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.


As  expected, the main theme of President Joe Biden’s Inaugural Address–and yes, he is legally the President, because the Electoral College gave him a majority–was unity.  He returned to the theme many times, perhaps most powerfully in these words:

Today, on this January day, my whole soul is in this: Bringing America together.  Uniting our people.  Uniting our nation. . .

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban or conservative against liberal.  We can do this, if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts.  If we show a little tolerance and humility.  And if we’re willing to stand in the other person’s shoes. . .

The question is, is this a real opening to the concerns of the Right or just feel-good rhetoric?  The rest of the speech regrettably suggests the latter.  Biden took repeated pot-shots at the Right and addressed the Left’s issues but had nothing to say about the issues that drive the Right. 

What might he have said about the latter?  How about:

I respect and will defend the right of all Americans to freedom of thought, speech, and other expressions of their views, liberals and conservatives alike, and yes, people who are sometimes labelled “racists”, “sexists”, and “fascists”.  I disagree with their views with all my soul, but as Americans they have the right to state them.

I will respect and defend the right of all Americans to live according to their religious beliefs, including beliefs contrary to my own, such as opposition to abortion and gay marriage.  A baker should not lose his livelihood for refusing to bake a cake.

I oppose “cancelling” people, which is just a new name for blacklisting.  No one should lose his job or be forced out of his field of work because he or she refuses to say what an ideology commands.  I will ban such actions for all federal employees and federal contractors, and I will order my administration to look skeptically at any institution, including colleges and universities, that practice “cancelling” while receiving federal funds.

I will respect the Second Amendment as I do all the Constitution and I will defend Americans’ right to keep and bear arms.

Such words would at least have opened the door to Right and Left working out a modus vivendi, a way we can live together in one country despite fundamental disagreements.  But even if President Biden had said them, unity would have faced enormous roadblocks.

Perhaps the most important comes from the internet and the devices that deliver it, such as computers and cell phones.  The internet allows people to construct and live in their own little world, one where whatever they think–that America is afflicted with “systemic racism”, that men and women are interchangeable, that the moon is made of green cheese–is affirmed to them over and over, where they are connected to other people with the same worldview and where they never see or hear contrary evidence.  The internet is atomizing.  How can anyone bring unity to 330 million separate and often clashing worlds?

Another obstacle is the fact that the American Left is no longer liberal, in any sense of the word.  It has become ideological, built upon the ideology of cultural Marxism, aka Political Correctness or “wokeness”.  All ideologies tend toward puritanism, and cultural Marxism is no exception.  For such ideologies, any compromise with the Right, any modus vivendi, makes them “impure” and vulnerable on their own Left to those even more extreme.  Eventually, ideologies suffer an internal “coup of Thermidor” a la the Brinton thesis and move back toward the center, but it looks unlikely the American Left will see that soon.

The upshot of all this is that President Biden’s call for unity will probably be seen by history as just another vanity.  It will have had no effect on events, which will take what now seems their inevitable course into widespread Fourth Generation war on American soil and a break-up of the American state–the Victoria scenario.  While President Trump was outwardly a polarizing figure, he did more to preserve unity than President Biden is likely to because he offered a voice and a place within the political system to the people on the Right.  Under Biden they will have no such voice, despite his stated intention to be “a President for all Americans–all Americans.”  On the contrary, they will become the targets for a cultural Marxism backed by the full power of the federal government.  And, as the world saw on January 6, they will fight back.

If President Biden needs a call sign, I suggest Romulus Augustulus.

His Majesty’s Birthday

Preparing to congratulate His Majesty Kaiser Wilhelm ll, Germany’s last legitimate ruler and my reporting senior, on his birthday on January 27, I made a rough winter crossing of the North Atlantic on the splendid liner Vaterland.  I usually telephone, but something in the air–the voice of the people, coming from the U.S. Capitol where it is almost never heard of–led me to call in person.  I hoped His Majesty could offer a useful perspective.

I arrived in Potsdam three days early, to find, unsurprisingly, that His Majesty was traveling.  He wasn’t called der Reisekaiser for nothing.  I was surprised when, on the 25th, he arrived by sleigh instead of on the Imperial train at his private railway station.  Recognizing me in the welcoming crowd, he beckoned me over and said, “Get in!”

“I’m just back from St. Petersburg.  Did the whole trip by sleigh!  Splendid time!  How the Russian people love their Tsar!  Damn cossacks in my escort stole my cuirass, though.  I felt half-naked at the balls.”

“You know cossacks are going to steal something, Your Majesty,” I said.  “Last time I visited Stavka with von Seekt they stole his monocle!  Talk about feeling naked.  The man was so shocked his face actually showed expression.”

“Seekt?  I don’t believe it,” replied the Kaiser.

“But I’m not surprised the Russian people love their monarch.  Almost a century of Bolshevism taught them that much,”  I said.

“It’s not just the Russian people,” His Majesty declared.  “It’s happening everywhere.  The Reichsburger movement in Germany is growing by leaps and bounds.  It’s made up of Germans who know I was their last legitimate government.  That’s why I was in St. Petersburg.  Tsar Nicholas called a conference to work out how we could best meet our peoples’ desire for legitimate governments.  Everybody came–the Bourbons, the Hapsburgs, the Vasas, the Ming, and of course lots of my Saxe-Gotha-Coburg cousins, who’re always hoping an empty throne will turn up.”

“I think everyone who has eyes and can see know so-called ‘democracies’ have run their course,” I replied to His Majesty.  “In America, ordinary people recently occupied the Capitol building in Washington, because they know they have no voice there.  If they aren’t members of some ‘victims’ group, if they just live on what they can earn and pay their taxes and help their neighbors, they are told by the high and mighty that they are evil ‘oppressors’ who should apologize endlessly to whatever floats down society’s gutter.  And their ‘democratic, elected’ government is now trying to arrest all of them who dared make their voice heard.  If we could put good King George III back on the ballot as a replacement for the whole current Washington lot, he’d win in a landslide.”

“It’s the same in Germany,” the Kaiser said.  “That wretched hausfrau they jokingly call ‘chancellor’ flooded Germany with dirt, more than a million Arabs, and Germans don’t like seeing their country all schmutzig.  Turks are one thing, but Arabs quite another.  They will never become Germans, not in ten generations.  Now the people learn the hard way why I said women were only for ‘Kinder, Kirche, und Kuche‘.  That woman dirtied up Germany, and it will take a Hohenzollern to clean it again.”

“Where will this return to monarchy come from, Your Majesty,” I asked.  “From the people?”

“From the people?  No, of course not.  I thought a General Staff officer knew better than that.  ‘From the people’, democracy, always results in what you have now, oligarchies of low-class graspers and climbers, false aristocrats who think only of themselves.  Prussian aristocrats ploughed their own land.  Monarchs come from God.  That is why only monarchy offers legitimate government.  The people want legitimacy, but only God can provide.”

“So how does this come about?  On the surface of things, it seems so unlikely,” I said wonderingly.

“God acts in His own time, my friend,” His Majesty said with a kindly voice.  “But there are things you can do.  You can attend church regularly and pray for monarchy.  You can govern yourself as a Godly monarch would govern all.  And you can come together and support one another, as the good Reichsburger are doing in Germany.  Remember, the King returns like a thief in the night.  Trim your lamps and keep watch.”

“And now I must let you go to lighten the sleigh, for I lead the hussars!  It’s time to partition Poland again!” And off flew our good Kaiser for another year, leaving me to watch, wait, and try to remember what kielbasa is called in German.  Schnittwurst?

The View From Olympus: The China Threat

The December 4 Wall Street Journal’s op ed page headlined a piece by John Ratcliffe, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, titled “China is National Security Threat No. 1”.  Mr. Ratcliffe concluded his op ed by writing,

This is a once-in-a-generation challenge.  Americans have always risen to the moment, from defeating the scourge of fascism to bringing down the Iron Curtain.  This generation will be judged by its response to China’s effort to reshape the world in its own image and replace America as the dominant superpower.  The intelligence is clear.  Our response must be as well.

As is usually the case with op eds signed by prominent federal officeholders, the purpose of this piece is budget justification: intelligence agencies recently received a big budget boost for spying on China.  And Mr. Ratcliffe is right with respect to some aspects of our relationship with China.  It is an economic competitor, one that has pitted the enriching economics of mercantilism against the impoverishing economics of free trade.  More the fools us for allowing it to do so.

But on the whole, Mr. Ratcliffe and the rest of the dragon puffers are wrong.  They are wrong not because of bad intelligence about China, but because they miss the fact that for all Great Power rivalries, the context has changed.  Contests between Great Powers are no longer the primary force shaping the world.  Rather, what now shapes the world is the growing weakness of most states as the state itself faces a crisis of legitimacy.  Great Power contests now take place within this context, which means such contests are themselves counter-productive to all involved because they further weaken states, certainly the loser and often the winner too.  In effect, victories in state vs. state contests will henceforth almost always be Pyrrhic.

Just as Washington does not get this change in strategic context, neither does Beijing.  For China, which is, as Mr. Ratcliffe writes, attempting to become the top Great Power, the new context has at least three major implications:

  • First, as it penetrates other parts of the globe through initiatives such as its “Belt and Road” project, it will find its presence there undermined and its goals blocked by increasing disorder.  As states weaken, Fourth Generation war spreads, and Chinese efforts in the face of constant attacks by non-state elements will simply become unprofitable.  This mirrors the European colonial experience but will occur much faster.  In fact, it is occurring now, as China’s penetration into much of sub-Saharan Africa finds its efforts swallowed by spreading disorder.  Where states are weak or merely fictions, one gang among many, efforts by outside powers will produce only a bottomless investment pit.  The cost/benefit calculation will be as red as the east.
  • Second, where states are struggling to hold on to at least some shreds of legitimacy, an increasingly obvious Chinese role will threaten that legitimacy.  This, again, is already happening, especially in Africa.  Because one of the main factors driving Chinese expansionism is the need to provide jobs for Chinese people, Chinese projects hire little local labor.  That, plus a general resentment against outsiders, will also bog down, then reverse Chinese penetration.  The ugly Chinaman will get booted out, just as were the ugly American and ugly European.
  • Third, because the legitimacy of rule by the Chinese Communist Party depends on rapid economic growth in China, China too may suffer a crisis of legitimacy of the state.  Like most authoritarian regimes, China’s Communist government is strong but rigid.  It will seem impervious to disorder right up to the point where it collapses.  China seems to think it has tamed the business cycle, but neither it nor anyone else has done so.  History’s rule seems to be that if a government can prevent frequent, fairly small economic downturns, it gets less frequent but larger ones instead.  Anyone looking at the house of cards that is China’s public and private debt can see what is coming.  And China has a long history of internal fractioning.  No Chinese state can assume it will always hold together.  Were the Chinese state to fracture, that would not only be a disaster for China but for the rest of the world as well, including the United States.  Once again, the new context touches and changes everything.

China appears to be repeating the mistake Japan made in the 1930s.  Japan attempted to build an empire just as European states had done, by conquest, but that era had passed.  China now seeks in similar fashion to become the top Great Power when that position has lost much of its meaning and will soon lose the rest.  Spreading state failure endangers the state system itself, and a successful defense of that system requires an alliance of all states, an alliance that must begin with the three current Great Powers, the United States, China, and Russia.  Russia acts as if it may have at least some understanding this is the case, while Washington and Beijing show none.  Nor does Mr. Ratcliffe, the Director of U.S. National Intelligence.  Is there in fact any intelligence in U.S. National Intelligence?

January 6: A Strategic Analysis

Despite all the howling of the mainstream media, the Republicrat Party, and the chattering class, the events in Washington on January 6, 2021, were a strategic victory for the political Right, and a big one.  Why?  Because the Right showed it could fight back.

Last summer, the Left rioted, looted, and burned in many of our cities, and in most cases the charges against those doing the looting and burning were dropped.  Conservatives have looked on, mute, as the Left ripped down statues of their ancestors and banned their symbols.  The “woke” crowd was praised as it condemned whites, men, and straights and demanded they grovel in the dirt or be “cancelled”, losing their jobs.

On January 6, that came to an end.  The Right not only called the Left, it raised it by all the gold in Ft. Knox.  The Left looted and burned small businesses; the Right took the Capitol in Washington, D.C.  Put that in your pot pipe and smoke it, said the Right to the Left.

The Establishment is calling the events of January 6 an “insurrection”.  A more accurate term is a “revolt”.  The oppressed majority revolted against an elite that simultaneously despises them and lives off their tax money.  The “makers” revolted against the “takers”.  Whites, males, non-feminist women (one of whom gave her life) and straights revolted against the cultural Marxism that condemns them as evil regardless of what individuals do.

The Biden transition team gave dramatic evidence of why that revolt came about.  Last week it announced the “anti-racism” training cancelled by President Trump will be re-installed for all federal workers and contractors.  These are Maoist “self-criticism” sessions in which whites must proclaim their “racism”, apologize to blacks and other non-whites and learn to mouth the lies cultural Marxism demands.  Anyone who doesn’t follow the script gets fired and blackballed.

Another strategic victory for the Right, still playing out, is that the two parties that rule Washington came together so openly that even the dullest civics teacher must acknowledge we live in a one-party state.  That fact legitimizes revolt: in a one-party state, revolt is the only way dissidents can affect the political process.  They are otherwise without representation.  President Trump did represent them, which is why the Establishment so hates him and will continue to persecute him even after he leaves office. 

Despite its overall strategic victory, the Right needs to draw some lessons from the events of January 6.  The most important is, keep it peaceful.  If a crowd is big enough, it can push its way into buildings without offering violence to persons or property.  In this kind of war, the way you win is by suffering casualties, not by inflicting them.  Every casualty becomes a martyr, and you win by accumulating martyrs.  That is how Christianity conquered the Roman Empire, it is how the civil rights movement won in the 1950s and ‘60s and it is how the Left is trying to win the culture war now.  They get this, and the Right must learn it or lose.

Under no circumstances should the Right vandalize, loot, or burn.  The point here is to offer a contrast with the Left.  Those actions, which they cannot control because of the nature of their forces, hurt the Left.  We should respond with positive actions, e.g. if they tear down a statue of one of our heroes, we should put a new one up in a place we control.

Under no circumstances should the Right injure police.  The death of a Capitol Police officer on January 6 was a crime, a tragedy, and a blunder.  Most cops are on our side in the culture war.  Because the Left hates them, we should support and protect them.  In any mass action, the Right should have leaders in the crowd whose job it is to prevent face-offs with the police.  Mass action is possible without violence, especially violence against the cops.  They don’t want to hurt us, and we should never hurt them, even if that means we get hurt ourselves. Those who have read Thomas Hobbes’ book Victoria were not surprised by the events on January 6.  In Victoria the federal government’s attempts to force cultural Marxism down the throat of every American undermine its legitimacy to the point where the state itself disintegrates.  If America is to avoid that fate, the Establishment needs to read the handwriting left on the walls of the Capitol on January 6.