Friday, May 7, 2010
3 Democracy as Dictat (2)
History has become like jelly in a container that has been upended and now shakes on the plate before the dinner guests as desert. On the menu card, the cook has named this apparition “Original Research”, and has received accolades for his wit. History is indeed in flux these days. It shakes every time someone goes by the table, and whenever someone takes a bite of it, he-she exclaims: "How Original!" Indeed, this is a more serious shake than when Immanuel Velikovsky wrote his “Worlds in Colision” (1950) and Alfred Wegener proposed the theory (1912) that the continents were granite froth which had floated up from the iron heavy core and become plates were drifting apart or together again.
Today controversial theories have become even more so than in the 20th century, and some even say that they have got “out of hand”, especially when someone like this blogger questions the holy cow of Latvian history as officially constructed and suggests it compares well with jellied tongue at the Delicatessen shop.
When I recently clicked my Search button on "Weimar Constitution" and opened the window to Wikipedia’s explanation of it, before I got into the text, I was warned by the following top line: “This article may contain original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding references. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed….”
If you do not know what is meant by “original research”, here is a clue: Wikipedia and the Chinese government are vying with each other as to who will be the first to stop the imagination of the public contradicting officialdom. For both Wikipedia and China the real of reality threatens to go to the beach swimming: a) for the China government “original research” among its citizens may find it (the government) in a leaky boat, whereas b) “original research” for Wiki changes history itself. Of course, Google is involved, too, as the facilitator of all this “original research”, whether for good or for bad.
As this blogger has pointed out in previous posts, the presentation of jelly on a plate as “original research”, rather than leaving it constrained in a cup, challenges the brain. The reason is that jelly on the loose cannot be neatly picked up and put back on the shelf again. To deal with it, it has to be eaten. And while this is still no guarantee that history will appear (as Walter Benjamin insisted) "in a flash" (see V & VI), it is ever so much more likely. Besides exclaiming “How original!” one is equally likely to exclaim: “Why did I not think of that!” In short, “original research” stands for a new story, not to mention a new story teller.
The new story, which soon may challenge the old chronology and way of looking at history, is opposed not only by the Chinese government (having got used to—irony of ironies—to the Catholic chronology), which rules over a country the size of an empire, but also the Latvian government, which rules over a small country in the northeast of Europe. For both China and Latvia the possibility of a new history unsettles the status quo that ruled while history had been spooned into plastic cups and was, thus, believed to be old. Today history has been upended on the plate for a closer look.
Said “upending” is the result of information technology made possible by the ubiquitous personal computer, and includes not only history but many other institutions, for example, the institution of voting. While clicking on little windows to determine your attitude to any number of trivia, it also involves more serious matters such as “not-voting”.
The “not-vote” campaign in Latvia (have you heard of it?), which attempts to break up the simplistic yes/no, voter/nonvoter infrastructure of the voting system has received, as is to be expected, the first anxious squawks from status quotists for whom compulsory elections are anathema, but which the trivia questions have already made inevitable.
The rejection by Latvian status quotists of compulsiory elections, when all is said and done, will discover that their argument is based on their opposition to my proposition that Latvian history needs to be restored to status quo ante bellum. In spite of all the Latin, the meaning of status quo ante bellumis is simple. It means “the way things were before the war”, and it would incorporate into contemporary Latvian history the old kingdom of Jersika, destroyed in a crusade in 1209. The status quotists have gotten used to thinking that Latvia emerges from Germanic Livonia. For this to hold up, however, it becomes necessary that Kaupo, the traitor of proto-Latvian tribes, is constantly renewed and revved up as real. The revving makes it possible to view Kaupo as an integral to Latvian history. His betrayal of proto-Latvians means that instead of simply being a traitor, he is presented as enabling Latvians (the contemporary kind) to see and enter unto the road of history as a never ending road of progress. Thus, “the stolen state of Latvia” (a ubiquitous phrase in Latvia these days) becomes a phrase of worthy veracity, because to the mind of the Latvian people the presence of Kaupo then becomes ever credible in its enabling.
The gap between this bloggers “original research” and the history in a plastic cup as presented by the officialdom of the Latvian government, registers itself as a neo-Christian construct identifying the Latvian mindset with an imaginary peasantry devoted to shamanism (paganism), even as my “original research” identifies Latvian proto-history with the world of arch-Christianity and most definitely not with neo-Christianity, i.e., everything that post dates the crusades.
Though the world of arch-Christianity has been obscured by wars and inquisitions aimed at subduing the “heretics”, it is a fact known well enough by most Europeans. All the same, the repressions aimed against the arch-Christian mindset continue to keep the real history of repression hid. The reason that was so and why itvremains so is to keep the original reason for the repression intact, that is, to keep the egalitarian or populist strata of the Latvian people subject to the Kaupos.
For example, it is rather obvious that most Latvians have no idea that the attack of the Roman Bishop Albert on Jersika in 1209 (the attack originating from Riga) is directly related to the attack of Pope Innocent III on Languedoc in the so-called Albigensian Crusade. Of course, the events are not associated with each other in France either. Still, the link is credible, because the neo-Christian repression of the Bogomils, Cathars, et al, which are traceable to the Crusade (against Constantinople in 1204), caused many of them to flee for their lives to the northeast of Europe, where dense forests provided protection to another arch-Christian sect, the “Children of Johns”. As it happens, the latter lived round about and in the small kingdom of Jersika (idiomatic Latvian for Jerusalem). The attacks against Languedoc and Jersika were meant to be a simultaneous two-pronged attack not only against arch-Christianity as an institution, but a mindset called “heretical” (today nearly a synonym of “populist”), because it was opposed to the then emerging secular princes, the prototypes for neo-capitalism and the oligarchs of today.
What does all this have to do with the “not-voter”, the subject of these blogs?
It ought not to be such a strange idea that a changed perspective (by way of “original research” untied from the moorings of academia) allows one to think more clearly, even if threatened by Wikipedia with removalt from Wikipedia files. In any event, this is why institutionalization of the NOT-VOTE is likely not only to slow down the process of disappearance of inspired flash perceptions of history and help radically change the mindset of neo-Christianity to status quo ante bellum, but permit Latvians (and of course anyone interested) to update their Constitution and show the door to the “!#*?”, aka Saeima.
How do we institutionalize a “not vote”? Here is how: by making voting compulsory and distinguishing between 1. a pro-voter, 2. a non-voter, and 3. a not-voter. To allow only pro-voters—that is to say, pro-establishment or pro-system voters—to vote is discriminatory against not-voters. In other words, the voting system as it is today in the EU (and its member countries) is not all that different from the days when the Alabama bus driver let whites sit in front of the bus, told those who he saw as blacks to go to the back of the bus, and of course those who chose not to get on the bus left by their own choice not to be part of organized society.
While it appears that the EU (its officialdom tilting toward a compulsory vote) may be open to listening to arguments why not-voting ought to be included as part of the voting process, the defenders of status quo governments such as in Latvia, see a big turnout of not-voters a threat to its corrupt institutionalized self.
Asterisk & of Interest:
Compulsory voting in the EU Parliamentyary elections
The Populist Moment
Will Latvian IT experts discover how to solve electronic voting fraud?
Just a question. Is your answer NO?
These blogs tend to be a continuum of an idea or thought, which is why—if you are interested in what you read—you are encouraged to consider reading the previous blog and the blog hereafter.
Partial entries of my blogs may be found at LatviansOnline + Forum Home + Open Forum – The-Not-Voter. If you copy this blog for your files, or copy to forward, or otherwise mention its content, please credit the author and http://the-not-voter.blogspot.com/