"Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses." ~ H.L. Mencken
"While I do not consider myself anti-government or anarchistic, I respect the free exchange of ideas, and the civil manner in which ideas are expressed in the articles published here. It is in that spirit that I humbly submit the following."
“Under a Communist Party Government, South Africa will become a land of milk and honey.”
-Nelson MandelaOccupy Wall Street is providing a refreshing new insight into how the collectivist mind works (or does not). Now that the global warming business is starting to fall on deaf ears, the hard left government supremacist hive mind is having to find new vehicles and venues to press their agenda for universal slavery. The assault on the tattered remnants of private business is now the subject of much mewling and teeth-grinding by the usual suspects. I did want to express my personal condolences to Hillary Clinton on the death of Kim Jong Il, her dreams of a happy marriage to a more straight-forward partisan of her most secret ambitions is now dashed on the rocky shoreline of history unfulfilled. Bill's trips to Moscow simply did not have the long-term effect desired. Let's get back to fundamentals. 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.
Good afternoon, Jeff. Tell us how you view revisionist history and how it sharpens our perspective on how the world really works.
We should always remember that history is written by the victors. Or, to put the same idea in a slightly different way, history is invariably written by people who have a dog in the fight – people who have a stake in how the events of the past (and their consequences in the present) are viewed. These people will, naturally, put what they regard as the best possible face on their accounts of past events. It is therefore extremely foolhardy to read a book on, say, World War I, by a celebrated, honored, thoroughly mainstream historian who teaches at Harvard or Princeton or Stanford or Berkeley and has served as president of the American Historical Association (AHA) or the Organization of American Historians (OAH) and then say to yourself, “Okay, now I know what happened during World War I and why. Now I can move on to some other topic.” Nothing could be further from the truth. You have only begun your investigations.The next step is to ask yourself how a person becomes a celebrated, honored, thoroughly mainstream historian who teaches in the Ivy League or its equivalent and is elected to run the AHA or the OAH. Isn’t it by telling readers what they want to hear? Isn’t it by going along with the conventional wisdom – with whatever is almost universally “known” to be true – in order to get along? Are there historians who take another tack? Who either adduce different facts or who argue that the agreed upon facts should be understood in a different way, looked at from a different perspective, examined in a different light? Who are these writers who care so little for their career advancement? What do they have to say? Now there can be many reasons why someone might accept the conventional wisdom on any particular subject. Maybe the conventional wisdom is the truth. More often, however, I’d say people buy into the conventional wisdom out of naïveté – it never occurs to them that what “everyone” knows and believes could possibly be wrong – or out of opportunistic careerism – you live more affluently and enjoy more influence if you go along to get along. And, of course, there are many people outside the historical professions for whom the most compelling reason of all pertains – boredom. History bores them and they really don’t care who’s right about a controversy they never knew existed to begin with. On one level, you can’t really argue with that position. The person who is bored by history knows far more about what genuinely interests him or her than I can ever know. On the other hand, a part of me wants to cry out to such a person: Don’t you understand that you’re missing one of the great eye-opening experiences possible in this life? You have a chance to read a conventional presentation of a historical topic or period and then read a revisionist discussion of that very same topic or period. Point, counterpoint. It makes you realize in a way I guarantee you never have before just how much more there is to say about any subject really worth talking about than initially meets the eye.
"Even voting for the right is doing nothing for it. It is only expressing to men feebly your desire that it should prevail. A wise man will not leave the right to the mercy of chance, nor wish it to prevail through the power of the majority. There is but little virtue in the action of masses of men." ~ Henry David Thoreau
Part One. You’ve taken the first step and read Lawrence’s Twenty Seven Articles. Some are germane to a fight on American soil and some not so much. We are entering a phase in world affairs where the economic troubles and collapses that are occurring around the globe will come home to roost in America. Like most governments, the US central authorities in DC will do everything in their power to retain the power and control they now practice over their tax jurisdiction. Like the other USSR in 1989, a fracture is in the future and one state declaring secession will start a stampede the likes of which this country has not seen for nearly a century and a half. The 320 million subjects are critical components in the tax-eater system to continue feeding the Federal beast. These cattle will not be permitted to go gently into the night. Lawrence discovered that successful insurgencies must retain the initiative and establish solid support among the mass base for all actions. Whether we examine his successes against the Turks, the Irish divorce from the United Kingdom in 1916-1922 or the Basque success against the Spanish government to carve out their semi-autonomous province in Northeastern Spain, the initiative must be seized and retained. This initiative can be maintained on a shoestring. The force calculus for insurgencies is a meager ratio compared to the forces Counterinsurgency (COIN) and conventional forces must maintain to defeat incipient and long term guerrilla forces. The IRA in both its pre- and post-WWII configurations fielded less than a thousand active fighters at peak strength against tens of thousands of deployed British and Northern Irish contingents. German Colonel Paul Emil von Lettow-Vorbeck fought more than a half million deployed British and Allied forces to a standstill in German East Africa for nearly four years during WWI with a force that rarely numbered more than ten thousand and at one point had 1200 effectives left. No less than 127 General officers failed to vanquish him and at the conclusion of the war, he remained the only German General (he was promoted in abstentia in 1917) to be undefeated on Earth in 1918. He sought to be self-sufficient and managed to manhandle naval guns off the ill-fated Konigsberg in the Rufiji all the way up to the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. This illustrates that much like the irregular actions in both the First (18th century) and Second (19th century) American Revolutions, a tremendously small number of active fighters and triggermen can cause a disproportionate headache to large formations of conventional armed forces arrayed against them. U.S. Grant had to take huge chunks of his fighting forces and devote them to protection of his lines of communication during his siege and investment of Vicksburg. I would suggest that Napoleon was not necessarily wholly defeated by Wellington at Waterloo in 1815 so much as emasculated by French (southern) and Spanish guerrillas in his lines of communication after his atrocities and overreach enraged the local populations of these areas. Before, 1850, France was not the monolithic nation state we are accustomed to today. There were areas of it, like Germany, that did not even share dialects or language.
“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.”- T. E. Lawrence, "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom"
“Men have looked upon the desert as barren land, the free holding of whoever chose; but in fact each hill and valley in it had a man who was its acknowledged owner and would quickly assert the right of his family or clan to it, against aggression.” - T. E. LawrenceVietnamese General Giap (who vanquished both the French and the Americans) was asked who his greatest influence was in conducting guerrilla campaigns in Vietnam in an interview with (soon to be infamous) French General Salan in 1946: “My fighting gospel is TE Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I am never without it.” Nor am I and I keep a copy both at home and my office. My copy at home is my dog-eared and duct taped copy from my former days in the Army. I adore the book and have read it three times but it can be a hard slog for readers unfamiliar with the British idiom and not well acquainted with the history that led to the Arab Revolt. For the best introduction I have found to the mess that is now the modern Middle East, read David Fromkin’s brilliant book: A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="320"] General Giap[/caption] For those who won't take the time to read it, the distillate of his teaching can be found in his 27 Articles. Some are totally irrelevant to any fight we may concerned with in North America such as 10 but some, such as 12 and 22, are timeless and effective combat multipliers. Lawrence, of course, was Arab-centric in his nostrums but many of these can be universally applied with a little intellectual effort. Whether the central bankers like it or not, the EU fiat currency will collapse in the next six to twelve months and take the dollar with it. This will lead to the hardest times America has known since the War of Northern Aggression tore the continent asunder in the nineteenth century. Hard times will be a subtle way to describe it. The US government will react in the same barbaric fashion it does in every crisis: it will wage war abroad and on its own citizens and systematically strangle every notion of freedom and liberty remaining across the fruited plain. It will clothe all of these noxious behaviors in the most patriotic tones and cries of threats to national security will scare the woolen-clad subjects into paroxysms of bleating and begging for coddling and protection from their masters. There will be conflict on American soil again and the guerrilla style of conflict will soon be the only means of opposition for the few who fight for the right to be left alone. However one anticipates your personal involvement in the emerging crisis, Lawrence provides the basic building blocks for seeing how that fight may be conducted. I am a guest lecturer in Irregular Warfare and a number of readers have requested that I addressed this subject so I am finally getting around to it. I will address the top ten tactical/operational/campaign books and manuals one should have in your library to illuminate the best and worst practices in insurgency and guerrilla warfare in Part II of this essay.
Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals. - T. E. LawrenceThe following notes have been expressed in commandment form for greater clarity and to save words. They are, however, only my personal conclusions, arrived at gradually while I worked in the Hejaz and now put on paper as stalking horses for beginners in the Arab armies. They are meant to apply only to Bedu; townspeople or Syrians require totally different treatment. They are of course not suitable to any other person's need, or applicable unchanged in any particular situation. Handling Hejaz Arabs is an art, not a science, with exceptions and no obvious rules. At the same time we have a great chance there; the Sherif trusts us, and has given us the position (towards his Government) which the Germans wanted to win in Turkey. If we are tactful, we can at once retain his goodwill and carry out our job, but to succeed we have got to put into it all the interest and skill we possess. 1. Go easy for the first few weeks. A bad start is difficult to atone for, and the Arabs form their judgments on externals that we ignore. When you have reached the inner circle in a tribe, you can do as you please with yourself and them.
How a driver parks demonstrates the character of the individual. Parking is the clearest form of self-government, anarchy, and voluntarism, because rooted within the individual, are Immanuel Kant’s work on Deontological Ethics, known as Kantianism, which seeks to set the moral example for others out of obligation and duty, however, not through force. In anticipation of the counter-argument, the parking lines are not government, they represent social cooperation. Reserved parking for special interest groups and parking meters on “public” land are an extension of the state, but it is the collection and violent propensity to enforce malum prohibitum law that is the state, it is coercion and force. Now go out and look at the parking situation in your neighborhood. If you double-park in a crowded parking lot because you believe you are entitled, you are the reason people believe government is necessary. You ARE the problem! The same goes for drivers who park over the line. Inconsiderate equals non-cooperative. If we want to see voluntarism, we must first learn how to park. Despite the economic collapse, with the holidays in full swing, and businesses and shopping plazas at their busiest, observe people’s parking habits… it’s an indication of whether they are ready for Voluntaryism. The true anarchist is the model for others not the exception; for it’s the exception in society that people believe they need government in the first place.
"That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which we will have."
– Henry David Thoreau