Bloody Shovel 3

We will drown and nobody shall save us


So some people are saying I'm just some rootless cosmopolitan who speaks Chinese. How can I be alt-right?

此言差矣. It doesn't work like that. I have insight precisely because I've been around, and I've read around. Let me prove my alt-right bona-fides by quoting Zhu Yuanzhang, the great founder of the Ming Dynasty, the Empire of Brightness.

Zhu Yuanzhang is the greatest rags-to-riches story in the history of mankind. He was some minor son of a landless peasant, born during the period of Mongol rule in China. Mongol government in China was quite horrible; infrastructure decayed, bandits were everywhere, and all manner of natural disasters happened all the time. One of those disasters killed our hero's whole family. Starvation. Every single one of them. Our hero had to go to the closest Buddhist temple to beg for some food; and all he got was an old wooden pan, and an order to beat the crap out of the temple and beg some food outside. Which he did for years. Beg for food. Around the country. For years. Until he met some band of bandits. Heaven had it so that his best childhood friend was a bandit chief; so he soon joined them. Our hero then slowly but steadily climbed the bandit meritocracy ladder; next thing you know he is leading the best rebel army in China, expels the Mongols to the steppe and reunifies All Under Heaven.

There's something to say for the tradition, the slow accumulation of knowledge in society. But some things just don't require an education. Just razor-sharp smarts. And industrial amounts of cruelty. And Zhu Yuanzhang had those. He was an illiterate beggar, and yet he built and commanded the armies that beat the Mongols and founded the Ming Dynasty. Not unlike Genghis Khan; he also didn't need to go to school to command the best run armies in the history of mankind. Politics really isn't that hard.

Anyway, one of the most fun things of the founder of the Ming is that he was illiterate. Which in China is a problem, as elite people were supposed to be able to write in Classical Chinese, which is kinda like Latin in the West. Obviously he couldn't do that, so many of his edicts are written in plain vernacular language. So he would sent imperial decrees to his troops saying "grab those damn Japanese pirates and slit their fucking throats on the spot. This is My Command". He was very fond of sending commands, edicts and decrees to the whole country. China is a big country; and the guy, for all his illiteracy, had many ideas. He had built and run the army who conquered the country. Surely running the country in peace couldn't be that hard? All you need is order and discipline. And he knew something about that.

Anyway, this is one small snippet of his views on women and sexual propriety:


Which translates as:

There must be a separation between men and women. Women must be always inside the house, must not be allowed to come outside. If they go out of the home revealing their head or their face, that will inevitably result in lewdness and debauchery. But these days there are some stupid men and stupid women who can't reason properly and make a mess of proper morality.

See for example this the Commander of Qujing, this Niu Lin guy. While he was in Yunnan he got some woman as a concubine, and when he went to drink with his comrades, he would take her to drink with them! So of course she ended up being seduced by another commander called Liu Ying, who then had her poison her husband Niu Lin.

Just how dumb was this guy? He brought his wife to drink with other men, drunk for a while, next thing you know he got killed. If he had kept a proper separation between men and women, nothing like this could have happened. I had Liu Ying and that woman killed. If something like this ever happens again, they'll get the same treatment.



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  • I figure that a period of chaotic anarchy is not going to be big on female emancipation, and a bandit chieftain is not going to be big on female emancipation.

    But even so, women have a lot of power. Eggs are dear, sperm is cheap, so women play one man off against another, even if in theory drastically patriarchal rules make them mere property.

    It is said that women are the gatekeepers to sex but men are the gatekeepers to commitment. This is optimistic rationalization, hopeful bullshit. By nature, women have all the power related to reproduction, and are the gatekeepers to everything related to reproduction. Since this tends to disrupt reproduction, male created institutions have to attempt to disempower women and empower men, a profoundly difficult task. Institutionalizing patriarchy is like are pushing shit uphill. Even if you make women legally pets, legal does not count for much.

    Men are the expendable sex, so to empower men, have to demand that men show some balls. Which is easy for state that is worried about external enemies but hard for a state that is worried about internal enemies.

    Now that we have effective technology to reliably show blood relationships, we could stop female power from disrupting family and marriage (though not from disrupting our other institutions), by a really fierce rule prohibiting women from having children by more than one father, and less draconian rules discouraging men from having children by more than one woman.

    We require a woman to honor and obey the father of her children, and to always be sexually available to him and never to anyone else. We require the man to care for, supervise, support, and guide his children and their mothers, and to adequately sexually comfort the mother(s) of his children.. If a woman wrongfully has children by more than one father, then the father of her earlier children can dump her, with or without her children by him, disown her children by him, execute her, and/or execute the child with incorrect parentage.

    We also, like Zhu Yuanzhang, prohibit men from foolishly allowing their women to be exposed to temptation.

  • Spandrell, I submit that a better descriptive term for you to claim is that of a radical. Like Frank Chodorov is said to have said: "I will punch anyone who calls me a conservative in the nose. I am a radical." I think that the alt-right is a political formulation, and one whose meaning will change with time, as all political groupings do, like Progressive and Liberal. Since you are one who likes to strike at the root, I think radical is a better term.

    I always like to point to the adultering French princesses of the Tower of Nesle affair (1300s) who got emprisonned/sent to the nunnery, while the knights they were with got flayed alive, castrated, drawn and quartered and hung (all at once?). Not exactly equality before the law... sperm/eggs.

    This time in my reading of the wiki on the affair, I noticed that the writers mentioned a "Salic Law" which had a "most well known" clause that explicitly excluded women from inheriting thrones or fiefs. They mention that the Nesle affair "badly damaged the reputation of women in senior French circles" and that "the French nobility were increasingly cautious over the concept of a woman inheriting the throne", thus "the interpretation of the Salic Law then placed the French succession in doubt" after Philip's three sons died without male heirs.

    However, I followed the link to Salic Law to see what it was all about: it turns out to be the original French civil code written down (only in 500 AD!), prior to which they were using "oral tradition" which I find a little suprising, given how the Romans had conquered all of Gaul, and that the area where King Clovis, the guy who wrote down the Salic Law, essentially took over what was the Kingdom of Soissons, the "Rump State" of the Roman Empire in northern France. Thus, it's not like they had four centuries of Roman vacuum.... Perhaps he had to write down the law [in Latin] in order to communicate How Things Would Be Done to his new "Roman" subjects?

    To get back to my point of interest, under the (quickly ammended) Salic Law women could inherit property and items, but male heirs took priority, depending on how close they were to the deceased - so lots of typical French bureaucratic leeway in interpretation there. However, in contrast to the claim on the Nesle page, we learn: "As far as can be ascertained, Salic law was not explicitly mentioned either in 1316 or 1328. It had been forgotten in the feudal era, and the assertion that the French crown can only be transmitted to and through males made it unique and exalted in the eyes of the French. Jurists later resurrected the long-defunct Salic law and reinterpreted it to justify the line of succession arrived at in the cases of 1316 and 1328 by forbidding not only inheritance by a woman but also inheritance through a female line."

    So did the Salic Law of male inheritance from 1000 years prior get used as a Schelling point by later generations who ret-conned the successions of 1316 and 1328 to bolster their case?

    "Only several hundred years later, under the Direct Capetian kings of France and their English contemporaries who held lands in France, did Salic law become a rationale for enforcing or debating succession. By then it was somewhat anachronistic — there were no Salic lands, since the Salian monarchy and its lands had originally emerged in what is now the Netherlands." [This law was by no means intended to cover all matters of inheritance — for example, not the inheritance of movables – only those lands considered "Salic" — and there is still debate as to the legal definition of this word, although it is generally accepted to refer to lands in the royal fisc. ]

    Too long!

    • Sure, the alt right is radical, but there are radicals on each side of the political spectrum. A radical is simply someone who is at the edge of the Overtone window, perhaps even ouside of it. Alt right also says on which edge of the Overtone window someone is. Hence, radical is not a better term. It conveys less Information than alt right.

      • I'm sorry for attempting to be clever- yes, radical is mostly only understood as "favoring drastic political, economic, or social reforms." But even today, I was surprised to see at the 1. definition is "of or going to the root or origin; fundamental." I think I am just stealing from Albert Nock's definition of a radical as one who seeks to find the root of things, but I can't find seem to find the proper quotation. And even 100 years ago, Nock found the same confusion of meaning, quoting from some writer that radicalism as commonly understood is that "The true radical is a man that thinks you are against him if you can't get as excited as he does."

    • As a side note, Salic law is the reason that the English crown no longer reigns in Hanover. I didn't realize Salic law went unreferenced for most of the Middle Ages though. I guess there was never a question of female inheritance in France or the HRE for that many centuries? Meanwhile England has had several female monarchs in the centuries from Mary I through Elizabeth II. And there was even Matilda as an earlier example (though also a prime example of what can go wrong when a woman inherits, which is obvious from her reign being known as the Anarchy).

      I wasn't familiar with the Tour de Nesle Affair though -- an interesting bit of history.

    • A few comments here 1) Salic law refers to the entire body of law of the Franks, not just male primogeniture. It gets identified with male primogeniture because that's the one point where they had to point back to the longago ancestors in order to justify a particular law. 2) It's entirely credible that male primogeniture was enshrined in the way it was as a way of covering up the fact that their primary motivation was to keep the crown on a French head instead of letting the goddamned English have it (since Philip IV's sole surviving grandkid was Edward III of England). Especially since France and England had already had a prior century-long conflict under the Plantagenets due to tangled feudal obligations. 3) If anyone is interested in this topic I highly recommend the "Accursed Kings" series by Maurice Druon. It's best read in the original French of course but there's a very serviceable translation that came out recently and is available on Amazon (first three books are "The Iron King", "The Strangled Queen", "The Poisoned Crown"). It's like George R. R. Martin except it's good and it actually finishes and at every point where you ask yourself "hang on, did that really happen?" you can look it up and see that Druon actually stuck to the facts pretty much all along the line.

      • Cool-thanks for the book recommendations. I see that Druon's series is touted on Amazon with a blurb from G.R.R Martin "Voici le Game of Thrones Original", but published originally in the 1970s. The titles in French are "1. Le Roi de fer. 2. La Reine étranglée. 3. Les Poisons de la Couronne. 4. La Loi des mâles. 5. La Louve de France. 6. Le Lis et le Lion. 7. Quand un roi perd la France". Sadly, the only book of his at my library is his children's story "Tistou les Pouces Vertes".

        Anyway, you are completely correct (based on my 1 minute wikipedia knowledge) on Salic law being the body of Frankish (Salian) law, not just the clause on male primogeniture.

        I'm leaning toward number 2 as the correct interpretation as well. Following the succession is difficult because of everyone being named Philip, Charles, John, or Louis for the men, and Joan for the women. Philip V is regent for his nephew baby John, and then becomes king when baby John dies, partly invoking Salic law via the assembly of the Estates-General (advisory body), but mostly because he is the second son of the previous king, thus has a strong claim over niece Joan, the possibly bastard daughter, age 4, of his older brother. But then Philip V dies, and his brother Charles after him, both leaving only daughters. The next closest direct descendant is Edward III (age 15-16 in 1328. Actually Joan, the possibly bastard daughter of the Tour de Nesle affair is the same age - but she goes home to be Queen Joan II of Navarre), the King of England, and his mother Isabelle (The Wolf Queen). Meanwhile, the French and English crowns have been locked in a vassalage fight for a few generations, so I can understand the French not liking how the tables could be turned on them, with the guy they've been pressing to pay hommage suddenly uniting the French and English crowns - and where would he hold his court, in England, or in France? A lot of influence would swing to England - so they better find a good rallying point to support Philip VI, like the Salic Law of male primogeniture.

        And this is where I found myself reading about the Anglo-Norman language of northern and western France and England. I've been wondering about the development of English relative to French. From learning French, I can attest that a huge number of French words exist in English, heavily modified. How and why did this modification happen, so much that the words are not recognizable? Is it just because the middle english pronunciation of Anglo-Norman French (used in the courts and higher classes) was changed from the get-go? Or did it take some 500 years to change the pronunciation so that French and English sound so different today? "Around the same time, as a shift took place in France towards using Parisian French as a language of record in the mid-13th century, Anglo-Norman French also became a language of record in England though Latin retained its pre-eminence for matters of permanent record."

        What is the Joret Line?!!!!!

        Ok, I think I've burned enough time on wikipedia today...All of this because I was curious about whether the application of the Salic clause on male primogeniture was an example of a Schelling point..

        I also need to stop reading the history on wikipedia, because I'm probably ruining reading The Accursed Kings for myself.

  • This is pretty lulz in the context of what you posted a bit ago. One hallmark of the alt-right is that they fight over names. If you have status to give, and want to give it, you are alt-right. Most alt-right find themselves there add a result of their status bankruptcy; there is no clear definition for alt-right because its ideology consists entirely of straight white men trying to find names that will restore to them either status (for the really dumb ones), or a system where they can compete for status.

    • I could be wrong, but I think maybe you mis-parsed the 'ha ha only serious' tone of the intro.

      Spandrell, for us illiterates you should write more about how the Prime Ming did it. What were the circumstances in the country/region, how'd he gain leverage, etc. It'd be an instructive example of practical power dynamics.

        • Oh! And here I thought

          "Mongol government in China was quite horrible; infrastructure decayed, bandits were everywhere, and all manner of natural disasters happened all the time."

          meant they were the next best thing since sliced bread.

          Spandrell, sometimes your subtlety evades me. I'm glad we have shining lights in the commentariat to illuminate your esoteric meaning for those too dim to see.

  • There is an ancient Chinese saying which states that young women were not allowed to leave their quarters after three steps. AFAIK, this was more for the young women of esteemed or elite families and this signifies their purity as a virtue.

  • Mildly related:

    Spandrell - is that stuff accurate about the Chinese?

  • Lol.

    What most feminists would never realize, I suppose, is how much, deep down, many of them miss the old times. And that's why they work to get back to then.

    • Very sad, to me at least, that real fairness between the sexes, and also between rulers and ruled, is so against human nature that it can never be achieved (no-one wants it, actually).

      • Fairness, by definition, is absolutely consonant with human nature, and has been achieved to at least some extent in every age and race of mankind. What can never be achieved, since it is absolutely inconsonant with human nature and therefore unfair, is equality.

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