The View From Olympus: The Moral Level

John Boyd argued that the three traditional levels of war, strategic, operational, and tactical, intersect with three previously unrecognized levels of war, the physical, the mental, and the moral. Of these, the physical level was the weakest and the moral level the most powerful. I would add that, just as with the three traditional levels, a higher trumps a lower. In other words, if you win at the physical level but lose at the mental or moral, you lose. We have seen this truth play out in most of America’s recent wars.

Boyd’s theoretical work applies not just to war, but to conflict of all sorts. Much work has been done to apply his lessons to business. Obviously, they apply to politics as well.

All this was illustrated in events in this country over the past few weeks. After the moron Dylan Roof murdered nine black Christians who were met in a church for Bible study, he thought he had scored a victory in his quest to start  a race war. But he considered only the physical level. At the moral level, his action was a catastrophe for everything he said he represents. Why? Because Charleston’s black Christians replied at the moral level, as Christians should. Instead of rioting or making demands, they forgave the murderer and mourned their dead, knowing they still live in a better place. Instead of sharpening racial antagonisms as Roof wanted, their response drew massive white support, within and beyond Charleston. The moral level trumped the physical level.

Another situation made the same point. Again, the blacks’ response in Charleston gave them huge moral capital. In contrast, the reply of Baltimore’s blacks to what was in comparison a minor situation drove a wedge between blacks and whites, diminished the blacks’ moral capital, and, in the end, hurt themselves. Whites saw the riots there as just one more iteration of the usual black act, i.e., looking for any excuse to loot and make “demands”.

Like Roof, Baltimore’s blacks thought of conflict as just physical action. They had no concept of the mental and moral levels. Those who make that mistake lose, regardless of what color they are or what side they are on.

Ironically, the best way to learn this fact may be to look at the U.S. military. Having now been beaten four times by Fourth Generation opponents, its usual comment is that it did not lose, because it could take any piece of ground it wanted to in any of those wars. That is true. But what it shows is the weakness of the physical level of war, exactly as Boyd postulated. We were beaten at the higher mental and moral levels, and a higher level trumps a lower.

I suspect we will shortly see this reality play itself out again in the offensive to retake Ramadi. As usual, we will be relying heavily on air power against opponents who have none, giving them a large moral advantage. We are making the Iraqis follow our rules, which means their one effective ground force, the Shiite militias, will not take part. The Iraqi state armed forces know that once again they are being bossed by the Americans, who they hate. They will have all the fight in them most Quisling armies have. While our side will have all the advantages physically, the moral balance, as calculated not by Washington but by the locals, will favor ISIS. Light cavalry armies such as ISIS are more capable on the offensive than on the defensive, but even so, the moral imbalance may give ISIS another win.

Meanwhile, a suggestion to all those, left and right, black and white, who seek to disrupt the order the American state provides (such as it is): if you fail to think your actions through on all three of Boyd’s levels, understanding that the physical level is the weakest and the moral level the most powerful, you will get results opposite to those you intend. Of course, as a conservative, I would like to see the American state restore its own moral authority and do what the state arose to do, provide order. With cultural Marxism dominating both political parties, there is little chance that will happen. favicon

26 thoughts on “The View From Olympus: The Moral Level”

  1. Wookie poodoo! The fact of the matter is that the “moral level of war” is owned by those who define morality. Blacks do not suffer from a loss at the moral level of war because their masters – the cultural-marxist whatevers that dominate education, government, infotainment – are able to condition society to accept their version of “morality”.

    Whites cower in fear as blacks murder, rob, rape, loot, burn and no one – certainly not the police or local law enforcement – will stop them any time they choose to engage in their “righteous indignation” the next time some low-life thug gets shot by cops. Or, the cops might not attempt to arrest criminals at all since they will be arrested and tried for any perceived “mistake” they may make (like shooting a black to save their own lives).

    And, in the wake of riots and mass-destruction, it is the whites who are cursed and shamed for their “white privilege” and “institutional racism”. Now, whites won’t even be able to move away from the black savagery after the evil Supreme Court has ruled that any community not having enough blacks, latinos or what else is “discriminatory” and must be corrected by importing ghetto dwellers into their communities!

    Dylan Roof a “moron”? Perhaps. But, at least he wasn’t a coward that did nothing as his people were being prepared for genocide – and what, pray tell, is the remedy for our “white privilege”? Take that to it’s logical conclusion! He may have acted foolishly, but at least he acted, damn it!

    Disrupt the “order the American state provides”? If the only “order” that is provided me is a totalitarian one, I say take down the state!

    Admiral Ackbar!

  2. Didn’t Thulsa Doom cover this in the riddle of steel? Its the hand that wills the sword, which is stronger than the sword itself.

  3. “able to condition society to accept their version of “morality”.”

    That would be ‘victory at the moral level.”

  4. He’s a coward because he shot a bunch of unarmed, old black
    Christians praying in a Church. They were almost certain to have no guns and to
    be caught completely off guard by an attack in their church during prayer. If
    he weren’t such a pussy he would have “acted” by attacking black gang members (the
    types that are actually raping white women).

  5. “Coward” isn’t the right word. “Mentally unstable” definitely fits, but “moron” is the best. He didn’t consider the consequences of his actions at all. One has to wonder what he thought he’d accomplish at all by murdering nine innocent people.

  6. Well, then people who pilot drones are cowards. People who pilot bombing aircraft are cowards. People who use “unfair” weapons like bows or crossbows are cowards. You’re not very smart, are you?

    Amiral Ackbar!

  7. I suppose you’re right. In that case, traditional rightists have no interest in “the order the American state provides” and should seek to destabilize such a state.

    Admiral Ackbar!

  8. If the drone pilot attacks civilians intentionally instead
    of enemy combatants then he’s a coward. The little punk with the Moe Howard
    haircut cut have easily selected an alternative target (which still wouldn’t
    have accomplished what he wanted) which wasn’t completely helpless.

  9. Okay, so SAC was/is full of cowards. Bomber Command during WWII was full of cowards. Anyone in artillery firing at a coordinate they can’t see with their own eyes is a coward. You’re really dumb if you think “war” consists solely of two lines of men blasting away at each other from 50 yards.

    Tribal warfare (Dylan Roof, the “knockout game”, etc.) focuses on ambush and massacre. That’s just the way it is and that’s what is playing out in America. You don’t want to admit it, but, that’s what it is.

    Admiral Ackbar!

  10. Of course he considered the consequences of his actions. You simply don’t want to admit the truth, do you? There are no “innocent people” in tribal warfare. That’s what’s taking place in America and that’s the nature of 4GW – war on behalf of entities or causes other than the state. Enemy populations have been targets before and they will be in the future. Here’s some more 4GW:

    Admiral Ackbar!

  11. You are correct. If the roles were reversed, a black attacker would not have his sanity questioned. It would just be nine more rallies in the Black v. White tribal war.

  12. Can’t you read? I said if they attack defenseless innocents deliberately.
    Artillery fire missing its target isn’t deliberately targeting defenseless civilians.
    It’s not like this kid was targeting gang members and accidentally hit some innocent
    black churchgoers who were caught in the crossfire.

    Did you see the old black woman with gray hair that he shot?
    He put a gun in that woman’s face and blew her head off. She was old enough to
    be his grandmother. He’s a coward and a sick little punk.

  13. Admiral Ackbar, it’s an own goal whether we accept your tribal warfare thesis or not. And I do not. Black churchgoers in Charleston do not belong to the same tribe as the Crips nor the same tribe as Cultural Marxist academia and media nor to the Washington party elites. And Dylan Roof is no representative of my tribe. He’s an IS jihadi loser savage born on the wrong continent in the wrong skin.

    If he’d gone out and shot the neighborhood gang members, there could be alternative ways to interepret his actions. He didn’t.

    Morality is, as you said, what you make of it. If this is admirable according to your sense of morality, your morals are repulsive.

    Your idea of conservatism seems to begin and end with defending the tribe, and forgets anything about upholding civilization or Christian principles.

    This is a church these people were slaughtered in. The lives of the victims are clearly worthless to you, and so is the fact that he profaned a house of God by violating the commitment not to kill within its walls. And civilization, the thing that separates us from the Congo? This was an act of savagery and another blow to civilized society here, not a defense of it.

    Congratulations, you are a conservative worthy of Iraq, where it’s fine to slaughter people in a mosque as long as it’s the other sect’s mosque.

    Yours is the conservatism people would need in Afghanistan or Somalia, where it truly is kill-or-be-killed by the other tribe every day and everywhere.

    We don’t live in Afghanistan. That kind of conservatism is not needed here unless our goal is to turn America into Afghanistan. Savagery doesn’t tame savagery. Civilization tames savagery. Civilization rests on order, stability, and a moral foundation like that of Christianity.

    So what is Dylan Roof’s great accomplishment, Admiral? Taking this country one little step closer to becoming Iraq?

  14. Yes, I can read. I just didn’t think anyone could be as stupid as you and still take nourishment. You and General Braddock can complain about cowards all you want (those cowardly Indians are hiding behind trees! They should stand in the open so we can kill them!), but that’s the way war is fought in most places now. Soft targets are the order of the day…like those five Marines in Tennessee. That’s war whether you consider it a fair “joust” or not.

  15. Since you recognize this as a total war with all tactics
    allowed, and seem to admire Roof for not being a coward (“at least he wasn’t a
    coward that did nothing as his people were being prepared for genocide”), why don’t
    you get off your ass and go do something like he did you internet-armchair
    pussy? By the standard you suggested in the above comment, you’re a coward too.

  16. So you are seeing what is happening through a racial lens, which is precisely what cultural Marxists want you to do. You are being manipulated.

  17. Cultural Marxists using identity politics (race, religion, gender, sexual orientation) to pit Americans against each other then control what’s left.

  18. Are you suggesting this decadent multi-culti cesspool would be one unified mass if it weren’t for identity politics?Hopefully you see how ridiculous that is. The Left merely stokes tensions that already exist in their quest for political power. Far from dividing us, their ultimate goal is to eliminate group differences and to turn the world into a brown deracinated blob.

  19. The question is, are people running over black looters attempting to stop the flow of traffic in Ferguson sending a moral message?

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