had been hollowed-out by liberalism and egalitarianism; Christianity as an ordering principle and an instrument for understanding the world had ended.

There are many more themes in ASG which this broadcast could probe: the loss of reason and coherence to passion and emotion in literature, along with the rise of the "unregenerate" conceited personality to that of one marked by internalization and restraint. T.S. Eliot also compares and contrasts the work of Ezra Pound, James Joyce and D.H. Lawrence, using the terms, as defined in ASG, of tradition and orthodoxy.

Perhaps, as White Nationalists, the most important aspect of ASG is that it is Aryan. That is Mr. Eliot, in this work of social criticism approaches serious themes in the context of a tradition of European thought and critique centuries old. Importantly, ASG is free of obfuscation, tawdry toilet humor, and psychological 'hocus-pocus' jargon, that indeed, it is to say, ASG, is free of Judaizers and Judiazation, which is say it is coherent, and marked by specificity and elegance.

Most of know Eliot as poet and playwright, and indeed he is still honored as among the finest in the English language. But his social and literary criticism are today hardly known. Many libraries and bookstores stock two fine works of his social criticism, which echo themes in ASG, and they are Notes Towards the Definition of Culture and The Idea of a Christian Society. If you also enjoy Eliot's work please PM me from the forum and I'll send you instructions on how to obtain a copy of After Strange Gods.



[Clip]

THE WASTE LAND

V. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID
After the torchlight red on sweaty faces
After the frosty silence in the gardens
After the agony in stony places
The shouting and the crying
Prison and palace and reverberation
Of thunder of spring over distant mountains
He who was living is now dead
We who were living are now dying
With a little patience
Here is no water but only rock
Rock and no water and the sandy road
The road winding above among the mountains
Which are mountains of rock without water
If there were water we should stop and drink
Amongst the rock one cannot stop or think
Sweat is dry and feet are in the sand
If there were only water amongst the rock
Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit
There is not even silence in the mountains
But dry sterile thunder without rain
There is not even solitude in the mountains
But red sullen faces sneer and snarl
From doors of mudcracked houses
If there were water
And no rock
If there were rock
And also water
And water
A spring
A pool among the rock
If there were the sound of water only
Not the cicada
And dry grass singing
But sound of water over a rock
Where the hermit-thrush sings in the pine trees
Drip drop drip drop drop drop drop
But there is no water
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Old May 27th, 2006 #2
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Intriguing material, Geoff. Thanks.
 
Old May 27th, 2006 #3
Aryan Lord
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An important and interesting find.
 
Old May 27th, 2006 #4
Abzug Hoffman
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"In our time, controversy seems to me, on really fundamental matters, to be futile. It can only usefully be practiced where there is common understanding. It requires common assumptions; and perhaps the assumptions that are only felt are more important than those that can be formulated. The acrimony which accompanies much debate is a symptom of differences so large that there is nothing to argue about."

Controversy in the press probably equals the global power elite implementing their agenda over the protests of the locals. The locals may scream, and the press may pretend to be sympathetic, but the commie-jew agenda always goes forward. Which is why today no one can get up at a podium anywhere in the USA and give out an opinion like this. Even though almost every white 50 years and up would still say - that makes sense to me!
 
Old May 27th, 2006 #5
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Beck,

Great post. It's good to see our fellows had been fighting the good fight. I look forward to reading "Strange gods".
 
Old May 28th, 2006 #6
Subrosa
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Default Once More, A Great Broadcast

GB is the only one on so called "VNN Radio" that I listen to, and I hope he's getting heard on pod-cast. He needs to be heard far and wide.
 
Old May 28th, 2006 #7
Abzug Hoffman
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I dunno, sounds like he might be trying to be sarcastic or mocking or something here. I wonder if the line about Jews got a laugh, as everyone in the audience agreed they needed MORE Jews to get rid of all those 'bad' WASP traditions?

This kind of reminds me of the Screwtape Letters -

"And you are hardly likely to develop tradition except where the bulk of the population is relatively so well off where it is that it has no incentive or pressure to move about. The population should be homogeneous; where two or more cultures exist in the same place they are likely either to be fiercely self-conscious or both to become adulterate. What is still more important is unity of religious background; and reasons of race and religion combine to make any large number of free-thinking Jews undesirable. There must be a proper balance between urban and rural, industrial and agricultural development. And a spirit of excessive tolerance is to be deprecated."
 
Old May 28th, 2006 #8
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It was the first time that I listened. But this only made me want to hear all the previous broadcasts.

Nice!
 
Old May 31st, 2006 #9
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Good show!

We must regain our historic White intellectual property and collective brain trust that the jew has stolen away. You are doing your part to bring it back home.

Thank you.
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Old May 31st, 2006 #10
Geoff Beck
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Thanks for the kind comments. Strange, I thought this show would be a real snoozer.
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Old June 2nd, 2006 #11
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I'ld like to know how to get hold of a copy of 'After Strange Gods' but I can't PM you for some reason.

Could you Email or PM me the details?
 
Old June 5th, 2006 #12
Geoff Beck
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Try PM'ing me now, James.
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Old June 7th, 2006 #13
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17 excellent as always Geoff. Could you please email or PM (what is PM?) me a copy of After Strange Gods? Thanks in advance
 
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