Edgar Rice Burroughs On Mars

A Review

Thuvia, Maid Of Mars

Part III-B

by

R.E. Prindle

     ERB was born in 1875 before education had been affected by the ideologies of either the Communists or Dewey.  He was given a Classical versus scientific education in his critical Jr. High years.  Thus he must have known Latin reasonably well.

     The current High School system of the US came to fruition only during the twentieth century.  Universal literacy only became realizable a very short time ago.  Child labor didn’t disappear until after the Second World War.  Thus ERB really had a favored childhood.  ERB must have been familiar with memorization and drill; methods of education now highly discouraged.  Therefore his education was directed toward a full consciousness than sink into the inherently criminal unconscious which Communist method prevails today.  As there was no audio-visual culture at that time his was a print mentality through say 1910 when the movies began to have significance.  By 1920, at least, he was fully involved in a print-movie culture hence a more unconscious mode of thinking.  Still, his early training led him to a conscious approach to experiencing and analyzing.

     One can’t know for sure which year he became aware but it is safe to assume 1888-90.  Thus his immediate past extended back to about 1850 just as for me the twenties and thirties form my immediate past.  Yours can be computed as about twenty years before you were born.  As we grow up these years form the topic of discussion we overhear from our elders.

     ERB’s near past then can be calculated as about 1800 so that dying in 1950 as he did his life straddled, as it were, the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  The nineteenth century was quite stunning in its diversity.  As a boy and young man ERB was alive at the time of ‘the winning of the West.’  His early life was lived in the high tide of ‘Western world supremacy.’  His heroes such as Teddy Roosevelt and Owen Wister epitomized the high tide.  The ‘Scramble For Africa’  of the last quarter of the nineteenth century formed the centerpiece of his literary corpus, that of Tarzan Of The Apes.  Also a key to his world outlook was the American Civil War that ended only ten years before he was born.  While I have found no direct evidence of the San Domingo Moment that occurred at the very beginning of the nineteenth century it is possible that he conflated San Domingo with the Civil War in the Martian series when the First Born, or Negroes, defeated the White Holy Therns nearly exterminating them.  Thus while ERB’s works are ‘pure entertainment’ if you look closely you’ll find some serious historical and social commentary.  If it weren’t there you wouldn’t have the Liberal Coalition condemning him as a bigot.  They do.

     For the purposes of this essay I will use a professor from Case-Western Reserve by the name of Richard Slotkin as a representative of the Liberal Coalition or Communist school.  In his essay Gunfighter Nation he lays the blame for everything he dislikes at the feet of Burroughs and two other writers- Madison Grant and Lothrop Stoddard.  We will get there soon enough but first lets consider the ‘humanitarian’ record of the Coalition.  In one form or another the Coalition and its constituents date back to the French Revolution and hence San Domingo.  Thus the Coalition was born in blood and murder.  Murder on a grand scale, genocide in fact.   The ideology of the Coalition is that of the Communists.  The men Slotkin so roundly condemns are all anti-Communists so the ideological differences are clear.

     Over the two centuries plus since the Revolution over a hundred million people have been murdered by units of the Coalition with hundreds of millions more projected for the near future.  Yet Mr. Slotkin proposes to represent our trio as indescribably evil because he attributes the My Lai Massacre in Viet Nam not to them personally but as a direct result of their writings.

     So there we have the basic issues.  The hypocrisy of Mr. Slotkin should be self-evident.

     What was the opinions of Messers Burroughts, Grant and Stoddard that so inflame Mr. Slotkin?

     Quite simply they are conscious, objective scholars as opposed to the unconscious method of Liberal writers.  Liberal views are products of the unconscious and cannot stand up to critical analysis.  The unconscious is selfish and criminal hence wishful.  The attitude is not what is but what I want.

     The high tide of Western world supremacy was ending as it was cresting.  This was noticeable to more acute intellects as early as 1900 and perhaps a decade earlier.  Burroughs hints at this when he describes the Lotharians as an ancient auburn haired White race who ruled a thalassocracy or a maritime empire.  Thus in his hierarchy of Martian races there was an earlier White race than the Therns.

     The Lotharians sailed forth to win Mars for the city at home much as European mariners won the world for Europe beginning with the Portuguese voyages of the fifteenth century,  Columbus and all the sea captains of the glorious age of discovery.  The seamen were only defeated by the stay-at-homes who sabotaged their efforts.

     Burroughs gives a valid interpretation of the age of European exploration and conquest from the fifteenth through nineteenth centuries.  Thus the story of the Lotharians, now shadows of their former selves, is a very poetic rendering of that history.

     The period ended with the 1899-1900 enunciation of the Open Door Policy in China by the American SecretaryOf State, John Hay.  China was in the process of being acquired by the European States at the time which the Open Door prevented thus guaranteeing China’s integrity.  This was a sea change in world politics.  the conquered peoples now began their counter offensive against the West.

      This change was noted by Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard.

      Madison Grant was of the earlier generation of TR while Burroughs and Stoddard were near contemporaries.  Burroughs born in 1875, Stoddard in 1883.  They both died in the same year, 1950.

     None of the three applauded the sea change but lamented it, running counter to Liberal ideology which applauded the change and latterly aroused the ire of Prof. Slotkin.  Thus he and his Coalition fellows demonize the three.

     They were only writers..  Until recently Grant and Stoddard had been all but forgotten.  Grant’s two best known works are The Passing Of The Great Race of 1915 and Conquest Of A Continent of 1933.  His main offence in the eyes of the coalition is that the Great Race is the Nordic race, which implies superiority, and his use of the term Nordic.  There was a tremendous effort at the time to ridicule and deny Nordics and Anglo-Saxons.  This is most notable in the vitriolic work of the bigot H.L. Mencken.  Nordic is a curse word within the Coalition.

     The Great Race is an interesting period piece but seems obsolete in its science.  Conquest is still usable as a guide for the Nordic migrations within the US.  I think it questionable that Burroughs was influenced by Grant who wrote after ERB had already committed himself although as Great Race made a splash it isn’t improbable that he read it.

     Lothrop Stoddard is a different story.  Here is a scholar done a great injury by the likes of Slotkin and the Coalition.  Stoddard wrote several books that might even be considered prophetic.  As noted he was eight years younger than ERB while graduating from Harvard.  Unlike Grant I think Slotkin is right that he was an influence on Burroughs but only after 1920 when Burroughs was fully formed.  It is possible that ERB accessed his research for his own purposes.

     Stoddard’s first book in 1914 was a terrific examination of the San Domingo Moment titled The French Revolution in San Domingo.  while the book was issued too late to affect ERB’s knowledge for use in Thuvia in 1914 events were transpiring that would have put Haiti, San Domingo’s later name, in his mind’s eye.  Beginning in January of 1914 several US warships landed troops in a very disorderly Haiti.  The bankers had precipitated yet another financial crisis by imprudent lending practices.  As was to become customary they called on the US government to bail them out.  In order to insure their loans the taxpayers were called upon to foot the bill.  The occupation of Haiti by the Marines began the next year and that lasted until well into the thirties before the troops were withdrawn.  Having gotten Haiti into trouble the bankers than looted the country for a couple decades.

     Another interesting sidelight in Haiti and the Caribbean was that 1914 was the year that McClurg’s released Tarzan Of The Apes.  Now, Ogden McClurg the ostensible owner of McClurg’s was only a figurehead.  The company had become employee owned after the last fire about 1900.  Ogden McClurg was living ERB’s fantasy life.  He was an officer in the Navy having spent the decade or so previous to 1914 as an operative in the Caribbean during a period when the US was famous for gunboat diplomacy among the Banana Republics.  It’s possible that he often worked undercover as a secret agent.

     ERB’s contact was Joe Bray who actually ran the day to day operations of the firm.  I’ve been told that McClurg had little to or no contact with the authors and indeed, it seems unlikely he could have being out of the country so much, yet ERB seems to have formed a jealous relationship with McClurg speaking of him as though he did know him.  That could only have been between 1914 and 1917.  Ogden was in Europe for three years or so during the war and after while ERB left for LA in 1919.  Deserves investigation.

     Back to Stoddard.  In 1920, 21 and 22 he issued his three most important books, the ones that so infuriate the volatile Liberal Coalition.  The titles were The Rising Tide Of Color Against White World Supremacy of 1920,  The New World Of Islam of 1921 and 1922’s The Revolt Against Civilization- The Menace Of The Underman.

     All three were prophetic and indeed, as of today, the prophecies have come to pass.  The first volume, The Rising Tide Of Color needs no explanation for the violent reaction of the Coalition.  By this time their agencies of the ADL, AJC and NAACP operating under the umbrella of the Communist Party were well able to defame anyone they chose with immunity from prosecution.

     The mere mention of White Supremacy was enough to make them foam at the mouth.  The reasons are clear and they were already formulated by the Revolution of 1792,  Now, we do have the problem of slavery which casts a pall over all discussions.  There is no justification for slavery although the institution still survives having now spread to America and Europe and it will flower everywhere once again before the century is half over.  So, really, the slavery issue is irrelevant.  ERB himself accepted the practice as a universal fact of life; the practice exists in all his stories.  

     Stoddard:  This analysis applies to the US of today as aptly as that of San Domingo in 1792.  “These men’ are the proto-Communist Jacobins of the French Revolution:

     “If you (the San Domingan Whites) are sufficiently united to follow my counsel, I guarantee the salvation of San Domingo.  But, in any case, let no one cherish the hope of mercy from these men, let no one be deluded by their sly tricks of policy; the negroes alone find room in their affections, and all the whites without distinction, all the mulattoes as well, are doomed; all whites are dangerous to their projects, all alike will be sacrificed as soon as these men shall have disposed of the officers, gotten rid of the troops of the line, and become at last the undisputed masters.”

      As San Domingo in 1792, so Euroamerica in 2010.  We were promised change but none has or will ocuur.  Two hundred years later same words, same tune.  So, Slotkin would have us believe that decent self-respecing scholars and writers such as Burroughs, Grant and Stoddard were responsible for My Lai rather than Robespierre,Danton and Murat.  Well, you can fool some of the people all the time….

     Just as his first of this trio of books prophesied the coming race wars, so Stoddard’s World Of Islam prophesied the current invasion of Euroamerica and the religious wars, for that is what ‘terrorism’ is.  The third book The Revolt Against Civilization has also come to pass as the asault on Western culture, which is to say, civilization continues on an accelerated pace.

     It was this book that had the greatest influence on ERB that would surface in 1934s Tarzan And The Lion Man.  Stoddard is much influenced by the evolutionary theory of Auguste Weis.  Especially the notion of body and germ cells that ERB embraced so enthusiastically  in 1934.  ERB’s interpretation was certainly pure entertainment but based on current scientific knowledge nonetheless.

     As for ERB’s notions he was expressing developed opinions on the social scene under cover of entertainment long before he could have been influenced by either Grant or Stoddard so Richard Slotkin is quite wrong in his prejudicial interpretation of ERB as in ignorant spouter of bigotry based on the other two.

     In fact Slotkin ignores the content of all three men to denounce them as ignorant, uninformed bigots who were nevertheless taken so seriously by gunslinging Americans that by Slotkins own words they caused the My Lai Massacre.   But enough of Slotkin who sabotages his own thesis by confessing to inadequate research.  A much more interesting topic is The Revolt Against Civilization of which it can truly be said that revoltagainst civilization applies to ERB as well as his arch enemies- the Liberal Coalition.

Part III-C will involve civilization and its malcontents.

 

 

 

A Review

Conquest Of A Continent

by

Madison Grant

Madison Grant

Madison Grant

Review by R.E. Prindle

Texts:

Grant, Madison, Conquest Of A Continent, Liberty Bell Publications, 2004. Reprint of 1933 Edition

Fischer, David Hackett, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways In America, Oxford, 1991

Higham, John, Strangers In The Land: Patterns Of American Nativism 1860-1925 Rutgers U. Press 1955

Myers, Gustavus, History Of Bigotry In The United States, Random House, 1943

Wittke, Carl, We Who Built America: The Saga Of The Immigrant, Case Western Reserve, 1939

     In the immediacy of the moment one frequently overlooks or forgets the history leading up to the moment.  One might think for instance that the current flap over Diversity and Multi-Culturalism is a recent occurrence.  While the two terms are of recent provenance the argument under different names goes back much farther while the protagonists are essentially the same.

     The story of immigration into America is almost always told from the point of view of the immigrant.  Few books tell the tale from the Nativist point of view and they are universally and viciously derided as a tale told by bigoted idiots.  While charity is demanded from the Nativists none is to be expected from the immigrationists.

     Thus we get volumes like Strangers In The Land by John Higham and Carl Wittke’s We Who Built America that distort the issue in favor of immigrants while deprecating the Natives.

     Qustavus Myers’ History Of Bigotry In The United States on the other hand appears to be a willful misunderstanding of the nature of the relative status between immigrant and native resulting in a slanderous approach like that of the contemporary Greil Marcus.

     Conquest Of A Continent has been placed on the Jewish Index Of Anti-Semitic Books.  Based on that I expected a detailed derogatory examination of the Jews from their entry into America perhaps being the conquerors referred to.  The President of the American Jewish Committee sent a letter to every Jewish publisher in the United States demanding that they refrain from either reviewing the book  or noticing it at all.  Dynamic silence was to prevail.

     After reading Conquest I can only conclude that the AJC was hyper sensitive to a degree.  Since his 1916 Passing Of The Great Race Mr. Grant had learned that ‘You Don’t Mess With Rohan’ to quote Adam Sandler.  Grant all but ignores the Jews in his volume.  No, his offense, according to the AJC was even more egregious, he uses the world Nordic and dares to imply that they are ‘the Great Race’ rather than the AJC’s own Semites.

     The other volumes mentioned and, indeed, all writing in this genre which is pretty extensive, defers to the Jews as ‘the Great Race’ probably genetically superior to all others.

     So Madison Grant is interested in telling the story of how the Nordic race conquered the continent.  This approach can only be considered as a sin by non-Nordics.  Grant then tells the story of how the US and Canada were occupied by peoples other than the native Indians.

     He begins early referring to twelfth century attempts to settle by Scandinavians.  In the 1100s the firece native Indians were able to exterminate the invaders and may well have been able to exterminate the Puritan settlers but for the fact that a small pox epidemic shortly before the Puritan arrival had reduced the native population by as much as half while weakening them concomitantly.  Such is the luck of the draw.

     Grant thus traces immingration back to its origins colony by colony and then State by State as the Nordics moved Westward.

     David Fischer in his excellent Albion’s Seed retraces the same ground fifty years after Grant with much addional detail concerning the places of origin and their activities once in the US.

     Grant’s approach is in some ways superior to that of Fischer since as an unabashed Nordic advocate he is interested in detailing the exact racial content of the occupation of the various states and provinces.  If you aren’t aware of the progress of settlement and by whom there are numerous surprises.  My own notions were certainly vaguer before I read Grant.

     I was surprised at the seeming numerical superiority of Southern migrants in the Westward movement.  It seems that Whites did not like to live in the South where they were compelled to compete with slave labor while being despised by both the plantation owners and their slaves.  Thus there was a constant stream of the best and brightest  of the South moving into the North and West.  As Grant notes, Virginia was the mother of States.

     Then too some of Grant’s population statistics are of interest also.  At the 1790 census before the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 there were less than a million Africans in the United States.  Seventy years later as the Civil War began the number had increased to four and a half million. Thus natural increase was out of the question.  It follows then that between 1800 and 1860 more Africans were brought to the US than there were before 1800.  As a result the slave trade fluorished more than ever.

     Prior to 1800 Alabama and Mississippi had no settlers so that in 1860 these two States were still rough frontier States still in a state of organization.

      There is much good background here as to how the US came under settlement.  The continent was accupied in its entirely when the truly major immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe began to accelerate in the 1870s and 1880s changing the basic Nordic institutions  of the country.  The change in Grant’s eyes was much for the worse.

     Carl Wittke’s We Who Built America published in 1939 was undoubtedly in response to Grant’s Conquest Of A Continet.  Wittke, was published by Case Western Reserve University.  Grant explains the meaning of The Western Reserve which has always puzzled me.  The Western Reserve was three million acres set aside as a concession to the State of Connecticut for giving up other territorial rights.

     Wittke made a great impression with his his volume, his opinions being taken as overriding fact.  I remember my sixth grade teacher in Michigan lauding the book to the skies.  I finally read it a couple years ago.  Not so much.

     As is usual with books and writers of this type Wittke overstates his case and underproves his facts.  A contribution to the dialogue at best.

     Grant’s book should prove useful to any unbiased reader.  If his attitude of Nordic superiority offends you, ignore it.  His history as history is sound.  For those of you reared on Myer’s History of Bigory attitude you will probably be surprised to find that there is another point of view.  Bigotry is not a matter solely of American destestation of immigrants as the program of Diversity and Multi-Culturalism indicates, bigotry is a red herring and not the issue.  The issue is who will be Top Race.  The contestants for the Top Spot have turned out to be the Africans, Semites (both Jews and Arab Moslems) Hispanics, Chinese and Euro-Americans. (Grant’s Nordics)  As you can see race has replaced nationalism.

     The contest is real and ongoing.  Peace is merely another form of war.  The prize will go to who wants it the most.  If you don’t see the contest in these terms I suggest you remove your rose colored glasses.