Happy Martin Luther King Day!

The previous post briefly touched on the topic of national security as it affects the current generations of American youth. It may seem counter-intuitive to talk about terrorism on a day that commemorates a man who dedicated his life to nonviolent social change. It makes more sense when you realize that terrorism has been affecting the United States for a long time before the current conflict with Islamic extremism:

A poster from the 1920s depicting men waving American flags kicking around a liberty bond while being followed by Klansmen. The cartoon was published in the liberal journal /Good Morning/ to commemorate Warren G. Harding's inaugural parade. The purpose of the cartoon was to associate those who chose to profit from patriotism with extremists.

That’s right folks, the United States has been dealing with threats from non-nation-state actors for a lot longer than most people realize. Originally begun as a college fraternity, the Ku Klux Klan was comprised of former soldiers of the Confederate Army who resorted to violence against civilians to disrupt the abolitionist social order which was emerging in the American South during the years following the Civil War. Although solutions may have been developed for dealing with them, they would have been discontinued with federal troops were withdrawn from the South following the election of Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876:

Map depicting the readmission of Southern states into the Union during the Reconstruction period. This should provide readers with a clue as to where the current strategy of 'nation-building' comes from.

Likewise for US strategies developed for combating Viet Cong guerrillas during the 20th century. The reason why the American public appears to suffer from amnesia regarding our history of dealing with this type of threat is because our narrative of history likes to explain it away as part of some broader conflict against a conventional adversary: the Vietnam War was just a proxy war that took place during the Cold War against the Soviet Union; the struggle against the KKK was just unfinished business from the Civil War; our current problems with extremist violence are part of a struggle against “radical Islam”.

And the reason why we keep ignoring this threat is because of its very nature. It’s unpredictable, can strike at any time, and comes with little advance warning. Perhaps the best assurance that can be provided to the American public is to admit that no predefined strategy exists for solving this problem. It’s like having a heart attack– diet and exercise can prevent it from happening, but when it does occur, you can’t plan for it. You just have to deal with it as it happens using whatever resources you’ve got, including human beings:

The #1 killer of women in America.

References

 

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Life Under Conservative Feminism

Warning: This post discusses non-PC topics related to human biology.  The most controversial sections have been separated out into an attachment for readers who are interested in learning more:

conservativefeminism

This file has been scanned and guaranteed free of viruses using Kaspersky Internet Security 2016.

 

American travelers, many of them from liberal cultural backgrounds, have often been shocked to observe that just about every society on the planet practices a conservative mating culture. After all, scholarship of the 1960s counterculture has created a dichotomy whereby Western civilization is viewed as oppressive and patriarchal and non-Western cultures are viewed as open and liberal. However, the near-ubiqitousness of conservative feminism becomes easier to accept if one understands the process of otherization.

Because conservative values are an effective means for creating out-groups, ruling elites in most human societies view them as a useful tool for consolidating ethnic and tribal identities. For this reason, social conservatism has been observed in just about every society, from prehistoric hunter-gatherers to white-collar office workers in Manhattan. However, there are two cultures that are particularly well-known for practicing conservative feminism: Confucian societies in East Asia and Judaeo-Christian societies in North America, Europe, and Oceania.

Political Systems

Politics in conservative feminist societies can be characterized by two loosely-defined movements: conservatism and liberalism. The primary factor differentiating the two is their views on the economy. Whereas liberals believe in redistributing some of the society’s wealth to those who are less fortunate, conservatives either want to leave the economy alone or ease restrictions on the rich. Both movements have conservative views on social issues, and social conservatism is almost a prerequisite for political participation, as evidenced by the controversy surrounding Barrack Obama’s religious beliefs in the 2008 presidential election:

Barack-Obama-and-hanuman.jpg
A picture of the items in US President Barack Obama’s pockets. One of them is a statue of the Hindu deity Hanuman, reflecting his diverse multireligious upbringing in Indonesia.

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A political cartoon describing UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s role in the 1982 Falklands War.

Conservative feminist societies are notorious for the belief in their own inherent superiority, as evidenced by the creation of out-groups. Typically, members of the in-group tend to avoid members of the out-group and associate almost exclusively with each other. Occasionally, when the difference in power between the in-group and out-groups becomes more pronounced, the result is often political domination of the out-groups by the in-group, resulting in the creation of an empire.

Economic Systems

As mentioned previously, the direct economic impact of conservative feminism is a society with a broad middle class, since it gives its practitioners slightly more opportunities to reproduce than natural law. Common misconceptions regarding conservative feminism state that it results in societies organized around small-scale manufacturing, as was the case in Europe, Japan, and North America during the late 19th century. However, industrial growth does not always have to be the outcome, and the actual results vary depending on the society’s religious beliefs.

Judeo-Christian belief systems (or in the case of Japan, Confucian values) played a crucial role in industrial growth in North America and Europe by promoting a belief in a universe governed by natural laws that humans could manipulate for their own personal well-being. Polytheistic cultures, such as those of the native peoples of the Americas, tend to become agricultural, because of the belief in a universe governed by living deities who control the forces of nature.

Because these societies believe in strict gender roles, the males are expected to earn money for their families once they complete the process of socioeconomic maturation. Female workforce participation may be allowed, but the aforementioned gender roles will restrict it to occupations that are specifically set aside for women. Additionally, it tends to decrease as families achieve middle-class status, because the male partner assumes the role of primary breadwinner.

A by-product of broady-shared prosperity is a consumer class that can use its disposable income to purchase goods and services other than those that are immediately necessary for survival. This surplus wealth allows for the development of artistic forms and cultural expressions, in addition to scientific study and technological innovation. Under this economic system, environmental health and sustainability are not considered pressing issues, and are sidelined in favor of economic development.

Social Beliefs

Children in these societies are taught from a young age what role they will play in the society. An individual’s role in their society is dictated both by their gender– male children are taught to play the roles of protector and breadwinner for their families, and female children learn to play the role of caretaker– and also by the society’s economic system. Education is seen as the primary means for acquiring economic skills, whether it is achieved formally by sending the children to schools or informally through apprenticeships.

Although deviation from the society’s gender roles may be tolerated before the children reach biological maturity, conformance is expected by the time the maturation process is complete. A common insecurity among the society’s women is the belief that they will be perceived as radical feminists, paralleling the insecurity among the society’s men that they do not conform with established notions of masculinity. The society’s views of gender roles tend to have widespread acceptance from both genders, due to their association with economic stability. However, as the society’s females age, their support for this system decreases, due to the expectation that they must satisfy the demands of their male partners.

References

Items in Barack Obama’s pockets, https://domesticatedzebra.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/8bc64-barack-obama-and-hanuman.jpg

lock, Herbert, Artist. “That Falklands fighting didn’t exactly do Thatcher any harm”. 6/10, 1983. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2012641185/. (Accessed September 24, 2016.)

The New Holocaust Denial

Climate change denial is the Holocaust denial of the 21st century. From the WTO:

Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs266/en/

Real-Life Human Societies

Warning: This post discusses non-PC topics related to human biology.  Do not read if you prefer to avoid controversy.

 

Now, it is time to examine the practices of real-life human societies. The question may arise that if they are not practicing radical feminism, then what exactly are they practicing? The answer is that they are practicing conservative feminism Conservative feminism is a social system under which humans restrict their sexuality to only those situations that are considered acceptable by society. Most societies practice some form of marriage, in which a man and a woman are allowed to have intercourse for the purpose of having children and forming a family. Other societies may even permit pre-marital relations if there is an understanding that the couple eventually will settle down. Like radical feminism, conservative feminism has very well-defined social impacts, which can be determined by using concepts from the social sciences.

Analyzing Conservative Feminist Societies

From a natural law perspective, the ideal mating strategy would be to avoid sexual relations outside of marriage to prevent unhealthy relationships from forming. Furthermore, since women benefit slightly more from the act of intercourse than men do, marital relations should be restricted to the sole purpose of having children. If implemented correctly and completely, this will allow its practitioners to achieve middle-class status. In other words, they will break even, earning just enough to support themselves and no more.

However, since conservative feminism eases the restrictions imposed by natural law slightly, anyone who practices it will get slightly more opportunities to reproduce than someone who strictly practices natural law. As established previously, social behaviors have a direct economic impact, which means that anyone who practices conservative feminism will achieve upper-middle-class prosperity, at least in the short term. In other words, they will be getting everything necessary to support themselves, and will still have a little bit left over as surplus. Furthermore, since conservative feminism works by slightly bending the rules set by natural law, another result will be a society that has a flexible interpretation of its own rules.

The Expected Outcome

Based on the description of conservative feminism outlined above, it is possible to draw a rough picture of societies that practice it:

  • Broadly-shared prosperity– unlike the sharp income inequality that characterizes societies practicing radical feminism, conservative feminism can provide middle-class prosperity to a much broader segment of the society’s population. As a result, it becomes quite popular among segments of the society that are aspiring for wealth, such as young people.
  • Strict developmental deadlines– in order to achieve the prosperity outlined above, children living in conservative feminist societies go through a developmental process that includes both social and economic milestones. Children are not simply going to school and then returning home to do homework; they are also learning the societal roles they will play as adults. Sociological maturation occurs at approximately the same time that the children are maturing biologically, and is typically complete by the time the children reach their late teens and early twenties.
  • Egalitarianism– in order to meet the strict developmental deadlines outlined above, a conservative feminist society needs to at least create the illusion of a level playing field for all of its members. Conservative feminists like to distance themselves from explicit displays of prejudice, because that has associations with radical feminism. However, prejudice may still exist in this society, albeit in a more subtle form.
  • Ethics of consequentialism– this derives from the fact that conservative feminism works by slightly bending the rules defined by natural law. Whereas the predominant ethos of radical feminist societies appears to be “might makes right”, the predominant ethos of conservative feminist societies appears to be “the ends justify the means”. Under consequential ethics, actions can only be judged as morally right if they produce a positive outcome. Naturally, this ethical system rewards those who achieve positive outcomes even if their techniques are not quite ethical, and punishes those who are otherwise well-intentioned but whose actions do not produce tangible results.
  • Social conservatism– political conservatives in the United States have argued for a long time that poor and working-class people have always had sufficient opportunities for advancement, and therefore do not deserve the sympathy they receive from society. However, consequentialist ethics and the resulting social conservatism can also be found among those who self-identify as liberals. The real reason must therefore be rooted in the society’s social beliefs: they cannot consider people’s individual situations because that would threaten the existing patriarchy.
  • Cultural conformity– whereas radical feminism is believed to benefit the rich, conservative feminism is geared towards the average Joe and Jane. Practices that are widespread among the 99% are believed to be the correct way of doing things, and this becomes especially true if those practices can be proven to have some functional value.
  • Strict gender roles– according to natural law, sexual relations that are outside of wedlock and are not for the purpose of having children are considered harmful to society. Societies practicing conservative feminism do not prohibit these relations completely, and one of the reasons for that is to enforce traditional gender roles. Here, it is not considered sufficient to just follow the society’s rules and avoid taboo behaviors; one can be branded a deviant just for not having demonstrated a sufficient level of conformance.

A Downside

Now the question may arise that if conservative feminist societies have flexible interpretations of their own rules, how do they judge the behaviors of their citizens? In order to answer this question, one must understand the the nature of conservative feminism. Conservative feminism defines itself primarily in opposition to radical feminism; in a society that practices it, being accused of radical feminism is generally considered an insult. Therefore, although the society’s members are encouraged to bend the laws for their own personal benefit, they are discouraged from going so far as to break the law. Therefore, some members of the society still have to be held accountable for their misdeeds.

Here, it helps to understand sociological concept of an out-group Most human societies differentiate between individuals who are considered members of the society and those who are considered outsiders. Often, the outsiders may live in their own separate societies, as is the case with indigenous peoples living in North America. Alternatively, they may be integrated into the society as members, as is the case with the descendants of enslaved Africans living throughout the Western Hemisphere. In either case, a pattern emerges: the flexible interpretation of the society’s rules leads in their unequal application to members of the out-group and members of the in-group.

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A literacy test being administered in the post-Civil War South. Literacy tests created a double standard that prevented eligible black voters from participating in elections.

An Unexpected Outcome

Obviously, the poor and minority groups are at a comparative disadvantage under this system. However, there is one group that is often overlooked, primarily due to its small size and low levels of participation in mainstream society: children of the top 1%. In conservative feminist societies, there are still rich elites as there are in radical feminist societies. These elites are often able to get by without having to subscribe to the ethics of consequentialism that permeate society. Typically, this is because they possess some sort of inherent skill that they can rely on to support themselves, as is the case with new money elites. It is also possible that they occupy a privileged status within society, as is the case with old money elites.

In either case, they occupy a position which allows them to excuse themselves form the values espoused by society. Oft-cited examples of this phenomenon are draft evasion by rich Americans during the Civil War and alcohol consumption by the top 1% during the period of Prohibition. Under radical feminism, the children of these elites would experience downward mobility after entering the free market because they are expected to compete, both socially and economically, with other elites. The situation is not very different in societies practicing conservative feminism. However, there is one key difference: they are often suffering from their problems alone.

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Members of the American Federation of Labor holding a Prohibition rally on June 14, 1919.

Whereas poverty and deprivation are widespread in socieities practicing radical feminism, they are relatively rare in societies practicing conservative feminism. Combine this with the socially conservative nature of these societies, and the result is a conformist culture that shuns anyone who appears to be disadvantaged. This results in an interesting dilemma that will be referred to on this blog as the Crown Prince(ss) Paradox: children of the elites have much more difficult problems than the rest of society, but they do not receive any sympathy from the 99% because they are believed to be doing too well to deserve any. This goes back to the concept of First-World problems mentioned earlier. Perhaps the most well-known example of this paradox in American history is US president John Fitzgerald Kennedy:

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The Bay of Pigs chicken coming home to roost on the White House.

Image Attribution

“Amer. Fed. Labor, Prohibition Demonstration, June 14, 1919.” photo, print, drawing. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.

crockett, gib. “Home to Roost? / Gib Crockett.” photo, print, drawing. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.

mauldin, bill. “By Th’ Way, What’s That Big Word?” photo, print, drawing. Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Sept. 2016.

The Claims of Industrial Agriculture

Now you may be wondering why radical feminism was associated with agriculture in the previous post, especially since industrial farming claims to be far more productive. This claim is not necessarily false, but it only gives us a partial view of the big picture. From a monetary perspective, most of our agricultural imports certainly come from countries with high and upper-middle incomes, and this figure has only been increasing during the past couple of decaades:

agmprocessedhighvalue.png&width=480

However, increased agricultural productivity has a downside in the form of a crash in food prices. Since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, the US government has been paying some farmers to leave their land fallow. The aim here is to raise the prices of crops to increase the profitability of American farms. With fewer crops on the market, the law of supply and demand result in higher prices.

References

Cooke, B. (n.d.). USDA Economic Research Service – Imports. Retrieved September 4, 2016, from http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/international-markets-trade/us-agricultural-trade/imports.aspx

Our crazy farm subsidies, explained. (2015, April 20). Retrieved from http://grist.org/food/our-crazy-farm-subsidies-explained/

A Closer Look at Radical Feminist Societies

Warning: This post discusses non-PC topics related to human biology.  Do not read if you prefer to avoid controversy.

 

Although radical feminist societies are rare, it is still possible to find a few scattered throughout the world.

Economic Systems

As a general rule, these societies tend to be agricultural. The reason for this can be attributed to the role of culture: the process of germination is compared the the human act of reproduction, where the Earth is figuratively giving birth to the society’s food*. Although the discovery of agriculture during the Neolithic period is universally accepted as a great leap forward for humanity, the social impacts of this change are disputed.

On one hand, neopagan groups such as the Wiccans have come up with a narrative of human history wherein the Neolithic revolution is regarded as a great leap forward for womankind, while the invention of patriarchy circa 3000 BCE represented the beginning of a Dark Age. At the other end of the spectrum, anarcho-primitivist groups such as those advocating the Palaeo diet regard the Neolithic revolution as a time when human health and longevity took a serious hit, and the period prior to that as an egalitarian Golden Age when humankind survived and thrived by hunting and gathering. What both groups fail to realize is that radical feminism can exist in any human society that has just gone through a catastrophe. A classic example is the United States following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

In agricultural societies, the vast majority of the men work as farmers, whose livelihood is dependent on a successful harvest each year. They may be able to eke out a living, but they know they are only one drought away from losing everything they have. The presence of laissez-faire capitalism within these societies makes upward mobility rare, although it is still possible. For most men, the primary means for achieving social mobility is to become one of the society’s warriors. For example, following the decline of the Roman Empire, a new social system emerged where the chiefs of various barbarian tribes became kings and their best warriors became the nobility. Of course, with the prospect of upward mobility comes the risk of death to achieve the objectives of a self-interested overlord.

Because most wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1%, other means for making a living are rare. In a previous post, it was mentioned that Celtic societies was ruled by a priestly class called the Druids. The Druids were the educated elites of pre-Roman Europe, and corresponded to today’s professional class. Outside of this selective community, literacy rates would have been low. The average Celt would have known a small amount of mathematics for performing financial transactions, and a small amount of astronomy to tell time and determine when to plant crops.

Cultural Beliefs

All human societies develop cultural beliefs in response to their environments, and agricultural societies are no exception. Since the work involves taking care of other living things, such as crops and livestock, a worldview emerges of a universe regulated by anthropomorphic deities. These deities typically control the forces of nature that the society depends on, such as rainfall and sunlight. Furthermore, since the deities are anthropomorphic, it is believed that their favor can be won through religious ceremonies. A scientific worldview comparable to the one found in modern society probably would not exist, since there would be little need for it.

As stated previously, women in these societies tend to have high social status, because the process of growing crops is viewed as analogous to the human phenomenon of childbirth. There is no social expectation for women to get married, and marriages that do form tend to be viewed as alliances of convenience that can end at any time. Furthermore, there is no social stigma associated with being a single mother, since the mother is viewed as the primary caretaker of the children. However, laissez-faire economics can make the process of raising a child alone prohibitively difficult.

As a result, most of the babies that are born tend to be children of the alpha males, who are the only ones who possess the resources to support a family. Low levels of genetic diversity are not viewed as a problem by this society, because the costs of inbreeding are offset by the benefits of allowing the alpha males to pass on their genes. Children in these societies occupy a unique position: since their parents are alpha males and females, they receive all the resources they need to support themselves during childhood. However, once they mature, they experience downward mobililty, because they are competing with other alpha males and females in the open market.

Political Systems

The political systems in these societies can be defined by two movements: radical politics and reactionary politics. Radical politics, not to be confused with radical feminism, is roughly equivalent to, but not necessarily the same as liberalism. Conversely, reactionary politics roughly corresponds with conservatism. The vast income gap that is typically found in these societies results in two dominant political trends. On one hand, reactionary politics has a tendency to redistribute wealth to those who already have it, since radical feminism goes hand-in-hand with laissez-faire capitalism. On the other hand, radical politics wants to redistribute wealth from the haves to the have-nots, often at the expense of the society’s laws. The means used by the radicals are often used by the reactionaries to justify their stances.

The entire political apparatus is suffused by a feeling of deep cynicism. The ruling classes believe that the problems faced by the society do not have a solution, because they stem from the laws that govern nature. If a solution is suggested, it is either shouted down as unrealistically idealistic or the person proposing it is accused of advocating the solution for their own personal benefit due to their (supposedly) low social status.

As you can probably guess, politics in this society can be summed up as a struggle between the have-nots, who are constantly trying to improve their situations, and the haves, who are trying to prevent them from achieving their goals. Overt conflict is rare, primarily due to the vast gap in power between the two sides. However, when enough people experience widespread deprivation, conflict can break out, as seen during the late eighteenth century with revolutions in France and English colonies in North America.

The Proposed Solution

For those who feel caught between the forces of radical and reactionary politics, there is a solution: libertarianism. More specifically, it is a form of religious libertarianism that will be referred to here as “neolibertarianism.” Key tenets of neolibertarianism include the following:

  • Providence– the belief that there is a higher power at work in the universe, who has a vested interest in the events that take place in human society. This higher power will provide for the needs of anyone who is willing to believe in it, and also for quite a few people who do not believe in it. In this context, providing for people’s needs does not necessarily involve a supernatural intervention. Technological innovations and political changes can also be the result of Providence.
  • Self-regulating markets– this becomes easier to accept if you accept the doctrine of divine Providence. Given enough time, the open market will eventually reach a state where all human beings will be able to support themselves, notwithstanding any temporary discomfort resulting from disasters. Human beings who are disadvantaged, socially or economically, will eventually reach a state of stability.
  • Respect for the law– Providence ensures that humans will survive during times of difficulty, so there is no need to try to achieve social justice by breaking the law. In this context, “the law” typically refers to a transcendental concept, although it could also include the rules and regulations passed by human societies.

Although libertarianism does seem like a promising solution to the society’s problems, implementing it in the real world presents several difficult challenges. One such challenge is that it requires its practitioners to consume the absolute bare minimum needed to stay alive, and therefore cannot be used to support a family. Other challenges stem from the nature of real-world human societies, which are decidedly not radically feminist.

* Ancient Egyptians are a notable exception to this rule: they personified the Earth as a male deity.

Reference

A Closer Look at Celtic Society

Now you may be wondering why I came to the conclusion that the ancient Celts did not practice radical feminism, and your doubts are not completely unfounded. Therefore, I’m going to revise my previous statement: it his highly unlikely that the ancient Celts practiced radical feminism. It is not entirely outside the realm of possibility that pre-Roman Europeans, or any human society for that matter, had a culture that placed few restrictions on human reproductive behavior. However, this blog is about contemporary issues, so let’s assume that Celtic society did practice radical feminism for the sake of argument.

There are a few contemporary societies that have been accused of practicing radical feminism. Examples include sub-Saharan Africans and their descendents living in the New World, speakers of Dravidian languages living in southern India, and people living in industrialized nations following social changes of the mid-20th century. These accusations are typically levied by people with conservative views, at least when it comes to social issues.

Palaeoconservatism

More specifically, they originate from the

palaeoconservatives

, a very specific subset of the broader conservative movement that was the predominant form of conservatism in the United States prior to the 1960s. Perhaps the most well-known palaeoconservative is Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander during the Second World War and 34th president of the United States:

Portrait, half length, facing front

Palaeoconservatism is similar to most forms of conservatism in that it teaches that all human beings are responsible for their own personal well-being. However, unlike other conservatives, palaeoconservatives seek to emphasize tradition and the role it plays in shaping national identity. According to this philosophy, the United States (and many other Western nations) is a primarily Judaeo-Christian society with a European material culture. Politically, palaeoconservatives tend to appeal to groups that form the historical voting base of the US Republican Party: heterosexual White Anglo-Saxon Protestant males.

The Celts Revisited

Subsequent to the rise of neopagan and revivalist movements in contemporary times, there has been significant controversy surrounding the culture of pre-Christian Europe. In his account of the Gallic War, Julius Caesar portrayed the Celts as a primitive people whose priestly class, the Druids, presided over the sacrifice of humans in large wicker structures for the purpose of pleasing Celtic deities. On the other hand, other Roman authors who were not motivated by a desire for conquest sought to paint a more balanced picture of these peoples. The Roman geographer Strabo writes the following about the Celts in his Geography:

The entire race which now goes by the name of Gallic, or Galatic, is warlike, passionate, and always ready for fighting, but otherwise simple and not malicious… Nevertheless they may be easily persuaded to devote themselves to any thing useful, and have thus engaged both in science and letters. Their power consists both in the size of their bodies and also in their numbers. Their frankness and simplicity lead then easily to assemble in masses, each one feeling indignant at what appears injustice to his neighbour… All the Gauls are warriors by nature, but they fight better on horseback than on foot, and the flower of the Roman cavalry is drawn from their number. The most valiant of them dwell towards the north and next the ocean.

Strabo confirmed the use of riding pants by these peoples. He also attests to their unique social structure, which reversed the roles found in Roman society:

The Gauls wear the sagum, let their hair grow, and wear short breeches. Instead of tunics they wear a slashed garment with sleeves descending a little below the hips…Their governments were for the most part aristocratic; formerly they chose a governor every year, and a military leader was likewise elected by the multitude… If any one makes an uproar or interrupts the person speaking, an attendant advances with a drawn sword, and commands him with menace to be silent; if he persists, the attendant does the same thing a second and third time; and finally, [if he will not obey,] cuts off from his sagum so large a piece as to render the remainder useless*. The labours of the two sexes are distributed in a manner the reverse of what they are with us, but this is a common thing with numerous other barbarians.

Strabo further elaborated on the role that Bards and Druids played in Celtic society:

Amongst [the Gauls] there are generally three divisions of’ men especially reverenced, the Bards, the Vates, and the Druids. The Bards composed and chanted hymns; the Vates occupied themselves with the sacrifices and the study of nature; while the Druids joined to the study of nature that of moral philosophy. The belief in the justice [of the Druids] is so great that the decision both of public and private disputes is referred to them; and they have before now, by their decision, prevented armies from engaging when drawn up in battle-array against each other. All cases of murder are particularly referred to them. When there is plenty of these they imagine there will likewise be a plentiful harvest.

Lastly, he describes simiarities between Celtic society and the ancient Greeks:

It is well known that all the Kelts are fond of disputes; and that amongst them pederasty is not considered shameful*. Ephorus extends the size of Keltica too far, including within it most of what we now designate as Iberia, as far as Gades, He states that the people are great admirers of the Greeks, and relates many particulars concerning them not applicable to their present state.

Contrary to modern stereotypes that are fueled by politically-motivated Roman accounts, the Celts were not a savage people who were engaged in constant warfare and lacked standards of decency and ethical behavior. To the contrary, they had a rich tradition of scientific inquiry and were sincerely concerned about injustices that took place within their society. They had a deep appreciation of the culture of other civilizations during their time, and were even valued by the Romans for their skills in horsemanship.

*For those who are not familiar with ancient Greek society, “pederasty” refers to a practice among adult Greek males where they would take a younger Greek male called an eromenos as their sexual partner. The older male would act as a mentor to his eromenos, who would then continue the process when he came of age by finding a young boy to be his partner.

References