A FEUDAL PROTOTYPE

 

It is difficult to see how trees could possibly be popular with Social Transcendentalists, as we may call people with a socially transcendent view of life. For a tree mirrors, on earth, the galactic-world-order of governing star, minor stars, and planets, which is to say, the tyranny of both major and minor stars over planets. With a tree, the trunk is equivalent to the governing star of the Galaxy, the branches are equivalent to the peripheral stars there, and the leaves equivalent to the planets. The leaves serve both the branches and trunk of a tree by drawing moisture, sunlight, etc., into themselves, which is then transferred to the tree-proper. We need not doubt that this procedure mirrors the galactic arrangement further down the ladder of evolution, whereby the planets serve the stars by keeping them in some kind of galactic order and thereby enable individual stars to rule over particular solar systems to their own lasting advantage (given that a fixed star is better off than a shooting one, if for no other reason than it isn't likely to collide with other stars and has a recognizable status in its powerful fixity).

So much for the galactic and natural levels of evolution! Let us now apply this arrangement to human affairs, where it will be found that the pattern of a tree is imitated whenever human society stems from natural dominion, whether absolutely, as in a pagan age, or relatively, as in a Christian one, when a transcendental dimension necessarily dilutes the commitment of that society to naturalistic criteria. In the first instance, we find an absolute monarchy presiding over a feudal system. In the second instance, a constitutional monarchy presiding over a capitalist system. The monarch is equivalent, in a feudal society, to the trunk of a tree, the nobility are equivalent to its branches, and the peasantry equivalent to its leaves. Now in this natural arrangement the latter serve the former, either directly vis--vis the nobility or indirectly vis--vis the monarch. With the extension of feudalism into a capitalist phase of evolution this arrangement to some extent still applies, except that where formerly the nobles and monarch were the sole rulers being served by the peasantry, the rise of the bourgeoisie ensures that they, too, are served in some measure by ... if not the peasantry then their urban equivalents - the industrial proletariat.

Thus, when all this is taken into account, it is difficult to see how a tree (a plant which served as a blueprint, as it were, for feudal and capitalist societies) could possibly be popular with Socialists, never mind Social Transcendentalists, since they relate to an artificial arrangement of society in which the exploitation of man by man, or peasants by nobles, no longer applies, and the proletariat, that antithetical equivalent of the peasantry, are served by a bureaucracy who, antithetically equivalent to the nobility, take their directives from the reigning president, the antithetical equivalent of the feudal monarch.

Although, contrary to popular notions, a socialist society is not classless (no more than was the feudal society which preceded the compromise epoch of bourgeois capitalism), it is nevertheless one in which the bulk of humanity are served rather than exploited, and cannot bear any resemblance, in consequence, to that society stemming from the naturalistic pattern of the tyranny of trunk and branches over leaves, which we equate with feudalism. The distinction between strong and weak, as between a tree and its leaves or a nobility and its peasants, does not apply to a socialist society, where, by contrast, the only distinction is between a more ideologically-motivated bureaucracy and a less ideologically-motivated proletariat, a fact which calls forth not tyranny but the service of the latter by the former.

Clearly a day will come when trees, no less than monarchs and nobles, are banished from a society tending towards the omega supernatural from an artificial base. We see this process in action wherever the city has come to supplant nature, and it can only become more absolute with the passing of time. Doubtless oxygen will be produced artificially to a much greater extent in the future than at present, thereby enabling man to dispense with trees and spend more time indoors, to the lasting advantage of his spiritual life. An omega-oriented absolute society can only be interiorized, not partial to a dualistic oscillation between internal and external environments, like a relative society. And a socialist society, properly considered, should be anything but relative!

There are, however, two types of what may be called post-atomic societies, and we can define them as relative and absolute respectively. A relatively post-atomic society, such as exists in the United States, will tolerate trees in public places, whereas an absolutely post-atomic society that was also civilized would find trees objectionable, if on none other than ideological grounds, and accordingly seek to curtail their numbers and distribution as much as possible.

By contrast, a pre-atomic society would be more likely to worship or fear trees, as in fact used to be the case wherever pagan criteria prevailed, and this same tendency would have been refined upon, to a point of respect, with the ensuing development of atomic society, where trees were cultivated as much for their perceived natural beauty as for the various utilitarian uses to which they could be put - industrial, social, environmental, or whatever. Such respect, while still applying wherever atomic criteria survives, would become transmuted, with the development of post-atomic society, into tolerance, a tolerance probably attaching far more importance to utilitarian than to aesthetic considerations, though falling short of outright antipathy, such as can only be expected from an absolutely post-atomic society moving towards, if not already in, a Social Transcendentalist and, hence, fully civilized status.