Wednesday's discussion of arguably one of the most climatic scenes of the Blood Meridian provided us a chance to delve into the psyche of Judge Holden. Undoubtedly, as much as "War is God" passage helped to flesh out the Judge's motives, the same passage unnerved me. The very idea that violence wasn't just something could be committed for its own sake, but is in fact almost an obligation for those in positions of power ran so far against what my personal philosophy that I couldn't help but feel pretty discouraged about how societal attitudes managed to evolve into something so taboo and morally defunct.
In one of the scenes (which I was unfortunately unable to find on youtube), two leaders debate the merits of fighting a war, determining that despite the lack of hostility on their lands, it was imperative to fight the antagonist, Cao Cao because this warlord from the North had disrupted the harmony of the nation, turning countryman against countryman and thus needed to be stopped.
Judge Holden's claim that might is right seems to indicate that he believes that the world needs to be ruled by violence so that a proper hierarchy may be established, that an alpha male may be placed at his rightful place. Because the powerful are at the top, they are above morality, and are compelled to destroy vestiges of it by continuing to war against others. This provides not only an intriguing juxtaposition of literature from polar opposites points in time and space, but also an opportunity to observe the gulf in cultural attitudes. Perhaps so jaded in the wake of the Vietnam War and Washington's sometimes clumsy support of dictators world wide, McCarthy argues that the world has now past the point of no return, thus akin to a volcanic explosion, or the falling leaves of autumn, the next stage of the life cycle must begin - the second chance rises from the ashes of the old.