Count Jack Black
Is it civilisation, this trajectory we have embarked upon?
It may once have been regarded thus.
In some things, perhaps, but not in others…
We may call it ‘democritisation’,
knowing our states are now too large for effective democracy.
Whatever we call it, the evolving Europe will end
with results its propagators least anticipated.
We are cultivating a breeding ground for tyrants.
… “But let us suppose a stateman were to put his nation in the position
of having to pursue ‘grand politics’ though it were ill equipped to do so.”
“Or worse, suppose he forced his nation to politicise when it had otherwise
better things to do…”
“Would we call such a statesman great?”
“Undoubtedly, else he would not have been able to achieve such a feat.
He may have been mad to attempt it but perhaps all greatness starts out as madness.”
“I disagree, we might want to call him strong and mad but never great!”
Let the ignorant speculate –
When one nation becomes spiritually shallow,
another sets out for the deep…
“He understands about as much philosophy as a pheasant!”
“He is, then, an innocent.”
“But it is all one in this age of the masses.”
“They prostrate themselves before anything, well, massive.”
“And also in politics, where the statesman responsible
for constructing the biggest Babel is called great.”
“While we can rest secure in the old belief
that only a great idea can bestow greatness
on deed or cause.”
Wherever the spirit of industry
triumphs over the aristocratic spirit
woman aspires to the economic and legal independence of a clerk.
‘Erica-the-Cleric’, stands inscribed over the portal of our modern society.
There has been an almost masculine stupidity about this movement
of which real women, that is to say clever women, are heartily ashamed.
There has been a desire to make woman more cultivated
as if history had not declared that to cultivate anything
is to make it weaker.
That in woman which inspires respect is her ‘nature’,
which is more ‘natural’ than that of man,
her beast-of-prey suppleness and inner savagery.
Woman is being divested of her enchantment.
Europe, O’ Europe…
No Goddess lies concealed within this crazy notion.
It is just an idea, and a thoroughly modern idea at that!
The spirit most resmbles a stomach.
Its intent is always the assimilation of new experience,
according to its digestive capacity.
The free spirit,
that discarder of cloaks and masks,
is endowed with brutal honesty.
To return man back to nature,
to confront man with man
as man confronts the rest of nature,
with dauntless eyes
and ears deaf to the piped strains
of ‘better’ and ‘more’ and ‘above’…
That is the task!
The hour grows late.
The shadows lengthen.
As ever that supernatural fear
of the savage holds sway.
It calls us to the compound to watch it prowl.
We see it reflected in our eyes.
All we designate high culture comes from that gleam.
We glorify it and call it God.
Yet, still fearful, we seek to swipe it from the face of the earth.
Without that glint what remains to serve up for our delectation?