When I turned eleven I graduated from the Cub Scouts and moved up into the Boy Scouts. We lived in the southern suburbs of Baltimore at the time, and every year our troop spent a week at a BSA camp in northeastern Maryland. A week of intense heat, mosquitoes, swimming, shooting, nature study — anyone who’s been in the Boy Scouts knows the drill.
Our campsite was medium-level when it came to fixtures and conveniences. In the more primitive sites, the scouts had to dig their own latrines and cook over a campfire. In the more swanky sites there was a little electrified building with a kitchen and a dining room, and not far away a modern latrine building.
Our site was in between. We had a latrine building of sorts, and a big canopy tent with picnic tables and a propane stove for a dining hall. And for hot water we had Herkimer.
Herkimer was a massive thick-walled cylindrical tank that we used as a water boiler. It sat over a fire on four big cinderblocks, and was fed by a water pipe from a well that served all the campsites in the area. I don’t know why it was called Herkimer — for some mysterious reason, that was the boiler’s name.
Herkimer had to be fired up before every meal, because the metal trays we used as plates had to be washed in very hot water. Our troop leaders explained the need for rigorous food hygiene, remarking that a failure to run those trays through boiling water would cause the troop to come down with diarrhea — which at scout camp was not a pleasant experience, even with a latrine building less than a hundred yards away.
So three times a day Herkimer was ravenous for wood. The camp management delivered a load of junk wood every morning that could be used for the fire, but it was never quite enough. We Boy Scouts would be sent out into the woods (which our campsite was in the middle of) to fetch whatever additional wood we could find. We weren’t allowed to cut living trees, but we could take down small dead ones, pick up deadfalls, and gather whatever else we could find. We broke up discarded packing cases and threw in big thick hunks of cardboard. Anything that would burn was fair game — I remember using a shovel to root out a large stump and break it up to stoke Herkimer.
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Herkimer came to mind recently when I was contemplating the enormous political and cultural upheavals that are characteristic of our time.
Let’s take a look at the running of that big old water boiler as a process. We could break it down into three parts:
||The objective. The purpose of Herkimer was to generate sufficient quantities of boiling water to achieve culinary hygiene. One might devise other schemes for reaching the same objective, but at that particular place and time, a large metal tank with water piped into it and a fire underneath comprised the established system.
||The method. One opened the valve to let water into the tank and ignited the fuel underneath. Thermodynamics took care of the rest.
||Praxis. Two major components were required for operation, water and fuel. The former was taken care of by a well and a pump. For the latter a horde of grubby Boy Scouts was required. Again, one can imagine other schemes to achieve the same goal — paying top dollar for truckloads of charcoal briquettes to be hauled in, for example. But scrounging for junk wood was the chosen procedure.
There’s a socio-political Herkimer currently operating in Western Civilization. We’ve all observed the continuous onslaught against established religion, traditional customs, and cultural institutions that have been built up over the course of more than a thousand years. New rules and practices that would have been unimaginable a generation or two ago are being forced upon a populace that never desired or requested them. I’ll give some specific examples later on in this essay.
This destructive process is painfully visible in its innumerable manifestations, but teasing out the various strands of its three components is a tricky business. Nevertheless, we’ll give it a try.
1. The objective
What is the purpose of all this unpopular cultural coercion? The ostensible reasons — “human rights”, “diversity”, “social justice”, and so on — are obviously only the cover story. The real purpose is generally occluded, and can only be deduced by observing its myriad manifestations within our society.
The apparent goal of all these actions is lysis: the breaking down of long-established social structures. Lytic agents are being deployed throughout society to dissolve cultural membranes and connective tissue.
In the case of Herkimer, the overseers of the process — the camp management and our troop leaders — established the goal. The overseers of our societal Herkimer are of necessity less obvious. They are commonly labeled “globalists”, but a more accurate term might be “global socialists”, since socialism has always been a major component of the one-world utopias conceived by the visionaries of the blood-soaked century that preceded this one.
A new world is being built, and all the components of the old one must be disassembled before the new order can be constructed. That’s what the cultural Herkimer is for.