The View From Olympus: Groundhog Day in the Marine Corps

Over the past year or so, the Marine Corps Gazette has again become an important forum for debating maneuver warfare, a.k.a. Third Generation war.  That is to the good, and I am happy to participate, as I did in the first round of that debate in the 1970s and ‘80s.  The Gazette’s editor at the time, the late Col. John Greenwood, told me I wrote more for his publication over a twenty-year span than any other author. 

But what does it say about the state of intellectual life in the Marine Corps that it is again fighting over old ground, ground it traversed forty years ago?  The debate of those years culminated in the then-Commandant, General Al Grey, making maneuver warfare official Marine Corps doctrine.  So why is maneuver warfare the latest hot topic now?  How did the Marine Corps get caught in its own groundhog day?

Part of the answer is that the Marine Corps adopted maneuver warfare on paper but not in practice.  Beyond its doctrine manuals, it remains a Second Generation, French-model armed service: centralized, preferring obedience to initiative, depending on imposed rather than self-discipline, and inward focused: rules, processes, (highly specific) orders etc. are more important than getting the result the situation requires.  Tactics, to the degree they exist at all, consist of wandering around until Marines bump into an enemy, then calling in remote firepower.  Success is measured in attrition. 

A debate over why the Corps has failed to adapt to its own doctrine and how to fix that would be useful, and part of the discussion in the Gazette is on that subject.  But much of it just repeats what I and others were writing before most of today’s Marines were born.  That points to a second reason for the Corp’s groundhog day problem: most Marine officers now read little or nothing.  During General Gray’s Commandancy, reading and discussing serious books, books such as Martin Van Creveld’s Fighting Power that were and are directly relevant to the changes the Corps needs, were common activities among not only officers but NCOs and Staff NCOs.  Perhaps that is still true to some extent with the latter, but the officer corps seems to have left its brain at the hat check.

That is especially concerning because war has not stood still.  Since General Gray’s time, the Marine Corps has found itself fighting Fourth Generation wars, wars with non-state opponents, in Iraq and Afghanistan.  With the rest of the U. S. armed forces, it has been defeated.  If we do not grasp the significance of President Biden’s choice of September 11 as the date for the end of our efforts in Afghanistan, our victorious Moslem enemies do.  That was the date the Turkish siege of Vienna was raised in 1683.  This time, the shoe is on the other foot.

Nor does the Marine Corps’ intellectual collapse end with its failure to address, much less win, Fourth Generation wars.  It has failed on the strategic level as well, both in terms of its role in our nation’s defense and in its strategy for political survival.  The two are linked: the Marine Corps has survived as an institution because Americans could see a need for it.  They could do so because the Corps had a unique strategic role.

At present, it does not, and its attempts to find such a role border on farce.  In a war with China we ought not fight and almost certainly will not fight, because China has nuclear weapons, the Marine Corps is to take strategically meaningless islands from the Chinese on which Marines will base anti-ship missiles to shoot at Chinese ships that will all be in port.  In pursuit of this “strategy” that needs only music by Sullivan to become a comic opera, the Corps gave up substantial force structure in the naive assumption it would get the money saved thereby.  OSD said “Thank you very much,” and took all of it.

The obvious and necessary strategic role for the Marine Corps is to be the nation’s force for Fourth Generation war.  Both Capitol Hill and the public could grasp that readily.  Unfortunately, doing so requires thought, high-quality thought and lots of it.  No one yet knows how to win such wars.  But figuring that out would have been the Corps’ intellectual Schwerpunkt under General Gray.  Now, it’s not even on the map.

John Boyd stressed that winning wars requires people, ideas, and hardware, in that order.  Without ideas, the Marine Corps is more than a few bricks shy of a load.

The View From Olympus: Did Hamas Win?

In the latest dust-up between Israel and Hamas–a few hundred dead is not a war–Israel once again appears to have triumphed.  Hamas suffered around ten times as many casualties, and property damage ran at about the same ratio, or perhaps better, for Israel.

However, this assessment is open to question.  In my view, the actions of both Hamas and Israel were driven by domestic politics, as is usually the case in foreign policy.  Hamas’s real target was the PLO, which had just for the umpteenth time, canceled elections Hamas was likely to win.  By attacking Israel, Hamas deepened its support on the West Bank and diminished further the almost gone legitimacy of the PLO.  That’s a win.  Israel’s disproportionate response was part of Netanyahu’s drive to remain Israeli Prime Minister, since if he is not in that job there is a good chance he will go to jail for corruption.  So far it’s a win for him.

But if we look at the conflict between Israel and Hamas through the lens of Fourth Generation war, we see, emerging wraith-like from the rubble, what looks like a strategic victory for Hamas.  How so?  In 4GW, the most valuable target is the enemy’s homeland.  Sometimes, as on 9/11, it can be struck physically.  More often, and more potently, the goal is to hit it on the mental or, better still, moral level.  The ideal attack bypasses the enemy’s defenses completely and goes straight for his soft underbelly. 

That Hamas seems to have achieved, and not with its rockets.  For the first time, Israelis fought each other in the streets, Israeli Arabs vs. Jews, in a spillover from the external conflict.  That spillover is Hamas’s chi, while the rockets vs. bombers war was the cheng.  In 4GW, and in 3GW as well, the chi, not the cheng, is often decisive.  Hamas did not win a decisive victory this time, but its success in generating civil conflict in Israel points the way toward a strategy that could win decisively: exacerbating tensions within Israel to the point where it is not just Israeli Arabs fighting Jews, but Jews fighting Jews.

Until I went to Israel, I did not realize how deeply Israeli Jews are divided.  Like most Americans, I thought history and Israel’s fragility combined to create unity.  Once there, I quickly encountered divisions that are shockingly visceral.  The main gulf is that between secular Jews and the ultra-orthodox.  Both sides regard the other with bitter disdain, and outbreaks of physical clashes are not unknown.  Among the non-ultra-orthodox, further divisions create more potentially dangerous fissures. 

Let me add that I enjoyed Israel.  I liked the place and the people.  I have Israeli friends.  I do not want to see Israel destroyed, from within or from without.  But the Israeli military still operates within a state vs. state mental framework and doesn’t get 4GW.  That is dangerous anywhere, and especially so in Israel’s neighborhood.  I write this column to draw their attention to the danger.

To win decisively, Hamas must find ways to ramp these frictions up.  That is a tall order, and so far there is little evidence that Hamas is led by deep strategic thinkers.  For that we should all be thankful.  But any such strategy would focus at the moral level of war, where the Netanyahu government seems almost entirely blind.  To use Martin van Creveld’s analogy, it is an adult giving a small child a prolonged beating in a public place.  Oddly for Jews, it does not seem to realize that in the end, Goliath always loses.

In terms of their primary objectives, both Hamas and Netanyahu won.  Hamas ramped up its legitimacy, as the only people willing to fight Israel, compared to the PLO, and Netanyahu is still Israel’s Prime Minister.  But in the Israel vs. Hamas conflict, Hamas has reason to think it won strategically.  It hit Israel’s unity at home, moving its internal conflict beyond the political system to fighting in the streets.  It is typical in 4GW for states not to have the internal unity they tend to presume in wars, at least short ones.  But few states grasp this or any other aspect of 4GW.  If Israel and the IDF do not come to grips with Fourth Generation war soon, Hamas and its other 4GW enemies may win big.

PS:  The IDF might want to take a look at The Fourth Generation Warfare Handbook, with special attention to “the grid”.  It might help them get off the track of losing by winning.

Barometers of Legitimacy

Readers may wonder why I keep returning to the theme of legitimacy.  The reason is simple: legitimacy is the ground on which Fourth Generation war is fought.  It is, above all, a contest for legitimacy, and winning (or losing) is measured by gains or losses in legitimacy.  Fourth Generation war on our own soil is by far the greatest threat this country faces, and as the legitimacy of the government, and even more of the state itself, wains, Fourth Generation war spreads and intensifies.

From this perspective, barometers of legitimacy–anything that helps us measure the rise or fall of the legitimacy of the current order of things–are earnestly to be sought.  I can identify at least three.  The first is widely recognized: opinion polls that ask Americans how much trust they have in various institutions.  These include the Presidency, Congress, the courts, and, perhaps most important, the integrity of the electoral process.  As I noted in a previous column, the latter is the equivalent of a claimant to a throne having (or lacking) royal blood.  Nothing else in the political system is as important for legitimacy.  For decades, polls have shown a downward trend in Americans’ trust of all these institutions.  Since the 2020 election, distrust of the electoral process has spiked, not surprisingly given the abandonment of long-standing rules designed to prevent vote fraud.

I think a second barometer of legitimacy is Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated against Covid-19.  According to the Wall Street Journal, about 58% of our population has received at least one dose.  (I have received both shots, which probably means I will have a large green horn growing out of my forehead by Christmas, which should look festive; I may add tinsel and lights.)  But as vaccine availability increases, the number of people lining up to get jabbed is shrinking.  As we begin to get some sense for how many people will refuse the vaccine, we also get a measure of the state’s legitimacy, not just the government’s.  Why?  Because the whole establishment, Republicans (or most of them) as well as Democrats , along with the usual “celebrity” riffraff, is urging people to get the shot(s).  Those refusing are rejecting the entire system.

A more interesting, and ominous, measure of the whole system’s legitimacy is the rising number of shootings.  Such an important barometer is moved by more than one thing; the war on cops is a factor, the cultural collapse of the black urban community is another, the 15 minutes of fame the media gives a shooter motivates some.  But I think a broad and spreading sense that the establishment has transformed what used to be America into an insane asylum may be a major and unacknowledged cause.  Down is now up, white is black, day has become night and night is filled with nightmares.  This is Nietzsche’s “transvaluation of all values,” and it is a core component of the Frankfurt School’s cultural Marxism, aka “wokeness”, “Political Correctness”, etc.  In an insane asylum, people do insane things, including shooting their families, friends, co-workers, and anyone else they can.

In all of these barometers we can read the change in political weather most easily if we compare what is happening now to life in America’s last normal decade, the 1950s.  President Eisenhower was widely popular.  Congress did not top anyone’s list of most trusted institutions, but ordinary Americans did not think they had to invade it to make their voices heard.  The Warren court was disliked and distrusted by many conservatives, for good reason, but the problem was Warren, not the court itself.  Everyone knew vote counting in some big cities might be crooked, but elsewhere the process was trusted.  As to vaccines, when the polio vaccine became available virtually every kid in the country took it, because mom and dad told them to.  And gun violence was rare, beyond mobsters killing each other.  The government and the state were accepted as legitimate by the vast majority of Americans.

No more.  The future looks grimmer still, because no one in the establishment will consider for a moment how their actions affect legitimacy.  Add in the coming debt crisis and inflation and it begins to look a lot like Weimar.  As was true then, what replaces the current dysfunctional mess will come from the right, not the left.

Silence of the Lions

Sometimes the most important indicator of what is to come is not noise but silence. I think that may be the case now, not only here but in Europe as well.

Since the events of January 6, the 70+ million Americans who voted to re-elect President Trump have gone silent.  Judging by the mainstream media, it is as if they ceased to exist.  We do not hear their voices.  In politics, the Democrats serve their “victims” groups and the Republicans carry water for Wall Street, as usual.  No one represents or speaks for the 70+ million.

The news is dominated by the travails and demands of just 13% of our population, the blacks.  While President Trump did remarkably well for a Republican among black voters, the large majority of those who voted to re-elect him were white.  The media that regularly headlined “Black Lives Matter” (except, apparently, to blacks, from the rate at which they kill each other) have nothing to say about these white Americans.  Many have been devastated by the coronapanic and the repeated shut-downs of normal life, but they don’t count.  They have all become “unpersons.”

The situation is similar in Europe.  But there, some ordinary people are starting to make themselves heard.  Berlin just saw a large and violent demonstration against the latest virus-justified shutdown.  To understand the German situation, you have to know that when Germany’s short summer arrives, most German life moves outdoors.  This is partly a factor of most Germans living in small apartments and partly of Germans’ romantic relationship with nature.  But to tell Germans they may have to stay inside through another summer is a very big deal–especially when everyone knows the reason, namely the EU’s typical bureaucratic incompetence in distributing effective vaccines.

The most explosive situation may be that in France.  For decades, ordinary Frenchmen have found themselves pressured by a large, growling, increasingly fanatical and violent Moslem population that, for the most part, rejects acculturation, i.e., becoming French.  The Thursday, April 29 Wall Street Journal reported a countermove by the new French Resistance:

Marine Le Pen, leader of the anti-immigrant National Rally party, threw her support behind a group of retired generals who published a letter in the far-right magazine Valuers Actuelles, saying the spread of Islamism and other ideologies is pushing France towards a civil war. . .

“There’s no time for procrastination.  Otherwise, a civil war will put an end to the growing chaos,” the letter says.

Anyone familiar with French history will not take this lightly.  Civil war is a long-standing French tradition, as are mass uprisings against situations ordinary Frenchmen view as intolerable.  As an Englishman, writing during the Napoleonic Wars, said of the French, “Individually they are contemptible, but in a mass they are terrible.”

Events in France also have a history of exerting influence throughout the rest of the West.  If the French rise up against Islamic immigrants and the cultural Marxism of the elites that bids the immigrants welcome, what might the spillover effects be in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and Sweden, all of which face the same problem?  Germany’s Turks are partially acculturated, especially those born in Germany, but what of Frau Merkel’s disastrous million-plus Arabs?  You see them everywhere, the women in black bags and surrounded by many children, all being raised at German taxpayers’ expense.  The conflict in Syria is almost over; time to go home, folks?

The left forgets that when you finally push the whites, European or of European descent, too far, they remember they come from great warrior peoples.  Compared to some other ethnic groups, they are hard to arouse.  But once you’ve done it, blood flows in great quantities.  They don’t just kill; they kill in highly organized ways, ways that can dispose of millions.

The lions that are Western peoples are currently led by asses.  The asses think the lion’s silence, enforced by political correctness, means they have been beaten.  But that is not what it means.  It means that, not allowed to vent, the pressure among those populations is building.  If they blow, it’s not going to be pretty.  Should that happen first in France, don’t be surprised.

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!


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.