The mythology papers here are unconnected with the science review work, but this is another window on what makes people and society tick. One analyses the hegemonic mythology of today (‘identity politics’ and ‘political correctness’); two pertain to the seminal ancient mythologies of these Isles: Robin Hood and King Arthur. Another addresses the seeming early-modern pastiche of the famous dragon legend of Wantley, but which turns out to be ancient and medieval — and itself connected to Robin Hood myth. Most recently added is a speculation about the ‘snake’ namings of the Dark Peak. The common thread to all but the ‘identity politics’ essay is (Scottish) Gaelic etymology, and in due course back-up papers on this will be uploaded, beginning with an account of the Sheffield core-central street names, all of which are (Scottish) Gaelic in origin. [This last appears in less ‘scholarly’ form in the autumn 2016 edition of Stirrings magazine.]
* The Origin of Identity Politics & ‘Political Correctness’: Not consideration for minorities but hatred for the masses; specifically ‘the workers’ — Tracing how and why it arose and developed reveals the greatest political fraud in history.
‘Identity politics’ (sometimes dubbed ‘political correctness’) is the result of a political-Left major backlash against the mass of ordinary people (in Europe and ‘the West’), beginning in the 1920s/30s, in the wake of the persistent failure of Marxist theory to be realised in European ‘revolution’ or any real change through democracy. In shifting the blame away from Marxist theory and the gullibility of those adhering to it, and on to those the theory prescribed and predicted would have been the beneficiaries, if only they had responded accordingly (‘the workers’); then the cognitive-dissonance within the political-left mindset caused by this crisis to an extent could be salved.
The intellectual rationalisation of this was first by invoking Freud’s discredited notion of ‘repression’ to attempt to explain a supposed impact on ‘the workers’ of ‘capitalism’ acting within the context of the family. With most workers being male, and the principal ‘agents of social change’ in a ‘revolution’ being envisaged as likewise, then the theoreticians had in mind the male as ‘head’ of the family. It was a simple extension in political-Left imagination for ‘the worker’ to change from being the putative conduit of the impact of ‘capitalism’ to its embodiment, leaving women to become the replacement supposed ‘oppressed’ and ‘disadvantaged’. This implausible and unfalsifiable non-scientific nonsense mainly festered within academia until the co-option after 1968 by the political-Left of the seeming revolutionary US ‘civil rights’ movement. This added to the ‘new oppressed’ the category ‘non-white’, which like that of women could be envisaged as an inversion of a retrospective stereotype of ‘the worker’. In the wake of the similarly seeming revolutionary Stonewall riots of 1969, the ‘gay rights’ lobby was also co-opted to further add to the abstract demonised aspects of ‘the worker’, now retrospectively stereotyped as male plus ‘white’ plus heterosexual.
The strands of the ‘new oppressed’ combined in a new (neo-Marxist) conceptualisation to account for these political shifts after the fact, and came to be termed ‘identity politics’ (or more pejoratively but accurately, ‘cultural Marxism’, and latterly dubbed ‘modernising’ [sic] in political parties). The deemed ‘groups’ replacing ‘the workers’ – subsequently expanded to embrace the disabled, the elderly, trans-sexuals and the obese – are abstractions rather than groups per se, and in any case far too heterogeneous to be in reality ‘oppressed’ or ‘disadvantaged’; providing a window on the sophistry and origin of this politics as other than it purports.
The pretence to egalitarianism is perfect cover for what ‘identity politics’ actually is: the very perennial and ubiquitous elitist-separatism the political-Left ethos attacks and denies; rendered a quasi-religion, being an ideology in the wake of the Christian notion of ‘the promised land’ in the utopia/dystopia of equality-of-outcome. This represents a continuation of the process of a shift in religiosity from envisaging a ‘god’ as being in man’s image, through the humanist deification of mankind, to worship of a supposed dynamic of teleological social change (originally understood in Marxism as a form of explicit cognition known as ‘the dialectic’). ‘Identity politics’, in being both not what it pretends to be and now so widespread and entrenched across the whole and every facet of the establishment in Anglophone nations and ‘the West’ generally, can properly be regarded as the greatest political fraud in history.
* Unmasking King Arthur: Etymology reveals the basis of Arthurian legend
Following the etymological investigation into the Robin Hood name, the same approach to tackle the riddle of the origin of Arthurian legend reveals effectively the same meaning of ‘serpent’, in the same language (Gaelic), and which surely again alludes to the pan-‘Celtic’ deity Bridhe.
* The Origin of Robin Hood Mythology: The Etymology of the ‘Robin Hood’ Name
The first-ever etymological investigation into the origin of Robin Hood mythology — RH obviously not being a real personage. The conclusion is that it is clearly ancient and not medieval: ‘Celtic’; specifically (Scottish) Gaelic rodaidh, diminutive of ruadhrí, ‘red king’ (the mythic figure who sacrifices himself because his regal blood is required to be shed on to the land to ensure its fertility); this meaning and etymology entwined with that denoting the deity to whom the sacrifice is made: rìbhinn (rìgh-beann), ‘king-wife’, meaning ‘maiden-queen’ — the Celtic deity Bríd (Bríg, Brighid). This was later qualified by hood from Welsh hud, ‘magic’, ‘fairy’, in the sense of ‘devil’, referring to ‘the old religion’.
* The Dragon of Wantley: The Mystery of the Famous English Legend Now Solved
This overturns the longstanding theory of the origin of what was England’s most famous dragon legend. The early-modern ballad was not to do with the Wortley Lords but the Counter-Reformation, involving a law suit initiated and conducted solely by George More of Sheffield against George Talbot, sixth Earl of Shrewsbury. Furthermore, there are localised ancient mythological roots in ‘Celtic’ serpent and, it seems, ‘water-monster’ place-namings, with a medieval ‘dragon v knight’ overlay through the local presence of the Knights Hospitallers of St John of Jerusalem.