Cultural Memory

28Sherman regularly posts WWI images on his blog. Some of them connect us with the soldier in the image, other photos show strange inventions as each side was rushing to adapt to the changing technology of the battlefield. I think his aim is to reconnect us with the continuity of our civilization. I came across a good maxim the other day: “In Europe 100 miles is far. In America 100 years is old.”

A cultural amnesia is reinforced by the cacophony of electronic stimuli and shades of mud. Westerners are drowning in sewage and have no idea what to say besides “White people have no culture.” For someone under thirty in the United States, watching a YouTube video with 1980s TV commercials can be dislocating. “Wow, everybody is White and the girls are … how do you say… I’ve never seen this before… is ‘nice’ the word I’m looking for?”

I don’t know much about Dresden beside what I read in Vonnegut’s novel. What do young Germans know about it? Do they even know that something existed before all the bitchy women, the Turks and now the full terror of race-replacement? The teenagers who died in the firebombings… did they ever exist? do they have anything to tell us?

It’s a similar idea with my Warsaw snapshots in the previous post. My blog’s tagline is also an appeal to cultural memory. How can you live any other way when all you know is the way you live now? To somebody who is Eastern European, Communist propaganda reels from the 1940s might connect him with his grandparents’ stories about rabid Party apparatchiks and their unchecked power to ruin lives at every level of society, the blood-curdling 3:00 AM secret police knocks on the door, the mass imprisonments — and the Happy Face of socio-realist art plastered over all of it. But there were also ruins that had to be rebuilt, and they were. The workers were the heroes, whatever they thought about those staged Bricklaying Competitions.

A Westerner will look at scenes from Warsaw as exotic in their particulars but familiar in terms of his undefined hunger. Whether it’s the idyllic video of a stroll of a through 1990s Warsaw I linked to in my previous post, or the bricklayers in 1947 “A Warsaw Day,” he will see a public space that belongs to its rightful people. No war, no tension, no ceding of ground, no foreign faces, no ugly languages, no dissonance, no withdrawal from life. Having seen the past, he’ll find clarity about fighting for peace and his future.


17 thoughts on “Cultural Memory

  1. Pingback: Cultural Memory | Reaction Times

  2. Hate is an effective motivator, but it’s a culture that keeps people together in good times, and prevents neighbors from tearing each other apart when the local noble is off at his overlord’s court.

  3. “Do they even know that something existed before all the bitchy women, the Turks and now the full terror of race-replacement?”

    I’m very lucky. My great-aunt wrote a huge history of our settler family going back to the 17th century. But I don’t know how most people would know what came before. Even simple curiosity about their ancestors is quashed within them. They don’t even know what they don’t know.

    You are absolutely spot on, PA. When you know the past you appreciate where the things we take for granted come from, who built them, who they belong to and how easily they can be lost.

    One of the many things that annoy me about the churchians is their bastardisation of the 5th commandment. Honour thy mother and father does not mean dishonour thy great-grandmother and great-grandfather.

    I loved the Warsaw Concerto btw. Was like a mix of Chopin and Gershwin.

  4. “The workers were the heroes…”

    All those anonymous builders of Chartres Cathedral come to mind here. Whoever internalizes this idea may know real independence. Have a great wknd, fellaz. Hittin’ the water.

  5. — Hate is an effective motivator, but it’s a culture that keeps people together in good times

    That’s an important point. There is an unusual phenomenon in the West today, where you have the wonderful high-functioning “nice White people” environments, but they are so … unguarded because they lack both the hate to outright protect the peach, as well as no authentic sense of culture to draw a line between us vs. them to nip infiltration (racial, ideological) in the bud.

    — When you know the past you appreciate where the things we take for granted come from

    That famous line by George Satayana about studying history so that we don’t repeat our mistakes… I see things a bit differently. I subscribe to a certain amount of historic determinism, in that we will repeat our mistakes regardless of our wisdom.

    So maybe the reason to know history is to know who you are. Self knowledge protects against erosion.

  6. In Europe 100 miles is far. In America 100 years is old

    True, I’ve heard this before. My wife and I were in Scotland a few years ago, in Edinburgh, and we overheard a conversation with a university student who claimed she didn’t get home very often because was going to school “all the way on the west coast.” I roffled.

    The 100-years-is-old is a big problem in North America, but worse here in Canada. In Europe, even if they’ve become rather secular and tried to shed the trappings of the past, they can’t, not completely, because they are constantly surrounded by thousands of years of visible history. The US, by contrast, while it doesn’t feature centuries-old buildings as cultural reference points, has an ethos (“freedom” and “the constitution”) to believe in. Canada has NONE of the above which is a major reason why we are tossed here and there by every wind of change.

  7. I adore these 100-year-old photographs. I have a coffee-table book about London’s East End in the pre-WWI era, featuring contemporary photos. For some reason the one that jumps to mind is a photo of a mother and her toddler playing with a toy boat in pond. Not so different from my family.

  8. Here’s a thought, to highlight the myopia that’s inevitable to anyone under the age of, oh, about 60:

    Can you believe that there are people alive today who were alive before the Great War? Can you believe there are people alive today who were alive when Russia was ruled by Czars?!

    THAT is how fleeting a hundred years really is.

  9. And I suppose – on the topic from the other day about respecting your elders – I suppose a reason that I always had a positive view of native American cultures is that they venerate their old men. A culture that honours its elderly is doing something right.

  10. Me too. On a slight tangent, I find the first World War much more fascinating than the Second, for various reasons, but one of them is the way that it transformed society in a way that echoes down to today. Imagine living in a technological society that *believed* in itself!

  11. I don’t have anything, but this comment from Unz this morning,

    The left is trying hard to find out who’s in charge of this alt-right thing, and they’re flailing around like madmen. They have a powerful psychological need to target someone, demonize him as their chief foe and attack him. We could tell the left that no one’s in charge of the alt-right because it’s a democracy of ideas and thinkers, but they won’t accept it.

    This is from the thread on Bronze Age Pervert, which apparently is a troll handle for Moldbug.

    Another commenter then says,

    Greg Johnson at Counter-Currents is right. It’s always unsympathetic outsiders who insist Moldbug & Friends are a big deal.

    I agree with the thrust of these two comments: The AR is a democracy of ideas, or as i like to put it: The Alt Right is the Conversation.

    And it is the Establishment Left who seize on a character like Moldbug, who means nothing to me, as a leader figure whose obscure ideas can be categorized and caricatured and written off.

    (I am not dissing Moldbug, but rather that the Establishment seizes on him — because they are unable to recognize the grass roots vitality what they are witnessing.)


    To call it “the Conservation” is kinda gay leftist theater-speak — but the fact that it is gay leftist theatre-speak is exactly an example of the problem: which is that the gay leftists managed to get a hold of the levers of discourse, the myth-making apparatus, aka the Narrative; then having control of those levers they naturally control the meta-vocabulary on the process of forming such narrative.

    We — We White Americans — need to have control of our own culture. We need to tell ourselves our own stories, and which own stories includes the dull daily news.

    tl;dr: again, the jews

  12. Moldbug’s contribution was articulating the intra-national conflict. It’s hard to overstate the value of his work on that score. He is a good writer and I learned a lot at UR. But his prescriptive ideas were monstrous, even if you take them very metaphorically, because his absolute solutions rested on an absolute fear of chaos. In contrast, White solutions tend to allow for chaos (freedom) in the context of local autonomy (liberty).

    He appears to have broken his tie with the AltRight. Last year when trying to mend fences with an SJW contingent that sought to bar him from some I.T. event, he made them an offering in the form of calling our side “shit-grade voters.”

  13. I agree with the thrust of these two comments: The AR is a democracy of ideas, or as i like to put it: The Alt Right is the Conversation. (Elk)

    Exactly right. It’s the conversation they don’t want us to have. You can tell the left is intellectually exhausted because it has ossified into speech codes. They are now in a state of moral panic. They never saw us coming.

  14. Nice chaser!

    The longer game is to cleanse Europe of every non-White there, regardless of religion or behavior. Reconquista II.

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