TOTALITARIANISM AS A HISTORICAL TRUTH
This lecture is to accompany our video on the coming dictators, and it's going to be a somewhat informal overview of world history, going back to the beginning of time to put in historical framework the concept of dictatorship and totalitarianism. Totalitarianism - the total control society by the state - is a term that was invented by Mussolini, but it is actually thousands of years old, going back to the very beginning of time. It's important to understand that today's Western view of world history is a total illusion. It's a view of world history from a Western point of view. If you filter out the Western point of view, you see that Western concepts, interpretations of what they think is democracy, and what they think is freedom are completely out of step with the main course of world history, and that the model states that modern Western so-called "democracies" are based on: the states of Greece and Rome in the ancient world are both states in which democracy committed suicide. It failed.
PERSIA: THE WORLD'S FIRST MAJOR GEOPOLITICAL EMPIRE
Going back to the beginning of recorded history, you have the pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Now we're not going to go into the details of all these different dynasties and so on, we're just trying to put an overall view of what happened. Now in the sixth and fifth centuries BC, you had the emergence of a world state, specifically Persia. The Persian Empire was in geopolitical revolution of the first order, because for the first time, you connected India and the Mediterranean. In most Western schoolbooks, there's a fairytale view of the relationship between Persia and Greece. It's portrayed as a kind of Cold War. Nothing could be further from the truth. Greece was a fragmented collection of different states, and their relationship with Persia was a combination of different alliances at different times, but a huge amount of interaction. And for example, Herodotus, a Greek citizen, was able to travel throughout Persia. So this is highly relevant, and Indian troops participated in the invasion of Greece. But the main Empire was Persia, it was not Greece. Now, so-called democracy in Athens really wasn't a modern democracy, because only a minority of the citizens were able to vote, and Athens was heavily dependent on a system of slavery. So, the romanticization of Athens is a product of the modern world, not of the ancient world.
THE FAILURE OF DEMOCRACY IN ATHENS
Now under Pericles, and the so-called Golden age of Greece, Athens embarked on a megalomaniac Imperial plan - sound familiar, like George Bush and so on? - to make (or Woodrow Wilson) to make Athens and all of Greece so-called "safe" for democracy. In other words, Athens started a war with its main competitor, Sparta, to destroy Sparta, and impose at the Athens version of democracy, which coincided with business interests in Athens (sound familiar) taking over all of Greece. This war was an absolute, total disaster, and it ended up in the defeat of Athens by Sparta, and the wholesale destruction of Athens as a major power. It's very important to understand, though, that Athens was never a world power like Persia, contrary to what you might have been taught in school, that Athens was the center of the Ancient World, was absolute rubbish. Athens was a very tiny affair compared to Persia. So anyway, Athens was defeated, and the whole concept of democracy was totally discredited throughout Greece. Aristophanes wrote plays ridiculing Pericles; Socrates referred to Pericles as a pastry chef; the entire intellectual structure of Greece repudiated democracy after the demise of Pericles - and you have the rise of philosophers like Plato, who openly endorsed the concept of authoritarian rule and totalitarianism.
AFTER ATHENS FALLS, ALEXANDER CREATES THE HELLENISTIC WORLD
Athens, like America, was plagued by self-righteous hypocrisy and massive internal contradictions also, because it was Athens who executed the leading philosopher of Greece, Socrates, for - sound familiar - questioning traditional values, and opposing runaway imperialism... yeah, sound familiar? Right. So that was also a big problem. But the main point is that after Pericles led Greece into a disaster, a war in which he himself perished, democracy was just a laughingstock in ancient Greece, and no one really took it seriously. And interesting aside, when Alexander the great began his invasion of Persia, Athens actually sided with Persia - that was how far down Athens was. And it was Alexander the Great who bought Greece into being a world civilization. It was Alexander the Great who made the transition from the narrow-minded polis of democracy which had been discredited, to the cosmo-polis, the world state, where he incorporated the aspects of Persia into his Empire. His empire was built on top of the administrative structure of Persia.
When he died, and it's not - you have to wonder some of these ancient versions, how reliable they are... he wasn't really good at success in business planning, that wasn't one of his strong suits. So, supposedly when he died they asked who is he leaving his empire to, and his answer was, "to the strongest." Well, that led to a quarrel where two major states and one small state emerged. The Seleucid empire stretched from the Mediterranean all the way to the Indus River in India; the Ptolemaic Empire took over ancient Egypt, and then there was a smaller state in Greece. But it was this Hellenistic world of empires that brought Greek culture to the world. It is believed that the evolution of Buddhist statuary to show statues of Buddha was influenced by the arrival of Greek culture into India. And it was Bactrian Greek empire which broke off from the Seleucid empire that conquered a good part of India. So there's an enormous connection between Eastern culture and Western culture here. This is extremely important to understand.
THE FAILURE OF DEMOCRACY IN ROME
AND THE RISE OF THE ROMAN EMPERORS
Now, the second model for modern democracy in our time was ancient Rome. Now Rome, unlike Athens, did become a major world power, but this was hardly a very happy story Rome, like Sparta, was a horrendously militarized state, and set up the largest and most brutal slave trade in the ancient world. Now Rome, also the Republican Rome also committed suicide, but for some different reasons. In Rome, similar to modern America, plutocratic forces gained control of the political system. This led to endless quarrels, endless fights. It was - without getting into all the ins and outs of Roman history, because we don't have time to here - it was a man of the left, the political left. Julius Caesar, who finally overthrew, openly overthrew the Roman political establishment. That's a very important point to understand. The Roman Empire did appoint dictators also in times of war. It was Caesar, though, who completely violated, just threw out the entire structure of the system, and appointed himself dictator by force.
Now the American, the people who wrote the American Constitution didn't like Caesar, and they they tried to justify their position by using people such as Cicero and his writings to justify their opposition to George III. We need to look closely at what this meant. Because Cicero, who was made a big hero in the modern world, was a representative of the upper classes, the rich - - against Caesar. You can't really understand anything if you don't understand this was the upper classes against Caesar. Now they conspired to assassinate Caesar, and succeeded in murdering him. Unfortunately once they got back into power, they still couldn't really get their act together, and without going into a whole lot of detail here, they were eventually, partially co-opted by Caesar's adopted son, one of the most extraordinary figures in world history Augustus Caesar, who after a series of wars, intrigues which we won't go into now, established himself as the supreme, de-facto dictator of Rome. Now, Augustus was much cleverer than his adoptive father, Julius Caesar, because he used the rhetoric of the Republic to enforce his power in other words, he claimed he was restoring the republic. Very clever move, and I think it's very similar to what's going on in modern America today, where he destroyed the Republic under the guise of restoring it. And Augustus ruled for a very long time, and put through a legal series of revolutions that enshrined the power of the authoritarian state, and basically buried democracy in the West for really 1500+ years, or maybe longer. I mean, you could say he buried it for 1800 years until the American and French revolutions.
Now that was basically the end of democracy, and nobody really mourned it. There were the upper classes... Part of the problem with Roman history is a lot of the history like Thucydides - excuse me, not Thucydides - but Suetonius, with his Twelve Caesars is written by the upper classes, who did not like the Empire. So, they tended to record all the foibles of various emperors, and so on and so forth. But the structure of this was authoritarian. Now, at the same time in the ancient world, it's very important to understand that there's a global aspect to the ancient world that usually is taught in US schools.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUTHORITARIAN RULE IN CHINA AND INDIA
In China, you had the evolution of a totalitarian state under the ideas of people like Lord Shang, and Han Fei-tzu. And the first Chinese Empire, the state of Chin, taking over China was sort of like the Sparta of China, and this laid the groundwork for future Chinese history. But this was anything but democracy. This was a ruthless totalitarian state. Likewise in India, the empire of Chandragupta, which came to power after after the turmoil and violence of Alexander the Great's invasion of India - and you've got to remember that in the case of India, there was no such thing as quote "India." There was a collection of different states. It's not like he invaded a country called India. It was a collection of different states. And what happened was the emergence of the Mauryan empire, and the Arthashastra is a master plan for a totalitarian state. Also in ancient Indian culture is the issue of race, and the issue of racial caste system, which is also reflected in the ideas of Plato. You see, again going back to the Persian Empire, there was this interconnection between the ancient Eastern world, and the ancient Western world. Cleopatra dressed in Chinese silks. The Silk Road opened about the second century BC. There was an interchange of trade and ideas. So, this is very, very important to understand. It's very important to understand philosophers like Plato did not use footnotes. They just philosophized about what they thought, but that is an absolute fact. So anyway, you've got to look at the fact that you had, by the time of Caesar Augustus, basically a culture of authoritarianism in the Eastern world, and a culture of authoritarianism in the Western world.
THE TEACHINGS OF JUDAISM ENTER WESTERN CIVILIZATION
Now, in the process of creating the civilization - the Hellenistic civilization - you had the creation of the greatest library in the world in Alexandria, Egypt. And what this did was to bring together a huge amount of culture from all over the world. It is through the library in Alexandria, Egypt that Judaism for the first time entered Western civilization. Contrary to what you were taught in school, ancient Israel was a nothing, in terms of influence on the ancient world, except perhaps as a minor buffer state between empires, and there is no evidence of the Exodus, no serious archaeological evidence of the Exodus, there's no serious archaeological evidence that David and Solomon ever even existed. This fact is glossed over, and I know when I was taught history in elementary school, I was given the impression ancient Israel was one of the most powerful states in the Ancient World - it's absolute rubbish. The ideas - along with translating a lot of other ideas - the ideas of ancient Judaism began to enter the Western world through the library at Alexandria. And you've got to remember that Greek was the language of the intellectuals in the ancient world until quite a ways into the Roman Empire. It was not Latin.
THE EVOLUTION OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE ROMAN WORLD
Now, in Alexandria, there was a tremendous amount of interchange of ideas and religious cults, and so on. We believe that it is in Alexandria that you had the evolution of the cult of Jesus, the cult of Christianity. No one really knows because it's poorly... What we do know for sure is there's zero historical evidence, and this is a very well-documented period in ancient history. There's zero historical evidence for the existence of Jesus. But we do know that Christianity as a cult began to evolve, and we see in Christianity elements of the Eastern world: the concept of baptism, which was virtually alien to anything in Judaism, and stuff like that put into this cult. A very ugly aspect of all this was to take the virulently intolerant ideas of ancient Judaism. As we point out on our website, the heroes in ancient Judaism were the people who exterminated all the religions. And ancient Judaism is also a campaign of genocide. This is that after the Holocaust and World War II, there was an attempt to sort of sugarcoat all of this, but you cannot sugarcoat all this, because this became an integral part of Christianity. Without going into all the ins and outs of of what happened in the Roman Empire and so on, in the fourth century A.D., Christianity seized power in the Roman Empire.
CHRISTIANITY UNLEASHES A REIGN OF TERROR UPON THE ANCIENT WORLD,
AND USHERS IN THE DARK AGES
Now what happened after that is absolutely history-making. There was a reign of terror the likes of which the world has never known, in terms of totalitarian terror. It was inspired by the Jewish Old Testament, which was adopted as a so-called sacred bulkier, and the church proclaimed itself to be the new Israel. This, again, had never happened before, and led to a wholesale extermination of all competing religions, destruction of temples, destruction of ancient learning, virtually never had existed before. And this would plunge Europe into a Dark Ages that would last really a long time. It would lead to the wholesale collapse of the Western part of the Roman Empire, leaving a rough part of the Roman Empire, a sort of bastardized copy, the Byzantine Empire, that would stumble along until around the 15th century, in one form or another.
ISLAM EMERGES IN SEVENTH CENTURY
DISPELLS CHRISTIANITY IN MIDDLE EAST AND ACTS AS A FORCE OF TOLERANCE
Now, partly due to the fact that Christianity had created such an intolerant madhouse, Islam emerged in the seventh century and throughout the entire - the heart of Christianity used to be Asia, and North Africa. But people have just about had it with all the endless theological quarrels, the religious murders, and so on. So Islam was actually force of tolerance in those days, classical Islam. So, Islam basically swept all the way to the Atlantic, and basically other than the reign of terror in Spain, the Spanish Inquisition, no one's ever looked back. Nobody really had any interest in going back to Jesus.
THE CREATION OF THE MONGOL EMPIRE IN THE 13TH CENTURY
Meanwhile, in the East, you had the emergence of the Tang Dynasty civilization. In Islam, you had the concept of, not a god-king, because that would be contrary to Islamic theology, but the concept of the Caliphate, the Caliph, the shadow of God on earth, the supreme ruler. Now, again, we don't have time to cover all aspects of history, but in the 13th century, a geopolitical revolution of breathtaking dimensions took place, specifically the Mongols. This is an absolutely extraordinary story, where a guy who was formally just a tribal chief, and Genghis Khan created an empire that would extend from the pacific to the Mediterranean to well into the center of central Europe. Absolutely breathtaking, a geopolitical earthquake of the first order. Again, not much in terms of - obviously nothing to do with democracy - now, again we don't have time to cover everything that happened here, but move on to the next big geopolitical revolution, which was the invasion of the American continents.
INVASION AND MURDER IN THE AMERICAN CONTINENTS
They weren't discovered. They were there - the people in Western Europe were too dumb to know they were there - so they didn't discovered. What they did get was get invaded and get murdered. Now, the overall part of the death toll was from the plague from the Europeans, who were infested with diseases. But it was also the wholesale death toll from the destruction of the states that they invaded, and in particular, in Latin America, this led to a wholesale totalitarian reign of terror. Wholesale destruction, mass murder and suppression of local people and local religions, and the imposition of the Catholic church on top of these people. In the north, it was a bit more confused as you had England and France competing against each other for various empires in the north. In the north, it was in some ways even uglier, because you had the same religious intolerance, but you had a campaign of racial imperialism, which would later be seen as the model for the racial imperialism that Hitler planned to introduce in Russia, in his plans for conquering Russia in the 1930s and 40s. So, this was certainly not a very happy situation, but it did change the geopolitical balance of power. Now, the empires of the Spanish and Portuguese did not hold and these countries became independent in the early 19th century. But they became independent in terms of the cultural and economic leadership that was in there, put in by the Spaniards.
30 YEARS WAR UNLEASHES RELIGIOUS TERROR IN EUROPE
PEOPLE IN THE WEST BEGIN TO QUESTION RELIGION
INTELLECTUALS IDEALIZE CLASSICAL WORLD INSTEAD, AND DEMOCRACY EMERGES AS AN IDEOLOGY
Now, moving again to a further important development, which is the beginning of so-called democracy in the West. The Western intellectuals after the 30 Years War in Europe, you had endless religious wars culminating in the 30 Years War, where a third to half of the population of Germany was murdered by the various followers of Christ murdering each other, and so on and so forth. That really sort of was the last straw, along with a lot of other intolerance and mass murder for a lot of people in Europe to realize something may be fundamentally wrong with Christianity. And that lead to a sort of worship of the classical world, but it was an idealized worship of the classical world, and this led to the French Revolution where - at first, the American revolution - where people were going to re-create the Roman republic. That's why the US capitol building is called the capital, and so on and so forth. That's why the US senate is called the Senate. All this is based on Rome, okay.
THE FRENCH REVOLUTION, ROBESPIERRE AND NAPOLEAN
Now that in turn, the American Revolution was basically financed by the French government. The notion that they did it on their own is absolute rubbish. Without the support from France, it would have been quickly squelched. This cost France so much money in terms of its shaky financial condition, that the French government, in 1789, the cost of runaway military spending caused the French government to collapse, and out of this came the French Revolution. Now the French revolution in terms of moderate democratic forces, was a complete failure. It was a complete disaster. It was the introduction of one of the most underestimated people in history, Robespierre, that saved the French Revolution with a totalitarian reign of terror and a levee en masse, the first idea of the mass mobilization of society for war. Napoleon was a huge admirer of Robespierre, and Napoleon built his world imperial machine on top of Robespierre.
BY 19TH CENTURY, EUROPE CONQUERS MOST OF THE KNOWN WORLD
ENGLAND BRINGS FAMINE TO INDIA.
Now, as we look at the 19th century, what happened was a European invasion, and conquest of most of the known world. England had been operating in India for a while, and in the 19th century, they succeeded in conquering most of it. The system of Imperial control was working through a series of local states, and there wasn't a big campaign of Evangelism but one thing that did come out of India was racial theory, which would later be adopted by Hitler, with the book of Manu, and stuff like that. However, in India, the manipulation of the grain trade by England led to the death of millions, of similar to the introduction of the potato in Ireland, which also led to a huge death toll, and so on. So, this was really not a totally happy development.
WESTERN POWERS UNLEASH TERROR IN ASIA
JAPAN REMAINS THE ONLY COUNTRY TO RESIST WESTERN IMPERIALISM
Meanwhile in China, the Western powers, like a collection of mad dogs, repeatedly tore off pieces of China, and introduced a bastardized form of Christianity, which led to the Taiping rebellion, where a fellow claimed he was the brother of Jesus, and set up a mad state which led to a death toll larger than World War I and severely weakened the Chinese. Only one country in the world in the 19th century successfully stood up against imperialism, and that was Japan. Japan, there was a great triumph of leadership that prevented them from being overrun and slaughtered the way the other people were, and in 1905, a very critical event happened, where the Japanese successfully defeated the Russians. This would be kind of a milestone, kind of the beginning of the end of Western imperialism. And it also is very important understand that thinking towards Japan's views in the evolution of its policies moving towards World War II.
CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA AND THE WHOLESALE DESTRUCTION OF AFRICAN CULTURE
In Africa, are really horrible situation took place where you had the wholesale takeover of Africa, and this was an evolution of sort of human rights imperialism, where they claimed that they were bringing Christianity to the savages via, largely due to the activities of a charlatan by the name of Livingston - David Livingston - a huckster and a really despicable person. And this led to the wholesale destruction of African culture, and the importation of Christianity. It also led, in the Congo, to mass murder on an enormous scale.
THE TRINITY OF DEMOCRACY, CAPITALISM AND CHRISTIANITY TAKES OVER WESTERN WORLD
So anyway, by 1914, you had the holy Trinity: democracy, capitalism, Christianity in power over most of the world, alright. Obviously, the colonial subjects of the Western powers didn't have democracy, but all the major states were democracies. So, we were on the verge of utopia, right? I mean, unfortunately, democracy tended to fuel war, rather than prevent it. It allowed demagogues to whip up nationalist feelings, and the result was just a tidal catastrophe, World War I. Now we will discuss the future of this in coming lectures.