The Ever-Present Warrior

Some people are born to be certain things. I've known singers who knew they were going to be singers at the age of five. I'm a natural-born comedian, much like a Pug dog, and even though I don't remember it, have been told by my relatives I used to crack them up at the age of five or six. I certainly remember being 13, by which time I was a class clown.

Some men are even born to be natural warriors, no matter how many deluded leftists think that banning squirt-guns will change human nature and make these guys grow up to be Hugh Grant-watching girlie-boys. Unfortunately, libertarians have pretty much ignored the natural-born warrior, and since they don't know about the problem, haven't thought about it and therefore don't have a clue what to do with these guys.

Mythology gives us a hint as to how to deal with them.

I pay quite a lot of attention to myths. If they weren't true, and didn't have universal wisdom in them, they wouldn't have lasted for thousands of years.

Let's take a look at the myth of Hercules. He certainly is a natural-born warrior--he strangled two snakes which attacked him while he was in his crib. Significantly, he's not only a prot'g' of Athena, the goddess of wisdom and civilization, he's her half-brother. The point? Natural-born warriors are part of society, and we can't get rid of them, no more than we can get rid of singers or comedians.

Hercules was also tipped over a bit toward the insane side, since in a fit of rage he murdered his entire family. He then had to atone for his crimes with his Twelve Labors, feats which took many years. What does this mean? That natural-born warriors may not be the most stable people in the world? Or that when they murder the innocent in war, they must repent and atone for it? Or both?

Things get even more interesting when we find the Greek god of war, Ares, is the half-brother of Athena, meaning that war is part of society, and we can't get rid of it, either. We never have in the past. We can only reduce it as much as possible, which is certainly a reasonable goal.

Ares, who was a coward who delighted in murder and destruction, was hated by all the other gods (including his parents), but he was especially despised by Athena. Since she was the goddess of civilization, and he was the god of war, it is no wonder she hated him, since war and civilization are eternally at odds with each other.

Now here's an important question: Why was the warrior Hercules a follower of Athena and not Ares? Shouldn't it be the other way around? In the stories, Hercules often fought Ares, always beating him (but never killing him), just the way in the long run Society will always beat the State. Societies may survive; States never do. Hercules also rubbed out probably half of Ares' murderous offspring.

The myth is telling us these natural-born warriors must be accepted by society and used in some way against the State. These days, mythologically, Ares is the god of the State, and Athena should be the goddess of society.

Since the State tries to trick the masses into thinking it is not only the protector of Society, but indeed is Society, it is no wonder these Oliver North-types goes into State militaries, since they, like most people, can no longer tell the difference between the State and Society.

We'd be better off if in some ways we lived as we did in the past, when the King would take his Hercules warrior-types and go to war with another kingdom while leaving all the citizens alone. Personally, I'd like to see all the politicians fight each other with swords in an arena. I'd not only pay to watch it, I'd bring a couple of camcorders. I suspect most of the world would, too.

Instead, today we have standing militaries. The Founding Fathers understood the dangers of these standing armies. They wanted nothing to do with them, since all States are followers of Ares, no matter what they say. They then use the militaries, with its natural-born warriors, to advance its interests. Which are rarely--possibly never--the same as Societies'.

Stories about Hercules show up, however unwittingly, even today. I don't mean silly cartoons or silly movies. I mean excellent movies like 1986's 'The Mission.' In it, Rodrigo Mendoza (played by Robert De Niro) is a slaver and murderer with an unstable, violent temper. Then, in a fit of rage, he murders his brother. To atone for his crime he drags his armor up a mountain. After that, he protects the people he had formerly murdered and enslaved. In the end, it costs him his life. Under the circumstances, he had no choice.

Mendoza was a natural-born warrior. At first he had been a follower of Ares and the State (the State which gave him license to be a murderer and slaver.) Then he repented and atoned for his crimes, became a Jesuit, and began to defend the Society he had once exploited and tried to destroy. He was a Hercules who, in the end, became a follower of Athena, not Ares.

We can see this Hercules myth (in part) in lesser movies like 'Rambo.' In it, Rambo engaged not only in State-sponsored military killing, but murder. He never atoned for it; as a result, he came back to Society unable to cope. (The book, First Blood, by David Morrell, is a serious novel far superior to the movie and is in no way pulp-adventure. In it, Rambo--who had no first

name--was far, far more disturbed that Stallone's portrayal.)

When I was in college, we were shown movies in class about "primitive" cultures in which two rival tribes would gather in opposing lines and throw spears and shoot arrows at each other. They were so far away there were very few injuries and rarely any deaths.

At the time, I thought the tribes were amusing. Yet, they never had real wars. Throwing spears from 100 feet way was their idea of war. When they were done, everyone went home and bound up their minor wounds.

Right now our Politically Correct Society is in a bind. On one hand, the liberals are trying to get rid of these warriors by frothing at the mouth about little boys playing with G.I. Joe. On the other hand, we cheer these men for joining State militaries and engaging in fantasies about "defending their country" and, worse, making "the ultimate sacrifice."

Both views are wrong. Leftists are not only wrong about human nature, they don't understand it at all. They're literally blind. And those who support the State and State militaries under the guise of "patriotism" are nearly as deluded, if not just outright scoundrels wrapping themselves in the flag while insisting others fight and die.

Society has to evolve methods to deal with these men; they can't be imposed from the top down. I am reminded of Thomas Berger's wonderful novel, Little Big Man, about the Cheyenne . They had two chiefs: a War Chief for battle and a Peace Chief otherwise. None of the people had to listen to them unless they wanted.

For them, the greatest, bravest feat in battle lay not in killing the enemy but taking coup, i.e., whacking him on the head with a small stick as they rode by. Perhaps we, too need mock battles, as did the tribes I watched. We seem to be evolving them, with something like paintball fights.

These natural-born warriors are an extremely small minority, just like great singers or comedians. When they become enamored of the State, and join its militaries, horrendous problems can result. Therefore, they must be kept away from the State. These men must defend Society against the State, not the State against Society.

The libertarian view is that there should be no State, only Society. Since these men exist, and always will, Society has to learn how to deal with them and give them a place in it.

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Bob Wallace's picture
Columns on STR: 89