Book Reviews, Charles, European History, Foundationalism, Medieval History, Social Behavior
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The Bear: History of a Fallen King (Michel Pastoureau)

Symbology is a key element of any successful modern political movement. Animals are rarely modern political symbols; certainly modern mass ideologies, from Communism to National Socialism, have eschewed such symbology. Living creatures, whose exalted metaphorical political use was once widespread, are now usually mere lowbrow holdovers from the more distant past—elephants and donkeys, for example. Yet America, when it was America, used the majestic bald eagle with great success, and I think that when we seize the future, we need outstanding symbology. In this light, I am working on the symbology of Foundationalism, and this interesting book helped me focus my thoughts.

The Bear caught my eye because of a review in the magazine The American Sun (which also touched on symbology for the modern Right). The book promised to combine history and zoology in a package that I could put to my own purposes. The author, Michel Pastoureau, is a French medievalist known for his histories of colors (after learning that, I bought his book A History of Yellow, for my daughter, who has a strong artistic streak and whose favorite color is yellow). This book was originally written in French for a European audience; it therefore focuses on European brown bears. It says little about polar bears, and almost nothing about North American bears (the black bear and the American brown bear, the grizzly). Pastoureau’s basic claim is that in Europe, for millennia, the bear was the king of the beasts, and that it was consciously and methodically dethroned by the Roman Catholic Church. He has a tendency to make claims that exceed the evidence, but this core claim seems generally sound.

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Pastoureau begins with prehistory. In ancient Europe the bear was, it appears from archaeological evidence, the object of some degree of cult activity. In the Paleolithic, humans interacted mostly with the now-extinct cave bear, nearly twice as large as the brown bear. Such interaction was often in actual caves, occupied sometimes by man, sometimes by beast. Collections of bear bones arranged by man have been found in such caves, and bears feature in a variety of cave paintings. To what extent there were cults of the bear, such that the bear was a special animal to men, perhaps occupying some liminal space, or instead just an animal like any other, appears to be the subject of violent disputes among archaeologists. Pastoureau, perhaps unsurprisingly, takes the view that cults were widespread, noting a few specific examples, such as a Neanderthal and a brown bear buried in a common grave—although this interpretation of the gravesite is also disputed, since it may just show a bear ate a man and then died, mixing the bones.

When we enter history, we see that the Greeks embedded bears into myth. The goddess Artemis had the bear as one of her emblems, and Paris, seducer of Helen and cause of the Trojan War, was raised by a she-bear. This latter introduces what Pastoureau examines from various angles as an underlying thread of bear stories in Western culture—the interaction of humans with bears where the bear acts in a human manner, whether to raise a child or as a sexual ravisher, and often captor, of women. Around the time of Christ, however, the bear in part lost its mystery and grandeur in the classical world, due to Pliny the Elder’s disparaging of it, in his hugely influential Natural History, as stupid and mischievous.

As the classical world turned Christian, Augustine, following Pliny, also denigrated the bear, which supposedly conditioned Western Christian attitudes toward bears. But here the reader sees Pastoureau’s tendency to overreach from the evidence. He tells us Augustine disliked all animals, assuming with armchair psychoanalysis that this resulted “from some [unknown] episode in his childhood or youth.” He claims Augustine’s supposed zoophobia was very influential on medieval theologians, without much in the way of examples. Augustine did say “the bear is the Devil,” a phrase Pastoureau uses as the epigraph for the entire book. The context for this statement is not given, however, and although Pastoureau cites to where Augustine said this, in the footnote the phrase is actually “The bear prefigures the Devil; the bear is the Devil.” This suggests a more complex analysis. The citation is to one of Augustine’s many sermons, but I cannot find the whole sermon anywhere online to determine what Augustine’s larger point was. The only internet references to the phrase in English refer to this book—which doesn’t mean Pastoureau made it up, but it does suggest that he’s exaggerating the importance of the phrase. My guess is that Augustine was drawing some kind of Scriptural analogy to the natural world, something very common in his sermons, not making an existential judgment on the bear itself, as Pastoureau would have it.

Regardless, when Christianity came to Europe, it faced a bear problem. In Europe the bear was, from time immemorial, regarded as the king of the beasts. This was a natural choice, because the bear was the strongest European animal, unconquerable by any other beast. Other societies chose the elephant, the jaguar, the eagle, or the lion. The bear became a totemic animal, combat with which burnished reputations, whether of a young Scandinavian man entering adulthood or of an older man seeking more luster. Thus, Godfrey of Bouillon, before he became ruler of Jerusalem, was said to have defeated a giant bear in single combat, echoing the defeat by the shepherd David of a bear and a lion (found in I Samuel). But as a totem, the bear was seen (accurately) as a distraction from the true God at best, and an active rival at worst.

Pastoureau goes on a very long tour of European medieval history as it relates to the bear, tracing its long decline and fall from its perch as European king of the beasts. Charlemagne, eager to stamp out paganism and to increase safety, organized massive bear hunts (when he wasn’t hunting Saxons). Yet at this point, bears weren’t regarded as wholly bad; their old reputation stayed largely intact, and Pastoureau claims (on thin evidence) that bear cults continued in many areas. The Church, in the usual way, replaced pagan holidays associated with bears with new saints’ days, notably the feast of Saint Martin of Tours, even if more than one saint was portrayed as having a bear companion who served and protected him. And we follow a lengthy, winding path, in which the bear was gradually degraded in favor of the lion, and ultimately became an object of scorn and fun, seen most often as trained circus or dancing bears, and ridiculed in literature, while the lion became the king of the beasts in Europe (and the stag the object of prestige hunting). The bear maintained status in a few pockets of Europe, and was a sometimes-used heraldic symbol, but that was it for the bear, though it took hundreds of years.

There’s a lot of erudition here, but again, Pastoureau seems to stretch frequently and to make statements with more confidence than warranted. He also makes some simply false statements. He admits that the Arthurian legend says nothing about bears, yet tries to turn Arthur into a “bear king” based on some obscure phonetic comparisons and “atmosphere.” He states flatly that the name Beowulf means “enemy of the bees” and implies Beowulf is “the son of a bear and a woman,” something not at all agreed upon by scholars. And he incorrectly claims the medieval Church banned human dissection, a long-disproven myth. This is mixed with lots of interesting tidbits, such as medieval discussions about whether male bears could father human children (the origin of several Scandinavian family legends of being founded by a bear), so it’s not all bad, but I think you have to take Pastoureau’s broader conclusions with a grain of salt.

To take another example, Pastoureau claims that medieval theologians pondered the role of animals in creation, whether they had souls and might be redeemed. The supposed key Scriptural passage for this debate is Romans 8:21, which he quotes as “The creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Now, I’m perfectly willing to believe that some animals get to heaven, and some theologians hold that. (To me, it seems to go along with the resurrection of the body.) But that verse seemed odd to me, for the use to which Pastoureau was putting it. So, looking it up, it turns out that in English translations, only the King James uses the word “creature”; all others use “creation,” the standard translation of the original Greek word. It’s quite obvious that the King James is using “creature” not in the sense of “animal,” but of “all created things,” which removes the instinctive turn of the mind to “animal” when the modern reader hears “creature.” Thus, this verse proves far less than the author would have us believe. (How this was treated in the original French in which this book was written, I do not know.)

Somewhat to my frustration, after his initial talk about Greece, Pastoureau drops talking about any place but Europe. I am curious what the view of the bear was in, for example, the Eastern Roman Empire, or for that matter Persia or China, but we are not told, and maybe Pastoureau just doesn’t know. And then Pastoureau ends the book on a down note, straining to be topical and politically correct, incorrectly claiming that bears of all types, “black, brown, and white” are about to disappear, which again introduces false notes into his work.

So the book is fine, and interesting, despite its limitations. Let’s turn to my derivative topic, political symbolism. What of the modern symbology of the bear? You don’t find much about this in the book. Pastoureau makes a comment in passing, “the bear is sometimes recruited in the service of regionalist causes foreign to me.” He does not specify what those causes are, and his comment struck me as strange, because I’m not aware, and could not find any reference, to any causes that use bear symbology. (“Foreign to me” seems to mean not “unknown to me,” but rather causes with which he disagrees.) I don’t think he means Russia; the bear is a relatively recent symbol for Russia, and more importantly, one used by outsiders, not by the Russians. Regardless, there are a few, but only a few, other uses of bears nowadays. The California flag, for example, has a grizzly bear, although nobody pays much attention to that. Arktos Media, the right-wing press, is named after the Greek word for bear (something I did not know until I read this book, and the name is not explained on their site). But in general, the bear is simply not in use as a political symbol in the modern world.

Whatever current use may be made of bears, symbology is crucially important for a political movement. It allows easy identification of friend and enemy, and serves as a rallying point, physical and psychological. It permits the leaders to harness the energies of the crowd. Men will die for a symbol, where they will not die for an idea not reified by a symbol. Without some symbology, a political movement in the modern world might as well not exist.

Political symbols fall, I think, into three basic categories. First, metaphorical or translated symbols taken from the natural world, such as animals, which have fallen into desuetude as political symbols, for the most part. Second, human beings—traditionally monarchs of their country served as symbols, though little is left of that (I suppose the Pope might be considered a symbol of the Roman Catholic Church), so this is of no real relevance today, except in occasional cults of personality. And third, graphic images of no independent meaning (what would be called fanciful or arbitrary under trademark law). This last is the most common modern political symbology.

Both the Left and the Right have used graphic symbols in the modern era, say from 1900 onwards. The Left has, for example, created and used powerful symbols such as the Communist hammer-and-sickle and red star, or Sergei Chakhotin’s Anti-Fascist Circle. This latter has been repurposed by Antifa, and is therefore widely seen today (though not often understood by normies). The Right once also used such symbols with great success—most obviously, the swastika, but also lesser-known symbols such as the Hungarian arrow cross. At one point, symbols were, we all know, a key part of the battles between Right and Left—more so in Europe than America, however. In America, only the Left used symbology—not only the classic Left symbols just mentioned, but also other symbology, sometimes including animal symbols, such as the stylized eagle of the National Recovery Administration. That only the American Left has ever used symbology is not surprising, given that there was never any actual American Right until very recently, merely those opposed to a greater or lesser degree to the speed in which America was moving in a leftward direction.

This pattern continues today. In 2021, despite the rising-yet-inchoate Right, only the Left uses symbology to any significant degree, and thus there is no battle of the symbols. This is a major disadvantage for the Right, who can be cast as, and made to feel, isolated as a result. Yes, some fringe groups on the Right use symbology—the “Three Percenter” image, for example. One also sees not infrequent use of the Gadsden flag, but that merely proves my point, because that flag does not have any very clear meaning—it means different things to different people, and is not associated with any organized movement, or even a clear political set of values, which dilutes the benefit of the symbol. (You see the same thing with the use of the Confederate battle flag, which has lost its irredentist meaning and now is basically the same thing as giving the middle finger to our Left overlords, but despite the hysteria surrounding it in the media, is actually seen very rarely on the Right.) Still, the terror campaign of our current regime against those who use any such symbols, most aggressively against the Three Percenters, who set themselves overtly against our temporary overlords, suggests their fear at the power of symbols.

On the Left, the rainbow flag, the so-called pride flag, the symbol of ascendant globohomo, has recently been adopted in practice as the official flag of America. Notably, and with new meaning now, the American embassy in Kabul this past June made a big production out of their elevation of the globohomo flag above the embassy. Strangely to many, the Afghans didn’t seem to find it inspiring. (My guess, not an original one, is that action served as a powerful recruiting device for the Taliban, along with the other innumerable manifestations of globohomo pressed on the Afghans over the past twenty years.) True, today’s stupid and fractious Left can’t even settle on one version of the globohomo flag. They keep adding new stripes and colors to satisfy the latest and loudest set of freaky deviants. Nonetheless, flying the flag of globohomo means something very clear to the followers of that ideology (and, annoying me no end, has ruined the use of the rainbow for other purposes, yet another crime in an endless list of crimes that will need to be punished). Flying it therefore allows one to feel part of a larger group, to know one has allies and who they are, and who is the enemy, as well as to signify one’s supposed moral superiority. It is, as Wolfgang Schivelbusch said, the “symbolism of compliance.” The Right has no symbols like this.

This success suggests the Right, by which I mean primarily the American Right, needs to find a coherent overarching symbology. One obvious candidate is just the old American flag, the stars and stripes. The Left now treats this as a right-wing symbol, and so in practice simply flying it is now a right-wing statement. My problem with this is that it’s passive and doesn’t accept reality. America no longer exists, and while I’m fine with flying its flag, doing so as a political statement is basically a rearguard action, pathetically begging our enemies to not destroy our country, a task they’ve already accomplished, and are now moving on to planning camps for us. It does not call to battle and it does not embody any actual program. We need bolder action.

So, focusing on my own program, what should be the symbology of Foundationalism? We need an instantly-recognizable image, that can be tied to the political system, and does not carry, today at least, any particular meaning. I considered bears, after reading this book. But I don’t think that’s the right choice. Pastoureau is not wrong that the bear is no longer the king of the beasts. Perhaps the grizzly bear is, in America, but he conveys brute menace to humans, not majesty, and at the same time is sometimes seen begging handouts from tourists, neither of which conveys the desired flavor. Nor do I think animals in general are the way to go. Animals are associated with heraldry and thus the past; Foundationalism is not restoration, but a new thing for a new time.

We need an image that is a clarion call to action. The symbol must be clear and forceful, therefore memorable; the meaning attached to that identity will be filled in over time, but the identity must attract the viewer. We want someone viewing the symbol for the first time to say “I should learn more!” And we want the person who already knows the meaning to feel a swell of pride, recognition, and kinship; somewhat similar to how those of an a generally anti-government bent view the Guy Fawkes masks associated with “Anonymous” movements, but with a more positive and less alienated tone. Ultimately, of course, the symbol of Foundationalism will be a universally-known emblem of power, that people see and know, and some tremble. But that is a ways down the road.

Our symbology cannot seem backward-looking or stuffy. Foundationalism offers a new America, for a new age, informed by the wisdom of the old—the future Renaissance, not a throwback to the original one. The symbol should therefore look forward and upward. The goal of Foundationalism is returning to societal success and glory, not steeping in nostalgia. Since the quest for Space is a key pillar of Foundationalism, the symbol should embody some element of Space. There should also be a clear, but not excessive, masculine feel to the symbol—not because Foundationalism is exclusively for men, though certainly in a society based on sex-role realism men will do most of the ruling, but because hyper-feminization is one of the worst corrosions of the modern world, and a stance against it should be obvious from the symbology.

So I will, I think, hire someone to come up with this symbology. In modern times, the Left has tended to have better graphic artist talent. This is a historical anomaly, however—as I have demonstrated elsewhere, it’s just a myth that artists tend to skew Left. In fact, it seems to me that Left artistic energy is exhausted, in part in a pathetic striving to be inclusive (what has caused the silly mutations in the globohomo flag). The inability to be bold leads to enervation, and there is quite a bit of artistic energy on the Right. It’s found mostly in memes, and is disorganized, but can be directed and channeled. It’s also, unlike the Left, not heavily funded—but perhaps that’s an advantage, since art of this type is cheap to produce, and thanks to technology and despite massive censorship, easy to disseminate. Just wait a few months, and I will reveal the results!

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  1. Andy says

    Always interesting to read your reviews, even as some of our foundational beliefs about reality and the current moment in history are different.

    I am linking a couple of flags that are relevant or interesting for me.
    A space-related flag that I have always liked:
    The new pro-life flag (which may or may not catch on):

    Also linking a speech on the American ideals that will be difficult to improve on as you attempt to rebuild and rethink American government:

  2. Tool says

    Since the goal is to re-found the existing regime, a flag design should be noticeably related to the current flag design, just modified in some way that conveys the meaning.

    I’m not artistic and don’t therefore have specific ideas about what the symbol for foundationalism should be. I will only say that such a symbol most likely exists in the realm of thinking about how to combine rockets with the medieval. I have no idea what that would be. A knight with a light saber? (too Star Wars) Christ on a robotic steed? Like the terminator goes to Jerusalem? Yikes!

    Thinking of foundationalism, it has to be something that conveys solidity, greatness. It looks back at the past while at the same time forging into the future. Or maybe all this is just trying too hard. Maybe the symbol is something close by, waiting to be discovered, and all this chatter is just covering it up.

    A tree under a half arc…

  3. jsutherland says

    Since you are looking for a symbol, I have to suggest the rising sun. I think it meets all of your criteria. I will say (if you will forgive me) that the one you used on your foundationalist manifesto looks too much like something you would see at a breakfast buffet or a hotel, but I think the basic idea of a rising sun, designed into a unique and recognizable symbol, would be perfect.

    It implies a new beginning, and the start of something new, but it connects to the past, for the sun is an eternal symbol, that has risen many days before and will likely rise many times again.

    The sun has a strong connection to space, second only to the star. It also is considered a masculine symbol (as opposed to the moon, a feminine one) but is not overly so. Both men and women can identify with it, yet it still has a masculine flair.

    It is not an animal, and is relatively simple to design and replicate, and can be made instantly recognizable without being overly complicated. It implies light, goodness, knowledge, wisdom, and holiness, as well as more subtly implying power. It also is a symbol without any real baggage in the American political landscape.

    Just a suggestion. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.
    (Been reading your blog for a long time, but never posted before.)

    • The Real Slim Shady says

      The biggest issue is that the rising sun flag is already associated with the Japanese Empire.

      • Charles Haywood says

        Yeah, but who remembers the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere today? Anyway, the Empire was based.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Ha ha. Yes, that rising sun I just picked because I had to pick something. I think the rest of your analysis is correct, and that will be part of my starting point. (My approach is to write a detailed memo outlining for the graphic artist what I’m thinking.)

  4. orthanc says

    The Boers have an Afrikaner only town called Orania in northern cape province and their flag is of a boy rolling up his sleeve getting ready to work . Symbolizing HARD WORK is our thing….. Very cool looking …

    • Charles Haywood says

      Interesting. Those people are going to be exterminated, though.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Yeah, but too informal, and too tied to things other than Foundationalism.

  5. Chris says

    Eugenier has shown the way there. The left has static symbols, the right has protean memes. I personally find them cliquey and ugly, usually incomprehensible, and like the Gadsden flag is defensive, so too are those memes, with their retreat into outsider art aesthetic. I suppose it’s a retreat to behind secure borders. They advance via the uncanny valley of ironic – or is it? – use of bodybuilders, Hawaiian shirts, chiselled Male models, ‘80s jocks.
    2 successful & similar memes: the Star Wars 4-paneller one, and the Yes warrior. Both are debate-stoppers, not giving nor offering to give an inch.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Memes are secondary, I think, or parallel to the use of the symbology on which I am focused.

  6. Achille says

    I recently discovered this site and I first wanted to say how much I appreciate the positive nature of Charles’ Foundationalist program. I’m so very tired of the “addiction to defeatism” (as BAP calls it) I see on the right. I don’t need the thousandth, detailed essay on why the left and wokism are bad, or more useless over-intellectualized thought pieces that serve only to promote acedia. What Charles and a few others are putting forth are reasonable and practical calls to action. Thank you for that.

    On the symbolism of the bear, I once read that the word for bear was taboo for the ancient Indo-Europeans. I don’t know if that is true but I found it interesting. I would speculate that St. Augustine denigrated the bear and other animal symbology as part of the general Christian attack on pagan symbology. One might even be tempted to see parallels in the early Christian attack on pagan culture with our current situation.

    As for possible symbols today, I always liked the Oak, a symbol of defensive strength. Whether it has enough emotional resonance I couldn’t say. Probably not. Whatever symbol we might want to adopt must have historical and ancestral–even cthonic–resonance. The Twitter meme icons, while perhaps tactically effective for trolling in the online world, lack gravitas.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Pastoureau doesn’t exactly say the word was taboo, but he does say many indirect ways of naming the bear were used, which may be essentially the same thing. Yes, that’s possible about Augustine, but I don’t have the reference, and I suspect it was very ancillary to Augustine’s thought.

      Oak is good. Maybe the oak and the sun. Although I think the oak is associated with Germanic paganism. Wasn’t it an oak that Saint Boniface cut down?

      And yes, memes “lacking gravitas” is exactly right. Not that that makes them useless; they are very useful.

      • Charles,

        It was an oak. Donar’s oak or Thor’s oak.'s_Oak

        Trees and groves are/were used by many many pagan groups. Think the high places and Asherah groves (Asherah is translated grove in greek), and druidic groves/trees, sacred Rowans, etc.

        Doesn’t mean they aren’t great symbols – Oaks continued to be used heavily by Christian monarchs to symbolize strength, stability, etc.

        BTW – a friend of mine wrote a response to the Benedict option called “The Boniface Option” which would probably interest you and your readers.

      • Achille says

        I was thinking about this topic some more and have come to conclusion that the best way for us to distinguish ourselves from the globalist left is not to have one symbol but many local symbols. These would symbols rooted in the history and circumstances of one’s city, region, town, or even one’s neighborhood. The lack of a common symbol is in itself a message. Also, it is harder to demonize a hundred different symbols than one.

        • Charles Haywood says

          [Apologies for the late approval of this comment; I missed it had gone to spam.]

          A fair point, but subsidiarity will not work in the modern world, except as an operating characteristic of a greater organization.

  7. Chris says

    As a compromise between old-world symbol and new world meme, you should accept no design unless it works successfully as the right half of a virgin republican elephant / chad foundationalist (whatever) meme , and only a troll will be able to make this for you.

  8. bouncing ball says

    I think there is an obvious symbol – Chi Rho. It clearly identifies the wearer as Christian (and thus an enemy of the Left), it has history and tradition while still being a timeless symbol, and it is a call to battle.

    • Rico's Roughneck says

      Charles, any idea where a man of destiny might be likely to come from? I could see a possibility of a relatively unknown military officer (Franco and Pinochet come to mind as historical examples of relatively apolitical officers). Maybe a politician. They tend to be way to entrenched in the current regime. Gov DeSantis comes to mind as the type who takes a stand and draws the left’s ire. I don’t think he would be a good fit but possibly a future man similar to him. It isn’t unknown for non politicians to win governor positions in elections.

      • One possibility is if we get into a war with China and the regime gets desperate enough to promote an actually competent general.

        • Charles Haywood says

          Euginenier: Unlike Stalin, I don’t see that happening. These people actually believe that diversity is our strength, and that our best generals are lesbians who can’t do a full pushup and barely know which end of the gun the bullet comes out of.

          • The question is what they will do once Chinese forces violently disabuse them of that delusion.

      • Charles Haywood says

        Rico’s Roughneck: Well, this is the question, isn’t it? (I am going to do a full-scale piece on Pinochet in the next few months.) My guess is it will not be a military man, but someone who comes to the fore as competently dealing with an unexpected crisis. If there is a war, then maybe a military man. But more likely you could see a secessionist governor of Texas willing to use Texan force against the malicious and dying federal government; such a man would control force but not come from a military background.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Bouncing Ball: Maybe. But the Chi Rho is too explicitly Christian; Foundationalism is not a religious movement.

  9. goodlander says

    For a symbol to stick with the American right it should meet two criteria:

    1) Rely heavily on existing iconography of the late United States of America
    2) Be simple enough that a child could draw it

    The symbol of the three percenters mentioned meets this criteria well.

    A symbol for consideration is a fasces. An ancient symbol of lawful authority, has gravity, already adorns many official American seals, monuments, and structures designed prior to WWII, but for obvious reasons has been unpopular with our leftist rulers for the last century although it isn’t successfully stigmatized either. Yet.

    If the right were to have success with any symbol, the left would quickly train their audiences that this symbol is the latest symbol of ascendant Nazism. Thus the symbol can be something silly like a cartoon frog in order to make them sound retarded while sermonizing about its dangers, or it could be something that’s already prominently displayed on the Lincoln Memorial and House Chamber which will make for an inconvenient narrative.

    • Rico's Roughneck says

      The thing is the left will demonize whatever symbol the right uses. A silly symbol shouldn’t be used for a serious movement because it is silly. It’s best to choose a serious symbol, the fasces sounds like a decent option, and just use it unapologetically because the left will demonize it no matter what, Lincoln Memorial or not. The right in America has too often let the left determine the rules of engagement and as such the right spends too much time apologizing and defending itself. The right should just choose a symbol and use in aggressively with no apologies.

      Fortunately the left already looks retarded, so the right should just fully take advantage of that by going on the offensive.

      • Charles Haywood says

        RR: Yes, also true. Whatever is chosen, attacks should simply be ignored.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Interesting. On the rising sun, this was used by forces resisting the Japanese forces on the West Coast in the alt-history series “The Man in the High Castle,” so there is something there as well.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Yes, heroic–but it’s not at all clear to me we should bring any Afghans here. Maybe a tiny few, but there is no reason, say, translators we paid should get to come here. Maybe help them get to Tajikistan.

      • Its only the Pineapple because Americans stood and kept faith, including with each other, and the service men at the gates defied orders and helped their American Brothers (and yes their charges) to safety.

        This is who if anyone saves us. IF.

    • Charles Haywood says

      Interesting. But no real resonance with the themes of Foundationalism, I think. Some good designs there, though.

    • Charles Haywood says

      True. But it’s also used, or used to be used, by homosexuals in America, who like to pretend that Greek homosexuality was just like the modern version.

  10. Peter Greenman says

    Mr Haywood, have you read Faulkner’s novella, The Bear? It bears (so to speak) directly on the subject of your essay, standing for a chthonic force whose defeat by is American settlers is both a precondition of civilized American life and an ambivalent portent of a deracinated future.

  11. Constantine says

    I know you said you weren’t a fan of using animal images, but what about a version of the eagle already used in many American govt images (don’t use the same one of course, modify it some). It has some space related/flying connotations, but more importantly using it would help the transition to an American successor state. Americans are used to being in the US and our history taught in schools is only really the last 300 years so Americans aren’t used to the idea of the US not existing.

    Using a version of the current eagle would lend some degree of normalcy/legitimacy which might help.

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