The experience of ordinary citizens as well as dissident intellectuals and artists behind the Iron Curtain is relevant to the contemporary Western people’s subjection to a suite of anti-White, anti-man, anti-reality politics known as Equalism. That is a Heartiste-coined term for the ideology based on the belief that human beings and their distinct groups are fungible.
A discussion of the legacy of Communism and its effect, good and ill, on Eastern European nations is a subject for another post. Meanwhile, here is my amateur translation of Communist-era Polish poet Zbigniew Herbert’s 1983 poem “Damastes z przydomkiem Prokrustes mówi” (tr. Damastes Surnamed Procrustes Speaks), which uses the Greek myth of the procrustean bed as metaphor for Equalism.
My mobile empire between Athens and Megara
I ruled, over wilderness, canyon, abyss — alone —
Without advice from stupid elders, with an insignia of a simple club,
Clad only in the shadow of the wolf and the horrific sound of the word Damastes.
I lacked subjects; that is to say, I had each one for a short time
They did not live to dawn — however, it’s slander to call me a murderer
As falsifiers of history are wont.
In essence, I was learned social reformer.
My true passion was anthropometry.
I devised the crucible for the perfect man.
I fit the captured travelers to that bed.
It was difficult to avoid — I admit — stretching the members and cutting the limbs.
The patients kept dying but the more perished
The more I was sure that my studies are justified.
The goal was sublime. Progress requires sacrifices.
I longed to abolish the difference between what is high and what is low.
To humanity, disgustingly diverse, I wanted to give one shape.
I ceased not in my efforts to level mankind.
Theseus took my life, that slayer of the innocent Minotaur,
He who explored the labyrinth with a girl’s bundle of yarn,
So full of trickery and without principles and vision of the future.
I have an inextinguishable hope that others will take up my toil
and the work I began so boldly, they’ll lead to its end.
The original Polish-language poem is HERE. For those who understand the language, Przemyslaw Gintrowski had set the verse to music and performs it below. Herbert lived from 1924 to 1998.