By Batiushka for the Saker blog
Introduction: European Z
The collapse of the EU has never been a question of ‘if’, only of ‘when’. The decomposition of the Brussels Yoke of unelected bureaucrats has already long been visible and its collapse foretold years ago. First there was Grexit (which was averted at the last moment at huge cost), then Brexit, which actually happened, and then was an alphabet jungle of Frexit, Italexit, Nexit, Dexit, Polexit etc. Today the question is, after the UK, who next? A popular choice is Hungary. But who knows? Apart from the imbecile-afflicted UK, there is already political turbulence in three EU countries, Bulgaria, Estonia and Italy.
It all sounds as if these are only ‘the beginning of troubles’. Winter is coming to Europe on 1 December with probable food riots, looting and mass civil disobedience, caused by the refusal and inability to pay soaring energy bills because of the EU millionaire elite’s refusal to buy Russian gas. The only way out is if European countries free themselves from the shackles of the USA in order to find their natural places as part of the Eurasian, or rather, Afro-Eurasian, world. This liberation deserves a sign. We can think of no sign more topical – or more native to the Western world – than the sign ‘Z’. Let me explain.
Z was the sign of a fictional Spanish-Mexican character, El Zorro, created by an American author in 1919. Zorro is portrayed as a masked, nineteenth-century avenger who defends the common people and native peoples of Spanish-run California against an oppressive imperialist dictator in Madrid, his corrupt and tyrannical local servants and other evildoers.
His name Zorro, (in Spanish, ‘The Fox’), comes from his foxlike cunning. Using the tip of his rapier, he leaves his mark, the initial ‘Z’, on his defeated enemies and on objects in order to sign his presence. However, this purely fictional Zorro goes back to several real figures, notably to three main characters, real ones, indeed so real that they have become myths in European history. These are:
Eadric the Wild
Eadric was one of many Englishmen, well-known in their day, who lived in the wilder parts of England after 1066 in order to fight back against the barbaric Norman occupiers. Called ‘the Wild’ or ‘the Woodsman’, Eadric was a nobleman (‘Cild’ in Old English) and landowner in the hills of the west of England. (Remarkably, Eadric’s descendants inherited his lands in a place called Acton Scott in the west of England and these lands still belong to his descendants, the Actons, after a thousand years). Here Eadric led the English Resistance to the Norman occupation and was active in 1068–70.
Eadric refused to submit to the Norman Yoke and came under attack from the foreign invaders, raising a rebellion and allying the native people of England with the native people of Wales. Many such resistance-fighters lived in tents, refusing to sleep in houses. Resistance was widespread and many made their bases in wild country, taking to woods, hills, marshes and islands. Those who lived in the woods were then a well-known phenomenon and they are at the origin of later outlaw tales. Thus, the most famous outlaws of the greenwood were Old English landholders.
This is the case of our second and world-famous figure, Robin Hood. He was a heroic outlaw who lived in the eastern half of England and was a ‘yeoman’, or small farmer. Camouflaged in green clothing and living in the ‘greenwood’, he robbed from the (Norman military and Jewish merchant) rich and gave to the (English or ‘Saxon’) poor. His support for ordinary people and his hostility to the local Norman Sheriff of Nottingham are early recorded parts of his story. It is considered that he must have lived in the twelfth century as there are references to such a character then. However, they relate to oral traditions that were not set down by Establishment clerks until much later, at earliest 1266.
All early accounts tell of Robin Hood’s support for the people, his devotion to the Virgin Mary and associated special respect for women, exceptional skill with a bow, anti-clericalism and dislike of the corrupt Norman Sheriff of Nottingham. Although there are numerous references to historical figures with similar names, some going back to this age, the first obvious reference to Robin Hood is from Langland’s peasant poem Piers Plowman, composed in the 1370s. After this he is often mentioned in history, though the earliest copies of ballads telling his story go back only to about 1500. Later additions that he was a noble and supporter of the late twelfth-century French king (and cannibal – he feasted on the flesh of dead Muslims as any Cypriot will tell you) Richard ‘the Lionheart’ can be ignored. These are not even mentioned in the earliest ballads, whatever Hollywood may claim.
The third of the main antecedents of Zorro is the Swiss figure William Tell, who lived in the first half of the fourteenth century. Tell was an agile mountaineer and crossbow marksman, who assassinated a tyrannical representative of the Austrian House of Habsburg, which oppressed the Swiss peasantry. Tell’s defiance encouraged the Swiss to rebel and start forming a Free Switzerland, the Swiss Confederacy, and indeed he is considered to be its father. A symbol of resistance to aristocratic tyranny, he is first mentioned, without a first name, in c. 1474. This tale includes the precise date of his shooting of an apple from his son’s head on 18 November 1307, as well as the account of Tell’s death in 1354.
Although the story is set in 1307, during the rule of Albert of Habsburg, the written records of the story date, as we have said, to the later fifteenth century. Significantly, Tell is a key figure not only in the early history of Switzerland but also in wider history. Thus, for some 150 years from 1800 to 1950, Tell was seen as a symbol of rebellion against tyranny not just in Switzerland, but also elsewhere. Thus, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of the Northern slave-owner Abraham Lincoln, who encouraged genocide in the Southern Confederacy, was inspired by this founder of the Swiss Confederacy. Booth wrote that he had only done, ‘what made Tell a hero. And yet I for striking down a greater tyrant…am looked upon as a common cut-throat’.
Conclusion: Worldwide Z
After 24 February 2022, Z quickly became the symbol of the Russian-led campaign to liberate the oppressed Ukrainian peoples from eight years of genocide by the CIA-created Nazi junta in Kiev. Appearing on a great number of Russian military vehicles, Z has captured the imagination of that part of the world which yearns to be free from the colonial oppression of the Western neocon and neoliberal bankster elite. After the absurd provocation by the US gerontocracy in Taiwan last week, one of the first things noticed was a number of armoured cars of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, deployed just opposite Taiwan in the southern province of Fujian, marked with a ‘Z’.
Does this mean that ‘Z’ is going to become the sign of the liberation of the 87% of the peoples of the world, that is, of the real international community, from the Western Imperialist Yoke? Will the symbol make its way into India, Indonesia, Africa, Latin America and elsewhere, perhaps among the native peoples of North America, Australia and New Zealand? Whatever happens, ironically, and also poetically, the import of Zorro from America is already the sign of the long hoped-for liberation from the Yoke of America throughout Europe, as far as the much-suffering Donbass.
9 August 2022