Rage Part II: Mythology

In addition to the camaraderie of the Front, the Cat Fanciers had another great movement builder: Mythology.  Forget (((you-know-who))), for the same reason we’re calling the folks under discussion the “Cat Fanciers:” Naming names just clouds people’s minds.  Let’s stipulate, for the rest of the series, that (((you-know-who))) are irrelevant.  It’s not just possible, but really easy, to construct the Cat Fanciers’ basic movement-building technique without any reference to them.  Here goes:

Regardless of whose hand moved the knife, the stab-in-the-back seemed very real at the time.  Most veterans took it for granted that international finance capital — which for the majority was NOT synonymous with (((you-know-who))) — was behind both the start and the end of the war (Lenin agreed, which is one of the many reasons so many veterans went Red after the war).  It wasn’t true — nothing in human affairs is that simple — but it’s an easy-to-understand explanation that meshes with a lot of the obvious facts on the ground.

I trust I don’t have to spell out how “the fat cats sold us out!” applies to our current situation.

On its own, something like the stab-in-the-back is a necessary but not sufficient condition for building a revolutionary movement, because it doesn’t suggest anything to replace the fat cats.  This is why Bakunin-style anarchist movements always fail — they’re great with the “first, we kill all the ____” part, but they’ve got nothing for “and then we shall have Utopia, in which ____.”  It’s the same problem all those chiliastic sects had back in the Middle Ages — they filled in the blank with “Jesus returns and the world ends.”  People are stupid about utopian fantasies — cf. Socialism’s current appeal, 100+ million corpses notwithstanding — but it’s got to be small-u.*

What you need is a kind of two-way myth.  You have to mythologize both the past and the future, such that both are really just two sides of the same myth.  That’s why Karl Marx’s rare pronouncements about what the Communist future would look like invariably invoked an idealized past.  Rousseau gets my vote for The Original Commie, if only because he expressed it best:

The first man who, having enclosed a piece of ground, bethought himself of saying This is mine, and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows, “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

Marx devoted umpteen pages to “proving” that all of human history was just a run-up to the industrial revolution, which was the precursor of Communism, which was really just a return to Rousseau’s eden.  It sounded all precise and scientific — Leftists have claimed to have a monopoly on Science for going on 300 years now — but it was really just a prelapsarian fantasy.

So, too, with the Cat Fanciers.  They, too, fucking loved science, but only in the service of a higher Romanticism.  Their vision of a Cat Fancy future was a series of all-but-medieval market towns, linked by autobahns and defended by peasant farmers with air support.  No, really — that’s what the Black Cat Militia was expressly designed to do.  Lenin said Communism is “soviet power plus electrification.”  Mustache Guy wasn’t that pithy, but “feudalism plus autobahns” is a pretty good summary of their weird futuro-retro-techno thing.

Here’s how it works:

Part III soon.



*Lenin didn’t really have an answer either, of course, for what goes in the second blank; Mustache Guy didn’t either, for that matter.  But they had big huge books that sure seemed to be offering an answer, and that was enough.
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12 thoughts on “Rage Part II: Mythology

  1. Frip

    Not sure why my comment from yesterday didn’t go through. If it was inappropriate I understand, no biggy. Just wondering.

    1. Severian Post author

      I found these in the spam queue for some reason – I suspect it’s part of our fairly strict comment settings. Did you post more than a link or two? Those get auto-blasted, and it probably kicked your comments over to spam as well. I think it’s fixed now.

  2. Pickle Rick

    Have you read Mustache Guy’s chief mythologist’s book? Since the Nerd never wrote a book because he was busy creating his Dungeons and Dragons playset, its the best way to get inside the heads of the Cat Fancy leadership on that topic.

    I was surprised on how little was dedicated to disliking bagels in it.

    1. Severian Post author

      I have not, but I’ve read so much secondary material quoting it that it sure feels like I have.

      Mustache Guy surely believed what he said, and so did the Nerd — he was the worst of the bunch — but the rest of them? It’s harder than most people think to say in a given situation, even some seemingly obvious ones….

      Which is another reason I want to keep referring to this whole thing by nickname. Bagels get people too worked up, in both directions. We can completely ignore them, for one simple reason: Does anyone really think the Cat Fanciers would’ve hung up their jocks and hit the showers if they really did manage to rid the world of bagels? Paranoia is a feature, not a bug, of any totalitarian system. The idea is to avoid that if at all possible – I’d really hate trading a Leftist tyranny for an Alt-Right one. Even though the girls would be prettier and the fashion better, it’s still a jackboot-to-the-face kind of deal.

      1. Pickle Rick

        Definitely read it. It really gives insight into the quasi-religious aspects of Cat Fancy and the very real intellectual wing of the Party. Everyone with superficial ideas on what they think Cat Fancy was about (or what they’re taught) go right to Mustache Guy frothing at the mouth about bagels in his speeches and his book and sneer at his people as thick headed German equivalents to toothless hillbilly rednecks (the Pointy Hat Guys from the 90s). Rosie’s book was for the smart people, who were quite a large part of the Cat Fancy Party.

        Rosie, the Nerd, the Dwarf, Fat Guy, and Rudy all had degrees from prestigious universities (or military academy equivalent) and Mustache Guy himself came to the fore by impressing a prof at Munich U (the Fighting Bürgers!) when he was still a terminal lance in the political department of the garrison.

        Cat Fancy not only mobilized beer drinking hellraisers from the lower class, but a large group of “respectable” people too.

        1. Severian Post author

          I know what you mean! It always baffles me, that even smart people who haven’t been enstupidated by college still think the Cat Fanciers were brainless thugs. You simply can’t do what they did without a large number of people with serious brains….

  3. MBlanc46

    The Amerca of the 1950s, in which I grew up, is utopian enough for me. Progressives (including Mme B) love to sneer at the Fifties, but almost everyone was happier then, even most blacks and women.

  4. TBoone

    I like the covert essays into the feline ways of the past. It is very informative and the sneaking around the topic makes it simpler to focus on the gist. Which I am beginning to understand.

    I have a moderate to full off-kilter insight possibly tangential to your main point. Or way off. Here goes. You know who really needs a new myth, thrust upon them, so to speak? The Panty Fa. With the mustache cat pic I can see a troll motif to explore. Adorable mustache kitty stickers. Electronic and 3D world. Supporting the True History! That the original mustache cat loved cats. They could get uniforms. Posters. etc.

    Showing Original Mustach’s approval of All Things FA panty. Like….

    Think of the actual cat ladies who would have to dissonate their cognizance as we immanent-eyes the escutcheon of ole BBuckley.

    I know. I’ll turn in my reader10 beanie at the next club meeting.

    Looking forward to P3

    1. Severian Post author

      Nothing is tangential here, my friend. 🙂

      I don’t think your suggestion would work, though, for the simple reason that they don’t care. “Hitler” is just an ooga-booga name to them, a chant. The real, actual Adolf could probably walk up to them and grab ’em by the pussy and they’d never even realize who it was. All they know or care about is that his tactics worked, which is why the employ them at every opportunity.

      tl;dr — remember, if they were capable of feeling shame, remorse, guilt, or cognitive dissonance, they wouldn’t be Liberals in the first place.

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