Dear César,

On your series ‘Wagner vs. Bach’ I would like to comment:

As a former Catholic I have stopped visiting any church building for all my life. Never again a famous cathedral will impress me, especially not out of an interest in art.

It took me major efforts to recognize that Christian representations in art and ‘sacred music’ are without exception infectious material, propaganda means of subjugation, THE original degenerate art for Aryans. One should shrink from letting any such product enter into perception as one would shrink from the sight of the mutilated corpses of children.

Aryan Weltanschauung demands logical consistency and gravitas wherever we go.

(This in mind – by the way – I don’t like César using Christian phrases, memes, comparisons and paintings in any sense. Whether we like it or not, it perpetuates ideas and the influence of the enemy.)

Cheers

Albus

Published in: on July 17, 2020 at 10:27 am  Comments (9)  
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Wagner vs. Bach, 4

Bach did not compose any opera at a time when the genre was very much in vogue. In this, he cannot contrast more with Wagner, mainly known for his operas (or, as some of his mature works later became known, ‘musical dramas’). Unlike Bach who used the Gospel text in his most ambitious works, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his works. My father, a composer of classical music, used to say that Wagner’s art predicted cinema.

However, the narrator tells us in the aforementioned documentary that St Matthew Passion has operatic elements. It was music that inspired ‘contrition and remorse’, and it is striking how the pundits of white nationalism don’t want to see the elephant in the room when they agonize to explain how the guilt that currently kills the white man originated. St Matthew Passion lasts an hour and a half, and has twice the choir and orchestra than St John Passion.

Who has hit you
my Savior, and with torments
so harshly abused you?

The narrator tells us: ‘And it’s in that moment that I feel Bach is saying, This suffering is unbearable. We have to stop it. We have to show our sense of moral outrage’.

You know nothing of our sins…
Have mercy my God
for the sake of my tears.

After explaining St Matthew Passion the narrator made the mistake of passing the microphone to a psychologist to ‘psychoanalyse’ Bach. Readers of this site know that I think clinical psychology is pseudoscientific, and it’s not worth adding much here except to say that Freud and his disciples loved to ‘psychoanalyse’ geniuses to feel superior to them (see what I say about the Vienna quack: here).

After the shrink mistake, the narrator tells us that Bach’s obsession with composing religious music was such that, despite his Lutheran background, he composed a large-scale Latin mass for a Catholic court. As the lyrics of one of his last compositions say shortly before Bach died:

Before (((your))) throne now I appear…

Published in: on July 4, 2020 at 7:04 pm  Comments (5)  

Wagner vs. Bach, 3

In the aforementioned documentary, after minute 46 the narrator talks again about Bach’s ‘life ambition’: writing music for the church. It is very interesting to observe how Bach worked frantically in Leipzig to compose, in a relatively short time, his two Passions.

Leipzig was ‘the city of churches’ and out of a population of thirty thousand, nine thousand of them gathered together in two churches, making Bach the centre of an audience ten to twelve times larger than an opera house. Wagner would have envied him! It was there that Bach premiered a Passion: a central gem in a series of cantatas and oratorios that told the story of a rabbi’s arrest, trial, and crucifixion. This was a fictional rabbi that the treasonous Aryans still adore, including a good many of the misnamed white nationalists. St John Passion is an amalgam of ‘storytelling, meditation and drama’ and let us remember that the Gospel of John was Luther’s favourite gospel.

If one takes a look at minute 56:40 in the referred documentary we see the narrator directing a group of musicians that includes a woman of dark skin: the perfect corollary of an ethic that commands the German to love every anthropomorphic creature. The narrator comments on playing St John Passion: ‘It’s like nails being driven into bare flesh’ and that’s exactly the feeling that that music causes me. But not in the sense that the narrator imagines: but in the sense of my dreams of terrifying cathedrals and my dislike for dad’s Christianity (and Bach’s music). I especially feel that when the choir sings together.

In a non-nightmarish world Aryan Germany would have continued without Levantine contamination. How would that Teutonic music have sounded in an 18th-century parallel world in which Julian had not been murdered? Maybe when Christianity finishes dying Bach’s music will die but even in secular Germany Christianity is alive. Just listen to the lyrics of St John Passion sung by the German choir after the 58th minute!:

(((Lord))), our ruler
whose fame in every land is glorious!

Axiologically (‘ethnocentrism for me but universalism for thee’), the Hebrew god still rules the West, even the secular West. In a ‘wonderful presentation of story-telling’ the Passion composed by Bach tried to transmit, in ‘an extraordinary amalgam between theology and music’, the drama of the rabbi’s crucifixion whom mad people ordered to be killed. It hurts to see these Aryans sing to the god of the Jews seven decades after a German Reich tried to get them on the right track.

St John Passion, the narrator informs us, is a masterpiece even though the authorities at the time disliked it so much that they forced Bach to make changes to it.

Published in: on July 4, 2020 at 1:20 pm  Comments (3)  
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Wagner vs. Bach, 2

I invite visitors who like classical music to watch an hour-and-a-half documentary: ‘Bach: A Passionate Life’. The host of the documentary informs us that, when Luther took refuge in a castle, he believed that the devil was stalking him from the ceiling. Compare such dark paranoia with the return to the artistic spirit that then reigned in Renaissance Rome!

In that room the dark monk, Luther, translated the New Testament using many German dialects, thus creating a unified language for that nation. In one of my previous posts I said that all western nations since Constantine, except for the brief reigns of Julian the Apostate and Hitler, should be considered quackery from the new point of view. The reason why the Germans allowed themselves to be brainwashed so easily since the US-imposed Diktat is explained if we see that the inertia of their culture was infinitely more Christian than the occult paganism of the Third Reich. In other words, what succeeded again in WW2 was, as happened after the assassination of Julian, the grip that the Christian archetype holds over the white man’s psyche.

Compare my point of view with what even a racist revolutionary, a non-Christian, wrote in one of his novels. Harold Covington envisioned a dispute between Christians and pagans, both freedom fighters for the 14 words, during the racial revolution: a dispute that was only resolved when the pagans allowed that the hymn of the new Aryan republic was… a hymn that Luther had composed! Naturally, neither the late Covington nor his secular followers that can still be heard once a month on Radio Free Northwest knew that Christianity and the JQ are one and the same.

These Luther hymns went perfectly in line with the central goal of Bach’s life, as we are informed after minute 29 of the documentary linked above: ‘A well-regulated church music to the glory of (((God)))’. Those were Johann Sebastian Bach’s words: the words of the grandfather of all the composers! But without putting triple parentheses now, after the 45th minute of the documentary a writer confesses to us, when we hear Partita for Violin No. 2 in the background, that this sort of musical soliloquy ‘would convince me that there is a God’.

This is most interesting because that Partita is the music solo I have heard the most from Bach, and although it is secular (i.e., non-sacred music) it perfectly portrays the feeling of the child of my dream in my previous post: that what for my father (or Christians) seemed sublime to me it seems hellish. Infernal not in the sense of today’s degenerate music, but in another sense. Just as Gothic cathedrals represent magnificent art, much of Bach’s music (and even Beethoven’s quartets) transports me to that gargoyle-filled nightmare world of which I want nothing more than a return to a musically enlightened world.

Please understand me well. Unlike those Neanderthals who don’t understand the music of Bach, Beethoven or Wagner, since my parents were musicians by profession I did understand them. But it is the dark Zeitgeist that, as in my dark cathedrals series of dreams, bothers me even though I recognise that the Partita is a masterpiece. Curiously, when after getting used to listening to it on violin I once heard the same Partita by Bach, but this time versioned for classical guitar, the gargoyles disappeared and I was finally able to enjoy it. Something similar happens to me with the church organ and the harpsichord: I cannot hear them except when the pieces are versioned for other classical instruments, although more modern. It is the Christian Era Zeitgeist that irritates me, and to understand my subjectivity I must translate another page of El Grial:
 

______ 卐 ______

 

What impresses me about this historical revisionism is the clairvoyance of the teenager I was, whom my parents and a psychoanalyst destroyed at the time. He saw things as they were, and compared the loss of his beautiful life with the loss of the ancient Hellas. For the adolescent Caesar, the best of his Palenque had been his ‘Greek’ stage, and the stage after November 1974 was like the fourth century and subsequent European centuries. How I remember the way in which I then projected that drama on the image of an LP that my father liked, that we called the Hercules Mass.

I was deeply hurt by the transition from the world of the Greeks and the Romans to Christendom; and the face of the lad on the cover of the album, together with the Kyrie of Josquin des Prés, represented the fateful transit: sculpture and music that, in my adolescent mentality, I thought dated from the times after Constantine. Still something of the Hellenic beauty was seen in the profile of the young man—I felt inside—and it hurt me that, unlike the jovial times of the ancient world, he was now praying with his face up (note that the female above the lad is no longer Aryan). Later I remember very vividly that, already living with my grandmother in the darkest stage of my life, I blamed my father’s Christianity for the annihilation of the beautiful youth of Athens. What I was unaware of at my seventeen is that the grandiose temples, statues, and libraries of Greco-Roman culture had been ripped apart, and adepts of the old culture marginalised and even genocided by Christians…

Now I know that the tragedy of the West in general, and the tragedy of my life in particular, are two sides of the same coin. The soul that the adolescent Caesar so projected on the downgraded ‘Greek’ of the album was killed by the same regressive forces by which the Greco-Roman world was killed: the incredible evil, stupidity, massive psychosis and envy of humans. From this angle, writing about my life has also been, in some way, writing about the western tragedy.

Wagner vs. Bach, 1

The fourth part of El Grial begins with a dream that I now translate into English:

I was walking on a street by day next to Dad, who pointed out to me, enthusiastic and joyful as his character, the great church—or wall of a great church, rather like a Gothic cathedral—while I felt real horror for the (not glimpsed, only felt) kind of gargoyles, low relief sculptures or external figures of a very dark-stone cathedral. The contrast between the spirited Dad in pointing out to me that Christian bastion as something so positive that he even smiled at me and the horrified son—although I corresponded to Dad’s smile from my height as a child with another smile to be nice with him—couldn’t be greater.

Then I commented that over the years I had several dreams with that theme. I interpreted that my father lacked enough empathy to realise that traditional Catholic doctrine, which seemed so positive to him, horrified his little firstborn.

I recently said that Parsifal’s music has been one of my favourites, despite the fact that the opera characters are quasi-Christian knights that Wagner devised. Wagner’s last opus is not a hundred percent Christian insofar the script never names Christ or Christianity. Rather, it resembles the spirit of the Germanic sagas in times of Christian conversion, when something of the ancient pagan spirit was still breathed. In this first entry about how I contrast Wagner with Bach I confess that, unlike Parsifal, traditional Christian music has horrified me as much as that series of dreams with which I opened this post.

Iconoclasm, even in music, is a thorny topic. If we proclaim the transvaluation of all values the question immediately arises: What to do with the so-called sacred music after the anti-Christian revolution conquers the world? We have already seen that Nietzsche loved Parsifal’s music but abhorred its message, especially the chastity of the quasi-Christian knights. In my opinion, Wagner, Hitler’s favourite composer, is salvageable but how should we treat sacred music from his predecessors?

Unlike Richard Wagner (1813-1883) who flourished a century after the death of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) Bach had no passion for the Germanic sagas of the pagan past. On the contrary: Bach composed his music for the main Lutheran churches in Leipzig, and adopted Lutheran hymns in his vocal works. The hundreds of sacred works that Bach created are generally seen as a manifestation not only of his craft, but of his great devotion to the god of Christians: the very god of the Jews. Bach even taught Luther’s catechism as Thomaskantor in Leipzig, and some of his pieces represent it. For example, his very famous St Matthew Passion, like other works of this type, illustrates the Passion of (((Christ))) directly with biblical texts.

Compare all this with Wagner’s relatively paganised work who didn’t quote the gospel: a musician who, by introducing pre-Christian elements in his operas, was already starting to shake off the Judeo-Christian monkey from his back. But before continuing my talk about Bach I would like to quote, once again, the words of Nietzsche that appear in The Fair Race:
 

§ 61

Here it becomes necessary to call up a memory that must be a hundred times more painful to Germans. The Germans have destroyed for Europe the last great harvest of civilisation that Europe was ever to reap—the Renaissance. Is it understood at last, will it ever be understood what the Renaissance was?

The transvaluation of Christian values: an attempt with all available means, all instincts and all the resources of genius to bring about a triumph of the opposite values, the more noble values… To attack at the critical place, at the very seat of Christianity, and there enthrone the more noble values—that is to say, to insinuate them into the instincts, into the most fundamental needs and appetites of those sitting there…

I see before me the possibility of a heavenly enchantment and spectacle: it seems to me to scintillate with all the vibrations of a fine and delicate beauty, and within it there is an art so divine, so infernally divine, that one might search in vain for thousands of years for another such possibility; I see a spectacle so rich in significance and at the same time so wonderfully full of paradox that it should arouse all the gods on Olympus to immortal laughter: Cæsar Borgia as pope!… Am I understood? Well then, that would have been the sort of triumph that I alone am longing for today: by it Christianity would have been swept away!

What happened? A German monk, Luther, came to Rome. This monk, with all the vengeful instincts of an unsuccessful priest in him, raised a rebellion against the Renaissance in Rome…

Instead of grasping, with profound thanksgiving, the miracle that had taken place: the conquest of Christianity at its capital—instead of this, his hatred was stimulated by the spectacle. A religious man thinks only of himself. Luther saw only the depravity of the papacy at the very moment when the opposite was becoming apparent: the old corruption, the peccatum originale, Christianity itself, no longer occupied the papal chair! Instead there was life! Instead there was the triumph of life! Instead there was a great yea to all lofty, beautiful and daring things!

And Luther restored the church.

Faith of the Future, 1

by Matt Koehl

(Faith of the Future was originally published
in the Spring 1982 issue of The National
Socialist
, and in book form in 1995.)

February 10, 1972, Arlington, Virginia. Matt Koehl, the comander of the White National Socialist Party at a desk talking with the party secratary about recent newspaper reaction to the boicot of the busing.

 

To those who are worthy of him

I. Idea and Civilization

Every great culture, every great civilization—every human order of any significance, in fact—has a polar ideology or mythos, which furnishes the emotional, suprarational foundation for that particular order. The life and destiny of a culture are inseparable from such a nuclear idea. It serves as a formative pole, which during a culture’s vital period provides for a unity of political, religious and cultural expression.

There are numerous examples. In ancient Egypt, the singular concept of the ka found its cultural elaboration in the construction of the pyramids. In a similar manner, Taoism combined with Confucianism and Buddhism to form the spiritual core of traditional Chinese culture, just as the cult life of the Japanese revolved around Shinto, and just as Islam furnished the spiritual matrix for a cultural flowering in the Near East during the Middle Ages. Among Indo-Europeans, it was the Vedic tradition which formed the basis for an exquisite Hindu civilization, while a pantheon of Classical gods and heroes presided over the destinies of ancient Hellas and Rome.

If one now turns to the West, one cannot avoid the conclusion that it is the Christian worldview which stands at the heart of this particular culture.[1] Indeed, its very symbol is the towering Gothic cathedral. In its art, its architecture, its music, literature and philosophy, the West is pervaded by the omnipresence of Christianity. In the magnificent frescoes of Michelangelo, in the polyphonic rhythms of Vivaldi and Bach, the literary masterpieces of Dante, Chaucer and Milton, the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas, Kant and Hegel—in all of this, the heavy backdrop of Christianity looms unmistakably against the cultural horizon.

Even figures such as Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner and Schopenhauer—even Voltaire and Nietzsche!— whose creative daemon transcended Church dogma in noticeable fashion even they are witness to the ineluctable presence of the Christian idea as a cultural fact. And even if one contends that the works of these personalities had nothing to do with Christian doctrine as such, but derived their ultimate inspiration from other sources, the very fact that such an argument is put forth at all constitutes the most conclusive proof that Christianity is, indeed, the mythos of Western culture, the core idea around which all cultural expression revolves. For even when its fundamental tenets have been challenged and disbelieved, it has continued to qualify the cultural milieu and furnish the central reference point for thought and action.

It is not without significance that those two major languages of Western thought—German and English—should have received their modem form from a translation of the Christian Bible; that the main function of the first Western universities was to teach Christian theology; and that natural science—that domain so uniquely fascinating to the Aryan intellect, which has come to challenge the very foundations of traditional faith itself—began very humbly as the quiet, conscientious study of the world of the Christian creator. All of this is but eloquent testimony that the Christian worldview does, indeed, form the spiritual matrix—the nuclear center—of Western culture.
 
_____________

[1] In referring to the West, we mean that manifestation of European culture which emerged following the collapse of the Classical civilizations of Greece and Rome and which assumed definitive form in the time of Charlemagne around AD 800.

Extermination • V

Libro
 
Below, six translated
excerpts from the chapter
“Musical betrayal”:

 
 

His phobia toward the degenerative aspects of the culture that began to appear in Mexico, especially in music, continued throughout the 1960s and early 70s, when I was already studying in his method. Rock music bothered him and even predicted, more than once, that in a hundred years mankind would continue listening to Beethoven but no one would remember the Beatles.

* * *

At that time [the 1990s] I did translation work. That same year [1993] I quoted something in my diary that I had translated that vindicates what my father said about musical pedagogy. I do not know if the quotes are accurate as the translated text was informal. But the question is to collect what comes in my diary: “Plato and Aristotle discussed the role of music as ‘harmonizing body and soul’. Plato went further: ‘The type of music of a nation cannot be altered without changing the customs and institutions of the state’.”

Very true. The “sexual liberation”—permissiveness of promiscuity and debauchery in plain English—modified the type of music in the West. My father never noticed that music education lies primarily in preventing the child or adolescent of the dissipation forces that became fashionable since the 1960s. A hard ethos as that of the Republican Romans would, I believe, repudiate the degenerate music insofar as the ethos and the musical tastes are two sides of the same coin. My father certainly heard the musical degeneration when it initiated in Mexico; he criticized it and resented much what he heard but eventually he followed the crowd [esp. Hollywood] and his descendants strayed even further. Rephrasing Plato, my brothers and nephews completely disharmonized their souls because of such bad manners. In other words, any pedagogic method that fails to separate the child from the surrounding culture of our time won’t work.

* * *

I must clarify that, although the rhythmic exercises taught in [school X] are indeed silly and childish, they do not reach what my beloved Nazis called “degenerate music.” This leads to the simplistic melodies of “disipacionism” to use the term of Hajo Liaucius in the book that I compiled; the obvious and inane tunes that move us into hedonistic relaxation, so well exemplified in the music that horrified Solzhenitsyn when America sheltered him for a few years and harshly scolded the gringos at Harvard. As unlike Solzhenitsyn almost everyone, including white nationalists, are addicted to degenerate music, they have been unable to realize that the best minds sensed that such “music” would be used by the System to degrade the spirit of the population, and to control it. A passage in 1984, for example, written before the birth of rock, proved prophetic. The music in the totalitarian world, Orwell says: “had a savage, barking rhythm which could not exactly be called music, but resembled the beating of a drum… The proles had taken a fancy to it.”

* * *

In another of my ring-binders (my texts are scattered in many places), in April 18, 2005 I wrote that the methods of Orff and Kodály were also fraudulent “if they don’t produce aversion in the pupils towards the music of Neanderthals, like rap.” In other words, it is impossible to have a double life: say, a traditional marriage with children and maintaining a lasting relationship with a homosexual lover. My brother and his musical colleagues do something similar to this hypothetical bisexual: they studied classical music and go to table dances or dance salsas; they have read the classics but plug their minds to the idiot box called television; they married in the church and get civil divorces before the first conjugal dispute; they teach Bach and in their cars listen disco music.

* * *

One time my nephew visited my parents and confessed to my father that, with his cousins, he was composing music for their rock group. My father did some technical questions and my nephew [who studies music composition] answered. Then, my father delivered a very gentle speech about rock. He said it was a “rhythmic, monotonous and a highly repetitive cry; very simple.” My nephew, incidentally, played the rubbish of progressive rock from his cell phone to show the grandfather the new ringtones. My father continued his criticism of rock concerts: “The volume is so tremendous that equalizes everything; what you hear is a barking rhythm,” just what Orwell said in his best-achieved novel.

Then my father spoke of an old article by a commentator on classical music that had opined about rock. He mentioned the name of the critic (that I failed to annotate), who had written about the “tremendous, crushing phenomenon” which was rock in its origins. My father spoke at length about African rhythms as a preamble to classify the rock. That they play it “to the extent that hypnotize” and the members of the tribe do not dance in dancing couples. Rather, the ritual ends in rapes that surprise the tourists. “I see the same in rock. The volume is so strong and it is so much of it that the affair ends really badly.”

* * *

What I said in my dairies was true: only by cutting off the child from the failed culture that surrounds him it is possible to educate him. We need a Fourth Reich to put things in order.

On Christian rock

by Roger

When I was doing a bit of research into Calvinism last year, and especially the state of Calvinism in North America, one of the funniest things I encountered was “holy hip-hop.” There are people out there who self-identify as Puritans and listen to this jungle drivel, referring to it as “lyrical preaching.” Have a quick look at this.

I’m not masochistic enough to watch the entire video, but how humiliating this must be for veteran Calvinists living through their twilight years! In the case of rock “music,” the apologists can at least argue that the music is melodic. It is still evil, but it is evil of a higher caste than rap. To go from Bach to this is the epitome of decadence. It is fitting, in a way, because the demographic future of Reform Christianity is going to be predominantly black, and there is no place for Bach in black societies. All universalistic churches are going to be wrecked by the darkies, and they deserve what is coming their way.

I still have respect for some of the Traditional Catholics, but they can never reconcile their universalism with the cause of true racial justice. When they end up with a black pope, how will they be able to justify wanting to deport niggers from their countries, or their opposition to miscegenation? The head of their own church will be a symbol of racial egalitarianism.

Published in: on May 13, 2015 at 9:42 am  Comments (3)  

Uncle Adolf’s table talk, 188

the-real-hitler

24th June 1943, evening

The vibrant pulse of Berlin—Vienna the home of music— Mozart—Slav blood and German blood—Beethoven—For and against Vienna—The new capital of the Reich—A remark of Treitschke.
 

In Berlin, I think, people work harder than anywhere else. I know of no other city in which it would have been possible to complete the construction of the Reich Chancellery in nine months. The Berlin workman is unique as a swift and efficient craftsman. There is nothing to touch him in Munich or Vienna, where the infusion of foreign blood—Polish, Czech, Slav, Italian—still has an influence.

When one speaks of Vienna and music and proclaims Vienna to be the most musical city in the world, one must not forget that at the time of our great composers, Vienna was the Imperial city. She was an attraction for the whole world, and was thus the city which offered artists the greatest scope and opportunity. In spite of this, how shabbily the musicians were treated there! It is not true that either Beethoven or Haydn had any success there during their lifetime. Mozart’s Don Juan was a failure there.

Why then did Mozart go to Vienna? Simply because he hoped to get a pension from the Emperor, which he never obtained. Mozart’s family, it has been established, came from Augsburg; he was therefore not an Austrian but a Swabian. The whole blossoming of our music in Vienna is not due to the town; such things do not spring from their environment, but from the genius of a race.

Really creative music is composed partly of inspiration and partly of a sense of composition. The inspiration is of Slavonic origin, the art of composition is of Germanic. It is when these two mingle in one man that the master of genius appears. In Bach’s music it is the composition which is marvellous, and he certainly had no drop of Slav blood in his veins. As regards Beethoven, on the other hand, one glance at his head shows that he comes of a different race. It is not pure chance that the British have never produced a composer of genius; it is because they are a pure Germanic race.

Do not for a moment imagine that I am hostile to Vienna. I criticise with equal vigour everything in Berlin which displeases me. My task is a far greater one, and I do not think in terms of Vienna or Berlin.

It is perhaps a blessing in disguise that I was for so long a Stateless person; for it has taught me the tremendous value of a unified Germany.

Treitschke once said: “Germany has cities, but she possesses no capital.” To that I will add that she must, and she shall, have one. I shall take care that no town in the Reich can rival the capital.

I have examined certain projects for Vienna, but they demand a financial backing from the Reich which I do not consider should be accorded to any city but the capital of the Reich.

Any other decision would be wrong. Vienna must, of course, be cleaned up and cleared of slums; and this will be done. I have already cleared the Jews out of the city, but I should like to see the Czechs go, too. Whatever new construction may be undertaken in Vienna, it would be folly for her to try to surpass the existing glorious monuments of the Imperial City.

_____________________________

Consider obtaining a copy of the complete notes
published by Ostara Publications.

Simian music

“In the long history of mankind there have not been so very many democratic republics, yet people lived for centuries without them and were not always worse off. They even experienced that ‘happiness’ we are forever hearing about, which was sometimes called pastoral or patriarchal… They preserved the physical health of the nation… They preserved its moral health, too, which has left its imprint at least on folklore and proverbs—a level of moral health incomparably higher than that expressed today in simian radio music, pop songs and insulting advertisements. Could a listener from outer space imagine that our planet had already known and left behind it Bach, Rembrandt and Dante?”

—Solzhenitsyn (From Under the Rubble)