Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Gorean Slavery

Code d’ Odalisque is a complete system of consensual erotic slavery. The other modern system popular in BDSM sub-culture is known as “Gorean” or the “Gor” system. This is based upon the fictional works of John Norman, pseudonym of the philosopher Professor John Frederick Lange Jr. Beginning in the 1970s, and drawing upon the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Professor Lange has used fantasy fiction novels to illustrate his philosophy of “ethical naturalism”. From the 1980s onwards groups of people have translated the life described in this male adventure fantasy fiction into a real life sub-culture.

The novels describe a detailed system of slavery in which males are naturally Masters over women. The Gorean system is extracted from the novels. Goreans enact the slave system described in the novels. The system evokes a world of hunter/warriors – the noble barbarian – who, by virtue of his strength, is a Master over female slaves called “kajira”. The philosophy and ethics of the Gor system is Neitzchean – the refinement and nobility of power. A modern primitivism.

Gor is a beautiful system and it suits a certain temperament. There are many points on which it resembles Code d’ Odalisque. Both systems are male dom/ fem sub, for instance. But Code d’ O is a different system that draws upon different inspiration. The underlying philosophy might be described as “enlightened hedonism”, and it appeals to historical models from a later era. Gor takes its aesthetics from the European barbarian era. Code d’ O looks to the more sophisticated, urban slavery of the orient, up to and including the Ottoman Empire.

There is no quarrel or competition between Gor and Code d’ Ode. The systems appeal to different types of people. But it is useful to appreciate the differences between the systems. It helps to compare Gor and Code d’ Ode. The distinctive features of Code d’ Ode are better understood by comparing it to the Gorean system. Gor is tribal, primitivist, glorifying the ‘Order of Nature’ and offers an implicit critique of modern abstraction and alienation. Code d’ Ode is from a later phase of civilization. It is the slavery of the urban sophisticate, bourgeois decadence. This is why, for example, it takes the form of a quasi-legal codification. In this phase of history slavery is regulated to the life of the literate urban trader, a structured corporate world of contracts and rules. Gor is a system for the alpha male. Code d’ Ode is not rooted in such naturalism. It is a system – an indulgence - for educated, successful urban gentlemen.

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