Global Warming

A March 15 article by Larry Kummer at the Fabius Maximus website discusses how global warming advocates have misused a worst-case scenario to generate panic.  Titled “About the corruption of climate science”, Kummer’s piece details how politicians are misrepresenting climate projections, especially one called RCP 8.5.  That their goal is to create fear should not surprise us: from the government’s perspective, fear is a growth industry.

Russell Kirk called conservatism “the politics of prudence”, and prudence suggests we should pay some attention to climate change, or, to be more precise, increasing volatility in weather.  That is something we can observe happening.  Conservatives’ belief in stewardship means we owe it to future generations to hand them a planet in at least as good condition as we received from our forefathers.  Reducing our own consumption, including of fossil fuels, is desirable.

But the Left seeks far more.  In fact, its goal is nothing less than total control of every aspect of human life, which we call “totalitarianism”, justified by fear of climate change.  Since everything a person does, including breathing, affects the climate, if climate change is a huge threat, someone needs to control everything.  That “someone” should obviously be whoever is most concerned about the climate, i.e., the extreme environmentalists and the larger coalition of which they are part, the culturally Marxist Left.

Every totalitarian ideology offers a one-factor explanation of why it deserves power over everyone and everything.  For Marxism-Leninism, it was that the whole condition of man and society was determined by ownership of the means of production.  The Communist Party, through the state, therefore had to control all producers and consumers, i.e., everyone.  Today’s cultural Marxists argue that all of history is determined by which groups, defined by race and gender, have power over which other groups.  Therefore, they, through the state, must have complete control over all such groups and everyone in them.  National Socialism justified its demand for total control by the need for racial purity, since race determined everything, and Fascism’s power derived from its theory that everyone was defined by their corporate role in society.  Mussolini said, “Everything for the state, nothing against the state, nothing outside the state.”  Italy’s congenital inefficiency made sure that didn’t happen, but it is what all ideologies seek–including the ideology of environmentalism, for it is ideology, not science, that drives those sowing panic about global warming.

Theirs is an ideology of which we should warn even more strongly than other ideologies, because, again, everything we do affects the environment.  This makes their demand for total control seem even more justifiable.  Add in widespread public panic over increasingly volatile weather and you have an excellent basis on which everyone should surrender their freedom.  Why, humanity itself stands on the brink of extinction.  How can you justify your puny desires to do as you please?

We need a global warning against overstatements of global warming and its consequences.  In fact, we have been for several centuries in a period of unusual climate stability.  We cannot expect that to go on forever, because we know that in the past, the climate has changed and weather has become more volatile.  Human ingenuity should prove adequate to deal with it, so long as we do not block that ingenuity through too much government intervention.  Yes, overpopulated areas with dysfunctional states and cultures are likely to suffer, as they will under any scenario.  The solution is not to let them come here, unless we want to become them.

Meanwhile, when we hear hysterical statements about global warming ending life as we know it in a few decades, we should remind ourselves that this is politics, not science.  It is politics designed to panic us into surrendering our freedoms to a new, hideous totalitarian ideology.  For those who want to see how such a totalitarianism might play out, read about Cascadia in Thomas Hobbes’ recent novel, Victoria.

Nullification

I just returned from three weeks in the Confederacy, where the breezes were balmy, the barbeque wonderful (conveniently, the Confederate government has outlawed any open observance of Lent) and the support for President Trump strong among his base.  The Establishment’s endless venom directed against the president has, if anything, helped him.  I sensed he may be taking on the status of a tragic hero, a good man trying to do the right thing who is thwarted at every turn by wicked forces at court.  That is a somewhat ironic image for Donald Trump, but it is politically powerful. If I’m right, his enemies have given the president a wonderful gift.

I don’t think the base’s support for President Trump is a function of his position on issues.  Some issues obviously are important, especially immigration and the wall.  Native-born Americans have come, in too many places, to feel like strangers in their own country.

But something far more powerful than any issue is motivating the base: an ever-stronger feeling that it’s us against them.  “Us” is average people who work for a living, follow the rules, go to church on Sunday, and try to be good fathers, mothers, and neighbors.  “Them” is a mix of elites who despise average people, blacks and immigrants who live on working Americans’ tax payments while committing violent crimes and the Globalist 1% who get rich by exporting average peoples’ jobs.

Within this framework, “us” sees President Trump as their champion, and attacks on him just solidify their support for him.  “Them”, meanwhile, are seeking their champion for the 2020 election from among a whole pack of skunks and weasels.  What if the Democrats nominate someone from the far Left, someone as clearly “them” and Trump is “us”, and win?

From what I heard from the base during my trip, I don’t think it will accept that outcome, not when a radically Left Democratic president starts opening the borders, turning the White House into a LGBTQ wedding chapel and lets millions of black criminals out of jail while giving them the vote.  At that point, there is going to be a rebellion.

In much of the South, the rebellion could take an old/new form: nullification.  That issue seemed to be settled before the Civil War, when the Supreme Court ruled that states could not nullify acts of the federal government.  But in recent years, nullification has come back, not from the Right but from the Left, and, because it is coming from the Left, it has been accepted by the Establishment.  Two clear cases are laws regarding marijuana and enforcement of federal laws against illegal immigration.  On the former, state after state has legalized marijuana despite federal law that makes its sale or use illegal.  It is as clear a case of state-level nullification as I can imagine.  With regard to illegal immigrants, many Left-ruled cities have proclaimed themselves “sanctuary cities” where local police will not enforce federal immigration laws.

This country’s legal heritage is Anglo-Saxon, not Roman, law in which precedent is highly important.  Precedent has been established in both these cases that nullification is legal and the federal government should defer to it.  The Left has set the precedents, but the Right can use them.  What if Texas responds to opening of the borders by sending the National Guard and civilian volunteers to close it again?  What if South Carolina refuses federal orders to release prisoners?  A Supreme Court attuned to interpreting rather than creating laws would face conflicting precedents.  It could get interesting.

If nullification fails, the Trump supporters I talked to throughout the South will not just say “Oh well, we tried, I guess we just have to accept being second-class citizens in our own country.”  They are going to fight back.  How, I don’t know.  So long as a buoyant economy continues, it may provide enough glue to hold the country together.  When the debt crisis hits and with it a second Great Depression, all bets will be off.

One thing is certain: the vast geography of red America, as seen in the 2016 election, will not allow itself to be ruled by the tiny blue enclaves–enclaves which cannot feed themselves.  If the checkpoints start going up, that will be relevant.

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

The View From Olympus: The Next Stupid Neocon War

Last week’s most important news event received remarkably little press.  According to the February 14 New York Times, shortly after landing in Poland for a major international conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu committed truth.  

No sooner had he landed that the prime minister’s Twitter account announced “an open meeting with representatives of leading Arab countries, that are sitting down together with Israel in order to advance the common interest of war with Iran.”

In case anyone doubts that this was a case of committing truth, the Times reported that “An hour later, the Twitter posting was changed to ‘advance the common interest of combating Iran.’”

So Israel wants war with Iran, and so do several Arab states with loud voices in Washington, especially Saudi Arabia.  From an American perspective, the problem is that both the Israelis and the Saudis will want the United States to fight the war for them.

This promises to be the Iraq war all over again.  American neocons were major players then in devising a new strategy for the destruction of every Arab country that could be a threat to the Jewish state.  Iraq was first on the list.  But then, as now, America was supposed to do the fighting, take the casualties and pay the bill.  The neocons worked on a president who had little understanding of foreign policy (though Trump is a great deal brighter than W.) to do their bidding, and he fell for it.  The result was a disaster for America and the region (and, ironically, Israel).  We lost more than 5000 young Americans dead, tens of thousands wounded, trillions of dollars wasted, and the Iraqi state destroyed, to the benefit of Fourth Generation, non-state entities such as Al Qaeda and ISIS that are real threats to the U.S. and Israel, which Saddam’s Iraq was not.  We also destroyed the main regional power that was blocking Iran’s quest for regional dominance.

Now, we are supposed to make up for that blunder by going to war with Iran.  The result would likely be even worse.  Iran has three times Iraq’s population, is more competent militarily, and can cut off the flow of oil through the Persian Gulf, creating a major gas crisis here.  The Pentagon will think it can restrict the war to an air and sea contest, which we could easily win.  But the Iranians can strike back on land, going after American troops in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan and potentially ending up with thousands of American hostages.  At that point, what’s our next move?

There is also a good chance a defeated Iran would disintegrate as Iraq did, creating yet another happy hunting ground for 4GW entities.  Those entities, once again, would be far more threatening both to the region and to us than is Iran.  Indeed, it is hard to see how Iran is today such a threat to the U.S. that we must go to war.  Iran threatens Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, but a war among those countries would probably not suspend oil shipments from the Gulf for very long because they all need to export oil to keep their economies functioning.  Beyond that, how is Iran a threat to us?  Terrorist incidents in the U.S. and Europe have overwhelmingly been carried out by Sunnis, not Shiites, often Sunnis trained in madrassas funded by Saudis.

But there is a real danger to Israel here, and it does not come from Iran.  Heartland Americans are tired of wars where their kids get crippled or killed for reasons no one can explain.  The fact that the U.S. was manipulated by unregistered Israeli agents into the war in Iraq is not widely known, at least to the public.  But public reaction against a war with Iran would develop quickly and strongly.  Can Israel be certain the American people will not figure out that our troops are serving as Israel’s unpaid Hessians?  In the age of the internet, control of the mainstream media may no longer suffice to sweep the truth under the rug.  What happens if ordinary Americans in large number start pointing the finger at Israel as the cause of our latest disaster–and when they are correct to do so?

By attempting to repeat its “success” in pushing America into war with Iraq, using the same technique, Israel risks revealing the man behind the curtain.  Should the American public turn against Israel, to whom will Israel look for the external support without which it cannot survive?  It would not be the first time Israelis brought the temple down on their own heads.

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

The Unserious State of the Union

President Trump’s state of the Union speech to Congress was adequate as to both substance and delivery.  It included some important initiatives, such as a border barrier, ending pointless wars in Syria and Afghanistan, rebuilding  American manufacturing and improving relations with North Korea.  As the president might say, “All good”.

Of more interest, and concern, were the atmospherics within and surrounding his speech.  Both reflected a soft, sentimental, womanized culture of “feelings” that is a classic sign of decadence.  Indeed, both the president and his audience wallowed in sentiment to the point where the event simply lacked seriousness.

On the president’s part, his “celebration” of women entering the workforce and Congress was perfectly politically correct.  Unfortunately, he was elected in no small part because as a candidate he defied political correctness.  By bowing to it before Congress and the country he suggested he is now caving to the Establishment.  No doubt his remarks pleased feminists, but feminists will never vote for Donald Trump.

Had the president instead decided to be serious, he would have pointed out that when a nation’s women leave their proper sphere and try to take over the roles of men, that nation is on the downhill slide.  The problem is not merely that women firemen, women soldiers, and women pilots cannot do the men’s jobs they have assumed, at least when the going gets rough.  Far deadlier to the nation’s future is the fact that when women abandon their highly important traditional roles of rearing children, making good homes, and serving their communities in a wide variety of volunteer roles, those jobs go undone.  Men do not fill up the resulting vacuums.

Instead of fawning over the feminists, the president might have pointed out that most women who work do so because they have to, not because they want to.  They would rather be at home with their husbands and children.  For them to do that, their husbands need the good-paying jobs manufacturing creates.  That would tie helping the non- and anti-feminist women who are part of Trump’s base to his high tariff policies.  Just as America industrialized under tariff protection, so it will need tariff protection to rebuild its industry.

The culture of sentiment overflowed the president’s speech in another way, namely his repeated turning to “human interest” stories and the people behind them who stood to take their bows.  I’m sure they were all worthy of their applause.  But the whole business of dragging them into what should be a serious review of, well, the state of the Union, was trivializing.  Can Americans no longer hear and consider serious matters?  Is everything to be reduced to third-grade “show and tell”?  The answers, from Mr. Trump’s speech, seem to be “no” and “yes”.

The worrisome atmospherics were not restricted to President Trump.  Nancy’s Pelosi’s leers, grimaces, and paper shuffling were unsuited to what should be a high and serious event, a formal review of the state of our Union.  Worse were the camera pans of the audience, High Panjamdruns all, who collectively suggested a cross between bingo night at St. John Bosco and the Brezhnev Politburo.  The silly women in white–scarlet would have been a more appropriate color–acted as if they had been enjoying the champagne from an early hour.  Had the whole event been presented as a satire to itself, would it have been any different?

The harsh reality is that the state of the Union is not good.  The bonds that hold us in union are weakening.  As the Establishment takes ever more extreme actions to force cultural Marxism down everyone’s throat–just look at the farce in Virginia, where a bit of shoe polish from 35 years ago is supposed to drive a governor from office–the people who live in the Heartland are saying, “Why should we knuckle down to this nonsense?  If that’s all the elite can do, let’s let them row their own boat while we sail ours.”

If the Union is to endure, its people will have to recover an ability to be serious.  Serious problems demand masculine facts and reason, not feminine feelings.  Women have a vital role in our society, but pretending they are men is not one of them.  A Congress full of women will not be able to make decisions necessary to reverse our decay, restore a common purpose, and set us on a new collective course.  Designing, building, and sailing a ship of state is a job for a team of men, not a bridal shower.

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

The View From Olympus: Following the Classic Pattern

Great powers tend to follow a similar pattern of rise, a short time of dominance, overextension, and fall.  It is ever more clear that this country is following the classic pattern.  Our period of dominance ran roughly from 1945 to 1965; its end was marked by our defeat in Vietnam.  We are now in the latter stages of the phase of overextension.  Fall, I suspect, lies around the next corner.

The evidence is all around us.  The most dramatic is the Senate’s recent vote to oppose President Trump’s efforts to withdraw from Syria and Afghanistan, withdrawals that would reduce our overextension.  The legislation was drafted by the Republican Majority Leader, Senator McConnell, and received overwhelming Republican support.  But the vote (technically a vote to cut off debate but indicative of the line-up on the substance) of 68 to 23 showed many Democrats also voted for continuing our overextension.  When the fall comes, neither party will have clean hands.

I would like to be able to say President Trump grasps the root problem, but as the pernicious neo-con influence on him grows, he too is stoking the fires of overextension.  His withdrawal from the treaty with Russia that limited intermediate-range missiles is one example.  His action is in direct opposition to his promise as a candidate to improve relations with Russia.  Instead, he has ended up driving Russia and China into alignment against us, giving this country an entirely avoidable rising threat to its diminishing power.

Another case of pushing our overextension further is the mad notion of intervening militarily in Venezuela.  Not surprisingly, two neocons, National Security Advisor John Bolton and Senator Marco Rubio, have concocted this witches’ brew.  The neocons cannot grasp the rule, demonstrated in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, that if you break it, you own it.  I’m sure Bolton is assuring yet another Republican president that if we intervene we will be met with cheers and flowers.  Don’t count on it.  The Latins would rather govern themselves badly than be “helped” to better government by American troops.

Why are we, and so many other countries before us, incapable of recognizing their overextensions and reducing their commitments?  Three factors seem to be in play.  The first is money.  The Washington Establishment makes heaps of money from a “defense” budget sized to rule the world.  Whether as campaign contributions, jobs and contracts after they leave office, or payments to family members working as lobbyists, senior Washington figures, civilian and military, are experts in “cashing in”.  Many arrive in Washington poor, but few leave poor.  Our trillion-dollar “national security” trough is the biggest in the world and the pigs have their snouts in it up to their ears.

Another cause is the psychological benefits of playing the “big man”.  Senators, generals, admirals, and high administration officials all like to swagger around the world, propping up their often fragile egos by representing “the only hyperpower”, “the indispensable nation”, and the like.  Modesty does not become them, or they would not have spent a lifetime crawling up the Establishment ladder in the first place.  They take any reduction in America’s world role as a personal hit to their own prestige.

Thirdly, the Washington and broader military elites insulate themselves from reality and from failure.  What subordinate dares tell a general that we have lost our recent wars?  Who among Senate staffers wants to be the bearer of bad news to his boss?  Our elites spend a great deal of effort making sure they do not come face-to-face with reality. In that, they are successful, if not in much else.

And so, regardless of what party is in power, our overextension will continue and even grow, until it all comes down in a heap.  I think that reckoning is coming soon.  In the meantime, if President Trump decides not to run again, a perfect replacement is waiting in the wings, someone to whom our situation would be entirely familiar.  Does anyone happen to know the email address of the Count-Duke of Olivares?

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

What the President Should Have Said

The failure of President Trump’s attempt to coerce the Democratic House of Representatives into funding the border wall was inevitable.  The Democrat’s strategy requires open borders.  That strategy, about which the Left has been quite open, is to swamp the votes of native-born Americans in a sea of immigrant votes.  The Democrats will not support measures that contradict their strategic requirements.

The president’s failure was turned into something of a rout by his attempt to couple the border wall to funding the government.  While the president’s base was not directly hurt by the shut-down, many of his supporters identified with the middle-class wage-earners who were not getting paid.  When those people began going off the job in order to get part-time work to pay the bills, the consequences, such as disruptions to air travel, forced the president to capitulate.  He was defeated, and his threat to shut down the government again in a few weeks would merely bring another defeat.

Here is where a curious characteristic of the Trump Administration again came to the fore.  All presidents suffer legislative defeats.  Previous president’s have had staffs that helped them minimize their failures by spinning them in creative ways.  As an old saying goes, politics is showbiz for ugly people.  Just as in Hollywood, the top people in Washington have had dozens of flacks, image-shapers, and spinmeisters who know how to put lipstick on a pig, wrap it in swaddling clothes and present it as Little Orphan Annie.

But President Trump does not.  He was left twisting slowly in the wind, by himself, able to call only on his own resources (which fortunately are considerable).  The result not only hurt him, it cost him an opportunity to hurt his enemies.

Let us imagine I had received a telegram from the White House, delivered by Western Union messenger riding a bicycle, requesting me to draft some remarks for the president for the occasion.  Here’s what I would have him say:

Once again, the Left-wingers who run the Democratic Party have refused to defend America and its citizens from invasion.  They demand that we leave our southern border open to anyone who wants to cross.  Millions of people have come here illegally across the border and the Democrats want millions more to do so.

The American people need to understand why the Democrats want open borders.  It is not because they want to be nice to little children.  The Democrats have a strategy for taking and keeping power in this country.  That strategy is to flood the country with immigrants whom they will register to vote, whether they are legal or illegal immigrants.  They expect those immigrants to vote Democratic so they can swamp the votes of native-born Americans in a sea of immigrant votes.  They plan to make every American a stranger in his own country.  They want to make foreigners the real rulers through a corrupted ballot box.

I know the Democrats in the House will not vote to fund the border defenses we need.  They are not going to vote to undermine their strategy for taking power.

Therefore, I will tomorrow meet with the Chairman and Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  I will give them a direct order to secure our southern border.  I will leave it up to them how best to do that.

I want to use our military to defend America and its citizens, not fight wars half-way across the world for reasons that are far from clear.  To those who may object to using the military, I ask you, what are our armed forces for if not to protect us from invasion?  Invasions by whole peoples are what brought down the Roman empire.  I will not allow such invasions to destroy us the same way.

I have not declared a national emergency because I do not need to do so and because I think it would set a bad precedent, a precedent other presidents could use in the future to harm this country rather than defend it.  As Commander-in-Chief I can give an order to the U.S. military without declaring an emergency, and that is what I will do.

The government shut-down made it clear the Democrats would rather deprive hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans of their paychecks than secure our southern border.  Now, we will pay those hard-working people and secure the border.  

I call that a win.

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

His Majesty’s Birthday, or, Look Who’s Back

Having been to Hell and back last year with His Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm II, my reporting senior, I was by no means certain what might result this year from my annual call to congratulate him on his birthday, January 27.  The British had again been fooling around with our transatlantic cables, so I decided to go “hi-tech”, using Telefunken’s new wireless telegraphy to Potsdam via the big sender at Nauen.  I was surprised when, seemingly not getting through, my telephone rang.  On the other end was His Majesty.

“You got through all right, never fear.  The Russians were supposed to jam our signals to and from Nauen, but we sent them a trainload of vodka and they’re still sleeping it off.  London is leaving our phone lines alone now, after we dropped ten tons of Leberkäse on them in a zeppelin raid.  I’ve heard they are shipping most of it to Scotland where the locals take it for fois gras, or so Dr. Johnson told me.”

“Dr. Johnson can always be relied on when it comes to the Scotts, Your Majesty,” I replied.  “And happy birthday.”

“Thank you, and it is a happy one, for reasons you will soon understand.  It looks as if I will soon be going home.”

That puzzled me.  I went to Doorn, in the Netherlands, this summer, to see where Kaiser Wilhelm lived in exile and where he is entombed.  I know his will specified that he is not to be returned to Germany until that country is again a monarchy.  Could that day be near at hand?

“You’ll see it all plain enough from L-70.  Look for us from your front yard three days hence,” His Majesty said.  “Be ready for some high-altitude flying.”

L-70 was one of our “height-climber” Zeppelins that could rise up to 26,000 feet.  I had heard it was not a pleasant experience, since they were neither pressurized nor heated.  As it happened, I had heard right.

It’s hard missing a Zeppelin hovering low over a Cleveland street, and three days later His Majesty welcomed me on board.  We dropped a couple tons of water ballast, set the elevators for climbing and rose with remarkable rapidity.  No English aeroplane could win a climbing contest with a Zeppelin.

Long before 26,000 feet I was gasping and puking.  The bottled oxygen reduced the former but increased the latter.  His Majesty gave me a hearty slap on the back and told me to buck up.  We hit 26,000 and kept rising.

“Good God, how high is this thing going?” I asked dejectedly.

“High enough to see the future,” His Majesty replied.  At that, I passed out.

When I came to, all was well again.  We were cruising about 500 feet above the beautiful German countryside.  Every town seemed to be staging some sort of political rally or civic event.  Change was in the air.

“What’s going on?” I asked the Kaiser.  

“Some very interesting politics,” he replied.  “Let me fill you in.  The rise of the Alternative fur Deutschland (AFD) party gave Germans a truly German party.  But the broader growth of what has been termed “populism” in Germany and elsewhere didn’t stop there.  The AFD was a normal, respectable party.  But to its right soon arose something less respectable.  Calling itself the Nationale Deutsche Abiturlose Partei (NDAP), roughly the “National German Party for People Without Degrees,” this party hearkened back not to my Second Reich but to the Third.”

“The NDAP didn’t amount to much until it found a leader,” the Kaiser continued.  “He was an entertainer, a man of uncertain origins who called himself Adolf Hitler, looked like Hitler and seemingly never stepped out of his role.  Like the man he impersonated, he was a highly effective speaker and organizer and a man with a powerful, I would say unstoppable, will to power.”

“It’s a Look Who’s Back scenario!” I said excitedly.

“Yes, indeed, it was Er Ist Wieder Da.  And it had to be stopped.  As a Hohenzollern, the last thing I wanted was to see was Germany again led by an Austrian corporal, first as tragedy and then as farce.”

“So on the night before Christmas, I paid a visit to my descendent Georg Friedrich, the present head of the House of Hohenzollern and rightful King of Prussia and German Kaiser.”

“Did Mr. Dickens perhaps suggest this course?” I asked.

“I recalled it from when I had read Dickens,” His Majesty replied.  “But he was delighted.”

“Anyway, I told Georg Friedrich in no uncertain terms to get off his backside and stop this nonsense, as I would have stopped the Nazis if I had still been Kaiser.  You can thank Woodrow Wilson that I wasn’t.”

“The worst American President ever,” I added.  “He gave the world both Stalin and Hitler.”

“He did, but I wasn’t about to let it happen again.  I told Georg Friedrich to go talk to the AFD.  They needed to shore up their right flank and he was the man to do it.”

“Anyway, he took my advice as Mr. Scrooge took Marley’s and as a result the AFD made Georg Friedrich its leader and he won.  This time, the Left had the sense to back the legitimate ruler instead of leaving the door open for you know who.  In truth, Ebert never wanted me to go.”

“And now Germans have come to their senses and are today rallying and celebrating because the restoration of the monarchy is before the Reichstag and everyone except the NDAP is for it.  Which means I will finally be going home.  And Prussia is back on the map!”

“It seems I have much more to congratulate Your Majesty on this year than another birthday,” I offered.  “I hope this won’t mean we lose our connection.”

“Not at all, my friend, not at all,” the Kaiser assured me.  “I’ve already asked the Garde du Corps to admit you to its mess.”

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

Liberal Democracy is a Contradiction

The November 2 New York Times carried an article titled “What is Pulling Liberal Democracy Apart?”  The article itself was the usual drivel, but the title stuck with me.  The Establishment really does not understand why its definition of “liberal democracy” is failing. Yet the answer is obvious: “liberal” now contradicts “democracy”.

This was not always true.  When “liberal” retained its historic meaning as broad-minded, generous, and tolerant, desirous of a free market both in economics and in ideas, it was at least compatible with democracy, although there were tensions.  As a look at classical Athens quickly shows, democracy often went in distinctly illiberal directions.  Cleon was a product of democracy, just as much as Pericles, and it was not a monarch who ordered Socrates to drink the hemlock.  Nonetheless, in America and Britain, from the mid-19th century onward the old liberalism and democracy got along reasonably well.

Why is that no longer the case?  Why, in country after country, does the Left find democracy leading to governments (Trump, Orban, Putin) and measures (Brexit, keeping out migrants) liberals abhor?  Because the old liberalism is dead.  It died in the 1960s when the New Left took its arguments to the extreme, turned them against the old-line liberals and destroyed them morally by pointing out their contradictions.  I watched that happen at Dartmouth College in the late 1960s when I was a student there.  All the liberals who ran the college could do when the SDS threw their own arguments (always qualified, in the liberals’ minds, by common sense) back in their faces was to stammer and yield.

Herbert Marcuse provided the intellectual foundations of the New Left by feeding them the Frankfurt School’s cultural Marxism, carefully pureed into baby food.  Cultural Marxism became the ideology of the Boomer generation, and it remains today that generation’s definition of liberalism.  It is, in the old sense of the word, thoroughly illiberal: intolerant, ungenerous, narrow-minded, loathing free markets of all kinds, especially a free market in ideas.  Just look at any campus where cultural Marxism rules, which seems to be most of them.  Anyone who dares question feminism, “gay rights”, “equality” in any of its manifestations, is soon in serious trouble.  All must bow and scrape before the “general line of the Party”.

That “liberalism”, liberalism re-defined as cultural Marxism, is inherently contradictory to democracy.  Why?  Because normal people reject the swill.  Ordinary Whites don’t apologize for being White or regard themselves as “oppressors”.  Reasonable men and women recognize the sexes are not interchangeable.  While most people are willing to tolerate homosexuality, they reject a demand to approve of it, and they think discretion is the tribute vice of all sorts should pay to virtue.

The cultural Marxists have sought to deal with a widespread and growing democratic rejection of their ideology by subverting democracy.  They have done so by trying to keep any alternatives to themselves off the ballots.  For a long while, both here and in Europe, they succeeded.

But that trick has run its course.  People now see through “conservatism” such as that of too many Republicans here, the Conservative Party in Britain, the CDU in Germany and so on.  A “conservatism” that will not fight cultural Marxism, as those parties will not, is no conservatism at all.  So real conservative candidates and parties, candidates and parties that reject the whole Establishment and its ideology, are now getting on ballots and, where they do so, winning elections.  When ordinary people are not allowed a truly democratic choice, they vote against today’s liberalism and for their historic faith, culture, and race.  What a surprise!

And so the Left is now caught in a contradiction of its own making, a contradiction between its ideology of cultural Marxism, labelled “liberalism” or “progressivism”, and its promotion of democracy.  It can have one or the other, but not both.  At present, it cannot choose.  Eventually it will, and its choice will be to extinguish democracy and forbid people to vote for anything but more cultural Marxism.  If we get to that point it will mean war.

You can safely bet this was not the analysis the New York Times provided its readers on what is pulling liberal democracy apart.

The View From Olympus: Helping the Infantry

Although former Marine General James Mattis proved a disappointment as Secretary of Defense, he began one initiative that deserves to continue.  Called the Close Combat Lethality Task Force (CCLTF), this joint Army-Marine Corps program is aimed at improving the effectiveness and survivability of the men who do most of the dying in combat, the infantry. Such an effort is long overdue and deserves substantial funding, as Secretary Mattis intended.

However, as presently conceived the CCLTF has some problems. They begin with a misplaced focus on improving squad lethality.  Lethality and effectiveness are not the same thing. In maneuver warfare, including maneuver tactics at the small unit level, most of the enemy end up prisoners, not dead or wounded. Modern, i.e. Third Generation, tactics are not “close with and destroy”, much less “ bombard and attrit”. Rather, as demonstrated by the German infantry in 1918, they are tactics intended to “bypass and collapse”.  If you are constantly appearing in your enemy’s rear and encircling him, he tends to give up.

From this perspective, I found it dismaying that none of the papers I have seen about the CCLTF have discussed the first requirement for helping our infantry, namely modernizing our infantry tactics and training. Modern tactics means at the very least adopting the “infiltration tactics” of the German infantry of 1918. Ideally, we should go beyond those tactics and adopt their more developed form, Jaeger or true light infantry tactics (what the U.S. Army and Marine Corps call “light infantry” lacks the Jaeger tactical repertoire and is really line infantry). Training must be in the new tactics, not the obsolete Second Generation tactics we now employ where the infantry’s main task is to call in remote fires. 

That points to another problem in the CCLTF’s current approach: it places little emphasis on expanding opportunities for free-play training. While techniques and procedures can be taught in “canned” exercises, tactics can only be practiced in a free-play environment where the enemy can do whatever he wants to defeat you. At present, neither U.S. Army soldiers nor U.S. Marines get that much if any free-play training. Changing that should be one of the CCLTF’s highest priorities.

Rightly, the CCLTF is not emphasizing new equipment; better tactics and training are more important. But the CCLTF can and should sponsor an experiment with one piece of equipment most of our enemies have and our infantry does not, the RPG. I have asked combat-experienced Marine commanders at the tactical levels whether our infantry is at a disadvantage in Afghanistan because we lack the RPG, and most have said yes. If we look at Fourth Generation, non-state fighters around the world, we see many if not most carry an RPG.  It would not be difficult or expensive to design and run a test where we put an infantry squad or platoon through a series of problems, once with their current equipment and once with that equipment augmented with RPGs, one for each man (with reloads). If the RPGs make an important difference, they are inexpensive and widely available. We could equip our infantry with them in a very short time.

The CCLTF is also correct in emphasizing the need for changes in the personnel system so our infantry units can become and remain cohesive. Unit cohesion is the basis for why men fight: they fight for their buddies. But cohesion requires one thing the CCLTF dares not discuss (but I can): that infantry and other combat units be all-male. If women are present, the men will not cohere because they will view each other as rivals for the favors of the women. In combat, they will drop the mission to protect the women. This is human nature, and human nature is always more powerful than ideology, including feminist ideology. Combat is the ultimate “real world,” and in the real world all ideologies fail.

As important as Secretary Mattis’s CCLTF initiative is, the regrettable fact is that with his departure, the planned funding is likely to be cut or vanish entirely. If that happens, it may still be possible to help the infantry with a “bottom up” effort. Recently, some company-grade Marine officers and SNCOs has informed me about the Warfighting Society, a group within the Marine Corps modeled on Scharnhorst’s Militarische Gesellschaft. It would be both appropriate and useful if the Warfighting Society would do as Scharnhorst and his colleagues did and take on the problem of helping the infantry.  What the system cannot do without lots of money, thinking individuals can do.  Anyone wanting to participate can contact the Warfighting Society here

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

The View From Olympus: The Pentagon Declares Bankruptcy

According to the December 28 New York Times, the Pentagon has finally made its moral and intellectual bankruptcy official.  With regard to our failed war in Afghanistan, the Times reported that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., said that the Taliban “are not losing.”  The general is correct.  The Taliban are not losing because they have won.  All that remains is working out the details of their assumption of power and our departure.  To his credit, President Trump recognizes that reality.

But merely presiding over our defeat is apparently not enough for General Dunford.  In a truly breathtaking admission of strategic incompetence and intellectual bankruptcy, the general went on to say according to the Times,

“If someone has a better idea than we have right now, which is to support the Afghans and put pressure on the terrorist groups in the region, I’m certainly open to dialogue on that,” General Dunford said at a panel sponsored by The Washington Post earlier this month.

Wow. I doubt Moltke Jr. or even Keitel, whom the Fuehrer described as having the mind of a hotel doorman, sank that low.  Has General Dunford considered asking the chairwoman who cleans his office? Perhaps he could talk to his milkman or egg lady.  Certainly his driver should be consulted; after all he has some idea where he is going, which general Dunford, after sixteen years of war and several thousand American dead, admittedly does not.  In the long annals of military incompetence that’s still one for the history books. Clio should award General Dunford the Golden Trash Can, First Class, with Oak Leaves, Swords and Diamonds.

Let us imagine, for a moment, that we are a Prussian officer sent to advise General Dunford on how to turn a lost war around (That’s what happens when you fart at the dinner table on board the Hohenzollern).  Taking the General’s statement quoted above as a description of his strategy, we see that “supporting the Afghans” has no meaning because it is a war of Afghans against Afghans.  As to “putting pressure on the terrorist groups”, “terrorists” simply means “the other side” and “pressure” means tactical pinpricks with no strategic impact.  It is seldom possible to reverse strategic failure at the tactical level, and kleckern, nicht klotzen is a prescription for failure at all levels of war.

So to begin we need to shift our focus to a strategic level. I suspect even General Dunford knows that the Taliban’s strategic center of gravity is its support by Pakistan. Take that away, and the Taliban is walking on air. How might that be done?  Recognize that so long as the current Afghan government is aligned with India, Pakistan has no choice but to support the Taliban.  Pakistan’s threat is India, and Pakistan needs Afghanistan as an ally to offer it some strategic depth. Above all, it cannot have a hostile Afghanistan putting Pakistan in a two-front situation. So our first step is to give the current Afghan government a (secret, not public) ultimatum: cut all ties to India and become a loyal and subservient ally of Pakistan.  If they won’t, our troops and money go home. The money, more than the troops, will concentrate their thinking.

When the Taliban sees this move and realizes the strategic threat it represents, offer them a peace that secures our limited objective while rewarding them.  Our objective going into Afghanistan was to deprive Al Qaeda of a base.  We have no quarrel with the Taliban per se.  So, we offer to recognize a Taliban-led Afghanistan as long as they do not invite back groups that seek to attack the American homeland.  Al Qaeda have worn out its welcome in Afghanistan before 9/11 and it now has more useful bases in other countries.  Plus, the Taliban is already fighting ISIS within Afghanistan. As part of a peace deal, we could offer to support the Taliban in that fight, not with troops but with the all-important ammunition in 4GW, money.

I doubt General Dunford will be willing to heed Prussian advice.  But if he’s asking the whole world for input, he might recall that these services send their best and brightest young officers to serve the members of The Joint Chiefs of Staff.  As Chairman, he is well within his rights to say to those young officers, many who will have served in Afghanistan, what he said on the Post’s panel: if you’ve got better ideas than what we are now doing, please share them with me.  I suspect he would to get some useful feedback, perhaps along the lines I’ve outlined here.

Or he could just ask the chairwoman. Even she is likely to come up with something better than doing more of what has not worked in sixteen years.

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