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PostSubject: Germanic honor Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:20 pm

In this thread I shall seek with literary reference to trace the concept of Germanic honor within the greater scheme of Indo-European honor.


George Fenwick Jones wrote:
As this study will demonstrate, an understanding of honor in the old German literary works depends upon an understanding of precisely the terms previously mentioned by Vera Vollmer. These terms have subsequently developed into the New High German words Güte (goodness), Keuschheit (chastity), Ehre (honor), Reue (repentance), Gnade (mercy), Zucht (breeding, discipline, or propriety), Mässigkeit (moderation), Treue (loyalty), Stetigkeit (con­stancy), rein (clean or pure), falsch (false), and selig (blessed or blissful); and thus they appear in many allegedly "modernized" versions of old literary works, thereby corrupting their meaning and confusing their motivation.1 To her list we might add the MHG words prîs, wirde, werdecheit, tugent, biderbe, vrum, tühtic, and wacker, which will be discussed.

Above all, êre should not be rendered as Ehre, except in certain specific contexts, such as in "show honor to" or "in honor of". Well more than a century ago Adolf Ziemann grasped the true meaning of the word êre, which he defined as "splendor, glory, the higher standing, partly that which arises from power and wealth (high position, superior feudal rank), partly that which arises from courage and bravery."2 A century later Albert Bachmann explained the word similarly but added the additional meaning edle Gesinnung (noble sentiment),3 which would approach our term "sense of honor". As we shall see, there are some passages in courtly and clerical literature during the High Middle Ages where this meaning seems to attach to the word êre, but they are relatively few. The modern reader should be on his guard not to intuit this meaning unless the context explicitly demands it.

There is controversy over the origin of the term ê ra, as the word was written in earliest times. Until recently scholars usually agreed with Friedrich Kluge in relating it to the Latin word aestumâre (to value or estimate).4 On the other hand, Professor Elisabeth Karg-­Gasterstädt, who is editing the new Old High German lexicon, traces it to a root meaning "awe before the gods".5 Regardless of its ultimate origin, scholars are fairly well agreed that ê ra was an objective value, a good of fortune without ethical overtones. Karg-­Gasterstädt defines it thus: "On the part of the person doing the honoring, it is an action through which an inner attitude finds visual and audible expression. For the one honored it is a passive acceptance, a desirable possession. Êra is external honor, the position, respect, or rating that one receives from the surrounding world and that one enjoys in public life. In so far as it is given, it is the object of to bear, to bring, to give, to show, to offer; in so far as it is received, it is the object of to have, to win, to merit, or to seek.

Honor in German Literature, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA STUDIES IN THE GERMANIC LANGUAGES AND LITERATURES, CHAPTER ONE: THE PROBLEM


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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:23 pm

George Fenwick Jones wrote:
Thus she defines the word ê ra in much the same way as Friedrich Klose defines the Latin term honos or honor, which became the usual rendering of the thought êra in medieval Latin writings. He says, "Honos never denotes an inner (moral) quality, the inner personal worth of a person; but rather, in so far as it is used as a personal possession, it denotes purely externally the esteem, the respected position, etc."

To be sure, the word êra was also used later to render the Latin word honestum, even with its additional meaning of moral rectitude as found in the writings of the Stoic philosophers; yet, as we shall see, this new meaning never took firm root in the vernacular. In fact, because it seems to appear almost only in translation, it is even conceivable that the translators did not really appreciate the new value implied by the Stoic authors. In any case, I am not ready to believe that the vernacular word êra actually began to have a moral connotation at the time of Notker, the eleventh-century monk of St. Gall, as Theodor Frings and Elisabeth Karg-Gasterstadt suggest.2

My own findings lead me rather to agree with Friedrich Maurer, who feels that this development was considerably later, even later than the courtly poets of the High Middle Ages. He goes so far as to say, "Painstaking interpretation of all passages in which Hartmann, Walther, Wolfram, and Gottfried use the word êre shows that, with ever diminishing and uncertain exceptions, only 'external honor' is designated."

But this controversy should be joined only after much material has been sifted. The evidence assembled in this study indicates that the new meanings of the word Ehre, particularly in the sense of personal integrity or inner voice, did not become widespread before the middle of the eighteenth century. In any case, throughout the Middle Ages the word êre usually designated the recognition, respect, reverence, or reputation which a person enjoyed among men, or else physical tokens thereof.

In this way êre was often the equivalent of dôm, the most prevalent word for fame in early Germanic days. As Hans Kuhn has observed, the word dôm, which happens to be related to the English verb deem, denoted a judgment; that is to say, it denoted not what a man had in him, but only what other people thought of him.1 Since êre, by definition, was also the approval or respect of other people, it would be incongruous to confuse it with "inner honor"; and honor con­tinued to be a worldly possession. As such, it was usually associated with wealth, the other great incentive to effort, in formulas like guot und êre, nutz und êre, vrum und êre, etc.,2 all of which mean wealth or profit and fame. Friedrich Maurer states that, "Honos et gloria, ruom und ere, lop unde prîs are utilia and belong to the bona corporis et fortunae, like beauty, strength, health, nobility, and possessions."3 Medieval writers are well aware of this fact too. Chaucer, to name but one, stated: "Goodes of fortune been richesse, hyghe degrees of lordshipes, preisynges of the peple."4 It will be observed that German poets often used prîs as a synonym for êre.

Because êre was a good of fortune, it was logical for Chaucer's Swiss contemporary, Henry Wittenwiler, to say that in a husband's absence a good wife will guard his "house and er and other goods."5 Luther used the word êre only in this external sense; for example, his hymn "A Mighty Fortress" associates "wealth, er, child, and wife."6 Goethe too seems to have used the word Ehre only in its external sense: his disillusioned Faust complains that he has neither Ehr nor splendor of the world; and, in his tale The Procurator, Goethe even distinguishes between a wife's virtue (Tugend) an her good name (Ehre).


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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:28 pm

George Fenwick Jones wrote:
The problem of tracing the semantic development of the word êre presents many barriers, among which are chronological, geographic, and sociographic factors. Since honor was a progressive concept, one might argue that it is impossible to define honor as such, but only a first-century honor, a second-century honor, etc., which might be further divided into decades if sufficient sources were at hand. Secondly, dates have only relative significance in our study: the concept of honor in South Germany during the eighth century might appear more modern than that during the ninth century in North Germany, which was more remote from Roman and Christian influences. If sufficient material were at hand, it might be possible to distinguish between the concepts of honor found in the Germanic north, the Roman-Celtic south, and even the Slavic east of Germany.

Far more important is the sociographic factor; for the concept of honor is, in the final analysis, a matter of social class, each class having its own peculiar code. For our purpose we are primarily concerned with the honor-code professed by the social element culturally dominant at any given period, the caste that set the style and was envied and emulated by the others. In the earliest centuries it was clearly the military aristocracy that prevailed and later the bourgeoisie; and during most of the interim we find an irreconcilable dichotomy of aristocratic and monastic codes. Each of these terms will be defined when the occasion arises.

Henceforth the term "Germanic" will, by definition, refer to the values of the ruling classes and will generally coincide with "aristo­cratic". Except in Iceland, where political power lay in a landed peasantry, the Germanic literature that has survived was largely the monopoly of the leisure classes. Nevertheless, even if the upper-class code predominated in literature, it is probable that the lower classes had their own codes for judging their peers. The beauty of Germanic handicrafts suggests that their creators took pride in their work and won praise and esteem by means of it. The famous golden horn of Gallehus bears the runic inscription, "I, Hlewagast. . . made this horn." Obviously the maker inscribed his name on it in hope of winning acclaim. The same probably held true of the scops and bards, who no doubt created their ballads in hope of winning praise as well as remuneration; for the author of the Anglo-Saxon poem Widsith shows definite pride in his work. Even though ancient artisans and singers took pride in their work, it scarcely affected literature until after the bourgeoisie became the bearers of culture.

It is to be noted that the term "Germanic" will refer to all the mores of the Germanic peoples before their conversions, even if some of their concepts and values may have been recent importations from the Celts or Romans. At this late date it is particularly difficult to distinguish between Germanic and Latin thoughts, since nearly all our informants about the ancient Teutons wrote in Latin and therefore perceived the world through a Latin perspective, or Weltansicht, to use Wilhelm von Humboldt's brilliant, but sadly neglected, term. When the Roman historian Tacitus says that the Teutons preferred death in battle to a life of shame, he is expressing a Roman commonplace, one which he himself attributed to Agricola, his father-in-law.1 This sentiment was no doubt indigenous to the Teutons; yet they probably experienced it differently or would at least have expressed it in other terms.

From the founding of the Roman Empire until its fall, Latin language and civilization served as models for the Teutons across the Rhine. Many barbarians visited Rome and spoke Latin, among whom was Arminius, the German chieftain who defeated three Roman legions in the Teutoburg Forest in the year 9 A. D. Just as primitive people today are overwhelmed by what they see in Europe or America, so too the Germanic peoples were ready to absorb whatever they could from the Romans. In view of the great quantity of material skills which the Teutons learned, it is likely that they also learned some intangibles.

Roman thought probably influenced the Teutons' concept of honor, or at least their reflections about it. Word may have traveled back to Germania that the Roman general Marius had erected a temple to the deity Honor in commemoration of his and Catulus's victories of 102 and 101 B. C. over the fierce Teutones and Cimbri, the first Germanic tribes that fought against the Romans. On the other hand, Roman and Germanic codes of honor may have owed some of their similarities to their common Indo-European origin; and it is not surprising that the heroic concept of honor expressed in the Iliad is quite similar to that of the early Germanic epics. As we shall see, when the Teutons first became familiar with the words honos and honestus, these words still had completely amoral connotations.2 Most of the Teutonic visitors to Rome were mercenary troops, who naturally met more soldiers than philosophers.


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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Mon Jun 30, 2014 5:34 pm

George Fenwick Jones wrote:
In tracing the gradual development of the concept of honor, this study will discuss literary works largely in chronological order. Nevertheless, there will be occasional references to earlier or later works in order to show that the sentiments or attitudes under discussion were of long duration. There will also be occasional references to foreign cultures to show that these sentiments or attitudes were not limited to the Teutons or to the Germans.

Aware of all the problems involved, I shall first define the heathen­- aristocratic-Germanic code of honor, a code that prevailed before the conversions and continued long thereafter in varying degrees. As we shall see, some elements of this code have lasted almost unchanged to this day and others have persisted with only minor alterations. Even after an ideal takes an about-face, popular behavior often tends to follow the older code.

Secondly, I shall formulate the Christian code of honor, or rather code of ethics, since honor as originally understood was incompatible with Christian humility. In this regard it should be recalled that the so-called "Christian code of ethics" includes all new values brought by the missionaries to the heathen Teutons, including some pre-­Christian pagan values. Of prime importance were the theories of the Greek and Roman Stoics, who, incidentally, were often thought to have been Christians. According to J. H. Breasted, many of the Hebrews' concepts of justice and righteousness, which eventually became ingredients of honor, had been derived from much older Egyptian sources.1

Thirdly, this study will show how heathen-aristocratic and Christian-Stoic values were juxtaposed in the honor-code of the age of chivalry; and then it will explain how they were later adopted, with major changes, by the rising bourgeoisie. Next it will investigate the new ideal of honor which arose in the eighteenth century, partially as a result of the Reformation and the English and French Enlightenment. Lastly, it will show how traces of all these codes appear in the literature of the nineteenth century, by which time the ideal of honor had made a complete about-face.
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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:24 pm

George Fenwick Jones wrote:
Honor is traditionally shown by the weak to the strong, by the subordinate to his superior. In Germanic society that meant from warrior to leader, from vassal to liege. Although there have always been some men of simple birth who succeeded through their own virtues (or vices), Germanic poets conventionally attributed superiority to good birth. As in the fairy tale, if a man of apparently humble origins succeeded in life, his success proved that he was actually of good birth. As Tacitus mentions in his Germania, some tribes had hereditary kings and others elected their chiefs; but in either case the leader was supposed to come from the most illustrious and powerful family of the tribe. Rank was thus equated with good birth; and good birth, when fortified by the virtues incumbent upon it, demanded respect or êre.

Because he enjoyed a higher degree of honor, a wellborn man did not have to risk his honor by accepting the challenge of a social inferior; and it may be for this reason that the heroes of ancient songs often asked the identity of their opponents. This fact is illustrated in the Lay of Hildebrand, the earliest extant German lay, which was written down at the end of the eighth or beginning of the ninth century but may have originated not long after the reign of the East Gothic emperor Theoderic the Great, who is mentioned in it. This song, which has survived only as a fragment, tells of a combat between father and son. The father, Hildebrand, who is returning at the head of an army after thirty years of exile, is confronted by his son Hadubrand, whom he does not at once recognize. Before offering battle, the older man demands to know who his opponent is and who his father was.


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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:25 pm

George Fenwick Jones wrote:
The origin of the social classes was explained in the Lay of Rig, a Norse poem included in the Poetic Edda. Once the god Rig came down to earth and spent three nights with a poor couple who could give him only coarse bread and broth. Nine months later the woman bore a son, Thraell, who developed into an ugly laborer. He then visits another couple in better circumstances, who serve him veal. In due time they are blessed with a son, Karl, who has a flashing face and flashing eyes and develops into a skilled craftsman and husband­man. At last Rig visits a wealthy couple who give him white bread, meat, fowl, and wine. The outcome of this hospitality is Jarl, who has blond hair, bright cheeks, and eyes that glow like those of a snake. Jarl occupies himself only with weapons, horses, hounds, swimming, and runes.2 Most Germanic and medieval German poems are concerned only with Jarl's leisure-class descendants.


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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:27 pm

George Fenwick Jones wrote:
Many peoples are accustomed to name their children for the virtues they are to acquire, and so it was with the Teutons. Like their Indo-European ancestors, they usually chose names composed of two meaningful elements. The elements were often logically related, as in Bernhard (strong as a bear) or Edward (keeper of the treasure); but sometimes they were not, as in the case of Fredegar (peace-spear) or Brunhild (byrnie-battle). It is to be noted, however, that these names give an insight only into the period in which they were formed, since succeeding generations did not always understand the names they transmitted.1 It is significant that many "Christian" names of Germanic origin referred to noble status. By adding another root to aethel or adel (noble), we get Adelbert, Adelheit, Adelaide, Adolf, Albert, Alfred, Alice, Alonzo, Alphonse, Aubrey, Audrey, Elmer, Ethel, Ethelbert, Etheldred, Ethelred, and numerous other names in all Western languages. The ancient Teutons were less impressed by the age of a family than by its current power. In periods of decadence men take pride in their remote ancestors and in ancient titles, even if the family has since decayed. That would have helped a Teuton but little. To be respected and honored he needed to be feared, and for that he needed a strong kinship imbued with family solidarity. Even the modern German word for respect (Ehrfurcht) includes the words for both honor and fear.

Like the ancient Greeks before them,l the Teutons showed honor not only to good birth but also to wealth and power. As we shall see, the early Teutons hardly distinguished between these qualities. The Germania explains how land was distributed to the chiefs according to their dignatio, which depended upon their strength, which depended upon the size of their following. A chief's following in turn depended upon his largess; and this in turn depended upon his own material resources, be they inherited or acquired. Thus the snake has its tail in its mouth. In other words: rank, wealth, power, and dignatio were only different aspects of one's relative importance in society.

For the purpose of this study we shall arbitrarily distinguish among rank, wealth, and power, as later generations have tended to do. Of these, wealth may be considered the most immediate source of êre ; for the whole system of vassalage was ultimately based upon property. The contract between liege and vassal, like that between husband and wife, was sealed and legally validated only by the giving of gifts. The importance of property in feudal relation­ships is also suggested by the derivation of the word "feudal" from the Late-Latin word feudum (fief), which in turn was derived from the OHG fehu (cattle, wages, property). Naturally the war-lord, as the giver of gifts, had to be wealthier than his followers, it being unnatural for rich men to serve poor ones. Wealth was essential for heroes in Germanic literature, except for a few wellborn ones who are momentarily in exile but will surely recover their wealth, and other people's too, before the epic ends. Some scholars seem to doubt the importance of landholding as a requisite for nobility; yet the very words adel (nobility) and edel (noble) are derived from the Germanic word whence come OHG uodal and Late-Latin allodium, both of which mean inheritable property. We shall see that it was as dishonorable to lack property as it was to lack kinsmen.
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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:39 am

Wealth was requisite for winning respect, as long as lack of wealth indicated lack of virtue. In an age of fist-law, when everyone had a right to take other people's property if only he had the might, lack of property was proof of cowardice, weakness, or shiftlessness; and poverty rightfully merited scorn and shame. As Herbert Buttke states, when a man's possessions diminished, so did his esteem and honor, for the Teuton knew neither pity nor compassion.1 In the sagas it was considered better for impoverished warriors to go into voluntary exile rather than to bring shame upon their kinsmen.

The importance of wealth as a fitting goal for ambition is indicated by the frequency of the word for wealth as a component in personal names. By adding another element to the root ead or euða (wealth, treasure) we get Edgar, Edith, Edmund, Edward, Edwin, Odo, Otto, Odoardo, etc.

Whereas wealth was a definite prerequisite for êre, it could also be its enemy if amassed at the cost of largess. In other words, a miser won no êre, as poets have attested throughout the ages.2 This was true not only in theory, but also in practice. As we shall see, failure to dispense lavishly would cause a leader to lack followers, a lack of followers would bring defeat, and defeat would bring a loss of honor and wealth. Thus expenditures were as indispensable as the proverbial horseshoe. This process is illustrated in the Gesta Danorum of the Danish poet Saxo Grammaticus, a thirteenth century cleric who recorded many ancient legends of his country. In one of them a hero named Hjalte tells of an avaricious king named Rorik, who has accumulated wealth instead of friends and then tries, unsuccessfully, to bribe his enemies to spare him. Because he has been unwilling to give arm rings to his friends, his enemies finally take all his treasure and his life too.3 Elsewhere Saxo tells of an ideal king named Frode who shared all his booty with his soldiers, being free of greed and hungering only for the reward of glory.4

1 "Mit dem Zurückgehen des Besitzes gingen auch das Ansehen und die Ehre zurück; denn Nachsicht und Mitleid kannte der Germane nicht" (Buttke, p. 9). See story of Thorbjörn ( Thule, II, 31).

2 Somewhat later a didactic poet named Spervogel said, "swem daz guot ze herzen gât der gwinnet niemer êre " (Minnesangs Fr ü hling, 22, 5).

3 Gesta Danorum, p. 62, vv. 4-24. Thomas Hobbes expressed this truth in Chapter X of his Leviathan as, "Riches joined with liberality, is Power; because it procureth friends, and servants: Without liberality, not so: because in this case they defend not; but expose men to Envy, as a Prey."
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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:28 am

Quote :
The origin and development of Western man's guilty conscience is somewhat reflected in the etymology of the word conscience, which literally meant common or shared knowledge (cum, with; scientia, knowledge). The early missionaries may have had some inkling of this etymology; for they rendered conscientia literally as giwizzanî (from ge, a collective prefix related to cum, and wizzan, to know).1 l In other words, giwizzanî was the individual's awareness that someone else (i.e., God) knew what he was thinking. God's omnisci­ence was stressed by all missionaries and preachers. He was a
speculator cordis, a spy of men's hearts, an all-seeing and all-­knowing deity from whom no deed or thought could be hidden,2 a deity who punished not only the wrong-doer but also his children and children's children to the third and fourth generation.
1 Perhaps the early converts understood the prefix of giwizzanî to be a perfective prefix, which would make the word mean "that which is known, consciousness, recognition (of sin)". This is suggested by its frequent use in the meaning of sapientia, for example in the Heliand, where it appears often in the Old Saxon form gewit. Wulfila based his word miÞwissei on the Greek word suneidesis, which also meant "common knowledge".

Guilt is a strong emotion. Shame is its lighter version. Shame basically left the collective social interactions of adults because it was replaced by guilt. Atleast in urban areas like cities, you can't really avoid the person. There's little territory between you and wnother, and the government can act as your "conscience" because it freely violates your boundaries. One can say the right-leaning people wish to preserve a buffer of shame over guilt. With the degradation of cultural shame inevitably comes a totalitarian increase of societal guilt.

One could say it was a normalization of guilt, that powerful expression of self-constricting implosion and surrender, that made the Pagan man more easily sympathize with and see as normal, the weakest behaviors of human beings. Through the normalizing, it empowered those more willing to engage in such behavior, because it dissuaded the strong from so easily pitying and being disgusted with the weak and pathetic.
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PostSubject: Re: Germanic honor Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:57 am

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CHAPTER SEVEN: THE ORIGINS OF BOURGEOIS HONOR

Being excluded by birth and profession from the aristocratic code of honor, the burghers developed their own criteria for judging their peers. Like the aristocracy, they admired wealth, which now took the form of cash and credit rather than lands and rents; and it became just as respectable to earn wealth as to inherit, seize, or extort it. Even though sumptuary laws forbade them to wear the expensive finery of the ruling classes, the burghers could never­theless flaunt their prosperity by maintaining fine houses and furnishings.

Being unable to win acclaim in battle, the burghers took especial pride in their professional prowess, be it commerce or handicraft. As a result, they aspired to those virtues that bring financial success, such as sobriety, industry, thrift, and providence, all of which had been preached in the cloisters but largely ignored at the courts. Respectability and uprightness thus began to displace courage as the highest virtue, as is indicated in the semantic development of biderbe (brave) into bieder (upright), of tühtic (doughty) into tüchtig (hard working), and of wacker (valiant) into wacker (honest). In other words, in bourgeois circles ein braver mann gradually changed from un homme brave into un brave homme. The word honesty ( Ehrlichkeit) slowly acquired a sense expressed by our term "middle class respectability".

On the distinction between valiance and honesty: An honest person is reflective. A valiant person is acceptive.

A person can be honest and dumb, which is why honesty can sometimes demand the social cost of either stupidity or alienation. No matter how intelligent, an 'honest' person in this context always reflects the same depth of thought. Intelligence enables depth - courage enables clarity. In Academic circles you'll find depth of thought but 'honest' and shallow (simplified/vague/not clear) conclusions, which are made to purposely abandon ownership of the information they receive.

A person who is valiant does not reflect light, but takes it into their very being and then recasts it out in the world as their own. (Nietzsche talked about how the introspective had a sort of dark forge within their being, that when formed, released light - I wish I could find the quote.) This is not 100% honesty as in a "pure honesty" which is disregarding 'consequence/self'. The depth of a person's valiance is proportional to the amount of the world they affirm - which means intelligence is the manifest limit of measuring the depth of their bravery.  (In practice this means the ability to reconcile the many and varied aspects of  the world. The biggest factor being personal investment which limits what phenomenon a person will accept. An example would be scientists who cannot countenance racial differences due to political reasons. Another is a person who is generally in denial about some negative aspect of themselves or the world.)

The latter, valiance, is much more admirable because the need is removed from the person casting the light - they have already processed it, and what remains shining, shines without demanding it be reflected back to them. Excess. This is the Hellenic spirit, which the bicameral Abrahamics says falls short of their "honesty". Nietzsche talked about the absolutist scientific "pursuit of truth" for its own sake - this pursuit can be seen as a consequence of confusing honesty for valiance. In practice this honesty means a denial-of-self and pattern recognition because just as 100% reflectivity is impossible, so is 100% acceptance - due to the chronological paradox of being able to accept a pattern without at the same time having inserted our own conception of causality. Without causality, there exists no self and no goal - because one could not imagine a 'means' to an 'end' without utilizing the framework of causality.

Scientists, now magicians, replacing warriors. So also then the culture devolves into the "self-reflection" honesty-as-virtue. Then it became the height of virtue to express yourself honestly - with disregard to standards or culture. Who is more honest than an animal? Science and politics then becomes the new warriors for degeneracy as a reflection of "honesty".

And, as a burghers' sense of virtue, a fundamental aspect of it is their limitations. A burger may only do and maximize what is allowed within the structural confines of the state. This is what causes the autistic bicameral thinking inherent in the burghers' virtues. When burgher ideology attempts to form itself as aristocratic, it misses the responsibility aspect of nobility, because it's values are within a system they can survive while being responsible only for themselves - a system of laws/order where they are answerable to the aristocracy, where the aristocracy is answerable to the world.

Jewish merchants then had to master the exploitation of the state because any time they would organize together and threaten another state, they would be quickly liquidated - being so few in number, power and influence.  Fitting in with the burgher class, they had opportunity for power - wealth becoming their standard and the burghers' standard because of their limited perspective. Nobles were simply rulers to them and the currency represented a false sense of power. Currency was power over internal influence in a kingdom, under the aristocracy. Not a universal power which some may autistically project out as a goal. Money is always backed by violence.

This is why the greedy money seekers and usurers, who obsess over gold or capital, are doomed to committing mass violence or deception once they have acquired such monetary power that they surpass in influence the very violent state structure that supports them. Today, this is seen as corporations who have burgher ethics but exercise control/influence over the USA policy, domestic and foreign. Responsibility is not a burghers' virtue - being accountable o
for the safety of others is not profitable - some higher value must be sought. As said earlier in the book, what higher personal and human delight is there than to be honored?

So, it becomes absurd then that in America, culture is relegated to corporations and their interests - the corporations spend money to honor themselves. The marketers of Corporation X create the culture which the CEO of Corporation X use as a standard for their philanthropy. Meanwhile, they're against actually helping any subject of the state because of the threat of competitors. Here we get a culture of narcissism and hypocrisy. A company or wealthy person seeks honors through philanthropy, but only in a way nonthreatening to their corporate interests.


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