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Forum nameOkay Activist Archives
Topic subjectRE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=33408&mesg_id=33581
33581, RE: angel cake vs. devil's food
Posted by The Damaja, Thu Dec-22-05 11:39 AM
>This is how I see it. On the subject of German fascism,
>fascism was not singularly a German phenomenon, but rather a
>European phenomenon. Most countries after WWI in Europe
>(aside from France and England) had fascist governments. Most
>of you have treated fascism as though it was isolated to
>Germany and Italy.
>

you've completely exaggerated it though and ignored the fact that Tolkien was English which would negate this point anyway

>The elements of Tolken's books: mythology, anti-modernism, a
>return to previous grandeur etc. are themes that reoccurred in
>European philosophy. The ideas presented in Tolkenís works
>can be linked to the thought of Hegel, Durkheim, Ortega y
>Gasset, Schopenhauer, and many more. You cannot isolate
>Tolkenís works as particularly racist, conservative,
>anti-modern, mythologizing. Rather, he is part of the
>European cultural and intellectual tradition.
>

mythology is universal
return to grandeur is universal
anti-industrialization occurs universally
you can't state these things as evidence that Tolkien was spreading the teachings of some unwholesome philosopher

>Achebe made a very similar argument against The Heart of
>Darkness stating that the book was not worth examining because
>it was overtly racist.

but Heart of Darkness is actually set in Africa. And Achebe had evidence that Conrad was actually racist. Which makes it very different from the Tolkien case

I don't know if The Heart of Darkness
>and The Lord of the Rings are tenets of bigoted radicalized
>thinking in Western Cultures, but I do not believe this bars
>them from being excellent books.
>

i think the basic point is that describes a society where patriarchy and autocracy and other problematic things are at work - becuase those things have been at work throughout all of history up to this point. Tolkien does not actively promote any of those things, they are merely present in his world as his world IS our world, and he doesn't engage in any modern philosophical dialogues as far as I can see. If you want to intellectually examine the work, look at mythology or lingualism or something that Tolkien actually engages with. Otherwise if you want to examine right wing politics, look at real life and just bypass the book. IF you want to look at right wing politics in art, then find art that actually engages with it.

I think you're basically saying hte same thing i am, it's just that I don't see it as
'Tolkien was merely part of a right wing tradition'
but
'Tolkien was merely describing a tradition that was indeed right wing etc'

and also i should clarify i don't tihnk tolkien was naively unaware of such things, i'm saying that he wipes his hands of responsibility, successfully
one should be able to write a mythological yarn about good vs. evil and dungeons and dragons without being labelled a racist, a fascist, etc