[Marxism] RIDING TO THE AID OF JENGHIZ KHAN

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sun Jun 8 14:11:10 MDT 2008


http://archives.econ.utah.edu/archives/marxism/2004w02/msg00157.htm

RIDING TO THE AID OF JENGHIZ KHAN
[Hunter Gray / Hunter Bear]
[POSTED 10/7/01]

I'm coming to the side of Jenghiz [Genghis or Genghiz] Khan. I'm 
riding hot and hard -- tied feathers waving from my rifle. 
Provocatively. [And this is international in nature.]

I've been -- and it seems to me increasingly -- seeing weird 
comparisons between Jenghiz Khan and Hitler. In a word, I dispute all 
of this: diametrically, sharply -- right into the bone marrow. My 
first substantial college paper, as a freshman, was a 43 page 
[double-spaced] tribute to the Great Organizer and Strategist -- 
whose example, even now, stirs my blood and soul.

Not long ago, the Jenghiz Khan/Adolph Hitler issue arose on a far-off 
discussion list -- one of whose members asked me to contribute via 
him my thoughts. Here, just for the hell of it, are those thoughts -- 
followed by excerpts of my response to an especially thoughtful 
question that then arose:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jenghiz Khan et al. have frequently gotten a raw deal from history -- 
and to compare the Mongol leader with Hitler is flagrantly and 
cruelly denigrating to Jenghiz. I'll say a quick, corrective word on 
behalf of our cousins in the Gobi. As I outline the matter, the Grand 
Canyon of differences vis-a-vis Hitler / Nazism will be quite obvious.

Mongol social organization was classically and nomadically tribal 
[and tribalism is still a major component of the social scenery in 
Mongolia.] Among other things, this involves a cohesive network of 
kinship relationships, essentially democratic and egalitarian with 
communalistic dimensions -- and, traditionally, characterized by a 
hereditary [life] chief system. Jenghiz Khan [1162 - 1227], 
originally named Temujin or Temuchin, unified the related tribes in 
the Lake Baikal and general Mongolian region into what was 
essentially a confederated One Big Tribe encompassing all of the 
foregoing tribal characteristics -- and one which remained very 
democratic with himself as the leading chief. None of this was, I 
reiterate, a totalitarian or even authoritarian structure in any 
sense -- and, as a traditional tribal chief, Jenghiz was certainly 
not a dictator.

In a series of extraordinary military and political moves -- 
motivated by adventure and booty / tribute -- he and his descendant 
successors conquered China and environs, much of the northern Middle 
East, western Siberia, all of Russia -- and moved very deeply into 
Europe. They would have conquered all of Europe had Ogadai [Ogdai] 
Khan, then key chief, not died [1241.] Mongol tribal law required 
that all of Jenghiz's descendants return to Mongolia to pick the next 
chieftain. At that point the conquest -- then under the military 
leadership of Jenghiz's grandson, Batu -- stopped and the Mongols 
withdrew into Russia which, as the Golden Horde, they then held for 
more than three hundred years.

In the course of the Conquest, the Mongol leaders could be ruthless. 
If a jurisdiction did not heed their order to surrender, large 
numbers of the inhabitants were slain. If, on the other hand, the 
target surrendered, the people were well treated with virtually no 
changes in their life-style. The emergent Mongol "empire" was 
anything except totalitarian -- pervasive or otherwise: it imposed no 
Mongol culture -- including no religion, entertained no ideology of 
any kind, left the conquered people pretty much alone -- but it did 
systematically tax. And, in return, it provided protection for all of 
the people against any intruders.

Frankly, in a word, if the taxes were paid, no sweat.

The Mongols killed no one because of their race or ethnicity. In 
fact, the Mongols intermarried legally and freely and far and wide 
with those whom they conquered.

The vast Mongol "empire," never rooted in anything except traditional 
nomadic tribalism, eventually -- as was the case with the much 
smaller Toltec Empire of Meso-America [whose capital, Tula, was 
physically bigger than Rome] -- gradually returned to the old 
traditional tribalism as the Mongols [and Toltecs], perhaps sensing 
they were losing the traditional wild free life of the mountains and 
canyons and plains, went, as we Native people sometimes put it, "back 
to the blanket."

Hunter Gray [Hunterbear] 





More information about the Marxism mailing list