The Secret History of Gunfighter Nation! Part 1

If you’ve watched the first installment of The Pulp Fiction Renaissance Podcast, then you’ll have heard this author mention a particular book and author time and time again. 

Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in 20th Century America by Richard Slotkin. 

Gunfighter Nation is the ultimate study of the Confrontational Indo-European Western Warrior Experience in the Anglo-American context. It studies the legends, lore, and stories of our Frontier Past that we have all come to love and live by time and time again. 

The only problem?

It’s written from a Postmodern Marxist bias!

But its biggest problem is also its biggest strength!

HOW DID WE GET HERE?

In the wake of our defeat in Afghanistan and the demise of Masculinity all across America and the Western World, many men are asking themselves: 

How did we get here?

Well, people like Richard Slotkin provide the answer. 

You see, because Richard Slotkin is a Postmodern Marxist scholar, he hates the Confrontational Indo-European Western Warrior Experience of Anglo-America. He sees it as the root of all genocides, slavery, and tyranny across the globe. 

But because he hates it, he has become a master at it’s inner workings!

HUNTER PREDATOR AND BIG GAME PREY

It’s kind of like a big game hunter who stalks his prey. He knows where the big game lives…it’s routes of travel, it’s place of bedding, where it feeds, where it breeds. 

What kind of food and weather and terrain does it like? What kind of scents attract and repel it? What are it’s wants and needs? What are it’s patterns of life!

The hunter knows the answers to all these questions. He knows them even better than the big game themselves! And what’s more, he knows them consciously

The big game, he knows them subconsciously. To him, it’s just everyday life on autopilot. No need to think about it. 

But the hunter knows the patterns consciously, and because of that, he knows how to manipulate them and disrupt them to his advantage! 

That advantage being a ten point buck to mount upon his drawing room wall!

KNOW THYSELF…CONSCIOUSLY!

If we do not want to be Prey, then we have to know ourselves just as well as our Hunter. 

And we’ve got to know ourselves more than subconsciously…we’ve got to know ourselves consciously

Why?

So that when we are being manipulated and disrupted and taken advantage of, we won’t fall for the trap! 

Pulp Fiction Freedom to you, my friends!

THREE WORDS, ONE SECRET!

So just what does Richard Slotkin know about us anyway? 

What are his hidden secrets in his voluminous tome aimed at the demise of the Western Warrior? 

What are the secrets of Gunfighter Nation

Well, it all comes  down to three words…

Ideology, Mythology, and Genre

But don’t take my word for it…

THREE MAGIC WORDS REVEALED!

Richard Slotkin defines Ideology as “the basic system of concepts, beliefs, and values that define a society’s way of interpreting its place in the cosmos and the meaning of it’s history.”[1]

He defines Mythology as “stories drawn from a society’s history that have acquired through persistent usage the power of symbolizing that society’s ideology and dramatizing it’s moral consciousness…”[2]

He goes on to explain that “Myth expresses ideology in narrative, rather than discursive or argumentative, structure. Its language is metaphorical and suggestive, rather than logical or analytical.”[3] 

Finally, Richard Slotkin defines Genre as “certain expressive forms…[that] provide ways of articulating ideological concepts directly and explicitly.”[4]

He further fleshes this idea out by explaining that through the work of Genre, “The original mythic story is increasingly conventionalized and abstracted until it is reduced to a deeply encoded and resonant set of symbols, ‘icons’, ‘keywords’, or historical cliches.”[5]

Richard Slotkin bases his entire study of the Confrontational Indo-European Western Warrior Experience of Anglo-America off of these three key concepts. 

Which leads us to a number of questions!

Questions to be revealed in our next installment! 

Sources Cited

[1] Slotkin, Richard. Gunfighter Nation: The Myth of the Frontier in 20th Century America. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998. Pg. 5.

[2] Ibid. Pg. 5.

[3] Ibid. Pg. 6.

[4] Ibid. Pg. 5.

[5] Ibid. Pg. 5.

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