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The 4th Awakening
6 Awakening Inside a Trojan Horse (2)
Except for the intervention of the tsars, the barons, and the Lutheran church who came to stop the consciousness raising and healing begun by the Herrnhuters, the social fabric of Latvians would probably be more harmonious today or perhaps to a quicker understanding what ails it.
The baron rejection of the Herrnhuter movement did, in a manner of speaking, stop the iconoclasm of the native Herrnhuters (against the symbols of their pa-Yan past). Still, it was only a pause of a particular current in a much bigger and broader stream sometimes known as Positivism. The “good news” was bathed by it.
The political consequences of the repression by the Herrnhuters took the descendants of the Herrnhuters into territory their parents had feared to enter. While their parents had retreated behind a mask of submission when challenged, the descendants discovered the phenomenon of ethnicity. It scared the barons to the point where they showed it, which is why the “new” Latvos so quickly surged forward as a society. Of course, it was largely a city oriented society, because it was the city where the media crossed paths with the anonymous to everyone’s best advantage.
Ethnic costumes came into their own after the spiritually repressed Latvos began to wonder if they all shared in one language (among the various tribes) because they had once had a common ancestor. It was the idea that such an ancestor had existed that helped move the Latvos toward ethnocentrism . Given that most of the once Pa-yan population still seldom moved beyond a ten mile radius from home, it was a dizzying successful idea, not to say a money maker for the print media.
This is how ethnicity became the dominant feature of Latvian national identity. Paradoxically, it was the Lutherans who now hastened to cloak their repression of the Herrnhuters by replacing German ministers with Latvian ministers, thus, taking the credit for the First Awakening. Lutherans increasingly identified themselves with ethnic nationalism. So successful and accommodating was the slip-slide from Germanic orientation to a Latvian one that after
declared its independence (1918), Lutheranism became the state’s official religion. Latvia
Other matters affected the psyche of the Latvos in yet other new configurations. The repression by the barons of the economic interests of Latvian pa-Yans caused many of the ethnic elements to identify themselves with money and power. This is why ethnicity and money are near identical objects of desire among Latvians to this day.
The Latvians were good mimics of their enemies. Soon many achieved considerable economic success. Unfortunately, this made them also become enemies to the interests of their community. For some, money and power became ends in themselves, even as entry into its presence had been made possible through the rise of ethnic consciousness.
[A similar paradox exists to day. While in the past ethnic and economic interests traveled the same road, in the most recent election of the Saeima the economic interests took a drubbing from ethnically oriented Latvians. Does this mean that in the future economic interests will feel free to make new alliances? Or will ethnic interests permit themselves to think along economic lines and break taboos that hinder economic development, such as, for example, criminalization of hemp growing and harvesting?]
As we think of our present time, it is interesting to note that the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—sought by Latvian politicians as if to share its contents with the Latvian people—is increasingly identified with Swedish banks. It is the latter which gave easy credit to Latvians and enmeshed them in debt. The banks encountered no serious opposition from
’s legislators. Latvia
As the barons once bought off Lutheran ministers to affect the character of religion to their benefit, the political parties that constitute the Latvian government buy off the media today. The media then does all it can to make the truth become a mystery. Not that long ago a phony meteor, its hole dug by a mobile telephone company, fell in a Latvian potato field.
But let us return to the question of ethnicity. The absence of a sense of self rooted in historical experience and its replacement by nationalist myth has caused uninformed Latvians to dip into these waters of Lethe as if they contained the elixir of life.
The repression of the mind that started with the Herrnhuters continues to silence analytic criticism even in academia. Such criticism or analysis as there arises from those who ought to have a more learned view, never reaches the public ear, probably because it never receives support from its own midst. Indeed, it was the intelligentsia (the writers, artists, poets, teachers, journalists, etc.) who were among the first to take advantage of the repression of the Herrnhuters. It was the intelligentsia which saved its greatest enthusiasm for the search of ethnic origins campaigns. Its disinterest concerning the history of the Latvos before 1860 remains a phenomenon comparable to snow blindness to this day. It is at the root of the current zionationalist government.
This raises the question of whether the Latvians still caught up by the so-called “Jaunā strāva” (New Current) movement that emerged after the submergence of the revolutionary ideas implicit in the Moravian Brotherhood? The “New Current” movement had its beginning about the years 1860-1870. Though the Latvian people and their forebears have deep historical roots indeed, the overlay put in place by the folks who directed the New Current was meant to sever Latvians from their actual past. The actual was to be replaced with the mythical.
One hopes that the crisis of the Latvian self (some would call it a sacrificial crisis) continues to gather momentum and forces the government to invite independent historians to do research and reanalyze the history of
whence Latvians emerged. The discoveries are likely to bring into view many unknown events, some trampled by fears, some true horror shows. There may emerge an understanding why the designation of one’s ancestors as “pagan” in stead of “pa-Yan” belittles Latvians. It may be time to recall that the Johns Festival is an arch-Christ-yan and not a “pagan” celebration. Livonia
A reanalysis of Latvian history—if it ever comes about—will place Latvians on a historical stage that has much greater depth than the present leadership of the state allows for. The zionationalist direction, which took root in the 1890s, but was better planted when the energies released by the Herrnhuter choirs were turned into one large centralized SongFestival(s) (first festival occurred in 1864 at Dikļi), must be reversed.
It would be a major miracle if Latvia’s choirs, that is to say, the spirit of the Latvian people as represented by the people who are part of the village and small town choirs, would—came the time for the next Song Festival--turn the streets of Riga into a theatre of choirs.
Asterisks & Links of Interest