4. ‘Fish School’
Quoted from ‘The Myth of the Goddess’ by Anne Baring & Jules Cashford
‘The Fish Goddess’
“The theme of the egg appears in the great carved stones found at a site called Lepenski Vir, beautifully situated on the shores of the River Danube in northern Yugoslavia. These monumental stones – part human and part fish – were placed at the head of triangular shrines with red-lime plastered floors. The natural element of the child before birth, like that of the fish, is water, and the sign of imminent birth is the breaking of the waters of the womb. These fish deities are shaped like an egg or womb. Is this because, like the child born of the waters of the womb, the fish is the new life that emerges from the egg in the watery womb of the sea or river? The human quality of these fish-faced creatures creates an unusual identity of feeling between the human and sea dimensions. In the enchanted world of fairy-tales fish speak to humans and bring them great riches, as in Grimm’s fairy-tale of the fisherman and his wife. The fish is still the central image of fertility and rebirth in the Chaldean myth of the fish-god Oannes, who emerges from the sea to teach humanity the arts of civilization. … The wounded Fisher King of the later Grail legends belongs to these rituals of regeneration, whose origins may lie in the Neolithic era.”
<“ “Shall we go out?”> asked Merlyn.
Hardly more than a dozen children are present in the classroom. The room itself is dark and the humming of computer fans is ubiquitous. There are small blue lights scattered around, … but the classroom where all of this is taking place itself isn’t very important, because…
<“I think it is about time we began lessons.”> stated Merlyn.
The room isn’t the school anymore.
The kids are hardly there at all. Yes, technicall they’re in the room. The cables and equipment are now the school, and they dangle from the ceiling as the children swim around and grasp through the air and kick their feet like swimming in a pool in the air, …
They’re in a school, of sorts–a school of fish, deep within the ocean, swimming about regardless of the room. There are no confines to the room. The children are working in apparent unison… as a school, like the name implies, in the imagination, though guided, somewhere you can’t see from anywhere inside the classroom–it exists inside everybody’s heads, somewhere beyond the walls and flooring, and beyond the carpeting, tables and chairs, which are transformed into sea-floor swaying seaweeds and coral reefs anyways.
<“Splendid,” said Merlyn. “Let us go for a little swim.”>
All students start off in the ocean, as a simple cluster of cells. They’re probably pretty low in the water, near the sulfuric vents.
In this game, as the professor says: “There’s all sorts of ways that things can go wrong after the simple cellular cluster phase…” The teacher’s voice announced to the class. It was a kind of lesson on evolutionary principles: “that’s why we teach ‘fish’ first.” It’s because “They’re the most economical.” … and efficient,” and so the teachers always do recommend fish first, evolving into a fish as a base-form. From here you can make subtle adaptations over the ages to possibly establish a more complex life-form… if you wish to. You don’t have to. Some things in this savage phase of cellular development you ‘have’ to do. You can also stay where you are, even regress a little bit, or if you wish to dominate your surroundings awhile longer you can, but eventually you end up in the similar place as the other students.
“Where you guys decide to evolve from there is your decision. But typically if you don’t head ‘there’ first, fish, you’re not likely gonna have a creature that will make it through the Shark Wars.”
“Shark Wars? What are the shark wars?”
Some students start out as a single-cell bacteria, a prokaryote, an animal cell without a nucleus for storage of DNA, and never cease to forgoe even that early stage, sometimes hardly moving away from it at all for the entire allotted time they had in class before the break. There are plenty of things to do as a massive swarm of single-cell bacteria, don’t get me wrong, but it just isn’t that fun after long–for most, I’ll say, though they’ve probably formed at least into some kind of mere colony of cells by then, hopefully… at least… by this point… cells working in unison and coordinating, to some degree, without a central nervous system, and there are eccentrinc young people in every generation who do this kind of… unexpected thing, that the teacher can enjoy.
<“The Wart did not know what Merlyn was talking about, …>
<“… but [the Wart] liked him to talk. He did not like the grown-ups who talked down to him, but the ones who went on talking in their usual way…”>
Not being an opponent, the teacher is removed from the class, so the unexpected things can be enjoyed, as an audience member, removed, for their novelty or laughable stupidity, but if they too were in the fray, competing for survival with all of these different organisms trying to as well it wouldnt be so enjoyable or novel and quaint to encounter ‘all’ of the unexpected things that a class of children can come up with in their imaginations.
Molly’s creature, at the bottom of the sea, although it could still snap and bite, to stave off an enemy creature, if it came to that, was no longer capable of predating, or hardly moving for that matter. Only meagre self-defense kept any of them alive. The population was eccentric and helpless.
There was no denying that the little girl was pretty hilarious, but she was beyond trying to learn the lesson of the scenario any longer, and there was only about a half an hour left ’till the bell rang. The look of Molly’s creature was pretty fantastic, aesthetically-speaking, however… although it could be said that the organism could indeed possibly exist, it could not hold any sort of functioning, for long, any useful ones, nor could it feesibly have any purpose moving forward, not even as a food source as by now it was extremely poisonous and full of toxins, so there was nothing for evolution to work on, because there was literally nothing useful upon the doomed creature. Nothing like a tooth or a claw, or proper means of digestion, and so the teacher explained to her the problem is certainly lacking in any usefulness for which to survive, which she clearly knew, but was dumb-playing, she tried to make an immortal but forewent the need for propagation of the species, and so within the terms of the adaptation/evolution-simulation game it was legitimate as a possibility within the total domain of existence, yes, TECHNICALLY, but though it was allowed… surely it should not be allowed to exist–metabolically speaking, not morally, maybe ethically, but does it matter if it’s allowed? The teacher desperately tries, he can’t really get through to her, and he knows that she knows, so I suppose he has gotten through, there’s just no one home who cares, and so neither of them continued to try and the teacher had to move on to the next student…
<“… leaving him to leap along in their wake, jumping at meanings, guessing, clutching at known words, and chuckling at complicated jokes as they suddenly dawned. He had the glee of the porpoise then, pouring and leaping through strange seas.”>
Raeff, AL’s friend, evolved a solid fish.
It was from this simple base of operations by which he was able to successfully make his next leap, just as the professors had wanted, he deduced, in pursuing his own design from within their scenario and thus the definition of their confines… Raeff had decided to direct his organism into becoming a pretty menacing shark, down the road, I dont know maybe it was predicatable, he thought, but who cares about that, “it will be the most fun,” and so in becoming one of the most effective preadators, taxonomically speaking, and likewise he was now a predator of the student body, who had started developing along their own lineages, some predatory and some other, together in a mutual competition/cooperation. Some would cooperate less than others. Raeff had mastered all his fundamentals and was now reaping all of the benefits: a smart, tight strategy geared for reward, here displayed in core-predatory functioning; his patience, and his mastering of fundamentals and understanding and learning from efficiencies and in-born systems, the simulation was going somewhere he had learned to do in within the path of the Sapphire, his home-society, at least in the spirit of the teachings, the philosophy of it. Practicality and Pragmatism are the essence of Sapphire.
<“ “I wish I was a fish,” said the Wart. “What sort of fish?” It was almost too hot to think about this, but the Wart stared down into the cool amber depths where a school of small perch were aimlessly hanging about.”>
<“He thought that it might not be so bad with Merlyn… “>
<“… particularly if he would do some magic.”>
Loquitus, the animatronic boy, who was now enrolled in the school alongisde them, technically he had gotten off as a cybernetic-organism, which I guess was a technicality which was valid, and had made a simple torpedo fish… which would sting it’s enemy, slamming into the target’s nose, fairly effectively, and shocking it for a second or less, maybe stunning but not really harming the enemy fish, briefly–in order to momentarily daze the thing at least–and stupefying his targets into temporary submission, therewith he could scurry off and run away.
He had survived nearly all encounters. He went hungry though, and his species starved out and died.
<“They went into the courtyard, into a sun so burning that the heat of hay-making seemed to have been nothing…”>
Raeff’s creature served well for survival, and thus propagated his species down the ages and devised variations of form to experiment, and was overall fairly competitive with the other student’s creatures… moving toward the bell, and towards domination by one player-student, and Raeff’s adjustments were all very useful and pragmatic, he would certainly be in the running. Anyways, who the hell cares if it was a bit predictable, a shark, it was fantastic, and therefore checking off all the boxes to which the lesson points had likely been intended by the adults in the first place.
<“It was baking. The thunder-clouds which usually go with hot weather were there, high columns of cumulus with glaring edges, but there was not going to be any thunder. It was too hot even for that.“>
Then, bubbling up from the depts of the sea…
Tentacles unfurled in dark purple tendrils, some as thick as tree trunks, probing and entangling nearly everything in its grasp, which was long, a black sea of tentacles rising from the depths, and covered enormous surface area, making it near impossible to escape entanglement. He must have evolved much deeper, deeper down below, than any of his had been any longer. We didn’t even think it was survivable down there, that deep. He must have found some other means, fundamentally, to survive.
By the time any of the students knew it, Aleon had evolved a swarm of gigantic squid, or a kind of army of giant octopi, as they seemed wider than a squid, somehow, massive swarms of them so that they looked as if one behemoth–one mass of a creature–who each could conjoin together, intertwining arms with one another, and altogether into a ball of mass with dozens of arms in every direction, until there are hundreds of them grouped together, and so as if to work as directed toward the collective effort, somehow, there must have been some kind of central operating procedure, but no central nervous system could be visuall located, and it was too late and the classtime was about to end, the lunch bell would soon ring before we had time to even investigate into it. Each of these regular creatures had more evolved forms which they had coordinated with also effectively, smaller and primitive ones, and some of these lineages may have died out normally but they were deemed by the coordinator of their eons of adaptations, the selector of natural selector, AL, who found it was useful somehow to the future generations, to preserve the old, perhaps they never aged by his immortal jellyfish designs, and therefore they were most suitable to go on living and contributing to the swarm, and the larger ones grew up into larger and larger octopii, and wiser and wiser, until the organizations were so massive and complex, so interchangeable on a moment’s notice and modular, sturdy and dynamic, that it was almost impossible to see anything else in even the ancillary background environment… as they themselves were like a massive island, conjoined together with their tentacles, and who also squirted black ink, further obfuscating the tentacled mass that was now consuming everyone’s creatures within the classroom! Tearing apart their hard work with tentacle-fed beaks.
<“If only,” thought the Wart, “I did not have to go into a stuffy classroom, but could take off my clothes and swim in the moat.” “>
The swarm rotated outward, from the depths, like a great yawning fractal of hunger and death—a horrible black darkness emerging, the entangled black-tentacled continent, or at the very least a small island, as it was so massive in size, and coordinated in inky clusters it can see with it’s many feeling tentacles, not its eyes, reducing all visibility, giving up no advantage however, and within the sea water, for cells, or animals on land with complex sensor-knowledge that is the key to survival and propogation. And nobody is allowed to play anymore because they didn’t know it, and he, AL, did.
<“ “I think I should like to be a perch,” he said. “They are braver than the silly roach, and not quite so slaughterous as the pike are…. Merlyn took off his hat, raised his staff of lignum vitae politely in the air, and said slowly, “Snylrem stnemilpmoc ot enutpen dna lliw eh yldnik tpecca siht yob sa a hsif?”>
It is the core principle of evolution, from the mircobial level onward. Sensors on the cell wall, data from the senses, the more data of the surrounding environment the better, for animals can smell and taste, touch and see, for the oceans life and cellular life it’s the same.
You must scout out your enemy. You need intel. If ignorant, the evironment ‘is’ your enemy! Ever since you were a single solitary cell.
<“Immediately there was a loud blowing of sea-shells, conches and so forth, and a stout, jolly-looking gentlemen appeared seated on a well blown-up cloud above the battlements.
He had an anchor tattooed on his stomach and a handsome mermaid with Mabel written under her on his chest.
He ejected a quid of tobacco, nodded affably to Merlyn and pointed his trident at the Wart. The Wart found he had no clothes on. He found that he had tumbled off the drawbridge, landing with a smack on his side in the water. He found that the moat and the bridge had grown hundreds of times bigger. He knew he was turning into a fish.”>
Quote from, ‘The Influence of Sea Power upon History’:
Wiki: “… is a history of naval warfare published in 1890 by the American naval officer and historian Alfred Thayer Mahan.
It details the role of sea power during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, [(1600’s-1700’s)], and discussed the various factors needed to support and achieve sea power, with emphasis on having the largest and most powerful fleet. Scholars considered it the single most influential book in naval strategy. Its policies were quickly adopted by most major navies, ultimately leading to the World War Naval arms race. It is also cited as one of the contributing factors of the United States becoming a great power… Mahan began the book with an examination of what factors led to a supremacy of the seas, especially how Great Britain was able to rise to its near dominance. He identified such features as geography, population, and government, and expanded the definition of sea power as comprising a strong navy and commercial fleet. Mahan also promoted the belief that any army would succumb to a strong naval blockade. The book then goes on to describe a series of European and American wars and how naval power was used in each.”
Otto von Bismarck
“Laws are like sausages—it’s best not to see them made.”
-Otto von Bismarck
‘Bismarck’s Reich 1871-1888′
Quoted from ‘Blood and Iron,’ by Katja Hoyer:
“Kaiser Wilhelm himself had an odd relationship with Bismarck. Initially reluctant to appoint him as Minster President when he took over as king.” Kaiser Wilhelm complained that it was ‘hard to be king under Bismarck.’ How could he be a sovereign, answerable only to God, and yet allow himself to be bullied and manipulated by a crazy ‘junker’ who had come out of nowhere and taken politics by storm? Unsure about the path he was being taken on, Wilhelm had not approved of any of the major decisions that were made from the moment he had appointed Bismarck as Minister President…”
… “A German Caesar?”
… “Governance of the Reich.”
“… a more symbolic date was needed for the official proclamation. The nearest suitable anniversary was 18 January. On that very day in 1701, Friedrich III of Brandenburg had been declared Friedrich I of Prussia, uniting divided territories into one stronger whole. The carefully crafted national narrative was compelling in the warm afterglow of victory against the archenemy France. The German Empire was proclaimed at the Palace of Versailles to wild jubilation all across the German lands… The entire set-up revealed much about the nature of the newly founded German Empire. It seems an odd choice to hold the official proclamation of a new nation on foreign soil. However, Bismarck knew that any location in the German lands would have risked raising one state above the others, compromising the fragile moment of unity.
Once AL dialed back his play-style, and some paramaters had been adjusted by the game-mechanics mods, moderators of the education facilities, there were thusly a few eras of ‘teh sHark wArs’.
In another class the teacher had not switched on the computer interfaces yet, and the kids stood in mid-air dangling from the wires and harnesses of the VR machine interface while the teacher had some lesson prepared today for them or something important he wanted to say.
“Ya know… a little history lesson for you guys here. I just wanted to say that in sum total life before you guys were alive was brutal. The people who came before us worked really hard to get us here, I just wanted to reflect on that. That’s all.”
The class would sometimes go different ways from what the usual day-to-day procedure normally dictated. They would have a little lesson in how things worked, presented in a different way. The way things used to function from a distanced view, or from a ‘different’ perspective, our society’s, which have biases in our own ways, but it was not ‘their’ biases, and so it was distanced a bit. We sometimes got a lesson in economics, and money’s across history, and how armies were raised, and where they stabled their horses, or who the ‘big players’ were, and what their main decisions where, which were definitive of the era.
The VR machines helped immensely in immersion for the children, that goes without saying, and they got to interact with the lesson-plan with all five senses, well maybe not smell—but still—they were hanging from these wires and pulley systems that the they could do swirls around, and little jumps in the air which was entertaining for them if the teacher just needed minute, while they, the children, were analyzing the inside mechanisms of the cell, they can also play a game where they walk away truly knowing what the difference is between a plant and animal cell, having massive green cell walls flashed into their minds, and a little bit about how those Renaissance paintings and sculptures and palaces were financed, and a little bit about that old place they called Rome. Rome was in the same area of the world as the Rennaisance was, in the history of that lone Italian peninsula, they learned.
The past did indeed sound brutal. If you weren’t a serf in the feudal era, chances are you were a slave in the Roman.
But the lesson he wanted us to hang and reflect a little while on was the brutality of the world and the challenging Conditions our ancestors all rose up to overcome, and those who came before us, and the hardships they endured… and that we don’t need to know anything about those hardships and that we should be grateful for it.
In another iteration of the Evolution/Adaptation game…
Molly knows the mitochondria is the ‘powerhouse’ of the cell.
Every Biology student knows that.
She knows that DNA is housed in the nucleus, she knows all about the ribosomes…
Molly made an exceptionally well run cell. She made all of the exchanges and mechanisms for diffusion and all the processes for protein production, everything required for a smoothly run and particularly efficient cell.
… and she knows that enzymes are proteins which catalyze chemical reactions, too.
AL’s organism had early on in the game developed an alternate way of respirating, utilizing sulfur instead of oxygen for metabolic functions, and could attain a glucose source to produce ATP energy from predating on the transparent animals that exist in extreme depths. The game moderators had made unavailable a certain protein molecule which AL had used to accomplish this. It was artificial, as in nature this protein can by synthesized by a eukaryotic cell, but if this exploit was allowed in this simulation the result would be the same now every time since AL had discovered it.
After a few ‘more’ iterations of the game…
… they had now started developing organisms who move on dry land… and… while maintaining a kind of amphibian period for some time… most of the kids by now had gone reptillian.
… the lesson plan shifts for the next scenario, which they encountered for the first time this Wednesday morning, and maybe had planned for the original game scenario and were maybe going to be a little bored by today’s lesson plan, but that was okay… because usually they had more fun than learning, if you’d put it on the scales–today, a little less fun, but would be a little more disciplined style learning, which nobody’s afraid of, and while still using the VR simulators to boot.
By zooming .. ooming into stages, and by the end we are back in the cellular phase again, but this time for much longer, and the class gets a nice in-depth lesson in histology for the duration of the classtime.
In another game, … day… Thursday…
His Frog men were reproducing at a quickened rate now, and that meant more soldiers to collect, and there was still no sign of the enemy.
There were many different groups around them, many varied primitive life forms, others who had made it onto dry land, too, with primitive societies forming all around the land, and they would never trade. None of them even had a word for it in their language, in their frog-man, or bird-man, or reptile-man vocabularies, and they didn’t have peace ‘neither.
The Frog men built an army quickly, as the frogs are able to spawn quickly, and in terms of the raising of armies that meant reinforcements, and so with new metabolic enhancements AL had more easily implemented the amphibious nature which is of a close relationship with water, and moisture, and clear and clean surface areas for cellular respiration, and even if armed with primitive sharpened sticks they can manage to do a pretty good job of it, warfare, and by conquering enemy tribes and territories with about a hundred strong young Frogs they made their froggy dominion.
So fungus gathering, insect harvesting, hunting parties, communications, and soldiery training would resume… these would be the cooperative lifeforms to help energize the Frog empire.
But non-frogs, and beings who are similar to them in intelligence and strength, would just never be trusted by them, and vis versa. The students would not tolerate any sort of peace.
They were told the adults never really got it together either… while the scouts and spies are sent out, even to navigate the outside area on the waterfront, my Frog spy masters establish their networks and report back to me, the command hub and central intelligence appartaus for the Frogman Legions.
Though no one has ever traded, in history, and never will, here, in some skirmishes in the past the Frogmen had gloriously prevailed. Coupled with another species, as temporary allies perhaps, at the very least you could say not openly hostile, a team-up was once in order for wiping out another, potent local adversary’s army, which was even stronger than scouts had indicated prior to the battle… and so went the short-lived alliance with the electric Fox men. We had increased our frog spawning sites by ten times what they had been last season, every season saw progression, and now we could send four to five different raiding parties out at one time, with mere sharpened sticks, and some would be support teams and some would supplement the dominant local armies. Our spawn sites are now everywhere. They could capture an encampment, or raid an improperly guarded small fortress, or citadel. The handful of ‘electric Fox men’ had held together with them for a single battle, but had predicatably afterward faded from the campaign from then onwards, impotent, weak, and probably now starving, and so reliance upon them was short-lasting for the triumphant Frog men.
The Frog men spawned the most frequently in a particular season, so whenever the simulation got to that time of year it was good to exhale large forces of soldiers from among the total population, and provide a strong offensive early on, so as to capture and commandeer enemy or neutral settlements as well as to raid storage caches, and sites with natural resources. As the years went on within the simulated scenario, mere minutes and seconds in terms of the children’s perception and of the paramaters of the gaming lesson-simulation they were playing, and thereby the Frog men of Aleon’s maybe 12th iteration of this game had been cultivated into a species who are now cultivating other animals, beast of burden animals, bigger animals, to be used as livestock and mounting for war.
He was producing a fairly dominant tribal system of Frogmen throughout the terrain and across the centuries. It was another total conquest of the landmass, and still the others could always retreat into the oceans, and sort of… devolve… if they wanted to, or in the face of his frogman armies they would rather; go back there, back with the amphibians and the fish and the sea kelp, and, if they wish, or would rather, be fish-people once again, if so inclined, but they wouldn’t live here.
The dry land would forevermore be under the Imperium of the Frogmen, and the great Frogmen across history, who will live on in the very soil of the dry land; their grandeur and their leadership, like an invisible hand through history, promise them would be a banner everlasting.
The Raeff dialogue
“Why can’t you let me win one?” Raeff was getting frustrated with the outcome of all these simulations. “—or why can’t I win, or anybody else, just once?”
He was clearly reveling in the victory, and was loving it. He did feel bad, a little.
AL was loving every minute of it. “Would it even feel like a true win, old friend, if I just ‘gave’ it to you?”
“Well, it’s just a little ridiculous. I can’t even be competitive…
Fine, though. I’ll just have to earn it.”
“That’s the spirit.”
Quote continued from, ‘Otto von Bismarck’:
“The only thing that had tied the four states south of the River Main to the North German Confederation was the threat of another ‘Napoleonic’ occupation. The national jubilation that came from the glorious and swift victory over France had to be upheld. Thus even the unification ceremony itself was intended to remind the German princes why they had offered Wilhelm the Kaiser crown. The magnificent ceiling of the Hall of Mirrors, with its glorification of Louis XIV as the conqueror of German lands, provided the perfect backdrop for a ceremony that celebrated the reversal of fortunes between Germany and France. Furthermore, the proclamation was set up and portrayed as an exclusively military ceremony. Bismarck, the Kaiser and the princes all appeared in uniform and celebrated the foundation of a nation state with soldiers and officers – not a civilian in sight. This was a far cry from the democratic unification of which the liberals had dreamed. At Versailles, there were no reminders of 1848 – no tricolour, no ‘Deutschlandlied’.”
Just marching bands and formalities in the heart of a humiliated enemy.
“Geographically, the new nation also seemed a colossus. Bismarck had ruthlessly used the victory in the Franco-Prussian War and annexed Alsace and Lorraine. The two French provinces had long since attracted the attention of the nationalist movement due to the German-speaking populations that lived there side-by-side with their French neighbours. In private, Bismarck repeatedly expressed doubts over the wisdom of such a move as he believed it would make reconciliation with France an impossibility and thus expose the young German nation state to foreign hostility from the outset. On the other hand, there had been popular demand to incorporate at least Alsace into the German Empire as its population was linguistically and culturally still overwhelmingly German. Bismarck eventually concluded that the ‘hereditary hostility’ (Erbfeindschaft) between France and Germany was inevitable and that one additional land dispute was neither here nor there. The twenty-five German states now stretched from the River Memel in the east to well beyond the River Rhine in the west; from the sea in the north to the Alps in the south – a German Empire indeed.”
“Bismarck was right; the German Empire had not been made with speeches and majority decisions; it had been forged in blood and iron. The German Empire was a formidable force in Europe right from the outset. It held 41 million people and thus became the largest Western European nation overnight. France (36 million), Britain (31.5 million including Ireland) and Austria (36 million) all looked on in worry as the delicate power balance was thrown seriously out of kilter.”
Quoted from: ‘The Vampire Economy’,
by Gunter Reiman:
‘Doing Business Under Fascism’
“Such a system also changes the psychology of businessman. Their experiences teach them that the old right of property no longer exists. They find themselves compelled to respect the “national interest” or the “welfare of the community.””
“The life of the German businessman is full of contradictions. He cordially dislikes the gigantic, top-heavy, bureaucratic State machine which is strangling his economic independence. Yet he needs the aid of these despised bureaucrats more and more, and is forced to run after them, begging for concessions, privileges, grants, in fear that his competitor will gain the advantage…”
Quote from ‘The Junkers’ Wikipedia Page:
(German: were members of the landed nobility in Prussia). They owned great estates that were maintained and worked by peasants with few rights. These estates often lay in the countryside outside of major cities or towns. They were an important factor in Prussia and, after 1871, in German military, political and diplomatic leadership. The most famous Junker was Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Bismarck held power in Germany from 1871 to 1890 as Chancellor of the German Empire. He was removed from power by Kaiser Wilhelm II.
The Junkers held a virtual monopoly on all agriculture in the part of the German Reich lying east of the River Elbe. Since the Junker estates were necessarily inherited by the eldest son alone, younger sons, all well educated and with a sense of noble ancestry, turned to the civil and military services, and dominated all higher civil offices, as well as the officer corps. Around 1900 they modernized their farming operations to increase productivity. They sold off less productive land, invested more heavily in new breeds of cattle and pigs, used new fertilizers, increased grain production, and improved productivity per worker. Their political influence achieved the imposition of high tariffs that reduced competition from American grain and meat.
“nylreM ot stnemilpmoc…”
… said Neptune, the god.
Another ‘FISH SCHOOL.’
<“[The Wart] had leisure to look at the extraordinary universe into which the tattooed gentleman’s trident had plunged him,” The Roman God Neptune, appears next. Tossing Merlyn some good new tobacco he had been smoking, comically I might add, and this ‘tattooed gentleman,’ as far as the young boy Wart was concerned, pointing his trident at Wart ‘and nodding to the wizard as he enacts this miraculous transfiguration,’ like a mere favor amongst two masters, a man learned to be friends with the gods, and that this is the grand means by which Merlin transfigures Wart into a fish, his love of the god, wonder-working in front him, Merlin’s wrought art for them is like a mere parlor trick–a way to toss a buddy some premium tobacco—for the superman favors granted of a divinity.”>
<“Wart gave two terrific kicks and vanished altogether in a clump of mare’s tail several yards away.”>
<“That’s better, said the trench, now out of sight in the murky olive water, and the Wart backed himself out of his tangle with infinite trouble, by wriggling his arm fins. He undulated back toward the voice in one terrific shove, to show off.”>
<“Good,” said the tench, as they collided end to end. “But direction is the better part of valour.”>
<““Try if you can do this one,” it added.”>
<“Without apparent exertion of any kind it swam off backward under a water-lily. Without apparent exertion–but the Wart, who was an enterprising learner, had been watching the slightest movements of its fins. He moved his own fins anti-clockwise, gave the tip of his tail a cunning flick, and was lying alongside the trench.”>
<“”Splendid,” said Merlyn. “Let us go for a little swim.”>
<“‘The Once and Future King,’ by T.E. White.”>
… the children, suspended from cables with VR devices covering their head; electronics adorning their hands, their feet… elbows, and knees, equipment freeing up for range of motion and helping them to become weightless adorned their backs, torso, and waist area.
They grasp at the air and dance above the ground, cheering and merry as there isn’t any need for a chalkboard, not here, in this Utopiaoid classroom.
And there’s also not any need for desks, any lights in the room, or even windows…
The children are alone in this room, oblivious to the plainness of it; what’s the word here…
Alone… nothing else… for each of them, well… except for the invisible Ocean.
This ocean is special, well I’m sure all oceans are special, in their own ways, but this one’s neat because it’s contained within one small room… Only the children in this room can see this ocean—them and their magic-school-bus teacher.
… this computer-manufactured parallel dimension…
Time behaves differently in their ocean… billions of computations per second… an accelerated pace their world is on, allowing for a human observer to witness so much… time.
So many passing millennia, in seconds. The dozen or so children, here, are able to witness this great ocean and they alone are able to bare witness to the dawning life amidst the burgeoning story of simulator #22887…
In their Virtual Reality displays there is a myriad of color, lights, and sounds. These young marionettes enjoy their day at school, dancing within the air of this dark room.
…darkness amongst the sound of computer fans and cranking harnesses.
The occasional squeal of joy.
Not all cherubic… and the occasional violent, frustrated outburst plays out… chimes in with it’s tune… but ultimately the important thing is there’s a concept being communicated here, which holds their attention, it’s not imposed upon them, and this keeps their minds craving more; more content—more learning. It is almost disturbing to watch, from a certain perspective, for the ability to manipulate these educations for malevolence, a corrupt government in propaganda purposes, and the range of emotions in their panic and lust for heightened states of sensory stimulation… the children and the Plutocrat.
Human eyes, unassisted, could not see the tiny microbial organisms, in the game, now swimming around the primordial soup of the artificial Ocean. Aided by the devices covering their primary sense organs these children can see. They can see it all—everything—and although this vast ocean and its burgeoning new life are simulated, to the observing children this vision is their current reality… And this new world will run its course of natural selection within a few short hours—Shortly from now this group of children will take part in the zoomed-in lives of these swimming microbes, each deciding the fates of a single-celled organism and whether or not they’ll soon become a cluster… and then whether they’ll develop complex tissues, and then organs… and then become a predator… Or become prey… all leading up to the Great Shark Wars… and then the Land Wars.
(Dealing with someone who has come out on top. Dealing with one’s self after that. Dealing with the reality of hierarchies of ability).
“During World War I, Irish nationalist MP Tom Kettle compared the Anglo-Irish landlord class to the Prussian Junkers, saying, “England goes to fight for liberty in Europe and for junkerdom in Ireland.”
“Their political influence extended from the German Empire of 1871–1918 through the Weimar Republic of 1919–1933. It was said that “if Prussia ruled Germany, the Junkers ruled Prussia, and through it the Empire itself”.
A policy known as Osthilfe. (“Help for the East”) granted Junkers 500,000,000 marks in subsidies to help pay for certain debts and to improve equipment. Junkers continued to demand and receive more and more subsidies, which gave them more money in their pockets, thus resulting in political power. Junkers exploited a monopoly on corn by storing it to drive up the price. As more money was profited, they were able to control political offices. Junkers were able to force people to continue paying more money for their product, while keeping who they wanted in office. Through the controlling of politics behind a veil, Junkers were able to influence politicians to create a law that prohibited collecting of debts from agrarians, thus pocketing even more money and strengthening their power.”
“Supporting monarchism and military traditions, they were seen as reactionary, anti-democratic, and protectionist by liberals and Socialists, as they had sided with the conservative monarchist forces during the Revolution of 1848. Their political interests were served by the German Conservative Party in the Reichstag and the extraparliamentary Agriculturists’ League (Bund der Landwirte). This political class held tremendous power over industrial classes and government alike, especially through the Prussian three-class franchise. When the German chancellor Leo von Caprivi in the 1890s reduced the protective duties on imports of grain, these landed magnates demanded and obtained his dismissal; and in 1902, they brought about a restoration of such duties on foodstuffs as would keep the prices of their own products at a high level.
Junker is derived from Middle High German. ‘Juncherre’, meaning “young nobleman” or otherwise “young heir” / “young lord” (derivation of jung and Herr), and originally was the title of members of the higher ‘edelfrie’ (immediate) nobility without or before the accolade. It evolved to a general denotation of a young or lesser noble, often poor and politically insignificant, understood as “country squire” (cf. Martin Luther’s disguise as “Junker Jörg” at the Wartburg; he would later mock King Henry VIII of England as “Juncker Heintz”). As part of the nobility, many Junker families only had prepositions such as von or zu before their family names without further ranks. The abbreviation of the title is Jkr., most often placed before the given name and titles, for example: Jkr. Heinrich von Hohenberg. The female equivalent Junkfrau (Jkfr.) was used only sporadically. In some cases, the Honorific Jkr. was also used for Freiherren (Barons) and Grafen (Counts). A good number of poorer Junkers took up careers as soldiers (Fahnenjunker), mercenaries, and officials (Hofjunker, Kammerjunker) at the court of territorial princes. These families were mostly part of the German medieval Uradel and had carried on the colonization and Christianization of the northeastern European territories during the Ostsiedlung. Over the centuries, they had become influential commanders and landowners, especially in the lands east of the Elbe River in the Kingdom of Prussia. As landed aristocrats, the Junkers owned most of the arable land in Prussia. Being the bulwark of the ruling House of Hohenzollern, the Junkers controlled the Prussian Army, leading in political influence and social status, and owning immense estates worked by tenants. These were located especially in the north-eastern half of Germany (i.e. the Prussian provinces of Brandenburg, Pomerania, Silesia, West Prussia, East Prussia and Posen). This was in contrast to the predominantly Catholic southern states such as the Kingdom of Bavaria or the Grand Duchy of Baden, where land was owned by small farms, or the mixed agriculture of the western states like the Grand Duchy of Hesse or even the Prussian Rhine and Westphalian provinces.
Junkers formed a tightly knit elite. Their challenge was how to retain their dominance in an emerging modern state with a growing middle and working class.
” Quoted from ‘Junkers’: “What had happened in the forty-eight years since the creation of Germany, which made the concept of nation so real that secession from it remained the pipe dream of a few extremists? How had Rhinelanders, Bavarians and Prussians turned into Germans? Why did Catholics not seek the opportunity to finally leave the oppression of the Protestant majority? Why did the south not try to distance themselves from the warmongering Prussians? The answer is complex. Education, secularisation and conscription certainly all played a role. The huge population growth that Germany had seen in this time meant that the majority of Germans were young. They had never experienced anything but a nation state and grew up glorifying the unification wars and Bismarck as the founding father. They went through two or three years of military service together, travelled freely across the German lands to flock to the cities and worked side by side with fellow countrymen from different states and regions. Interconfessional marriages were on the rise, while science replaced religion as a compass to navigating life. Germans had taken pride together in their colonial empire. They had developed a communal liking for coffee and the resulting cafe culture added a new dimension to social life that was singularly German, not regional. They had cheered German shipbuilding, engineering and scientific breakthroughs. They had a national anthem, a flag as well as national heroes and a world-class economy of which to be proud. All of this was compounded by the collective catastrophe of the First World War. A nation whose men had fought in grim camaraderie in the trenches, whose women and children had toiled, starved and suffered at home, had experienced a shared trauma that bound it together. The despair and humiliation of 1918 and 1919 was met with shared defiance and anger. What Bismarck and Wilhelm had created now seemed a golden age from the perspective of the darkness of defeat. It is no coincidence that ‘surrogate Kaiser’ Hindenburg would not only remain unblemished in the eyes of many Germans, but also be elected as President of their new republic in 1925 following the death of Friedrich Ebert. Where people associated the Imperial regime with economic prosperity, national pride and military glory, the post-war republic began with hunger, humiliation and defeat. Suddenly the political strife of the pre-war years seemed petty and insignificant compared to the suffering that followed. It was not the cry for democracy that had shaped, moulded and marked the German national character but the shared experiences of its people.
The First World War had become a terrible milestone on Germany’s path to nationhood. Instead of destroying the defensive nationalism that Bismarck and Wilhelm had cultivated, it augmented it. The blood and iron paid this time far exceeded that of the unification wars five decades earlier and the effect was correspondingly potent. The war brought the structures of the German Empire down – its crown, its borders, its military – but Bismarck’s legacy would live on. Against the contrast of the dark times to come, the German Empire became an idealised image, perfectly preserved in the still, golden amber of national memory.”
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