Saturday, August 22, 2020

What is Going On?

A conversation started by RMB, regarding what might happen if Trump is re-elected:

The 2 plausible choices for the Right [are] 1) secession of blue and red states from one another, leading to a peace but disunion or 2) Trump or some other leader of the Right goes dictator and snuffs out the Left's rebellion with no mercy. A Pinochet type of character.

To which I suggested that Angelo Codevilla offered the possibility of option 2) even before Trump won the election in 2016.  Citing from Codevilla:

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.

To which I added at the time:

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.

I pray for RMB’s option 1, but the left won’t have it.  Absent this, some version of option 2 is inevitable, as there are too many people in this country in opposition to the insanity.  In any case, a tyrannical dictator promising to restore order always follows revolution.

Returning to the conversation started by RMB, ATL asks: “what is really going on?”  Were they just trying to get Trump to go dictatorial and invade the cities to restore order?

Or are they just looking to use physical intimidation to get people to accept some of their newly proposed radical policies? Is this their vehicle for reparations? Green New Deal? Seems unlikely.

Maybe they just want to make Trump's America look as bad as possible before the election, even if it means allowing hooligans to burn down their own cities on their watches. That seems like a plan likely to backfire.

A revolution has many fathers.  Today’s revolution began long ago.  One could make the case for the Enlightenment as the start; one could also make the case for what we now refer to as Cultural Marxism and the transformation of education – both K – 12 and university – from one that valued science and Western Civilization to one that has worked to destroy both.  We see the fruits of this labor on the streets, on our television, in the press.

But this is too long a history to trace, and others have done it well.  Just focusing on the last few years…the condition described as Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) has been evident for four years: Russiagate, impeachment, anything he says about the corona, etc. 

But Trump is nothing other than a manifestation of the pushback by many against political centralization and universalist political and social desires.  Those afflicted with TDS will do anything (and this means anything) to get rid of him and crush any hope of those who favor the individual, the local, the national.

Speaking of those willing to do anything…fast forward to the year 2020.  When the corona lockdowns began in March (putting 40 million or more out of work), I felt (and still feel) that the primary driver was financial: the markets required liquidity, and a 2008-style bailout was not politically possible.  Then, the lockdown was an obvious gift to the financial industry – and it created tremendous non-violent backlash.  So, the virus was the pretext, and something like $8 or $10 trillion of liquidity has been added just via the Federal government and Federal Reserve – almost instantaneously.

What has happened since then, or in addition?  Not wanting to let a crisis go to waste…the pharmaceutical industry is all in; further tracking and monitoring is inevitable; governors, mayors, and county commissioners are flexing their dictatorship; congress has an open door to spend; rioters are given free reign; churches are closed. 

Add in the green new deal and reparations if you like – add in the teacher’s unions insisting that because of corona they won’t go back to work unless charter schools are closed.  None of it has to make sense or even be connected to the original issue – they are revolutionaries.

The objective of Cultural Marxists – the destruction of science and Western Civilization (most importantly, Christianity) – is clearly proving successful.

All revolutionaries are happy recipients of the largess offered by revolution.  They need not have identical objectives – revolutionaries never do, as they only agree on what they are against.  This revolution – like the French and Russian before it – will devour its young (along with many of us).  I hope to live to see that day.  I know, some will say that this is not very Christ-like of me; just remember Revelation 19:

13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Bring it on.


Which comes back to Codevilla, and a podcast from LRC just a few weeks into Trump’s term, and from which I cite:

Hear me…you see the entire ruling class essentially rejecting the Constitution, the American way, rejecting the legitimacy of elections.  There can be no mild response to that, and there isn’t one.  Trump’s voters want certain results and they don’t particularly care how they get them.  The ruling class wants its power and doesn’t particularly care how it holds on to it.

Win or lose for Trump in 2020, demands for dictatorial and even tyrannical power will rise.  If Trump wins, the left will go even more berserk and the right (and I divide left and right by where one falls, knowingly or unknowingly, regarding natural law) will come to a point of demanding action – or taking it individually and in small groups.  If Trump loses, the left needs no pretext for demanding dictatorial or tyrannical power.  This defines the left. 

Either way, there are too many people in too many towns – especially in what is known as “flyover country” but also in other parts of the country – that are well capable of taking matters into their own hands by defending their own.

The only peaceful outcome is decentralization.  The right will be happy with this; the left won’t allow it.


The left, as represented by the Democratic Party in the United States, held office to push America into World War One (Wilson), World War Two (Roosevelt), Korea (Truman), Vietnam (Kennedy in a small way, Johnson all in), Libya, Syria, Yemen (Obama).  The two major exceptions in the last hundred years: Carter started no major conflict; Bush junior started two.

Revolution – and war (for other than defense) is the ultimate expression of this – is an inherent feature of the left.


  1. "Either way, there are too many people in too many towns – especially in what is known as “flyover country” but also in other parts of the country – that are well capable of taking matters into their own hands by defending their own."--Bionic Mosquito

    “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: what would things have been like if every security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? [They] would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If . . . if . . . we didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation . . . . We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”--Alexander Solzenhytsen, The Gulag Archipelago.

    There is a strong tradition in this country of the "Castle Doctrine", which basically says that a man does not have to back down from defending his home and all that it encompasses.

    Unlike Solzenhytsen's Russia, there are literally millions of Americans who will defend themselves--at their own door--from invasion by either official, armed thugs in uniform looking to enforce compliance or unofficial, random thugs looking to make an easy score or simply exercising violence.

    The only question is which group will show up first and how many people will die as a result. No matter what, we have to either take decisive action to keep what is ours, including our lives, or we will "...sit there in our lairs, paling in terror at every knock on the door, waiting only to be taken away against our will into a miserable future."

    1. Roger, I have thought about this even regarding Christians and churches. Governments around the country are threatening those churches that are open for indoor service - with fines and even jail.

      What if all churches opened on Sunday and every Sunday, and each was full (I know, a real fantasy scenario). Would they arrest them all?

    2. We may, like Solzenhytsen said, come to an understanding that we have nothing left to lose before we resist and push back with any real, society-changing force. As long as we have any material wealth which we think makes us rich, we will be afraid of having it taken away. Fear paralyzes.

      Modern-day American Christians are just as susceptible to this as anyone else. We have forgotten that warning from the Scripture that, "Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it."--Luke 17:33, NIV

      "Would they arrest them all?"

      Not a chance. The State simply does not have the resources to arrest everyone nor to keep them in captivity for very long. Instead, they rely on arresting a few, highly visible persons with the realistic expectation that everyone else will fall into line and do as they are told. Unfortunately, this results in the vast majority of people "losing their lives" while under the delusion that they are saving them.

      Until we worship God as God and refuse to tolerate competing idols, we will repeat this over and over again.

    3. Wow Roger. Powerful words. My hope is your hope. But for it to happen there must be a catalyst. Someone to take the first step and communicate that to the world.

      Them will have to besome kind of militia to help support others. Ijust dont know if the catalyst will come early enough to really matter.

    4. Well, no, there really doesn't. All that is necessary is for someone to be willing to lose it all for the sake of what is right, following in the footsteps of Jesus.

      What does this mean? Take a current example--face masks.

      When the wearing of face masks becomes mandatory to the point of arrests, trials, convictions, fines, jail sentences, etc., what will we do? Are we willing to risk the loss of our comfortable lives for the sake of conformity in the hope that we will be spared? Are we willing to sit in jail for three months to defy a system which tries to tell us what we shall wear? Will we go along in order to get along?

      Remember that the road to Hell is a superhighway and "...many there be that find it", while the road to Life is a goat track and "...few there be that find it."

      Until we are willing to sacrifice our own personal lives (lose them), we will never be free. Most people will never be free. Some, a few, will. I hope I can make the cut.

    5. I will not wear a mask. Period!

      I have come to the understanding that this may mean the loss of my job. It may mean the loss of my freedom to travel, to associate, to purchase, or even to leave my residence. It doesn't matter. I will not be told to wear a mask.

      Will this mean arrest? Trial, conviction, fines, jail time? Possibly. If I am consistent, I will go through the farce of a court hearing and refuse to pay any penalty levied, resulting in a warrant issued and probable jail time. Am I prepared to go that far? We shall see.

      One thing in my favor. I have very little outstanding debt and excellent credit. If I knew that I was going to be imprisoned for any amount of time, I would simply prepay my rent, utility bills, and stack up enough cash for my wife to buy whatever was necessary until I was set free.

      Would that be inconvenient? Absolutely! Will it be necessary? I hope not. Will I shy away from it? Never!

      "The servant is not greater than his Master."

    6. I wrote the above comment a week ago and have been having second thoughts about it ever since. I would appreciate input from others concerning this.

      Should I hang in there to the bitter end? Should I walk this statement back? How far should I walk it back? Should I simply compromise for the sake of my own welfare and that of my wife and household? If my boss comes to me with an order to wear a mask, should I tell him to "take this job and shove it" or should I work with him on the issue? Pragmatism? Dogmatism? Reality? Standing firm on principle?

      All these thoughts are going through my mind and I'm trying to sort them out. I'm open to advice and suggestions.

    7. Roger, so many personal issues are wrapped up in answering these questions. Will standing on principle of X (in this case, masks) place me or my family in financial jeopardy, starvation, homelessness, physical danger?

      Where is my line of "principle"? A tough question, and sadly, one that I find myself bending on regarding certain issues - getting used to the new normal being normal. Such new normal events have happened dozens of times in my life....

      Here is something to think about in regards to your question, from Jonathan Pageau:

      Now, I am not sure how much his answer helps. He sees that the line is to be drawn when the church is asked to accept something "spiritually" that it cannot accept. As I try to parse out his meaning...when the church is forced to accept (whatever) on the same level as accepting Christ and our salvation (as an example)...maybe this is what he is getting at.

      But I am not really able to decipher his meaning more than this. Take a listen (the relevant portion is only a couple of minutes) and let me know if you can better interpret this.

    8. Roger, In April I wrote a letter to the editor of my local newspaper critical of the Oregon governor for issuing edicts, rather than simply advising or recommending the citizenry to act in certain ways to protect themselves from the corona virus. Here is a paragraph from that letter: "These leaders certainly may advise, recommend, urge, and do their best with the knowledge they have at hand to convince we citizens to use good judgement to protect ourselves and others."

      I received stunning negative feedback for those words. I admit I hadn’t expected my fellow Americans to roll over to these edicts so easily.

      Beyond writing letters or articles in protest, I believe we each must decide for ourselves if complying with such orders is more harmful or helpful to those we care about most, our families and loved ones. It’s a matter of deciding which you value most. Peg

    9. Bionic, your reply to my questions was gracious, to say the least. I appreciate that. And Peg, your reply was like a soft, soothing touch. Thank you, both.

      Concerning the face mask thing, six months ago I wrote a post on my blog detailing my response if confronted with the issue. See it here: I have no excuse for the meltdown except to claim a defiant moment exacerbated by a few beers followed by the inevitable shock at what was spoken. My apologies to you all.

      Concerning Jonathan Pageau. It seems to me that he has no hard, fast rule by which a person or a church can point to and say that this is the line in the sand. As Peg and Bionic have mentioned, this appears to be something which is left up to the individual to determine. Can we decide in advance how far we will bend before we harden our position and refuse to go any further? Shall we be so rigid and hidebound that we will snap and be destroyed if hit with a gale force gust of wind? I do not know and am constantly updating my viewpoint on that. For certain, I am more flexible than I used to be. Some things are just not worth dying for. Some things are not worth destroying others for.

      I think Pageau is right about the authority thing. There will always be authority, some type of control, and we have to live with it the best we can. I think he was stretching when he says that the church will be "asked" to accept something which may be contradictory to what it teaches as truth. From my understanding, government NEVER asks anyone to do something, it is ALWAYS an order. The question, then, becomes one of deciding to follow the order or to defy it, with all the attendant repercussions.

      Where do we draw the line? It comes down to one thing: whom do we trust? Is Jesus Christ the source of our salvation or do we place our trust in Man? At the end of the day, this is all that matters and it is the only thing we have to answer for.

      I think that so many people have the idea that we will wake up one morning to an edict ordering everyone to get a "mark" before evening. Or else! Fact is, the system which will facilitate this has been building for well over a century, bit by bit, and we are already accustomed to it. Whether we give it (the system) total control over our lives is up to us.

  2. BM, I really dont think most on the Right are okay with secession either. Secession has been so smeared as an action and lied about that there are only a few of us in the Misesian Right that consider it a noble and preferable option.

    We are called NeoConfederates. A slur that both Left and Right have assigned to those of us who prefer peace and self-sovereignty.

    1. RMB, I define the split of left and right based on a view of natural law - at least reasonably understood. I had referenced this earlier, but not when I made the point regarding decentralization.

      It strikes me that those favorable to natural law would also be favorable to political institutions at ever more local levels.

      To your point, that group is rather small: it would include very, very few who describe themselves as left in the current political sense of the term, and only some portion (maybe half??) of those who would describes themselves as on the right in the current political sense.

  3. I hadn't previously read the Codevilla article to which you linked here, but was astonished to find it was written in September, 2016. So prescient, and so heartbreaking. I weep for America. The idea of America, however, will never die. Peg

    1. Codevilla's article is a tough read, just for the reasons you mention. What is more stunning to me: while not specifically aimed at America (but the West more broadly), Lewis saw this coming more than 70 years ago, and Chesterton saw it coming more than 100 years ago.

    2. I am reading How Should We Then Live by Francis Schaeffer. He mentions Rome welcoming authoritarianism due to the political disorder of the late Republic. Anything for peace, even a dictator

    3. "Anything for peace, even a dictator"

      Argentina under Peron or Chile under Pinochet?

      Or, maybe a more apt analogy would be choosing between [international] communists and nationalists. (keeping it simple but still accurate).
      Sometimes not choosing sides makes them decide you are on the other side.

      The question is not really about authoritarianism but who is going to be the authoritarian?

    4. Jaime, I think about the Catholics during the Spanish Civil War. What choice did they have other than to back Franco, when the communists wanted to kill them all?

    5. Emigrate.
      Lambs to the slaughter.
      Choose Franco and have a chance at survival.

  4. watch the movie "Battle Of Athens."
    That is Athens, Tennesse, 1947.
    It is in youtube.
    Multiply by tens of thousands.

  5. In physics its called inertia. Unbalanced forces cause objects to accelerate. We have been accelerating for decades. In the 90's I read Robert D. Kaplan's - An Empire Wilderness: Travels into America's Future. Whole sections of the country have nothing in common with other parts (politics, religion, education, social standards, employment, etc). As a matter of fact most states are fractured. Back to Kaplan, grab a copy of his book and turn to page 13. Kaplan quotes a Marine Corps officer, Major Craig Tucker, who points out the ignorance of social upheavals and then goes on to suggest with another officer that there will come a time when .mil will have to go "domestic". Chilling? It gets mo' betterer' as they say on the streets. A Canadian officer chimes up and suggests that the biggest threat to Canada is that the United States will collapse on itself.

    The now promoted and retired Colonel Craig Tucker had this to say in a 2017 Daily Beast article entitled: The NRA Has Entered the Province of Cowards

    "As Marines, we fought to defend the U.S. and its freedoms. The NRA's new video campaign is dedicated to a xenophobic policy of violent hatred and intolerance undermining freedom."

    From the Daily Beast: Craig Tucker is a retired Marine Corps Colonel and decorated 25-year combat veteran. His combat command of RCT-7 in Iraq spanned 14 months and included the first and second Battles of Fallujah, numerous smaller actions and a Purple Heart for wounds received in combat action north of Husaybah Iraq.

    From Business Insider who did an article on the 10 most important battles the Marine Corps fought in. Here is a quote by Colonel Tucker on Fallujah: "I was proud of the Marines ... how they conducted themselves in a month of hard urban combat," Col. Craig Tucker, commanding officer of the 7th Marines, said in December 2004. "We did something good."

    Here is my rhetorical question... And what was the outcome for the civilian population of Fallujah? He, the colonel, sounds a bit like Harris and Spatz, no? Or am I being overly sensitive?

    Back to reality...

    Like an American't Chinese menu... you have given us a proverbial column 1 and column 2 to choose from. Its kind of like asking what came first: the chicken or the egg? I believe it will be a mashup of both. Balkanization? An armed social revolution? It will make for a very uncivil-Civil War 2.0. Will we get the retired colonel's wish?

    1. There is some truth about inertia when it comes to people - it is called procrastination.
      The main problem of knowing when it is time to take some kind of action and to what degree. After all, none of us is all-knowing. Looking back in history gives us a chance to recognize current events, how people acted/reacted, outcomes and consequences.
      Santayana stated that "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it," well, one person's memory is composed of personal experience and knowledge gained from others' stories.
      How would a person know that he is repeating errors of the past if he does not know?

  6. Don't discount the power of an armed populace to force the powers that be to do their jobs to stop the tactics of the Bolsheviks. The most recent examples of this are Portland and Kenosha. In Portland, the police are completely powerless and the riots have moved from downtown areas to neighborhoods. Contrast that with Kenosha where the police are again powerless to stop the looting and arson. But now there is a viral video of a bunch of protestors running back into their vehicles because one resident fired a few warning shots. The end result is that now Law Enforcement has to do something to protect at least this neighborhood to prevent this same person from actually killing someone in defense of their property.

    Now we have the big question which is: Will Biden or any Democrat be able to get elected on a platform that includes any gun control? I think it is clear to the peaceful, or in the case above normally peaceful, gun owners that the Democratic Party is against you and in favor of rioting.

    1. Are you sure they are "powerless", or are just refusing to use their power? In Beverly Hills, the police made the rioters turn tail and run.