Re: post proelium depression

mike shupp (ms44278@HUEY.CSUN.EDU)
Wed, 22 May 1996 20:55:52 -0700

On Sun, 19 May 1996, Daniel A. Foss wrote:

> [I wish to thank Peter Heather, once more, if I haven't already, for
> iterative use of the word "ethnogenesis," whence mine.]
> I'm reminded of Mike Shupp's failure to encounter a Spanish Conquest
> Oral Tradition.....

Ethnogenesis, from context, meaning "Birth of a Nation" I take it?

It seems likely the Hebrew myth of Exodus helped weld together into one
nation a number of tribes of somewhat diverse origins. The Aztec exodus
myth, on the other hand, seems designed to increase racial pride and/or
consciousness in a single ethnic community.

As to whether this is a bad thing or not.... I remember reading Thomas
Costain's books on the Plantagenets several decades ago and swelling
with pride at the accomplishments of my English ancestors... until a
moment of sanity descended and I remembered most of my ancestors were
German. I live in an English speaking nation under an English legal
system and a system of government which has English roots, and I enjoy
English civil liberties, but I'm not English in background. I just
inherited all this Englishness by being born in the right place.
And yet, I was born in the right place. Am I supposed to throw all
that aside and demand to be governed by a bunch of Nazis, or some scion
of Kaiser Bill, because I'm "really" German? Hell no. George Washington
_is_ my Founding Father, and Father Abraham my guiding saint, and I'm
just as entitled to all those silver-dollar-across-the-Rahapponank and
chopping-down-the-cherry-tree myths as anyone.

Anyhow, my considered opinion is that the shared myths which pull a
people together are not always a bad thing in principle, and may even be
essential tools for survival of their culture.

Mike Shupp
California State University, Northridge