“Real Men” as the Makers of History vs. Intellectual Historians and “Sissy-Politicians”


Max Ernst, “Who Made History”, 1937

The sky is the measure of earthy power. This can explain the domination of various blues in Ernst’s painting of the Barbarians yearning for more political and financial power (for two years, at least they victoriously will be in the majority in US House of Representatives). Metaphysical power is earthy power – the power of the heaven (the power rooted in idolized beliefs) – is a guarantee of keeping life of people on earth in your grip.

The Barbarians’ bodies (with the temperature of animated metal) are monumentalized by the support of the heavens. The female-Barbarian’s eyes are metaphysical emptiness itself while the Barbarian-male’s eyes are screws (the barbarian males’ idiocy is instrumental, “practical”, screw-like).

What is that heap of blue on the ground, behind the Barbarian couple? It is (beautified by the narcissism of their self-perception) their own excrement – everything theirs is as blue as the power of the Heavens and the eternity. But the excrement of the mighty and ferocious super-humans is also a prehistoric monster with a post-historic (high-tech) destructive power.

Why to picture Barbarians as those who made and make history? – Because they are not a deck of “decadent thinkers and talkers”, they are people of action and deeds. Making of history as the opposite of just understanding it was the ideology of Soviet Communists. These people with political fists and weapons felt contempt for “intellectuals” who “do nothing but research and discuss”, while “real men” are changing the world. Lenin’s contempt for bookworms, talkers and compromisers is the same as Bushfeld (Bush Jr./Rumsfeld) and Cheneywitz’ (Cheney/Wolfowitz) contempt for liberal “talking heads” – creatures that are “too “delicate” to do the job of conquering the world. That’s how Bushmerican conservative leadership went to Iraq – quickly, decisively and floppily. They, probably, said to each other: “We’ll change the map of the earth while those ‘sissy democrats’ will be still discussing-debating-deciding what to do and what it all means.”

In the painting we see Ernst’s history-making barbarians (his direct reference was German Nazis) in the morning coming out of their castle-cave to start their day of hunt and conquest. These giant birds with metal skin are able to live in the highest temperatures – right amidst the destruction created by today’s high-tech military technology activated by them, Barbarians. Like soldiers are trained with torture – to be intact to torture in the hands of the enemy, these giant creatures must be able to survive in the very midst of nuclear holocaust. They are the blueprint and role-models for our victorious armies of the future.