The Chauvin Show Trial and the State’s Crisis of Legitimacy

On Tuesday, April 20th, a Minneapolis jury found police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of three counts, including second-degree murder, in the death of George Floyd.  The “trial” had the usual characteristics of a political show trial, including an automatic verdict of guilty, even though we still do not know whether Floyd died from officer Chauvin’s actions or because of Floyd’s combination of heart disease, breathing problems, and ingestion of both fentanyl and meth.  In show trials, the facts don’t matter anyway.

The markers of a show trail include:

  • The President of the United States, Joe Biden, said publicly before the verdict that he was praying for “the right verdict.”  Could anyone doubt what verdict he meant?
  • One defense witness had his former home vandalized, presumably by people who thought he still lived there.  Witness intimidation, anyone?  Hello?
  • The Left openly threatened riots unless the jury caved and voted Chauvin guilty.  In a column in the Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25 Wall Street Journal, Joseph Perkins quoted Congresswoman Maxine Waters, who is black, saying in Minneapolis the weekend before the verdict, “I hope we get a verdict that says guilty, guilty, guilty.  And if we don’t. . . we’ve got to stay on the street.  We have to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational.”  Perkins quoted attorney Alan Dershowitz saying Waters’ words were “an attempt to intimidate the jury,” which they certainly were in a city that had already suffered major riots over Floyd’s death.
  • In an editorial on April 21, the WSJ noted that, “Even after the verdict, commentators who applauded the jury gave last year’s riots in American cities the credit for inspiring it.  Not the facts.  Not the law.”  If that doesn’t define a political show trial, Lavrentii Beria took in orphans’ washing.

Blatant show trials are a sign of a regime’s lack of legitimacy, not of its strength.  They show a state is afraid of facts.  Some of the facts those now running the executive and legislative branches of government fear are:

  • Cops react to blacks, especially black men and most of all young black males, the way they do because they have to.  Floyd had already done time for violent crimes.  The black violent crime rate, almost all of which is committed by young black males, is twelve times the white rate.  If cops cannot use force against blacks, they cannot protect other citizens (including innocent blacks, who make up most of the victims of black crime) or themselves. 
  • The Chauvin show trial is part of a broad assault on policing and order by the cultural Marxists.  Cultural Marxism’s goals are purely destructive: they want to bring everything down (“negative dialects,” to use their own term).  Since the state arose to keep order, there is no more effective way to destroy a state than to create massive disorder the state cannot stem.  The cultural Marxists believe a stateless paradise of all play and no work will arise on the ruins, as per Marcuse’s book Eros and Civilization.  What will actually happen is going to be less enjoyable.
  • Thanks to the mindless encouragement to “act out” we see “leaders” white and black give to blacks, the 13% of our population who are black have become 90% of our problems.  That is a perilous situation for the 13%, and it is not likely to end well.  What real leaders need to tell Americans, blacks, whites, and whatever, is that freedom is not some impossible “right” to do whatever you feel like at the moment, i.e., embrace a culture of immediate gratification.  Freedom is the right to substitute self-discipline for imposed discipline.  Those who cannot do the former are not fit for freedom and must live under the latter.  Jim Crow may soon find himself a welcome bird.

Most Americans long ago wrote off both the White House and Congress in terms of legitimacy.  The one remaining element of our tripartite system that has retained legitimacy is the courts.  With demands for political show trials rising and court-packing schemes afoot in Washington, soon that element of our system may also shed its legitimacy.  At that point, all that can keep a state afloat is terror.  Terror will be hard to pull off in America, where states retain substantial leverage against Washington, the population is well armed, and cops are usually conservatives.

The war on cops is not moving us toward “racial justice.”  It is moving us towards anarchy, followed quickly by an authoritarian state.

The View From Olympus: Are Neo-libs Even Dumber than Neo-cons?

As expected, the Establishment Biden administration has rounded up the usual suspects to fill its defense and foreign policy slots.  That means the neo-liberals are back, once again dictating to the rest of the world how it should live.  Just as the neocons bamboozled America’s dumbest President, George W. Bush, into invading Iraq to spread “democratic capitalism” to the Middle East, so the neo-libs are pushing the dotty Mr. Biden into confronting Russia and China to promote their brand of patent medicine, more “democracy” (so long as it elects people like them) coupled with such bitter herbs as Feminism and “gay rights.”

But China and Russia are not Iraq.  They are nuclear powers with substantial conventional military capabilities.  How competent the Chinese are militarily remains to be seen–we may find out the hard way–but the Russians do seem to know what they are doing.  They undertook a substantial and effective program of military reform after the Soviet Union fell apart, including learning from Fourth Generation forces around the globe, merging some of their tactics and techniques with those of a conventional army. 

Now it appears the neo-libs are maneuvering poor Mr. Biden into a confrontation with the Russians in Ukraine.  Do these people even look at a map?  Geography says that even with NATO support–no sure thing–we could at most logistically support two or three brigades of American troops in Ukraine.  War in the Russian heartland (which geographically includes Ukraine) requires hundreds of divisions.  Has anyone in Washington heard about Operation Barbarossa?  Probably not, since it wasn’t about expanding “transgender rights”, whatever those are.

The reason Russia is stirring up trouble on Ukraine’s eastern border is that NATO threatens to expand by inviting Ukraine to join.  However, NATO rules say that no country with a border dispute can join NATO.  So, Russia has given Ukraine a border dispute, which will continue so long as NATO plays footsie with Kiev.  Remember, the U.S. promised Gorbachev that if Moscow dissolved the Warsaw Pact, NATO would not expand further east by inviting those countries to join.  And then we promptly tossed that promise in the wastebasket and expanded NATO into former Warsaw Pact lands.  Why should Moscow trust us again when it comes to expanding NATO?

In addition, Washington has been arming and training the Ukraine armed forces.  This is both an offensive act strategically and a foolish policy because it puts American prestige on the line if Ukraine attacks in the east.  The last time we played this game, the country we helped arm and train, Georgia, got its butt kicked swiftly and hard by the Russian Army.  The same thing will happen if Ukraine mounts an offensive in either its eastern regions, now Russian-controlled, or Crimea.

That’s the point where I fear the neo-libs, who know nothing of war (like the neo-cons), could push President Biden into sending American troops into a hopeless situation.  When they all end up in a Russian Kessel–Stalingrad, first as tragedy and then as farce–what’s our next move?  Go nuclear?

Against any competent opponent, and the Russian Army should be one, the U.S. Army has a sucking chest wound that a Democratic administration cannot even acknowledge, much less address.  What is it?  Women, lots of them, scattered throughout the force, including now in combat units.  An army full of women is an army that will quickly be in full rout if it finds itself in serious combat.  The key factor in whether men fight or not, unit cohesion, is greatly undermined by the presence of women, because instead of forming a “band of brothers” the men see each other as rivals for the women, because that is human nature.  The same nature says many of the women will panic.  It is a disaster waiting to happen.

Just as the idiot neo-cons gave us a failed war in Iraq, so the neo-libs may trump them (or Trump them, come 2024) by getting us into a militarily impossible situation in Ukraine.  We are putting American prestige on the line, step by step, in a place where our defeat-waiting-to-happen Army cannot support with a competent army.  How much dumber can you get?

White Supremacy

The latest cackle from the Left’s henhouse–all cultural Marxists are chicken, because they are terrified of facts and reason–is “white supremacy”.  We are supposed to grovel in the dust before this charge, endlessly apologizing for being white.  But what do facts and reason say about this?  Are whites in fact superior to other races?

The question cannot at present be investigated by science because where only one conclusion is permitted there can be no science.  Academics who have studied the matter and concluded that whites are, on the whole, smarter than some other races have been subjected to a campaign of terror: shouted down, fired, blackballed, sometimes even physically attacked.  But the evidence from IQ tests seems to indicate that East Asians are on top, whites come in second, and the rest are also-rans.

History appears to confirm that verdict.  Only two cultures have been successful over time, i.e., for thousands of years: Chinese (Han) culture and Western culture.  These are the products of East Asians and whites.  Civilization first arose around five thousand years ago among these two peoples.  Was race the only factor?  Undoubtedly not.  All major historical developments are the product of multiple factors.  Whenever you hear a single-factor explanation of history, you should know you are listening, not to facts and reason, but to an ideology.  Beware!  But was race one factor?  Almost certainly.  Are the differences between, say, Sweden and Italy today in part products of the differences between Swedes and Italians?  Who, other than an ideologue, can deny it?

Other places and peoples have produced splendid civilizations: the Maya, the Khmer, the peoples of India, etc.  But all rose, peaked, declined, and never rose again.  They followed a bell-shaped curve they could not escape.

In contrast, Han civilization and Western civilization have endured.  They took two very different paths in doing so.  Han civilization rose and never fell.  China fell numerous times as a political entity, both to foreign invasion and to civil wars.  But Chinese culture was so superior that her conquerors quickly adopted it.  Over five thousand years, China has maintained a remarkable continuity.  If you look at an artifact from the Shang dynasty, you immediately know it is Chinese.

In contrast, the West has risen, fallen, and risen again repeatedly.  The great example is Rome, but there are others.  The high and successful Medieval culture that eventually replaced Romanitas fell in the 14th century, largely thanks to the plague.  The first blooming of Western culture in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean oceans collapsed around 1200 BC for reasons we do not fully understand.  But in the former case the fall was followed by the Renaissance and in the latter by the glories of classical Greece.  The Western pattern is very different from that of China, but both have succeeded over time, as has no one else.  Again, is race one factor?  Almost certainly.

When the cultural Marxists throw their boogeyman words at us, our response, after we have stopped laughing, should be to do what I have done here: respond with facts and reason.  Nothing scares them more.  In fact, they denounce facts and reason as “white”.  To that, our answer should be, “Thanks for the compliment.”  Reason and logic are one of whites’ great contributions to civilization, among many others, including classical architecture and classical music, both of which are now found all over the world because of their superiority to all others.

History says that white supremacy means a society that is constantly striving in every field to reach greater heights, to the benefit of everyone, including all other races and peoples.  Just look at how Africa and Asia have profited from modern medicine, overwhelmingly a product of whites.  Thanks to the uniquely white concept of noblesse oblige, supremacy does not mean oppressing others but raising them up, serving them and giving them the blessings of peace, order, and commerce.  After all, most whites worship a God who said, “I came not to be served but to serve.”  Don’t expect to hear that from Quetzalcoatl any time soon.

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

Hell’s Puritans

With most other conversations, I have been amused watching New York Governor Andrew Cuomo get hoist on his own petard.  Always ready to condemn others for Political Incorrectness, he now finds his political future in mortal danger from the very P.C. harpies he championed.  It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

But we should not let our Schadenfreude override the fact that Hell’s Puritans are a growing menace to everyone, or at least everyone white, male, and straight.  What is commonly known as political correctness and is actually cultural Marxism is attempting to outlaw broad aspects of reality, including the reality that in humans as in other species, the male initiates most of the sexual encounters.  The fact that the male takes the initiative does not mean the female does not welcome his attentions.  Often, she does, including when, among people, one or both are married or they are in a professional setting.  But now, if the woman does not welcome such attention, or does at the time but has second thoughts later, the male is crucified.  How ironic that Governor Cuomo was one of the many politically correct men to declare, “The woman must always be believed.”  Yes, indeed, women have been known throughout history and literature as creatures who never tell a lie.

That this Puritanism has its roots in Hell is betrayed by the fact that it is nihilist.  It seeks simply to bring everything down: “negative dialectics”, as the originators of cultural Marxism, the members of the Frankfurt School, put it.  It does so by forbidding aspects of human behavior that are hard-wired in human brains, then destroying anyone–“canceling” is the new synonym for “liquidating”–in whom nature triumphs over its commands.  But nature will always triumph, meaning that the level of tension, anger, and finally despair grows in a society to the point where that society turns inward and devours itself.  We see that happening in a broad swath of what used to be called Christendom.

It is not only in relations between the sexes that Hell’s Puritanism makes demands that cannot be met and that rip society apart.  Another field is race, ethnicity, and culture.  The new Puritans demand we pretend that all races and ethnic groups are interchangeable and all cultures are happy, innocent, peaceful cultures except for our own Western culture, which is evil and oppressive.  The fact that it was overwhelmingly white Europeans shaped by Western culture who turned a vast wilderness into the modern United States of America, the best place and time to live through all of history, must never be stated.  Nor dare one say that, for example, the black rate of incarceration is proportional to the black crime rate, which is many times the white rate.  No, “systemic racism” is why all those young black males end up in jail.  And cops regard young black males the way they do because cops are all evil “racists”, not because a young black man is far more likely to commit a violent crime than is an Asian grandmother.  Not how in all the howling about the killings of Asians, only the Wall Street Journal has dared mention the fact that most of those assaults are carried out by young black males.

Again, the goal of penalizing by “canceling” anyone who dares mention more and more aspects of reality is to rip society apart, to create a war of all against all where only mass violence will release the pent-up fury of people who must conform their behavior to rules that contradict human nature.  This is “Critical Theory” at its most powerful, where constant criticism of every aspect of traditional culture crosses over into setting new rules no one can follow, then destroying them when they do not.  That is why Governor Cuomo’s political body twisting slowly in the wind is so entrancing, because he too fell to the impossibility of obeying the very rules he championed.  The secret of Hell’s Puritanism stands revealed: no man can meet its demands except by self-destruction, either internalized or externalized.  Your choice is suicide or execution.

And so, in the hands of the “woke” Left, America has been saddled with a Puritanism without God and without virtue, the worst of all Puritanisms, nihilistic Puritanism.  Hell no doubt rubs its hands in glee.  But as the 17th century English Puritans discovered, Puritanism soon runs its course.  People return to the old ways again with relief and joy, looking back on their former Puritan times and saying, “How did we ever believe all that crap?”

Let us answer Hell’s Puritans with a 17th century ditty I enjoyed playing on my harpsichord, “on the King’s Birthday, May 29”, the day when a restored King Charles the II entered London:

Welcome, welcome, royal May, Welcome long desired day!

Many Springs and Mays we’ve seen Have brought forth

What’s gay and green,

But none like this glorious Spring Which brings forth our gracious King;

Then banish care, and let us sing, We have our laws, and we have our King!

Amen.

The Spark

Great historic currents are often set in motion by small events.  The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand did not cause World War I–the cause was enmity between Austria and Russia that went back to the Crimean War, coupled with military plans that put a premium on mobilizing faster than your opponent–but provided the spark in the powder magazine.  Similarly, the cause of a collapse of the republic will lie in the Washington Establishment’s adoption of the ideology of cultural Marxism, which condemns whites, men, and heterosexuals as inherently evil and thus makes enemies of a majority of Americans.  But a minor event may well be the spark that sets the building ablaze.

Such a spark is in the offing.  Bowing to the demands of cultural Marxism and its “woke” fanatics, the Biden Administration is moving to re-name all military bases whose present names are those of Confederate generals.  This is part of the Left’s hate campaign against the South, its history, and its culture, and more broadly its demand that whites continually abase themselves before blacks (not including the blacks who fought for the Confederacy, a non-trivial number).  Presumably, the bases’ new names will be those of black lesbian women, “transgendered” freaks, slaves who murdered their masters and their families or whatever else the Left can find floating in the gutter.

The people who make up the Washington Establishment know nothing about the military.  Nor, for the most part, do they care about it.  They find it useful when they want to ram “progressive” culture politics down the throats of recalcitrant foreigners, but otherwise they dislike men who fight–and think they can replace them with women, which is replacing guard dogs with guard cats.  Should they get into a war that involves more than bombing mud huts at night from 30,000 feet, they will discover their error.  In the meantime, they look at their organizational charts and say, “Well, those dumb soldiers have to do whatever we tell them to because the chart says so.”

But fighting men tend to have strong identification with things like regiments, service branches, and the historic names of their bases.  The units based at places such as Ft. Bragg, Ft. Hood, and Ft. Benning identify with those names.  In many cases, other family members often serve at those same bases for generations (as always, the Army’s most important recruiting ground is the rural South).  All over the country retired fighting men share strong identification with the current base names.  I do not find it difficult to imagine that when the new, politically correct base names are announced, the troops on those bases mutiny.  If they do, they are likely to get strong support from veterans and from the communities that surround the bases.

What does the Washington Establishment do then?  If it sends other military units against those resisting, they are likely to refuse the orders.  So will the National Guard.  So will the police.  What now, Madam Under-secretary?

The events which will bring down the American Third Republic, our system of government 1865 to the present that has given us an all-powerful federal government, a closed system in Washington and an administered people, need one more cause.  That cause is an economic collapse.  The wild creation of dollars by the Federal Reserve and exploding national debt will bring that collapse about.  Whether the timing will be such that the economy is going down just as the base-renaming hits, I do not know.  I am confident that when the economic disaster hits, coupled with the rapidly intensifying culture war, the volatile mixture will find a spark.  I would enjoy the irony if that spark comes courtesy of the Confederate States of America.

The View From Olympus: Dreikampf or Vielkampf

The February Marine Corps Gazette includes an article in its series “Maneuverist Papers” titled “Introducing the Dreikampf” by Marinus.  Its thesis is that Clausewitz’s concept of Zweikampf, war between two opponents, is outdated:

Warfighting (the Marine Corps’ foundational doctrine statement) steals a page from Clausewitz’s On War by proposing the Zweikampf, or “two-struggle”, as the essential, universal definition of war.  It defines war as a violent clash between two independent and hostile wills. . .

But after witnessing nearly twenty years of warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq, we cannot help but question if the Zweikampf is a universal construct after all.  It strikes us as something of a stretch to argue that the two-struggle has applied cleanly to those concepts–as well as to many others throughout history.  Perhaps the Zweikampf applies more narrowly to what we now call regular warfare, and there is an entire other category of war that the Zweikampf does not capture. . .

For these other forms of warfare, we propose a construct we will call the Dreikampf, or “three-struggle”, in which the third actor in the struggle is the common population that both belligerents struggle to impose themselves upon. . .

I agree with the Dreikampf concept–as far as it goes.  But it suffers from exactly the same problem it diagnoses in the Zweikampf, namely oversimplification.  Fourth Generation War theory says that what Marinus sees as one entity, the population, is in fact many entities, which fight with each other as well as with one or both of the foreign states which have armies in the unhappy land that is serving as the battlefield.

Marinus sees this plurality but does not draw out its implications:

Finally, populations are not likely to be as monolithic as the two other belligerents, nor as consistent and coordinated in their actions.  The contested population almost always will comprise multiple subgroups, each with different, if potentially overlapping, objectives, means, and methods.  Again, this variability only tends to increase the complexity of the dynamics.

The first implication is that these subgroups not only differ from one another but that some, perhaps many, will fight.  From their perspective, their power balance with other local subgroups is usually more important than their relationships with either outside belligerent, because they know the outsider will eventually go home.  At the moral level of war, these local power balances may depend in part on who does the better job of fighting one or both outsiders.  In other words, both outside powers are likely to find themselves fighting each other and a constantly shifting coalition of local elements.  This is not Dreikampf, a fight among three, but Vielkampf, a fight among many.

Fourth Generation Warfare theory adds that these subgroups fight not only for different objectives but for different kinds of objectives, many of which lie outside what we regard as the political process.  Objectives range from impressing the local girls to attaining everlasting salvation.  The fighters for these causes may range from a group of teenage friends who found guns or explosives through highly trained, paid soldiers belonging to non-state entities such as ISIS.  The resulting dynamics are not only complex, they are often too complex for an outside force even to grasp much less to leverage.  To the outsiders, the game becomes not worth the cost because no political settlement is possible regardless of how long the outsider remains.  Afghanistan is example A.

The third implication is perhaps the most threatening yet also the easiest to overlook.  The various loyalties and causes the local entities represent can bleed over into the outside state forces.  Intelligent Fourth Generation combatants seek to take physically far more powerful opposing state forces from within, attacking at the moral level.  Causes that are religious, racial, or ideological in nature are likely to have sympathizers inside the invading state forces.  Smart 4GW elements will identify those sympathizers, encourage them to act against their own forces and at the same time help them spread their alternate loyalty.  The U.S. military has already experienced this on a small scale, both in so-called “Green on Blue” attacks and in attacks by U.S. servicemen on their colleagues, motivated by Islam.  4GW theory says both could become much more frequent if enemies who represent trans-national loyalties make them their Schwerpunkt. So Dreikampf is bad news for state armed forces, but Vielkampf is worse.  If Dreikampf is a complex problem, Vielkampf is a wicked problem, one that often will have no local solution.  Generally, the only answer will be to stay out of the briar patch in the first place.  That, coupled with effective control of our own borders, should be our strategic answer to Fourth Generation warfare as a whole and to Vielkampf specifically.

Making the World Safe for Autocracy

President Woodrow Wilson took America into World War I in order to, in his words, “Make the world safe for democracy.”  That quest gave us Hitler, Stalin, the Holocaust (an event that could never have happened under the Hohenzollerns) and all the many other disasters that flowed from the Allied victory in 1918 and the Diktat of Versailes.

In contrast, my objective is to make the world safe for autocracy, monarchy to be specific.  The universe, after all, is not a republic.  From that perspective, President Joe Biden’s first foray into foreign policy offers hope.

An article in the February 20 Cleveland Plain Dealer, “Biden warns that the world faces an ‘inflection point’”, reported that President Biden told his first international audience, the annual Munich Security Conference, that:

We are in the midst of a fundamental debate about the future direction of our world.  Between those who argue that–given all of the challenges we face, from the fourth industrial revolution to a global pandemic–autocracy is the best way forward and those who understand that democracy is essential to meeting those challenges. . .

We have to prove that our model isn’t a relic of history.

As a monarchist, my reply is that President Biden’s model, “democracy”, is both a relic of history and a colossal fraud. 

The first point is attested by the remarkable tone of Mr. Biden’s speech.  He clearly sees “democracy” as now on the defensive, with autocracy rising.  This is a monumental sea change in the rhetoric of American leaders from the odious Wilson onward.  Indeed, it marks an astonishing break from the whole Whig interpretation of history, in which inevitable “progress” is marked by ever-greater “democracy” and its pox-ridden whore, “equality”.  If there is one thing people are not, it is equal.

The “democracy” fraud is revealed by the fact that only one country in the world today is a democracy: Switzerland.  Only in Switzerland do the people have and regularly use the power to overturn decisions by their government through referendums.  Elsewhere, including in the United States, what the Establishment calls “democracy” is really oligarchy, with the Establishment the oligarchs.  That is why the whole Establishment, Republican as much as Democrat, hates President Trump.  He is not a member of the oligarchy, and the absolute worst thing that can happen, from the oligarchs perspective, is that someone outside their club takes the top office.  The fanaticism of their hatred of Mr. Trump reveals the “democracy” fraud more clearly than can any of “democracy’s” critics.

Neither the oligarchs nor their tool Mr. Biden understands why people are turning to autocracy.  Indeed, few outside monarchist circles understand it.  Most people all around the world just want to live normal lives.  Normal lives are not politicized.  They are about family, friends, and neighbors; school, work, and profession; land, crops, and community.  Survey after survey shows Americans are sick of the political divisions that are ripping our country apart.  They want to get back to normal life. 

But democracy will not let them.  Even the fraudulent form practiced by every country other than Switzerland will not let them.  Democracy opens the door to ideologies, and all ideologies want to politicize everything.  The more heated democratic politics become, the more aspects of life get politicized.  Cultural Marxism’s capture of American elites coupled with ordinary people’s rejection of that ideology have shattered organizations, friendships, and families.  To offer just one grotesque but not unusual example, democracy in America has now politicized pillows.  The founder of “My Pillow” is a Trump supporter.  So someone on the Left has started up a new pillow company lest fellow lefties end up sleeping on a Right-wing pillow. 

A good autocracy instead offers a normal life.  Politics are seldom found beyond the court.  The vast majority of people are left alone by politics.  Now, if autocracy is combined with ideology, that can be a very different story.  Then, everything is politics, as in democracies run wild.  But traditional autocracies, which is to say monarchies but also happy dictatorships like Portugal under Salazar, are not ideological.  The monarch’s authority comes from God.  He doesn’t need or want ideology.  Nor do his happy subjects, blessed in their ability to live normal lives.

Traditional monarchs, such as those in medieval Europe, are not absolute.  Their subjects have rights, which monarchs are bound by oath to respect.  Rights vary greatly from one culture and people to another, but all peoples have a concept of rights.  If a monarch violates them, he endangers his legitimacy.  He either backs down or is presented with a Magna Carta by his barons.

So Mr. Biden’s defensive crouch around “democracy” is wise.  Finally, after giving the world a century and more of catastrophes, “democracy’s” time is running out.  Real democracy will endure in Switzerland, but elsewhere “democracy” as a cover for oligarchy is heading for history’s wastebasket.  Autocracy is the wave of the future.  Our task is to make it the right kind of autocracy, the kind established by God Himself.

The 2020 Election and the State’s Crisis of Legitimacy

For millions of Americans, perhaps as many as one-third of the population, the results of the popular vote contest in the 2020 election of the President remain in doubt.  Because the Electoral College, not the voters, elects the President, there is no question that Joe Biden now holds that office.  But his legitimacy depends on whether the popular vote count was accurate.  Was it?  No one knows, and no one can know. 

Until recent years, voting and vote counting in America had long followed certain rules.  Votes were cast on paper ballots.  Unless you could demonstrate you had to be out of town on election day, your only opportunity to vote was on that day in your local precinct.  Those who had to be out of town could get an absentee ballot, but the number of people who did so was small.  Votes were counted under observation of representatives of both major political parties, and the paper ballots were retained for a set time after the election so they could be recounted.  The system was not tamper-proof–ballot box stuffing in Cook County, Illinois, turned the 1960 election for Kennedy–but over the years fraud had become increasingly rare.  The vast majority of Americans had faith in the integrity of the electoral process, and they were right to do so.  The process was accepted as legitimate.

In the 2020 election, that legitimacy evaporated.  The reasons were several.  The most important was widespread adoption of electronic voting.  Anyone who knows anything about electronics knows nothing electronic is or can be secure.  Everything can be hacked.  We read constantly about one system or another being hacked, but far more are hacked than we read about because good hacking goes undetected.  Was the 2020 Presidential vote hacked in key states?  We do not know and we cannot know, and that is a problem because our inability to know destroys the electoral process’s legitimacy.

The legitimacy of the process was undermined further by massive use of early-voting, mail-in voting, legalized ballot harvesting in some states (an open invitation to vote buying), court rulings that signatures on ballots did not have to match those on voter registration cards (Pennsylvania), etc.  In some key cities, vote counting was ended for the evening, but when the Republican poll watchers had gone home it was restarted and suddenly produced big majorities for Biden.  Added to the uncertainty that must surround electronic voting, these measures have made the voting process of even more questionable legitimacy.

That, in turn, is a blow to the legitimacy of the state.  In my most recent column in The American Conservative magazine, titled “Legitimacy”, I make a distinction between the legitimacy of a government and the legitimacy of the state itself.  A crisis of the former is serious but manageable because time solves it; at some point, Biden will no longer be President.  A crisis of legitimacy of the state is far more serious, because time deepens it; the longer people see the processes on which the state’s legitimacy depends get undermined, the more they transfer their primary loyalty to other things, to ideologies, races, religions, etc.  That sets the stage for widespread Fourth Generation war, i.e., the scenario in Thomas Hobbes’ novel Victoria.

Both political parties have a common interest in preventing a crisis of legitimacy of the state.  That should mean both have an interest in restoring the credibility of the vote.  It is not hard to do; Retroculture supplies the answer.  We can and should return to the old ways we used to do elections, i.e., you vote in person on election day in your precinct on a paper ballot.  Electronic voting should be prohibited in federal elections, along with electronic vote counting.  That worked for many years, and what worked in the past can work in the future. 

The alternative, in which doubts about real election outcomes grow with each new electoral contest, means any republic becomes an illegitimate state.  Integrity of elections are as central to the legitimacy of a republic as are integrity of royal bloodlines to a monarchy.

Dare we hope for a bi-partisan approach to restore the legitimacy of our elections?  I doubt it, because the Democrats want to make it as easy as possible for their semi-literate and lazy hordes to vote, even if doing so brings the whole 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 View From Olympus: SOF and the Operational Level of War

I recently enjoyed a three-day visit by two very bright Special Operations Forces (SOF) officers.  One had already read the whole of the canon, and the other was working on it.  That meant they were familiar with the operational level of war, and one of our topics of conversation was the need to employ SOF at the operational, not the tactical, level.  I have touched on that subject in previous columns, but one of the officers said it would be helpful to his unit if I addressed it again, hence this column.

In the German understanding of the operational level (the Russians, who have a long tradition of operational art, understand it somewhat differently), it is not a “thing” like tactics and strategy but a linkage between those two.  In essence, it is how to think about what to do tactically and how to use tactical events, battles, and refusals of battle, victories and sometimes defeats, to strike as directly as possible at the enemy’s strategic hinge, that which, when struck, collapses his strategy.  Operations are designed to achieve a strategic decision as quickly as possible and with as little battle as possible, because battle costs both casualties and time. Operations can be thought of as meta-level economy of force measures.

SOF, by their very name, should be employed at the operational level.  If used (and used up) at the tactical level, they will contribute little to strategic victory; they are simply too small to matter if used in classic attrition warfare fashion, where strategic victory is supposed to come from accumulating tactical victories.  Conversely, when used at the operational level in the context of maneuver warfare, they have a history of decisive success.  Perhaps the best example is the German special operation to take Fort Eben Emael in Belgium in 1940.  An action by a single company that landed on top of the fort, something the Belgians had not imagined, opened the door to Army Group B’s thrust into Belgium.  The 1940 campaign is itself a brilliant example of thinking and acting on the operational level, not just the tactical, especially in XIX Panzer Corps’ thrust north to the Channel after crossing the Meuse at Sedan.  Other examples of strategically important special operations, using the term correctly, are Skorzeny’s rescue of Mussolini and abduction of Admiral Horthy, the regent of Hungary.

Not surprisingly, most American headquarters do not understand the operational level of war; they practice Second Generation, attrition warfare where the operational level is not important if it is even recognized.  This puts an unrecognized burden on American SOF.  Not only must they be highly proficient tactically and technically, they must themselves grasp the operational level and be able to think operationally.  Why?  Because if they do not tell the headquarters employing them how to use them at the operational level, they will be frittered away tactically with little impact on the strategic outcome–impact they could have had if they had been used right.  Few feelings are more bitter than those suffered when, after taking heavy casualties, you know your efforts were wasted.

The two young officers who visited me are both highly intelligent and could be educated to guide their unit’s employment at the operational level.  That does not mean sending them to the Army Command and Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth to be taught some absurd “method”.  It means copying the way the German Army taught its officers at the Kriegsakademie, with case studies, war games, map problems, and the like.

As General Balck said, only a few can do it; most can never learn.  These two guys could, and I am sure there are more.  Unfortunately, at present, there is no effort to identify and educate such people in the SOF community, because the assumption is that higher headquarters will employ them properly.  They won’t, and the fruit of that assumption will be bitter.

Why the Right Should Never Fight or Hurt Cops

I have made the point before that the political Right, which obviously includes me, should never injure police officers.  This should be self-evident–it is the Left that hates cops, while we on the Right like them–but some elements on the Right are now calling for violence against police.  This is a mistake of strategic importance, and the purpose of this column is to explain why.  It is not just a matter of “being nice”; it is central to winning.

To understand why, we need to look at “the grid”.  Found on page 13 of the Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook, the grid has three elements across and three down, creating nine boxes.  The three down represent the three classical levels of war: tactical, operational, and strategic.  The three across are John Boyd’s three new levels: physical, mental, and moral.  To use the grid, you need to know two other things.  First, a higher level of war trumps a lower, e.g., no matter how good you are at the tactical and operational levels, if you are beaten at the strategic level, you lose–Germany’s fate in two world wars.  Second, the weakest box is the tactical/physical and the most powerful is the strategic/moral.  The U.S. armed forces usually lose because, although they dominate the tactical/physical box, they are beaten at the strategic/moral levels.

Interestingly, some police departments are now using the grid.  They have come to realize that by militarizing, they have become dominant at the tactical/physical levels, but at the price of defeating themselves at the operational, strategic, mental, and moral levels.  This is, if I may say so, typically American, and it lies behind much of the bad relationship some departments have with the press, politicians, and public.  Some now get it, and they are finding the grid gets them out of the tactical/physical victory but strategic/moral defeat cycle.  At a Boyd conference, some cops told me their department now uses the grid for almost every operation, thereby anticipating and avoiding undesirable secondary effects.

For the Right, there are at least three reasons why we need to avoid fighting and hurting cops if we want to win, all of them in boxes beyond the tactical/physical.  First, most people line up mentally and morally with the cops.  Every time the Left hurts cops, it loses public support.  This is a gut issue for most people, with good reason: we all depend on the police.  We want to leverage this issue against the Left, but we cannot do so if some people on the Right fight police.  Calls for violence by the Right against the police will lead directly to our defeat in the court of public opinion, that is to say, at the most powerful levels of war, the moral/strategic.

Second, as readers of Thomas Hobbes’ Victoria know, police are natural and potentially very valuable allies of the Right.  Most cops are cultural conservatives.  They loathe the cultural Marxists just as we do.  In Victoria, cops at all levels, federal, state, and local, provide critically important intelligence to the people trying to rescue our country from cultural Marxism.  That intel is important at every traditional level of war, tactical, operational, and strategic.  If some elements on the Right start hurting cops, that scenario from Victoria will be short-circuited, leading to the Right fighting blind.

Third, neither the Left nor the Right has sufficient strength to take on the state and its armed forces.  That route leads straight to defeat.  The way to destroy any regime is to take it from the inside.  The Left has done that by co-opting politicians, professors, entertainers, educators (so-called) etc.  The Right’s path to victory runs through taking the element all those things depend on, the state’s security forces, from within.  A regime is finished when its security forces, police and military, go over to the opposition.  Again, both police officers and the men in our armed forces are mostly cultural conservatives, natural allies.  But they cannot ally with the Right if elements on the Right are fighting and hurting them.  That is potentially decisive at the strategic levels, i.e., game over.

So powerful is the moral level in this kind of war that you win not by inflicting casualties but by suffering them.  This is nowhere more true for the Right than in its relations with police (and National Guard or other U.S. military).  If someone is to suffer casualties (cameras rolling), it needs to be people on the Right, not cops getting hurt by the Right.  Fighting Leftists who attack us first is fine.  Fighting cops will lead directly to disaster.

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