sometimes i feel there’s a tendency to forget that Christianity is a religion that was born in the Middle East…not a religion founded by Europe. Many people in the MENA were Christian when Europe was still worshipping its pagan gods and polytheistic pantheons. yes, it is important to wrestle with how Europeans, after they converted to Christianity due to Roman imperialism, used it themselves as a tool for their own imperialism. but conflating the history of Christianity with whiteness comes off to me as actually a reproduction of white supremacy itself. like we’re attributing things to Europeans/whiteness again, and forgetting its Middle-Eastern roots. Eurocentric history, no?
this is actively harmful when it leads to the notion that Christians everywhere = privileged. they are not- MENA Christians are facing genocidal violence at the hands of ISIS right now, for instance. these people are not white or Westerners who can escape from this via Western privilege. If we go further back in time, the Ottoman Empire’s genocide was targeted at Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks, who were Christian minorities in what’s now modern Turkey.
Welcome Back to 100 Days of Trump, where I try to explain WTF happened in 2016 through 100 works of fiction, and I think we haven’t had quite enough video games in the last three days, lets talk fallout. Now the Fallout series has a lot of depth, good characters, fun gameplay and interesting ideas so generally I recommend all of it….except Fallout 3….and Fallout 4….and Brotherhood of Steel…..Ok really just the first two games and this one, but the point is only New Vegas is really relevant to Trump, but play the first two if you like classic RPGs.
So everybody knows that Fallout is a post nuclear world, but the premise of the…good games is that society collapsed…..nothing really changed. People are exactly the same just with less fancy houses and and the sins of the Old World continue on to the future. So ok, sounds like post Great Recession America, how is this about Trump? Well FallOut New Vegas is about the player being trapped between three factions
Caesar’s Legion, a violent reactionary sexist, racist, right wing militant extremist group who advocate racial supremacy, and a return to an idealized past that never existed.
The New Californian Republic, A bunch of corrupt moderates who couch their language in the ideals of democracy and progressive ideals but are duplicitous, warmongering, and have become increasingly sexist, racist, classist, and undemocratic but look good compared to the first group.
Mr. House, a completely amoral rich plutocrat whose utter selfishness and open hostility to submitting to any form of control are mixed with surprisingly progressive social policies and honest look at the problems.
So New Vegas is an alternate universe if Bloomberg actually ran third party, and Trump wasn’t a complete idiot.
Today though, I want to focus on Caesar’s Legion. One of the themes of New Vegas is even though the US has been wiped out, everybody is clinging to symbols of the past, clinging to them out of context and justifying their actions by claiming continuity with the past. The NCR claims to literally be the US goverment despite a century long gap between the fall of the US and the NCR’s founding, or the fact that it doesn’t use our constitution, or the fact that it is only located in California. And its desire to seize control of all the American land means it prioritizes war over its citizen’s well being (stop me if this sounds familiar). Mr. House is determined to preserve the culture of Las Vegas, or rather the way we imagine Las Vegas, with all of the actual realities of Vegas culture removed, its the city center without the city around it, forcibly preserved by an immortal dictator. All the factions try to link themselves to a mystical past (a past we know is utterly whitewashed cause its our present), but the worst of them all, is Caesar’s Legion
See, Edward Sallow was a history nut of the old world when he read about the Roman Empire, and sought to recreate it anew in post apocalyptic Nevada, arguing that since Rome is the foundation of Western Civilization, a return to true Western Greatness. Wherever they go, they bring cultural purity, slavery, Roman era gender relations, and require absolute conformity to their way of life. According to Caesar
“Pax Romana=It means a nationalist, imperialist, totalitarian, homo genius culture that obliterates the identity of every group it conquers. Long term stability at all costs. The individual has no value beyond his utility to the state, whether as an instrument of war or production”
But here is the thing, speaking as a big roman history nut…..THAT ISN’T TRUE. Pax Romonus means “Roman Peace” and means just that, peace. Rome was an Imperialistic, slave owning, genocidal empire that could be extraordinarily brutal, but guess what? It wasn’t nationalistic, the Roman Empire was always borrowing ideas from other cultured cultures in order to improve their empire, it was extremely multicultural and interventionist. I mean
The Roman Navy was Carthaginian
The Roman Gods were Greek
Later they converted to a monotheistic Sect from Judea
For a while they worshiped a Syrian god named Sol Invictus
Most of the Elites Spoke Greek
The Roman Legionary Structure was influenced by the neighboring Samnites
The roman Calvary was almost always Gallic, North Africa, German or Syria
Trajan and Hadrien were Spanish
The Severun dynasty was North African/Syrian (and btw the dynasty that most resembled New Vegas)
The Ilyrian Emperors who saved rome from the Crisis of the Third Century AD, like Aurelian, Diocletion, Claudius Gothicus) were from the Balkans
Constantine was Balkan/British
Flavius Aetius (who defeated Atilla the Hun) was Scythian
Justinian and Belisarius weren’t Latin Roman
Hell after a certain point, almost none of the Emperors are Roman any more, instead they are German, or Hunnic, Syrian or Raba, Spanish or African, Gaulic or Balkan, non Roman Italian,
In fact, one of the main reasons why Western Roman Empire fell is that it didn’t allow the various Gothic/Germanic strongmen to become Emperor in their own RIght.
Rome was never a homogeneous unchanging culture, from Romulus to Constantine XI Roman is defined by its capacity to change and adapt, and its multi cultural empire gave it a lot of ideas to draw upon. And when you look at White Nationalists today who fetishist Rome, it is a rome they don’t understand. By the Way, that Hegelian view of history, that is believed by Steave Bannon.
Also…the transformation to dictatorship doesn’t go as Caesar claims, cause guess what? Julius Caesar didn’t invade a foreign nation, he had a civil war with his own country. And Augustus Caesar took pains to ensure that his Empire was a soft and nonthreatening as possible, the more authoritarian emperors like Septimius Severus were terrible rulers.
Also The Julians didn’t claim to be “Son of Mars” they claimed to be descended from Venus Goddess of Love, hence her role in the Aeneid.
Also Rome didn’t emerge out of a harsh brutal land to fight against the weak fat settled people, Rome emerged in Central Italy, a lush fertile climate. Hell according to legend, Rome was founded by the refuse and exiles from all the surrounding societies, who came to Rome for a second chance and married Sabine women. Honestly Caesar (the in game Caesar not real life, not Julius Caesar) seems to be confusing Rome with Sparta, and which of those two civilizations conquered the known world? I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t the one with the eugenics model. It was the one with the independent aristocracy, and a Republic who did most of the conquest of Rome. This is a map of Rome at its height
and this is how much of that was taken by the Republic, not the empire
That is more than half, and a great deal of the remaining was conquered by Emperor Claudius, you know, this guy?
the one with the limp and the stammer and the twitch. Rome’s Empire mostly fought Romans, Rome’s Republic conquered.
And when the Legion tries to Cosplay as Real Rome, it never quite matches the true stories.
This stories resembles Roman propaganda, except…Rome rarely wiped out the entire population, in fact their empire was supported by a network of client kingdoms who betrayed their former rulers to side with Rome. One of the most important pieces of Roman rule that if you surrendered, you were treated fairly, if you fought a bit and then surrendered, you were treated well. If you fought to the death, stuck to your principles as Vulpes implies, then you were wiped out. Just ask the Jews at Masada how Rome respects those who fight to the last.
So we have a violent, militant, reactionary culture fetishistic a past that never truly existed and they don’t seem to understand to justify extreme racism, violence, and horrifying sexism in order to fight against a corrupt hypocritical but far less awful democratic regime. Sound Familiar
oh…..well that too but also this
Those who idealize history are always those who understand it the least, and New Vegas for all its buggy often frustrating gameplay glory, understands what happens when history is co-opted by those who don’t understand it but wish to use the symbols of nostalgia to justify their own atrocities. Isn’t that Right Ulysses, so named after the man who traveled the ocean for 10 year trying to find home and then freed all the Slave?
Edit: I also want to talk about this real quick
Yeah that whole “War is great for its own sake” macho bullshit? The Romans weren’t so into that, they were much more into “Hey, work for us, and you can keep all your stuff” There is a reason why all of the ancient rome spoke of Roman Treachery.
The islamic state, which retook control of the ruins of Palmyra early last month in a lightning offensive against the Syrian government, has resumed it’s destruction of the ancient city, formerly known as one of the best preserved Roman sites, by destroying the tetrapylon and the skene or backstage facade of the adjacent Greek styled roman theatre.
The theatre famously was the place where ISIS executed captured SAA soldiers after it’s first capture of the city and where, following the Islamic State’s route of the city early in 2016, Russia hosted a victory concert in honour of Western civilization. The concert was likely the reason why the theatre was the target in this new round of destruction, which occurred between December 26th and January 10th. To make a mockery of Western idolatry of these monuments.
With the Syrian Arab Army still mired in a front line far to the west near the T4 airbase, it is likely that recapture is, at very best, months away and that more of Palmyra will be destroyed.
On January 19th, the Islamic State executed 19 prisoners in the city.
Why do Muslims hate Americans more than the Portuguese?
This ‘anti-American’ attitude coming from Muslims in the Middle East seems only natural, due to their recent confrontations and wars. However, if we count all of the conflicts they have had against each other in numbers and evaluate its impact to the Muslim society and history, we’ll learn that this is nothing new and wasn’t as harmful as what has occurred in the past.
What contemporary Muslims don’t know, is the fact that the people they have had more wars with, was with the Portuguese.
They waged war against each other in Iberia:
They waged war against each other in Africa:
They waged war against each other in the Middle East:
They waged war against each other in Asia:
They waged war against each other in the Indian Ocean:
And they also battled in the Mediterranean countless times and in the southern coasts of Portugal, when Muslims were attempting to take back Iberia:
All in all, they have fought against each other time and time again, for centuries.
Since the late 9th century:
Until the 17th century:
Not many know this, but who caused the biggest amount of persecutions and deaths to Muslims, were the Portuguese, due to these past conflicts and the Portuguese Goa Inquisition, which also played a part in this.
The reason why the Portuguese waged so many wars on Muslims, was because of their ‘anti-Islamic’ attitude, which was predominant in Portugal during these periods, influenced by their strong Christian roots.
As a result, the Portuguese took from Muslims parts of Iberia, parts of Africa, parts of the Middle East, parts of Saudi Arabia, parts of Asia, and their control over the Indian Ocean.
Almost all of these areas were never recovered.
Overall, wherever Muslims were present, the Portuguese went on military campaigns and crusades against them, all over the world, under the religious military Order of Christ.
Apart from that, it wasn’t uncommon for the Portuguese to
massacre Muslim civilians after some of these confrontations, as we saw happening in Malacca (Malaysia) and Goa (India) for instance, where Afonso de Albuquerque after conquering these areas, ordered every Arab and Muslim inhabitants to be slain. He also had the habit of cutting off noses and ears after an assault.
Adding to that, they also broke the Muslim trade monopoly in the Indian Ocean and erased their ruling presence from Asia.
After all of these events, oddly enough, Muslims don’t know the existence of a country named Portugal. At best, they know the football player Cristiano Ronaldo, as we have seen, whenever they are asked about it.
Naturally, it makes sense that they focus more on the present, as anyone should, but it seems there’s a huge blank of the past among them to the point that is as if it never happened.
So of course, Muslims don’t hate the Portuguese, since they don’t even know who they are.
So the real question is, would they if they knew? Specially after hearing about stories such as this one?
Fresco from the Temple of Isis in Pompeii: above, the discovery of the boat holding Osiris’ coffin; below, two snakes approach a cylinder decorated with a crescent moon. Now in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples. Photo credit: Carole Raddato.
The Map on top is the Ottoman Empire, the Map on the bottom is current ISIS holdings and affiliates… See a comparison? Proof that if not learned from history repeats itself. And proof that as history continues to prove that since its inception the Islamic faith continues in its attempts at world domination…
A marble statue of the goddess Isis, holding her characteristic instrument, the sistrum (rattle). Unknown Roman artist, 1st cent. CE. Found at Hadrian’s Villa; now in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. Photo credit: Carole Raddato.