Bergonian History


The Kilitan Movement


One nation's version of fascism?  Or something uniquely Bergonian?

The Kilitan was a movement of native Bergonians (atrei) that exalted Pre-Columbian native culture, using it to justify a militarized dictatorship, and actively condemned European culture, including liberal democracy and Christianity.  They especially reviled Britain and the US.  

The word Kilitan derives from an archaic Nacateca phrase, "kiliatai nai" which means roughly "heirs of glory."

A lot of historians have claimed that the Kilitan was a Bergonian manifestation of fascism.  In its celebration and assertion of native culture, it had similarities to the nationalism of European fascism, and also to Japanese nationalism.  Like these, it celebrated martial virtues.  It too was driven by a distinctly romantic spirit.  It too extolled the collective.  But for all these similarities the Kilitan had scant relations with the European fascists, and cared no more for them than any other European faction.  Nazism and most other variants of European fascism were essentially racist, while the Kilitan only presumed that Bergonian culture, not Bergonian blood, was superior.  The Kilitan extolled native religion and condemned European culture, but it promised tolerence of minorities, including Christian and European minorities.  The Kilitan had to face the fact that up to 25% of the population was Christian or Neo-Christian, and that .

The Kilitan attracted the most extreme "nativists."  As such, they were the heirs of the "nativist" Zaomitan of the 1820s and 1830s.  They manifested the atrei resurgence after the horrible plagues of the 1500s and 1600s and the attendant destruction of native culture.  They also manifested the latant bitterness that all proud atrei felt whenever they contemplated the Bergonian tragedy.  

Only Miradi atrei joined this movement, since it condemned Christianity along with everything else from Europe.  Accordingly the Kilitan spread across the interior, where very few whites and the highest percentages of atrei live, and had few adherents on the coast, the areas where most Europeans lived.  

Though the Kilitan condemned western parliamentarianism and capitalism as moral abominations.  they accepted science and technology as consistent with traditional Bergonian values (as did most Miradi).  Just as Nazism and Italian fascism harkened back to pre-modern historical roots, the Kilitan dreamt of reforming society in the image of ancient Pre-Columbian Bergonian society.  They rejected European style dress and decor (which had become prevalent throughout the 1800's), and they mimicked the ways of the ancient banda warriors.  Yes, they produced a peculiar Bergonian version of romantic folk nationalism, and like European fascism it veered toward racialism and fascism.  But because of their antipathy toward Christianity and Europeanism, they had a peculiar sympathy for the Jews.

Five men with shadowy backgrounds organized the Kilitan.  They contrived ancient warrior nom de guerre and refused to acknowledge any prior identity, although in time journalist discovered and released their identities.  (One such journalist was shot in the head on the street at lunchtime right in front of the newspaper building.)  The five names translated as follows: "Black Mountain," "Hunting-Prowess," "Avenging Arrow," "Faithful," and "Temple-Guardian."  They dressed exclusively in native dress-- the long loose tunic and baggy pants-- and often wore the flashy costumes of ancient banda warriors and leaders.  Black Mountain had served three short jail sentences for larceny, inciting to riot, and selling heroin.  Hunting-Prowess had served eleven years in prison for robbery and malicious wounding.  Avenging-Arrow had spent at least ten years as a smuggler and gangster and was rumored, perhaps maliciously, perhaps admiringly, to have personally murdered over fifty men before he was thirty years old.  Faithful had worked as cab driver, poster artist, pimp and carnival huckster.  Temple-Guardian had served honorably in the Navy as one of the nation's first ever underwater demolition experts.

They organized a political party, showing a vast gift of talent for picking able, capable second-tier leaders.  They also encouraged and promoted very active local chapters, with very active local leadership.  Their party structure was very hierarchical, and members were expected to take orders from their commanders.  They had an "Inner Party" which consisted of the charter members, their second-tier leadership, and the first generation of local leaders.  The much larger "Outer Party" included the operatives, fighters, support staff and supporters.  

They wore elaborate uniforms and emblems, all taken from ancient motifs, which included traditional kilts and robes, ribbons and broaches indicating rank and service, with caps and headdresses.  Most prominent of these were the tunics, baggy pleated pants and long overcoat, in various combinations of light-gray, tan, charcoal-gray and black, with colorful ribbons sewn around the tunic collar and sleeves, as well as the brim of the black caps worn by the Kilitan rank and file.  One commentator observed in 1925, "If only the Kilitantist had ideas as attractive as their uniforms."  Indeed, since the uniforms combined traditional logos with modern lines, they became very popular throughout the country, and by the late 1920s a lot of people who cared little for the Kilitan had begun to mimic their dress.  

The "Themes of Ancient Warriors" was the Kilitan paramilitary organization, professionally organized by veterans and well armed.  The "Warriors" wore traditional uniform: black tunics, gray trousers and red sashes.  They tucked daggers, knives and guns in their red sashes, and marched alongside the unarmed rank and file Kilitanists dressed in beige and black.

The Kilitan refused at first to participate in elections, but in a peculiar compromise (similar to the compromise they ended up reaching with European capitalists), they ran candidates in local elections, so they could take over towns and counties.  This gave them control over local police in many regions.  They infiltrated the army.  They very publicly bragged that someday they would take over the government in a coup.  And they put on the most colorful, magnificent street pageants of any political group in the history of the world, with marching bands, massive statues of the ancient gods, floats depicting heroic contests, and elaborate costumes.

The Kilitan rented a large field just outside the city of Piatalani and held a huge outdoor rally there on the night of 3 July 1925, with a magnificent system for public address and lighting.  Hitler & Co. would later study the techniques employed here. 150,000 followers attended and heard the Five Leaders speak.  They read a "Statement of National Purpose," by which they called for these things:

1)   A strong military for Bergonia, with creation of an (a) all-ocean navy, (b) a giant force of marines, and (c) rapid development of air power.  To emphasize this point the Kilitan flew a number of airplanes over Piatalani all the following day.  This was a spectacular sight, and people all throughout the city stood in the streets and looked up.  The Kilitan were the first anywhere to explicitly advocate air power in military doctrine, 

2)   A willingness to defend Bergonia against Britain and America, and a willingness to assert Bergonia into the world, particularly in Latin America, Africa and the Pacific, to form a "corrected balance of nations in the world, a new world otletei "order/structure" in which "Bergonia will be a lynchpin."

3)  A program of technological advancement and scientific research, to enable weapons programs and to "deliver the gift of electricity to every Bergonian."  They brazenly claimed that modern science was in total accord with both ancient Bergonian reason and Miradi philosophy.  Indeed the Miradi have always been far more accepting of the usages and findings of science than Christians, whose ranks include the fundamentalists who resolutely defy all the natural sciences with the stupidities of creationism.  "Do you not see the Gods in the spark of electricity?" asked the exalted Miradi priest, Ikinara Purei, attending the Glen International Exhibition in 1903.

4)  A supreme place for native culture, art and sport, and Miradi religion in national life, yet a guarantee for European minorities to live freely in enclaves and "mixed" zones, providing they did not subvert Kilitan policy.

4)  A campaign against western influences, especially the evils of "Western Modernism," including the decadent evils of materialism, positivism, communism, socialism, democracy, capitalism, jazz, and all modern art.

5)  A government imitating ancient Bergonian forms-- not Tan forms-- with an emperor, a council, and a trained and qualified elite, united around the grand warrior ethos, and in service to the entire society.  The Five Leaders proclaimed that the Kiltan Movement was creating that new elite.  They proclaimed that they were that imperial council reincarnated, and that "divine circumstance" would soon produce a leader capable of stepping forth to become emperor.  To their credit, all throughout their subsequent reign, none of the Quintrumverate ever aspired to step out to claim the role, explicitly holding, in accordance with ancient imperial law, that their membership on the council automatically disqualified themselves and all their kin from the imperial post.. 

6)  A promise that in due time they would rise up and seize the state.   This became the big newspaper and radio headline that electrified the nation.  The famous quoted line by the leader named __  

Although the central thrust of the Kilitan philosophy was extremely nativitst and anti-European, many leftists accused the Kilitan elite of an interest in European fascism.  No doubt the Kilitan borrowed somewhat from the economic ideas of Italian fascism.  Throughout the 1920s the Kilitan sent delegations to Italy to study the ideas and organization of fascist society.  They borrowed Italian "corporatism," grafting it onto the nativist notions of banda warrior society.  In a similar way, Third World anti-European movements called themselves "Anti-Imperialist" and yet borrowed communism, a thoroughly European philosophy, to build a barrier against the West.

Certainly both Bergonian Kilitan and European Fascism perceived society as an organic structure which depended on functional class difference, where there are no individual rights.  However, the links between the two are often overstated.  Many essential differences exist.  First, the Kilitan did not have a single strong man, and no cult of the Strongman, hence no Hitler or Mussolini.  Second, the Kilitan were not racists.  Their theories of exclusion were based on the superiority of native Bergonian culture and spirituality, not the racial superiority of native peoples.  Kilitan academics never sunk to the absurd lows of Nazi "studies" in paleontology. 

Third, though the Kilitan were "warriors," and very much steeped in what one journalist called "militant romanticism," they did not share in the Fascist virtue of ruthless force in opposition to rationality.  The fascists followed an ideal of heroic struggle, idealization of the will, the simple goal of power, and the romance of war.  To the Kilitan, this was just another example of the Western tendency toward self-indulgence.  The Leader "Faithful" said this in a speech at the prestigious University of Red and Black in Cationi in 1927:

At the font of all fascist energy an honest man finds the very individualism that [they] pretend to hate.  The craving for power and the violent swing of the fist reveals the naked individual at his worst.  Fascism is the perfect projection of ego, worse, a single ego, the perfect anti-social expression, the perfect expression of ultra-individualism overwhelming and suborning the common good.  It is the privilege of the strong individual to rule, exploit or kill the weak, the masses they make weak.  It is a westernization of Mogul, Pharaohic and Chinese emperor-worship.  This  is a much more extreme version of what the capitalists have done for years in both Europe and Bergonia.  The fascist says that the state and all society constitute a coherent whole, like a brain animating the body, but it is just a lie to mask his real idea, which is that a coterie of highly motivated scoundrels will dominate everything for their own selfish ends.

In another address, "Faithful" propounded the Kilitanist attitude very succinctly, "Every ideology coming out of Europe  is at heart rank individualism, whether professed, admitted or disguised."  The view hardly stands up to scrutiny, but it certainly says a lot about the speaker, and also reflects the widespread anxiety most atrei have had about Western culture.  

The fascist saw himself as an anti-religious pioneer striding into the future, while the Kiltanist believed in his Miradi God, and further believed that  the traditional Bergonian way of life would securely assure harmony with the holy way.  The fascist worshipped the warrior ideal because they fancied that bloody struggle ennobled man; the Kilitan worshipped the warrior ideal because they felt that warrior discipline ennobled man.  The fascist wanted war for national aggrandizement and glory, while the Kilitan, if they wanted to fight at all, wanted to achieve a practical, defensive goal of keeping America and Britain away.  The fascist wanted a hyper-masculine life of vitality, power and war, while the Kilitan expressly preached the penultimate Bergonian ideals of harmony, balance, disciplined grace and respect for the holy and sensible things in the world.  The Kilitan differed from most Bergonians in taking on a singularly intolerant authoritarian way of advancing these things. 


Map of Revolutionary Fighting: the Kilitan ascends:


Map of Revolutionary Fighting: the Kilitan is defeated:

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