The View From Olympus: A Major Policy Blunder

A frequent sin of conservative governments is throwing away what they have achieved domestically by making major foreign policy blunders.  That danger now looms over President Trump’s government.  His domestic agenda is successful.  The economy is booming, new conservative judges are sitting on important benches and Left-wing regulations are being rolled back.  In the recent elections, a blue wave was met by an equal red wave.  The result was a normal off-year election for the party holding the White House, except the Republicans gained seats in the Senate.  There was no repudiation of President Trump or his agenda.

All this is now being put at risk because of the administration’s China policy.  President Trump has been right to challenge China on trade issues.  Free trade on our part has allowed a mercantilist China to hollow out our industry, depriving Americans of millions of good paying jobs.  China regularly steals intellectual property and forces American companies to turn over trade secrets if they wish to do business with China.  All this should have been challenged by previous presidents, Republican and Democrat.  Their failures to act left President Trump to deal with the whole mess.  To his credit, he is doing so. 

But that does not mean we want a generally hostile relationship with China.  On the contrary, friendship between China, Russia, and the United States is of central importance in confronting the Fourth Generation threat, the danger of state failure and collapse that will define the 21st century.  At stake is the state system itself, and a new Triple Alliance of the three Great Powers is essential to maintaining a world of states.  The alternative is anarchy. 

American policy should seek to separate trade from other issues, confronting China on the former while stressing cooperation in all other fields.  Regrettably, that does not appear to be where the administration is headed.  As the New York Times reported on November 19, “From Mr. Trump’s tweets to defense position papers and a major speech by Mr. Pence on Oct. 4, the United States has made clear that it sees China as a strategic threat.”  That is a blunder of the first order.

The worst of it, so far at least, is that the U.S. is raising the old Taiwan issue.  The administration cut off aid to several central American countries that withdrew diplomatic recognition from the Republic of China (Taiwan) and established relations with the People’s Republic of China (Beijing).  The White House has been making noises indicating we could strengthen our relationship with Taiwan, including militarily.  This is playing with fire. 

China can compromise on other matters, even her claims to the South China Sea.  But she cannot compromise on Taiwan.  I fear Washington does not understand why that is the case.

Throughout Chinese history, the greatest threat to China has always been internal disunion, break-up into warring states.  This happened over and over again, most recently in the 1920s and 1930s.  Every time it occurs, millions of Chinese die, civil war plunges China into renewed poverty and foreigners take advantage of China’s weakness to invade.  Every Chinese person knows this history, and any Chinese government that hopes to have legitimacy must make it clear that preventing such disunion is its top priority.

The danger Taiwan poses is that it is a Chinese province.  Both the Communist Party and the Kuomintang agree on that.  If one province, Taiwan, can gain independence from China, so can others.  Beijing cannot allow that precedent to be established.  It is an existential threat, and China must and will go to the wall to prevent it.  If that means war with the United States, China has to fight that war.

The Pentagon may think that a naval and air war with China will be an easy win.  China is highly vulnerable to a distant naval blockade.  But if the U.S. Navy were to intervene directly in an attempt to prevent a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, our losses could be severe.  China has developed long-range ballistic missiles that can hit aircraft carriers, or at least come close enough to them, with nuclear warheads, they can either sink them or, with EMP blasts, fry all their electronics and render them floating scrap metal.  Such losses would mark the end of American naval dominance.  Worse yet, because Taiwanese independence is an existential threat to China, if China were losing at sea and in the air, she would feel immense pressure to escalate to the strategic nuclear level.

It is not too late for the administration to separate trade from other issues, continue to confront China on the former while acting to restore good relations in other areas.  Even the trade problem has an obvious solution: managed trade, where the U.S. and China agree on what each is to buy from the other so that the balance of payments is roughly even.  China has made some offers along these lines.  We can and should encourage them to do so until we can agree on the specifics.

Throughout the 20th century, conservative governments around the world overreached in foreign policy, got into wars that did not go well and ended up in disasters that put the Left in power at home.  I hope President Trump is aware of that history. 

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: An Emerging Dimension of 4GW?

The recent mass shooting at a country music bar in California again raises an important question: are such shootings, at least some of them, an aspect of Fourth Generation war?

When the killing is done in the name of Islam or some other cause, the answer, obviously, is yes.  But so far we know no motive for the California shooter.  So where, if anywhere, does it fit into Fourth Generation war?

The answer, I think, may be that this and similar cases are men’s reply to the war on men being waged by feminism.  When women get seriously angry, they talk.  When men get seriously angry, they kill.  And feminism’s war on men, which is being carried to ever-greater extremes, is making more and more men, especially young men, very angry.

The so-called “#MeToo” campaign is only the latest absurdity.  Of course most women have been subject of sexual advances from men.  It is hard-wired into human nature, and into the nature of most of the animal kingdom, that the male takes the initiative in sexual encounters.  Most women expect and want men to do so.  Remember the old saying, “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”?  It was understood by all that girls want boys to make passes.  Pity the wallflower and the heart that is broken after the ball.

But feminism now decrees that any man taking the initiative risks being charged with that most heinous of all crimes, “sexual harassment”.  Even if the woman welcomed his advances at the time, if she later changes her mind, he is guilty.  He is presumed guilty until proven innocent and the woman’s word must be taken as true.  The man who is convicted is thrown out of school, loses his job, and may find his whole career path closed to him–all on nothing more than a woman’s word.  Of course men are getting angry.

There is another 4GW dimension that enters the picture here.  As women move into a field, men lose interest in it.  This has been evident in sports for a long time.  But as feminism drives women into more and more previously male venues, men find those venues no longer attractive.  The military is a case in point.  Absurdly, women are now present even in combat units.  Men have traditionally joined armed services in part to prove their manhood.  How do they do that when they have to take orders from women and be terrified that the women around them, in whom they must show no sexual interest, may make the dreaded “sexual harassment” charge against them?  Not surprisingly, the U.S. armed forces find it more and more difficult to recruit.

The Left is busy celebrating the large number of women elected to public office this November.  But one effect of this may be to alienate men further from the political system.  As I have pointed out many times, Fourth Generation war is above all a war for legitimacy.  Will a woman-dominated politics still be legitimate in men’s eyes?  Or will young men in particular respond by transferring their loyalty away from a state that has become a tool of female oppression to something else?  Such transference of primary loyalty lies at the heart of 4GW.

Feminism’s war on men is part of a broader drive of cultural Marxism to the extreme.  It seeks to outlaw more and more aspects of human nature.  Men are to be subjected to women, native-born Americans to immigrants, whites to blacks, and straights to gays.  This is Nietzsche’s “transvaluation of all values”, which the Frankfurt School made a central element of cultural Marxism.

But when human nature is forced into false channels, it rebels.  As the last two elections have shown, native Americans are rebelling against being submerged in a sea of immigrants and whites are rebelling by raising their own racial consciousness.  Few rebellions are likely to be more powerful than men’s rebellion against feminism, because few aspects of human nature are more powerful motivators than sex.  It may turn out that the “gender war” is more than a metaphor.  If so, it will take far more than gun control to prevent angry young men from killing.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Get Out While We Can

The American position in Afghanistan is not just deteriorating, it is deteriorating at an accelerating rate.  Historically, that is the last stage before a military collapse.

The November 3 New York Times reported in detail how a Taliban infiltrator penetrated a top-level meeting in Kandahar, killed one of Afghanistan’s top generals and almost got the American general commanding our forces there, General Austin S. Miller.  Our reaction made the bad situation worse.  The Times wrote,

The scramble to get the Americans out of the governor’s compound after General Raziq was killed led to a brief firefight between Americans and Afghan security forces, with the Americans crashing through a gate and shooting at least one Afghan officer dead as they left, American officials said.

Now, in the days that have followed, the Americans are being accused of General Raziq’s death, rattling the relationship between the allies.

 Perhaps not surprisingly, the November 4 Times reported another “green on blue” shooting, with one American soldier dead.

Afghanistan has a long history of being a place easy to get into but hard to get out of.  Successful retreats are perhaps the most difficult of all military operations no matter where they are conducted.  Conducting a successful retreat from Afghanistan is near the top of the list of daunting military tasks.

Everyone knows we have lost and will be leaving soon.  We are trying to obtain a peace deal from the Taliban which will permit us at least an orderly withdrawal.  That is wise on our part, and the Taliban are showing some interest.

If that does not happen, what we may face is a widespread realignment within Afghanistan in which everyone tries to get on the good side of the victor, i.e., the Taliban, with American forces still there.  Afghan government soldiers and police will have a tempting opportunity to do that by turning their weapons on any nearby Americans.  In that part of the world, “piling on” the loser is a time-honored way of changing sides to preserve your own neck.

The apparently widespread rumor that the Americans were responsible for General Raziq’s death illustrates the high level of distrust and dislike already present between U.S. and Afghan government forces.  This is one of the strategic factors that are almost always present when an outside power intervenes in someone else’s civil war.  We are foreigners, we have a different religion, our soldiers get far better pay, food, living conditions, and medical care than do Afghan soldiers and police, and we think we know what we are doing in a place we do not understand.  Add to that volatile mix the growing realization that the Taliban are winning and we will soon be leaving, and the incentive for Afghans to change sides grows.

It does not help matters that of our two exit routes, one goes through Pakistan and the other eventually goes through Russia.  Thanks to the usual idiocies from the Washington foreign policy establishment, we have bad relations with both countries.  Pakistan probably won’t slam the door in our face because they want the Taliban to win.  Why?  Because we stupidly allow the current Afghan government to align with India.  Does anyone in Washington know how to think strategically?  Apparently not.

What is needed most now is detailed planning by the Pentagon for a fighting withdrawal.  I am not saying we want to get out that way.  It is contingency planning in case we have to.  I fear that planning will not be done because it will be politically incorrect, since the military leadership still pretends we are winning.  Subordinates will be afraid to initiate planning that contradicts their superiors’ public statements.  But if we have to put a fighting withdrawal together on the fly, a difficult situation will become a great deal more hazardous.  I hope some majors and lieutenant colonels are developing the necessary plan now, even if they can’t tell their bosses what they are doing.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Invasion

The column or caravan of Central Americans slowly moving north through Mexico with the intention of crossing into the U.S. is a classic Fourth Generation war invasion.  An invasion by immigrants is more, not less, dangerous than an invasion by a hostile army because the army eventually goes home while immigrants stay, permanently altering the cultural landscape.  In this case, they would not alter it for the better.

If this country is to survive in a 4GW world, we recognize that this invasion threat is just the flea sitting on the top of the penguin sitting on top of the iceberg.  If this invasion is successful, the next caravan will be larger.  The one after that will be larger still.  A combination of state failure, economic ruin, climate change, and population pressures means millions, tens of millions, ultimately hundreds of millions of people around the world will be trying to move from south to north.  If we don’t stop them, our societies, those north of the equator, will be turned into their societies, which is to say the places they are fleeing because they don’t work.  That may not be their intention (in the case of Islamics, it is their intention), but it will be the result because it is all they know.  Their numbers will be such that they cannot be acculturated by their new societies before those societies are engulfed, overwhelmed, and snuffed out.  

President Trump is right that we cannot allow these people to enter the U.S. and apply for asylum or refugee status.  In the time it will take for their cases to be evaluated, they will simply disappear among the millions of illegal immigrants already here.  They must be stopped at the border or before the border.  Again, this is true not just for the current caravan but for the millions who will be following them.  The question is how to do it.

An old practice, one that was almost universal up to World War II, would help: requiring visas.  To cross a border required not just a passport, which is issued by the country of the person’s origin, but also a visa, which is issued by the country they want to enter.  No visa, no crossing the border.  Some countries still require visas for entry.  Sometimes they can be obtained at the point and time of entry, but more often a would-be border crosser must obtain a visa well beforehand.  Crying “refugee” or “asylum” makes no difference: you still have to have a visa.

Visas would help, but as the 21st century unrolls, the numbers of migrants will be such that the borders will still be overwhelmed.  When ten million people are all heading for your border at once, only one thing will stop them: deadly force.  Again, at least up until World War II, anyone attempting an illegal border crossing was at a substantial risk of getting shot.  Border guards everywhere had standing “shoot to kill” orders.  Snipers were posted to shoot swimmers.  Unless borders are defended by force, they don’t really exist. 

Here we quickly run into one of the most confounding aspects of Fourth Generation war, the power of weakness.  At the moral level, having border guards shoot down women and children is a disaster.  The moral level is more powerful than the physical level, which means states will have great difficulty overcoming public pressure not to shoot.  But if they don’t shoot, they will be invaded and, both as states and as cultures, wiped out.

There are at least a couple of partial answers to this problem.  The first is to make border defenses automatic.  In most cases this should be feasible on land borders.  Defend the borders wherever possible not with men, but with automatic machine guns and the like.  The power of weakness is diminished because the invaders, knowingly walking into deadly threats, look stupid.  Instead of reacting with horror, people will say, “how dumb can you get?”

A second answer is to make the necessary violence invisible.  If invaders come by sea, a la The Camp of the Saints, automatic defenses are less visible.  But if their ships are torpedoed by submarines and spurlos gesenkt, the moral blowback will be less than if the evening news shows a destroyer pumping shells into a ship as desperate people swim for their lives — and are not rescued.

The feminized culture of sentiment that now rules in Western countries makes any defense difficult.  The strategic key to the West’s defense is to replace that culture with a more masculine culture that wants to fight.  That will happen.  Whether it happens in time is the question.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

The View From Olympus: Losing at the Moral/Strategic Level

One of war’s few rules is that failure at a higher level negates the successes at lower levels.  This led to Germany’s defeats in both World Wars; she usually won at the tactical and operational levels but lost at the strategic level.  The result was lost victories.

To look at our own situation today, we need to add John Boyd’s three levels of war, physical, mental, and moral, to the classic levels of tactical, operational, and strategic.  If we plot these categories on a grid, we see that the highest and most powerful level of war is the moral/strategic.  If we look at what we are doing around the world, we see that at the moral/strategic level we are taking actions likely to result in our defeat.

Three examples come readily to mind.  The first is North Korea.  President Trump made a major breakthrough toward ending the danger of another Korean War by meeting with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.  Unfortunately, since that meeting, the President’s advisors have worked to undercut his achievement.  Kim Jong-un wants the U.S. to declare a formal end to the Korean War, which at present is halted only with an armistice.  South Korea favors it, Mr. Trump is said to favor it, and we risk nothing by giving it.  But the President’s advisors are working against it.  Their position is that we should give North Korea nothing until it completes denuclearization.  That treats North Korea as something it is not, a defeated enemy.  Not surprisingly, North Korea is rejecting that approach, which gives the foreign policy Establishment what it wants — a continuation of the Korean stand-off and all the budgets and careers that hang from it.

The second example is so bizarre it defies belief.  Washington has placed new sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals because China bought weapons from Russia.  Huh?  What business it is of ours who China buys weapons from?  Ever since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1950 China has bought most of the weapons it has imported from Russia.  Of course it is going to continue to do so.  It is not as if we want to sell weapons to China; we don’t.   This action is so outlandish and absurd it turns the U.S. into Don Quixote, a madman wandering the world tilting at windmills.  Who does Washington think it is?

The third case is similar, in that it is an attempt to dictate to other sovereign countries in matters that are none of our business.  In one of his few serious foreign policy blunders, the President withdrew the U.S. from the nuclear deal with Iran.  Wisely, the Europeans, Russians, and Chinese are working together to keep Iran in and thus avoid a war in the Persian Gulf, with all that would mean for the world’s oil supply.  Washington has responded by threatening any foreign company or bank that does business with Iran.  The October 10 New York Times quoted President Trump’s court jester, John Bolton, as saying, “We do not intend to allow our sanctions to be evaded by Europe or anyone else.”  Again, who do we think we are to tell Europe or anyone else whom they may trade with?  If the EU had a backbone, which it does not, it would forbid any and all European companies to capitulate to unilateral American sanctions.

Each of these cases represents something history has seen all too often, usually from countries that were past their peak as powers and on the downhill slide: the arrogance of power.  We are playing the swaggering bully (just before his nose gets bloodied), wandering around the playground telling everyone else what to do.  It doesn’t go over well.

But each case is more than that: it is a self-inflicted defeat at the moral/strategic level, the highest and most powerful level of conflict.  Morally, it turns us into Goliath (a rather weak-kneed Goliath, given our military record), someone everyone fears but also hates and looks for a chance to get back at.  Strategically, we are pushing China, Russia, and now Europe too, together against us.  If, as Boyd argued, strategy is a game of connection and isolation, we are connecting everyone else and isolating ourselves.

Teddy Roosevelt famously urged America to talk softly and carry a big stick.  Instead, we are yelling for all we’re worth while waving a broken reed, a military that can’t win, and that soon, thanks to feminization, won’t even be able to fight.  That is not likely to end well.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

Weimar America?

The battle over the Kavanaugh nomination saw the Left take yet another giant step toward unreason.  Apparently serious people argued that any woman’s accusation against any man must be believed.  Suddenly, three thousand years of history and literature, in which perfidy of women, their lies and plots that brought disaster, loom large are to be tossed aside.  In their place we are to believe that today’s women carry a “truth serum” gene that makes lies impossible.  Even the (desirable) Victorian elevation of women did not go as far as this.  Victorian women, presented with the idea that women cannot lie, would have responded with gales of laughter.

The left’s rejection of facts and reason in favor of romantic faith in “feelings” is yet another sign of our cultural decay.  That decay has gone far enough to raise the question of whether we are following the path of Weimar Germany, Germany in the 1920s and early 1930s.  

To summarize a complex historical period, the collapse of morals and culture in Germany in the 1920s alienated the German middle class from the Weimar Republic.  When the Great Depression hit, that alienation was joined by deep anger at the government’s inability to set the economy right and provide jobs.  Adolf Hitler and his National Socialists rode this mixture of alienation and anger to power (legally, by winning an election).  They then abolished the Weimar constitution, reaffirmed traditional middle-class morality, pulled Germany out of the Depression, and gave jobs to everyone who wanted one (for which the brilliant head of the Reichsbank, Hjalmar Schacht, deserves much of the credit).

I was in Berlin for ten days in August, where my search for Germany’s history was aided by an excellent guidebook in the Companion Guides series, Berlin by Brian Ladd.  Ladd quotes the interwar novelist Stefan Zweig’s description of Berlin in 1923, during the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation:

I have a pretty thorough knowledge of history, but never, to my recollection, has it produced such madness in such gigantic proportions.  All values were changed, and not only material ones; the laws of the State were flouted, no tradition, no moral code was respected, Berlin was transformed into the Babylon of the world.  Bars, amusement parks, honky-tonks, sprang up like mushrooms. . . the Germans introduced all their vehemence and methodological organization into the perversion.Along the entire Kurfurstendamm powdered and rouged young men sauntered and they were not all professionals; every high school boy wanted to earn some money and in the dimly lit bars one might see government officials and men of the world of finance tenderly courting drunken sailors without shame.  Even the Rome of Suetonious has never seen such orgies as the pervert balls of Berlin, where hundreds of men costumed as women and hundreds of women as men danced under the benevolent eyes of the police.In the collapse of all values a kind of madness gained hold particularly in bourgeois circles which until then had been unshakable in their probity.Young girls bragged proudly of their perversion, to be sixteen and still under the suspicion of virginity would have been considered a disgrace in any school of Berlin at that time…

Does this sound all too familiar?  America now witnesses such behavior not only in one city, but throughout the land.  And the Establishment media promote it, bless it, and denounce anyone who rejects it as a “hater”.  A large portion of America’s middle class finds it alienating.

So far, the alienation is tempered by the good economy.  But the Big One is coming, a world-wide debt crisis that will bring not just a recession but a depression and a long-lasting one.  Unlike the Great Depression, I expect this one to be inflationary because central banks will respond to it by creating massive liquidity.  At this point, it is all they know how to do.

If you take widespread cultural alienation, economic collapse, massive unemployment, and inflation and wrap them all up together, you get Weimar America.  Someone will take political advantage of the situation.  I expect that as in Germany under the Weimar constitution, you will have a faceoff between a populist, extreme Left–we’ve certainly seen enough Leftist extremism in the Kavanaugh confirmation battle– and a populist Right.  At present, only a small slice of the populist Right is extreme.  Most of it is well represented by President Trump, who is a very long way indeed from Adolf Hitler.  President Trump is anti-Establishment, but his agenda lies well within the historical mainstream of American politics.  After all, for most of its history the Republican party was the party of high tariffs.

As in Weimar Germany, the initial push to the extremes has come from the Left, which seems to imagine it can go as far as it wants without eliciting a reaction from the Right.  In Germany, the SA arose largely to counter violence from the Communists.  Here, the Left thought it could raise racial consciousness among blacks and Hispanics without creating a similar rise in racial consciousness on the part of the whites.  It was wrong.  Now, it is openly advocating violence against Republican Party leaders and other prominent conservatives, harassing them in public places, vandalizing their property, and threatening their families.  This too will bring an equal reaction from the Right, and the Left will find to its sorrow that the Right fights rather better than the Left.  

Conservatives do not want to see our public life move in these directions.  The first conservative principle is order: safety of persons and property.  But as in Weimar Germany, the combination of cultural decadence and economic collapse will drive politics to its extremes.  Conservatives should work with moderates and such liberals as dare defy the extreme Left to preserve order.  But if that fails, then only one thing will matter: winning.

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.

A Second Reformation?

Rome has fallen.

Beginning in the 1960s, most mainline Protestant churches fractured over two divergent understandings of Christianity.  In one camp are those who believe Christianity was revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, in Holy Scripture, and in the traditions of the early church.  The duty of present-day Christians is to pass that heritage, unaltered and undiminished to future generations until the Lord comes again.  In the other camp are those who believe the faith must reflect the Zeitgeist, altering itself as necessary to maintain a broad appeal.  They see revelation as an ongoing process in which new commandments can override old. 

Under a veneer of unity, this same tension has been present within the Roman Catholic church.  With the release of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s recent letter attributing priestly pedophilia to a widespread toleration of homosexuality among Roman clergy, the fracture is in the open.  The Zeitgeist has proclaimed homosexuality normal and, as in the mainline Protestant churches, the faction within the Roman church that follows the Zeitgeist must follow suit.  To traditional Christians this is anathema.  Rome appears headed for schism.

This may be good news.  A schism within the Roman church and the emergence of a sizeable Roman “continuing church” would create the possibility of a second Reformation, with the difference that this Reformation would unify rather than divide.  “Continuing church” Protestants and Catholics would have more in common with each other than with modernizers in their own denominations; the same would be true for the other side.  It is conceivable that Catholics and Protestants could unite in two new churches, one reflecting Zeitgeist, the other upholding traditional Christianity.  Given the number of both Catholic and Protestants traditionalists, a new, united “continuing church” might be the larger–large enough to wield substantial cultural and political power. 

To be sure, the obstacles would be significant, especially for the traditionalists.  Traditional Protestants and Catholics would each have to look back before the Reformation to find common ground.  Protestants would have to accept a Catholic understanding of the Eucharist and adopt a valid liturgy for their communion services (even some Baptist churches had liturgy up into the early 1900s).  Catholics would have to share the Apostolic Succession with non-Catholic male clergy and forego requiring that Protestants accept the innovations arising out of the Council of Trent, Vatican I and Vatican II.  The Holy Spirit would have to do some heavy lifting to make a union come about. 

What might be the strategic implications of such a second Reformation?  Since the end of the Thirty Years’ War in 1648, the West has discounted religion as a strategic factor.  But at present, the primary strategic weakness of the West is that it no longer believes in itself.  Western culture’s will to live died in World War I, in the mud and slaughter of the Western Front.  After the Somme, Verdun, and Passchendaele, the best lacked all conviction.  Fascism attempted to recover by exalting the will, but fascism failed, felled by its own errors.  And so today as the old West, Europe, is invaded by hordes of mendicants from strange cultures, the European elites offer their countries as doormats.  

As Russell Kirk wrote, “Culture comes from the cult.”  Religion has been at the heart of most, perhaps all cultures since human culture arose.  While the First World War collapsed the West’s faith in itself, the religion at the core of Western culture had long been under assault by rationalism.  Fractured by the first Reformation, the church could no longer speak with the united voice necessary to reply convincingly (about this, see Brad S. Gregory’s recent book, The Unintended Reformation).  To Descartes’ “Cogito ergo sum,” a united church would have answered, “Non est.  Dues cogitavit, ergo es.

How can Western culture recover the will to live when, in Europe, the churches are empty because most of the clergy no longer believe the Nicene Creed, while in the U.S. many of the most popular churches preach a therapeutic narcissism that has little to do with taking up your cross and following Jesus?  Among the ruling elites in both Europe and America, Christian faith is regarded as spiritual eczema, an unfortunate condition to be covered up in public.  It can have no role to play in strategy; the very notion is absurd.

This, then, is the potential strategic significance of a second Reformation, one that unites all traditional Christians in one church:  the West’s recovery of the will to live.  Far from being strategically unimportant, religion is now as it always has been, one of the most powerful strategic factors, a lesson the Islamics teach us regularly on our own soil.  Culture comes from the cult, and a united church, marching as to war, could revive Western people’s’ belief in their culture and in themselves.  Deus vult.

 

Interested in what Fourth Generation war in America might look like? Read Thomas Hobbes’ new future history, Victoria.