Generations of War in the New Century by Bill Buppert

 

“The enemy will pass slowly from the offensive to the defensive. The blitzkrieg will transform itself into a war of duration. Thus, the enemy will be caught in a dilemma: He has to drag out the war in order to win it, and does not possess, on the other hand, the psychological and political means to fight a long, drawn-out war.”

– Robert Taber, The War of the Flea

The DoD and the Army have now inaugurated yet another iteration of the constant doctrinal battle to balance irregular warfare and conventional warfare. Since the beginning, the US armed forces have struggled to deliver on a force concept that could do either or both well. As William Lind has pointed out eloquently, the US and western powers have enunciated the generations of warfare, but failed to deliver on advancing through the sequence or even gleaning the wisdom they hold.

There are four generally accepted generations of warfare, and the succeeding generations that provide grist for the mill among the defense intellectuals and military-industrial illiterarti who constantly tilt at the next big thing. For the purposes of this introduction, we will stick to the four generations commonly accepted.

First Generation Warfare began at the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648 where a convention of European armies and heads of state decided a civilizing residual of warfare should formally prohibit the engagement of non-combatants in warfare throughout the continent. This, of course, did not obtain in the planetary battlefields these European powers would fight on in pursuit of broader imperial colonial portfolios for their respective empires. The implication was to conventionally engage armies force on force with limitations and prohibitions on the destruction of civilian persons and property where possible. The armies of Lincoln would abandon this concept wholesale in 1863, and the two hundred years preceding would be filled with identifiable ignorance or willful neglect of the concept.

Second Generation Warfare would see the paradigm of fixed attrition conflicts come to the fore, with the mightiest stalemates occurring on the European continent during WWI, but with hints of the mode of conflict evident during the American Civil War in the first three years of the conflict.

Third Generation Warfare would see the maneuver conflict in both the direct and indirect application start to appear with greater frequency, starting with the nineteenth century. The German combined arms blitzkrieg concept borrowed heavily from a variety of previous influences. The German General Staff even studied the cavalry maneuver practices of Jeb Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest in the American Civil War to operationalize speedy applications of the direct and indirect approach. The direct approach would usually entail the probing of weaknesses on a broad front and capitalizing on these for thrusts through the unitary body of an enemy. Liddell-Hart’s indirect approach would leverage flank and rear attacks in rapid exploitation. Erwin Rommel would go on to use both to devastating effect in the early African campaigns of the Wehrmacht in WWII or, more accurately, the War to Save Josef Stalin..

This is not to say that these Third Generation events did not take place in ancient times. One can suppose that all amphibious operations, whether successful or not, are by nature Third Generation.

The twentieth century saw force multipliers in two aspects for maneuver warfare that former commanders of the ages did not have to the degree the world beheld in this last century. Man portable communications, training and rehearsal for the combination of various military disciplines into a cohesive and adaptive whole, revolutionized the operational and strategic aspects of war in the second half of the twentieth century. The Germans showed hints of this in 1918 but operationalized maneuver doctrine at the theater level to an extent no Allied forces matched until 1944.

Fourth Generation Warfare, for the purposes of this discussion, has two primary elements that may or may not attend each other. This is the irregular fight on the other side of the conventional spectrum, and the role of the non-state actor in warfare.

This last is the fight that has occupied the Western military mind for the past quarter century and caused the extraordinary investment in experiments in unconventional conflict and counterinsurgency. All of which have failed as the US and the West expended trillions of dollars in the SW Asian theater in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen and Libya, without quite Grokking the importance of indigenous rebellion and how it becomes a perpetual motion machine for maintain seditious momentum, the critical importance of the mass base as a fulcrum, and the unsurprising lack of adaptation on the part of the West when faced with multiple fronts of threats and enemies who seem to subside and resist in a continual wave that confounds the best minds in the American military.

Robert Taber explains this brillaintly from the vantage point of 1965. Not much has changed:

“Whether the primary cause of revolution is nationalism, or social justice, or the anticipation of material progress, the decision to fight and to sacrifice is a social and a moral decision. Insurgency is thus a matter not of manipulation but of inspiration.
 
I am aware that such conclusions are not compatible with the pictures of guerrilla operations and guerrilla motivations drawn by the counterinsurgency theorists who are so much in vogue today. But the counterinsurgency experts have yet to win a war. At this writing, they are certainly losing one.
 
Their picture is distorted because their premises are false and their observation faulty. They assume–perhaps their commitments require them to assume–that politics is mainly a manipulative science and insurgency mainly a politico-military technique to be countered by some other technique; whereas both are forms of social behavior, the latter being the mode of popular resistance to unpopular governments.”

These are the generations in a nutshell, and library shelves of neglected and unread articles and weighty tomes on these subjects have (had) shelves groaning under the weight or in more modern times, tens of millions of digits in the blogosphere devoted to it.
Part of this miasma is the strategic deficit disorder that has stymied American and Western supremacy since the collapse of the bipolar world meme in 1991. This, of course, is shifting again as an eerily familiar bloc of antagonist nations is forming around a renewed Sino-Russian rapprochement and other countries uneasy with the military bullying and blustering of the American state. COL John Boyd, the discoverer of the OODA Loop and one of the most brilliant minds in Western strategic thought, distilled strategy down to two distinct arenas from whence everything else portends: alliance and isolation. The US, and to a lesser extent NATO nations, has used a keen technological edge as a substitute for martial mindfulness and elegance of craft in both conventional and irregular encounters.
Though most suffer from institutional amnesia and historical bureaucratic inertia, some defense observers are calling the ball and proclaiming that the resistance forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq have achieved a strategic stalemate if not victory over the latest Western military interloper. And the response from the more benighted intellectuals is a call for a return to American conventional savvy in the scheme of arms.

What has been called AirLand Battle and then Full Spectrum Operations has become Unified Land Operations (ULO) to better prepare the American forces that have allegedly been mired in unconventional operations for so long they have lost their conventional edge. From a Third Generation perspective, this is true. Both Bill Lind and I agree that excepting naval operations in WWII, especially in the Pacific Theater of Operations, no maneuver concept at the strategic level occurred despite protestation to the contrary. During the entirety of the conflict in WWII, four-fifths of all German Order of Battle was oriented against the main enemy in the East, the USSR.

The American armed forces have been a Second Generation conceptual war machine since the American Civil War, and not much has changed. I was raised on the FM 7-8 Infantry Squad and Platoon, which was replaced by an even bigger manual in the 21st century. A casual observer of the fight in the Middle East in this century by American arms would suggest that the printing presses should stop publishing such nonsense and simply issue a laminated 3×5 card to every infantryman that reads simply Call for Fire.

There is very little grasp or leveraging of light infantry maneuver and the application of the indirect approach except for the ubiquitous applications of thousands of rounds of munitions to eliminate one human threat. The Taliban and the Haqqani Network and hundreds of resistance organizations scattered throughout Afghanistan have thrived and multiplied under the debt carpet-bombing of trillions by the Western military industrial complex to crush a rebellion that is still alive and well. Exhibit A is the evaporation of the very expensive post Hussein Iraqi army at the hands of the road-borne light infantry threat of the IS or ISIL. In itself, an unexpected send order effect of arming and training guerrillas to harry the Syrian dictator. A dozen years and trillions of dollars in American mentorship, and the vaunted Iraqi army folds under the slightest pressure as it is hollowed out by irregular Fourth Generation forces.

As an aside, it would be wrong to assume that these generations of conflict have a sequence of evolution. Can different generations be contemporaneous or occur independent of one another? Of course they can. The historical examples abound. One can surmise that Napoleon was not defeated by Wellington at Waterloo in 1814 in a Second Generation fight without considering the importance of the French and Spanish harrying and raids on Napoleon’s lines of communication throughout the conflict, which significantly weakened what Napoleon could bring to bear in the end at Waterloo. This was most certainly the confluence of Second and Fourth Generation methods that led to wholly unexpected consequences. One can look at the littoral conflict at Bletchley Park trying to break the German Enigma code celebrated in the recent movie on Turing, The Imitation Game.

American arms and the military machine emanating out of DC have a curious reputation. Vaunted as the most powerful and technologically sophisticated military on Earth, yet consistently bested by irregular forces in all but the instance of the brief and strategically limited Gulf War in 1991. Yet even that war was simply a harbinger, like WWI of WWII, of worse things to come.

This provides a framework for the intellectual deep dive in future essays on the implications of Fourth Generation Warfare.

Think American arms are the historical equivalent of the Terminator? Think again.

“Yet the hokum of enlightened counterinsurgency generals who turn failed wars around by making their armies fight them better simply won’t go away.  The hokum helps to prolong the fantasy that American wars in foreign lands can always be made to work as long as the “professors of war” at the graduate level are put in charge.  Sadly this is a recipe for perpetual conflict.”

– COL Gian Gentile, author of Wrong Turn: America’s Deadly Embrace of Counterinsurgency.

 

Close But No Cigar: The State is Terror by Bill Buppert

“It is the greatest truth of our age: information is not knowledge.”

– Caleb Carr

Barak Obama is a facile and Machiavellian intriguer of the highest order. I will leave to others in the commentariat to discuss his bona fides for President, his abhorrent collectivist notions of governing and all the other platitudes that point to a creature that has provided the planetary if not historical model for the dangers of the Peter Principle. He is a man out of his depth, which may be anything beyond a minor city council position, and even that would be a stretch.

His keen narcissism keeps him wandering through ironic swamps without realizing he is soaked through. Recently, his teleprompters gave yet another interminable and meandering speech on “violent extremism,” rich in historical ignorance and laced with rhetorical nonsense befitting a man who can speak for hours and not say a word of any consequence. The National Socialist and Communist bloviators of old don’t hold a candle to the verbal hypocrisy and magniloquence this man spews without communicating anything but the status quo.

I have insisted this is Bush’s fourth term and this latest milquetoast broadside does nothing more than confirm that. I suffer through these speeches and, thanks the Gods, I never had such a feckless and talent-less professor chain me to a classroom to listen to such drivel for a semester much less four years.

If Obama does anything morally right, it will usually be by mistake and not design.

In his usual doublespeak, he continuously weaves over the line but never reaches the target.

“By “violent extremism,” we don’t just mean the terrorists who are killing innocent people. We also mean the ideologies, the infrastructure of extremists –the propagandists, the recruiters, the funders who radicalize and recruit or incite people to violence. We all know there is no one profile of a violent extremist or terrorist, so there’s no way to predict who will become radicalized. Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths — which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths. It’s not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time.”

His protestations ring hollow; fine words and empty promises. The faiths are irrelevant and the modes of operation are the key. Ask any aboriginal American.

This is much like Hitler criticizing the brutality of the communist regime in the USSR or vice versa. This is the same administration that complains about the incineration of a Jordanian pilot and then glibly justifies the drone attacks and indiscriminate bombings that have characterized aspects of the robot war in the conflicts in the Middle East. Apparently, the drones are equipped with water balloons and party hats that they drop as a deadly payload instead of incendiary devices.

The international community and the West has wrestled with the definition of terrorism for decades because it just tread a very delicate path. Simply, terrorism is politically motivated violence against innocents and combatants. The US Department of Defense (an ironic sobriquet in itself) defines it as “the unlawful use of violence or threat of violence to instill fear and coerce governments or societies. Terrorism is often motivated by religious, political, or other ideological beliefs and committed in the pursuit of goals that are usually political.” You’ll note the graybeards in the DoD are very specific in the use of the term lawful because government is the self-satisfied arbiter of lawful terrorism. Absent the terrorist methodology, no government on earth or in history would last a day. Governments and the state invest themselves with right to initiate, threaten and commit violence against the entire populace in their respective tax jurisdictions.

Let’s conduct a thought experiment: if IS (or ISIS or whatever today’s new version is) wore US police uniforms and conducted their daily savagery in that mufti, would they be the subject of the White House broadsides and misdirection? If the IS wore Western style military uniforms and gave lip service to the laws of land warfare and international codes of conduct yet proceeded apace with this barbarism, would the Offal Office be up in arms, as it were?

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Why I Fight for a World Without the State by Bill Buppert

Publisher’s Note:  Max V over at his site published this broadside this morning against his tactical competitors in the training industry. He kindly asked that I make mention of his post over there. Along the way he assumes I write to him in this post. He is mistaken. My site has the curious sobriquet of ZeroGov for a reason. I take no sides in the competency debate and hear nothing but great things about his training. He and I have a gentleman’s disagreement on what should transpire after the SLAVFOR are defeated.

What’s curious is that no matter what minimalist or nil approach one takes to the state in mindset, it will have little bearing on the coalitions formed to dispose of the Main Enemy which is central government. Neither Constitutionalists nor abolitionists make better guerrillas. If abolitionists are wrong and all the ideas are rubbish, one shouldn’t concern oneself with their notions. A close reading of the Anti-Federalists will show the growing alarms and skepticism at the embryonic forms of the Constitutional national government even before it flowered into the totalitarian orchid it grew into after the Second American Revolution in 1861.

Brutus: “History furnishes no example of a free republic, anything like the extent of the United States. The Grecian republics were of small extent; so also was that of the Romans. Both of these, it is true, in process of time, extended their conquests over large territories of country; and the consequence was, that their governments were changed from that of free governments to those of the most tyrannical that ever existed in the world.”

I am simply hoping this is not a redux of the Irish Rebellion in 1922 where socialist fought socialist to defeat the other side and install socialism. In the end, quite literally, I simply want no part of anyone’s government. I wish Max nothing but peace and prosperity. -BB

“I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.”

-H.L. Mencken

Why am I in the Brotherhood Without Banners? Why does this site exist, and what will you get out of it? Every blog is something of a vanity project and a catharsis for thinking out loud, and this satisfies both for me. Aside from writing a book, a blog is a legacy that may last far longer than the author. Nothing really disappears from the Internet and I am certain there are folks in the government who are always interested in maintaining a watchful eye on blogs such as mine, because they represent the most direct philosophical threat to their very existence.

In an earlier phase of my intellectual development, I had been seduced by the heady siren song of limited government, which sounds like the most viable solution, but on closer examination is the most silly of chimeras. There is no historical precedent in the Western world, throughout its entire history, of a government calving off another or rising out of the ashes of extinction of the previous regime, containing themselves within the confines of power originally set forth at their germination. None. There are plenty of empty promises and proclamations of purity, but the usual suspects will be self-selected, seeking to rule others; most of whom are socio- or psycho-pathic. Politics is nothing more than the nationalization of human transactions, where the converse is the complete privatization of the planet. The latter is the charter of this blog. Nationalization is the government seizure (there is no polite term) of a product, service or behavior. This can happen with something as mundane as the circumference of grapefruit, to something as epic in scope as the forfeiture of health care or the use of the innumerable malum prohibitum laws on the books.

For those who take a longer view of history, it becomes abundantly clear that governments in their life stages, until their eventual and inevitable deaths, rarely seem to calculate second- and third-order effects of their meta-behaviors. I always presume that, while good intentions may be the standard apologia for the lion’s share of government, action and behavior, this is simply an intellectual smokescreen with the same vapidity of hate crimes; hiding the nature of government which is the threat or use of violence against anyone or anything which either refuses to comply or pay the assessed tribute. One should never measure a government’s behavior by its intent, but the fruits of its actions. And that is bitter fruit indeed for the totality of human history. It is almost as if we have been in a fever-dream, surrounded by inmates in a vast prison state which has effectively indoctrinated people to consciously think that harming others through fining, jailing, maiming and killing is the only possible blueprint for society. Somewhat like the bird who has lived in a cage all its life and still hasn’t figured out what wings are used for. Think of that, a near consensus among thinking human beings that the only way to organize a just society is through terror.

Terrorism is the use of politically motivated violence against non-combatants or innocents. Absent the very existence of terrorism, bullying and a daily violation of the Ten Commandments, no government can exist. One might say that the Global War on Terror, or whatever words the Western military-industrial complex has used to re-flag it, has exponentially increased the size of government and has been pointed in the wrong direction.

We have friends and relations who enjoy boasting of law and order. The tough guys who pronounce that the latest police beating was warranted, and the prison rape the men will endure while caged for their sentence is perfectly justified for their crimes, even if the offense were as banal as a paperwork violation, avoidance of taxes or an infraction against the tens of thousands of laws of which no normal human could know or comprehend. Remember that it is all about the law and not the human context, because context is totally absent from government calculus. It is part of its power. I have mentioned before that every American is subject to indefinite detention in the alleged justice system the Federal government and its subsidiary political elements, known as states, have erected. It is another tool in the arsenal of democracy that is the fancy name for mob rule, subject to the kakocrats at the top of the system. The government has been successful beyond their wildest expectations in creating a captive and occupied population from which they derive both their material succor and the sophisticated means to bully and control tens of millions of humans. The government must erect these officious and brutal means of suppression, otherwise the small percentage of liberty minded folks who chafe at living on a feedlot, and having their lives micromanaged, would set a very bad example for the rest who would take notice of the people who elected not to abide by the system. As with the likelihood of secession looming ever brighter, once the first person is allowed to opt out of the government confines, a stampede will commence that will be unstoppable. This is why the IRS is invested with such formidable power to fine and cage recalcitrant taxpayers.

America has conducted a brilliant government campaign to put the state at the top tier of idolatry, with family and individual volition at the bottom. This has been a two-tiered assault. The government makes it very inconvenient for individuals to fight its depredations and ensures that the education system is kept in a tight orbit around government supremacy. Most of my readers have attended some college and have seen first-hand the absolute monopoly of the government supremacist mindset among faculty, administration and students alike. When one suggests that non-violence may be a preferable foundation for a peaceful society, instead of the enslavement of government, one is almost universally scorned. Is it not interesting that all the fevered anti-war rhetoric from the “left” has disappeared since the election of the latest scoundrel to the Presidency? Collectivism permeates the American academy with very little exception, and this from doyens in the humanities and social “sciences” whose jobs may belabor 8-12 hours per week, unless they have paid teaching assistants available. The rest of the time is certainly not used to practice critical thinking, but to sharpen the same weak-minded rationalizations of the academy to justify the ultimate goal of extinguishing every private aspect of human life. They prettily dress the rhetoric in high-minded humanitarian goals, but in the end they are the intellectual equivalents of prison guards in their moral imaginations.

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The Other American Revolution: Cops as Armed Leninists by Bill Buppert

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi

I have spent many years writing and railing against the police state with far more competent observers like William Grigg providing a veritable cornucopia of evidence showing why police and American policing is an existential threat to any individual liberty it gets near.

Here and now, the police authorities in the US pose a similar threat to individual liberty that the British military regulars did in North America before 1775. The “redcoats” are now bluecoats.They mean to force all societal change at the point of a gun, no less than the Marxist thuggery that authored planet-wide hell-holes in the 20th century.

These are the Jacobin vanguard and the Communard revolutionaries in new garb. When some of the National Socialists held their heads in shame at the conclusion of the War to Save Josef Stalin to proclaim that “orders were orders” did not necessarily absolve the dishonor of what they had visited on their countrymen; this same notion is the instant response by any serving cop in America. We don’t make the law we enforce it. These are the same men that would have gone after runaway slaves, maimed and killed illegal alcohol distillers and simply done what they are told. That they are held as heroes by the government-media complex tells you exactly the moral compass of the news parrots and the state they fellate on a daily basis.

Cops will do what they are told and they will kidnap, cage, maim and kill you depending on the level of resistance of the Helot assaulted. Police in America are the revolutionary vanguard of a violent state power emanating from DC that will stop at nothing to rob, regulate and, if necessary, murder anyone who defies the law. Anyone. They murder men, women, children and animals with alarming frequency and get away with it. Few face the music as a mundane would if charged with a similar crime.

In essence, it is a Federalized police force to the lowest level granted special immunities and protections for doing the state’s dirty work. While there is a secret police functionality in America with the intelligence community providing data it instructs to be laundered for pursuing arrests and convictions, the not-so-secret police continues to behave as a paramilitary occupation force across the fetid plain.

The trifecta of officer safety, qualified immunity and police unions have combined to create the toxic environment every American suffers in now. The Nuremberg Defense has become the primary reason for all American policing; while Germans hung by the neck until dead for this absurd moral agnosticism, the police are lauded as heroes and sage protectors by the American media that fellates them on a daily basis and provides excuses for the barbaric behavior that they practice daily.

The American concept of policing has become perhaps the purest representation of Marxism in the West with the attendant virulent Leninist attitudes that adorn the armed government employees’ sense of self. The Russian and Chinese concepts of Marxism created some of the largest corpse-piles in recent history. These government supremacist bastions relied on might is right and the “rule of law” in a fashion that brought both to their logical conclusion.

I have always been amused by the likes of the diminishing but overfed hordes of autoworkers and teachers and other union employees who did everything in their power to prevent capital from doing its best and always running to the government’s skirts for protection. These unions have done enough harm by contributing to the decades long mediocrity of automotive manufacturing in the US and the en-stupidation of entire generations of young minds respectively. What would happen if they had been armed and given a hunting license by the government to quite literally get away with mayhem?

Enter the police union. Cops are state thuggery in the flesh and the pointy messy end of all government regulations and programs.

Immoral means can never yield moral ends yet this is the daily modus operandi of the government. This is the precise calculus that informs one of the most inflated and over-rated notions in western history, the rule of law. The rule of law within government confines only applies to non-government employees since the praetorians and imperial bureaucrats are immune to this rule.

If you doubt that, take a look at the emerging surveillance and national security state. But one does not have to look that far. Look at your local “law enforcement’ entities preening and waddling around your local burg. These normally obese uniformed thugs literally have a license to maim and kill. They are always held to a different standard in case after case and even in the prison system if they find themselves on the other side of the cage bars are usually granted separate privileges. They investigate themselves.

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Will the Last Capitalist Please Turn Off the Lights When You Leave… by Bill Buppert

“Under a Communist Party Government, South Africa will become a land of milk and honey.”  

-Nelson Mandela

What is a private business? It is a method of trading products and services for wealth to generate profits to enrich the owners and workers in the enterprise and additionally seed the investment, growth and expansion of the business.

What is the business of government and politicians? To earn wealth and establish punitive control over individual transactions with no merit whatsoever; in other words, to employ the monopoly powers of violence to enrich the few at the expense of the many.   Bastiat said it more eloquently but there it is. Politicians love to project an image of stately dignity and honorifics for the terrific and self-sacrificing service they do. The deception is blatant and they are no more than thieves wrapped in expensive state regalia with armed guards to protect them from their victims. Those victims they have not mentally turned to eunuchs already through the insidious ministrations of television, government education and the soothing bastardization of the language to manipulate the sheeple, are waking up to the sheer audacity of the heist that has been called the state. Turning the Bolshevik idyll on its head, it speaks to the true nature of government and governance.

Hence some examples of the government “business model”:

What is American-Israel Public Affairs Committee’s (AIPAC) return on its investment of approximately 15 million per annum in memberships and grants? About 2.77 billion taxpayer dollars plus the special dispensation granted by the DoD and other government agencies for grants and giveaways (30% of the acknowledged US foreign aid budget). Of course, we all know that per Federal Election Commission (FEC) v. Akins, et al., AIPAC is not a political organization so it is not required to file the onerous minutiae required for political lobbying even though they have five or six registered lobbyists and a host of espionage allegations.

What is the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU)? Both of these fetid organizations would have no reason to exist if the Federal Government weren’t there to provide the backdoor trough from which they rob the taxpayer. Unsurprisingly, a tremendous amount of socialist and communist influence permeates both ACORN and SEIU. Along with the radical Apollo Alliance and the Tides Foundation, they helped craft the monstrous stimulus bill which further bankrupted what is increasingly a zombie economy in these united States.

What do the aforementioned organizations have in common? As with countless other entities in America and around the world, they would not be here except for the existence of the state. The government is the parasite and these are the looters and tax-eaters that live upon other’s production and sweat equity. These are the government analogs of organized crime, muggers and other miscreants whose sole purpose is to thrive off of other members of the community at the point of a gun. Politicians are very well-heeled and equipped highwaymen who are a menace to peace and prosperity throughout the world as history has ably demonstrated. These are simply the latest group of sociopaths and their enablers who maintain that man should not be free but under harness and micromanaged for their own good.

They have even developed a sophisticated academic rationale and industry to provide the apparent intellectual rigor to justify the rapine and murderous behavior that government creates and endorses as it merrily destroys all that is good in the world and replaces it with the hordes of shambling and compliant shells of humanity that shuffle off to work every day to pay their taxes so they feed the Machine. When you consider the tax burden just in America, it almost rivals Denmark and France. I think the graphs and charts once finds on the internet are deceptive because they don’t address the aggregate tax burden (federal, state, local, excise, corporate, etc). As I have pointed out before, when all is said and done, Americans pay nearly 60% of their income in taxes once all Federal, state and lower echelonment taxes are accounted for not to mention the impossible task of putting a dollar figure on the mountains of regulation that impede and strangle business every day. Far greater than the estimated 10% of labor the medieval serfs were yoked with. The universities and major news organs are choked with vine-ripened apologists for statist excess and murder. Whether it is the “right-wing” talk radio celebrities popping the bubbly for more strangers killed overseas or the massive “left-wing” herd of apparatchiks on the news media mewling benignly about the efficacy of more laws and restrictions on human behavior, the message is the same: more government power moves us ever closer to perfection of humanity in this mortal coil. They seek the same enigmatic creature: Homo Sovieticus.

You have to hand it to the self-described socialists and communists like Bernie Sanders, at least he is honest (even though I think all collectivist thought is a form of intellectual drunkenness) in who he is instead of mouthing platitudes about safety, the children and national security to disguise their unbridled lust for power and control over others. At least he has the fortitude to precisely describe his albeit child-like reverence for the state without resorting to the intellectual gymnastics of the usual suspects in the media.

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We’ve Come This Far… by Scott Thompson

Publisher Note: On occasion I will publish something like this that I don’t completely agree with but it knocks the intellectual cobwebs about in the tiny corner of abolitionist intellectual circles that pepper the global commentariat. The abolitionist punditorcracy tends to be a small microscopic sliver of the human conversation. I count Scott as a personal friend and he have pretty much journeyed down the path to statelessness together. This flirts with the undercurrent of the thick versus thin libertarian debate raging in those circles; I have yet to come to a solid conclusion of what camp I may be in philosophically. -BB

Dear Abolitionists, Voluntaryists, and Anarchists,

I want you all to look down into the “Rabbit Hole” and think about the journey you’ve made thus far. Are you staring into a dark abyss or are you standing at the bottom with your feet held firmly to the ground? For many it’s easy to settle your feet on some firm footing because it seems reliable, stable, and logical. That may mean you have found that the great evils of the world are monopolized by the government and you’re preparing for the Great War that lies inevitably ahead. I want to offer another opportunity to descend further into the abyss and discover another face of the enemy below, a much more sinister and frightening one that enslaves our very being. The good news is, I believe this Behemoth can be slain with our love, emotions, and empathy, something that costs us all nothing except time.

The Behemoth has a name, it’s Kyriarchy. Kyriarchy is the social system that holds all oppressive systems in place: government, religion, racism, sexism, etc.¹ Most individuals discount the very existence of this beast, but pretending the beast isn’t there does not mean you aren’t perpetuating its goals, feeding its ego, and aiding its success. It’s actually almost unavoidable that you are aiding and abetting the great beast every day. Once you are bitten by the beast, its toxins bury deep in your cells, your behaviors, and your neurons.

Enough metaphors now though, let’s systematically and concisely descend into the details and discover:

1.  Egocentric vs. Sociocentric

Pure egocentricity offers an individualistic approach to problem-solving behaviors, but it lacks the acknowledgement of the sociocentric elements of society that also guide our behaviors and desires. The terms individualistic and collectivist may come to mind here and I know that one is much more digestible than the other for most of you, but do not discount the powers of both. To live a purely egocentristic lifestyle is to forget that your fellow humans, animals, and Earth have great bearing on your motivations. To live a purely sociocentric lifestyle is to forget that your fellow humans are all different. The secret here is balance; you need to know that you need others and others need you and that is OK. This concept is relatively easy to comprehend and accept for most, but the next step of understanding is where most people lose their ability to accept connections and accept responsibility. Remember, a balance of egocentric and sociocentric views will serve you best in abolishing slavery.

2.  Feminine and Masculine

This is one of the great Instillusions of all time and it is baked into our very being, coded into our evolving brains, and buried deep into our history and cultures worldwide. The concepts of Feminine and Masculine destroy our very identities when we accept them as credence. They represent a fable given to our previous generations that have been passed on to destroy our spirit and set the foundation for control. Masculine is a term that is associated with being male, having strength, anger, power, and logic. Feminine is a term that we associate with Women; it is associated with vulnerability, acceptance, and emotions. We tend to exhibit both of these qualities whether we exist as males, females, or pan-genders. Men talk to their children and mates with affection, emotion, and vulnerability and Women can assert themselves with anger and logic just as well as Men can. The point here is to understand that by adhering to these Instillusions you are perpetuating a form of gender slavery that is damaging to yourself, your children, your mates, and to all those around you. It is slavery for the mind and it leads to slavery of the body. The next section will discuss how the social uses of masculine and feminine terms enslave the body…

3.  Men vs. Others

This is probably the deepest and darkest part of the “Rabbit Hole” that I have found yet because it is so pervasive and the consequences are so damaging. If you are a man and you look around you’ll see the world catering to you. The world is built in your eye and for your pleasure. Contrarily, the world is made up of “others” who are not Men and must struggle to gain resources that Men are able to obtain with must greater ease. This does not necessarily mean that Men are stealing from others, attempting to monopolize resources, or trying to make life harder for “others”, but this is where Men must accept the idea. All resources are finite; therefore, if Men have greater access to resources because of their social standing, they inherently have privilege. That same privilege is borne out of historical privilege, which allowed Men to own property long before any of the “others.” To say that the small victories of “others” mean that they are suddenly on equal footing as Men is to believe in naivety as a means of understanding reality. You start life above and they start life below. It is a difficult concept to swallow, but until you do, you will not understand the levels of slavery that exist around you. It is not the path of least resistance to fully understand.

If I have asked you to swallow some serious red horse pills already, then this one may choke you up: Women are not property. Women do not exist to serve you, your pleasures, or your shortcomings. Open our eyes to the world that Women see. Women see oppression way beyond what you see from the government. Most Women still feel as objects owned by the world around them. They see a world that objectifies them to pieces and parts meant to serve your pleasure. Asses, boobs, legs, and whatever other parts have been thrown in your face to remind you that Women are your playground. A pair of Underwear that my wife just purchased the other day touted the slogan, “His style, your fit.” The local Target Women’s underwear department had pictures of half-naked Women in their bra and underwear sets, while the Men’s section had just a few pictures of some fully-clothed Men. Over 25% of Women have been a victim of sexual assault today.² We still find the existence of dowries that make young Women an economic liability for families, so Female infanticide is still a common practice worldwide.³ Sex trade is the second largest industry in the world, next to the drug trade. Although these are only a few examples, there is a strong trend here that I wish was more difficult to ignore than it seems. Objectification is a dark and dangerous facet of Kyriarchy that Men most often choose to ignore, but it is the primary source of the most grotesque and terrible slavery we witness today. Objectification removes the human element of Women and “Others,” allowing Men to hold the Power of ownership over them without the responsibility of emotions, empathy, and love.

Emotions are the great enemy of our time it seems; logic prevails and emotions are cast aside. The more we discard emotion; however, the greater the empathy-gap becomes. Our Men are limited to emotions of anger and sometimes sadness. We tell our sons to “Buck up and be a man!” We might even tell them, “Stop being a pussy or I’ll give you something to cry about.” The truth is, these kinds of phrases and advice emotionally constipate our boys and allow them only a small spectrum of their emotions and feelings. They stunt their emotional growth and understanding of their selves. What else besides the societal norms do they have to determine their own identities? How do we expect to help our children find harmony, happiness, and peace when we don’t allow them the capacity to feel outside a small spectrum of emotions?

What did your father tell you to do with your emotions? How old were you? What did you do with them and where did they go?

If your commitment to abolishing slavery is true and honest, then stop desperately hacking at the branches. It doesn’t discount the terror that government causes, but it gets you closer to the roots. If you have doubts about the validity of these concepts, I invite you to remember how others fight you against informing them of the evils of government. Do they fight your theories because they don’t exist or because they refuse to accept that they exist?

We’ve come this far, let’s not allow ourselves the comfort of stagnation. I love each and every one of you for the battles you wage on slavery; you are true heroes. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Scott Thompson

References and Links

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kyriarchy

² http://www.ncadv.org/files/Domestic%20Violence%20StylizedGS%20edits.pdf ³ http://www.gendercide.org/case_infanticide.html

Hold Death Dear and the State Will Vanish by Bill Buppert

“Life is slavery if the courage to die is absent.”

– Seneca

Fear is the mind killer.

I just finished a four-part series on Stoicism with Brett Veinotte at the School Sucks Project. We covered plenty of ground but I wanted to tease out what I think is something rarely if ever discussed. The Stoic values inform a mindset that is distinctly libertarian. One might even say the state of mind shares a deep kinship with abolitionism. In fact, some of the Stoic philosophers were slaves themselves. The Stoics paint a broad and useful road-map to live a good life and joyous existence on their own terms.

Stoicism is not as popular today as then because it takes work to be a virtuous Stoic and the foregoing of present consumption for future return is not exactly a hipster vision of living in society today. These hard decisions tend to militate against affluence and find happiness and tranquility in less material well-being than more.

The exploration of Stoicism takes a lifetime to contemplate and master. I‘d like to visit a narrow aspect of it and the concomitant relationship to ultimate freedom. This is the Stoic view of death and the advancing of individual refusal and the withdrawal of consent. If fear is the mortar of all statist government then compliance and obedience is the brick. These two components strip the statist conceit to its essence: the employment of immoral means to achieve moral ends, an impossible calculus but the simple equation that all government lives and dies by. The state threatens and employs violence to build society; absent these means it would be out of business in an hour. At its core, the state must practice slavery to get the tax cattle to do as they are told. It is the antithesis of civilization and the highest form of mob rule. It is, in the end, a death cult.

So if that were the case, how would the government handle tens of thousands of subjects who simply refused? I am not referring to homicide or suicide bombers. They willingly employ violence to bring yet another murderous framework into being. How would they respond to a 21st century satyagraha campaign that did not seek to replace the government but dispose of it and stay rid of it? How would they cajole the unwilling to participate in any of their murderous schemes?

The government would kill them, of course. Alexandr Solzhenitsyn tells us that “[a]ny man who has once proclaimed violence as his method is inevitably forced to take the lie as his principle. These are the twin pillars of the state to guarantee its existence.

And what of it, what would happen then? The state would expect the smoking corpses left behind would serve as object lessons to the rest of the tax cattle and instill a level of fear that would force compliance. This is the single historical knot that binds all collectivist governments from communism to socialism to the sclerotic soft fascist entities throughout the West. Every statist conceit is based on the simple notion that you force humans through ultimate threat of death to comply with the legion of schemes that give government power.

How do you cut the knot? The Stoics have some answers whether the abolition of slavery was their object or not.

One of the greatest strategic minds to grace the geo-strategic stage after the War to Save Josef Stalin concluded was USAF Col. John Boyd. He had many interesting things to say and discovered the OODA loop among other things. He distilled strategy to an elegant yin-yang that simplifies library shelves of overwrought and wrong-headed strategic thinking: strategy is all about alliance and isolation to be effective. The Stoics riff off this elegant construction very simply. Epictetus tells us: “All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain.”

You either submit or defy. The middle course will always benefit the former and the acceptance of death as a certitude will inform the latter.

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Popcorn Sutton: Whiskey Rebel by John Meyers

John penned this a couple years ago and the spirit of Popcorn deserves a mention today in these tumultuous times.He represented a more authentic America where he feared for nothing and made his own way without harming another human being.

Neal Hutcheson at Sucker Punch Pictures released his splendid documentary on Sutton. I urge all of you to watch this movie if you get a chance. This is a new age of documentary film-making that is taking it to the next level. This documentary is a sample of this golden age. You can see the trailer here. -BB

“Jesus turned water into wine, I turned it into damn likker” – Popcorn Sutton

Appalachia’s history is largely comprised of tales of resistance of one form or another.  The poster child of Appalachia’s rebellion against unjust authority has always been the Moonshiner, the maker of non-government approved distilled spirits. These spirits were commonly referred to in the southern lexicon as moonshine, mountain dew, white lightning, “painter piss,” or perhaps more simply “likker.” There is no moonshiner more infamous than the Smoky Mountain’s own, Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. He was not only one of the most famous makers of illicit liquor, but he also led his entire life in defiance of government authority and was quite a character to boot.

Sutton was born in Haywood County, North Carolina, a rural mountainous county on the Tennessee border. At an early age he learned whiskey making from his family and local whiskey makers a like in Haywood and neighboring Cocke County, Tennessee. In due time, he became a well-known whiskey maker in the region. Taking full advantage of the legal jurisdictional confusion between the two states, he plied his trade to the fullest. This was a very common practice employed by bootleggers and moonshiners in years past, when one sheriff would get on your trail you hopped across the state or county line and continued your business.

The tradition of whiskey making as employed by mountain folk originates further back than many people realize. It comes from the Poitín tradition popular in the peat bogs and mountain regions of Scotland and Ireland where most of the ancestors of the southern mountain people originated. While the mountain region of the Southern states lacked wheat, rye or barley for malt historically, residents of the region adapted using Indian corn and malted corn for the fermenting agent. Whiskey making is considered as sacred a right as bearing military style and cosmetically offensive “assault weapons” or keeping livestock. Moonshining in the southern mountains is not only justified on the grounds of natural rights, but also on even simpler grounds. Many makers of illicit whiskey, when asked why they do it have the simple answer of “… my daddy made whiskey, and his daddy made whiskey, and his daddy before him made whiskey, so I’m just gonna keep makin’ it to.”

Popcorn was a dyed in the wool capitalist and largely libertarian in his dealings and belief system. What set him apart from the rest was his unique marketing strategy. He boasts in his book “Me and My Likker,” that him and his father were not political beings, but instead sold moonshine to folks at the polling place on Election Day. This is a much more effective use of time than trying to vote yourself free. He was fiercely independent even to the extent of purchasing his own casket, flowers and the shovels needed to bury him before he died. He is on record of stating that even though he was extremely sick late in life and had amassed a pile of medical bills, “the government nor the county doesn’t pay my bills, I do.”

Popcorn’s first run in with the law was in 1974. He was arrested and later convicted on illegal production of untaxed whiskey, among other charges. In typical mountain fashion, the day after he was released on bond after his arrest, he went right back to the same spot where he was arrested and set his still back up. He figured that was the safest place to be back in business.  When speaking of his arrests he was fond of saying “I didn’t steal anything here… I paid for the copper, the sugar, the corn…so I don’t see where I broke the law anywhere.”

Over the years he built up quite a reputation. From selling jars of likker directly out of his junk shop in Maggie Valley, NC to even being close friends with a Federal Judge. He had a unique marketing strategy of writing books about himself and even appearing in documentary films. Many stores in Maggie Valley, North Carolina carried his books and movies and for 50$ each they could be yours. Many still do to this day, years after his death. When confronted about why it might be a bad idea to appear in a movie that depicts him breaking the law, his response was, “You cant sell it if nobody knows you got it.”  He would charge $3 to have your picture made “with a real mountain moonshiner” at his store.

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Rules of Civility for the Coming Endarkenment by Bill Buppert

My wife home-educated all of our children and the last remaining child we have at home. We have two graduated from college now. As part of her networking, she has hosted a six part practicum for fellow home-educators on Manners and Etiquette in the past. I remembered that George Washington had devised a rather comprehensive list and tried to find it. Well, I found it and I rather liked the list even though some are rather dated.

Manners are the lubricant of civilization and as the always handsomely turned out Fred Astaire said: “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any.”  For the men in the readership, please get a copy of Brad Miner’s book, “The Compleat Gentleman“, for a wonderful treatment on why being kind and mannerly is not emasculating.  -BB

I hold George Washington in rather low esteem for being one of the most over-rated “Great Captains of History” and a revered father of the maximum state with his championing of the poisonous Constitution. He was a military amateur at best and a horrific despot who held the first political office under the aegis of that fetid documents and proudly led an army against tax evaders a mere three years after being in office. So I offer these in no way as an endorsement of Washington whom I consider an extraordinarily destructive force in American freedom and liberty. Manners are indeed critical to an armed and polite society.

This may be the sole contribution that GW ever made toward liberty and freedom. By age sixteen, Washington had copied out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. Presumably they were copied out as part of an exercise in penmanship assigned by young Washington’s schoolmaster. The first English translation of the French rules appeared in 1640, and is ascribed to Francis Hawkins the twelve-year-old son of a doctor.

Today many, if not all of these rules, sound a little fussy if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills, but they reflect a sentiment that is increasingly difficult to find. They all have in common a focus on other people rather than the narrow concentration of our own self-interests that we find so prevalent today. Fussy or not, they represent more than just manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living together.

I suppose it may be the sole contribution to civilization I am proud of George Washington for apart from his vast laundry list of crimes against liberty and freedom. Even for this, he was a mere scribe.

These rules proclaim our respect for others and in turn give us the gift of self-respect and heightened self-esteem. They can all be summed up in the Golden Rule.

For me, it is summed up in one of the most elegant words in the Italian tongue – sprezzatura.

Richard Brookhiser, in his book on Washington wrote:

“[A]ll modern manners in the western world were originally aristocratic. Courtesy meant behavior appropriate to a court; chivalry comes from chevalier – a knight. Yet Washington was to dedicate himself to freeing America from a court’s control. Could manners survive the operation? Without realizing it, the Jesuits who wrote them, and the young man who copied them, were outlining and absorbing a system of courtesy appropriate to equals and near-equals. When the company for whom the decent behavior was to be performed expanded to the nation, Washington was ready. Parson Weems got this right, when he wrote that it was ‘no wonder every body honoured him who honoured every body.”

The Rules:

1st Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.
2nd When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usually Discovered.
3rd Show Nothing to your Friend that may affright him.
4th In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.
5th If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkerchief or Hand before your face and turn aside.
6th Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.
7th Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Dressed.
8th At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.
9th Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.
10th When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.
11th Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.
12th Shake not the head, Feet, or Legs roll not the Eyes lift not one eyebrow higher than the other wry not the mouth, and bedew no mans face with your Spittle, by approaching too near him when you Speak.
13th Kill no Vermin as Fleas, lice ticks &c in the Sight of Others, if you See any filth or thick Spittle put your foot Dexterously upon it if it be upon the Cloths of your Companions, Put it off privately, and if it be upon your own Cloths return Thanks to him who puts it off.
14th Turn not your Back to others especially in Speaking, Jog not the Table or Desk on which Another reads or writes, lean not upon any one.
15th Keep your Nails clean and Short, also your Hands and Teeth Clean yet without Showing any great Concern for them.
16th Do not Puff up the Cheeks, Loll not out the tongue rub the Hands, or beard, thrust out the lips, or bite them or keep the Lips too open or too Close.
17th Be no Flatterer, neither Play with any that delights not to be Play’d Withal.
18th Read no Letters, Books, or Papers in Company but when there is a Necessity for the doing of it you must ask leave: come not near the Books or Writings of Another so as to read them unless desired or give your opinion of them unasked also look not nigh when another is writing a Letter.
19th Let your Countenance be pleasant but in Serious Matters Somewhat grave.
20th The Gestures of the Body must be Suited to the discourse you are upon.

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The Enthusiastic Warbride by Bill Buppert

“In war, truth is the first casualty.”

– Aeschylus

“War is the health of the State. It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate cooperation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties; the minorities are either intimidated into silence, or brought slowly around by a subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them really to be converting them.”

-Randolph Bourne

War is the health of the state.  Randolph Bourne arrived at this conclusion near the beginning of the 20th century.  Smedley Butler later wrote in War is a Racket about the baleful special interest vectors that drive us to war.  We hear again and again that we owe our freedoms to the conduct of overseas adventures in other countries whether the wresting of Spanish colonies into our possession or the invasion of Europe during the War to Save Joseph Stalin (1939-45) to the modern era of American armed dominion over the planet.  I would suggest these are poor assumptions.  The next time someone makes one of these specious claims, simply ask them how the defeat of one totalitarian regime while aiding and abetting another noxious regime made America free?  Is the Cold War representative of the halcyon days of American individualism?

Most libertarians agree that the American government is colossal, oppressive and a slayer of freedom and liberty.  There are certainly domestic influences and causes for the enormous growth in the statist tilt of American governance and concentration of power.  The metamorphosis of an agrarian republic birthed in the violent dismissal of British rule to the Sovietized monstrosity we labor under today is the result of both domestic dynamics and the creation of the national security/garrison state to project power and influence overseas.  I would submit that war is the unacknowledged silent partner of the leviathan state.

How does a militarized foreign policy create a less free nation at home?  Let’s begin with a conflict most Americans can name but few can even place a date to:  World War One.  I would recommend Niall Ferguson’s book Pity of War as a signal starting point to rip asunder the veil of historical illiteracy and propaganda that has surrounded that sordid conflict.  Woodrow Wilson, one of the worst and most evil Presidents to grace that august den of thieves in the White House, promised in 1916 to never enter the European conflict and promptly started the machinations to steer us into the conflagration and militarize American society.  The more you learn about Wilson, the more you see he is the point of origin for so much of our national grief.  I have previously mentioned the American Protective League and its un-American activities in stifling, fining and jailing dissidents against Wilson’s war. Wilson also inaugurated the Committee on Public Information, which even gave instructions for cartoonists and signed into law the Espionage and Sedition Acts. In France by 1918, half of all men between 20-32 were dead. Serbia suffered a death toll that closed on one in four of the entire population in corpse piles.

Among the many notorious achievements Wilson managed was the Americanization of a fairly decentralized and devolved society.  This was the perennial missing link in formalizing the ultimate project of the Hamiltonian ambition:  the establishment of a permanent central government for whom the individual states were mere agents and bureaucratic subsidiaries.

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