Adaptive Barbarism: Politics and Kinship in the Iliad, Part 1

Guillaume Durocher

The following article will appear as a chapter in an upcoming book on ethnopolitical thought in ancient Greece. Constructive criticisms and comments are therefore most welcome.

We know that every organism and every species is engaged in a ceaseless struggle for survival and reproduction. This is equally true of peoples: throughout history, those with the values and genes necessary to reproduce and triumph in war prospered, the rest have already perished. I believe this basic truth is reflected in what is perhaps the most ancient sacred text to come down to us in the Western tradition: Homer’s Iliad.

If Hesiod’s genealogy of the gods portrays the primordial sex and violence at the origin of the creation, the Iliad recounts the violence of love and war at the dawn of civilization. The poet tells of a terrible war involving sexual competition for the heart of beautiful Helen, and its inevitable tragedies. But the maudlin self-pity and effeminacy of our time is unknown to Homer: if tragedy is inevitable in the human experience, the poet’s role is to give meaning and beauty to the ordeal, and to inspire men to struggle for a glorious destiny.

Homer’s portrayal of “the great leveler, war” is by no means sugar-coated. The killings of over two hundred men are individually described, dying by having their brains splattered, bladders pierced, or innards slopping out. . . . By these and so many other ways, “the swirling dark” falls before the eyes of countless men. The Iliad immortalizes the Greek variant of a wider warrior ethos: that of the Indo-Europeans — traditionally known by the more poetic name, Aryans, which I shall use — who burst forth into Europe some four thousand years ago and conquered the indigenous hunter-gatherers and farmers. The Europeans have, ever since, been profoundly influenced by the genes, languages, and martial way of life of these peoples.

The heroic values of Homer are by our standards extremely harsh, even barbaric.[1] These values however, I will show, are supremely adaptive: values of conquest, community, competition, and kinship. These reflect the spirit of the Bronze Age with its countless forgotten wars between peoples. From an evolutionary point of view, these men embraced a high-risk, high-reward strategy, with winners in battle being rewarded with great wealth, honor, and women. Their boldness and prowess indeed remain imprinted on our very genes: scientists have found that half of Europeans descend from a single Bronze Age king.

The Iliad is also worth reading to understand the ancient Greeks and the values which they lived by to survive in the brutal world of the ancient Mediterranean. Indeed, Homer’s influence over Greek culture was enormous, akin to the Bible in medieval Europe. As Bernard Knox notes, the Greeks believed the Trojan War actually occurred and was central to their national identity:

But though we may have our doubts, the Greeks of historic times who knew and loved Homer’s poem had none. For them history began with a splendid Panhellenic expedition against an Eastern foe, led by kings and including contingents from all the more than one hundred and fifty places listed in the catalogue in Book 2. History began with a war.[2]

The Irresistible Power of Love

The Trojan War itself took place because of love. Paris the Trojan was asked to choose which of the three goddesses Aphrodite, Hera, or Athena was the fairest. He chose Aphrodite, goddess of love, who had promised him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen. Thus, Paris incurred the wrath of these two goddesses as well as Helen’s husband, “red-haired” Menelaus, a Greek king.

“Fair-haired” Helen herself laments being overpowered by love, dragging her against her will away from “the life-giving earth of Lacedaemon, the dear land of her fathers” (3.240).[3] Upon seeing the massing Achaeans, her former husband, “her kinsmen and people,” she says: “if only death had pleased me then, grim death that day I followed your son to Troy, forsaking my marriage bed, my kinsmen, and my child” (3.165). Upon meeting Aphrodite again, Helen says: “Maddening one, my Goddess, oh what now? Lusting to lure me to my ruin yet again?” (3.400).

Even wise and all-powerful Zeus, king of the gods, is not immune to the power of love. Hera manages to distract Zeus, allowing her favored Achaeans to win the upper hand in battle, by seducing and making love with him, sending him into a deep slumber. Hera had called out to Aphrodite for help: “Give me Love, give me Longing now, the powers you use to overwhelm all gods and mortal men!” and thus gained “the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible — magic to make the sanest man go mad” (14.189-220).

But while impetuous love and retaliatory honor brought the war about, Homer makes clear that love has no place on the battlefield. This is strikingly portrayed in Book 5 by Aphrodite’s appearance and severe wounding by a mortal, the Achaean fighter Diomedes. The goddess of love is then forced to flee from the carnage of men. There is a whiff of that typically Western Promethean excess in Diomedes: even before the gods, he refuses to give up the fight and dares to wound one. He suffers no revenge however, for he knows enough to back down eventually when facing Apollo, a god more capable in battle.

A Social World of Lineage and Kinship

The society which Homer portrays revolves around lineage and kinship. In a dangerous world of often hostile strangers, family and fatherland are what one can most count on. Exile is a dreaded fate, especially for women, who if on the losing side of a war risk being taken away “far from their fatherland.” Kinship entails reciprocal duties of rights and responsibilities. Children have a duty to respect their parents and bring honor to their family. One father sends off his son to fight at Troy saying: “Always be the best, my boy, the bravest. Never disgrace the generation of your fathers” (6.190–215). If a relative is killed, kin similarly have a duty to avenge them: “That’s why a fighter prays for kin in his halls, blood kin to survive and avenge his death in battle!” (14.467–99). On the other hand, if one should die “distant kin would carve apart their birthright” (5.138–67).

The heroes love to recount their ancestors, often numbering gods among them. Heredity is a common theme. The great warrior Ajax remarks on one of the Trojans: “No coward, to judge by his looks, no coward’s stock, no doubt some brother of stallion-breaking Antenor [a Trojan elder], that or his own son — the blood-likeness is striking!” (14.467–99). Virtue is said to run in aristocratic families, as when Diomedes in council debate recounts his ancestors’ achievements and concludes: “You cannot challenge my birth as low, cowardly, or spurn the advice I give” (14.100-–0). Those with recent divine ancestry are naturally uniquely gifted and honored as a result.

The Greeks more generally often equated a man’s happiness with the prosperity of his descendants, an obviously highly adaptive belief. Aristotle later wrote: “That the fortunes of descendants and of all a man’s friends should not affect his happiness at all seems a very unfriendly doctrine, and one opposed to the opinions men hold” (Nicomachaean Ethics, 1.11). This belief is sadly missing in so many Westerners today.

The Warlike Achaeans

Homer’s Achaeans are not a civilized bunch. Their way of life is one of “vital barbarism,” having the values of ruthless conquerors, prizing loot, honor, and glory above all. The Achaean warriors are soldiers by profession, living by piracy, cattle-wrangling, and plunder. Several of the Achaean heroes are named by Homer as murderers exiled from their native lands. Wise Odysseus says the Achaeans are “the men whom Zeus decrees, from youth to old age, must wind down our brutal wars to the bitter end until we drop and die, down to the last man” (14.105).

Even though kinship reverberates throughout the Iliad, reputation is paramount in this society, as Odysseus notes on the possibility of retreat: “what a humiliation it would be to hold out so long, then sail home empty-handed” (2.298). Achilles, the poem’s hero with “gold-red” hair, prefers a brief but glorious life to one of lengthy obscurity. When attacked by the Trojans, the powerful Ajax urges boldness: “Quick, better to live or die, once and for all, than die by inches, slowly crushed to death — helpless against the hulls in the bloody press, by far inferior men!” (15.510). Again, this is an ethos embracing high risks and high rewards. As Odysseus again makes clear, this entails both fortitude and a cavalier attitude towards loss of life:

We must steel our hearts. Bury our dead, with tears for the day they [our friends] die, not one day more. And all those left alive, after the hateful carnage, remember food and drink — so all the more fiercely we can fight our enemies, nonstop, no mercy, durable as the bronze that wraps our bodies. (19.227–33)

The Achaeans are drawn from one people, a people with a pervasive warrior culture. They are politically divided however and the Achaean forces have been formed by a coalition of kings, assembled by Menelaus and his brother King Agamemnon, who as the most powerful monarch is commander-in-chief. This is a fractious alliance governed by rules of honor between proud kings rather than the united government a single lawful state. The kings are almost equal between each other — an illustration of what Ricardo Duchesne terms “aristocratic egalitarianism” so central to the Western tradition. Indeed one king can, like Achilles, withdraw support for the war, while each has absolute sway over his own men and can even beat inferiors with a stick.

Given their lack of common government, the Achaeans’ warrior pride is both a strength in pushing them to conquer others and a weakness in leading to conflict among themselves. The enterprise falls apart if any sovereign should come into a dispute with any of the others. This problem is at the heart of the poem: Agamemnon, being forced by Apollo to give up the captured daughter of one of his priests, decides to take Achilles’ beautiful war-bride Briseis instead. Thus disrespected, Achilles is then possessed by his infamous Wrath and refuses to fight the Trojans, undermining the Achaeans at a critical moment in the war and almost causing their defeat.

Decadent Troy

Troy is a very different state from those of the Achaeans. The Trojans are older, more well-established, and have built for themselves something like a “super-polis,” with great walls, an enormous royal palace, temple, agora, and untold riches. The Trojans, however, are not fighters by profession, with the exception of prince Hector, their general and Paris’ brother. The Trojan soldiers and even aristocrats engage in various trades: they are shepherds, cowherds, shipbuilders, carpenters, masons, and merchants.

The Trojans often act as though money can solve their problems. They frequently retrieve their prisoners from the Achaeans by paying a ransom. The Trojans are not ruled by an absolute monarch, but by a divided Council of Elders, some of whose members Paris has bribed to not force him to return Helen to the Achaeans (11.123). In fact, Trojans from the city proper only make up about a tenth of the Trojan forces, the rest are made up of paid mercenary allies. This has taken a toll on the city, as Hector complains twice:

Hear me — numberless tribes of allies living round our borders — I neither sought nor needed enormous hordes of men that day I called you here, each from your own city. What I needed was men to shield our helpless children, fighting men to defend our Trojan women — all-out — against these savage Argives. That goal in mind, I bleed my own people for gifts and food so I can build your courage, each and every man. (17.225)

Time was when the world of Priam’s Troy was the city rich gold and rich in bronze — but now our houses are stripped of all their sumptuous treasures, troves sold off and shipped to Phrygia, lovely Maenia (18.290).

The Trojans and their allies do not, like the Achaeans, form a single people. Rather, “they speak a thousand different tongues” (2.803).

The difference between the Achaean professional soldiers and the Trojan amateurs is sometimes striking. While the Achaeans march in disciplined silence, twice Homer compares the disorderly Trojans to noisy animals: “the Trojans came with cries and the din of war like wildfowl . . . But Achaea’s armies come on strong in silence, breathing combat-fury” (3.1-9). And:

You’d never think so many troops [the Achaeans] could march holding their voices in their chests, silence, fearing their chiefs who called out clear command, and the burnished blazoned armor round their bodies flared, the formations trampling on.

But not the Trojans, no . . . like flocks of sheep in a wealthy rancher’s steadings, thousands crowding to have their white milk drained, bleating nonstop when they hear their crying lambs — so the shouts rose up from the long Trojan lines and not one cry, no common voice to bind them all together, their tongues mixed and clashed, their men hailed from so many far-flung countries. (4.422–39)

If the Achaeans are threatened by the discord between their proud kings, the Trojans are doomed by their failure to discipline Paris, who is shamed by his brother Hector for effeminacy, but whom the corrupt and divided Council Elders ultimately allows to keep Helen.

Go to Part 2.

[1] There is irony here in that “barbarian” is the Greek word initially meaning foreigner. The semantic slippage towards “uncivilized savage” is significant and likely reflects the Greeks’ own historical development through civilization and decadence.

[2] Bernard Knox, “Introduction,” in Homer (Robert Fagles trans.), The Iliad (New York: Penguin Books, 1990), 24.

[3]I quote in each case from the Robert Fagles translation.

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13 Comments to "Adaptive Barbarism: Politics and Kinship in the Iliad, Part 1"

  1. April 10, 2017 - 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know the intent of Durocher’s book. But maybe I can offer a few comments:
    [1] We know that every organism and every species is engaged in a ceaseless struggle for survival and reproduction. This is OK as a poetic statement, but is not very realistic. For example, most species act on a statistical basis: creatures with vast numbers of potential offspring die off in vast numbers. No amount of ‘ceaseless struggle’ alters that. Another example is the erroneous assumption of ‘struggle’: presumably superior examples have to struggle less, not more.
    [2] The bronze age king idea strikes me as problematical, mainly because I’ve been made aware of endless errors in theoretical biology. In particular, here, Y chromosomes are one thing; the rest of DNA is another — with each generation, half those genes are swapped, so after 4000 years the king’s genes will be diluted by (say) 1/2^2000, i.e. almost nothing.
    [3] You omit the Spartans, who as far as I know displayed the virtues in exemplary form, perhaps influenced by the Iliad, and yet seem to have been a dead end.
    [4] So far from struggling with survival and reproduction, the whole heroic story was based on a completely different basis, namely sexual jealousy.
    [5] Lots more – including the fact that there is little evidence of the actual behaviour of Greeks; the Iliad is, after all, just a story.
    [6] My website has an account of Jewish parasitic evolution (taken from TOO)

    • April 10, 2017 - 4:56 pm | Permalink

      I omitted this. Convincing account of the micro-evolution of Jews, after cities had existed for thousands of years.

    • April 10, 2017 - 6:52 pm | Permalink

      Sorry – 1/2^200

    • pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
      April 11, 2017 - 5:16 am | Permalink

      “so after 4000 years the king’s genes will be diluted by (say) 1/2^2000, i.e. almost nothing.”
      But not if the group breeds within itself, ie the king’s children breed with distant cousins and others within a selected larger group. And as for women joining this group in the sense of adding their genes to the gene pool of the powerful (including peasant women joining as servants not wives but still bearing the noble man’s child which would have been a great honor for them), they would be selected for what the important/rich/powerful men thought of as having features of beauty, so when their genes join the group they are healthy and ‘beautiful’ specimens, ie good genes. ‘Beauty’ in quotes as this is just what the dominant group – the royalty etc – deem to be beauty. Eg the USA idea of beauty is slightly different to that of other nations as they go for square jawed types.

      • April 11, 2017 - 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Yes, true, but in that case the king’s genes aren’t particularly special, are they.

  2. cartier mccloud's Gravatar cartier mccloud
    April 10, 2017 - 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Ah, but Troy has risen once again across the languid land. Her barbaric peoples crushed together in unreasoned anger in languages unknown.

    We are decendent Trojans and the enemy clamors at our gates while we rush to prepare him tea and welcome.

  3. Ger Tzedek's Gravatar Ger Tzedek
    April 10, 2017 - 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Races are different species, which we have always known.

    • April 10, 2017 - 11:49 pm | Permalink

      While I’m not convinced by ‘Out of Africa’; Bakshi’s view, as expressed in the link, is untenable.

      He claims that the human races/species developed separately from the time of the break-up of Pangaea into Laurasia and Gondwanaland. This is impossible, since that geological event occurred during the Mesozoic era; long before the appearance of hominids.

      • T. J.'s Gravatar T. J.
        April 11, 2017 - 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Who cares- I just want the trash removed!

  4. pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
    April 12, 2017 - 4:14 am | Permalink

    “From an evolutionary point of view, these men embraced a high-risk, high-reward strategy, with winners in battle being rewarded with great wealth, honor, and women. ”

    Re the phrase ‘evolutionary’. To be accurate there is actually no need to invoke evolution, as evolution refers to a greater step, ie the creation of new genes for new features, and this is not what is happening here, as all humans can still interbreed, as can a labrador dog and a pitbul – one gentle and the other savage, but still in the same species, just a distinct gene pool for the different breeds of dog. It would be more accurate to refer to ‘natural selection’ and ‘gene pools of a race’ as natural selection occurs QUICKLY – even in one generation – and does not require the generation of new genetic material. Basically, with humans, a subset leaves the main group and seeks new lands. The subset has members with similar genes. Eg they are cleverer as they leave the place where food is abundant all the year round and go and live in a place where you have to save for winter. This requires a different strategy, more co-operation, less dependence on gaining by fighting.

    The more primitive strategy of war you refer to is actually not to be admired. It still operates in Africa when they are left to their own devices. White man ended their tribal conflicts to a large extent, but not the inclination to revert back as soon as the circumstances permit, eg whites handing rule over to blacks in S.Africa. Before the white man came the land would produce a fixed amount of food and they would all fight over this land/fishing ground. This strategy works when nature ‘generously’ provides for the picking a fixed and continuous but limited amount of food all year round just for the taking. Basically the warriors just sit next to the lake where the fish are and fight off challengers, and always have food. Natural selection selects the most brutal. In African villages in the 1950s the warriors would indicate on their huts a count of how many they have killed of other tribes and are proud of it. This lifestyle can only be profitable and sustained in a land of milk and honey, where food is easy to obtain and technology is not required, or money or writing.

    However, this strategy of continuous tribal war is not so viable when the group adopts a strategy of complex society, and all the members depend on it being intact for their wealth. The West is wealthy because we have a complex system, eg I can borrow money from a bank and start a business. This is how I gain wealth, not by joining a raiding party and taking someone else’s food supply. But when we import people who have been selected by natural selection for war and ‘mugging’ and stealing, we find their crime rate is higher.

    There is another strategy that arab/Jews adopt and this is to favour the family/tribe. The Jews do this most intensely, as they are reluctant to bring non-Jews into the group, whereas arabs and Africans have no problem with new genes joining. As Kevin MacDonald describes, this behaviour has a genetic basis and is a group strategy, and he calls it a ‘group evolutionary strategy’, but perhaps it should be called a ‘group natural selection strategy’ as it can apply very swiftly without the need for new genes, just by selection from the pool of existing genes of a subset. Once a subset has emerged with a group strategy, they can be ‘stuck with it’ even if in the long run it is bad for them. This is another reason for not using the word ‘evolution’ as this word implies the strategy is associated with ‘improvement’ or something that MUST have a positive long term effect. There is no way the strategy that the Jews are stuck with is good for them, as it leads to conflict with the benevolent West.

    The African’s strategy is to fight over milk and honey resources and this is viable whilst at the same time hindering the group from advancing, as the ones who pass on their genes are the types who feel quite relaxed about killing a visitor to their lake who is just sitting there with a fishing rod minding his own business.

    The Jews’ strategy and the arab and Indian strategy is to favour family, with the Jews going one step further and also rejecting outsider genes. This strategy (of favouring family) is also viable in the short run (as is tribal warfare in Africa) but in the end favouring family – and the same applies to the other strategy of tribal warfare – leads to behaviour that is BAD for the group. Is is not an advantage to the Jews in the long run to feel (and act on) a group-hostility to the host countries that provide them with wealth and security. A better strategy would be to feel friendly towards the host country (As the gentiles feel friendly towards them). The feelings of hostility of those Jews that feel it towards the host nations in the end are going to either kill the golden goose (the host nation) or make the golden goose turn on them.

    In ancient Greece war was very profitable initially, but then after while not so. Initially, the winners got women and wealth, yet in the long run it was bad for everyone as it only pays off when there is a supply of gold/farming tools and women. Those who are pillaged and raped do not willingly rebuild their city for you to come back five years later and do the same all over again. After the 10 year Trojan war the outcome was destroyed cities and wealth. Surely the mention that it was 10 years over one queen is a message that the war got out of control and the rewards were not very great – the King’s ego.

    The next time the warlike attack the more peaceful in ancient times, they will no longer encounter peaceful farmers who cannot defend themselves – they will encounter warriors who will fight back – then take the fight to YOUR city and rape and pillage you (As Africans do to each other). In the end Europe decided to stop doing this, as we realised we can make unlimited wealth without having to pillage anything. Pillaging and war is viable when resources are limited and linked to land. Unfortunately our ‘co-operation’ genes mean we then decided to invite over groups with mugging genes (‘spoils of war’) or other group strategies of the arabs and Jews and Indians ie favour the family/tribe ie RACISM genes. So the non-racists invite over the racists to join them.

    The Odyssey was a story at the level of a ten year old, and to be enjoyed by readers/listeners with a mental age of ten, including warriors who had plenty of fighting genes and a mental age of ten. Even the most peaceful groups have genes for violence and war.

    But the underlying message for the reader who does not think war is glorious is also present. In fact you could interpret the book as Odysseus being portrayed as a fool. His men implore him to not to antagonise the Cyclops, but he does so anyway and nearly gets them all killed. His boasting and bravado are therefore portrayed as foolish. So foolish as to cause him ten years more wandering away from home.

    The outcome of the Trojan war is that Odysseus spends twenty years away from his family – the first ten years being the Trojan war and the next ten years caused by his alpha-male side causing him to antagonise the Cyclops. He says ‘the thing a man in far off lands values most is his family’ and the story is about how King Agamemnon’s alpha-male side keeps Odysseus away from his family for ten years (the Tojan war) and then Odysseus’s own alpha male side keeps Odesseus away from his family for a further ten years. Odesseus is very lucky to have anything left when he finally returns home.

    Another reference to pillaging is when Odysseus sacks a city, and all he has to show for all this destruction are 12 flasks of strong wine.

    And regarding the ten year Trojan war – Odysseus did not want to partake in this war in the first place as winning back the stolen queen was not as important to him as it was to the King – but he was dragged UNWILLINGLY into this ten year war. Surely the aim of the war – to win back a queen for a king – surely this is equivalent to the wars in Gulliver’s Travels where they fight over which end of the egg you should break, the wide or the narrow end. Fighting for the queen is just as pointless to Odysseus.

    • April 12, 2017 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Nobody’s said anything – may I? Well-worded.

      • pterodactyl's Gravatar pterodactyl
        April 13, 2017 - 3:33 am | Permalink

        “We know that every organism and every species is engaged in a ceaseless struggle for survival and reproduction.” and Revisonist’s comment about struggles in response: this does not apply to whites in the West as there is no competition for scarce resources and all children can survive from the point of view of supply of resources. In the West this leads to stable populations but when we help Africa this leads to their population going from 200 million to over a billion in a few generations.

        Also relevant from Revisionist’s website:
        “Kevin MacDonald’s views as whites having evolved in an individualistic way puts emphasis on reputation as an important fact, and the possibility of ‘pathological altruism’. In my view, these can be replaced by something like ‘obeying orders’.”

        – The people of the West are not voting for mass immigration (ie voting Democrat and in Europe similar parties on the left) as a response to an order that has been issued. No-one is forcing them to do this. They do so because their individualism and associated COMPLETE LACK OF RACISM is making them blind to the intention of their own Left wing leaders and MSM to bring down their country by inviting over racist people from the third world. Their individualism makes them offer no resistance when their own enemy within seek to destroy them.

        Revisionist – perhaps my post above was a bit long but the point I was trying to make is that the Jews are not doing the political things they get up to for money or power or self interest – they are doing it because they are wired in their genes to be like this, ie to stick together and to feel hostile and competitive towards ‘other tribes’. In no way is it in the interest of the Jews in the West to vote for mass immigration of muslims – their enemies – into the host country, yet they still do it, and it can only be interpreted as revealing a feeling of hostility and antagonism towards the host country that is against their own interest and therefore has no basis in logic, although they endlessly seek out justifications from history to convince themselves that they are victims and not antagonists. (The recent article about their interpretation of the Exodus is relevant here). They are destroying the country that provides them with safety and wealth. It is like a gambler who knows his habit will ruin him, but he cannot stop himself. A few bankers might get wealthy but most Jews will be worse off if they kill off the host. There must be something in this as I was permanently banned from posting on Breitbart for saying so (without breaking any of their blog rules ie no bad language – this was all coming from Jewish posters who were not banned). Incidentally I found this blog after one poster on Breitbart said ‘Kevin MacDonald gets it’ and I looked him up in Wikepedia.

        I have to question that pro-Israeli jews are in control as much as you indicate in your website, for example in Britain the MSM are very hostile to Israel and portray them as the villains in their struggle with the Palestinians. We get continuous propaganda on TV about Jewish settlers stealing lands from Palestinians. We see many interviews of Palestinans weeping over their dead children, and whenever the MSM gets out the dead baby pictures we know it is to turn the public against the side causing the babies to die. The Israelis are portrayed in the MSM as bullies and the Palestinians as victims.

        Jews are not united in their support of Israel. This is because they are torn two ways – their tribal wiring makes them want to support Israel, but their Lefty wiring makes them feel hostile to ANY SUPERIOR country including the one they see as their own – Israel. Just as Lefty Israelis hate Israel for being a superior country, so do lefty gentiles in the West hate their own country for the same reason. They are torn two ways and sometimes the lefty draw is stronger than the tribal draw.

        This tribal draw (feeling drawn to favour your own) is lacking or small in what Kevin MacDonald describes as populations with individualistic genes, and perhaps for many Jews the tribal draw is weaker than the lefty part of their wiring – so the lefty part wins and this makes them feel hostile to all superior countries – even their own Israel.

        This explanation of wiring determining political outlook explains why many Jews are not only hostile to the host-Western-country where they live, but also hostile to Israel.

        Take the case of recently deceased Gerald Kaufman, Labour MP in Britain.
        extract from obituary:

        “Gerald Kaufman, the Jewish British Labour MP, who once controversially compared Israel’s devastating bombardment of Gaza to the work of the Nazis, has died aged 86. Kaufman was “Father of the House,” the longest-serving member on the benches, having entered parliament in 1970. Born in 1930 to Polish immigrants, he became known for his irascible and confrontational style, and his often forthright opposition to Israel. It was a dramatic turnaround for a man who, in early life, had been infatuated with Zionism. “I grew up a supporter of the state of Israel, I was brought up as a Zionist. I went to Israel again and again on holiday,” he told RT in 2014. But that infatuation quickly gave way to a disgust that grew deeper with every perceived Israeli transgression. While critical of Israel in his early political life, it was perhaps in January of 2009, at the height of Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” war on Gaza, that Kaufman’s repulsion reached its heights, leading him to compare the Israeli government’s actions to those of the Nazis in Poland.

  5. Jez Turner's Gravatar Jez Turner
    April 20, 2017 - 3:27 am | Permalink

    We mustn’t forget that other accounts of The Trojan War existed, (and Homer’s listeners were aware of these), and these can add to our understanding of the episode. For instance the reason Achilles was able to withdraw and sulk by the ships was that he was too young to sue for Helen’s hand at the time of her wooing, and was therefore not bound by the oath that all the potential suitors had taken, namely that they would unite to defend the right of he who succeeded.

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