Heroic Greta will be our Joan of Arc

Summary: The stories of Greta Thunberg and Joan of Arc are similarly bizarre, more like Santa Claus than history. We believe them as children believe Santa. But after two centuries, let’s see the real story about Joan. That can help us more clearly see Greta.

Greta Thunberg at the UN
Greta Thunberg at the UN on 23 September 2019.
Greta Thunberg Mural in San Francisco
Mural by Andrés Petreselli in San Francisco.

Imagine the world if the Climate Emergency crusade gains political power in the West makes the Green New Deal into law. They will claim victory no matter what the climate does in the 21st century.

If we get a climate catastrophe, perhaps because climate sensitivity is on the high end of estimates, they will have been proven correct.

If we get no catastrophe, perhaps because climate sensitivity is on the low end of estimates (see here, here, and here) – then their programs to fight racism, sexism, and inequality will have saved us (although nothing they have proposed will substantially reduce global CO2 emissions).

In this future, children will learn that Greta Thunberg transformed the politics of the early 21st century. She spoke to the legislatures of the West and softened their hard hearts. She spoke to the leaders of the West and persuaded them to sign onto the bold Green New Deal. She spoke to the people of their world and swayed their votes to the Left.

Children will be taught that she was a miracle heroine that changed the world. That will not know that she is teenage girl (age 16) manufactured into a hero to manipulate the public into supporting the Left’s policies. Just as stories about Joan of Arc (age 17) were used to create the nation of France. As Martin van Creveld explained in The Rise and Decline of the State, in 1789 France consisted of 80 provinces, each having its own laws, customs, and political traditions. Only about 13% of its people spoke the dialect we know of as “French.” The Revolution began the colossal project of building a modern nation-state. Napoleon and later governments continued it. Creating the Joan of Arc legend was a tool in their propaganda campaign. It worked spectacularly well.

Joan of Arc at the Coronation of Charles VII, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1854.

Joan of Arc at the Coronation

As The Guardian explains in “Truth tarnishes legend of St Joan.” I have not read the book, but these are valid observations.

“A new book that casts serious doubt on nearly every aspect of the myth of the Maid of Orléans. ‘I’m very much afraid that precious little of what we French have been taught in school about Joan of Arc is true,’ said Roger Caratini, an eminent academic, historian, mathematician and psychoanalyst and the author of Joan of Arc: from Domrémy to Orléans {in French: Jeanne d’Arc: De Domrémy à Orléans et du bûcher à la légende}, the stake to the legend.

“‘She was, it seems, almost entirely the creation of France’s desperate need for a patriotic mascot in the 19th century. The country wanted a hero, the myths of the revolution were altogether too bloody, and France more or less invented the story of its patron saint. The reality is, sadly, a little different.’

“‘Psychologically, her story is beautiful,’ he said. ‘It’s the little girl who lives out her dreams to the end. But she really wasn’t the heroine who saved France – just a human being with exceptional energy and self-belief.’ …According to Mr Caratini, who based his book on what he says is the first scientific study of the records of her trial, her voices were quite clearly ‘fantasies fabricated by our heroine, presented as if they were real, but with no deliberate intention to deceive. They are frequent and normal in every young child’. …’Joan of Arc played no role, or at best only a very minor one, in the Hundred Years War.'”

See the end of this post for a fun book in English briefly debunking the Joan legends. There are also many articles doing so, such as “8 Joan Of Arc Myths Busted.

The legends of Greta and Joan differ in one big way. Joan is an example of manufactured history, a common and effective tactic of elites. As Graeme Donald said (see below) …

“If she {Joan} was all the legend hails her to have been, then one would expect there to have been countless portraits and account of her in her own time, yet there is nothing. The first ‘biography’ was not written until {1630, 200 years after Joan’s death) by Edmund Richer, head of the Faculty of Theology in Paris. His manuscript laid unpublished in the archives until 1911.”

Greta is a creature of our time. She knows only the propaganda her liberal parents and handlers have fed her. In interviews, she cannot answer simple questions. What is our excuse for taking her seriously?

Update: a look behind the curtain

One similarity between Joan and Greta: both spoke in a manner beyond their age. While we know little about Joan, we had a peak behind Greta Inc. due to a programming error at Facebook. Greta’s Facebook page is verified as being hers, personally. Yet the content under her name was posted by her father’s FB account. Details and screenshots here.

For More Information

Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a story about our future: “Ultra Violence: Tales from Venus.

Important: the Climate Emergency is a moral panic.

For an entertaining and brilliantly written version of the Joan legend, see Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. For more information about this vital issue see the keys to understanding climate change. Also, see all posts about uncertainties in climate science, and especially these …

  1. A look at the workings of Climate Propaganda Inc.
  2. The Extinction Rebellion’s hysteria vs. climate science.
  3. See how climate science becomes alarmist propaganda.
  4. The climate crusade marches across America!
  5. Toxic climate propaganda is poisoning US public policy.
  6. DoD study: climate change will destroy us …in 2020.

A fun book including a debunking of Joan de Arc

Lies, Damned Lies and History: A Catalogue of Historical Errors and Misunderstandings
Available at Amazon.

Lies, Damned Lies and History:
A Catalogue of Historical Errors and Misunderstandings

By Graeme Donald.
It’s 256 pages. From The History Press (2010).

From the publisher …

“This collection takes the reader on a journey, century-by-century, showing how the truth that is usually taken for granted is a far cry from the facts. Amusing anecdotes and little-known facts travels through history, while teasing cross-references show how obscure events are linked. This is not a book for those who like their history sugarcoated, but for those who truly want to see the past as it was.

“Any history lover will delight in these revealing, hilarious lessons of how historical events didn’t always unfold as was thought.”

29 thoughts on “Heroic Greta will be our Joan of Arc”

    1. Michael,

      “Greta is an example of child abuse and a child who abuses.”

      We consider 16-year-olds to be “children”, something all past generations would consider nuts. Nelson was a Navy officer at that age, which was commonplace. Cowboys and soldiers were often 16, given great responsibility – and exposed to danger.

      Sixteen-year-old girls were often mothers, responsible for running a household (a complex operation in pre-modern times).

      More relevantly, 16-year-old girls are at their peak innocence and sexual attractiveness. Which why they are so often used as icons for religious and political movements. Both Greta and Joan began their careers at 16.

      1. “More relevantly, 16-year-old girls are at their peak innocence and sexual attractiveness.”

        Then she’s up the creek without a paddle. She looks like a 12 year old with resting bitch face. If this is her prime, I don’t even want to think what she will look like when she hits the wall.

      1. Frank,

        Part of that is the selection of photos by critics to match her message (as I’ve done here). There are numerous photos of her smiling. Why not? She’s having a great time as a globe-trotting celebrity – while other girls her age are sitting in classrooms learning things.

      2. I’ve seen the posed smiley pictures too. She still isn’t photogenic at all. Even at her best she looks insufferable. But I think that is part of her appeal to leftists.

  1. Today’s nitpick: “If she {Joan} was all the legend hails her to ahve been, HAVE

    LK: “she cannot answer simple questions. What is our excuse for taking her seriously?” Always a good question to ask about any hero, politician, scientist, etc.

  2. The Greta show is over. It’s anybody’s guess what’s next in the environmentalists bag of tricks.

  3. Have to agree with Michael that it’s child abuse, and with Ron that it’s show business. As to why she’s taken seriously, my hypotheses are technology (a la McLuhan), and human domestication.

    All media work us over completely. They are so pervasive in their personal, political, economic, aesthetic, psychological, moral, ethical, and social consequences that they leave no part of us untouched, unaffected, unaltered… The news automatically becomes the real world for the TV user and is not a substitute for reality, but is itself an immediate reality.
    Marshall McLuhan

    1. peasant,

      “All media work us over completely.”

      We’re such poor babies, helplessly tied in front of our screens, forced to believe whatever we’re told.

      Total nonsense. If we have neither pride nor spirit, we should just accept being treated like dogs – and not whine about it.

      “If God didn’t want them sheared, he would not have made them sheep.”
      — Calvera, bandit leader in the movie The Magnificent Seven (1960).

      1. Who said anything about screens? Sharpened flint and branches and the skins worn by the hominid because of the flint are technology. As are language and parchment. What’s so nonsensical about self-domestication, or at least exploring the concept. Open the gate and the cows just stand there waiting for dinner. Not an unreasonable metaphor for plenty of contemporary homo sapiens.

        So laying eggs all your life and then getting plucked, stuffed and roasted is good enough for you, is it?

        It’s a livin’.

        Chicken Run, 2007

      2. pesant,

        Your comment makes no sense whatsoever, so far as I can see.

        You said: “All media work us over completely.” If your reference to “sharpened flint and branches” implies that “media work us over completely” is an enduring aspect of civilization – you are projecting our weakness on the rest of the species, everywhere and everywhen. Which is silly.

  4. Yes, Greta is being used by the Global Warming hoaxers to push the same nonsense they’ve been pushing for decades, but historians have pointed out that the life of Joan of Arc is exhaustively documented in Royal records, municipal records at Orleans and other cities, private letters from commanders etc, extensive eyewitness testimony at the postwar appeal of her case in the 1450s, and so on. The actual history differs quite a bit from what feminists have tried to claim about her, but nonetheless her actual history is well documented. Graeme Donald didn’t bother to study any of this before writing his sensationalistic book. Roger Caratini is an obscure philosopher, not a historian. Please focus on debunking the Global Warming hoax rather than repeating what these authors have claimed in their attempt to sell books.

    1. ADM,

      “but historians have pointed out that the life of Joan of Arc is exhaustively documented in Royal records, municipal records at Orleans and other cities, private letters from commanders etc, extensive eyewitness testimony at the postwar appeal of her case in the 1450s, ”

      What is the source for your belief about the contemporaneous evidence (vs. the records “recovered” after the Revolution)?

      1. There are numerous sources which give the mainstream view by historians. For a concise overview in English, you could see (for example) Regine Pernoud’s “Joan of Arc By Herself And Her Witnesses” which gives excerpts from many of the contemporaneous documents. Pernoud served as a curator at the National Archives, wrote something like a dozen books on Joan of Arc (as well as other medieval subjects), and founded the Centre Jeanne d’Arc. Other historians who have provided translations or transcriptions of the documents include : W.P. Barrett (English translation of her trial transcript and other material); Pierre Tisset and Yvonne Lanhers (three-volume translation of the trial documents); Pierre DuParc (five-volume series of transcriptions and translations of the postwar appellate documents); Pierre Champion (translated the trial transcript and wrote extensively on the other documents); Jules Quicherat (five-volume series on the documents); Raymond Oursel (translated documents from both the trial and appellate process); and so on for many others. Professional historians agree that the documents are authentic; only a few authors have claimed otherwise, just as left-wing activists always rewrite Joan of Arc’s history to suit their own agenda. The claim by some authors (e.g. Graeme Donald) that Jules Quicherat forged the documents or found them in a “suspect cache” of documents in “Notre Dame” cathedral is false: Quicherat’s series includes documents from dozens of different archives all over Europe; he didn’t “discover” them since they were held in these archives for a long time and were well known to the archival staff; and these manuscripts have been studied by many other historians.
        The actual myths about Joan of Arc are mostly the product of political activists: e.g. the feminist idea that she fought in combat (she said she carried her banner and stayed out of the fighting), or that she directly led the army in place of men (noblemen actually led the army, but they said they often asked Joan for advice because they believed she was Divinely inspired); or the idea she was overthrowing the patriarchy (she said her goal was to place her king on his throne, which is pretty much the opposite of overthrowing the patriarchy), and so on for other politicized nonsense about her which has been debunked by historians.

  5. Joan of Arc was an incarnation of the same Monadic Oversoul that also gave us Saint Mary (mother of Jesus), Mary Magdalene (wife of Jesus), Isis (Egyptian goddess), Quan Yin (Chinese saint), Julia Caesar (daughter of Julius and mother of Caesar Augustus, who was emperor during the birth of Christ), and Hugues de Payens (founder of the Templar Knights). In other words, a cosmic badass of the highest order. Look at the accounts of her trial for heresy, where she, an uneducated peasant maiden, was able to stump whole roomfuls of the assembled theological authorities of the time, Greta is just a little puppet with mental instabilities.

  6. How much time is Greta the Legend spending in the lab, experimenting and innovating to find solutions to environmental problems? She’s the hero, right? She’s the leader. Where’s her innovation then? I thought she was an icon. Where is her work? Where is the accomplishment?

    1. Westray,

      “How much time is Greta the Legend spending in the lab,”

      You are confusing advocates/communicators/leaders with scientists. Both are legitimate roles. What makes Greta a symptom of social decay is that she lacks the qualifications to be an advocate-leader. She’s just a figurehead. That would be as odd as the French actually putting Joan in control of their armies.

      Which, of course, they didn’t. She was ignorant of any military knowledge, and repeatedly advocated attacking in near-suicidal conditions.

      1. Leaders need to start off in the trenches. In the case of science, start off in the lab, grow into leadership later. She was giving this role and it took off due to the corrosive media. There is nothing legitimate about this situation at all. It’s apocalyptic and weird.

      2. westray,

        “In the case of science”

        Your comments don’t make much sense, so far as I can tell. As I have repeatedly said, Greta does not claim to be a scientist.

        Further, you imply that Greta must be a scientist to speak about climate change. That means that the only people who can speak about science-related public policy are scientist I doubt that many people agree with you.

        That implies that they are some kind of priesthood before the rest of whom must bow.

  7. She’s there to make us feel bad and inadequate about ourselves and to be invulnerable to criticism because she is a teenager, she is female, she has medical conditions including being ‘on the spectrum’. So she can make the most extreme claims and anyone who tries to question her will be ushered away and subject to potentially career ending opprobrium.

    At a single stroke she effectively silences the pale male and stale generation of politicians.

    It’s been a propaganda masterstroke.

  8. Pingback: Will eco-activists kill billions to save lots of the arena? – Daily News

    1. Bill,

      Time will tell. Greta is a child star. Sometimes they turn out well. Such as Shirley Temple. Sometimes they end up as wreckage. I think the latter are more common than the former.

      The odds on her don’t look good.

  9. Joan of Arc is the Daughter of God in the same way that Jesus is the Son of God. Joan admitted this at her Trial of Condemnation. “responsio mortifera”, Latin for: “fatal response”, is recorded in the margin of the trial transcript. Problem is that most people that believe Joan of Arc is God are too afraid what other people might think of them, and even call them a heretic too.

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