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 No.23341[Last 50 Posts]

The ur-reactionary film

From time to time you get these right wing movies such as 300 and Conan the Barbarian which I call "reactionary films", i.e. any movie which is based on some hypermasculine white guy beating back the androgyne, ethnic forces of evil. Conan the Barbarian (1982) is the perfect example of this, the ur-reactionary movie

TLDR: Conan the barbarian (1982 movies) is a 1980s right wing movie, part of the Reagan turn/backlash against the 60s/70s. The witch he encounters and has sex with early through the movie is supposed to represent the evils of "free love", she literally turns into a ghost demon as she orgasms. The whole part where the girls father, the king asks Conan to get his daughter back from Thulsa Doom who is (probably) sexing his daughter. The cultists of Thulsa doom are supposed to be an analogue for hippie-commune 1960s people who tell Conan to "go back to the land" and have flower power shit. Next there's there's the gay snake-priest that tries to seduce Conan but Conan beats him up. The Villain of the movie is an ultra masculine deep voice black man (James Earl Jones as "Thulsa Doom") who has hypnotized a cult full of nubile dancing white girls into a sexualized stupor, sort of combining 1970s anti cult shit with anti hippie stuff. At the end the hippies put out their new age candles and shit and leave, and the girls go back to their fathers. All delivered by an ultramasculine white man (Arnie) to defeat and buckbreak black hypermasculinity (James Earl Jones). Essentially its the artistic reaction to undo the 1960s/70s and everything about it including sexuality, race, etc.

Long Version:

I: Introduction

Conan the Barbarian is a 1982 epic sword and sorcery film directed by John Milius and written by him and Oliver Stone. Based on Robert E. Howard‘s Conan, the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role and James Earl Jones, with Sandahl Bergman, Gerry Lopez, Max von Sydow, Mako, Sven-Ole Thorsen, and Ben Davidson.

The film gave Schwarzenegger worldwide recognition, and in the years since its release, it became a cult film, making a lot more money on home video. It spawned a sequel, Conan the Destroyer, in 1984, and a reboot was made in 2011.

A link to quotes from the film can be found here.

[My main concern in this analysis is the political agenda of this film. I very much like the movie, but that doesn’t mean I, as a leftist, agree with its politics, which I will criticize here. If you happen to love Conan the Barbarian, and you agree with the right-wing ideology that the film espouses–however subtly and allegorically–then this analysis is definitely not for you; therefore I recommend you read no further and find a more politically sympathetic write-up.]

II: Conservative Conan

I am analyzing Conan the Barbarian because it is very much a film of its time. Made in the early 1980s, it reflects, in symbolic and allegorical form, the politics of Reagan and his ilk. The film metaphorically not only glorifies the individualism that was and is part of the ideal of Reagan and other right-wing libertarians (who, incidentally, include Milius and Schwarzenegger), but also the reactionary hypermasculinity that went against feminist gains in the 1970s. There’s even a subtle nod to fascism in its light-brown-haired ‘Aryan’ muscleman hero fighting a black villain (Doom himself may not be black–he’s rather a member of an extinct pre-Atlantic race–but we see a black actor [Jones] playing him, and it’s the film’s social effect on our world that matters, not the fictional world it is literally presenting.), the decapitation of whom disturbed Roger Ebert. In fact, there was a white supremacist streak even in Robert E. Howard himself.

These three elements–right-wing libertarian individualism, hypermasculinity, and Aryan supremacist fascism–are interrelated, since the former two lie on a continuum with the extreme third (as even the social democracy of mainstream liberalism does, something Stalin noted). These three are especially interrelated in Conan the Barbarian, a highly entertaining film acting out the fantasies of mostly alienated pre-adolescent boys back in the early 80s (in spite of the film’s R-rating for violence, sex, and nudity); and it’s the mingling of these three ultraconservative elements that’s what makes the otherwise well-made film so dangerously seductive to such an impressionable young audience.

III: Steel

Let’s start with the notion of the “Riddle of Steel,” and what it can be seen to represent. While the fetish of weaponry (i.e., the steel of a sword) has long existed in literature–the Iliad, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, etc.–since this film came out during the early Reagan era and reflects the ideology of the time, we must consider what the steel of a sword can be seen to symbolize in the context of the film.

Steel is an alloy of iron with a tiny percentage of carbon to improve its strength. Iron, in turn, is an element forming much of the Earth’s outer and inner core (hence Crom, Conan’s god, is a god of the Earth). The point is that steel is derived from the Earth, fashioned for men’s purposes, as we see during the film’s opening credits. As a metal, like gold, silver, or copper, steel thus can be associated with money, the fetish of capitalists.

Since our concern is with the steel of a sword, we now move from the money-loving, Earth-plundering capitalist to phallic symbolism, thus linking the steel of a sword with hypermasculinity. After all, we don’t just see Conan displaying his muscles and brandishing a sword, but we also see him bed several women.

This hypermasculine association with phallic steel swords is reinforced in his constant killing of his enemies with his sword. This constant going out to far-off lands to kill others links the metal alloy of steel (symbolically associated with gold and coins) with the hypermasculine phallic sword and ultimately with imperialist plunder. Since this is a movie of the early Reagan era, we shouldn’t be surprised to see how these three elements of the “Riddle of Steel” are centred in capitalism.

IV: Flesh is Stronger

Of course, it must be emphasized that what Conan learns over the course of the film is that steel, the literal metal, is not the great source of strength that he, as a boy, came to understand from his father’s teachings. It is rather the steel heart of determination that gives one strength. In fact, Thulsa Doom (Jones), though originally coveting steel and killing Conan’s father and mother to acquire one of those swords, eventually learns that flesh is more powerful than steel, hence Doom’s snake cult.

Now, since Conan represents the heroic ideal of Milius’ libertarian/hypermasculine/cryptofascist myth, the villain of the film must be the ideological opposite. Conan, Valeria (Bergman), and Subotai (Lopez) are on Reagan’s side, so Doom must be symbolic of communist leaders like Stalin and Mao. Doom’s death cult is thus, thanks to the spurious anticommunist propaganda that flooded the Western media during the Cold War, representative of the wildly exaggerated death toll associated with communism.

Having a black man play Doom reinforces these associations for the film’s intended right-wing, white male audience. As I said above, it doesn’t matter that Doom, with his blue eyes and straight, long hair, is not actually a black man in the story: we as an audience see Jones, a black actor wearing blue contact lenses and a wig, on the screen. We make the necessary association, in spite of the actual race of the fictional character. If anything, the blue eyes and no Afro make one think of the experiments of Josef Mengele, who injected blue dye into people’s eyes to make them ‘more acceptable Aryans.’ The film’s fascist ideology is subtle, not obvious. The reason for this subtlety should also be obvious in the liberal world of Hollywood.

Now, if Thulsa Doom’s snake cult in this allegory represents the ideology of communism, and if he is right to have recognized that flesh is more powerful than steel, then his correctness goes against the tendentious political bias that this film is promoting. His affirmation of the superiority of flesh to steel, of the human will’s mastery of the sword, is a kind of Freudian slip that exposes the error of the right-wing ideology championed in Conan the Barbarian. After all, it was the steely determination of the Red Army that defeated the Nazis in WWII, in spite of the metal of the tanks of the Wehrmacht.

V: Freudian Slips

I’ve argued elsewhere that ‘Freudian slips,’ if you will, exist in many films, parapraxes that go against the bias presented in each of the films. The one I mentioned above in Conan the Barbarian isn’t the only one in that film. Others include the fact that our heroes, representing the “free market” capitalist agenda advocated by Milius and Schwarzenegger in the film’s allegory, are thieves by their own admission.

We on the left have always complained that capitalists–who exploit labour by taking, as surplus value, much of the value that workers put into the commodities they produce–are thieves who deny workers the full fruit of their labour, all for the sake of maximizing profit. When right-wing libertarians gripe that “Taxation is theft!”, being especially irked when tax revenue is put into social programs for the poor, they fail to understand how this ‘stolen’ money is really being returned to the poor from whom it was originally stolen by the capitalists.

Another Freudian slip is in how this film is supposed to reflect the right-wing libertarian opposition to ‘big government,’ as symbolized by Doom’s cult (for recall, libertarians tend to regard all socialism as ‘something a government does’); yet our hero, Conan, is understood to become a king at the end of the film. Though the film is set in a world of kings and queens, suggesting either feudal times or the ancient master/slave contradiction, these past class relations are still analogous to the modern contradiction of the bourgeoisie (and the state that protects its interests) and the proletariat; so seeing King Conan on his throne at the end of the film is a metaphor for the ‘government-hating’ libertarian who becomes the head of the government…as Reagan was.

VI: Libertarianism and Fascism

The notion of ‘big vs small government’ was and is a big lie. It isn’t the size of the state that makes it oppressive vs liberating; it’s whom the state serves–the rich, or the people–that makes it the one way or the other. So Conan, the thief who decapitates and disembowels with his sword, then becomes king, is hardly any better than Doom and his snake cult.

Remember that right-wing libertarianism isn’t the same thing as fascism, but the one exists on a continuum with the other. The only difference between the two is in how the material conditions of the world give rise to the one or to the other. Libertarian thinking is usually popular during economic good times (as is mainstream liberalism), when socialism is propagandized against as it was during the Reagan era. But when times are financially hard, as during the Germany of the 1920s, or over the past ten years, fascist and authoritarian systems of government tend to arise and even become relatively popular. As for our current situation, in which fear of disease is prompting measures that are disturbingly approaching totalitarianism, anyone who thinks Republican-friendly Biden is a communist is an idiot…seriously.

The fascist ideology cunningly woven into the film’s narrative includes elements either rightly or wrongly associated with Nazism. These include the opening quote from Nietzsche‘s Twilight of the Idols (‘Maxims and Arrows,’ 8): “What does not kill me makes me stronger,” though at the film’s beginning, it’s rendered, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”

Now, Nietzsche was about as far removed from being a proto-Nazi as anyone could be: just read his books, and note the many times he bashed his own country as a reaction against the disturbing growing trend of German nationalism that he saw all around him. Still, his pro-Nazi sister, Elisabeth Förster-Niezsche, edited his writing to make it seem sympathetic to Nazi ideology, and this association is sufficient for the film’s ideological purposes. After all, the opening quote, reflecting the film’s theme of determination, as well as such notions as The Will to Power, fit well with the themes of The Triumph of the Will. Add to these facts the film’s influence of Wagnerian opera, and we can further see the link, however subtle, with Nazism.

VII: The Barbarian’s Beginnings

Anyway, the story begins with Conan’s father telling him, a boy, to trust neither men, nor women, nor beasts…a perfect recipe for alienation. The boy is to trust steel and steel alone, which as I interpreted above means to trust the resources plundered from the Earth for the benefit of the rich, to trust the metal of coins fetishized by the rich, to trust a phallic symbol that encourages toxic masculinity, and to trust a weapon wielded for the sake of empire.

Later, Conan learns that he, indeed, can trust men (Subotai), women (Valeria), and beasts (the horses and camels he rides). His father was wrong. One of the most important things we learn as we grow up is, to our utter disillusion, how often our parents are wrong about things.

Since Thulsa Doom’s snake cult, in this allegory, represents the Soviet Union as demonized by right-wing propaganda, Doom’s raid on the Cimmerian village can be seen to represent how the Russian Revolution affected the country’s bourgeoisie in the late 1910s and in the 1920s (fittingly, the raid happens on a snowy day, suggesting a Russian winter). Conan’s steel-fetishizing parents can thus be seen to represent the Russian petite bourgeoisie, the confiscation of whose private property is symbolized by Doom’s taking of Conan’s father’s sword. The killing of Conan’s parents is, symbolically, just more anti-Soviet propaganda.

As a result, Conan’s simmering lust for revenge can be compared to the resentment of such Russian bourgeoisie as Ayn Rand, whose parents’ business was confiscated by the Soviets, and who emigrated to the US and got her revenge on the USSR by writing pro-capitalist novels and promoting her egoistic Objectivist philosophy.

VIII: Conan’s Coming-of-Age

Chained to the Wheel of Pain, young Conan grows up a slave. This is how self-pitying capitalists see themselves, not only under the dictatorship of the proletariat (where, thanks to Lenin’s NEP during the 1920s, the kulaks were allowed to make profits, and only when Stalin ended the NEP and collectivized agriculture, which benefitted the poor and ultimately ended famines, did the kulaks lose their profits, then, out of spite, hoarded food and killed livestock, thus exacerbating the bad harvests of the early 30s that were misrepresented as the “Holodomor” hoax by Nazi propagandists), but also under social democratic forms of government, with their high taxes.

As a young man, Conan is given the opportunity to display his talents as a fighter. First we see this Aryan-looking Cimmerian (the casting of Schwarzenegger is more than ideal) fight and defeat a black man with razor-sharp teeth, the bestial savagery of whom reinforces that disturbing feeling we have at the end of the film, when Conan kills Doom. Recall Howard’s words contrasting whites and blacks: “The ancient empires fall, the dark-skinned peoples fade and even the demons of antiquity gasp their last, but over all stands the Aryan barbarian, white-skinned, cold-eyed, dominant, the supreme fighting man of the earth.”

This discovery and glorification of Conan’s abilities as a fighter represents a promotion of the capitalist ideal of competition. It is acceptable if the bourgeois, feudal lord, or ancient slave-master kills, but it’s never defensible if the proletarian vanguard, as represented in Thulsa Doom, kills.

IX: Women

Women in Conan the Barbarian are typically sexualized and treated as objects of men’s pleasure, hence the scene with the terrified, bare-breasted woman put in Conan’s cage so he can enjoy her while other men lecherously watch. It doesn’t matter that we see Conan put a blanket around her, playing the role of the ‘gentleman’: her fear and reluctance clearly demonstrate her non-consent. This is rape.

As for the beautiful witch (played by Cassandra Gava), who has presaged Conan’s coming, and who knows of Doom’s standard, with the snakes facing each other, again, it seems obligatory that she let him have her; note how she erotically crawls before him. And though Valeria is his equal fighting companion, he beds her, too. It is easy to see how all these women exist largely, if not almost exclusively, for male fantasy: this ties in with the hypermasculinity promoted in this right-wing film.

Connected to this is Conan’s ‘correct’ answer to the question, “What is best in life?” His answer, a paraphrasing of a Genghis Khan quote, glorifies conquest, implying a lust for imperialism, and the pleasure of hearing “the lamentation of [the enemy’s] women,” sounds like misogynistic sadism, a fascistic/imperialistic sadism. Small wonder right-wingers love this movie and Conan’s quote, delivered in Schwarzenegger’s German accent.

Why isn’t peace “what is best in life?” Why isn’t a society in which production is to provide for all “what is best in life,” rather than production to benefit a wealthy, privileged few? We wouldn’t expect these Mongol-like warmongers to embrace such pacifist, empathic values, of course, but the point is that the audience is expected to sympathize with the answer of the film’s light-brown-haired, Aryan-like hero.

X: Freedom and Friendships

Conan as a young man is freed, and in his travels is chased by dogs; he stumbles into an underground Atlantean colonist warrior’s tomb, where he finds an ancient sword. This going underground, then coming back up to the surface, is a symbolic death and resurrection, a theme to be repeated several times later in the film. His retrieval of the sword will make him feel as though he’s closer to discovering the Riddle of Steel, and his new, phallic weapon will make him feel like a rejuvenated man. What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

He soon meets Subotai (based on a Mongol), a Hyrkanian, meaning someone from the Eurasian Steppe. This means he is someone who ethnically could be anyone from Eastern Europe to Xinjiang, Mongolia, and/or Manchuria. He’s made to look Asian, though the actor, Lopez, is a Hawaiian of Mexican descent. Just as Jones was made to look ‘less black,’ so is Subotai ‘not so Asian.’ His voice, incidentally, was overdubbed by the Japanese-American actor, Sab Shimono.

Conan and Subotai discuss their gods while eating. Subotai prays to the Four Winds, whom he considers superior to Conan’s Crom; naturally, our hero considers his Earth-god better than Subotai’s wind-god. Once again, we see a promotion of the spirit of competition, the urge to be superior, or at least associated with superiority, in our heroes’ banter.

XI: Thieves

They meet Valeria in the city of Zamora, and all three raid the Tower of the Serpent, stealing jewels and killing a giant snake there. Among the snake art we see there, usually two snakes facing each other, we also see an ouroboros, my symbol of the dialectic, which is fitting for how Doom’s snake cult is meant to represent the philosophy of Marxism-Leninism.

King Osric (von Sydow), impressed with these three thieves’ daring, and detesting Doom’s cult, pays them with all the jewels they can carry to rescue his daughter, who has been seduced by Doom’s ideas. The king’s love for his daughter is so great that he can easily give up so many jewels…but the eyes of the trio of thieves light up at the sight of so much wealth.

Conan, still with revenge on his mind, goes out alone to face Doom, since Valeria feels content just to take Osric’s jewels. Conan meets the Wizard of the Mounds (Mako), who also narrates the story. It’s curious how he, the film’s narrator, refers to Conan as his “lord” and “master.” Since this wizard is Asian, his subservient attitude to Aryan Conan reinforces the white supremacist undercurrent in this right-wing film. (Recall how, at the beginning, the narrator refers to the “sons of Aryus.”)

XII: Doom’s Cult of Personality

Conan reaches Doom’s Temple of Set, or Mountain of Power. Set, in the Marvel Universe of demons used in the Conan comics, is the “God of the Dead.” Thulsa Doom is based on two of Howard’s characters: the villain in Kull of Atlantis, yet based even more so on Thoth-Amon, a Stygian sorcerer in “The Phoenix on the Sword.” (One might also associate Set with the ancient Egyptian deity of violence, disorder, and foreigners, among other things, who was at times vilified for having killed Osiris, but who was also seen by some as a heroic deity.) Many see Doom as being like Jim Jones, the “apostolic socialist” cult leader whose control over his people was so complete as to make hundreds of them willing to kill themselves, as we see Doom have one of his female followers drop to her death.

Since Doom, in terms of the film’s Reaganite allegory, represents the ideological foe of the political right, this seductive death-cult leader is meant to represent the “cult of personality” seen in communist leaders like Stalin, Mao, and the Kims…at least as they’re portrayed in right-wing propaganda. What is little known, however, is that left-wing leaders like Stalin and Mao rejected the kind of idolatrous status that men like Hitler and Mussolini were all too happy to receive. Far from being the dictator he was believed to be, Stalin actually tried unsuccessfully to resign as General Secretary of the Soviet Union no less than four times; he had only one vote in determining Soviet policy, and often lost in these votes; and the notion of a “cult of personality” surrounding Stalin was actually a Khrushchev lie.

XIII: Doom’s Followers

When we see Conan among Doom’s many followers by the temple, it’s curious to note how, in their dress and their hair, they resemble hippies. This, I believe, is significant because far right-wing types tend, idiotically, to equate hippies with communists, when the former are so obviously liberal.

Conan approaches one of the priests, and it’s implied that this priest is homosexual and interested in our muscleman hero, who beats him unconscious and steals his priestly robes to disguise himself in. One shouldn’t be surprised to see our beloved hero act in this way: recall the German gay men forced to wear pink triangles on their Nazi concentration camp uniforms.

The dark robes of some members of Doom’s snake cult, including those worn by, for example, Rexor (Davidson), have a design in its contrasts of white and dark that, to my eye, vaguely suggest the clothing of rabbis, particularly those of ancient times. One normally expects snake designs to be round and swirling; but these snake designs are angular, square-like, and being dark against a white background, they vaguely remind me of Hebrew letters. I’m not saying any of this was consciously intended; I bring this up to suggest another fascist association often made with communism: the notion of Jewish Bolshevism. This Nazi association is made even though very few high-ranking members of the Bolshevik Party were Jews.

XIV: Christian Symbolism

Conan is apprehended by Rexor and Thorgrim (Thorsen), a spike on the latter’s boot is stabbed into Conan’s hand, and Doom gives the command, “Crucify him,” reminding us of what “the Jews” told Pilate to do with Christ (John 19:14-16).

And so, Conan is crucified on the Tree of Woe. While the religious world of this film is thoroughly pagan, of course, any rejection of Christian symbolism in this scene is absurd. After all, much of the make-up of Christianity is pagan mystery tradition, as Hyam Maccoby pointed out in his book, The Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity. Many Christians try to deny the pagan influence on their religion, but even CS Lewis expressed the belief, in his book Mere Christianity, that his Christian God put the foretelling of Jesus on the Cross into the dreams of the people of all the heathen religions (page 37 of this pdf). These pagans, in Lewis’s opinion, misunderstood the message, and distorted it with myths of dying and resurrecting gods, or like Odin when nailed to Yggdrasil, whom Conan resembles on the Tree of Woe.

The accommodation of Christian symbolism into Conan the Barbarian also dovetails with the film’s right-wing message, since fascism and other forms of conservative politics have always found Christianity to be a useful tool for reactionary purposes. Make the toiling masses believe they will be rewarded in heaven, and they’ll work harder without complaint. Even libertarian-centrist Frank Zappa was worried about the direction that right-wing libertarian/Christian Reagan was moving America in; he warned of a future “fascist theocracy.” One can debate whether or not Zappa’s fears have been realized in the US, but the links between right-wing libertarianism, fascism, and Christian traditionalism are undeniable; all three of these can be seen, in a veiled symbolic/allegorical form, in Conan the Barbarian.

Francoist Spain was a combination of Falange fascism, monarchism, and Catholicism; in 1959, their government adopted “free market” economic policies. Pinochet’s right-wing authoritarian government in Chile also had “free market” policies courtesy of the Chicago Boys. While Nazi Germany made use of much of Teutonic pagan myth, Hitler et al also accommodated Christian ideas; Catholic Hitler and Nazi ideology tried to promote an ‘Aryan Christ,’ one not too far removed from light-brown-haired Aryan Schwarzenegger on the Tree of Woe.

My associating of Doom’s cult symbolically with “Jewish Bolsheviks” dovetails with this Christian interpretation of Conan’s crucifixion, since Nazi antisemitism has its roots in a two-millennia-old Christian antisemitism. Recall how Hitler used to enjoy reading Luther‘s antisemitic rants. Recall also how 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 blames the Jews for Christ’s crucifixion.

The relating of Conan the Barbarian with Christian ideas doesn’t end with our hero’s crucifixion. Valeria, Subotai, and the wizard rescue him, take him down from the tree, and treat his wounds in a manner reminiscent of the speculations of Hugh J Schonfield‘s Passover Plot. Unconscious Conan is beset by demons in the night, while Valeria fights them off (she’ll pay with her own life later); this scene symbolically suggests Jesus’ harrowing of Hell.

The next day, we see a rejuvenated Conan (“What doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger.”), suggesting the symbolism of a resurrected Christ. Now, Conan and his companions plan how they’ll infiltrate the Temple of Set and rescue Osric’s daughter.

XV: Orgiastic Music

Wearing stripes of black and white camouflage, our three thieves enter the mountain from the back. We hear choral music subtly reminding one of Orff‘s Carmina Burana (i.e., ‘O Fortuna’), but also suggesting Wagnerian opera, as Milius had always fancied his film to be. Images of large pots with the body parts of victims of cannibalism symbolically reinforce the anti-Soviet propaganda.

Added to this propaganda is the following scene, with our three heroes entering a large room with Doom and Osric’s daughter, and a bevy of beautiful women lying about orgiastically in the centre. Subotai remarks on the sight, calling it “paradise.” Right-wing ideologues assume that Stalin, Mao, the Kims, et al lived in the lap of luxury, when high-ranking members of communist parties lived only marginally better than their respective common populations. To see the obscene luxury of the capitalist über-wealthy, look no further than Bezos, Musk, Gates et al…and some of their ilk have been involved in their own orgiastic scenes.

Since I’ve been so critical of this film, I’ll take a brief moment to praise the waltz-like music in this scene. Film-score composer Basil Poledouris‘ “Orgy” is a delight to listen to, with memorable melodies undulating throughout. It always stands out in my mind as one of the film’s highlights.

XVI: The Serpent

In this scene, we see Doom transform into a giant serpent. That his is a snake cult ties in well with the film’s Christian symbolism, for if Conan is our Christ-like hero, getting stronger after not dying from his crucifixion, then Doom as our villain is, fittingly, the Satanic serpent of the Garden of Eden, tempting such Eve-like women as Osric’s daughter and the half-naked women in the orgy.

The serpent, like the sword, is a phallic symbol in its own right, but one made of the stronger material of the flesh, not of steel. Phallic, serpentine Doom is leading women like Osric’s daughter astray, exploiting them, as the film would have us believe of leftist leaders; yet, was Conan any better with the bare-breasted woman in the cage?

Pre-Castro Cuba was teeming with prostitution when that right-wing butcher Batista was a puppet for American politicians and mafia. One of the first things communists do after a revolution is to work aggressively to rid their countries of prostitution, striving to provide women with the education, equal opportunities, and material conditions needed so they can avoid having to sell themselves to survive. Presenting Doom in an orgy symbolically portrays socialists as whoremongers; this pro-capitalist film is projecting right-wing guilt onto the left.

The thieves take the princess out and ride away. Doom, changed back into human form, makes a small snake into an arrow and fires it at Valeria, killing her. The superiority of phallic flesh over phallic steel is demonstrated again, for his command, “Seek,” is enough to ensure a hit. Valeria had paid the gods for interfering with the demons’ attack on unconscious Conan.

XVII: Valeria and the Princess

Conan burns her body with Subotai’s torch at her funeral. Subotai weeps for him, for as he observes, Cimmerians never weep. As the film’s masculine ideal, Conan reinforces the hypermasculine notion that ‘boys don’t cry.’ Subotai’s weeping for him suggests Asian servility to white supremacy, like the wizard’s servility.

We’re meant to believe that the princess’s continued allegiance to Doom is some kind of brainwashing, as right-wingers assume leftists to have, rather than a projection of right-wing brainwashing that ‘capitalism is freedom.’ So Doom’s shooting of a snake arrow at her is more symbolic anti-Soviet propaganda. The Battle of the Mounds, a desert-like region, reminds me of the then-already-underway Soviet-Afghan War that had been manipulated into being by Carter and Brzezinski: Conan and Subotai, luring Doom, Thorgrim, and Rexor to the mounds for a final battle, are thus like the mujahideen, well-paid and armed by the US (as Osric has paid the three thieves with an abundance of jewels), and bleeding Soviet power dry, as Conan does of Doom’s power, by killing Thorgrim and Rexor.

XVIII: Symbolic Castration, and Transcending a Father’s Wisdom

Indeed, the killing of Rexor is symbolic castration (with the help of Valeria as a glowing, Valkyrie-like spirit), with Conan’s breaking of his sword and realizing that the Riddle of Steel isn’t about steel per se, but about having the steely manhood to wield the sword with determination to win. In this way, Conan has outlearned his father, for part of becoming a man is going beyond the limitations of your father’s wisdom. Such an upstaging of your father is a symbolic castration of him (like Cronus‘ rising up against Uranus), and symbolic castration occurs in many forms in Conan the Barbarian.

Since I’ve equated serpents with the phallus, we can see Conan’s decapitation of the giant snake in his raid of the Tower of Serpents as a symbolic castration, too. And since Doom himself can be a giant serpent, his decapitation at the end of the film is also a symbolic castration. It’s interesting in this connection to note how Doom, immediately before Conan kills him, tries to hypnotize him and manipulate him by calling him his “son.” In Conan’s rise to manhood, he’ll have no one as his father, not even a father-figure in Crom, who, in Conan’s prayer to Him, says He can go to Hell if He won’t help him and Subotai defeat Doom.

In Conan’s prayer/curse to Crom, we see how the right-winger can take God or leave Him, depending on the circumstances. We’ve seen how Nazis can pose as Christians or as quasi-pagans. Similarly, such “new atheists” as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Sam Harris have embraced neoconservatism as an imperialist reaction against Islam.

XIX: King Conan

The film ends with a shot of an older Conan sitting on a throne with an expression that suggests Henry IV‘s dictum, “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.” This image is reiterated at the end of Conan the Destroyer, with the narrative voiceover of Akiro the Wizard saying, “…he found his own kingdom and wore his crown upon a troubled brow.”

So Conan in the end will himself be a king, a ruler, the governor, as it were, of a people. Since this story, set in an ancient and fantastic world, is meant as an allegory of our times, his becoming a king represents how the libertarian ideal will eventually be the very government that people like Milius and Schwarzenegger so dislike (recall in this connection how Schwarzenegger would eventually be the Governor of California).

Similarly, the Koch brothers, of right-wing libertarian disposition, got heavily involved in influencing the government, as do Rand Paul and Ron Paul. The two Pauls, to be fair, are anti-war and opposed to the kind of rampant corruption we see in American politics today; but neither of them is willing to overturn the capitalist system that is, through the profit motive, the basis of all this corruption and all these wars. Perhaps that is the reason for King Conan’s “troubled brow,” his “uneasy…head.”

XX: Conclusion

Reagan ran on the idea that “government is the problem,” then he became the leader of that very government. His tax cuts to the rich, and those of similarly-minded politicians, allowed millionaires eventually to become billionaires, whose money has since been used to buy politicians to ensure that the state serves the rich rather than the people. The greater accumulation of capital, concentrating and centralizing it in the hands of the richest people, has required a larger government, not a smaller one, to protect all the resulting proliferation of private property. Libertarianism leads not to small government, but big, privatized government, hence Reagan’s inflated military budget. Conan, fighter of the powerful, will become one of them.

The right-wing message of Conan the Barbarian is subtle and muted–fittingly so, given the subtle and muted expression of the neoliberal agenda started by Reagan and Thatcher in the early 80s, when this film came out. Some on the left warned of the dangers of this resurgence of conservative ideas, but the warnings fell mostly on deaf ears, just as many would have considered this film to be harmless fun.

It seemed reasonable to most people of the time, myself included, to think of the collectivism of Doom’s followers to be representative of a supposedly similar Soviet collectivism, mindlessly obeying their leader and lacking in Conan’s virtuous individualism. But just as we don’t see what becomes of Doom’s followers after his head is thrown down the steps, neither did most people see how huge percentages of Russians and other Eastern Europeans didn’t want to see the security of the Soviet system give way to predatory capitalism.

Stalin rightly predicted that a dissolving of socialism would result in the most virulent reaction, grabbing the working class by the throat. In today’s post-Soviet world of extreme wealth inequality, the control of most of the American media by six corporations, epidemic homelessness, ecocide, and imperialist war threatening a nuclear WWIII, we see what Doom really is.

In the allegorical sense, Conan really was a barbarian…and a destroyer.


>inb4 idiots respond to inevitable leninhat derail again


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anglos are really fucked up


lots of seethe for a movie where a big man hits things with his sword


Turn this into a breadtube video and you'll cash in big time. Don't forget the purple backlights and silly costumes!



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Conan predicted Discörd mods.


Everything is right wing propaganda. Your mum is right wing propaganda, here's tldr I made that analyses it in the context of 20s Italian fascist aesthetics theory (no, I'm totally not a net burden on humanity, this is important intellectual work I'm doing)


>net burden on humanity
im definitely gonna take your word on what’s right wing or not


Pure liberalism and inane bullshit
>the androgyne, ethnic forces of evil
The fuck does this mean, the main enemies are burly European looking men and the main villain is a literal Snake Demon, portrayed by the man James Earl Jones that voiced MANY iconic villains (like Darth Vader and Omadon) because his voice and talent at pulling it off, it literally has nothing to do with ethnic shit and it isn't even set in the real world, it's a low fantasy setting.
>de vitch is de "evuls of free luv!"
Fucking nonsense

This entire article and OP is the epitome of liberal idpol and pseudo-intellectual PoMo "analysis" done in stereotypical burger fashion; looking for vague idpol allegories where there are none, to try and hide the coping insecurity of the article's 'author' over not being like the chad main character.

So yeah, total schizo shit and a waste of space for yet another radlib speculative analysis, projecting boogiemen.


>inane psychoanalysis about supposed resentment


Underrated post.


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>inane psychoanalysis about supposed resentment
Nice projection.
Bringing up random events of history in socialist context or related to socialist struggles and then talking about parts of the film is not an analysis, it's literally a diatribe version of the typical liberoid "This is just like in Harry Potter" and claiming a film is "muh reactionary" because of some projected extrapolations is indication of either utter schizo delusion or of assmad cope about the film. Hiding it behind veiled pseud 'analyses' doesn't make it an actual analysis because it outright has nothing to do with the plot and intent of the film and story, and the themes that 90% of people see in the film. Just because you can wheedle out some kind of supposed hidden "rightving" meaning in the story doesn't actually make it so, because most people do not think so or come to that conclusion from the film.

The closest you can come to calling the film "Right-Wing" and not be a delusional ideologue is perhaps its idealism about tribalism, but even then, that's the setting of the story and it's not sugarcoating it - the story and world is brutal and Conan is not a charming knight in shining armor. The characters are multifaceted and interesting and they are reflections of their world and material situation. Trying to pigeon-hole it into some pseudo-leftist (liberal) lens is inane and dishonest.


idc im not op. you're just a triggered reactionary nerd defending literal slop


>Conan The Barbarian Movie Review
>poster is from Conan The Destroyer
all dem words and you couldn't even get this right smh my head


80s action movies or "low fantasy" shlock is far more reactionary than the shit we got today with stuff like 300 which is overtly fascistic.


far less*


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<I-im not mad ur r!
<I'm totally not OP and totally not a pseud that doesn't understand the term reactionary!
LMAO what are you, 14? Fucking burgers man
>defending literal slop

>far more reactionary than the shit we got today with stuff like 300 which is overtly fascistic
pic related, go back to reddit, liberal.


Ah shit, you should have edited that "less" in before I responded, fuck. сорри


your idea of right-wing is “idealism about tribalism” whatever the fuck that means


also you’re the one defending burgerwood shit


>defending burgerwood
<Hollywood is bad, so all movies by them are bad
Trumbo says hello

>your idea of right-wing is “idealism about tribalism”
<whatever the fuck that means
Indeed "whatever the fuck" is apt, given your mindbogglingly misconstrued conception of my mentioning of tribalism.


It isn't even close to trash like Cobra, Invasion USA, Red Dawn, etc.


What exactly isn't fascist about 300? It quite literally hits all the checkmarks.
>protect muh Western civilization and golden wheatfields from Asiatic hordes
>enemies are literally subhuman
>corrupt politicians, just follow le strongman
>disabled people are treacherous trash
>fighting keeps society rejuvenated


No it is fascist (kinda, it is accurate to Spartan mindset) I thought you meant that Stuff like Conan is more fascist than 300.


decent analysis
only people who'd be against it are the ones that think neoliberalism is when you're polyamorous and non-binary


I agree, OPs little rant suffers from burgerbrain and lib ideology.

He's seeing boogiemen that aren't even there. I'm a left-winger and I enjoy movies like Conan and LOTR sometimes. This is because unlike OP, I recognize that it is a fantasy world that has nothing to do with the real world and is merely a product of it's time.


>this art has no ideology
>it’s a product of its time
something’s not adding up here


The elements that may be percieved as having some kind of ideology today are just cultural norms of the time. Obviously an American film is going to have some American ideas, because the people making it are American, not because of some intentional propaganda or ideology.


LOTR is basically a fairy tale. But with those "law fantasy" barbarian movies, they are supposed to be having almost zero magic and monsters. I remember that there is zero actual magic in Conan, although I might be wrong.

The concept is always to portray some mythical, lost civilization tens of thousands of years ago. I think that is a but reactionary it's also used as a parable of how valiant and raw life was back then. It reminds me a lot of fascist myths, like the Aryans being the people of Atlantis, or schizo theories like the "Finnish-Korean hyperwar".

Oh but I gotta admit, the soundtrack is absolutely fucking dope. They also almost tortured Arnold for this - he gets strapped to a cross for hours, he has an actual cave collapsing on him and is attacked by 5 dogs at some point.


>I remember that there is zero actual magic in Conan, although I might be wrong.
It has quite a bit actually, you must not have seen it in a while.


Well to be fair at the time the Conan books were written they didn't really have the concept of continental drift and things like Atlantis were considered plausible history. Of course now with hindsight we realize how batshit it was.


this is textbook liberal ideology


No it isn't you pseudo-intellectual, stop tossing "liberal" at everything you don't like, it doesn't even make sense in this context.


you don’t need an imageboard to talk to yourself through


The fuck are you even on about you delusional tit?


The posters here just keep getting dumber. Anon, that is what ideology fucking is.


>posters here just keep getting dumber.
Yeah, you proved it by example of yourself.
>that is what ideology fucking is
>a system of ideas and ideals
>which forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy.
Yeah you can't take part of a definition that fits your narrative and exclude the specific part.
The ideology that can be discerned from Conan has little to nothing to do with American ideology of the time or in general. The minor ideas I speak of are body-builder main character and some minor details, not the main narrative, story, plot or world. The reason Arnie had been so immensely muscular is because of the body-building obsession of the time, but it has no bearing on the film as a film, it's just a surface aesthetic.


>schizo theories like the "Finnish-Korean hyperwar".
The Finno-Korean hyper-war is literally just a joke and nobody believes it.
How can you have such a wrong understanding of reality?


>at the time the Conan books were written they didn't really have the concept of continental drift
Are you insane?
How about you simply look it up.
There were a bunch of competing theories on specifics about how different parts of it worked.

>things like Atlantis were considered plausible history

Are you crazy? Of course there are shizos and those that have fun humoring strange ideas, but you wouldn't find any serious person considering Atlantis as actual part of history.

>Of course now with hindsight we realize how batshit it was.

The only batshit insane people are burgers like you, who intentionally rewrite history to paint everyone as stupid by pointing to outliers and presenting them as the norm.


This is a silly fucking thread
Why are burgerbrains so obsessed with making the most bizarre nearly nonexistent connections and shitting on movies for, what, being set in some fantasy world? Because people enjoy them?
Do anglo leftists genuinely struggle with the concept that humans have imagination?
Why would you think the snake empire or whatever are the USSR aside from them being the antagonists?


Everything is ideological, even how muscular the main character is.


burgers love uncrifically watching movies are we in topsy turvy world now or what


Uh no, burgers obsessively overanalyze everything, they consume everything, even garbage, but also have the inanity of overanalyzing.

Ok Zizek.


no, they don’t, you’ve consumed way too many smug memes about “midwits” to realize the problem is just stupid pandering


>you’ve consumed way too many smug memes about “midwits”
I've consumed just about 0 memes about those, I never liked that meme and never bothered looking at it.
>the problem is just stupid pandering


>art cant have ideology
you can just copy and paste the above text for everyone of your posts considering you don’t have much else to say


>art cant have ideology
I've never said that nor implied it you fallacious projecting faggot. I stated that CONAN does not have, promote or mirror the majority of Americas ideology during the era it had been made in, unlike the OP claimed. Furthermore I claimed that it is inane to make such extrapolations from singular scenes given that there is no PROOF of such allegory being attempted in these scenes. Nothing I have said is incorrect and you ought to accept that.


lots of pointless little words
you should stop posting since it clearly isn’t for you
maybe try colouring books or something like that


>saging to avoid a response
>lots of pointless little words
Yes, your post indeed is that
>it clearly isn’t for you
maybe try colouring books or something like that
Yes, indeed you need to try some coloring books, Mr.Projector, with so many movie theatres out of business and you out of the job you must get so bored.


Robert Howard was indeed a racist (though milder than Lovecraft) and his work does have some ethnic nationalist themes. Most pulp and fantasy fiction from the 20s and 30s had some elements of ethnic essentialism. Howard wasn't a Hitlerite though, Hitler believed in the eternal supremacy of his Aryan German Race, but in Howard's stories the "master race" always falls into decadence then is sent back into the stone age by calamity, usurped by another race that considers itself "master" and the cycle goes on forever. It's a much bleaker pucture than you get from most racists who beleive their master race is only temporsrily embarrassed.


LOTR also includes racist elements, like degeneration through race mixing (ex: the uruk hai being blended from orcs and men)


Tolkein was literally an antiracist, the Uruk-hai were superior to regular orcs
Peter Jackson was the racist for hiring blacks to play most of the orcs


was tolkien an anti-racist, the elves were fucking genocidaires but no one ever called them out on their shit. It's in one perspective a bunch of racist feudal lords trying to stop the progress of industrialization because the orcs are ugly and created by Morgoth or some shit

Seriously fuck the elves.


>Seriously fuck the elves.
>t. Salty virgin hobgoblin
You will never go to Valinor.


>Peter Jackson was the racist for hiring blacks to play most of the orcs
Did he? I couldn't tell since most of them look utterly nonhuman under all that make up.



why was this post so controversial


Because it's a lengthy post trying to slap 'reactionary' onto a fictional book and using mostly idpol to do so.


It's about the movie.


controversial? the only people who would have a problem with it are reactionary trash and thus their "opinions" are unworthy of enough consideration to make it "controversial" in the first place


Book or movie, it doesn't matter, it's still fictional and extrapolating such Blue Curtains rubbish is nothing short of looking for problems in everything a la intersectional feminism.

>the only people who would have a problem with it are reactionary trash
No anon just because you're a salty idpol liberal that has boogiemen rent free in your head, doesn't make the people that call out these idiotic takes "reactionary", you conceited first world trollop.


Anon, why did you write a whole essay on a mid tier 80s sword and sorcery movie?


MaoReviews are back baby, right on leftypol.org /hobby/


Can you do Dune 2 when it releases


Because like >>28137 said, it's made by a burger-brained liberal pretending to be left wing, by calling a fictional product reactionary.

I swear, the whole idea that politics has to inform what pop-culture schlock you watch is truly the dumbest thing to ever come out of the past 10 years.


cope harder lmfao
just because it's schlock doesn't excuse it from having neo-fascist themes


>the whole idea that politics has to inform what pop-culture schlock you watch
This is the power of the New Left.


who cares about 80s action schlock lmao


lots of butthurt and cope in this thread over a simple critical review


>Calling out inane, paranoid fingerpointing is cope
Ok lol


The director John Milius is a weird guy that I'm somewhat fascinated by, he literally described himself as a right winger so right wing that he circles back to maoist anarachism
I have watched some of his other films, that he's either director and co-written, Geronimo, Wind and Lion and Farewell to the King and I get the impression that he just hates neo-liberalism and the modern world and would prefer anything over it, he reminds me a lot of patsoc dudes



>Finnish-Korean hyperwar
lol that is a meme coined on /his/. I was there when it happened fam


>Tolkein was literally an antiracist
that isn't true though. he was a racist in the strict sense that he believed that humanity was divided into races, and he definitely believed that the british (and whites) were superior to everyone else. he just didn't wear it on his sleeve because racism in the 20th century existed across a wide spectrum, from rabid outspoken racists to "respectable" ones like tolkein who probably thought outright racism was icky, though there are plenty of statements on record where recognizes race as a category for organizing mankind


In my country we have a weird group of self proclamed romantic nationalist who musterbait over those Conan style comics and art


"Low fantasy" has magic, it's just that the magic is incredibly rare and almost always evil. Magic users, or those attempting to use magic, are almost always evil. The nemesis of the archetypal "barbarian hero" is usually either a sorcerer or a priest.

The Conan movie did have magic in it, but it's only used by Thulsa Doom to turn either himself or objects into snakes because he leads a weird snake religion.


wasn't his sidekick an asian wizard? and also didn't his GF use magic to resurrect him after he was crucified?


>he believed that humanity was divided into races
That's not the definition of being a racist, the evidence of race being near non-existent at a genetic level did not exist in his time. Racism is prejudice based on race, Tolkien was not prejudiced based on race, at least not to any record I could find.
>he definitely believed that the british (and whites) were superior to everyone else
Proof beyond the fact that most everyone at the time in the West believed that their country was better? That's more nationalism than anything else and that's not the same as racism.

>wasn't his sidekick an asian wizard
No, you're conflating the magic monk played by Mako that helps cure him of the venom/poison he is afflicted by, and the warrior who fights alongside him.


To have a prejudice based on race you first have to believe in the existence of races.

But even if Tolkien did believe in discreet races I find it hard to believe that he was a bigot considering that the entire overarching thrust of the books is racial reconciliation bringing on a golden age and the banishment of what is essentially Satan.


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>To have a prejudice based on race you first have to believe in the existence of races.
True, but race is just an excuse for prejudice. Believing in race in and of itself, in a time when it was considered a real thing is not unusual or racist in and of itself. It is sort of now (although many people are not aware that race is not genetically real to this day simply because it's not a very well informed topic even in the US of A but I digress).

>the entire overarching thrust of the books is racial reconciliation bringing on a golden age and the banishment of what is essentially Satan.

THIS. The Orcs being banished and all that was because as is often in fairy tales, there can be figures of pure evil for the sake of a story. It is obvious to any that are not utter children or incapable of critical thought, that in reality peoples that are all pure evil are simply not a thing.


Op can we post this on NewMultitude?



That's still getting updated?


when we see a good effort post


this site is full of barely reformed seething poltards who larp as marxists anyway


>only people who'd be against it are the ones that think neoliberalism is when you're polyamorous and non-binary
No True Scotsman fallacy trying to gaslight using idpol concern trolling.

>Everyone I don't like is /pol/ because they don't accept my radlib delusions
Take meds or go back to reddit



Low fantasy doesn't necessarily make magic evil at all, you're thinking of the more specific sword & sorcery subgenre which Conan is an example of where you have heroes who are peak alpha male chads but otherwise mundane humans who beat up sissy wizard nerds.


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Spamming your lame mp3 that nobody clicks on isn't an argument, stay mad.


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>who beat up sissy wizard nerds.
>sissy wizard nerds
>Thulsa Doom
>James Earl Jones Height - 6′ 2″
>The iconic voice
>Dresses in armor half the time and has a harem of loyal zealots


Those of you who say that "Conan is "Reactionary" You should look at this article: https://corabuhlert.com/2021/06/30/conan-the-socialist/



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>replies a week later, after being called out for shitting themselves
<has no originality, just spams the same mp3 nobody even clicks
<"N-no UR mad, not me!"
Ok liberal.


Still a sissy nerd when you put him next to Conan.


everyone in that era was 6'3 so the point still stands.


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I guess, but that's because he's the main character, he's even bigger and stronger than his enemies, who are already made up of big and strong men. Magic was their differential advantage that he overcomes through more than just pure strength of body, but with strength of mind and will and bonds.

>everyone in that era was 6'3




what movie this from?


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"Beast Wizard VII", a fictional film in the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles universe, where-in one of the tertiary characters (George Laszlo depicted by Garret Dillahunt) played this B-list Conan rip-off. If you're looking for similar, real films just look up Brandon Tenold's reviews on Conan rip-offs.


In the original stories, most sorcerers and priests are sissy nerds, though.

There's more than one Conan story where some sorcerer or priest is gloating at Conan, but gets cut off mid-monologue because Conan threw some object at him and killed him instantly.


Overspecializing STEMcels are nerds, yes. It's just the reality of most minmaxing people.

Still weird how magic is evil in this universe. I'd imagine the setting to be pagan overall but it's almost Christian in its opposition to magic… Wait a second, it's Warhammer all over again, isn't it?


>There's more than one Conan story where some sorcerer or priest is gloating at Conan, but gets cut off mid-monologue because Conan threw some object at him and killed him instantly.
That doesn't make them sissy nerds, that just makes them hubristic.

>Overspecializing STEMcels are nerds
>Magic = STEM
I hate this take
>weird how magic is evil in this universe
Except it isn't? Magic literally saves Conan more than once. The reason a lot of magic users are evil or villains is because it makes sense for those that have power in this primitive feudalistic world to take control with their power.
>it's almost Christian in its opposition to magic
Stop, just stop.


Don't care didn't read. If Conan has any deliberate political message it's probably a vaguely reactionary one, but honestly you could force any reading on a given peace of media. The point is its dope and I don't care what its politics are. I will continue to get blitzed and watch it at least once a year.


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>he point is its dope and I don't care what its politics are. I will continue to get blitzed and watch it at least once a year.


Conan is anti-civ.
From the stories:
<Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.
<"Civilized men laugh," said Conan. "But not one can tell me how Zogar Sag can call pythons and tigers and leopards out of the wilderness and make them do his bidding. They would say it is a lie, if they dared. That's the way with civilized men. When they can't explain something by their half-baked science, they refuse to believe it."

Howard, in letters to H.P. Lovecraft:
<You express amazement at my statement that 'civilized' men try to justify their looting, butchering and plundering by claiming that these things are done in the interests of art, progress and culture. That this simple statement of fact should cause surprize, amazes me in return. People claiming to possess superior civilization have always veneered their rapaciousness by such claims…
<Your friend ᴉuᴉlossnW is a striking modern-day example. In that speech of his I heard translated he spoke feelingly of the expansion of civilization. From time to time he has announced; 'The sword and civilization go hand in hand!' 'Wherever the Italian flag waves it will be as a symbol of civilization!' 'Africa must be brought into civilization!' It is not, of course, because of any selfish motive that he has invaded a helpless country, bombing, burning and gassing both combatants and non-combatants by the thousands. Oh, no, according to his own assertions it is all in the interests of art, culture and progress, just as the German war-lords were determined to confer the advantages of Teutonic Kultur on a benighted world, by fire and lead and steel. Civilized nations never, never have selfish motives for butchering, raping and looting; only horrid barbarians have those.



Noice. Anti-civ is ultimately reactionary in its conclusions, but moreso than any other reactionary philosophy it has the correct motivations and critiques.


>I hate this take
What's wrong with it? Magic is a replacement for science in fantasy pretty much.
>Except it isn't? Magic literally saves Conan more than once.
Ah, sorry. I'm just making assumptions based on what the anon said. All questions to them, I was misled.


>Magic is a replacement for science in fantasy
No, that is something that happened to fantasy fiction in the past few decades, where fantasy "writers" wanted to deconstruct the genre and did the "muh magic is just science we don't understand" meme. I'll admit it can be done well (for example Diane Duane's Young Wizards), with worldbuilding and the like, but it has to be a focused part of the setting. Magic in old-school fantasy, especially Sword & Sorcery stories, is that of mystical and impossible abilities, and frankly that should be the mainstream take, magic is the opposite of science, the opposite of rationality and the material - it is fantastical, impossible and ignores what should be reality because it is essentially the power of imagination… but I digress.


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what up fags
if you like Conan you might like my shit


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Glad im not the only lefty who fucks with pulp horror, been publishing these zines, mix of classics (including phoenix on the sword) as well as new stories submitted by members of the working class


Conan's disdain for decadence and corruption aligns with the Maoist critique of the old society's culture as maintaining the status quo of exploitation and oppression.

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