Of worshipped stupidities the most vicious aspects of thought and emotional systems are made. In particular regarding nationalism and other religions of the violent type. As the emperor who was never observed to have no clothes, those stupidities live on, unruffled, as long they have not been denounced for what they are.
It’s only when slavery in the colonies was denounced, as the outrage it was, that it could be outlawed.
A case in point of vicious worship: that of the homicidal bigot, Jeanne d’Arc. Behind that? Mass homicidal nationalism as religion.
A definitive settlement of the “100 year war” between Paris and London had been reached: Henry V, and his descendants, were to rule England and France. The Treaty of Troyes, signed 21 May 1420, in cathédrale Saint-Pierre, between Charles VI, king of France, and Charles V, king of England, anticipated that Henry V, son in law of Charles VI, would succeed to him after Charles’ death.
The Treaty was immensely popular: Henry V was celebrated when he entered Paris. Unfortunately the English monarch died in August 1422, three month before his father in law, Charles VI. Henry’s ten month old son, Henry VI, became king of France and England.
A definitive settlement of the “100 year war” between Paris and London had been reached: Henry VI’s descendants, were to rule England and France. His mother, Catherine de Valois, was as French as French could be. The advisers were French, although the Duke of Bedford was made regent of France & England. By austerity, Bedford used cheap English speaking troops.
Jeanne d’Arc shattered the peace, re-launched a civil war.
Joan of Arc’s legacy is four more centuries of Franco-English war. For no good reason, whatsoever. Let me forgive those who may wish that she had been roasted sooner.
What’s the story of Jeanne in a nutshell? That of a vicious pawn.
To understand the “100 Year War”, one has to backtrack to 1300 CE (at the very least!). Philippe IV “Le Bel” decided to tax the Church, in accord with his (part) vassal, the king of England. The Church begged to differ, but was forced to obey. Later Philippe had the Pope arrested (and soon dead). Besides Philippe expropriated banksters, the Templar Monks. The chief bankster, while roasting in the Royal presence, threw a spell on the king.
Within a year, the king fell from his horse, and died from it. His three sons followed in quick succession: to the kingship, and then, death.
The Salic law said that the next in line was their sister. Isabelle. Isabelle de France… Queen of England. Absolute Queen of England: her husband had been killed (in a painful way, making lots of noise).
Isabelle had a reputation in Paris. Having made her own sting operation, she denounced to her (usually extremely well informed) dad the wives of her brothers, for drastic infidelity. Two were sent to monastery, and the future (would-be) queen spent winter in a very cold jail, before being (some say) strangled.
In any case, lawyers in Paris refused to apply the law of the ancient Salian Franks. They refused to have Isabelle as Queen of France, on the ground that she was a woman, inaugurating centuries of grotesque French sexism contradicting the very roots of Francia, the philosophical roots of equality.
Isabelle, trying to outsmart her Parisian opponents, then resigned, and put her 16 year old son, Edward III, on the throne (of England). Something she would soon regret. Edward, grandson of Philippe Le Bel, a Frenchman in blood and claw, son of Isabelle de France, no less, then asked for his due, the throne of France.
The lawyers in Paris refused, again: they had made other arrangements. The war between London and Paris was on, and lasted nearly five centuries (until 1815).
Who-was-boss was not a new problem in Franco-Anglia (the Franks, like imperial Rome, had been plagued by that problem, because only re-establsihing a full republic could solv it).
When the Duke of Normandy, vassal to the King of the Franks became king of England, he established an oath between him and the People similar to one that existed in Rome with the army, or between People and Princeps (hence the executions of around 3,000 Christians who had refused to take that oath, mostly under emperor Galerius’ influence, in the 300-310 CE period; “Christian” leaders would later use that martyrdom to justify, sort of, the killing and terror on millions they would exert in the following 14 centuries).
A weird situation followed: was, or not, the London king subject to Paris? According to the old ways of the Franks, yes: the king in Paris was viewed as (Roman) emperor (since the Verdun split). What was clear is that French were in command on both sides of the channel. The entanglements only got worse, from 1066 until 1320.
An example was Eleonor of Aquitania, duchess, and ruler of an immense realm, semi autonomous for two millennia. After her long union with the king of France was, clearly sterile, she divorced. And married the King of England, with whom she had many children. In the process she brought Aquitaine over, and that’s why Richard the Lion hearted was born, raised, married, lived and died in France (but for a few months he spent in England; he spent more time crusading side by side with the king of France, his “compagnon d’arme”).
After immense destructions, generations of war, and further dynastic problems on the Paris side, cooler heads prevailed. It was admitted that the rightful sovereign of France was Henry V, king of England, descendant of Philipe Le Bel, and it was decided that he would become, indeed, king of France.
The University of Paris, the City of Paris, and people all over the regions that had known generations of inconclusive war wholeheartedly agreed: give us just one king, one government, and peace!
Right from the start Jeanne of Arc got military support by a Queen from the South, the formidable Yolande of Aragon.
While “Jehanne” was still very young and unknown, Queen Yolande sent her soldiers to act as her bodyguards. Jeanne’s early miracles were fake (surprise, surprise). For example, she had encountered the would be king long before recognizing him “miraculously” in a crowd (that miracle is still repeated to this day, as if a fact, whereas it was just a ridiculous lie).
There was more than one Jeanne (at least another was burned; Jeanne bore witness against one of her competitors at some point). Preacheding against the English was a successful business model (similar to Muslim Fundamentalism as a convenient façade to banditry).
Same story as with the several would-be Christ that really existed at the times of Christ (differently from the mythical Christ himself, whose existence outside of Saint Paul’s head remains unproven).
So what happened? What was the real story of Jehanne d’ Arc? The southern lords of France were anxious to NOT see a formidable rule by Paris and London in the north: the double capitals, sitting in the middle of the largest arable lands in Europe, would have subjugated them totally.
So they contrived a story for children. Then the story ran out of control, and deep real hostility between England and France appeared. The truth was simpler: the story of a woman spurned by fate, who fought back.
Yolande of Arago was also Queen of many other things, including Sicily. She was married in 1416 to become queen of France, too, but her husband died before he could be crowned. Yolande later became the mother in law of the king of France she installed later on the throne, Charles VII. She was a specialist of legal assassinations, and the like. She was a most efficient diplomat: she turned Brittany against Britain, among other feats.
Yolande of Arago really won the “100 Year War”. Books have been written about her. She was the determined enemy of Isabeau of Bavaria, Queen of France, architect of the Troyes treaty (that had put Henry V on the throne of France). The two queens fought, on battlefields, for 22 years. Interestingly, women are the main actors of the “100 Year war”.
Such is the truth never told about Joan of arc; she was just another pawn of Yolande. Jeanne of Arc has nearly no redeeming value. In the end, all she preached was war, “booting” (“bouter”) the English out of “France”. Some God or Mary in the sky, or in her ear, had told her that some guy was the real king (although, logically, and historically, he was not).
Jeanne d’Arc was a dangerous fanatic, of the worst type. After a truce with the so called “English” left her idle, she wrote to the Hussites, an intellectual group, backed by the university of Prague, which had broken with the standard Catholic Church on some doctrinal points. The followers of Huss had defeated crusades sent against them (they were defeated thanks to the highest treachery of the topmost Catholic hierarchy, sealing the doom of Catholicism).
Joan’s letter is extremely violent. It accuses Hussites of “obscenity“, “superstition“, threatens them with “extermination“. She promises to “remove your madness and foul superstition, taking away either your heresy or your lives.”
On the fanatical scale, that letter puts her higher than Osama ben Laden: she threatened to kill people who threatened her country in no way, just because they had “exerted a choice” (that is what “heretical” meant). [Fanatical supporters of “Jehanne” have argued that the letter was a fake, but then the Latin original was found, signed by her secretary, Pasquerel. Although “Jehanne” spoke several languages, she did not read or write, making her the equal of Muhammad!]
We have numerous letters of “Jehanne” where she promises, under various formulations, that she will “kill all those who don’t obey her“. (See note.)
Many of Joan of Arc’s exploits consisted often in attacking French cities. She had to siege Paris, while supposedly trying to deliver France from… the “Anglois”!
Jeanne taught hysterical trust in superstition, voices in one’s head (but only if the right person heard them, the others should burn). Jeanne taught hatred of intellectuals (as found in the universities of Paris and Prague), hatred of the “Anglois” (that is the other, whoever the “other” is; in truth only the foot soldiers spoke English, at a time when France enjoyed many languages). Jeanne taught, to all of Europe, that nationalism should raise to sainthood, and thinking, to the backwoods.
Voltaire had made fun of Jehanne in a 20,000 words work. As the homicidal ideology of nationalism rose, so did Jehanne. Jehanne was made a saint in 1920. Jeanne became a Twentieth Century nationalistic sensation. Some go around saying Joan of Arc is a “patron saint of France”. Whatever that means. She is in good company, one of her colleagues is “Saint Louis”, a dedicated criminal of the worst type, who wrote a lot of his bloodlust.
There should be a philosophical cleansing program of all the celebrities incarnating vicious ideals. The Austrian philosopher, Sir Karl Popper did this a bit in “The Open Society & Its Enemies“. There is much more to be done. In particular many of the French and European leaders loom large on today’s civilization, and some of them had tremendous flaws. By honoring them, one honors trains of thought and emotion that were conducive to immensely vicious activities.
Reciprocally some thinkers have been ignored, or defamed, for all the wrong reasons… To learn well from history, one has to get it right first.
Yes, Jehanne d’Arc was charming, extremely witty, attaching. But Jehanne also incarnated the passion for one of the oldest vices: superstitious tribalism. Her towering presence in history hides much more valuable characters, such as various French and “English” kings who, in the 50 years preceding her roasting had not just decided that the Franco-French war had to stop, no matter what, but instituted extensive truces, and even, in the end, found the legal solution that the forces behind Jehanne illegally shattered.
Joan of Arc represents exactly the sort of evils that we have to learn to throw in the fire. A tasty morsel, best carbonized.
Notes: Jehanne As Anti-Sexist heroin: The only teaching of Joan of Arc worth keeping is her insistence that women could do a lot of tasks men did in the Late Middle Ages, such as war. She was, technically, burned for, wearing man’s clothing (after pledging she would not do that anymore)… In any case, whereas Jeanne was a nationalistic, superstition devil, she was a genuine anti-sexist saint. Supposing, of course that she was really the one who burned (there is some historical evidence that she did not, and considering her extremely mighty sponsors, that would not be surprising; burning a woman a month was routine in Rouen!) Because of her mighty, conspiring (plutocratic!) sponsors, much about “Jehanne” is unknown, even though it’s supposed to be known (for example there are no portrait of her, at a time when photographic like reproduction were made). Her age is a case in point; she is given as 19 when burned, but there is one piece of very strong evidence that she was actually 23!
Jehanne as Devil: Here is some typical Jehanne’s prose: “je suis chief de guerre, et en quelque lieu que je actaindray vos gens en France, je les en ferai aler, veuillent on non veuillent, et si ne vuellent obéir, je les ferai tous occire. Je suis cy envoiée de par Dieu, le Roy du ciel, corps pour corps, pour vous bouter hors de toute France.”
(“I’m war chief, and in any place where your gents are found, I will have them leave, whether they want it or not, and if they don’t want to obey, I will have all of them killed. I am sent here by God, King of heaven, body for body (sic), to boot you out of all of France”)