Promotion J.R.R. Tolkien (in English)
“There are some things that it is better to begin than to refuse, even though the end may be dark.”.
When everything seems to be lost, when the city is under siege, when hearts are prey to doubt and pessimism, many are those who would flee to escape an inescapable and fatal fate. We are not among them; we stand here, straight, and proud, determined to pierce the darkness and rekindle the fire of hope in Europe. For this upcoming journey, the members of the 10th promotion of the Iliad Institute have decided to place themselves under the aegis of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
Making the choice of Tolkien is not a way to wander off into a fantasy world, but a way to be deeply rooted in the heart of our European civilisation. Far beyond fiction, the stories of Middle-earth are the perfect embodiment of who we are: heirs forged by our ancestral myths and legends and the chivalric values. The 10th promotion will draw inspiration from the timeless values of bravery, self-sacrifice, wonder and loyalty to our long European memory that permeate the writer’s work.
Invocating Tolkien is taking nature as a foundation. His hatred of the black smoke of Isengard and the spirit of metal and cogs makes him a true herald of a rooted ecology. The English philologist will never forgive the industrialisation of his native countryside. Faced with the mutilation of our regional heritage, we decide to put an end to the materialistic ideology of profit and technology which sees everything as a quantifiable resource. Let us renew our fusional link with nature that excessive modernisation has broken. Against blind growth and unbridled globalisation, let us affirm the ecology of peoples as a guarantee of the diversity of this world. Nature will then cease to be an object of covetousness and will once again become a heritage, and as Sylvebarbe at the head of the Ents of Fangorn, we will defend it with a sword.
Nominating a writer as a patron of promotion is also a recognition that beauty will save the world. What stories better embody this re-enchantment than those of Middle-earth? Let us draw inspiration of the epic rides of the Rohirrim, the crystalline songs of the Eldar, the verdant pastures of the Hobbits or the haunting forests of Lothlórien, coming from this pre-industrial world, all those things that make this epic speak to our hearts. Let us forget false needs and consumerist frustrations, let us free our colonized imaginations. There is nothing fantastic about the theatre of the struggle of free peoples rooted to their land against industrious creatures subjected to the pace of machines. Let us inject grace and authenticity into our world, watered down by virtual experiences and softened by the standardization of cultures, and let us keep our eyes wide open to the beauty that remains.
The heroic sacrifice of Boromir, Aragorn in front of the Black Gate or Sam at the foot of Mount Doom… What more valuable lesson can we learn from Tolkien’s work than to understand that loyalty is the highest virtue? Loyalty to the community to defend our values and the ones we love. Let us offer an alternative to the growing individualism to place our traditions, self-sacrifice, and loyalty at the heart of what defines us. To rebuild a society of Being and transmission, we will have the bravery to advocate a common destiny.
Fighting for what is important, refusing to only claim, but living concretely as we think it is right to live: this is the lesson of the Tolkienian gesture. It is now up to us to write our great story and to retie the threads of time, let us split the ranks and reach an end worthy of a song!
“Arise, arise, Riders of Theoden !
It is the hour of deeds; it is dark in the east.
The saddle be mounted, the horn be sounded!
Forth Eorlingas! Onward !”