Sunday, June 25, 2017

Micah 5:8 and Civil War


       There is increasing discussion of the possibility of the United States disintegrating, whether it be a de facto secession or a civil war. For instance, Jason Willick, writing at The American Interest, comments on California's "soft secession"--the beginning of a social and economic separation from the conservative portions of the United States by such actions as California banning the use of public funds to pay for travel to a growing list of States that have not adopted California's boundless acceptance of sexual deviancy. While the impact, at this stage, is largely symbolic, the author writes, represents a serious threat to the Union. Willick observes:
... American federalism is based on the agreement that different states can pursue different policies (within Constitutional bounds) while retaining equal status within the union. California’s decision to escalate the culture war with “sanctions” against states with different political orientations represents a direct challenge to America’s federal structure.
He adds:
If we accept this precedent—if blue states begin to sanction red states and red states return the favor—then it’s easy to see how the culture war’s tendency to escalate could produce a full-blown constitutional crisis, or worse. We need to stop this before it sets us on a road from which there’s no turning back.
        That road is the one that leads to civil war, and it is probably inevitable because we have reached a point where the values of a large segment of the population is incompatible with the values of the other half. Earlier this month, Clifford Humphrey hit the nail on the head, I think, as the general Red/Blue divide. He explained:
       ... It is clear that we are not arguing, at bottom, about different means to the same ends. We do not even agree about what the ends should be. For example, the real argument is not about what may be the most prudent way to deal with the large population of illegal immigrants living and possibly voting in our country. The argument is about whether citizens of any country have the right to say who can become a fellow citizen. The disagreement is so sharp because it is a disagreement about justice itself. 
         To put the issue in Lincoln’s terms, now the Left insists Americans only tolerate illegal immigration, but cease to call open borders wrong and join its proponents in calling it right. We must cease to call abortion wrong and join the Left in calling it right. And so on with economic issues, health issues, social and moral issues. ...
Angelo Codevilla similarly has written:
       ... The 2016 election and its aftermath reflect the distinction, difference, even enmity that has grown exponentially over the past quarter century between America’s ruling class and the rest of the country. During the Civil War, President Lincoln observed that all sides “pray[ed] to the same God.” They revered, though in clashing ways, the same founders and principles. None doubted that those on the other side were responsible human beings. Today, none of that holds. Our ruling class and their clients broadly view Biblical religion as the foundation of all that is wrong with the world. According to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.”
       The government apparatus identifies with the ruling class’s interests, proclivities, and tastes, and almost unanimously with the Democratic Party. As it uses government power to press those interests, proclivities, and tastes upon the ruled, it acts as a partisan state. This party state’s political objective is to delegitimize not so much the politicians who champion the ruled from time to time, but the ruled themselves. Ever since Woodrow Wilson nearly a century and a half ago at Princeton, colleges have taught that ordinary Americans are rightly ruled by experts because they are incapable of governing themselves. Millions of graduates have identified themselves as the personifiers of expertise and believe themselves entitled to rule. Their practical definition of discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, etc., is neither more nor less than anyone’s reluctance to bow to them. It’s personal.
Or, as Daniel Greenfield points out, "[t]he left doesn’t want to secede. It wants to rule. Political conflicts become civil wars when one side refuses to accept the existing authority. The left has rejected all forms of authority that it doesn’t control." Because it is about control, because it is personal, there is no amicable divorce in the offing, either.

       Accepting that a hot civil war is inevitable, it naturally raises the question of who would win. A common argument is similar to the following:
       If civil war comes, on one side you'll have the guys with all the guns and they've made no secret about their intent to keep them. Their women are pretty, dedicated wives and mothers. They've built communities and nations that last centuries. 
       On the other side, the women have the facial hair and the men have boobs. Those that manage to successfully mate tend to abort their children before they're born. If they do successfully mate, and if they choose not to flush the fetus down the crapper, their children tend to turn out [as effeminate transgender queers].
However, David Hines, in an article at Jacobite magazine entitled, "Political Violence Is A Game The Right Can't Win" argues that the political left is more organized and would, therefore have the upper hand. In this regard, Hines writes:
       The organizational capacity required to build a new world is the same organizational capacity have Lefties built to pressure government. So who’s in a better position to shape the big moment when it comes?  Hell, if tomorrow civilization goes completely Mad Max: who’s got existing local networks of people who they’re used to turning out and doing stuff with on a regular basis?  Answer to both questions: not the Right. 
       Passivists say activism accomplishes nothing. What it actually accomplishes is practice.  Practice for networking, practice for turnout, practice for speed, practice working as a team. Anybody who’s ever tried to get five people together for dinner knows it’s a pain, but look at the airport protests after the travel ban, and see how many people the hard Left can turn out on next to no notice.  Say the balloon were to suddenly go up: forget having a detailed and specific plan; in that first five minutes, do you — not some veterans’ network you’re hoping will salvage things, not some imaginary Great Man; *specifically you* — even know who you’re going to call? 
       The Lefties do. And that’s why righties who say the Right has nothing to learn from the Left are wrong. That’s because righties don’t read lefty books. I read lefty books and organizational manuals, and I can tell you: they’re smart. 
       Accordingly, righties face two major challenges: building things, and understanding the strengths, weaknesses, and tactics of their Lefty opposition.  Righties won’t do the same things as the Left, or do them in the same ways, but that doesn’t mean the Lefties don’t have lessons we can learn. 
       The first thing righties have to understand about Lefties is that lefties have a lot more practice building their own institutions, and assuming control of existing institutions, than their counterparts on the right do, and they share their practical experience with each other. Righties who like to build churches will build a church and worship in it. Lefties who like to build churches will build a church, write a book telling people how to build churches, go out and convince people church-building is the thing to do, run workshops on how to finance, build, and register churches, and then they’ll offer to arrange church guest speakers who’ll come preach the Lefty line. 
 He has a point. The Left has conducted a successful march through the institutions, while, as Vox Day likes to point out, Conservatives have failed to conserve anything. As I've noted before, as a consequence of the march through the institutions, Leftists do not require an explicit conspiracy. Rather, as Sarah Hoyt explains, it instead provides guiding principles and abiding ideas "that inform and shape a movement, and in people so completely in communion with the revealed message of 'progressivism' that they will do the things that no police force or government could force them to do, were they free."

       But a review of history would suggest that Hines confidence may be misplaced. For one thing, socialism embodies a flaw so basic that it must always fail: it views "people as a homogeneous mass, with identical needs, without taking into account the differences that abound in character, ability, intelligence and other aspects that make us all uniquely human," and its solutions to inequality is merely a different form of slavery and inequality. Socialism is so antithetical to human experience that people will naturally tend to vomit up its teachings once they have adequate life experiences.

      The other flaw is Hines belief that the Left has the superior skill set. This skill set is the experience to subvert existing institutions. Contrary to Hines position, the Left is not the type to build, but is a cancer that slowly takes over organizations founded by others. Besides, if we are talking a hot civil war, the fact that it has judges that belong or belonged to the National Lawyers Guild, or community organizers experienced at blackmailing cities and corporations, is of less use than experience with naked force. In that regard, I must point out that the modern left is not the fighters hardened by the horrors of World War I such as Lenin had at his disposal, nor the militant core that remained to Mao Zedong following his long march. Rather, the Left represents the old and tired remains of a civilization in the winter of its life, as Spengler would describe it. It's only hope is to pit us against each other.

       Finally, while the Right may lack the likes of AntiFa or Black Lives Matter, it has other organizations that have proven very effective at calling up people in times of disaster or other great need: churches. And this is not something for the Left to lightly dismiss. For instance, we read in Micah 5:8:
And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver.
LDS readers should read and understand: they know their lineage. But more generally, the Lord will protect his own. Just as churches responded quickly and decisively to assist after Hurricane Katrina, we can expect that churches and congregations will be able to respond to other threats. So, in response to Hines' question, "Do you ... even know who you’re going to call?," I can say: yes, yes I do.

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