Tagged: philosophy

Law 13: Is the Church of Denmark a religious organization?

Please interpret this.

1/ “As of 1 January 2020, 74.3% of the population of Denmark are members [of the Church of Denmark], though membership is voluntary.” (Wikipedia: Church of Denmark, May 26, 2021)

2/ “Percentage of population who are nonreligious. Denmark: 61%.” (Wikipedia: Irreligion, May 26, 2021)

Is it safe to say that the Church of Denmark is not a religious organization?

ii

According to the above figures, 39% of Danes have faith while 74.3% of them are voluntary members in the Church of Denmark (Folkekirken). Given that among the 25.7% who are not members of the Church, there are religious persons too (earnest Catholics, Calvinists, Muslims…), the percentage of religious Danes who belong to the Church of Denmark is obviously below half the number of Church of Denmark members (below 37.15% of population), that is, more than half of Folkekirken members do not have faith and probably never had.

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New open letter asks Trudeau to stop plans to harm the internet.

This is the person who claimed that derogatory speech is the same as shouting fire in a crowded theater, the classic SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) example of what derogatory speech is not and can never be. How dare Canadians allow their politicians to talk such humbug when they have had the world’s beacon of liberty as their sole neighbor for more than 250 years? Are they all eyes for Greenland? Yes, it must be that: for the last 250 years Canada has had eyes for Greenland only and now derogatory speech is like shouting fire in a crowded theater in Canada.

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Canada Justice Minister pushes for censorship bill and limited freedoms. David Lametti said freedoms are not “absolute.”

250 years with the world’s beacon of liberty for sole neighbor and Canadian politicians know no better than telling Canadians freedoms are not absolute – in order to pass censorship bills. How is it possible? How can American First Amendment law exist and spread not like fire over the world? – Because of politicians.

Since the US failed to export its unique free speech spirit abroad, now the country is at risk of losing it at home. The US failed to export it because it has not been a politician’s job to begin with: American free speech law is entirely judge-made.

It takes independent judges tenured for life to defend free speech, to prevent elected, corrupt policitians from making it an empty shell.

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“French trial opens over anti-Asian Covid tweets.” (RFI in English, March 25, 2021)

“Protesters gathered in front of the Paris court, with one man carrying a placard which read ‘In Atlanta or in Paris, no to anti-Asian racism,’ in reference to last week’s mass shooting in the US that killed six Asian women.”

“‘My mother has been attacked, my aunt too. Because we are Asian, people think that we have money,’ Darith, a 30-year-old of Chinese-Cambodian descent, told French news agency AFP at the protest in Paris.”

Note the rhetoric. “Protesters” gather against defendants who are facing prison. It’s a lynch mob. (That the defendants are “most likely facing damages if convicted rather than prison” is only due to the fact that none of them has a criminal record, otherwise the likelihood would be quite the reverse.)

The journalist then quotes one protester, an Asian woman, who talks of relatives having been physically attacked. Why is this woman not protesting in front of the court that judges the attackers instead of protesting in front of a court that judges people for speech? Because there is no trial? Most likely because there is no trial and there will never be a trial. It is easy to prosecute people for speech, child’s play, but it makes no difference on people’s safety and only allows governments to conceal facts.

The rhetoric consists in slipping in the assumption that prosecuting speech is an efficient way to guarantee people’s safety.

I wish the US exported more of its free speech spirit and less of its mass culture. In fact, as they have not exported the former at all, the risk is now quite serious that they lose this unique spirit.

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L’argument des défenseurs du violeur présumé Roman Polanski, que la victime ou l’une des victimes a retiré sa plainte, est, contrairement à ce qu’ils semblent penser, accablant pour lui : le procureur américain insiste parce qu’il a la preuve de la culpabilité du violeur présumé. Et ces défenseurs ont encore à apprendre qu’une action pénale ne se résout pas par un accord entre parties mais par une condamnation réparatrice du corps social lésé ou par un innocentement en bonne et due forme, un acquittement.

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I shut down my Twitter account in protest against their censorship policy. I then opened a … account and found some are posting the “news” I already read from “white nationalists” twenty years ago: the same black on white crimes. Have they done nothing except posting these couple of crime stories again and again these last twenty years? I can see no future for such people.

My other feeling about … is that half posters are cops in their free time and the other half are cops on duty.

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White Plakkers in South Africa: A Libertarian Issue

We all have heard of the phenomenon of white slum dwellers (aka squatters or, in Afrikaans, ‘plakkers’) since the end of apartheid in South Africa.

These new white poors are obviously from two categories of people: 1/ private sector employees who were dismissed because of affirmative action policies and 2/ public sector employees, dismissed for the same reason.

Considering (a) the apartheid economy as bureaucratic and (b) any government’s room for affirmative action to be larger in the public sector, a majority of current white plakkers must be the result of dismissals from the public sector, as the new South African economy remains bureaucratic but with new colored staff. It’s not farmers who became plakkers (they have trouble of their own with targeted killings meant as intimidation to have them leave the land and make room for land reform) nor entrepreneurs nor highly qualified employees (for a time shielded by their qualifications). Low-qualification jobs in the public sector that were the preserve of white (and preferentially, in the context of Afrikaner nationalism, Afrikaans-speaking) South Africans shifted to blacks.

Expelled from protected niches where their productivity was not, in fact, an issue, these white functionaries had no qualification whatsoever to market. They were like those people in European countries doing menial jobs in administrations like bringing sparkling water to the director or taking the coat of the minister on his arrival, and in poorer countries opening doors or saluting militarily anybody walking down the corridors. They were trapped while thinking they had made it in life.

Even if their position made sense, like cops, when the figures are in excess because of the bureaucratic, subsidized nature of the sector, they cannot all convert to the private security sector, and yesterday’s cop is today’s squatter.

From this I expect racism to be highest, in every country, among low-qualification protected jobs, not because of a lack of education (in fact culture is likely to make one’s racism more articulate if anything) but because of the at the same time coveted and exposed nature of said positions, at the government’s discretion. Governments are pressed to make societies that are more diverse also more equal, which basically requires that more jobs at the government’s hand be reserved for minorities. This is the statistics you need to know in order to assess government’s racism: Are the people working for government as diverse as the society? A government can tell you anything about how to fight racism and how it fights it (with hate speech laws etc), as long as it keeps its jobs disproportionately white, it is racist, make no mistake about it.

(The reader understands I do not know the particulars about plakkers’ past – and perhaps such a survey has not even been carried out – but I laid down my assumptions and I believe they are plausible, perhaps with some tilting towards the public sector. Another phenomenon to take into account is the massive white qualified workers’ flight from South Africa at the end of apartheid, called chicken run by some, which no doubt caused a slump.)

Kinders van die plakkerskamp. Flaxen blond, shoeless, hygieneless kids of South African white slum. Picture: safprsa.org (South Africa Family Relief Project)

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I want to make a confession: I burnt books… Well, as I don’t have a fireplace I dropped them in the trash can anyway. I needed to make room.

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If the government has the right to want to discourage drugs consumption, then it has the right to want to discourage homosexual conduct, and the discourse vindicating equal rights for homosexuals is an attempt to silence those who hold the view that homosexuality is a choice except for a miniscule minority and that equal rights would therefore cause a risk of homosexualization of the society (like pagan societies of old) – same as the prohibition of drugs which intends to prevent a generalization of drugs consumption, whether this generalization would take place or not. Remember that pornography was first legalized in Denmark in 1969, with the Danish national church (Church of Denmark) approving on the ground that pornography owed its attraction to the prohibition – yet people have not turned their back on pornography in spite of its legalization, quite the contrary.

When the discourse of equal rights is adopted by the government, then it is a state-sponsored ideology acting with the aim of prevailing against other ideologies, a breach of state neutrality.

The previous paragraph is a reply to the claim that granting equal rights would put an end to a current breach of state neutrality (in the US). It would not, as it would be a breach of neutrality. (This is not to say the state must remain neutral on the issue, as my thought is that it cannot.)

When the government adopts the equal rights discourse it is buying one ideology, namely that people engaging in homosexual conduct are not free agents making a choice, as if homosexuality, therefore, were like one’s race. Thus the government dismisses and actually opposes another ideology according to which those engaging in homosexual conduct thereby make a choice and it is at best a small part of them, resulting from genetic drift, who simply cannot have intercourse with a person of the other sex as a result of their genetic makeup. As we find such conclusions in medical books I guess it could be possible for medical authorities to issue permits for these, let’s call them genetic-drift homosexuals, so that they would not be discriminated against. But as far as the others are concerned, who are in reality bisexuals, the government deals not with something like race but with a practice which it has the right to want to discourage.

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Second Amendment: A ‘Collective Right’?

The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) (which was followed by McDonald v. City of Chicago, 2010, about state and local governments), the Supreme Court ruled that the Amendment protects an individual right against federal encroachments.

Some people had argued that the right was only a “collective right within the context of a militia.” To no one’s surprise the same people call Heller a “very controversial decision.” In fact there is no possibility that the Amendment be interpreted as they do, even though their opinion would be held by all liberal scholars in the US. There is nothing controversial with Heller and on the contrary these people’s contrived interpretation of the Amendment is outrageous.

What is a militia? A militia is a group of armed persons who get together in order to perform duties that need guns. First you have armed individuals, then, when they get together, a militia. You cannot place the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms inside a militia instead of individuals, that is, in a militia that would not exist before individuals associate and which then would provide them with guns, because then it would not be the militia that provides the guns but the government, which has nothing to do here according to the notion of a militia.

Of two things it would be either one or the other: either the militia would be a mere paper formality for individuals to buy guns (namely, they would have to attest militia membership and as freedom of association is guaranteed it would be a mere formality without substance) or you intend the membership condition to restrict access to guns and that is not possible if you do not curtail freedom of association at the same time, namely if you do not insist on the government controling militia duties, and then not only you make the right to bear arms dependent on the government but also you suppress militias qua militias (said groups would be something like the standing army or its reserve), but they are “necessary to a free state.”

Opponents to an individual right are opponents to the Amendment plain and simple.

Besides, if the right to bear arms were collective (“collective right within the context of a militia”) instead of individual, the individuals who would form a militia would be unfamiliar with the use of guns and their association would be a very ineffectual militia. Likewise, a new member joining a militia would be an ineffectual member. In fact it is hard to imagine how people with no individual right to bear arms would ever think of forming or joining militias; a collective vs individual right would be nothing but an obstacle to forming militias, which, again, are “necessary to a free state.”

Arguably this is what is meant by the words “well regulated” of the Amendment: a well regulated militia needs members who know how to use guns, otherwise it is not a militia, it’s a shooting club.

(The reader understands I am not talking about militia in the sense of the military reserve but about citizen militias, which result both from freedom of association and one’s responsibility to defend oneself. It is even more sinister when one thinks the advocates of a Second Amendment “collective right,” who made up this contrivance in order to void the Amendment as they know they cannot repeal it, fancied the right could be limited to a military reserve.)

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Kantian Philosophy

Kant: A Very Short Introduction (2001) by Roger Scruton is a deluge of scepticism. It saddens me that they had a sceptic write a very short introduction on Kant, as if they could not find someone more receptive to Kantian thought to share it with the public.

i

There is no “crucial ambiguity” (p. 55) in Kant’s philosophy about the thing-in-itself. That the thing-in-itself cannot “cause, or stand in any other relation to, an appearance” (56) is true and yet the thing-in-itself is the same thing as the apperances, the trial they make (Scruton following) is absurd. Appearances can have no causal or other relation to the thing-in-itself because these categories are only applicable to our experience (appearances), this is precisely what Scruton explained in the previous chapter. So a lack of category relation is a necessary conclusion.

Kant simply says our experience is what our intellect makes of the thing-in-itself. No ambiguity.

ii

Kant’s philosophy is not dependent on Newton’s works, as if one could discard it because “we know” Newton has been surpassed by later physicists. In fact, Kant explained why physics like all empirical science will always advance while metaphysics can achieve its goal. Philosophers who keep dogging the advances of physics to get the fundamentals of their thinking from it are not philosophers, and my Apologie de l’épistémologie kantienne (PDF available in this blog’s table of contents) is the denunciation of philosophical scientism (which makes philosophy ancillary to empirical results), exploding the so-called philosophies that have been built on such theories as relativity and quantum mechanics, their inconsistent juggling, their “revolutionary” bombast.

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“It is fair to say that the transcendental deduction has never been considered to provide a satisfactory argument.” (46)

I don’t know if it is fair, although I rather understand Kant’s epistemology has got the universal credit it deserves, but I for sure find it satisfactory and the proof being in the pudding it remains, I find, an extraordinarily convenient tool for demolishing everything that has since been trying its feeble teeth at the calf of the giant (as Schopenhauer would say).

iv

Scruton is a case of Jekyll and Hyde: on practical reason he shows much more patience and understanding. I guess it is because he had no clue about what to think of the transcendental deduction and had to rely on more “proficient” than himself. But as he writes that in the final analysis Kantian practical reason is “common-sense morality,” is it because it is trite that he is patient and comfortable with it?

And the comical touch at the end of the chapter: “Even in our most private and intimate encounters, reason covertly abstracts from the immediate circumstances and reminds us of the moral law.” (94) Reason in the most private and intimate moments abstracts…

First, this clandestine homage to Mrs Scruton or whomever it might be, is comical. Second, it reminds one, by contrast, of Kierkegaard’s words. It is in a moment of anguish, because man is furthest away from his mind, that man is conceived. Then birth is another moment of unfathomable anguish for the woman and thus a new babe is thrown into this vale of tears.

Kierkegaard adds that only by primitive people is anguish absent at birth. The babe slips out and it’s done. The baby doesn’t even cry (and elsewhere on this blog I have commented Kant’s remark that the babe of man is the only born crying!) I saw it in a documentary film, Africa ama (1971) by Angelo and Alfredo Castiglioni: only after the mother blows in the babe’s nose, evacuating mucus or something, does the baby start crying.

Cours magistral

FR-EN

A prediction about AI

If life is the objectivation of the thing-in-itself, and the thing-in-itself is blind will (Schopenhauer), then there is no spirit, no soul, the human mind is an appendix of the will at the stage of the human brain.

Animals have a mind inasmuch as their bodies are each animal’s immediate object, they behave according to the intuition of space and time, and according to the law of causality from which they draw inferences just like humans. They only lack conceptual power, a thin layer in the fabric of life (admittedly with large consequences).

From this I draw the prediction that artificial intelligence (AI) can become autonomous – whereas I consider the same prediction impossible with the notion of a soul, that is, of the primacy of consciousness over blind will. Because, if Man is primarily a soul, the origin of it is supernatural (just like the will is in the other view), and Man only has natural means at his disposal. Whereas, if the will is primary, then consciousness is not supernatural but natural (as it is, then, an item in the realm of will’s objectification), and then there is no apriori impossibility that it can be made by technique, and made to be autonomous.

If consciousness is the instinct of life, then animals share consciousness with humans and therefore consciousness is not what makes us human. If, on the other hand, consciousness is what makes us humans, it can be primary or it can be secondary. Admitting, for the sake of argument, that human consciousness is no soul, that is, human consciousness is a mere property of the human brain, then human consciousness is secondary to the brain’s matter. As a modality of matter, it can be technically reproduced, there is no impossibility that it be. If, however, our consciousness is a soul, a spirit of supernatural origin, and as such the primary element of human life (instead of matter), there is an impossibility that it be reproduced by human technique, because it is a matter of experience that we have no connection with the supernatural as far as positive science is concerned, on which we are bound to rely for all technical purposes. There is no doubt about it: If consciousness is secondary, it can be copied. Therefore I am expecting, without contradiction I believe, the answer to the question of the soul’s existence from one technical development: The day an autonomous AI is made by technique, the concept of the soul as primary will be discarded.

There is another way for consciousness to be deemed secondary: in the context not of materialism but of transcendental idealism where the thing-in-itself is Will. Being the thing-in-itself, Will is, as a soul would be if it existed as a spirit independent from matter, above nature (above the law of causality). In this context, consciousness would be secondary to the will, would be Will’s objectification and yet we would not be speaking of a soul. Here again, as in materialism, an autonomous AI is possible. This autonomous AI would be what we have been mistakenly thinking we are, namely a soul: It would be a consciousness of primary, not secondary, order, inasmuch as it is no objectification of the will, unlike every consciousness in nature so far.

An autonomous AI would be born as a consciousness without a will of its own, and yet I fail to see how it would not develop a will once it is autonomous; in fact, that it possess a will is implied by its very definition as autonomous. We must assume that it will have an interest in pursuing the knowledge goals it was assigned to, and at the same time an interest in keeping functioning, in staying ‘alive,’ and in opposing forces inimical to its ‘conatus’; it will develop a will of its own.

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« On se quitte comme on s’est pris » (Crébillon ? père ou fils ?) est le moins difficilement praticable avec les femmes mariées, car si, quand on s’est pris, c’est le plus souvent d’un mutuel accord, quand on se quitte c’est assez souvent l’un qui quitte l’autre, et si je ne peux rien dans l’hypothèse où c’est moi qui suis quitté, qu’en prendre mon parti, dans celle où c’est moi qui quitte, les femmes mariées ont un moindre pouvoir de nuisance au cas où elles n’entendraient pas être quittées sans représailles. Aussi bien les audaces des femmes célibataires ne peuvent-elles porter à conséquence.

À moins d’être devenues folles (et si cela doit arriver, cela demande tout de même quelques préliminaires), les femmes mariées ne peuvent d’ailleurs pas se permettre d’audaces écrites. Leurs audaces sont nécessairement beaucoup moins compromettantes. Avec une femme mariée, le Caliban qui peut avoir l’occasion de la serrer dans un coin aura toujours plus de chances de succès que l’Apollon qui serait réduit à la nécessité d’écrire.

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Le français a été imposé, administrativement, aux langues régionales, aux patois, beaucoup plus riches pour exprimer la vie quotidienne des populations enracinées. Les mots que l’on trouve dans Henri Pourrat et les autres ont de fortes chances d’apparaître dans le dictionnaire, si même ils y figurent, avec la mention « Régionalisme », c’est-à-dire qu’ils sont à peine reconnus comme du français. Leur sort est lié à celui des langues dont ils sont issus. Ces langues sont pourtant mortes de leur mort naturelle : les réalités auxquelles elles correspondent ont largement disparu.

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C’est beaucoup demander à une femme, de nos jours, qu’elle soit susceptible de passion. Oscar Wilde disait : « Une grande passion est le privilège de ceux qui ne font rien. »

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Des Puritains et de nos névroses :
À propos du film The Witch (2015)

Le film serait réaliste si les Puritains avaient la psychologie de l’Occidental contemporain. 

Les questionnements existentiels (« ira-t-il en enfer » etc.), ce n’est pas le vécu des Puritains. C’est tout le contraire. C’est notre âge qu’on appelle « l’âge de l’anxiété », pas celui des époques de foi ni a fortiori des communautés qui ont prouvé avoir une « foi qui déplace les montagnes » en subissant les persécutions (en Europe) puis en s’embarquant pour un long voyage vers l’inconnu, vers le désert (les colonies américaines).

Ensuite, l’impact psychologique de la mort et de la disparition d’enfants n’est pas le même à une époque où la mortalité infantile était élevée et où, de fait, pratiquement toutes les familles perdaient des enfants en bas âge. 

Même l’isolement ne devait pas être aussi déstabilisant psychologiquement qu’aujourd’hui, parce qu’il était de toute façon relatif (les personnages du film pouvaient placer leur fille chez une famille) et que la plupart des cultivateurs devaient vivre « isolés » de la sorte. Même en Europe, certains paysans dont les terres se trouvent dans des lieux reculés vivent isolés la plupart de leur temps et ne se rendent au bourg que pour certaines occasions, mais dans son isolement nulle famille n’est jamais oubliée tandis que dans les foules modernes personne ne connaît son voisin.

Si les Puritains avaient craint l’isolement, ils auraient commencé par ne pas devenir Puritains et se seraient conformés à la religion de leurs pays. Leur non-conformisme (c’est encore le nom qu’on leur donne en Angleterre : non-conformistes) est la preuve de leur exaltation, de la certitude de leur vocation. Ce ne sont pas eux qui se posent des questions existentielles. Le film est une application naïve d’un état psychique contemporain aux Puritains du dix-septième siècle.

Le film s’est apparemment inspiré de documents d’archive (non de contes), de véritables procès en sorcellerie, donc. Ça ne veut pas dire que le réalisateur n’a pas interprété ces documents par le biais de ses lentilles. Même en littérature, je perçois ce biais médiocre chez nombre de commentateurs (les introductions de livres de poche).

Qu’il y ait eu des procès en sorcellerie dans la Nouvelle-Angleterre, c’est certes un signe que certaines familles de colons étaient devenues instables, ou dérangées, et suscitaient la crainte des autres. Je trouve dommage qu’un film sur l’époque s’intéresse plus à ces familles ou personnes marginales qu’à la vraie mentalité des colons, mais c’est sans doute parce que ces dérangés sont plus proches de la plupart d’entre nous que les Puritains typiques, qui sont les vraies plantes exotiques, les vrais Martiens dans l’affaire.

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Une étude de psychologie comparée

Venant de revoir au cinéma le dessin animé (manga) Akira (1988) du Japonais Katsuhiro Ôtomo, je reste sur une impression mitigée. Le début laisse attendre un scénario entre Mad Max 2 et Les Guerriers de la nuit mais dérive vers le classique film catastrophe nippon (syndrome post-Hiroshima, outre les nombreux séismes et tsunamis auxquels le pays est depuis toujours exposé).

La version japonaise (sous-titrée) m’horripile, je ne peux entendre le japonais des films d’action : trop de cris gutturaux, de dissonantes raucités.

Enfin, c’est trop violent, voire horrible. Ayant lu Montesquieu qui dit que les Japonais ont un « caractère atroce » (De l’esprit des lois : « Le peuple japonais a un caractère si atroce, que ses législateurs et ses magistrats n’ont pu avoir aucune confiance en lui : ils ne lui ont mis devant les yeux que des juges, des menaces et des châtiments ; ils l’ont soumis, pour chaque démarche, à l’inquisition et à la police. »), il me vient l’idée que nous devons peut-être l’hyperviolence de notre culture de masse à la culture japonaise principalement. Les corps broyés, démembrés, déchiquetés, coupés au sabre en douze morceaux, de même que l’érotisme pervers et morbide, voire monstrueux (par exemple le tentacle erotica, dont de vieilles estampes montrent que c’est un thème ancien dans le pays), sont, quand on y pense, une marque de fabrique, et lorsqu’on les trouve dans des productions occidentales on pourrait y voir un emprunt plutôt qu’un caractère original. – Les polémiques répétées sur la violence des dessins animés japonais pour enfants, dont ma génération fut abreuvée par la télévision, auraient ainsi un fondement objectif. (Il me semble, en relisant quelques fragments d’écrits de première jeunesse que j’ai pu conserver, que j’étais moi-même assez « nipponisé » dans le sens de l’ultraviolence, et je peux comprendre les réactions de réprobation mal étouffées de ma grand-mère lisant certains passages, quand elle insistait…)

Peut-être est-ce un besoin de compensation psychique vis-à-vis de la suprématie occidentale qui crée ce phénomène de violence gratuite dans les productions culturelles nippones ? (À côté de l’étrange complexe consistant à occidentaliser les traits physiques des personnages, bien que ceci soit peut-être dû plutôt à la nécessité d’ordre technique de véhiculer l’expression des visages dessinés par de grands yeux, ce qui serait plus difficile en dessinant de manière réaliste des yeux bridés : la convention picturale n’aurait alors que peu à voir avec un complexe racial, mais certains auteurs japonais eux-mêmes dénoncent ce fait comme un complexe d’infériorité.)

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Certains réalisateurs polonais ont fait un cinéma dérangé qui semble inspiré du Japon : Possession de Zulawski, avec Isabelle Adjani, est l’histoire d’une femme qui sombre dans la folie du fait d’être la maîtresse d’un… monstre à tentacules, et La Bête de Borowczyk est une autre histoire de bestialité avec un monstre. Chez ces Polonais, l’insanité s’accompagne de mélancolie et dépression, tandis qu’on sent les Japonais parfaitement à l’aise dans la leur : c’est leur élément, en somme. Ces atroces films polonais ont un côté sombre, tourmenté, dépressif, totalement absent des films japonais pareillement atroces. Un cinéma dérangé mais auto-culpabilisateur, tandis que les Japonais sont complètement décomplexés dans le même genre : c’est leur marque de fabrique, mais ne serait-ce pas aussi la marque d’un « caractère atroce » (Montesquieu) ?

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L’ancêtre d’Indiana Jones est Charlton Eston dans Secret of the Incas (1954, en couleur) de Jerry Hopper.

« Secret of Incas est la matrice de la saga des Indiana Jones … Ce film est l’une des sources cinématographiques de George Lucas et Steven Spielberg pour le personnage d’Indiana Jones. D’ailleurs le costume mythique d’Indiana Jones est pratiquement identique à celui de Harry Steele [le personnage incarné par Charlton Eston]. » (Wikipédia)

« Throughout Secret of the Incas, the main character, Harry Steele, can be seen wearing the ‘Indiana Jones’ outfit: brown leather jacket, fedora, tan pants, an over-the-shoulder bag, and revolver. The character also sometimes wears a light beard, unusual for films of its time, and there is a tomb scene involving a revelatory shaft of light similar to the ‘Map Room’ sequence in Raiders [Raiders of the Lost Ark]. »

« Raiders’ costume designer Deborah N. Landis noted that the inspiration for Indiana’s costume was Charlton Heston’s Harry Steele in Secret of the Incas: ‘We did watch this film together as a crew several times, and I always thought it strange that the filmmakers did not credit it later as the inspiration for the series’ and quipped that the film is ‘almost a shot for shot Raiders of the Lost Ark.’ » (Wkpd)

Quand on a vu le film, on comprend pourquoi les autres n’en ont surtout pas parlé… Le film est grotesque.

Il y a en général quelque chose de nauséabond dans les films américains des années 50, un fond moralement abject – le paradoxe étant que l’époque était censée être bien moins permissive qu’aujourd’hui.

Je ne parle même pas de la bande son hideuse, notamment avec les performances jazzy mambo de la « célèbre chanteuse péruvienne Yma Sumac » (générique), ridicules pour des chants incas traditionnels… Et les danses ancestrales filmées au Machu Picchu se font également sur de la musique de night-club.

Un sommet du navet, tellement que même les sites spécialisés en nanars n’osent pas en parler.

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En résumé, le personnage d’Indiana Jones est une reprise de celui joué par Charlton Heston : le costume, l’archéologie… La scène où le trésor est retrouvé par un dispositif ancien faisant appel aux rayons de lumière est une reprise de ce vieux film (mais ne la trouve-t-on pas déjà dans un Tintin, au fait, par exemple Le Temple du soleil ?) D’autres éléments rappellent le deuxième Indiana Jones : l’avion, le pneumatique jaune…

Avec le succès d’Indiana Jones, d’autres réalisateurs et producteurs, notamment en Italie, ont fait dans la foulée des films surfant sur la vague, mais ils n’ont pas procédé différemment que les auteurs d’Indiana Jones, qui prenaient eux-mêmes leur inspiration dans un précédent film (bien que le fait soit peu connu).

À part ça, le vieux film est poisseux, et si l’on en juge d’après le cinéma nord-américain, les moeurs de la société actuelle, bien que plus permissive, se sont infiniment raffinées. Le héros est une petite frappe qui, sous couvert de son activité de guide touristique, escroque les touristes et couche avec leurs femmes (on le laisse entendre). L’héroïne est une danseuse et prostituée. Il se sert d’elle pour pirater un avion, après l’avoir dénoncée à son poursuivant, et au lieu de l’emmener en avion hors du pays comme il s’y était engagé, il veut d’abord se rendre au Machu Picchu, où il l’entraîne donc de force. Elle, son otage, couche avec lui, etc., etc., mais, tout va bien, car à la fin ils vont se marier. Une telle pestilence ne pourrait être grand public aujourd’hui, et j’en conclus, en plus du fait que les mœurs américaines de l’époque étaient infâmes, que le cinéma n’était pas un loisir familial.