Saturday, October 8, 2016

A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand

Matthew 12:25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.”

As is well-known, Abraham Lincoln was inspired by this verse.  On June 16, 1858, he offered his famous “House Divided” speech upon the occasion of being chosen as the Republican candidate for the US Senate.  Although the speech did not propel him to a victory in the Senate race, it certainly set the tone for his presidency.

If we could first know where we are, and whither we are tending, we could then better judge what to do, and how to do it.  We are now far into the fifth year, since a policy was initiated, with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation.  Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only, not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand."

I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.  I do not expect the Union to be dissolved -- I do not expect the house to fall -- but I do expect it will cease to be divided. 

It will become all one thing or all the other.

The battle lines at the time were regarding slavery, north and south, free state or slave state.  Today there is again in the United States a divide, not slavery in any sense similar to that of 150 years ago, but something in some ways more sinister – and certainly less visible…at least until recently. 

Lincoln’s words ring equally true today.  Angelo M. Codevilla writes of today’s divide: there is no more republic; there are only stakeholders and subjects.  This divide will lead almost inevitably to something not good:

… as Publius Decius Mus argues, “America and the West” now are so firmly “on a trajectory toward something very bad” that it is no longer reasonable to hope that “all human outcomes are still possible,” by which he means restoration of the public and private practices that made the American republic.

It matters not who is elected this year, although it is clear that Trump’s successes to date are a result of the “subjects” pushing back against the “stakeholders” in the only way they currently know – or in the only way that they are currently willing to contemplate.

It matters not who is elected because the machine is too well greased.  One person, a Donald Trump – even if truly committed and supported by a large portion of the population – cannot change the direction (and, in fact, has made it clear he will not change the direction back toward a constitutional republic).

Codevilla identifies the awakening that occurred in the American population – and the event that united republican and democrat alike:

The ruling class’s united front in response to the 2008 financial crisis had ignited the Tea Party’s call for adherence to the Constitution…

That would be Ron Paul, although Paul’s movement had significant energy in 2007 – before the magnitude of the financial crisis was visible to most. 

The movement behind Trump is the movement that was brought to life by Ron Paul.  Most in the movement today don’t recognize the connection; most in the movement do not see the drastic contradictions in Trump vs. Paul.  But this is the common root, and 2016 was the year ripe for someone to tap into this discontent, this call to adhere to the Constitution.

Because, as Codevilla suggests, there is no such thing as constitutional law remaining in the United States.  He points to a major turning point as the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which “substituted a wholly open-ended mandate to oppose “discrimination” for any and all fundamental rights…” 

This act destroyed any remaining possibility of freedom of association and property rights.  Bakers, photographers, gender self-identification gratifying toilets, penalties for insufficient political correctness, mandatory training in performing abortions in order to secure a medical license.

The American people have come to learn that all that matters is raw power – they see this in the politics and in the government policies.  They have concluded that raw power is all that can counteract this – hence Trump.  It is raw power, not constitutionalism, which the subjects, the people, are supporting. 

Of course, the 1964 act has its roots in the progressivism born during the turn of the last century: it is the progressive intellectuals against the leave-me-alone socially “irredeemable,” the deplorables.

Codevilla’s sobering, but completely reasonable, conclusion:

We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end. Our ruling class’s malfeasance, combined with insult, brought it about. Donald Trump did not cause it and is by no means its ultimate manifestation. Regardless of who wins in 2016, this revolution’s sentiments will grow in volume and intensity, and are sure to empower politicians likely to make Americans nostalgic for Donald Trump’s moderation. (Emphasis added)

For those who fear that some form of extreme fascism is coming to the United States, they need not fear Trump; the fear is in who (or what) comes next – win or lose for Trump.


It is the state against the people; it is the stakeholders against the subjects.  Significant power and wealth and militarization and a massive overt and covert “security” apparatus are on one side, and significant anger and frustration is growing on the other side.

Returning to Lincoln’s speech:

In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed.

We know what came a few years after Lincoln’s speech, the last time the house was so divided.


  1. Progressivism is the ultimate tyranny. And it was so unassuming. .put together by a large chunk of Anglos. The question I ask is did the old Bloodlines see the controlling potential from the get go? So true about the Un-Civil Un-Rights Act as a Grizzly Bear in sheep's clothing.

    Bionic, can we play this tune if we rise from the ashes?

    1. That's good. How about this:

    2. Awesome jam Bionic, and lots of wisdom of futile endeavor of the political process. Thanks!

      Two more I like.

    3. My only hope with Trump is that his nonmembership in establishment political-power regimes will resurrect the dormant checks and balances that potentially protect us from what is now business as usual –Congress passing legislation kept secret from those supposedly represented and the Supreme Court casually rewriting such legislation to “correct” items normally discussed as a matter of public vetting. The three branches of government were not intended to be mutual enablers to the detriment of the public.

  2. I believe Codevilla's thoughts can be summarized as "We're screwed".
    The "we" being average, working-class citizens.

    I personally don't believe the situation in the U.S. ends well (i.e. that it will be peaceful). Nor do I believe that what comes after that will be peaceful.

    As a born-again Christian of 25 yrs it is moments like this that I am thankful for my faith.

    N.B. I am not condoning or advocating violence or a violent revolution, only that I believe that a convergence of ideas make it inevitable. I pray that I am proven incorrect.

    1. For the short term, I agree. For the long term...I still see decentralization and the benefits of this.

      But I am coming to the conclusion - it won't be peaceful to and through the transition. This might be decades in the making.

      As to faith, Amen.

  3. The separation from England worked OK. What was the problem with separating from the uSA?

    A house divided is called a duplex.

    Agnostic Lincoln misusing a passage for his own political purpose. Lincoln could not stand not collecting the taxes from the Southern States. That was only division he was concerned about at the time of his 1st Inaugural.

    The full context of the Mathew passage:

    22 Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. 23 All the people were astonished and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”

    24 But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”

    25 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan drives out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then can his kingdom stand? 27 And if I drive out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your people drive them out? So then, they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

    1. Jaime, the last time anyone tried separating from the US empire, it didn't go well. Even the separation from England was not peaceful (and in any case, one cannot suggest it was a meaningful success for the average man - the "subject")

      The only peaceful separation in recent memory is that of the Soviet Union. I suspect two things were present in that circumstance that are not present in the US today:

      1) the people knew they were screwed by the system, and have known this for decades, and

      2) the state had no resources with which to fight.

      As to the context of the verse, I used it in Lincoln's context. I think I am safe in this usage.

    2. I know. I have a, ahem, severe dislike of Honest Abe.
      We are good and you are safe.

  4. What is BM's opinion of Strauss & Howe's book, 4th Turning, and their argument that history is not linear but cyclic? According to them, each cycle is roughly of an 80 year duration (the length of a long human life). The cycles are themselves broken into four distinct stages of roughly 20 years each with the 4th stage defined by convulsive crises - revolution, war and economic upheaval - culminating with a new order sweeping away the old order. I haven't read the book, but from the extensive comments of others, we are now well into the 4th stage of the current cycle whose counterpart in the last cycle was the Great Depression. The culmination of the 4th stages of earlier cycles were the Revolutionary War, Civil War and WW2.

    According to this outlook, armed conflict and widespread suffering seem to be in our future. The Trump phenomenon is an expression of rebellion brewing in people's minds against the existing failed elite. This elite is not only determined to hold onto power but is now plotting war against a nuclear armed Russia.

    1. I have not read the book. On the surface, it offers a plausible argument; my one reaction is it seems too deterministic. But maybe this is our fate.

    2. I agree that this cycle theory of history is deterministic. But then there is that famous quip about those who fail to learn from history.

    3. Didn't Santayana make the point that if you are ognorant of history, how would you even know? We can be well vetsed in history and see how it rhymes. Something to do with himan nature being a constant.

      To add irony by quoting a free thinker: The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not yrue. It is the chief occupation of mankind.

    4. Aaaaaaaaaah! I reread before posting and still missed those typos. I really should give up trying to post using the cell phone.

  5. Lincoln was the biggest mass murderer of Americans in history.His unconstitutional actions destroyed the Republic and put us on the path we are on today,mass murder and tyranny. You need to read Professor Tom Di Lorenzo on what a POS Lincoln was! This is a really stupid and horrible article based on a public school education.

    1. Poor ignorant Frank. His public education must have lacked reading comprehension.

      I suspect you are the only person who read this post and concluded that I was praising Lincoln. This is incomprehensible, given my conclusion.

    2. BM, you are better than that reply.

      Our messiah, the Prince of Peace, would not hesitate to reprove you for such a mordant reply.

      You could have been kinder to Frank.

      Liberty Mike

  6. Right you are going to approve my criticism.Alternative media is even worse than MSM if you hurt their feelings.
    Obviously if you are pushing your hero Lincoln you are against America and freedom!

    1. Poor crybaby Frank. You can't even wait a few minutes for your comment to be moderated.