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Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien and politics

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  • Tony Zbaraschuk
    ... For that matter, if you look closely, the closest thing to Aryans is the definitely culturally inferior Rohirrim (blond Germanic rider types), and the
    Message 1 of 13 , Jun 13, 2013
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      On Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 02:25:05PM -0500, Jeanette Rost wrote:
      > And the Army of the Dead, although they finally redeemed themselves,
      > had previously done great evil, and was undoubtedly made up of all
      > Caucasians.

      For that matter, if you look closely, the closest thing to Aryans is
      the definitely culturally inferior Rohirrim (blond Germanic rider
      types), and the Numenoreans are maybe more Middle Eastern (dark haired,
      a language that works with triconsonantal roots a lot of the time,
      that sort of thing).

      And then there's the Kinstrife, where Gondor gets into a very
      destructive civil war over racial purity issues, and the racism
      is generally presented as a Bad Idea.

      > I think I detect some of what I call "insistent ignorance."

      Probably. It's worth remembering that Tolkien ends up producing a
      lot of diverse reactions...

      > I didn't remember that the Mouth of Sauron was a renegade Numenorean.

      Yup.


      Tony Z
      --
      Courage is a virtue. It does not follow that all
      courageous acts are in the service of virtuous ends.
    • David Bratman
      ... I ve seen discussions of the Kinstrife in which the blame is placed on Valacar for marrying outside of the pure blood, and not on his critics for getting
      Message 2 of 13 , Jun 13, 2013
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        Tony Zbaraschuk <tonyz@...> wrote:

        >And then there's the Kinstrife, where Gondor gets into a very
        >destructive civil war over racial purity issues, and the racism
        >is generally presented as a Bad Idea.

        I've seen discussions of the Kinstrife in which the blame is placed on Valacar for marrying outside of the pure blood, and not on his critics for getting snitty about it. The writers seem to have missed the clear markers of the historians of Appendix A (and thus, presumably, Tolkien's own message) as to where the problem really lay.
      • ernestsdavis
        ... Exactly. ... The politics as well as the racism is off-base. The hobbits, with their elected mayor, are certainly the closest thing in Middle-Earth to a
        Message 3 of 13 , Jun 14, 2013
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          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "David Bratman" <dbratman@...> wrote:
          >

          > Here's a "Tolkien and politics" item I just came upon that's far more
          > disturbing than that: a neo-Nazi film critic who loves the Jackson LOTR:

          > 1.You can't control nutty interpretations of your work.
          Exactly.

          > 4: For instance, if he'd read the book as well as seen the movie of TT, he
          > might have been able to tear his eyes away from the stirring spectacle of an
          > army of handsome white guys defeating an army of ugly not-white guys and
          > notice that the bad guys' commander and instigator was a pasty-white guy
          > played by Christopher Lee.
          > 5. The book might also have clued him in that TT is not a stand-alone story
          > about the Battle of the Hornburg, but part of a larger story with a broader
          > meaning. Specifically, that though the dark guys are evil, evil is
          > emphatically not about being dark.

          The politics as well as the racism is off-base. The hobbits, with their elected mayor, are certainly the closest thing in Middle-Earth to a liberal democracy. The Entmoot also seems to be carried out by vote or by consensus. The Council of Elrond is an ad-hoc international conference, of the kind these guys mostly detest,

          On the other hand, the government that takes over the Shire under Lotho Sackville-Baggins and then under Sharkey is certainly a rather bad-tempered parody of left-wing/Socialist policies, probably specifically of the Labour party --- not my favorite part of the book.

          But, in any case, I don't know to what extent the neo-Nazis are actually interested in Fascism as a form of government; maybe all they care about is the racism anyway.

          > 6. And, as noted by many commentators, that the Dwarves are rather Jewish.

          Including Tolkien himself.
        • David Bratman
          ... True, but just as the neo-Nazis can t tear themselves away from the fine spectacle of the Rohirrim slaughtering orcs to see that those orcs are the tools
          Message 4 of 13 , Jun 14, 2013
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            <davise@...> wrote:

            > The politics as well as the racism is off-base. The hobbits, with their
            > elected mayor, are certainly the
            > closest thing in Middle-Earth to a liberal democracy. The Entmoot also
            > seems to be carried out by
            > vote or by consensus.

            True, but just as the neo-Nazis can't tear themselves away from the fine
            spectacle of the Rohirrim slaughtering orcs to see that those orcs are the
            tools of a megalomaniac white guy, they probably can't tear their eyes away
            from the political spectacle of the destined and rightful monarch taking the
            crown.

            > The Council of Elrond is an ad-hoc international conference, of the kind
            > these
            > guys mostly detest.

            I think they would read the Council as Elrond and Gandalf telling everyone
            what to do, and then those people do it. Don't bother to point out flaws in
            that reading; we all know them; but I fancy that's the misreading you'd get.
          • IcelofAngeln
            ... I m not sure what Nazism has to do with monarchism, except in some folks vague sense that they re both right-wing ; the Gestapo had a special office to
            Message 5 of 13 , Jun 15, 2013
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              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "David Bratman" <dbratman@...> wrote:
              >
              > <davise@...> wrote:
              >
              > > The politics as well as the racism is off-base. The hobbits, with their
              > > elected mayor, are certainly the
              > > closest thing in Middle-Earth to a liberal democracy. The Entmoot also
              > > seems to be carried out by
              > > vote or by consensus.
              >
              >the neo-Nazis... probably can't tear their eyes away
              > from the political spectacle of the destined and rightful monarch taking the
              > crown.
              >

              I'm not sure what Nazism has to do with monarchism, except in some folks' vague sense that they're both "right-wing"; the Gestapo had a special office to monitor and control what they termed "reactionaries," and expressing monarchist ideas within earshot of the wrong people could put you in the camps- where in fact almost all the surviving German royal families wound up, if they hadn't left for exile.
            • David Bratman
              You don t have to be so literal. Hitler saw himself as a destined and rightful leader; he d have no trouble identifying with a similarly destined monarch in a
              Message 6 of 13 , Jun 15, 2013
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                You don't have to be so literal. Hitler saw himself as a destined and rightful leader; he'd have no trouble identifying with a similarly destined monarch in a fictional story.

                The Nazis also liked Wagner's Ring. What characters would they have identified with in _that_?


                -----Original Message-----
                >From: IcelofAngeln <solicitr@...>
                >Sent: Jun 15, 2013 6:23 AM
                >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                >Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Tolkien and politics
                >--- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "David Bratman" <dbratman@...> wrote:
                >>
                >>the neo-Nazis... probably can't tear their eyes away
                >> from the political spectacle of the destined and rightful monarch taking the
                >> crown.
                >
                >I'm not sure what Nazism has to do with monarchism, except in some folks' vague sense that they're both "right-wing"; the Gestapo had a special office to monitor and control what they termed "reactionaries," and expressing monarchist ideas within earshot of the wrong people could put you in the camps- where in fact almost all the surviving German royal families wound up, if they hadn't left for exile.
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