Historical Factoids II

I got this started a few days ago and was sidetracked. I wanted this daily post to be an unearthing of long buried journalistic reporting on interesting historical factoids.

“While there are in Russia and Romania six millions of Jews who are being systematically degraded …”

Encyclopedia Britannica, 10th Edition, Vol. 25, 1902, page 482

Here was the Historical factoid from day 1


Historical Factoids

I’m starting a series that will look at forgotten reporting in history. I will cut and paste one small factoid from history and over time we will see if a pattern develops. We won’t make any conclusions about what any pattern might or might not mean, leaving that up to each individual to conclude. History is full of odd coincidences and finding patterns is always a dicey business.

1900 – Stephen S. Wise, New York Times, June 11, 1900

“There are 6,000,000 living, bleeding, suffering arguments in favor of Zionism.”

True American Principles

“General Richard Taylor, in one of the best Confederate memoirs,’Destruction and Reconstruction’, related what happened as he surrendered the last Confederate troops east of the Mississippi in 1865;

A German, wearing the uniform of a Yankee general and speaking in heavily accented English, lectured him that now that the war was over, Southerners would be taught ‘the true American principles.’ Taylor replied, sardonically, that he regretted that his grandfather, an officer in the Revolution, and his father, President of the United States, had not passed on to him true American principles. Yankeeism was triumphant.”

A Slightly Different Narrative

“The Slave trade is the ruling principle of my people. It is the source and glory of all their wealth. The Mother lulls the child to sleep with notes of triumph of an enemy reduced to slavery.”

Black African King — King Gezo of Dahomey

Upon hearing of the United Kingdom’s ending of the Slave trade The King of Bonny (now in Nigeria) was horrified at the conclusion of the practice and said,

” We think this trade must go on. That is the verdict of our oracle and the priests. They say that your country, however great, can never stop a trade ordained by God himself.”

Ancient Egypt & Communist Russia — A Unifying Thread

Yesterday I was doing some reading on the religions and philosophies of the Ancient world. I came across an explanation of the Egyptian Ma’at religious / philosophical systems.

“The concept of the State was a necessary corollary in the total cosmic ideal of ancient Egyptian culture and religion. And central to the idea of the state was the divinity of the King. ‘The State was not a man made alternative to other forms of political organization. It was god-given …. it continued to form part of the universal order. In the person of the Pharaoh a super human being had taken charge of the affairs of men….’ In consequence the service of Pharaoh was a religious, not a purely secular function, and sense of duty was strengthened by faith. The ancient Egyptian’s culture was a slave culture, one of absolute servitude to the power and authority of the King…. The fiat word of Pharaoh could brook no opposition. The life of the Egyptian was in the hand of his king as in the hand of his god…. It is not strange, then, that his conception of Ma’at (right order) should be viewed more in terms of what it is not, than of what it is; that he should be more concerned with what threatened to destroy it than what justifies its nature and existence. Ma’at has been established. That is axiomatic. The wise man will live so as to not upset the rule of the right order. He will bow in submission to Ma’at. He will submit unreservedly to his god-king….

Simply put, Ma’at was an order that could not be violated with impunity.

Michael Kelly
The Burden of God — pg. 34-36

This social order philosophy was known as Ma’at. The Ma’at system, as the quote above indicates was a slave system. In the pecking order in Ancient Egypt all were the slaves of someone above them in the pecking order and Pharaoh was the Slave-master of all. (Though one might argue that Pharaoh himself was slave to a religious / philosophical social order he knew was not true.) The Pyramid thus becomes the perfect symbol of Ma’at because in the Pyramid you have the pinpoint apex of the triangle representing Pharaoh as at the top of the religious / philosophical social order and everything under the apex of the Pyramid triangle serves and supports the Pharaoh apex.

As I was reading the above quoted description suddenly my reading on the Communist show trials of the 1930’s came to mind. Here were many of the Old Bolshevists who created the Soviet Ma’at system revealing their loyalty to the religious / philosophical order confessing their guilt even though they were clearly innocent f the charges preferred against them. All they had was the Ma’at State. That was their reality. They could no more deny the Communist State then they could deny themselves. If the State said they were guilty then they must be guilty.

And though the Bolsheviks insisted they were Atheists it is clear that they viewed the State and the Party as god walking on the earth. As such, if their god, as apotheosized in Stalin, said they were to be shot for false crimes committed against the party then they would go to their execution singing songs of praises.

Nikolai Bukharin (1888-1938) was one such example of this. Even though Bukharin wrote a series of very emotional letters to Stalin protesting his innocence and professing his love for Stalin, in his final plea the Old Bolshevik who worked with Lenin to establish the Soviet Ma’at State could explain,

“For three months I refused to say anything. Then I began to testify. Why? Because while in prison I made a revaluation of my entire past. For when you ask yourself: ”If you must die, what are you dying for?” – an absolutely black vacuity suddenly rises before you with startling vividness. There was nothing to die for, if one wanted to die un-repented. And, on the contrary, everything positive that glistens in the Soviet Union acquires new dimensions in a man’s mind. This in the end disarmed me completely and led me to bend my knees before the Party and the country.”

This is nothing but Ma’at speak. All in the Party / State. Nothing outside the Party / State.

Stalin had become the new Pharaoh (God-King) and all below him would serve him as slave, even if that meant bowing to the Pharaoh’s desire for Bukharin to lie in order to support the god-king’s false accusation.

But shed no tears for Bukharin. The man sowed the wind and he merely reaped the whirlwind.