The View From Olympus: Syria Again

The pathetic performance of the U.S. State Department with regard to Syria makes America appear an international naif. Secretary Kerry bleats about starving women and children, Russia agrees to another ceasefire, and events go on as before. So disconnected from reality is the American Establishment that it seems to have lost even the most basic understanding of how wars are fought. The front page of the September 26 New York Times offers an example. It began a story on Syria saying,

Make life intolerable and death likely. Open an escape route, or offer a deal to those who leave or surrender. Let people trickle out. Kill whoever stays. Repeat until a deserted cityscape is yours.

That sounds to me like a normal description of how sieges work. But the Times is horrified. We have become the equivalent of the sort of stringy-haired, horse-faced, post-menopausal woman who goes to peace marches.

A realistic policy on Syria would begin with the understanding that cease-fires and the like only work when all the participants in a war are exhausted. We seem to be a long way from that point in Syria. Instead we are in the early stages of the Middle East’s Thirty Years’ War, with Syria playing the role of Bohemia.

There is one difference, and it is an important one: whereas the Thirty Years’ War began as a war of religion and ended up a war between states, the Middle East’s Thirty Years’ War began as a war between states and has turned into a war of religion. That in turn is part of the decline of the state and the rise of competing non-state primary loyalties.

Were the United States to do as Donald Trump has suggested and regard Russia as an ally instead of a competitor, we might be able to lower the temperature of the Syrian War. More is not possible; the decline of the state in the Middle East and the consequences flowing from it will continue. Local, partial success is the farthest reachable goal.

The key to that goal is an agreement among the Powers, exactly the thing Bismarck would have sought. One such agreement would see the U.S. join Russia in realizing that the best chance of re-establishing a Syrian state is to back what remains of that state, in the form of the Syrian government. With all the Powers supporting the government of President Bashar al-Assad, western Syria, where most of the population lives, could probably be united and pacified. In time, the government’s control could spread eastwards, although I think reuniting all of Syria is unlikely.

Were we to further ask ourselves that all important foreign policy question, “What would Bismarck do?”, a larger and potentially more stable solution might be possible, with the Powers acting together. Recognizing that the Sunnis in both Syria and Iraq are unlikely to accept Shiite rule, we would make a deal with the real ISIS to establish an independent Sunnistan carved out of eastern Syria and western Iraq.

The real ISIS? What is that? The Baath. The religious crazies do not run ISIS. They provide the front men and the cannon fodder. ISIS is actually controlled and enabled to function by senior Iraqi Baathists, formerly members of Saddam Hussein’s government in Iraq. They know how to make things work. The religious fanatics do not.

The Baath is secular and rational. You can make deals with it. The deal would be, they get a Baathist Sunnistan and in return they cut the throats of the Islamist fanatics. That is, after all, what Saddam’s Iraq did. The Baathists and the jihadis despise each other. Theirs is entirely an alliance of necessity, brought about by George W. Bush’s insane and disastrous invasion of Iraq. Give the Baathists what they want and they will be happy once again to become our useful allies. With Hillary running for President as a “foreign policy expert”, it is useful to remember that when Saddam offered us an alliance against al Qaeda and the like during the Clinton administration, the White House refused to even consider it. Bright move, “experts”. When W. overthrew Saddam, al Qaeda applauded.

The reason many Americans, myself included, are supporting Donald Trump for president is that he offers at least a chance of a return to reality as a basis for policy at home and abroad. With Hillary and the rest of the Establishment (of both parties), that chance is zero.

Donald Trump, Peace Candidate

In what may seem an odd role-reversal, in this election the Democrat is the war hawk and the Republican is the peace candidate. Donald Trump has laid out his vision for a non-interventionist foreign policy, while Hillary Clinton believes in “humanitarian intervention”, i.e., making war for peace. Trump has rightly called George W. Bush’s Iraq war a disaster, while Clinton still defends the intervention in Libya that destroyed the Libyan state.

In fact, this represents a return to historic patterns. There is an old saying, forgotten in recent decades, that goes, “Vote for a Republican and you get a depression, vote for a Democrat and you get a war.” America’s worst president ever, the Democrat Woodrow Wilson, won re-election in 1916 with the slogan, “He kept us out of war,” then took us into World War I within a month of his second inauguration. He thereby gave the world the Versailles Diktat, Hitler, Stalin, and World War II.

After that war began in September, 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt, another Democrat, was desperate to get the U.S. involved. Whether he facilitated the Pearl Harbor attack is uncertain, but he welcomed it, along with Hitler’s subsequent stupid declaration of war on the United States.

Democrat Harry Truman gave us the Korean War; Republican Dwight Eisenhower ended it. The sainted JFK gave us the Vietnam War, Democrat Lyndon Johnson kept it going, and Republican Richard Nixon ended it. Ronal Reagan undertook a few minor military actions in places such as Lebanon and Grenada, but was careful not to threaten Russia as Communism there fell. Republicans did not become the war party until the incompetent Bush dynasty came to power and brought the neo-cons with them under W.

It is no surprise that the leading neo-con and war criminal (one charge against the German generals at Nuremberg was “planning aggressive war”) Paul Wolfowitz recently endorsed Hillary Clinton for President. The neo-cons are nothing if not flexible where party and ideology are concerned. Whoever will give them an opportunity to pursue their Trotskyite “world revolution” is their friend, and that is not Donald Trump. Trump grasps the reality that American power has its limits. Hillary lives in a dream world where we can dictate to everyone else.

So disconnected are the neo-cons from reality that their latest plot is to push the U.S. into war with Russia. Some of them have publicly called for such a war. The same geniuses who though we would be welcomed with flowers in Iraq now think we can defeat Russia in a war in her own backyard, in central and eastern Europe. To put such a war in perspective, in World War II the eastern front took about 300 German divisions and 5o0 Russian. At the most, we could send a force of…two divisions? Putin could just call the police and have them arrested.

And have the neo-cons and the Democrats forgotten why both the United States and the Soviet Union were careful not to engage each other’s armed forces directly throughout the decades of the Cold War? Nuclear weapons made doing so too dangerous. Whichever country found itself losing conventionally would face a tremendous temptation to escalate to the nuclear level. Russia still has most of the Soviet Union’s arsenal. She can reduce the U.S. to a pile of ashes in half an hour, at the expense of suffering the same fate herself. Russia made a choice almost as suicidal in 1914. Can Paul Wolfowitz guarantee she will not do so again?

Donald Trump, to his credit, has said he will work to improve our relations with Russia. He knows we have a common interest in defeating Islamic 4GW organizations that threaten both countries. Hopefully, he will go on from there to work for the alliance of all states we need to face the rise of non-state entities that can fight and defeat states.

Hillary remains trapped in an outdated paradigm where we must see other states as our enemies. Nothing could be of more benefit to ISIS, al Qaeda, and the rest of the Fourth Generation. She, and the idiot neo-cons she will probably invite back to the White House, are 4GW’s best friends. Her vaunted foreign policy expertise is just one more lie.

So give the peace sign if you want as you enter the voting booth to cast a ballot for Donald Trump. As was true through most of the 20th century, the Republican is the peace candidate. And only damn fools and neo-cons want war.

The Next Conservatism: Stuff and Nonsense

Some people think conservatism is just about stuff: materialism and consumerism. Whoever dies with the most toys wins.

That is not the conservatism of Russell Kirk, nor is it the next conservatism. Conservatives have seldom admired the “lifestyle” of the nouveau riche. It is understandable that the generation which grew up in the Great Depression of the 1930s was focused on accumulation. But the younger generations of today, who grew up in perhaps too much abundance, are not attracted to materialism. Neither are we.

In our book, The Next Conservatism, Paul Weyrich and I suggest conservatives adopt an intensive rather than extensive valuation of material things, i.e., that they put quality over quantity. A small number of beautiful things, made by hand by craftsmen and passed generation to generation, have meaning that cheap store-bought stuff (often made overseas) intended to wear out quickly and be thrown away can never have.

Does this conflict with the present notion of basing our economy on consumerism? Yes. Conservatives value saving over spending. We believe it wise for families to accumulate wealth over generations (which is why we oppose inheritance taxes). Often, “old money” fortunes built that way yield dividends to society as a whole, in beautiful buildings, patronage of art and music, and philanthropy. One need only think of the libraries Andrew Carnegie built all over America to see what wealth can do.

This leads the next conservatism to embrace author and writer for The American Conservative magazine Rod Dreher’s “Crunchy Cons Manifesto”. Some of its main points are:

  • Modern conservatism has become too focused on money, power, and the accumulation of stuff.
  • Big business deserves as much skepticism as big government.
  • Culture is more important than politics and economics.
  • Small, Local, Old, and Particular are almost always better than Big, Global, New, and Abstract.
  • Beauty is more important than efficiency. (We would add that efficiency has never been a conservative virtue.)
  • The relentlessness of media-driven pop culture deadens our sense to authentic truth, beauty, and wisdom.
  • We share Russell Kirk’s conviction that “the institution most essential to conserve is the family.”

The next conservatism amplifies Dreher’s warning about popular culture. It is now so destructive of everything true, everything good, and everything beautiful that it may have become the greatest threat to our civilization. It succeeds commercially by pandering to the worst human instincts in a downward spiral that must accelerate to retain its market. Violence, pervese sex, and human degradation in every form are its staples. It rivals and in some ways surpasses the horrors of the Roman arena.

Popular culture also injects messages into its victims, those who allow it into their lives. The most powerful is instant gratification. It could be argued that delayed gratification is the first requirement of civilization, which suggests instant gratification is civilization’s worst enemy. We need only look at the black inner city to see what a culture of instant gratification does to communities. The white lower class is now following the same road, as the death rates from heroin and other dangerous drugs show.

The next conservatism’s answer to all this is simple: return to the old ways. The old ways worked, the new ways that emerged from the 1960s do not work. Teach and practice delayed gratification. Spend less than you earn. Value the old and handmade over the new and mass produced. Want only what you have.

Previous generations knew these things and lived by them. The challenge of our time is to recover them, teach them to our children, and re-create the good world we had and have lost.

Should Sweden Join NATO? No.

The Swedish government is currently trying to convince Swedes to abandon their historic neutrality–a policy dating to 1814–and join NATO. Is this a good idea? No.

On the surface, the proposal seems to make sense. Sweden’s historic enemy is Russia (Denmark too, but that’s forgotten). Sweden and Russia fought numerous wars in the 17th and 18th centuries. Sweden almost joined both world wars on the German side because Germany was fighting Russia. Sweden gave covert support to Finland when Russia invaded that country in 1939. Now, with President Putin’s Russia resuming its long-standing role as a Great Power, Sweden is nervous. NATO appears to offer security against any future Russian threat.

In reality, Russia is unlikely to offer any serious threat to Sweden, and indeed is unable to do so, unless it were to use nuclear weapons. Russia is focused on re-establishing her position in her “near abroad”, countries that were once part of the Soviet Union. Sweden was not.

The Russian government is made up of realists, and realists know that any Russian aggression against Sweden would be counter-productive. It would mean Russia had gone from behaving like a normal Great Power, seeking the same sort of position in her periphery that the United States maintains in the Caribbean, and had become an aggressive Power. That would push the rest of the world into an alliance against Russia, something Moscow does not want.

Nor can the Russian military easily defeat Sweden. The Swedish armed forces are large for a country of Sweden’s size, well-equipped and highly competent. Russia’s armed forces are small compared to those of the Soviet Union, and only a fraction of the forces Russia still possesses are sufficiently well trained to take on the Swedes. At most, Russia could engage Sweden in the air and at sea, and even there the Swedes would probably win. A land threat is almost impossible given the geography and the fact that most of the Russian army is still made up of conscripts who are not well enough trained to fight Swedes.

On the other hand, by joining NATO Sweden would create a danger for itself that it currently does not face. That danger is getting dragged into a war with Russia started by an idiot in the White House.

I’m not talking about Donald Trump, but Hillary Clinton. Trump wants to make a deal with Putin, which would benefit both the U.S. and Russia. Hillary, in contrast, is a wild-eyed interventionist who believes every other country in the world must bend to whatever America desires. She is backed against Mr. Trump by the neo-cons, the morons who created the war with Iraq and who now call openly in some cases for war with Russia. Knowing nothing militarily, they think they can send an American armored brigade or division into Ukraine and then dictate to Moscow. Relatively weak though they are, the Russian armed forces are still strong enough to win a contest in eastern Europe. Any U.S. force sent into Ukraine would quickly find itself encircled. Unlike the U.S. Army, the Russian army does understand operational art.

Anyone who thinks this impossible does not know the Clintons. They are ignorant adventurers, as Bill Clinton showed in the Balkans and Hillary in Libya. They think they have a right to whatever they want, and they live for getting back at anyone they consider an enemy. President Putin is on that list.

More fundamentally, in a world where the threat to states from non-state entities such as ISIS is growing, including both in Russia and in Sweden, alliances by one group of states against another state are obsolete. They perpetuate state vs. state conflict, where the big winners will usually be non-state elements. If the state system itself is to survive the 21st century, we need an alliance of all states against non-state entities that wage armed conflict.

If Sweden wants to assure her security in the world we now face, rather than joining NATO against Russia she would seek to bring Russia into an alliance of all states. NATO is an artifact from another era.

If the Swedish government feels it must designate another state as Sweden’s enemy, there’s always Denmark.

The Next Conservatism: Applying Retroculture

The Next Conservatism, the book Paul Weyrich and I published in 2009, argues that the only way conservatives can win the culture war is through Retroculture: deliberately returning to past ways of thinking and of living. In terms of culture and morals, America from the Victorian age up through the 1950s was a far better place than America is today.

What does that mean in terms of national policy? One place to begin answering that question is environmental policy. Conservatives are not environmentalists. We do not believe the world would be a paradise if mankind could be wiped out. But we are conservationists.

Just as conservatives want to conserve our historic culture, so we also want to conserve our land, our water, and our air. We do not like waste. Nor was over-consumption ever a conservative virtue. We want to pass the physical world around us on to our children and grandchildren in as good or better condition than we received it. That is good stewardship, and good stewardship is a duty to God.

But our conservation goes beyond things. We also want to conserve local life. Local is real, and because conservatism is rooted in reality, not ideology, we prefer the local to globalism. We value the variation in local life that occurs naturally; we find abhorrent the efforts of the federal government to make life in Massachusetts and South Carolina the same.

Because we are good stewards who value local life, we want many of the things we need and buy to be made or grown locally. We therefore support organic farming and sustainable agriculture. Both focus on preserving and restoring our single most important resource, our farmland. If we use that resource up, we all starve.

Unlike environmentalists, our conservation does not stop at the physical level. As cultural conservatives, we are agrarians.

Earlier generations of conservatives, especially in the South, understood that agriculture is a culture, a way of life. They realized that way of life was good for children and families, far better in many ways than city life. In our time, very few people get to enjoy farm life. We want to open that option up to many more people. How? By making the family farm viable again.

The agribusiness types who preach “get big or get out” will say that is impossible. They are wrong. In many parts of our country, we have people who earn good livings and live good lives from successful family farms. Who are they? The Amish.

Our nation, if it wants to eat, needs a new generation of farmers. The next conservatism would create programs to help young people learn farming and acquire farmland. The Amish could help teach them. A country of lots of small farmers, many following sustainable agriculture and organic practices, would enable Americans to keep eating when disasters from genetic engineering wipe out monoculture farms, as they will.

As Paul and I wrote in our book, “The next conservatism should look toward a world where, as Tolkien put it, there is less noise and more green.” If that sounds like something that would appeal to many Bernie Sanders supporters, I hope it does. They, too, are anti-establishment, and if we find we have some things in common, so much the better for repairing the damage establishment policies have done to our country.

For conservatives who want to learn more about how to recover traditional farm life and culture, I recommend Farming magazine, a quarterly. The editor is an Amish friend of mine, David Kline. His beautiful farm in Holmes County, Ohio, shows that traditional family farming can work in today’s world. It provides him a good income, and more importantly, a good life.

The Election: The Left’s Secret Weapon

When the Frankfurt School created cultural Marxism, a.k.a. “political correctness”, it did so by crossing Marx with Freud. From psychology it took the tool it relies on to promote its ideology, psychological conditioning. By repeating something over and over, conditioning works it into the public’s minds in a way that bypasses reason. Often even people who intellectually disagree with the Left feel they must parrot its words or feel uncomfortable. They have been conditioned.

The political Establishment, both its Democratic and its Republican wings, is now using psychological conditioning in its efforts to defeat Donald Trump. In part, it does so by playing the cultural Marxists’ usual game of crying “the horror, the horror” whenever Trump says something politically incorrect. Many people have already been conditioned to see themselves as “another Hitler” if they dare defy the rules cultural Marxism has laid down. Now, the conditioning mechanisms tell them that if they vote for Trump, the next morning they will look in the mirror and see the Fuhrer looking back.

For a few weeks after the conventions, Republican media tried to play the psychological conditioning game on Mr. Trump himself, with the goal of getting him to resign the nomination and get out of the race. Though it visibly impacted Trump’s morale, he did not drop out.

Now, the game has shifted again. Conditioning is aimed at convincing voters Trump is doomed to an overwhelming defeat. The means is endless news stories, poll results, columns by electoral “experts”, etc. all repeating the same theme: a vote for Trump is useless because he cannot possibly win. Voters who favor Trump are being conditioned to give up, not donate to his campaign, not volunteer for him, and just stay home on election day.

The Trump campaign would be unwise to underestimate the power of the Left’s (and the Establishment’s) conditioning mechanisms, which include almost all the mainstream media. The best way to counter conditioning is to stoke voters’ anger, anger that has been created by the Establishment’s failed policies. Anger is a powerful emotion, powerful enough to overcome psychological conditioning.

In concrete terms, that means Trump needs an agenda of five issues, all of them able to remind voters why they are angry:

  1. End the “free trade” that has allowed mercantilist countries to plunder our industry, destroying middle-class jobs.
  2. End illegal immigration, greatly reduce legal immigration, and demand immigrants to adopt our culture.
  3. Destroy “Political Correctness” by revealing it for what it is, a variant of Marxism.
  4. Promise we will not fight any more avoidable wars.
  5. Give the interests of Whites the same level of support from the federal government that blacks, Mestizos, and other Third World immigrants receive.

With regard to the last point, what I would advise Mr. Trump to say is, “I will represent all Americans, including White Americans.” He need not add that Hillary is the black candidate; everyone already knows it. Had it not been for massive black support of Hillary in the primaries, Bernie Sanders would be the Democratic nominee.

The Establishment will howl if Trump uses these issues to stoke voters’ anger, but it will do so because it knows anger can overcome its secret weapon, psychological conditioning. Most American voters, I think, have more respect for a punch in the nose than for a stab in the back.

Resistance is Feudal

It’s apparent to all discerning observers that the present state of affairs in the United States, as well as other Western nations, will not be able to continue for much longer.  As our “leaders” continue to grow more and more out of touch and disconnected from increasingly large majorities within their respective citizenries, the prospect of collapse, or at least some pretty severe dislocations, in Western societies grows increasingly likely.  Honestly, if the American and other Western governments stay on the path they are currently on, I don’t see how they can avoid facing severe fourth generation warfare (4GW) challenges from their own people, much less from the various foreign elements which they are busy importing.  Western governments are busy delegitimizing themselves in the eyes of the core elements which make up the backbones of their nations, and they won’t be able to stand a full-on loss of legitimacy for very long.

The question which naturally arises is, “What will replace these governments once they fall?”

Many observers fear that the current “democratic” governments (which are essentially transitional in nature) will be replaced by heavy handed totalitarian regimes.  This may be a defensible notion for many of the Western European nations which have largely been successful in disarming their own citizens.  For the United States, I find this less likely to be the case, though the last grasping elements of the current politico-financial cabal may attempt to go that route.  However, and in spite all of the various federal police forces and any help from UN “peacekeepers”, it is doubtful that FedGov would have the personnel resources to sustain the sort of attrition it would face for very long.  This is doubly so considering that it is not altogether assured that the remaining non-homosexualized, non-transgenderified, non-mercenaried portion of the US military would go along with FedGov attempts to establish a totalitarian state, especially if it means suppressing their fathers, brothers, and cousins back home in flyover country.  Besides, forcing grown men to parade around in ruby red high heels so as to satisfy the revenge fantasies of fat lesbian desk generals is not the best way to assure their loyalty to you when you find yourself in the lurch.

So it’s not likely that a breakdown of federal legitimacy and power in the US will lead to a successful imposition of the total state by force.

However, we should also understand that those folks out there who think that such a collapse would inevitably lead to a “reset” back to the constitutional republic of Ted Cruz’s fantasies are labouring under a strong delusion.  Collapse and dislocation won’t lead to a restoration of the pure constitutional republic of yore as founded in 1789.  It’s increasingly apparent that it shouldn’t either.

While embodying many good ideas and serving as a worthwhile effort at self-government, the fact is that the Constitution suffers from some severe ideological defects that made its eventual negation practically inevitable.  Though designed as an instrument for dividing power and restraining government, its “Enlightenment” origins meant that it would rest on a foundation which was inimical to these goals.  The philosophical background from which the Constitution arose was one that assumed two essentially unproven and unprovable hypotheses: the inherent goodness of man and the primacy of reason in man’s intuitions.  These fundamental bases always placed pure devotion to the Constitution in a somewhat precarious state vis-á-vis the concurrent claims to the Christian origins and foundation of the United States.  These two currents – the Christian element arising from the Puritan foundation of New England followed by the spreading of evangelical, “enthusiastic” Christianity throughout the eastern seaboard by the Great Awakenings on one hand, and the Enlightenment, essentially rationalistic and deistic ideas underlying many of the assumptions made in the Constitution on the other hand – have always stood apart, even though many Americans have refused to recognize this and have tried to tie the two together intimately.

The problem with the Constitution, from a purely organizational standpoint, is that it lends itself far too easily to democratization.  This democratization is a function of the inherent assumption that the people, from whom all power derives, according to Enlightenment theory, will act both nobly and reasonably.  Yet, as American history has shown time and time again, neither of these have ever truly been substantiated.  Indeed, American constitutional history since 1865 has been a tale of the steady march of democracy, with the attendant ability of the people to vote themselves largesse from the public treasury despite the detrimental financial, moral, and social effects this will always have.

Democracy is an inherently unworkable system of government.  Many historians and political scientists make a fetish out of democracy, and laud the original Athenian democracy as an undiluted good in world history.  This ignores, however, the serious issues which the Athenians’ contemporaries had with the democratic system of that polis and others like it; dissent which cannot merely be chalked up to envy or a lust for tyranny on the part of Athens’ enemies.  Indeed, democracy’s classical critics tended to oppose that system of government specifically because it was dangerous and prone to abuse, instability, and unpredictable swings in behavior caused by the momentary passions of the ochloi, the masses.  Let us not forget that it was the vaunted Athenian democracy which waged wars of aggression against its neighbors (including other democratic states like Syracuse), which murdered and enslaved nearly the entire population of Melos for refusing to pay a relatively small sum in tribute, and who eventually put to death Socrates, the father of classical-era philosophy, in a fit of childish pique from the masses.

Classical writers both Greek and Roman tended to divide the various types of government into three overall types of systems: monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy.  Depending on the particular writer, these types could be further subdivided in variants and mixed-mode systems.  The intervening centuries have brought little substantial innovation to this system of classification, so it is the one I will use going forward.

Back to our question at hand – what is likely to happen should the United States collapse – we can see that democracy will most likely cease to be a going concern.  Indeed, democracy is largely what created the problems that have led us to the point that we’re at.  So the choice will be between one of the two other forms – monarchy or aristocracy.

The important thing to keep in mind is that you can’t have strong forms of both of these existing in a polity at the same time.  It has long been noted that the enemy of monarchy is a strong aristocracy.  After all, the king cannot exercise plenary authority when a bunch of little kings are running around dispensing justice and maintaining private armies within their own domains.  Either aristocrats are strong and the monarchy is weak (perhaps an elective or constitutionally limited form), or the monarch is strong and aristocrats are reduced to being courtiers, to ornaments at the king’s court.  The most typical examples of this would be the gradual reduction of aristocratic independence in European states such as France and Spain which was necessary before absolute monarchies could exist.

It necessarily follows from this that aristocracy is what we can consider to be the “traditional” form of government, while strong, centralised monarchy is the innovation.

Even in ancient Greece, one of the first things that tyrants did when they usurped control over a polis was to drive out or otherwise destroy the prominent aristocratic families in the city.  There is always the example of Periander, the tyrant of Corinth, who sent his servant to Miletus to find out the formula for success from that city’s tyrant, Thrasybulos.  As Thrasybulos and the servant walked through a field of wheat, the tyrant said nothing, but would reach out and snap off the heads of wheat which stood out above the rest of the plants.  The servant soon got the point – to be a successful monarchical ruler, you needed to cut down anybody else who stood out above the masses of the common people.

Now, many neoreactionaries support a return to a monarchy.  I would tend to disagree with them, instead favoring a return to some form of oligarchic republicanism, which I believe provides the best mix of a rule of law system and the division of power among several competing members who balance out each other’s ambitions.  What I would have in mind would be a division of power similar to the old pre-reform Roman republic, or perhaps what was seen in the Dutch or Venetian republics – a small group of oligarchs whose interests are bound up with the success of the nation and the common people as a whole (unlike today’s “aristocracy” in the West, whose interests are largely inimical to the people constituting the nations in which they exist).  In such a system, these oligarchs guide the ship of state in such a way that the nation prospers, which necessarily placates the common people, without hazarding the nation to the vicissitudes of democracy.  The state is subject neither to the whims of one unaccountable man, nor to the whims of millions of morons who are just smart enough to figure out which circle to push the pin through so as to vote themselves more welfare and other largesse.

All of this is important because whenever an empire (such as, say, the United States of America) falls apart, it almost always devolves into a patchwork of statelets which originated because of the efforts of local notables to restore order and to regain a measure of the legitimacy formerly enjoyed by the now-defunct empire.  This pretty much means that an aristocratic system will arise.

History records numerous cases of this, only a few of which follow:

  • The collapse of major Egyptian dynasties would often lead to the restoration of independence to the various nomes up and down the Nile, which would have to then be reconquered before a new strong dynasty could be established.
  • The fall of various Mesopotamian empires would result in a new city becoming the centre of power, while the peripheral areas would fall away and regain independence, again requiring reconquest if a new empire was to be built.
  • When Alexander died, not only were large parts of his empire divided among the Diadochi, but many portions regained independence under native rulers or as free city-states with their own aristocratic rulers.
  • The fall of the Western Roman Empire saw statelets formed by various Germanic chieftains who occupied formerly Roman land, some of which eventually became the states of early medieval Western Europe.  Notably, many native Roman notables also seized the opportunity to establish their own domains, especially in Brittany and wherever the Bagaudae were strong.
  • The fall of major Chinese dynasties would result in the rise of smaller, petty warring states vying for supremacy.  Confucius lived in one such time, during the fall of the decrepit Zhou dynasty and the reassertion of the various Chinese dukedoms.

So how does this apply to our current situation once America (and perhaps the rest of the West) collapses?

The first thing we need to understand is that, within the successor states to the United States, we will not likely see monarchy arise.  Instead, we’ll see the country break up into component regions of various size and stability (some perhaps comprising multiples of the current states), under local aristocratic control.  In Red areas, some pre-collapse legitimacy will remain because these states and localities were more successfully and legitimately governed.  However, in most Blue areas, the trend toward their becoming complete basket cases – already quite evident – will continue and will contribute to their complete collapse and reorganisation, barring any outside interference.

Culture is enduring and America’s culture is and always has been republican. As a result, it is likely that following an initial bout of local strongmanship in the less successful areas which will be put down by the better organised successors, the aristocracies that arise will not take the form of quasi-kings exercising absolute rule over smallish statelets.  Rather, the aristocracies that arise will likely be highly-restrictive republican oligarchies, with the franchise being restricted to white males who meet some sort of stringent property qualification.  Our culture will not allow for absolute rulers to exist for long; hopefully it will also not allow for the foolishness of democracy to replant itself either.

While there will be many who want to restore the old constitutional forms, in the event of a collapse, it will likely be very apparent to most of the survivors that the US Constitution of 1789 cannot be reinstated, at least not without heavy redaction.  For instance, unlimited religious liberty, with its penchant for being used to defend those who abuse its protections so as to destroy us, will be one of the first things on the block.  In its place, we’ll see Christianity –  probably without preference for a specific denomination – become the de facto state religion, with tolerance being extended to minority religions who don’t actively seek to kill us.  The judicial branch – long the font of injustice and arbitrary political gamesmanship at the behest of the SJWs and other left-wing groups – will likely also find itself so thoroughly reformed that it would no longer be recognisable as the Article III institution of the old Constitution.

Obviously, I am not claiming to be a prophet, to see the future before it happens.  What I’ve written here are merely speculations, ones which I readily admit are tinctured with my own personal preferences of what I think ought to be (but which, as a result, I do think would be the most likely).  One thing that I do think is pretty clear is that the current course of the West cannot hold forever, and that when it does fall apart, the product will not be the neoliberal “end of history,” it will not be more democracy and secularism and equalitarianism and all the rest.  Rather, the future will be less democratic and more authoritarian.  And this will perhaps correct many of the errors into which the West allowed itself to be led these recent decades.

The View From Olympus: Watch Korea

By now, the Korean drill is familiar to all. We take some symbolic action against North Korea. The North responds with its Tasmanian Devil act, threatening “lakes of fire”, firing missiles into the ocean and maybe, at the limit, shooting some artillery at South Korea. Casualties, if there are any, are few. South Korea in turn tugs at its leash, which we hold firmly. Yawn.

This time may be different. We did the usual, announcing some meaningless new sanctions on the North, though this time targeting its rulers by name, which slightly ups the ante. The North is playing its part, shouting hyperbolic threats, including war.

But here is where the current case departs from the script. No one is paying any attention to North Korea’s tantrum. We’ve seen it too often. The world’s reaction is, “let ’em starve in the dark.” From the North Korean perspective, the act no longer works.

Except in South Korea. This is the second change from the usual script. The South is fed up with the North’s antics. The South Korean president’s mother and father were killed years ago by North Korean assassins. She has not forgotten. In every recent incident, the South has suffered more casualties (when there were any) than the North. The general South Korean attitude seems to be, “We’re not going to take it any more.”

What can South Korea do? Invade North Korea.

The Pentagon’s Korean war scenarios all assume an attack by North Korea on South Korea. I suspect we have devoted little or no thought to the opposite case. We can always just jerk on South Korea’s leash and tell it to sit.

That may no longer be true. South Korea has a powerful military of its own. If the president says, “Go get ’em!,” it would.

Here’s a possible scenario: Its hysteria universally ignored, the North hits South Korea hard in an action that quickly ends. One possibility would be an artillery raid on Seoul that is over in 15 minutes. The physical damage would not be great, but the South Korean government and military would be utterly humiliated.

The South Korean people, enraged, demand serious action in return. They don’t want mere retaliation; they want a final solution to the North Korean problem. Remembering her parents, South Korea’s president orders her armed forces to invade, with the object of complete conquest and reunification. We tell the South Koreans, “Stop!” They reply with, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

I do not know how such a war would go. Koreans on both sides are hard fighters. We may underestimate the North because its equipment is old, but the outcome of few wars is determined by age of equipment.

In addition, the North has nuclear weapons, sort of. They may or may not work. Their missiles are unreliable. But if they follow the traditional Eastern way of war, they will not do the obvious and try to nuke South Korea. They will aim at Japan.

On the physical level, a successful nuclear strike would deny us the ability to intervene with large forces, because we need a secure rear area in Japan. Mentally, it would catch Washington with its pants down (the North will never believe we did not give the South an OK to invade). On the moral level, it would be a masterstroke, because not only do all Koreans, North and South, hate the Japanese more than they hate each other, the Chinese people would also be in the streets cheering. The Chinese government would have a difficult time not supporting the North, however much it does not want a war.

If Pyongyang were clever, it would couple its nuclear strike on Japan with an offer to South Korea of immediate reunification, the details to be worked out later, and a declaration of war on Japan by the newly united Korea. That offer might get the South Korean people into the streets, demanding their government agree. The South Korean navy and air force are already designed more for a war with Japan than with North Korea.

How might this end? Japan would have to go nuclear immediately. We could end up fighting Korea and maybe China as Japan’s ally. As in 1914, the sleepwalkers would have again wandered into a war no one wanted. And Korea? It ends up with South Korea’s economic and political system, but with a (constitutional) monarchy restored under–you guessed it–the Kim dynasty!

And how exactly did we get caught up in this mess? By keeping troops in South Korea long after the Cold War ended, an event that removed all reason for their presence.

The Election: How Trump Wins

As a long-time subscriber to The New York Times, which is the best American paper for international news, I am accustomed to the left-wing tilt of its editorial pages. But the Times and the coastal elite it represents are so terrified by the possibility of a Trump presidency (read: an anti-establishment presidency) that the front page now drips vitriol like a broken Keurig. There is no pretense of objectivity; it reads as if it is edited in Pyongyang.

A case in point is July 31st’s top left-hand column. The title is, “Trump Belittles Muslim Mother of Dead Soldier”. That title alone is worthy of Hearst at his worst. If you keep reading, you quickly see the headline is a lie. According to the Times story, what Trump actually said, after calling his Islamic critic a “nice guy” and wishing him “the best of luck,” was

If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably–maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me.

Trump’s point, that under Islam women are to keep silent and serve men, is true. Islam makes all women and “unbelievers” not second-class citizens, but tenth-class citizens. A man has every right to beat his wife, and can get rid of her merely by saying “I divorce you” three times. There’s no alimony.

It’s funny watching politically correct women defend Islam when Islam is their worst enemy on Earth. There is no feminism under Islam, and any woman who announces she is a feminist is marked for murder. The cultural Marxists are so warped by their ideology that they embrace their murderers.

All the piling-on we see from the Left boils down to one charge: Trump dares to defy the rules set down by political correctness, i.e., cultural Marxism. Political correctness will allow itself to be criticized, mildly, but it permits no defiance.

So how does Trump win? By continuing to defy political correctness. His base, which by this point may be a majority of White voters, loves it. Cultural Marxism labels all Whites as evil, not for what they do, but because they are White (the term is “white privilege”). Whites are the equivalent of the bourgeoisie and capitalists under the old economic Marxism: they must be liquidated because of who they are, not what they do. There is no escape. Even if you spend all day groveling in the dirt apologizing for being White–an act required on many campuses–you remain evil.

Cultural Marxism’s goal is to “privilege” all other races and ethnic groups over Whites, women over men, and gays over straights. That is what Trump is defying when he breaks the rules of Political Correctness. The more he does it, the higher he rises in the polls. Whites, males, and straights are fed up.

The greatest danger Trump faces is listening to the “professionals” from the Establishment Republican Party. For decades, the Republican Party has tried to please its enemies and treated its friends with contempt, the poor ones anyway. It wants Trump to do just that. If he does, he will lose his base and be defeated.

Despite all the talk about demographics, Trump’s base–Whites, males, and straights–remains a large majority (that base includes non- and anti-feminist women). If he keeps it, solidifies it, and motivates it, he will win. Hillary could end up carrying four states: Wisconsin, Minnesota, California, and Hawaii.

If that happens, the Times headline announcing Trump’s victory will probably be written in blood.

The Year Racism Died

For decades, the Left has had a very powerful rhetorical weapon in its arsenal, one which they wielded to great effect until very recently.  This was–as the reader can probably guess–the accusation of “racism” against their opponents.  It was effective because there was no defense against it.  If a certified bon penseur accused you of racism, that was it.  You were tarred irrevocably.  Your name was mud in academia, politics, or in your chosen vocation.  Its appeal was entirely emotional: racism = bad, so if you’re accused of racism, then you must be a bad, bad person.  Nobody wants to be associated with bad, bad people so an accusation of racism effectively isolated its target–it was Alinskyism in action.  Nobody who counted was going to come to the defense of the bad, bad, evil racist.  And nobody was going to listen when the bad, bad, evil racist tried to rationally explain what they were saying, the facts that they used to arrive at a conclusion, and so forth.  Being accused of “racism” by someone in the appropriate victim group or one of their “leaders” in the movement was the equivalent of the radical Left’s neutron bomb; it leaves the shell, but destroys the substance of its target.

Of course, the thing which any cuckservative Republican politician fears the most–much more so than being accountable to his constituents–is being tagged with the “racism” label and having it hinder his reelection.

Yet, like any weapon which is overused, it loses its effectiveness over time as opponents develop defenses against it.  That’s what we’re seeing now.  That’s why 2016 is the year racism died; the year in which “racist” and other similar epithets ceased to have the rhetorical effect which they once did.

Because its power is rhetorical, the negation of that power also rests in the realm of rhetoric.  And because its effectiveness rests on intimidation, it can be rendered ineffective by a steadfast, strong-minded refusal to be intimidated.

This comes as no surprise.  It’s an open secret that the term “racism” basically has no meaning beyond “you said or did something a social justice warrior didn’t like.”  An increasing number of white people are starting to not care about being tagged with it.  After all, within the past few weeks, we’ve found out or been reminded that you are racist for:

  • Disagreeing with Obama
  • Disagreeing with any other Democrat
  • Saying that “all lives matter”
  • Questioning any SJW narrative, even if race plays no role in it
  • Being a white guy with dreadlocks
  • Referring to chocolate-infused bread snacks as “brownies”
  • Pointing out that fake “hate crimes” committed by black or Jewish college students were…committed by black or Jewish college students
  • Refusing to rent your property to violent ex-felons
  • Opposing gun control
  • Supporting gun control if it means young black males won’t get to own guns
  • Being born white

It’s rather apparent why nobody with any sense takes charges of  “racism” seriously anymore.

The effectiveness of the “racism” slur was not because of its accuracy, but because of its emotional impact, which made it the perfect tool for SJWs to use as a signaling mechanism to bully their opponents.  Everyone knew that SJW charges of “racism” were bilious nonsense.  But everyone else also knew that being accused of it, even falsely, could be a career-ender.  Nobody knew that others thought the same way as they did, so everyone was isolated and thus silenced.  It’s like the Soviet Union right before it collapsed–everyone in the Soviet Union knew their system was unsustainable, but nobody wanted to say so for fear of running afoul of the secret police.  But then the dam broke and the whole system was swept away.  And then everybody openly said what they had known all along, which was that the system had been failing for years.

The SJW name-calling has become less and less effective as more and more people begin to discover the alt-Right and become “red-pilled”.  That’s not surprising.  As I’ve pointed out previously, one of the key factors in red-pilling is the acceptance of truth, facts, and reason, regardless of where they go or to what conclusions they might lead.  So it’s obvious that if the power of “racism” is to be completely broken, then the alt-Right needs to double down on the diffusion of “hate facts” into the West’s social consciousness, rather than drawing back from doing so.  The reason isn’t so much to educate people who don’t understand these “hate facts”, but rather to openly declare them so that these people will know that there are other people out there who think like they do.

The reason why the radical Left uses terms like “racism” to isolate wrong-thinkers is because they know that when people are isolated, when they don’t believe anyone else around them believes as they do, they will often conform to what they perceive to be the dominant belief around them.  This was demonstrated by the Asch conformity experiments back in the 1950s.  In these experiments, a test subject was placed in a room with several other people, who were all part of the experimental team.  The subject was shown a paper with three lines of different lengths printed on them, and then another paper with one line, the length of which matched one of the three lines on the first paper.  The subject was asked to tell which of the three lines the other, single line matched in length.  The trick, however, was that all of the members of the experimental staff would purposefully choose the wrong answer.  The test was to see whether the test subject–who always chose the obviously correct answer–would recant and change his or her answer to conform to what everyone else was saying was the right answer.  It was found that many of the test subjects would do so. They would go along with what they knew to be the wrong answer, just to conform to what they perceived to be the majority belief around them.

The Left has used its rhetorical epithets to great effect to silence opponents, and then to induce in them Asch-like responses of conformity.

But there’s more to the story.  When other people were included in the experiment who answered the same way as the test subject (i.e. “confederates”), the test subjects became much more resistant to conformity.  This was the case even when only one confederate was introduced.  The ability of a majority to bend a minority to its will was greatly reduced when that minority had even a small amount of support from confederates.

This is what has started to occur in 2016.  The dam began to break earlier this year when the alt-Rightish Republican candidate Donald Trump refused to walk back comments he had made about illegal immigrants.  Widely condemned as “racist” by the Cathedral media, he nevertheless stuck to his guns.  The result?  He took the lead in the primaries and never lost it.  Rank-and-file voters rewarded him with victory in the primaries, and gave him the Republican nomination (presuming that the cuckservatives don’t figure out a way to steal it from him through convention shenanigans).

What’s interesting is not so much that Trump rose to prominence by refusing to cave to the SJW-driven political correctness conflict initiated against him, but why he prevailed in that conflict.  Why is it that despite so-called “misstep” after “misstep,” Trump seemed to be immune to every effort by the media and the political establishment to cow him into submission by casting him as “racist” (as well as other allied terms like “sexist” and “homophobic”)?

Simply put: Trump doesn’t scare because Trump doesn’t care.

They could call him whatever they liked–he didn’t care.  He didn’t grovel or cower, he doubled down and threw it right back at them.  The Cathedral [I prefer “Synagogue” -Ed.] punditry this year were simply astounded and dismayed by Trump’s overturning of all the accepted rules of the political game.  Essentially, these rules exist for the purpose of hobbling any candidate who would go too far off the reservation and begin to say things that really challenged the Cathedral’s status quo.  A Republican can be “edgy” by saying we should cut taxes a few percentage points.  Calling for a wall to keep out illegal aliens and taking a stand for a reinvigorated American nationalism are outside the pale.  Yet, all of the media’s usual tactics at keeping politicians docile failed with Trump this year.

Why?  Because there are a lot of people who are simply getting sick and tired of the whole “racism, etc.” racket.  So when Trump stood his ground, he served as a rally point for all of these people, and they, in turn, fed into his sense of broad-based support for his words and actions.  The media could call him a “racist” all they liked, it only began to have the opposite effect: he grew more popular, not less.  His refusal to back down drew attention, which in turn caused more and more people to be exposed to his actual ideas, instead of the media’s caricature.

In other words, Trump was basically acting as a nationwide (and indeed worldwide) “Asch confederate,” letting the incipient proto-redpillers out there know that they’re not alone.  This, in turn, has fueled the rise of the alt-Right–with all of its non-conformist, reactionary, and politically incorrect ideas–into the national consciousness to the point that the Cathedral media and other organs have begun to feel the need to deal with it instead of ignoring it.  This is why the Overton Window has been moving in our direction on a number of issues such as illegal immigration, Muslim “refugees”, and the defense of Western civilization in general.  It’s why we saw a successful Brexit last month, and why Austria will most likely elect a nationalist president this fall, provided they can keep their election honest this time around.  The Cathedral may still succeed in using raw political force to stifle these rebellions, but they will do so without having majority support from an increasingly rebellious populace.

And this will be in large part because their old rhetorical weapons are rapidly losing their edge.

The key to breaking the power of the SJWs does not lie in counter-protesting or otherwise mimicking the Left’s activism, which is bound to fail.  Rather, it consists in continuing to red-pill those who are red-pillable at the demotic level, while building and/or strengthening our own alternative support sources–churches, männerbunden, citizen militias, and the like.  These support structures should follow a loose, “distributed system” approach toward organizing and working together; no single head which can be crushed and the movement broken.  We will know that we have achieved success when someone can be fired for being a “racist” for something completely unrelated to their job or their company, and that company is forced by a mass of negative feedback to rehire that person and refrain from further punishing them.  Success will be achieved when the SJWs are no longer able to do what SJWs do.