GAYS, CUCKOLDS, AND NORMATIVE HETEROSEXUALITY IN THE WESTERN CANON PART 3 OF 3

Having examined homosexuality and cuckoldry, the preferred sexual practices of the Left and Right respectively, the final essay in this series describes the necessary corrective for relations between the sexes. Some more Shakespeare, but slightly less of the depressing stuff. And to conclude, a reflection on the value of the Western Canon and even a tiny white pill. I promise.

NORMATIVE HETEROSEXUALITY

The comparison between Western and Islamic birth rates at the end of part two of this essay points directly to each civilization's current valuation of normative heterosexuality. Women are meant to bear and raise children. Departures from the fundamental female role of motherhood should occur only under exceptional circumstances. Even before the current year women in literature often resisted marriage and family formation. Just in Shakespeare the ladies who express disinclination to marriage include Olivia in Twelfth Night, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Kate in Taming of the Shrew, Beatrice in Much Ado about Nothing, Desdemona in Othello, and Isabella in Measure for Measure. Unlike the current year the alternative to marriage in Elizabethan drama is not endless hookups and an unfulfilling career, but virginity and service to others. Modern readers are confronted repeatedly with the unfamiliar spectacle of men pursuing virgins in order to make them wives. Like Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe also expressed the irreplaceable, glorious role of women when he used all the sexually charged subtext available to Elizabethan verse to have his Leander woo the virgin Hero who had dedicated her life to chastity. Leander grasps for metaphors of neglected objects of use, like bowls, houses and instruments, to illustrate the futility and literal fruitlessness of remaining a perpetually unmarried woman. Apart from union with a man, maidens are like objects that never achieve their proper function.

Like untuned golden strings all women are, Which long time lie untouched, will harshly jar.
Vessels of brass, oft handled, brightly shine.
What difference betwixt the richest mine
And basest mould, but use? For both, not used,
Are of like worth. Then treasure is abused
When misers keep it; being put to loan,
In time it will return us two for one.
Lone women like to empty houses perish.
Less sins the poor rich man that starves himself
In heaping up a mass of drossy pelf,
Than such as you. His golden earth remains
Which, after his decease, some other gains.
But this fair gem, sweet in the loss alone,
When you fleet hence, can be bequeathed to none.
One is no number; maids are nothing then
Without the sweet society of men.

Wilt thou live single still? One shalt thou be,
Though never singling Hymen couple thee.
Wild savages, that drink of running springs,
Think water far excels all earthly things,
But they that daily taste neat wine despise it.
Virginity, albeit some highly prize it,
Compared with marriage, had you tried them both,
Differs as much as wine and water doth.

Base bullion for the stamp's sake we allow;
Even so for men's impression do we you,
By which alone, our reverend fathers say,
Women receive perfection every way.

Hero and Leander, 1st Sestiad.

Shakespeare less loquaciously expresses the same sentiment in Twelfth Night, when Lady Olivia is complimented for her fair (red and white) complexion and therefore rebuked for refusing the Duke's offer of marriage.1

"'Tis beauty truly blent, whose red and white Nature's own sweet and cunning hand laid on:
Lady, you are the cruell'st she alive,
If you will lead these graces to the grave
And leave the world no copy."
Twelfth Night 1.5.209

Feminists know that having children changes a woman’s priorities and values, which is why the Left hates motherhood and the traditional family and why they stage abortions of baby Jesus and go on strike for International Women’s Day. The Left, aided by libertarians, is pushing society to an extreme of anti-family degeneracy. Feminists delegitimize marriage by pushing the notion that all marital sex is rape, while libertarians support legal prostitution as female empowerment through the free market. The result is the same: if a woman is going to enjoy giving her body to a man, she better do it as part of a taxable economic transaction, not to form a lifelong spiritual bond in the context of family formation.

The battered remnants of a prior age's preoccupation with parentage and matrimony are still reflected in the family courts and laws now weaponized to destroy families. Free sexuality lauded by feminists reached its zenith in the Kansas case of lesbians seeking child support from their sperm donor because, you know, despite progressive gender identity and sexual orientation, two dykes still need a man to make a baby. Erasing the link between family stability and social stability has mostly been a success for the Left, though there are occasional hilarious overreaches, like the progressive lesbian who ended up with an unwanted mulatto baby because of a clerical error at the sperm bank.

None of the crazy consequences of ignoring Christopher Marlowe's relationship advise would surprise ultra-woke literary critic D.H. Lawrence. Lawrence had plenty to say about American women (and about the USA in general, but we'll save that for another day) none of it flattering. Lawrence distills the essence of womanhood from Nathaniel Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, which Lawrence interprets as a tale of pure manhood seduced by independent femininity. Lawrence accurately describes the rebellious tendencies inherent in women and the litigious divorcees and refugee loving cat ladies that result when men no longer have the will to enforce sexual and familial boundaries.

As a matter of fact, unless a woman is held, by man, safe within the bounds of belief, she becomes inevitably a destructive force. She can't help herself. A woman is almost always vulnerable to pity. She can't bear to see anything physical hurt. But let a woman loose from the bounds and restraints of man's fierce belief, in his gods and in himself, and she becomes a gentle devil. She becomes subtly diabolic. The colossal evil of the united spirit of Woman. WOMAN, German woman or American woman, or every other sort of woman, in the last war, was something frightening. As every man knows. Woman becomes a helpless, would-be-loving demon. She is helpless. Her very love is subtle poison.

Unless a man believes in himself and his gods, genuinely: unless he fiercely obeys his own Holy Ghost; his woman will destroy him. Woman is the nemesis of doubting man. She can't help it...She bolsters him up from the outside, she destroys him from the inside. And he dies hating her...Woman is a strange and rather terrible phenomenon, to man. When the subconscious soul of woman recoils from its creative union with man, it becomes a destructive force. It exerts, willy-nilly, an invisible destructive influence. The woman herself may be as nice as milk... But she is sending out waves of silent destruction of the faltering spirit in men, all the same. She doesn't know it. She can't even help it. But she does it. The devil is in her.

The very women who are most busy saving the bodies of men, and saving the children: these women-doctors, these nurses, these educationalists, these public-spirited women these female saviours: they are all, from the inside, sending out waves of destructive malevolence which eat out the inner life of a man, like a cancer. It is so, it will be so, till men realize it and react to save themselves.

God won't save us. The women are so devilish godly. Men must save themselves in this strait, and by no sugary means either. A woman can use her sex in sheer malevolence and poison, while she is behaving as meek and good as gold. Dear darling, she is really snow-white in her blamelessness. And all the while she is using her sex as a she-devil, for the endless hurt of her man. She doesn't know it. She will never believe it if you tell her. And if you give her a slap in the face for her fiendishness, she will rush to the first magistrate, in indignation. She is so absolutey blameless, the she-devil, the dear, dutiful creature.

D.H. Lawrence Studies in Classic American Literature Ch. 7

A few thousand years before the American experiment the Greek poet Hesiod, Western Civilization's original Black Pill, came to much the same conclusion as D.H. Lawrence. Hesiod's advice is quite direct: look for a young virgin to marry because they are easier to train.

Bring home a wife to your house when you are of the right age, while you are not far short of thirty years nor much above; this is the right age for marriage. Let your wife have been grown up four years, and marry her in the fifth. Marry a maiden, so that you can teach her careful ways, and especially marry one who lives near you, but look well about you and see that your marriage will not be a joke to your neighbours. For a man wins nothing better than a good wife, and, again, nothing worse than a bad one, a greedy soul who roasts her man without fire, strong though he may be, and brings him to a raw old age.

Works and Days II.695

The practical wisdom of Hesiod is the starting point for a proper understanding of the poetic elements of normative heterosexuality. Romantic literature is meaningless unless it rests on an understanding of the most basic reasons for relations between the sexes. All the other Western virtues that attach to love: the heights of romance and the depths of eroticism, the tragedy of rape, adultery, and star-crossed lovers; all grow from the basic assumption that women are meant to be wives and mothers. Eroticism devolves into pornography and romance into sappy platitudes when this is forgotten. You can play at the edges of these ideas for artistic effect, but the foundation is altered at our peril.

We are currently suffering the fate Lawrence and Hesiod foresaw because we do not care any longer what our women do. Here we come to the crux of of sexual mores. Loosening social constraints and not concerning ourselves with sexual propriety does not result in freedom because social conventions grow up around natural necessities. We are as close to being free of gravity as we are to building a society on "free love". Moreover, we are living in a culture at war, where sexual morals are contrived and pernicious. The libertines are not interested in live and let live as they claimed in the early days of the gay marriage debate. They want to force on everyone a set of sexual values that will destroy European culture and identity. Homosexuality and cuckoldry are not just alternative lifestyles, they are weapons designed to make normative heterosexuality endangered and illegitimate. This is not an area where a hostile pop culture should be allowed to influence public opinion unopposed. The State and its laws can also exert pressure. In part two of this essay I quoted Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, in which the Trojans debate what to do with Helen. After agreeing that moral law requires her to be returned to her husband there follows this acknowledgement of human moral frailty.

If this law Of nature be corrupted through affection,
There is a law in each well-ordered nation
To curb those raging appetites that are
Most disobedient and refractory.
Troilus and Cressida 2.2.185

In other words, the State has a hand in legislating morality. Values voters who realize they have lost control of the government take refuge in the abstract, anti-government principles of libertarianism, and proponents of traditional values who merely a decade ago campaigned against even gay civil unions now claim they want the government out of the marriage business. Most of these patriots would probably be embarrassed to learn that their position is fundamentally un-American. Having the state involved in marriage is literally one of the earliest recorded traits of Europeans in America, predating the United States by a good century and a half. William Bradford entered the following tidbit in his firsthand account, Of Plymouth Plantation, in the 1600's.

May 12. was the first marriage in this place, which, according to the laudable custom of the Low-Countries, in which they had lived, was thought most requisite to be performed by the magistrate, as being a civil thing, upon which many questions about inheritances do depend, with other things most proper to their cognizance, and most consonant to the scriptures, (Ruth 4) and no where found in the gospel to be laid on the ministers as a part of their office. "This decree or law about marriage was published by the States of the Low-Countries, Ano 1590. That those of any religion, after lawful and open publication, coming before the magistrates, in the Town or State-house, were to be orderly (by them) married one to another." (Petets Hist. fol: 1029). And this practice hath continued amongst, not only them, but hath been followed by all the famous churches of Christ in these parts to this time, Ano 1646.

Of Plymouth Plantation Book II, 1621. [Spelling and punctuation modernized.]

When is the last time you heard an evangelical argue that getting married in a church is unbiblical? Taking the State out of marriage plays into the hands of our enemies just as no-fault divorce did; it shows that we do not value matrimony enough to put the force of law behind it. Freeing women from the constraints of masculine civilization produces the long-term prize of reduced birthrates, which is essential to white displacement, but also to white acceptance of multiculturalism. Kids are one of the few things that make large numbers of normies act in implicitly pro-white ways without requiring rational arguments or philosophical reasoning. The USA is not an entirely hopeless case, despite the best efforts of cultural Marxists, because ordinary non-racists, upon becoming parents, do by instinct those so-called common sense things that perpetuate white supremacy. Every family looking for good schools and safe neighborhoods, when their actions are taken in aggregate, implicitly supports aggressive policing, mass incarceration, de facto segregation, and high college admission standards.

That is the magic of childbearing. A quick roll in the hay and one visit to the OBGYN does more in minutes to implicitly red-pill whites than the alt-right could accomplish in years. The frustrating thing about this is that normies do not realize what they are doing or why they are doing it, so they are still susceptible to tricks like affirmative action programs or "Democrats are the real racists" propaganda. The alt-right must reclaim family values from the co-opted evangelical subculture and reconnect normal, common sense parenting to ethno-nationalism in the minds of average Americans. Memes and myths will accomplish more than argument in this regard.

In Shakespeare there is likewise no argument in favor of family values because the family is just a primary reality of life. Elizabethan men are psychically distant from modern critics and readers in nothing more than this; they truly believed in the values they espoused. Shakespeare is not a protofeminist seeking to problematize the patriarchy in The Taming of the Shrew. The values of fidelity, chastity, motherhood, and fatherhood are the substrate on which dramas are built and the measure by which tragedy is interpreted. Unless one takes the sincerity of traditional European Christian values for granted, Shakespeare becomes incoherent.

Perhaps the ubiquity of premarital sex has deadened the sense that used to be so keen for detecting maiden virtue, but virginity before marriage was once so prized that Shakespeare could base the pivotal plot device of Much Ado about Nothing on a false accusation of impropriety. Villainous Don John tricks Claudio into believing that his fiancée Hero has been unfaithful to him. This false report is enough to make Claudio call off his wedding in the middle of the service by publicly accusing Hero of unchastity.

Give not this rotten orange to your friend. She’s but the sign and semblance of her honor. Behold how like a maid she blushes here!
O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Comes not that blood as modest evidence
To witness simple virtue? Would you not swear,
All you that see her, that she were a maid,
By these exterior shows?
But she is none.
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed.
Her blush is guiltiness, not modesty.
Much Ado about Nothing 4.1.30

Innocent Hero faints during the accusations and the Prince and Claudio depart. Hero's father believes the testimony of the Prince and Claudio and also turns against his daughter. His lament reveals how much a man's honor and reputation were based not only on his own actions but also those of his children. The judgment of time casting a shadow over carefree hedonism; another reason for the Boomers to be uncomfortable with traditional family structures. Leonato repents of his desire for more than one child; he would rather have no child than a dishonorable one.

Do not live, Hero, do not ope thine eyes, For, did I think thou wouldst not quickly die,
Thought I thy spirits were stronger than thy shames,
Myself would, on the rearward of reproaches,
Strike at thy life. Grieved I I had but one?
Chid I for that at frugal Nature’s frame?
O, one too much by thee! Why had I one?
Why ever wast thou lovely in my eyes?
Why had I not with charitable hand
Took up a beggar’s issue at my gates,
Who, smirchèd thus, and mired with infamy,
I might have said “No part of it is mine;
This shame derives itself from unknown loins”?
But mine, and mine I loved, and mine I praised, And mine that I was proud on, mine so much
That I myself was to myself not mine,
Valuing of her—why she, O she, is fall’n
Into a pit of ink
, that the wide sea
Hath drops too few to wash her clean again,
And salt too little which may season give
To her foul tainted flesh!
Much Ado about Nothing 4.1.130

Leonato is eventually convinced of his daughters innocence, and the family devises a plan to restore Hero's honor by sending out false reports that she has died of shame. Imagine a world in which people would actually believe that a woman could be ashamed of her premarital sexual history! The city watch overhears one of Don John's accomplices bragging about their ruse, and the entire false trick is revealed. Much Ado about Nothing is a comedy, so by Elizabethan convention it must end with a marriage, unlike tragedy which ends with the death of a major character. The marriage is still that of Hero and Claudio despite the toxic masculinity and slut-shaming present earlier in the play. Hero still loves Claudio and she declares herself worthy of his love because of her virtue. There is the implication that Claudio would actually be an unworthy suitor if he had been willing to marry Hero while believing her to be unfaithful.

Kenneth Branagh's film version of Much Ado about Nothing surprisingly remains faithful to the original and even (with a little diversity as cover) highlights truths about the sexes that Shakespeare did not put in his play. This proves that an artist caught up in the Shakespearean spirit can make a film that rises above the morals of his Hollywood contemporaries. In addition to the main plot and the humor, which are excellent, the opening credits of Branagh's Much Ado about Nothing show us in five minutes what feminists have been trying to deny for generations, namely that the fundamental, inescapable distinction between men and women is not only essential for our survival but also good for our souls.

ON THE WESTERN CANON

The old Left mastered the lessons of European culture and then turned on the West itself. They preached relativity and Third-Worldism to the masses while deploying logic and rhetoric for their own political ends. But now they are victims of their own success and the source of a long lasting white pill. In their attempt to kill the West, our enemies did their indoctrination work too well and raised a generation of Leftists that now voluntarily give up the wisdom of our ancestors. The West did not die fast enough, and alt-right activists are building a new culture at the same moment the rising generation of SJW’s actually believes their own relativistic nonsense. These pampered Millennials look at the civilization that produced Mozart, Calculus and the Roman Empire and say, 'no, thanks'. They honestly think that Western men are no match for the affirmative action African Studies department and the queered engineering program.

The resulting talent disparity between the Left and Right is already telling and will only get better as SJW's drag academia deeper into madness. Pajama Boy, Keith Ellison, and Cory Booker are the future of the Left; Martin O'Malley, Chuck Schumer, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are not. This is our great opportunity; we can build a civilization on the wisdom of our ancestors, but nothing the Left builds, including its SJW army, will last. They currently have the advantage of sheer numbers, which count for something, but do not count for much. There were a lot fewer Europeans on earth 500 years ago, and yet they managed to rule the world. Here, for example, is how Michael Lee Lanning introduces Francisco Pizarro, who began his conquest of South America with about 200 European soldiers.2

Spanish explorer and conqueror Francisco Pizarro defeated the Inca Empire and claimed most of South America for Spain. Pizarro also established the city of Lima, Peru, and opened the way for Spanish culture and religion to dominate South America. In doing so, Pizarro conquered the largest amount of territory of any military leader and delivered the most riches to his country with the smallest expenditure of men and resources.

To capitalize on the opportunity offered by the Left's self inflicted wounds, our first obligation is to save the humanities from universalist cuckservatives. Leftists and cuckservatives are already worried that the alt-right is claiming as their own ancient Rome, Jane Austen, and everything in between. The Left has a legitimate grievance; they have been appropriating Western culture for their own nefarious purposes for years. Cuckservatives who half-heartedly and ineffectually defended Western culture should not be surprised that the alt-right is stepping in to do the job they are obviously incapable of doing. The cuckservative defense of the humanities falls apart in the same way that civic nationalism does in politics; it purports to be about abstract, universal principles rather than concrete history and identity.

As usual the Leftist critique is correct; Shakespeare really is heteronormative, homophobic, sexist, patriarchal, Christian, Islamophobic, anti-semitic, racist, anti-democratic, and nationalist. The Left thinks this is bad; the alt-right knows that these are the best things about Shakespeare. Every piece of great European literature is at least one of those things. Pathetic conservatives in academia have to pretend that Shakespeare is none of those things and thus they strain every intellectual faculty to avoid learning anything significant from Shakespeare. All politically incorrect truths in the Bard are dismissed as quaint, ignorant holdovers of a previous era, while the only permissible legacy of enduring value is the pretty words and purple passages divorced from any historical or philosophical context.

Leftist Shakespeare scholarship is pernicious (the editors of the Norton Shakespeare are Stephen Greenblatt, Walter Cohen, Jean Howard and Katharine Eisaman Maus) but conservative scholarship is often vapid, "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." For those who have not yet had the opportunity to read or see the plays, here are a few crude notes (with links to relevant film scenes) on some politically incorrect works, offered as a corrective to the reams of useless journal articles.

Merchant of Venice: Borrowing money from Jews is dangerous.

Othello: Don't marry a black guy.

Macbeth: Your wife's advice will get you and all your friends killed.

Taming of the Shrew: An obedient wife is a happy wife.

This essay has been heavy on the Shakespeare quotations by design. The alt-right has a unique opportunity and obligation to preserve the culture of Europe along with its people, and Shakespeare is representative of the Western Spirit that lives in the poetry and music of Europe. Whites who have become deracinated cogs in the corporate globalist machine have lost their connection to the Western Spirit and their lives are tragically empty despite material prosperity and comfort. Many Americans come to the alt-right because they feel that there must be more to life than the tidy 'freedom good, dictators evil' summation offered by the Republicans and Democrats. As deep as 20th century political divides were, between Britain and Germany in 1940’s or the USA and USSR in the 1950’s, they do not negate a millennium of common European culture. We are entering a new Dark Age similar to the one separating Rome from the Middle Ages, and many fine and wholesome pieces of European literature will never see the light of day again unless we preserve them.

In better times European universities would continue the tradition of literature and scholarship, and I could write about Shakespeare without emphasizing the politically incorrect nature of his works above all else. But this is an age of war and crisis. The alt-right has a busy century ahead of it; we must defeat political opponents, lay the foundations of new cultural institutions, and salvage the best parts of the Western Canon. It is a great hinderance to the formation of a new culture that the alt-right has so little time to devote to peaceful pursuits; of necessity many of our most read books are practical manuals of cultural warfare. I look forward to a world in which we do not have to constantly justify race realism or study Alinskyite tactics merely to survive; where we can meditate and then build on the true, good, and beautiful parts of the Western Canon.

Meme warfare is essential and politics is in deadly earnest, but they are not ultimate ends. Use Twitter for the fight but add some classics to your reading list to make the outcome worth all this trouble. The tactical and strategic fight needs to be about more than mere survival. Victory is not surviving the onslaught of the Left, victory is thriving in spite of all those who try to take our culture away. Without the best that man has thought and said, the new Western civilization will be a sad and dismal place. We need the great works of art and literature to inspire coming greatness, and so the true value of Shakespeare is not for the current year but for the 1000 years that follow. Evola's Ride the Tiger is aptly subtitled "A Survival Manual for the Aristocrats of the Soul" because it is manifestly a book for people in danger of losing Western culture. Evola, though necessary, is hopefully a fad; Shakespeare is forever.

Notes

  1. All line notes from http://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/

  2. The Military 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Military Leaders of all Time