samedi 13 février 2010

Neopaganism and boarding school stories (warning: partly disgusting)

Aristotle had a bad page, like that about "naturaliter domini ... naturaliter servi"1.

Plato had a bad page about the warrior caste in which everyone competes in prowess and the victor gets laid with any guy or gal he likes.

But already neo-pagans make it one worse:
  • a) they combine these two bad pages;
  • b) so that the "getting laid with any guy or gal you like" is no longer a matter of victory in competitions within the competing class, but of being fond of "leading" by that natural talent for domination;
  • c) the one who has the humility to follow is no longer in a lower class where sex benefits go with other criteria than victories in competitions, he is all of a sudden - at least for the moment - the non-victor without the sex benefits.

All this may have started in the kind of "public school"2 that C. S. Lewis' autobiography described as "Belsen". As homosexual pleasures were still in legal theory punishable and publically condemned, they were little talked about, and a thing managed with that kind of discretion was of course reserved for aces (in that school aces at sports). Heterosexuality active at boarding schools was not between pupils, since female such were not to be had. Getting laid with a maid-servant was a matter of money.

Since then two-sexed boarding schools have taken the system further into the open and into "normalcy". I can tell that when you are not accepted as a natural leader, and if you are not a naturally quiet person either, they try to push you into the role of "natural follower" or - to use Aristotle's crude terms: "natural slave".

If you feel you can be like a hang around guest with some people and they cannot drag you along as much as they want to, someone will say "the problem with you, Hans, is that you totally lack integrity".

Someone else will accuse the guy that you do seem to "follow" of being after your arse-hole. When you come to hear about it, it will be arranged that you are relieved from the responsibility of defending your honour by an assurance that it was only a joke. Just a bad joke, nothing to worry about.

Someone has claimed in criticism of this fantasy series with a boarding school theme that it is very ugly in details, like including very mean spells and these spelled out in great detail page after page. I did not feel I had to look into that book. I had no problem beliving that when I knew it was about a boarding school.

C. S. Lewis called the one boarding school in his life "Belsen". His brother enjoyed it. Guess who of them became an alcoholic? Right: Warren H. - Clive Staples had to look after him from time to time.

I had not read C. S. Lewis' autobiography yet when I was given the option between boarding school or special school - because the school where I was, was neo-pagan too in a way. A fourteen year old boy who had thoughts of marriage was seen as a misfit - at least since I was neither "leader" nor "good at sports". I chose boarding school in horror of special school. Home schooling had been explicitly forbidden by the social authorities. It was supposed to be dangerous for my "social development" or something.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Beaubourg in the
Public Information Library
of Georges Pompidou
13 Febr YooL 2010.

1Latin for "naturally masters ... naturally slaves", the original Greek being probably "physei despotai ... physei douloi" but I read that in quotes by St Thomas Aquinas - for whom a "naturally slave" is a felon, and otherwise that condition cannot be ascertained in his opinion.
2As Chesterton noted: "public schools" really mean or meant private boarding schools nowadays or back then. Private as in reserved for those able to pay, and, as an inheritance since older and more innocent days of real public funding for really needy students without heavy taxation, boarding schools since not present all over the country. Back when they were funded, homosexuality would have been severely repressed. Like in Catholic Clergy before certain pastoral and ascetic or anti-ascetic reforms after Vatican II. And, I suppose, most places after that too.

title- "neopaganism" stands for neopagan morality within a theoretical framework of atheism or materialism: I do not believe neopagan cults are good, but their badnesses are on a different plane, their inter-human ethics are often enough closer to Christianity than that.