Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The mythological roots of working class symbols and its significance

The mythological roots of working class symbols 
and its significance

People had noticed much that the Hammer and Sickle, Red Flag, or even the Red Star had been deemed as a symbol of Communism. As it had been represented the unity of the laboring people of town and country, their symbols manifested the tools of the exploited in the struggle for social revolution as envisioned by the past especially those of Babeuf, Marx, and others that until today had been struggling for. 

However, despite its high social significance, and to the disdain of every systems such as Capitalism, it also had traditional meanings as been understood deeply. 

For the Druids of the past, the sickle is the tool that used for gathering sacred or healing herbs for the ritual especially during the season of harvest, especially those of crops would be dead and still offer life, with Druids whom generally see no difference in the concept of life and death but both part of the wheel of the universe. 

While the hammer, being symbol for the workers, is also the tool that is being held by the god Thor, Hephaestus for the Greeks, as well as Neptune for the Romans, all as those who forge weapons and tools. Futhermore, Thor's hammer, Mjölnir,  is related to words such as the Icelandic verbs mölva ("to crush") and mala ("to grind"), and Swedish noun mjöl ("flour"), all related to English meal, mill, and miller. Hence, with the Sickle to reap the wheat, the Hammer serves as the grinder as its analogy.

These two symbols united, other than a union of workers and peasants lay a significant meaning such as those of a union between man and the sacred, a contact to the divine in a way the sickle corresponds to the harvest whilst the hammer for the forge, all but creation inherited by the divine to the people whom tirelessly trying to create a society "in each according to work, in each according to need." 

However, it is quite strange for people so to speak that the symbol became a "bogeyemblem" for the so-called free world especially during the cold war. But in looking at its roots somewhat lies a different meaning that brought curiousity for the writer prior to making this writeup such as Druids and ancient gods, harvest and forging as basis for the symbol itself; obviously, for the fanatics of the Christian or any kind of faith would say that it is hence deemed as a symbol for the anti-Christ or an evil being simply because of its pagan roots, not noticing that those symbols corresponds to creation left by the divine and hence entrusted to the people. As peasants, and guildspeople of the past also took revolt against the wealthy landlords and the established order, they often took their tool as its very own weapon the way being used as for their labor. 

That even the Red flag, whose meaning is the blood of the workers is itself a colour for the royalty; and it also corresponds to the intermediate stage of human spirituality as a follower after black (as an initiate) and before white (as a master). The red star, representing the five continents, also had significance to religion such as Christianity and Islam. 

Perhaps, it takes long time for people to understood deeply the symbols deemed as contrary to the system as Marx's "Spectre of Communism" continues to wander throughout the ages that even until today with the laboring people, being creators of history continues to struggle with its tools of trade raised against the rotting, dilapidated social order. 

Or as what Suzanne Collins said in her Hunger Games:

"May the Odds be ever in your favor."