Never Get Out Of The Boat, Unless You’re Going All The Way

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There is a scene in the 1979 classic Apocalypse Now where Willard and the Chef stop their river patrol boat to collect some mangoes in the jungle.  They come face to face with a tiger, and this causes the tightly-wound Chef to become unglued.

“Never get out of the boat…never get out of the boat…I got to remember:  never get out of the boat,” he repeats over and over.

And then Willard’s voice-over puts a philosophic dimension to this little incident:

Never get out of the boat.  Absolutely goddamn right.  Unless you’re going all the way.

That is, if you cross certain lines, you cannot go back.

Which is completely true, of course.  I was reminded of this point after seeing the movie Age of Uprising:  The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas, a somber 2013 film starring Mads Mikkelsen.  This was a joint French-German production, and tells a tale of revenge, retribution, and the logic of power.  The film was directed by Arnaud des Pallières, and the story comes from a novella by Heinrich von Kleist.

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The story takes place in 16th century Europe.  A merchant (Kohlhaas) traveling through a baron’s lands is shaken down by him.  The baron takes some of Kohlhaas’s property, abuses one of his men, and even causes his wife to be injured.

Kohlhaas attempts to seek legal redress, but the baron’s political connections frustrate his efforts.  Finally, in desperation, he leads a group of armed men to attack the baron’s residence.  This succeeds.  It appears that Kohlhaas might become something of a populist rebel, as more and more peasants join him, remembering their own sufferings at the hands of the rich and powerful.

A priest tries to induce Kohlhaas to abandon his uprising, calling it “immoral.”  After much soul-searching, and assuming that he will be granted safe-conduct or an amnesty, Kohlhaas lays down his weapons.  He is even visited by a local princess, evidently fascinated by this brave and reckless man.

Laying down his weapons, apparently, turns out to be a mistake.  He is taken into custody.  He does get his “justice,” in that his property is restored to him, along with fair compensation.  But the nobility has him executed five minutes later, since he has committed the unpardonable sin of challenging the power structure.

Disobedience cannot be tolerated.  Those who go down this road should have no illusions what they are getting themselves into.  And when you strike, strike hard.  Make sure you take care of your enemy, or he will be sure to take care of you.

Kohlhaas was a fool who trusted the limp-wristed advice of the priest, and put his faith in the false promises of the aristocracy.

In the original novella by Heinrich von Kleist (published in 1810) the story is much the same, with the action taking place in German lands, rather than in France.

Poor, deluded Kohlhaas!  Power has its own logic, you see, and its own sense of justice.

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The lesson to the sad, deluded Kohlhaas was this:  rebellion is the most unforgivable of all sins.  Raise your hand against the nobility, and you will pay the ultimate price.  Once you cross them, there is no turning back.

You can’t get back on the boat, once you’ve left it.

Kohlhaas would have been better of pressing his uprising to its ultimate conclusion.  Because once you “get off the boat” (i.e., burn your bridges behind you), there are only two options:  forward, or death.

That is all.  There are no other options.  You don’t lay down your weapons.  You don’t trust to the good graces of those you have made to look like fools.  They will never forgive you for it, no matter what they say.

Never get out of the boat, unless you’re ready to see things through to the bitter end.

 

Read More:  Simon Murray:  Legionnaire

4 thoughts on “Never Get Out Of The Boat, Unless You’re Going All The Way

  1. forward, or death.
    They will never forgive you for it, no matter what they say.
    Never get out of the boat, unless you’re ready to see things through to the bitter end.

    The man in the high castle check it out on amazon it’s free for the first two episodes an talks all about this on a very serreal level.
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  2. “Disobedience cannot be tolerated. Those who go down this road should have no illusions what they are getting themselves into. And when you strike, strike hard. Make sure you take care of your enemy, or he will be sure to take care of you.”

    Those who signed the Declaration of Independence knew this well. As one of them remarked, “We’ll all hang together,” to which Ben Franklin replied, “Or we will assuredly hang separately.”

    This is something too many men who oppose feminism but don’t like the Manosphere’s conclusions or solutions must come to terms with. There can be no middle ground, no room for compromise. We are not seeking cooperation with feminists in pursuit of the same goal. They are our enemies, whether anyone wants to admit it or not. One cannot make mild criticisms of those who hate us and seek our enslavement and then hope they will respond to appeals to reason, logic, or morality. It’s a war in every sense of the term, and the one who hesitates, backs down, or reverses course will be destroyed without compassion or pity.

    Either men get out of the boat or stay in it. But many of us already know either way that the boat will be sunk at some point regardless. However difficult the fight ahead of us may be, it’s the better choice compared to waiting for the boat to sink.

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