Middle-earth fascism?

ermadog at freenet.edmonton.ab.ca ermadog at freenet.edmonton.ab.ca
Fri Dec 21 00:09:46 MST 2001

On Thu, 20 Dec 2001, Martin Spellman wrote:
> "Those who inherit the traditions of a ruling class (as Tolkien did) are too
> aware of the past pleasantness of life, and too unaware of the nightmare
> that filled it just beyond the manor house."
> 	- Isaac Asimov on 'Lord of the Rings'

I never did like fairy tales, even as a child, because the rules of magic
were always just too arbitrary: why three days after the full moon? why a
white feather? why at the cross-roads? Don't ask questions, dear, just be
enthralled with the fact that some adult is deigning to take the time to
read to you. So, in Grade 4, when everyone else was reading about the
Little Red Hen, I was reading Arthur Clark's _Against the Fall of Night_.

The Rings trilogy, of course, falls into the classic pattern of Hero
mythology as described by Joseph Campbell and carries all sorts of
conservative and reactionary messages. It is not just a simple matter of
nostalgia for a mythical past, it is also a story of the Quest for
spiritual purity which, in the manner of the Arthurian legends,
legitimizes the strong man theory of history.

I would not classify it as fascist per se, because, as has been alluded to
by others, the story is just too sophisticated for your average fascist.
Precisely because it is seen as whimsical, it has an enormous impact on
popular culture, serving to legitimize conservatism and to provide benign
cover for the more dangerous fascist currents, which tend to draw on
similar themes in their own crude way.

Joan Cameron

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