On the relative strangeness of common WWI courage to the modern mind

I like this anecdote because of just how alien the attitude is.

Before I had ever been under fire I was walking up the Lille road from Armentières after the light had gone when the Boche turned a machine gun on to the road; my companion subsided into a ditch before I realized what was happening. At Ypres six months later walking behind him along a path that was being shelled I could not detect a tremor; he might have been on parade.

A man may duck his head when a bullet pings past his ear because he has not learnt to take charge of himself. I can remember the cold douche to my self-respect when first I found myself at the mercy of my instincts. But these antics are not in our control; it is too late to try to suppress them when at a stroke they take us by surprise. Only by the birth of a proper attitude to danger can we hope to discipline the frailty of the flesh. Ducking comes from a morbid alertness. The poor fellow is obsessed with a desire to come through. It does not happen when all alternatives have been put away. At Ypres my friend had won his secret battle with fear, he no longer thought of an alternative.

A form of fatalism was common especially in the ranks. There was a runner attached to Headquarters, a tight-lipped, silent fellow who when he was told that he could go on leave replied he did not want to go, he had no friends. He was always taking messages up unhealthy roads out of his turn. One day, while he accompanied me to the trenches, I spoke of a man in ‘A’ Company who was not wearing well. ‘It ain’t no use, sir, if you’re for it, you’re for it.’ I looked at him quickly, being windy myself at that time, but if he had suspected me he would have said nothing. Time had stilled his suspicion of me as a mere civilian. Presently the Boche turned a machine gun on the road. I had the liveliest desire to step into the ditch but was checked by the presence of this fellow at my elbow. After that I was not much bothered. Perhaps too I came to think with Tolstoy that every bullet has a billet. ‘We are all fatalists now,’ I wrote about that time. But was the renunciation complete?

From time to time the desire to live surged up in our hearts…

McMoran, Baron Charles Wilson Moran. The Anatomy of Courage (Kindle Locations 967-980). Little, Brown Book Group. Kindle Edition.

It’s impossible to comprehend the difference of 100 years of dysgenics has wrought on the white man. Here, Lord Moran is scourging himself for a coward at the hint of an idea that one time he considered taking cover from machine gun fire. Nowadays we’d call him a cuck and the modern officer would remind him that his training was very expensive to the taxpayers and he needs to wear his helmet. But imagine living among a race of men for whom this suicidal espirit de corps was the commonsense opinion.

As at most times, there’s merit in the R-selected, fast life history strategy, dark triad perspective that not being machine-gunned is preferable to being machine-gunned. I even suspect that the tragedies of the early 20th century had something to do with the consequences of out of control eugenics producing men of such physical courage that they outpaced the wisdom necessary to direct their courage toward appropriate outlets.

But these days, the mere desire to live is so rare that it’s the mark of a superior man, much less the higher desires which may override it. Imagine a world where people have such an overflow of asabiyyah that it’s declasse to even think for a moment about taking cover from machine gun fire. “Ey lads, look at mistah special over ‘ere takin’ covah, typical lieutenant roight outta nursery, am I roight lads, wot wot.”

About Aeoli Pera

Maybe do this later?
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to On the relative strangeness of common WWI courage to the modern mind

  1. aiaslives says:

    > But these days, the mere desire to live is so rare that it’s the mark of a superior man, much less the higher desires which may override it.

    I think that because we live in a society(™), we get to pick scenarios only from the roster of “what’s allowed” to us in our time. Once there are no cliffs for the lemmings to jump off from (because someone made up something to curb it, and people were resourceful enough to find a worse alternative), we see entire classes of previously permissible actions being labelled as “illegal”, and the Law steps up to be an independent judge, jury and executioner. I figure the kind of ‘all encompassing compassion for humans’ that most people believe in comes from them never having received violence in moderation (and in an amount that respects their constitution) as a kid. It’s only in the USA (and other 5 eye countries) that parents can be taken away from their children for any reason at all. Even the kid can call the police. Imagine Calvin calling the po-po on his parents, wouldn’t be surprised if it was a comic strip.

    (Gee uns) are a shortcut, you don’t get to decide there, at the end, if you think the other guy’s life is worth something. A boon for sure men, sure, but it’s a society of cowards.

    It is important to have a proper SHTF mythos. I think that is what brought Edenism together, and once the hereditary cycle of violence was understood, it provided a rudimentary framework for which to be “normal” upon.

    Having a bunker is cool, but do you know what’s actually required for one? Experience with managing hordes of murderous brutes running behind you for your blood.

  2. aiaslives says:

    Could you make a post on how you find / vet books for reading?

  3. ShadoHand says:

    “But imagine living among a race of men for whom this suicidal espirit de corps was the commonsense opinion.”

    IQ is also down. As is basic logical reasoning. So this doesnt happen anymore. Everyone is scared of violence, but is also scared of high level conversation. So they react with violence when they should be discussing things. And discuss things when they should be responding with violence.

    I ran into this in Halo Infinite the other day. During party chat the conversation steered to guns. Some idiot piqued up asking what my MOS was. Implying only Military Men, or Police, are allowed to own, maintain, keep and bear arms. The brainwashing, and Post-Modernist Satanic Drivel runs deep my friend.

    Its a clusterfuck of gaslighting for those of us with Optimal Testosterone Levels as the reinforcement is intermittant, and comes at random intervals. You are doing the right thing in Gods eyes, but the Demons are attacking and dragging you down. Theres no Right Thing to do anymore in accordance with small r and big R Reality.

    I’m reminded of two things. A dream I had once, that was prophetic. I was the guy running towards the chaos into a firefight, and everyone else was running away, and something my old boomer friend told me: “In my day we were taught to run towards it.”

    This running towards the firefight training never comes, so the lower rank men dont have the training kick in when it should. Doing the right thing now requires navigating multiple hierarches and highly complex rule systems. That are often comepeting with each other, or just so convuluted that you have to commit a serious breech of protocal to ensure the right thing gets done. If your high IQ its a double whammy of bullshit because the idiots will focus in on you breaking the rule, or law, rather than the fact that you did the right thing. Because you know “You arez Teh Smartz Purson. Thereforez you knowz betterz than to doz that!”

    Its why nothing works and nobody wins anymore.

    This is why Healthy Bravo Cooperation is needed now more than ever. You got to find the rest of The Squad to blast these Assholes, Demons, and Agents of Satan back to Hell.

  4. MM says:

    Yeah let me gut some German farm kid who was drafted before all my
    buddies have their lungs melt from chlorine gas and they get eaten by rats like TRASH.

    At least I acted like I didnt want to live so my buddies wouldnt make fun of me/ I could have a more comfortable death.

    What the fuck is this post? Watch a WW1 doco or three. HELL ON EARTH.

    Real heroism would have been to shoot their fucking stupid officers and then take the execution. But conservatives don’t rock the boat because they are autistic and bred to ‘do the right thing’ aka whatever the fuck they are told.

  5. MM says:

    Not taking cover from machine gun fire is an expression of the desire to live?
    Its an expression of the desire to do one’s duty, masking a form of ‘big tribe’ evolutionary signalling that no longer fits Man. Which was correct before WW1 (really the civil war) showed how conservatives always turn out when conflicts are impersonal and do not depend on humans merely signalling (just like the Imperial Japanese Army and its constant ‘devotion signalling’ or whatever you want to call it, with the various suicidal shitz. Its just another form of “Im the biggest most lasting monkey” and it simply does not work once you get past early 19th century weaponry- which was already really pushing it.)

    I bet the tribes that were replaced by the bantu were ‘signalers’. And they just got wiped out for their tendency towards equilibrium and limited symbolic conflict with their neighbors once a true ooga booga death squad showed up.

    Tale as old as?

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      > Not taking cover from machine gun fire is an expression of the desire to live?

      No, read it again. Taking cover is the desire to live, not taking cover is from some more powerful desire dominating the desire to live.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s