White progressive racial masochism is nothing new; Tom Wolfe skewered it brilliantly nearly a half century ago in essays like “Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers.” But the current manifestation is more significant and dangerous. It has taken place amidst violent widespread rioting and looting and assaults, and so these acts of kneeling are a form of tribute exacted by the sheer power of destruction wrought by the rioters and their “peaceful” abettors.
As such, they undermine the very foundation of citizen self-rule and political freedom: Government by laws, offices, and free deliberation rather than by the whims and failings of one man; and by accountability to the sovereign people and their laws, instead of submission to violent coercion.
Kneeling specifically appears in Greek literature as an emblem of political slavery that follows an absence of rule by law and accountability. In the Histories, Herodotus’s narrative of the Persian wars continually contrasts the free, self-ruling Greek with the slavish, unfree Persians. One cultural practice in particular epitomized for the Greeks the political enslavement of the Persians who were ruled by the quasi-divine Great King Xerxes bestowed with absolute power over the lives and property of his subjects. Hence the law that anytime someone came into the presence of the King, he had to kneel before him, then bend over and kiss the ground as an act of submission. The Greek word for this was proskunesis, an act of “obeisance” suitable only for acknowledging the gods.
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