The Remarkable Case Of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Eyes

November 24, 2017

The Remarkable Case Of

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Eyes

by

Dr. Anton Polarion

Concern for man himself and his fate must always form the chief interest…in order that the creations of our mind should be a blessing and not a curse for mankind.

–Albert Einstein

 

In 1953 a sci-fi novel was published by Arthur C. Clarke which he entitled ‘Childhood’s End.’ I read it only a couple years ago and while I don’t believe I got his point the story has haunted my imagination since then. In the novel he depicts a situation in which the first phase of evolution has flowered, and a second phase is about to begin out of the blown flower or the seed of the first.

Just after the end of WWII Clarke may well have believed than an old order of evolution had matured and a new one was beginning. His symbolism notwithstanding it is clear the evolution was not beginning a new phase, unless he knew something he wasn’t telling, but it is possible to view the post-war period as a culminating point in the historical continuum.

Writers are frequently more sensitive to such shifts than other people. Assuming that the historical continuum had at least transited its first phase, as I do, and was in fact beginning a new phase, which I only postulate, then it is possible to review the historical evolution of mankind and its various sub-special components as completed units. I intend to place Edgar Rice Burroughs in his place in that historical continuum.

Now let us by a feat of Wells/Einsteinian legerdemain roll the paper into a cylinder and step across the seam into that earlier phase of the historical continuum.

For tens of thousands of years the flow of the historical continuum appeared to be nearly as even and uninterrupted as the flow of the mighty Congo from the immense distance of Stanley Falls to the Stanley Pool.

Change there was but so slow as to cause barely a ripple until the accumulated changes resulted in the disruption of human consciousness that occurred in the Victorian Period.

Since then the historical continuum has been as turbulent as the series of rapids on the Congo below Stanley Pool.

THEN I SAW THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,

CUTTING THROUGH THE FOREST WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

Then along that riverbank

A thousand miles

Tattooed cannibals danced in file.

–Vachel Lindsay, The Congo

The French Revolution was important but that was mainly a political transition from the late feudal to the early modern. What we’re really concerned with is the challenge it gave to the psychology of man, that time when the Congo and the Jungle became a symbol of Man’s conscious and unconscious mind and his conscious mind cut through the darkness like a golden track. To put a convenient date on the psychological transition let’s put it at 1859 when Darwin’s

Origin of Species’ was published; nothing challenged the ancient mentality of Mankind more. It was then that the Congo crept North of the Equator to flow through the Euroamerican mind.

Darwin’s theories rent the mind of most men in two. Some like Edgar Rice Burroughs understood instantly but most resisted for decades while a hundred fifty years later the howl of disbelief can still be heard. The Semitic vision of the origin of man and the world as portrayed in Genesis became impossible for any reflective Westerner to believe. The hold of the ancient Semitic system of belief was so strong that exoteric scholars could not express their evolutionary views openly for fear of losing their jobs while having their lives ruined in what might risibly be termed ‘premature McCarthyism.’

Then I heard the boom of the blood-lust song

And a thigh bone beating on a tin-pan gong.

–Vachel Lindsay -The Congo

Nevertheless the brief period from 1859 to 1914 was one of the most exciting and productive periods of history.   The past had been or was being made intelligible to Western Man’s inquiring mind. As unpleasant as the fact may be to some people, modern understanding is solely the product of the mind of Western Man or Homo Sapiens III. Neither the African of HIS nor the sterile Semites nor the various sterile Mongolid races contributed one iota of understanding in this period, very little since and that only under the influence of the West.

While the Semitic Freud was delving into personal psychology his great rival, CG Jung, was exploring the development of human consciousness to open a psychological understanding of the mind of mankind in which the individual might be included and explained. In other words, he was placing the individual in the historical continuum. An esotericist of some note, it is to Jung and the school he founded that we are indebted for our understanding of all the phases of consciousness, their development and evolution.

At the same time that our increasing awareness allowed us to see clearly into the past for the first time, the pace of change was becoming so rapid that it was possible to project current trends into the near future. In conjunction with the rapid increase in scientific discoveries a futuristic or science fiction became possible.

In the popular mind the foundations for futuristic fiction were laid by the vastly underrated H.G. Wells.

Understanding the past, projections into the future and tremendous technological achievement, lent this period such great self-confidence that it was thought that anything was possible to the mind of man. The attitude was abruptly brought to an end in 1912; not by the First World War but rather by the unthinkable fact that Man’s mind had erred in thinking that it could build an unsinkable ship. When that great ship, the Titanic went down it took the pride of Western, which is to say human mind down with it.

The period of 1859 to 1914 was also one in which the absolute superiority of the ‘White race’ seemed not only apparent but real in fluorescent colors. In fact, White, or HSIII, superiority was acknowledged by all the people of the Earth, who were overawed by Western achievements. It was only after 1914 when the confidence of HSIII was shaken that the counter-attack became possible and success plausible. Even then this was an internal schism between the right people of the West and the wrong people of the Reds.

I have studied the notion of evolution of Dugald Warbaby in his essays ‘Tarzan Over Africa’ and ‘Tarzan Meets Mohammed.’ Based on his notion I would like to explain how the various sub-species are to be characterized during this first historical continuum.

The character of a sub-species is fixed from the moment of its mutation. Everything that it will ever be able to do it can envision at its inception; there is no evolution of ability within a sub-species its abilities unfold to its limits as its development progresses.

In you believe in Darwin’s concept of natural selection then you must believe that the various sub-species segregated themselves from the other sub-species on the basis of likeness. Further, following Darwin’s theory of natural selection so did various races form within a sub-species. Each race within a sub-species will by natural selection exclude all others who are not true to type until the race is uniform in appearance and psychology.

To use the African model: If one race is flat nosed and thick lipped then those characteristics will be valued. Any who do not conform to the ideal will be ejected from the race or killed.

If nearby thin lipped people with a bridged nose exist those two peoples will come into conflict with each other. The ensuing war between the physical and psychological types will be to the knife. In a word: genocide. Undisturbed by outside forces the battle will continue until either one race is exterminated or one or the other moves from the vicinity. This is what natural selection means. This is the history of Man. The notion of natural selection was also put into the words: survival of the fittest.

Thus HSI claimed sub-Saharan Africa for itself expelling the mutated HSII and possibly the Semites if they mutated at the same time . HSII migrated from the Mediterranean Basin and on into Western Europe. The Semites separated from HSI and HSII or were driven away migrating into the Arabian Peninsula, a backwater. HSIII when it mutated was either expelled from HSII or separated themselves to occupy the area near the Caspian Sea.

The English geneticist Bryan Sykes believes that the various Mongolid races mutated from HSIII a mere ten thousand years ago although this seems unlikely. The Mongolids like the Semites are also a sterile offshoot. They migrated across the steppes to the Eastern seaboard of Asia. Thus, following Darwin’s theory of natural selection when the traceable historical continuum becomes apparent one has HSI in Africa, HSII in Western Europe and HSIII in the Caspian area of Central Asia, the Semites occupying Arabia and the Mongolids in Eastern Asia.

The first confrontation between the sub-species in historical times came when a people of HS III derivation migrated to Mesopotamia. There they created a civilization which may have been influenced by an HSII population already in possession. Either HSIII alone or together with HSII, this people created the Sumerian Civilization.

 

From Sumer To The World Trade Center

 

In the present struggle in Eastern Europe the element of religious antagonism is the most important factor in the problem. The question originally one of race and government has become to a great extent one of religion. …Muslims…use the Sheriat, or law embracing or based upon the Cor-an and its commentaries, and this is declared by many persons in Western Europe to be utterly inapplicable to Christian subjects. Here, then, is the real difficulty; is Mohammedanism so plastic as to be adapted to the reforms which it is universally admitted…are required, or must it be eliminated altogether from Europe? If an affirmative answer be given to the latter proposition…there is no solution of the difficulty but a religious war, and such a war as the world has never yet seen.

–Mohammed and Mohammedanism.

Anonymous reviewer in the

Quarterly Review, January 1877

The answer has proven to be that Moslemism is not so plastic as to be adjusted to rational or Western psychology. Moslemism is an expression of the Semitic psychology. That psychology is particular to the Semitic sub-species. In the Darwinian sense it is part and parcel of natural selection. HSIII and the Semites are psychologically incompatible. That cannot be changed.

Now, the Semites could never have created a civilization on their own but the glitter of the HSIII Sumerian civilization drew them from their desert haunts much as the glitter of Western civilization has drawn the Semites from their desert oil fields today. Bear in mind that the Semitic character was set a hundred thousand years before Sumer and that no matter how circumstances may change their character cannot. Its stern limits are set by genetic evolution.

It is to be assumed that just as the Semites first infiltrated Western civilization then attacked and destroyed the symbol of Western supremacy, the World Trade Center in the Western capital of New York City, that they committed a similar outrage against Sumer five thousand years ago. Character, methods and tactics in a sub-species do not change; as it is it was and ever shall be.

If one analyzes Semitic methods and ethos which will have remained unchanged for the five thousand years of recorded history it will be readily seen what transpired in Sumer and why the Sumerian civilization was obliterated.

The main body of Semites undoubtedly blamed a militant minority for whatever crime was perpetrated against the Sumerians. The Semitic story of Cain and Abel may point the way to the nature of the dispute, just as the Sumerian story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu may present the Sumerian version of the quarrel. Believing they were dealing with an honorable people, rather than driving the Semites away, the Sumerians believed that the Semites were sincere and that they could get along with them. Thus, while palavering endlessly the Semites continued to infiltrate Sumer until they had sufficient numbers within and sufficient military power without to displace the Sumerians in their own land. ‘Ye shall live in houses that ye never built.’ As the Bible says.

Not having inherent scientific ability the Semites gradually replaced the scientific basis of Sumerian society with their own brand of fanatical ignorant religion.

Thus, the Semites appropriated Mesopotamia and Syria occupying the coasts of the Mediterranean while retaining Arabia. The deadly pall of Semitic ignorance settled over the Near East, or Western Asia, however you look at it. Contemporary Egyptians styled them ‘vile Asiatics.’

Over the centuries the Semites came into direct conflict with the Egyptians who, if I am right in the origins of the Libyans of Lower Egypt, were an HS II people. As empires grew larger and came into direct contact the Semitic empire of Assyria was able to conquer the HSIIs of Egypt in the seventh century BC. Thus, in the Darwinian struggle for supremacy the Egyptians were eliminated as a people. They have never recovered being now a remnant after a genocidal persecution of centuries. Their place has been taken by Semites.

As in Sumer the Semitic character immediately began to attack the scientific religious culture of Egypt in an attempt to destroy it while superimposing their own fanatical religious culture, the culture of ignorance.

The HSIII Persians ousted the Semitic Assyrians being in turn ousted by the HSIII Greeks who were replaced by the HSIII or possibly HSII Romans.

Now, following their sub-special manner a group or race of Semites, known in history as Jews, who had been displaced in an intra-sub-special conflict with the Assyrians in 586 BC, had been infiltrating the various kingdoms of the Mediterranean from Gaul to Egypt and Libya much as their ancestors had infiltrated Sumer. They followed the intolerant Semitic impulse by combating the religion of their host countries. They aggressively over turned altars and insulted the religion of these nations.

Unwilling and unable to assimilate themselves, as in the prototype of Sumer, they sought first to infiltrate and then to conquer. In the Roman case, much as in the Semitic attack on the World Trade Center, they made their move prematurely and had insufficiently infiltrated the enemy territory while having no military force without to complete conquest. In the resulting wars known to history as the Jewish Wars the Romans all but exterminated the Palestinian Jews while the Jews within the empire stood by helplessly.

In the ensuing syncretistic Semito-Christian religion the Semites acquired a disproportionate influence over the Greek scientific thought completely suppressing it. In keeping with the Semitic Sumerian tradition the Semito-Christians attacked all science and learning in an attempt to stultify the Greek or scientific influence in their attempt to impose the ignorance which was in keeping with their native intellect. The result in the West was what is know as the Dark Ages.

Then, in the seventh century AD an Arabian Semite by the name of Mohammed re-evaluated the situation to come up with a new and more determined attempt to impose Semitism on the world.

After Sumer, in the Jewish attempt of the conquest of HSII and HSIII, the Jews were so cranked out that in their pride they excluded all from their religion but their own small race of Semites. This created a situation which in a direct confrontation with the majority must always lose. Mohammed realized the error of exclusiveness rewriting the rules so that even forcible proselytization to his new Semitic religion was preferred.

Thus, by enrolling potentially unlimited auxiliaries under a religious banner he was able to augment the numbers of Semites so that there was a chance of conquering the world under the banner of ignorance.

Mohammed also undoubtedly realized that even though the Semites had gained a preponderant influence in the Semito-Christian religion that eventually the majority would reject the foreign Semitic influence. It was necessary then to impose Semitism on the majority by physical force. He thus organized the Semites into a military force capable of attacking the world.

The Arabs quickly overran North Africa while their converts the Moors entered Spain quickly conquering that nation. Without a pause they swept through the Pyrenees to penetrate deep into Europe where they stopped nearly at the gates of Paris from which they were driven back into Spain. The Spaniards then began the Reconquista which took them nearly a millennium to accomplish. Thus Europe barely escaped being impaled on the lance of ignorance.

Although it is generally believed that at the beginning of the Arab conquest a brilliant scientific civilization was created this notion is completely false. The Moslems rode over an existing HSIII Greek scientific culture which they immediately assaulted in much the same manner as that of the Semito-Christians. It took them about three hundred years to suppress the Greek scientific culture until today there is not one shred of scientific learning in Moslem lands. Instead they dynamite anything that challenges the ignorant bigoted Moslem view of religion.

From that first impulse to the present day the Semites have never ceased their worldwide attack on both the West and the East. What the Assyrians failed to do in Egypt, Mohammed’s fanatical Moslems have accomplished. With ceaseless tireless energy and will Moslems have sought to impose their ignorance on the world.

The situation in 1877 when the Russians, Poles and Austrians were driving the Moslems out of Central and Eastern Europe was essentially that of today. Whether you like it or not Milosevic was continuing and winning the war referred to by the prefacing quote in 1877. The reviewer in the Quarterly Review realized that one must drive the Moslems out or accept the stultification of the HSIII species. That is what Milosevic was doing.

There was some surcease for the West when the Slavs and Austrians succeeded in driving the Moslem power back into Asia at the end of the nineteenth century. However Moslems remained successfully active in Africa, India and the Far East.

It was only Western Science that provided the means to temporarily crush the Moslems and put them in their place. That is where matters stood when the first historical continuum ended in 1945.

Regaining courage and strength from their oil reserves the Semites once again following in their five thousand years practice began to infiltrate every country in the world while consolidating themselves in their core areas.

Whether the attack on the West in New York was premature or not remains to be seen in the response the West makes. If it follows the Sumerian model of toleration then it must lose this five thousand year battle with the forces of ignorance. If it follows the Roman model and destroys Mecca and Medina as the Romans were compelled to destroy Jerusalem, while either exterminating or confining the Moslems then civilization will survive at whatever cost. The Hitlerian solution is so extreme as to cause revulsion. However if we are truly a scientific people both in physics and psychology we do have the means although we probably lack the will to conquer. Perhaps that was the Sumerian problem, too much prosperity and comfort to imperil. Like them we will probably be too supine to assert our superiority. We should be able to manage pretty well if we assume the will the defeat the enemy. This battle will be fought as a test of wills. This is a colder war than the war with Communism.

This same sort of analysis can be applied to every sub-species on the planet; the potentialities and possibilities of each has become an established fact, their future actions can be forecast from their past history. I do not intend to go into each, but it should be clear that the former Chinese leader, Mao Ze Dong, was true to the Chinese sub-special type. No matter what the Chinese may say, Mao bared the Chinese soul.

 

Edgar Rice Burroughs Strides Into The Scene

 

The life of Edgar Rice Burroughs straddled the great 1914 division of this both terminal and seminal period from 1859 to 1945. His youth was lived in the shadow of the Little Big Horn where Custer died for our sins in 1876 the year after Burroughs was born. The Plains Indians were still being overrun in his youth while he himself participated in the last Indian battles against the Apaches in the Southwest. Even as the Indians were being defeated he saw the success of man’s attempt to fly, the introduction of the telephone and movies. Henry Ford introduced the Model T making a mass market auto industry a reality almost at the same time Burroughs sat down to begin his Tarzan stories. And then the Titanic sank.

Burroughs was a pulp fiction writer. I think it can be argued that the pulp fiction magazine originated with the Strand Magazine in England. Pulp fiction called for a different approach than literary fiction. Literary fiction is designed to appeal to refined, informed or cultured tastes while pulp fiction was designed as popular entertainment for the widest possible audience.

Thus, Literary authors have tended to look down on popular writers. However one result of universal literacy was that ‘common’ tastes prevailed over fine literature. Today almost no one can tell you who the American literary author William Dean Howells was or have even heard of him, yet you may be certain that he and his contemporaries thought his literary immortality was secured.

Ernest Poole won the first Pulitzer Prize for literature yet I doubt that even one person in a million could identify him. Booth Tarkington won two Pulitzer prizes which no one else has ever done yet the mention of his name draws blank stares. He wrote good stuff too which one hopes won’t be forgotten. ‘Seventeen’ was a real charmer.

Strangely, the great popular fiction writers are known not so much for themselves as for their creations. Thus, everyone knows Sherlock Holmes, but many would be stumped by the name Arthur Conan Doyle. You almost have to be a specialist to know who Bram Stoker was yet Dracula is a piece of furniture in everyone’s mind. Not one in an infinite number can identify Gaston LeRoux but all know the Phantom Of The Opera, his creation. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ name is fairly well known but not everyone can connect him to his universally known creation, Tarzan. Not even in his home town, Tarzana.

Burroughs came at the tail end of that crop of popular writers who have been the staple of twentieth century literature. He was too young to be a part of the Kipling, Wells, Haggard and Doyle scene although circumstances did make him a friend of the OZ creator, L. Frank Baum.

Even thought H.G. Wells was only six years his senior Well’s writing career began in the 1890s. He had been famous nearly twenty years before Burroughs put pen to paper. And yet Burroughs writing connects him to this pre-1914 literary scene as a sort of younger sibling; he belongs to this tradition. Nor is his creation, Tarzan, inferior in reputation to any other literary creation of the time with the exception of the archetype of the twentieth century, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Even then, many, if not most people don’t realize that there is not only one Tarzan novel but a series of them.

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ eyes had seen most of the seminal events of this productive pre-1914 period when he sat down to write. He was able to reflect on them all. Unlike his near contemporaries he did not create the era so much as recapitulate it. From 1914 to 1945 was pretty much a playing out of these earlier developments.

Darwin’s theory of evolution had created a defined racial hierarchy at the bottom of which was the Negro and at the top of which was the EuroAmerican White. In between were the Semites and Mongolids. This notion is reflected in Burroughs’ writing.

While it was believed that this was the order of evolution there was no scientific basis for proving what was apparent to the eyes.

The great disrupting discoveries in physics and psychology had already been made and were becoming popularized. Havelock Ellis, Krafft-Ebing and others were leading a sexual revolution; the Feminist Movement was in full tilt while in a few years the unthinkable would occur when Communism seized power in Russia in 1917 which made the post 1914 world so different while people were slow to understand the magnitude of the change. And then there was the introduction of the income tax which disturbed ERB so much in ‘Tarzan And The Ant Men.’

Amazingly Burroughs eyes were so acute he was able to understand and incorporate all these developments in the Tarzan novels without ever mentioning any by name. In his dedication to ‘entertainment’ he was able to write around, below, above and through these developments without letting any of them obtrude didactically into his stories. Therein lies, I think, the secret of his success. While H.G. Wells became a didactic preacher for his causes at the end of his career thereby dating himself; Burroughs sublimated his opinions while yet always coming down on the right side of the question. He cannot be considered a reactionary or even a conservative; he always understood the nature of the question and saw the correct viewpoint. Thus, he remains ‘modern’ or current.

Burroughs has been accused of ‘racism’ for his views on evolution but the accusation misses the point. Bear in mind the consequences of evolution and natural selection. To speculate on the nature of evolution and apply the results is not ‘racism.’ After all, not only did Burroughs have no trouble with evolution but he seems to have a well thought out notion of it which differs little from Darwin’s natural selection and seems to be closer to the more accurate scientific genetic explanation. One might call ERB a speculative evolutionist.

This is a remarkable achievement as in 1912 when he began to write, no academic could openly reject religion in favor of evolution without being expelled from the academic community. Even though they knew better they still proclaimed that evolutionary beliefs did not challenge religious opinions.

Burroughs, courageously one might say, disregards all religious considerations, writing about evolution as though it were an accepted and undeniable fact. Tarzan experiences every phase of evolution in his development. He was reared as a beast, consorted with the Africans, then considered the lowest form of humanity, and went directly to being a civilized EuroAmerican and then backtracked to become the chief of the Black Waziri then becoming the Great White Potentate of all Africa.

The significant point here is that Burroughs apparently considers the Negro as a distinct species. Rokoff, the Russian villain in ‘Son of Tarzan’, tells Jane that as her husband was born a beast so Jack, his son, will be placed amongst an African tribe to be reared in the evolutionary stage of the Negro, that is, between the apes and homo sapiens.

Blacks are also differentiated culturally by Burroughs; he does not deal in rude stereotypes. He is aware of cultural differences between African tribes. His proud Waziri are the crème de la crème of the African tribes in every respect, especially in never having submitted to Arab slavers. American Blacks such as Robert Jones of ‘At The Earth’s Core; who have been subjected to different cultural influences in the United States are portrayed entirely differently from the various African Blacks. ERB has a keen eye for distinctions, in dialect and speech most especially.

He himself was an avid reader. This is no more apparent than in his treatment of his Arab characters. He never traveled outside the United States so his knowledge of Moslemism and Arabs had to be acquired completely from books. As Warbaby pointed out in ‘Tarzan Meets Mohammed’ Burroughs was a keen student of Moslem culture. He perceived the complete lack of Science in Moslem thought nearly predicting 9/11.

It is very true that he has no great liking for his Arab characters. They are uniformly disreputable and bad.

Yet they are not stock characters. There is a great deal of individuality about them. Personally I found Amor Ben Khatour, the abductor of Miriem in ‘Son of Tarzan’ a terrifying and realistic character. I thought the sub-plot between Meriem’s father and Khatour well handled.

That the Arabs are all villains may be attributed less to ‘racism’ than the fact of their occupation. They are all slave traders. The Arabs living in Africa were associated with the slave trade. Being a slave trader in Arab society was something like being a dope dealer in ours. Just because someone want to buy the product doesn’t mean they want to be associated with the dealers. The dealer is usually a disreputable person whether in drugs or slaves. Anyone who has read his Burton and Stanley can form a pretty accurate idea of a slaver’s character.

How then could Burroughs depict his Arabs as any less than brutal, mean, disreputable men. This is what a slaver is; this is what Burroughs understood; there is no racism involved. He doesn’t descend into name calling. Rather Burroughs grapples honestly and accurately with some fairly difficult problems.

Burroughs was cleverly synthesizing the ideas and learning of the 1859-1914 period in a way in which those of us of the post-1945 generation who were at ‘Childhood’s End; could use his opinions and attitudes to build a base of opinion on which to extend our own attitudes into the future as a basis of our own lives.

As evidence that Burroughs succeeded is the fact that his character named Tarzan who no longer has a home in a geographical location called Africa still exists as the Lord of the Jungle in a psychological projection of our subconscious called Africa.

 

NOW I SEE THE CONGO, CREEPING THROUGH THE BLACK,

CUTTING THROUGH THE FOREST WITH A GOLDEN TRACK.

 

Yes, that terrifying Congo, that symbol of the Heart of Darkness, the savage untutored wildness creeping through the jungle of our nocturnal fears, the psychological malaise that affects us all. How to find that golden track of consciousness that will relieve us of our uncertainties and make the world safe for us, that is the question.

Perhaps Burroughs’ greatest success was that he created a character to represent our conscious minds while reducing the world of subconscious terrors of this jungle of Africa called Life to a manageable form. In this mental Africa by the force of character we can all feel less threatened and more at home as we cruise down our personal Congo in our very own ‘Lady Alice.’

Long live Tarzan and God Bless Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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