This one goes out to various Western leaders.

Reading the old chronicles, poems and biographies, Mr. Cogito sometimes experiences the physical presence of long-dead persons

Caligula speaks:

of all the citizens of Rome
I only loved one
Incitatus – the horse

when he entered the senate
the flawless toga of his coat
glistened immaculate among the gutless purple-hemmed cutthroats

Incitatus had many virtues
he never gave speeches
stoic nature
I think that at night in the stables he read the philosophers

I loved him so much that one day I decided to crucify him
but his noble anatomy opposed it

indifferently he accepted the dignity of the consul
he executed his power superlatively
what I mean is, he did not do it at all

he couldn’t be persuaded into a permanent bond of love
with my fourth wife Caesonia
so unfortunately the line of emperor-centaurs was not created

therefore Rome fell

I decided to nominate him god
but on the ninth day before February
Cherea Cornelius Sabinus and other fools obstructed these sacred intentions

he calmly accepted the news of my death

he was banished from the palace and sentenced to exile

he took that blow with dignity

he died without heirs
slaughtered by a thick-skinned butcher from the town of Anzio

on the posthumous fate of his meat
Tacitus is silent

— Zbigniew Herbert (c. 1974) from his volume of poetry “Mr. Cogito”

My translation. The original poem is under Show More in the YouTube video.


10 thoughts on ““Caligula”

  1. Pingback: “Caligula” | Reaction Times

  2. One of the things that struck me about the poem is how liberal governments play the Caligula by elevating something that is not-X to the status of X. Examples include letting a “trans girl” run track and field against actual girls or giving 90 IQ whooping Negros a college debate trophy.

    But those are full-insult examples. Milder and socially accepted examples would be the glorification of women in the military. We’ve had “Incitatus” in our society ever since it was decreed that dark-skinned people are equal citizens of Western countries.

    Making a horse a senator or promoting interracial marriage is motivated in part by insanity, and in part by an aim to destroy the institutions in question.

    PS: and of course, “Caitlyn” Jenner

  3. I think a good deal of chaos is necessary for the cycle of history to continue.

    In good times, people begin to believe that laws must always be obeyed. This becomes a farce when bad men rule, as Caligula did. Then, a few see that laws are made by men and are fallible. It comes to such a point that no one can obey the rules, which is when the climax arrives.

    Perhaps a horse might make a better politician. We could substitute animals for man in many political positions and be the better off for it.

    I do not think Caligula was insane. He was simply handed a collection of power and had a great deal of freedom to use them. He wasn’t insane, the people who obeyed him were. They thought “the authority” was infallible.

  4. That is an incredible poem. Possibly the best one on the subject of political tyranny I’ve ever read, and certainly by far the best one when judged by its stunning applicability to our present situation.

    I wouldn’t even post any additional explanation, analysis, or discussion on top of the original text. Let it just speak for itself. Any additional commentary, no matter how relevant and accurate, is superfluous next to this perfect self-contained whole.

  5. PA,

    “Milder and socially accepted examples would be the glorification of women in the military.”

    An interesting question is whether such examples seem “milder” because they are objectively less insane — or simply because it happened, as an accident of history, that opposition to them was eliminated from the Overton Window at an earlier time?

    For what that’s worth, I remember that when I was a fairly standard right-libertarian who accepted unthinkingly (and in retrospect embarrassingly) much of the PC conventional wisdom, the idea that women are suitable and competent to serve in military and law enforcement was too much to swallow even then. When one looks at how much denial of everyday experience this involves, and how much contradiction with rules and norms one is expected to follow in everyday life, I would argue it requires an even higher level of doublethink and denial of what’s in front of one’s nose than the rest of the progressive ideology.

  6. — Let it just speak for itself.

    You’re right. With that update-explication, I was coloring the peacock. Gone.

    — An interesting question is whether such examples seem “milder” because they are objectively less insane — or simply because it happened, as an accident of history, that opposition to them was eliminated from the Overton Window at an earlier time

    Women in the military was initially framed as a matter of ‘fairness’ in circumstances where there was an understanding that it’s a low-cost accommodation. When mainstream society accepts a libertarian notion of Fairness, then how does one deny women an opportunity to get their first-rate taxpayer-footed education at a Service Academy? Or why not let them enlist in support MOS’s?

    Of course, the objections came from a common-sense inherited wisdom, and non-equalitarian principles, along with facts about male/female nature as later articulated by Camille Paglia. Back during my early-1990s Army enlistment, I understood and articulated these objections — mainly, I saw that women transform unit esprit d’corps and camaraderie into feral competition for scarce pussy. I also observed female performance — the bitching, the weakness, the extra attention and privileges…

    But all of that was play-soldier. Gotta be fair to women and give them equal opportunities. There was no war, they were not in combat units.

    The inclusion of women in combat units during the GWB-era Iraq invasion was an obscenity on par with trannies in girls’ locker rooms. The latter development (trans madness), I think feels more extreme because earlier, the social engineering was done under the guise of harmless but due equality of opportunity. It was not promoted in adversarial spirit.

    But the Kulturkampf of Obama’s second term (to include attacks on Christian bakeries) was naked cultural aggression.

  7. The “extremity” of “radical autonomy” is not, at the end of the day, a collective experience. It is the experience of a near infinite variance of individual perceptions. So a dulled mass, by definition, will not, by and larg, perceive a collective degeneration. A dulled mass sees no “extremity.” Neither a “woman” in the military nor a “tran-he” on the front line is anything other than normal.

    The reality is that “our” cult of spiritual and intellectual heavyweights is not drawing simple conclusions and then going about to relentlessly propagate this reality.

    One fixes to draft “our” daughters by way of Selective Service Equality BECAUSE one is planning Civil War 2.0.

    One fixes to put trannies on the “front line” BECAUSE victimized “cannon fodder” is a mechanism of mediated madness.

    What is extreme to a white man of sound mind is anything which indicates a demonic pursuit.

    OUR DAUGHTERS (and sons) in this military is the stuff of a demonically-induced extremism.

  8. There is a large mass of sickwhites whose desire for Final Liberation is already determined. What “we” must ask ourselves concerns the degree of culling that we must partake in? IF the operative paradigm is white wolves versus anti-white wolves with a vast flock of “white” sheep determined to be slaughtered, are “we” to accelerate the culling process under the pretense of getting to the anti-white wolves more readily?

    The nagging dilemma in the healthy mind of a white man is in regard to his actual participation in the process of “white” self-annihilation and the extent to which the anti-white wolves induce his complicity?

  9. “when he entered the senate
    the flawless toga of his coat
    glistened immaculate among the gutless purple-hemmed cutthroats”

    To extend the concept, slightly, Sorcerygod adds:

    “He was fleet as the wind on a Tuscan summerstorm
    But his hooves had to be shod with the blood of republicans
    What is a horse’s body, but a Titan’s dream of the norm?”

    (In my little add-on to the poem, I took the concept of the Titan from
    Greek mythology. In the same way that PA intelligently borrows from
    previous times, the Romans borrowed from the Greeks and made it
    their own.)

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