Classic EssaysRevilo P. Oliver

Suicidal Blunder

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by Revilo P. Oliver

EVERY FEW DAYS the newspapers report another massacre in India or Ceylon, reminding us that such massacres have occurred continually ever since the British made India independent. The news doubtless delights the “Liberal intellectuals” who prated about the evils of “colonialism,” for we all know how the delicious aroma of fresh blood stimulates the ideals of “do-gooders.”

We may note in passing that the success of the silly propaganda for “anti-colonialism” in this country and elsewhere was largely made possible by a linguistic error. The word ‘colony’ had been applied ambiguously to two radically different things, between which low-grade minds did not discriminate. The British ‘colonies’ in North America, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand were outposts of empire: territories occupied by natives of vastly inferior races were taken from those natives and opened for settlement by Englishmen and such of their racial brethren in Europe as wished to join them; the inferior races were naturally pushed into areas that were useless to White men to avoid the trouble of exterminating them. A real colony, such as India, was a vastly different enterprise: a huge and more or less civilized native population was to be protected, ruled, and exploited for the benefit of the conquerors, and no one was so mad as to think of replacing it with English settlers.

The use of one word to designate two entirely different things made it possible for our enemies to induce feeble-minded Americans to think of even squalid savages in Africa as somehow like the contemporaries of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. And the senseless confusion was, of course, facilitated by the Christian superstition about Yahweh’s One World and by the poisonous residue which that fiction had left even in the minds of professed atheists.

I

Persons who are sincerely concerned for the welfare of the decent inhabitants of India perceived decades ago that the shameful British retreat from their colonial possession was a calamity for that country. If a labile memory does not betray me, it was the late Lord Littleton who, in an address delivered in the 1940s, remarked obiter that India had never been so well governed as it was when its governors wrote Latin verse, i.e., were the well-educated English gentlemen who ruled India in the period that began with the British conquest and ended in 1921, when the muddle-headed English sent the Marquess of Reading, a wily Sheeny disguised as a British nobleman, to India as the Viceroy, to demoralize the British administration, traduce British officers, and stir up continual disorder and rioting with promises of “independence,” which, naturally, every ethnic and ethnico-religious group in India envisaged as a glorious era in which they would kick all the other groups into their proper places.

This is not to say that the British, always harassed by their Christian rabble, did not make grave mistakes in the administration of India. One of these is pointed out by a Hindu woman, Margaret Bhatty, who is a regular contributor to the American Atheist, in the issue for February 1988. When the British occupied India, they fenced off the various sites in India that were regarded as especially sacred and suitable for suicide, and attempted to prevent Hindus from killing themselves whenever they deemed it best to end their lives.

That act of misgovernment and gratuitous oppression must, of course, be sharply distinguished from the equally resented policy of the British in suppressing the Thugs, who worshiped Kali by winning the confidence of travelers and decoying them into places where they could be treacherously murdered. (1) That was a measure necessary to maintain order and protect inhabitants who wanted to live, and distinct from cruel denial of death to those who wanted to die.

(1. It would seem that the worship of Kali, a native (non-Aryan) goddess, usually depicted as a Black female with blood-smeared breasts and a necklace of skulls, was originally conducted with weapons, such as she is shown brandishing in most representations of her. There is extant in Sanskrit a hymn of uncertain date which begins, in my translation, “Kali! Kali! My sword is naked in the night,” and ends with the pious adjuration, “Kill, O Kali, kill!” Worship was evidently then conducted by a doctrine that forbade the shedding of blood, the later Thugs developed the technique of strangling with a noose victims whom they had lured into some suitably solitary place with professions of comradeship, regarding the process of trapping and killing as an exciting hunt. When the British suppressed the Thugs, some of them, immune for acts committed before the law was enacted, gladly admitted they had attained the distinction of equalling the record of the one who boasted that he had murdered more than nine hundred travelers whose confidence he had won, and that the successful conclusion of each hunt gave him a delightful thrill as he tightened the noose about his surprised victim’s neck, after which he concealed the corpse in a hastily dug grave to avert publicity that might have made travelers less gullible and thus made it harder for him to fulfill joyously his religious obligation. The Thugs usually operated in pairs to make sure that no victim would escape by belated resistance, and often other Thugs simulated groups of travelers on the same road, so that the victim would think that he was safely in public.)

The two examples illustrate perfectly the fundamentals of colonial government. A wise colonial power never interferes with the religion and customs of its subjects except when a minimum of interference is absolutely necessary to impose its total authority on them.

II

The Hindu authoress, who in her regular contributions to the magazine sometimes shows herself imperfectly informed about the history and literature of her own people, disapproves of the British rule that, on the whole, brought so many benefits to India, but she oddly seems to approve of what was an outrageous act of gratuitous despotism; and although she is presumably an atheist, and certainly is not a Christian, she evidently approves of laws against suicide and deplores the failure of Indian authorities to enforce those laws against persons who profess to commit suicide from religious motives, which she contemns.

The attempt to deny individuals the right to end their lives when they so choose is a prime example of Christian nastiness and of the fakirs’ tropism for malicious meddling with the lives of individuals who are so unfortunate as to be exposed to the morbid zeal of holy men.

If there is such a thing as a natural and indefeasible right, it is an animal’s right to its own body and life. In more civilized and rational societies, no one ever attempted such outrageous tyranny as the Christians thought their superstition authorized — certainly no one attempted to curtail that inalienable right of free men, and efforts to prevent the suicide of slaves or captives were regarded as a form of vicious selfishness. (2)

(2. Seneca commented on the immorality of masters who prevented their slaves from committing suicide.)

Before our racial mentality was addled by the Christian hoax, it was always recognized that suicide was the right of every man, the door that was always open so that life could not become a dungeon in which we were hopelessly imprisoned, the door through which one could escape at will from intolerable suffering and from dishonor. As Seneca said, the power that had shaped the universe had done nothing more beneficent than to provide that while there was only one entrance to life, there were many exits. (3)

(3. Epist. mor., 70 (=VIII.1), 14: Nihil melius aeterna lex fecit, quam quod unum introitum nobis ad vitam dedit, exitus multos.)

For men of our race, suicide was the ultimate guarantee of a man’s freedom and honor. Qui mori didicit, servire dedicit: he who knows how to die will never be a slave. (4)

(4. Seneca, ibid., 26 (=III.5), 10. A slightly different phrasing of the thought by the same author was the motto of the Romanian Iron Guard, which was a specifically Christian organization, but, like National Socialism in Germany, fostered in its members the Aryan manhood that is execrated by Jews and “Liberal” punks (cf. Liberty Bell, May 1988, pp. 1 ff.).)

In our race, only Christians were capable of the cruelty of trying to deny a man’s right to leave life when it became or seemed insupportable to him. One memorable example of pious malignancy was recorded by Mark Twain in his notes: “I knew a man who….suffered partial paralysis, lay in his bed for thirty-eight years, unable to speak, unable to feed himself, unable to write; not even the small charity of quenching his mind was doled out to him — he lay and thought and brooded and mourned and begged for death 38 years.” (5)

(5. Notebook, ed. A. B. Paine (New York, Harper’s, 1935), p. 363.)

Such fiendish cruelty is enough to make one despair of the race that is capable of it. Today, many men and women are being held prisoner in hospitals and forced to die slowly and in agony, because they are denied the means of ending their suffering. Others are, in fact, already dead and can never recover consciousness, but their corpses are forced by ingenious apparatus to mimic life so that the hospitals and their technicians can collect a few more thousands of dollars. Persons under sentence of death or imprisonment they are unwilling to endure are denied their indefeasible right to end their own lives, just to torture them (6) and waste the money extorted from taxpayers by our great machine of ‘democratic’ corruption.

(6. I remember a case that excited the newspapers when I was a child. A murderer who had been condemned to death found a means (possibly by the technique used by Hindu fakirs) to induce in himself a state of permanent catalepsy, and experts were summoned from all over the country and perhaps from Europe to restore him to consciousness so that he could be made to suffer before he was executed. After much frantic and prolonged ado about nothing reasonable, his unconscious body was finally carried to the electric chair.)

Throughout the Christian era, despite all perversely foolish laws, men and women not imprisoned have ignored the raving of holy men and found in death surcease of pain or dishonor (7), and the utmost ingenuity of Christian sadists was unable to devise a means of inflicting torture on a corpse. The practice of punishing suicides by burying their bodies at crossroads so they would be constantly disturbed by the traffic passing over their heads deterred no one who wished to die. It was possible, of course, to torment persons who unsuccessfully tried to kill themselves, and that was the only way in which the sinister fanatics could find the pleasure of inflicting their innate cruelty on their betters.

(7. Some little restraint may possibly have been exerted by a belief in immortality; cf. John Addington Symonds:

There is a doubt drearier than any deep

Thought’s plummet ever sounded….

The curse of this existence, whence it came

We view not; only this we view, that naught

Shall free man from self’s robe of sentient flame.

There is no cunningest way to murder thought.

Stab, poison, strangle: yea, the flesh hath died!

What further skill yields souls their suicide?)

III

The gross blunder of their administration of India was one of the comparatively few indefensible aspects of British colonial policy. I could wish that the Hindu authoress, writing in a frankly atheistic periodical, had championed a rational view of her subject, instead of compromising with the Christian “do-gooding” that is the bane of our civilization.

She is especially worried by a problem to which she returns in a later issue, the custom of “suttee,” i.e. satï, ‘a faithful wife,’ by which widows perish by mounting their husband’s funeral pyre and dying in the flames, thus assuring themselves that they will be married to the same man in the next reincarnation. Suicide by fire is invariably accounted holy, and it cancels the karman of all sins committed in the life thus ended, but Hindu theologians are embarrassed to explain the justice of the wife’s fate when the husband, who has died a natural death, has committed offenses which doom him to a much lower level of existence. Hindu women sometimes do not sacrifice themselves voluntarily and are coerced by their families, and that, when considered abstractly, does present an ethical problem, although the authoress has to admit that the life of a widow who survives her husband is scarcely worth living, and she cannot deny that there is no ethical problem for those who have faith in any of the dominant religions of India. (8) Mrs. Bhatty can only inveigh against the religions that ordain the rite, while she deplores the current revival of the custom, for evidently the immolation of widows by “suttee” is becoming increasingly common throughout India, as was to be expected, of course, after the Hindus were liberated from colonial oppression.

(8. She mentions one nice example of the prevalent mentality: when the wife of Arthur Koestler committed suicide with him, the Indian press suggested that she was a paragon of satï.)

IV

We should perpend one aspect of the revival of “suttee” in India; it is a phase of a phenomenon that has appeared in the greater part of the world. India was created by its Aryan invaders (9), and ruined when the pessimistic and despairing philosophy of a too sentimental Aryan princeling, Gautama, was converted into an egalitarian and (of course) baleful religion.

(9. It would be profitless here to review the many conjectures (including one of my own) about the fate of the civilized people, probably akin to the Sumerians, whom the Aryans presumably found in the Indus Valley and subdued when they invaded India. We do not even know whether that people was still flourishing at the time of the invasion or had been destroyed by some revolt of the barbarians and savages they ruled or attacked by tribes they had neglected to conquer.)

Although there is still a considerable amount of Aryan blood dispersed in the polyphyletic population and even a few individuals who seem to be chiefly or entirely of uncorrupted Aryan ancestry, the huge population, with the possible exception of some tribes that are still virtually savages, is almost entirely composed of diverse but undifferentiated hybrids. India, indeed, is a perfect instance of the Integration Americans now hope to achieve by intensive mongrelization in the United States when they have suppressed wicked “racism” and drowned their children in an enormous swamp of depraved and coffee-colored anthropoids. Our “do-gooders,” if capable of thought, are especially inspired by the example of the huge and mephitic compost heap of pullulant and diseased mongrels called Calcutta: by whichever route you approach it, you can smell it long before you can see it.

Despite the historical origins of Hindu civilization, therefore, the population of India regards the Aryans of the West with a natural and instinctive racial hatred. (10) The revival of faith in the native religions, shown inter alia by the increasing practice of “suttee,” is comparable to the great revival of religion in the Moslem nations, and, mutatis mutandis, to the religious revival produced by the boob-tube in our country. The new religiosity, wherever it appears, derives its inspiration from a hatred of Aryan civilization, of the great tradition of rational thought that runs from Thales, Democritus, Aristotle, and the New Academy to the genuine science of today.

(10. The Hindus have also just and valid reasons for hating the United States; see Liberty Bell, September 1988, pp. 4-8.)

The epidemic religiosity so manifest in the greater part of the modern world is a blind urge to abolish the rational and scientific thought that is the only resource of our race, while eagerly adopting and exploiting our technology as a weapon against us. At present, it seems likely that we shall be destroyed by the technology we fecklessly gave away while intoxicated by a maudlin superstition. That fatal blunder is now irreparable.

It will be a nice irony that the religion which strove to deny to individuals the right to suicide eventually drove to suicide the race on which it had imposed its delusions.

* * *

Source: Liberty Bell magazine, November 1988

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