I would like to make the reader feel that the world of Christianity and the world of the heathen have nothing to do with each other, and that they are not just words, but a reality - on which I stumbled, and which caused my conversion.
Toward this end, I would like to present a contrast: the Christian functioning on this union of throne and altar, and the pagan functioning on the fusion of State and Religion.
To do this, I will take a simple example: that of the village.
Good Christian villages functioned between the 5th century and the 1970s in France... Certainly, as in all communities, some immemorial hatreds could be fierce, but everything was good-natured, and behind the body of villagers, there was the parish priest, who worked for the salvation of souls and the growth in charity of his flock.
I imagine that in the US, as in France, when we say "village" and "village life", the expression is positive, and evokes the framework of a large family, with its priest as ‘Don Camillo’, and its squire.
Certainly, as in all communities, some immemorial hatreds could be fierce, but everything was good-natured, and behind the body of villagers, there was the parish priest, who worked for the salvation of souls and the growth in charity of his flock.
The parish priest, moreover, could often act as a mediator to mitigate conflicts: in the village, he is also outside the village, because of his priesthood, the secrecy of confession, and his celibacy. Everyone can always go to the priest, no matter what is done. And the parish priest could defuse many conflicts by charity and the excitement of Christian virtues.
This is not enough. The squire, or the lord, in short the nobility, was there to ensure that justice was respected: for there are always rogues and abuses. The lord is a little like the principal of a school who can judge the serious matters. The priest is the mother who pleads for his flock, and tries to solve the problem before going to the lord.
The parish priest could also hold back the hand of the lord, who, it is normal, could have had a tendency to load the scales a little, in anger.
This is how a good Christian village functioned between the 5th century and the 1970s in France (with an impressive constancy of parishes and communes from a family, administrative and customary point of view).
What happens in the pagan world?
We will take an example that we know: that of the Japanese village during the Edo era (1600-1868), to make the contrast clear. We will base our description on "From the village, the peasants of the modern era" by Kunihiko Mizumoto.
Why? Let me tell you about an experience I had in Japan: a deep misunderstanding. At the beginning, when I was talking with Japanese "trads" (ultra-nationalists), I believed, naively, that the traditional world, Catholic or not, was basically similar. So I talked about the village as I did above: with great nostalgia and sadness that this world had disappeared.
In Japan, I realized that the expression "village society: ムラ社会" was extremely negative, and was used to designate a totalitarian and oppressive society from which the contemporary Japanese was quite happy to have been freed...
However, my Japanese interlocutors remained mute, in an embarrassed silence.
Then, as time passed, I realized that the expression "village society: ムラ社会" was extremely negative, and was used to designate a totalitarian and oppressive society from which the contemporary Japanese was quite happy to have been freed...
So I dug around, and here is how a village functioned during the Edo era.
First of all, there is no "priest". No one in the village had the role of the Catholic priest, living in the village but being still outside the world, who leads his flock to salvation. The Buddhist or Shinto "religious" are married, have families and activities. They only conduct social rites, or rites of passage.
Another particularity: if the feudal lord exists nominally, he is absent and does not interfere in the affairs of the village - except to levy taxes, and beware if one does not pay them!
The concept of "seigniorial justice" is thus non-existent: everything is done so that no business of the village ever goes before the lord. If this happens, justice is more than expeditious: in general, the lord orders a subordinate to mete out justice (to make it clear to the villagers that if someone comes to bother him, the subordinate will decide... ), or worse punishes everyone (collective responsibility is the basis of the "justice" of this time; when there is a "crime" - meaning an act forbidden by the law, because for example killing an untouchable or a vagrant is not a "crime", since they are sub-humans - the whole district, the whole village is punished indiscriminately).
The lord was absent, and the villagers, without a priest, did everything to make sure that no one ever interfered in their affairs, because otherwise it was a massacre...
So in practice, the lord was absent, and the villagers, without a priest, did everything to make sure that no one ever interfered in their affairs, because otherwise it was a massacre: they paid taxes, and made sure to pay them year after year...
The only interference of the Shogunate, whose lord was in practice a civil servant, was the Shogun’s edicts posted in the village, the first of which was systematically and during the whole period the prohibition of Christians and the order to denounce them on pain of death... The other part was the obligation to be registered in a temple, so that the population could be controlled, and assured that they were not Christians.
Afterwards, as long as they paid the tax and did not rebel, they did what they wanted!
By the way, the lords often punished larceny with death (for example about 67 executions out of 122 larcenies between 1661 and 1691 in Nagasaki!). Pre-capitalism was picky about its money, but human life is another matter...
The village society was thus very democratic. A dream for our modern contemporaries. No authority, neither spiritual nor temporal. And total freedom in the village.
How did it work? Like a playground with all its abuses and scapegoating.
The body of villagers could do whatever they wanted within it: you can imagine what could happen... and how the weak and marginalized could be treated.
A famine, a crisis and everything changes: young girls are sold to pimps to "survive", and this system legally recognized by the State is so vicious that it hammers in to the sold girls that they do their duty out of filial piety (in general they did not survive beyond thirty years...).
When everything was going well, no problem of course, except for the usual but certainly bearable vexations and servitude, but afterwards...
A famine, a crisis and everything changes: young girls are sold to pimps to "survive", and this system legally recognized by the State is so vicious that it hammers in to the sold girls that they do their duty out of filial piety (in general they did not survive beyond thirty years...). The stagnation of the population from the end of the 17th century onwards is evidence of "birth control" (meaning widespread abortions).
And the village punished this or that scapegoat at will. Certainly, there was a certain hierarchy, with a village chief, but always dependent on his council, and subject to social pressure to make "no waves".
Customary rules were not based on any "objective" moral criteria, like Catholic morality, and certain prohibitions could be imposed on anyone, even children. For example, in village charters, a sort of "local constitution" accepted by the entire population, there was a severe punishment for cutting foraging grass outside of a certain period, even if it was a child.
Let's take a concrete example reported in the book: a relatively large theft occurs. A culprit is sought. The villagers are gathered together and a vote is held to answer the question: "Who is the culprit?”
The designated person is searched, and if the object of the theft is found, he is severely punished... You can imagine what kind of lynchings we can witness... A real democratic society!
What are the intra-village punishments, accepted and decided by "the village people"? The right to condemn to death remained a prerogative reserved for the lord, so the most extreme punishment in the village was ostracism. A social death: the expulsion from the village. This was often tantamount to a death in itself: because obviously the excluded vagrant no longer had any social status, he "no longer exists" officially. Moreover, it was forbidden to travel without a pass: therefore the ostracized person could be killed at will by anyone, since he did not exist. If he doesn't find a good soul who takes him in, like an abandoned dog or cat, he has only to join a community of vagabonds who live by robbery, and often not for very long…
It is possible to operate a world revolution without the society collapsing, by founding a democratic society of population control of this type.
A less harsh punishment was the "村八分mura hachibunn" or the sentence of being ostracized in the village: no one is allowed to talk to you anymore. You are ignored and beware of anyone who speaks to you, who interacts with you! This is the punishment of the kids in the playground who exclude one of their members without throwing him out of the school. Imagine the horror! Because here there is no priest, no lord, you are alone in front of the village Leviathan...
I hope that this little overview will have cooled down the "neo-pagans" on the one hand, and on the other hand will have constituted a real warning for all Catholics: it is possible to operate a world revolution without the society collapsing, by founding a democratic society of population control of this type.
History proves it.
And we also have the technologies of our century, I'll let you imagine all the possibilities...
So yes, let's go back to the integral restoration of everything in Christ!
Otherwise you will have the pagans, the primitives: you will have the modern apostates!
For God, for the King!
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