No Harm, No Foul

The Basic College Girl is so dumb, lazy, and entitled, she makes Hillary Clinton look like a criminal mastermind.  I caught one recycling a term paper from another class because she’d forgotten to take the other professor’s name off the header.  Hell, I caught one copy-pasting straight off Wikipedia because she’d left the hyperlinks embedded in the text.

And these were not Hail Marys.  Just copy-pasting something, anything, Cuttlefish-style makes sense if you haven’t done a lick of work and it’s due in five minutes.  It’s a one-in-a-million shot, sure, but since it took you all of 45 seconds and you’re going to fail anyway, you might as well try to shoot the moon.  No, these were papers turned in with plenty of time to spare (I always had my term papers due at least a week before final exams).

Think about that for a second: Instead of coming to my office hours with a sob story, or trying to talk the registrar into an incomplete, or faking her own death, or doing literally anything else, more than a few BCGs turned in visible-from-space plagiarism and skipped on down to Starbucks for a triple foam half-caff venti soy chai pumpkin spice latte.  YOLO!

That’s not the worst part, though.  The worst part is the BCG’s reaction when you catch them.  When you point out that no, I’m not Professor Jones and this isn’t Spring 2014, the BCG’s universal, invariable reaction is… anger.  At YOU.

At the time I was simply too pissed to think about it rationally (I trust you’ll believe me when I say that in the semesters just before I retired, my biggest challenge was keeping a look of utter contempt off my face).  Looking back on it after some years, though, it makes sense.  BCGs are all grandiose narcissists with Borderline Personality Disorder.  Of course they’re just so wonderful that anything they deign to turn in should be given an A+, sight unseen.  What other purpose could I, the professor, possibly serve, other than to mark it down for record-keeping?  Now she’s forced to take the time to email me, or come down to my office hours, or what have you, just to set my dumb ass straight.  It’s a real inconvenience!

This is why this impeachment stuff has me soiling my knickers.  I recognize all the players.  Basic College Girls are found among both sexes and all 57 genders — Adam Schiff is such a BCG, he must have twelve pairs of Uggs and a small, meaningful tattoo on his wrist.  He lies all the time, about anything and everything, and it doesn’t bother him a whit when he gets caught, because hey, no harm, no foul.  If lying gets him what he wants — which is, of course, nothing less than what he deserves — then it isn’t really a lie, is it?

And if it doesn’t work, that’s ok, too.  It’s not like he’ll face any consequences; BCGs never do.    In fact, in some ways it’s better to get “caught” “lying,” since that means all ur h8rz get all worked up about you, again, which means you win.  There’s drama surrounding you on social media.  That, to the BCG, is the only thing that really matters in this world.

But the real world, as we all know, is that which doesn’t go away when you stop believing in it.  BCGs believe, with all their hearts and souls, in a strange, postmodern kind of solipsism in which only Twitter exists…

…but the world outside Twitter does exist, no matter how many Instagram followers you have.  The question is: How long will the BCGs who rule us be permitted to live solely on Twitter?

The blackpilled among us say “forever,” or effectively forever — until, as Anonymous White Male puts it in the comments below, until the porn and the sportsball and the food run out.  Having dealt with many a BCG over many long years, I often fall into this myself.  I and every other educator with a shred of principle remaining (and there are a few, even at this late date) longed to flunk Suzy Sorority so hard, she’d end up back in fourth grade.  But none of us ever did, because we knew what would happen: Suzy would keep bitching up the chain of command until someone — the department chair, the dean, the college president — reversed our decision.  Which someone would, because higher ed is a business in steep decline, and the customer is always right.  Then what do you do?  Admit to everyone you’re a whore and stay on, or resign in protest and never work again? (College is a guild profession where everyone knows everyone, at least by reputation).

Sometimes I think there’s hope, though.  It’s that “steep decline” part.  Higher ed is entirely propped up by two things, both about to go bye-bye: The federal student loan tit, and foreign students, mostly from the PRC, over here to blow off steam and conduct industrial espionage.  Taking the second first, I remarked here a few months ago that President Trump’s trade war with China might’ve inadvertently killed off higher ed, as the utter dependence of many, if not most, state U’s on Chinamen paying full freight is academia’s worst-kept secret.  As soon as it’s no longer worth it to send the second sons of lesser party officials over here to party with blonde girls while taking notes on process engineering, half the colleges in America will have to shut their doors.  As the student loan endgame is obvious we’ll skip it, but both of them lead to the same conclusion — when the customer is no longer right, Suzy Sorority’s going to get told to fuck right off.  It’ll be the first time she’s ever heard the word “no” in her life, and it’ll be delivered gleefully enough to give the Marquis de Sade a posthumous woody.

It may not need to end in revolution, I guess I’m saying.  Are we Dirt People really going to follow orders when Schiff, Pelosi et all tell us “BOHICA”?  How many times?  And if we don’t, do we really have to go to the ultimate end before they stop?

I’ve seen way too many Basic College Girls completely melt down — as in, sobbing in the corner, requiring sedation — to be sure that Schiff et al have iron in their spines.  They’ve never been tested.  What happens if we just say no?

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Chemical Weapons

This whole impeachment mess has got me thinking about mustard gas.

In World War I, the major combatants used chemical weapons with abandon.  Bombers filled with gas shells was the nightmare scenario of inter-war defense ministers.  “The bomber will always get through,” Stanley Baldwin proclaimed in 1932.  The hundreds of thousands of casualties he predicted came from chemical weapons — despite what airpower fanatics like Douhet and Billy Mitchell proclaimed, none of that generation’s aircraft had sufficient capacity to do much damage to large cities with conventional explosives.  A few thousand pounds of gas shells, though…

And yet, go ahead and google up “chemical warfare in World War 2.”  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  I promise it won’t take long.  What explains this very interesting development?

I suppose if you pressed them on it, Liberals would have to answer with their favorite blather about international agreements.  And it’s true, the Geneva Protocol outlawed chemical weapons back in 1925.  The thing is, though, Herr Hitler proclaimed many times that, as Germany was an ethno-state organized for the existential defense of the German people, his Reich was not bound by so-called “international law.”  The Wehrmacht’s “rules of war” were whatever it chose to impose upon itself, and no others.  Likewise with Emperor Hirohito’s forces.  Neither Axis power would have had any scruple about using any weapon.  And it’s not like the Germans forgot how to make poison gas between 1918 and 1939.  So why didn’t they use it?

The answer, of course, is: Guaranteed massive retaliation in kind.  Stalin’s boys knew how to make poison gas, too.  And if you want further proof, there you go — Stalin is one of maybe six people in the history of the human race who might challenge Hitler for sheer cold-bloodedness.  He didn’t use gas, either, though he certainly had some… and for the exact same reason.  Only the sure knowledge that everything between the Urals and the Elbe would be turned into a poisonous wasteland kept those sons of bitches in check.

I don’t think anyone in our current “American” “government” is anywhere close to Hitler or Stalin, blood temperature-wise, but it’s a very striking fact that retaliation in kind has never once come up.  The American Left trumpeted its intention to impeach President Trump approximately six hours after the election results were finalized.  They were setting their caper in motion before the man even took the oath of office.  They’ve been out and proud about their determination to charge him with something, anything, and proclaim it an impeachable offense….

And yet, retaliation has never come up.  If Donald Trump doing  ___ is an impeachable offense — go ahead and fill in whatever you want, it changes every few days — then it’s an impeachable offense for Democrats, too.  You don’t need the Third Law of SJW to realize that everything Trump is being accused of, Obama already did… and then some.  If ____ is impeachable, then every single Congresscritter of both parties should be removed from office.  In any semi-rational polity, the opposition would make this known immediately.

But they didn’t.  Which means the fix is in.  And I mean all the way in.  It’ll go to the Senate, Mittens and Murkowski and the rest of them will vote with the Dems, which means a few months of President Mike Pence, I guess, until the November election, at which point…. well, who knows, since it’ll be far too late to even get another Republican on most state ballots (and no Hawaiian judge will just randomly assign one, as he would if the Dems were caught in a similar bind).  So… President Joe Biden, I suppose, and then what?

If they’ve thought about it at all — and I truly believe they haven’t, they’re just winging it, but even if they have — that’s as far as it goes: They get their guy into the Oval Office without having to go through the bother of a real election.  Mittens et al get their thirty pieces of silver (quid pro quo!!) and…. that’s it.  The Cloud People win again.

But here’s where the chemical weapons analogy breaks down.  No one can seriously doubt that the SS guys getting ready for the Götterdämmerung in April 1945 would’ve used chemical weapons if they’d had them.  The Red Army ditto, when they were being overrun in the opening months of Barbarossa.  That’s why you don’t let local commanders keep nightmare weapons in their armories: They’ll use them.  The NBCs are kept under the tightest locks and keys, and the authority to use them can only come from the tippy-top.

The Dems obviously assume that Trump will go quietly.  I’m not sure I’d bet that way, but even if he does, they obviously don’t realize that in this case, all the enemy’s troops have access to the nightmare weapons.  Trump might be enough of an unreconstructed Boomer civnat to let them frog march him out of the Oval Office, but what about his aides?  His staff people?  His judges?  His voters?  For if the Dems have made one thing very clear, it’s this: Wrongthink is unforgivable.  No one who has ever said a kind word about Trump will ever be allowed to forget it.  Sooner or later, they will ruin you for it.  Is everyone, everywhere, going to sit back and take it?

That’s ultimately why I say the Left haven’t thought it through.  Those are really the only alternatives: Either they haven’t thought it through, which is scary enough, or they have thought it through, and in their hubris they’ve concluded that yes, once again, all the Dirt People, everywhere, will just lay there and take it.

What if they don’t?  What if, like the local commander with the mustard gas, the Dirt People feel they have no other choice but to use whatever weapons they have to hand?  They have lots of weapons, and once they come out, there’s only one way they’re going back in again.

The Left either don’t know this, or they don’t care.  Like the original use of poison gas, all the way back when, they’re only looking at the situation directly in front of them:  It’ll win this one battle, one time, and that’s all that matters.

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The New Perestroika

The Democrats thought putting this on the stand was a good idea:

God help us all, they really did.

You’d go a long way to find a grosser caricature of a hectoring, out-of-touch, anti-American LGTBWhatever (((elitist))) than that one.*  Normally at this point I’d break out Severian’s Corollary to Hanlon’s Razor (“there’s some stupidity so stupid, you actually pray it’s malice”), but instead let’s talk about perestroika.

Quoth Wikipedia:

Perestroika allowed more independent actions from various ministries and introduced many market-like reforms. The alleged goal of perestroika, however, was not to end the command economy but rather to make socialism work more efficiently to better meet the needs of Soviet citizens by adopting elements of liberal economics. The process of implementing perestroika created shortages, political, social, and economic tensions within the Soviet Union and is often blamed for the political ascent of nationalism and nationalist political parties in the constituent republics. Perestroika and its associated structural ailments have been cited as major catalysts leading to the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Allow me to dissent.  Perestroika’s what happens when you turn the reins over to the third generation — the generation that didn’t come up hard, and thus wasn’t forced to deal with objective reality.  For all his faults, and for all the debate over whether Stalin was “really” a Communist (hint: he was), the Boss knew what it takes to hold onto power in a one-party state.  He learned his craft in the hardest school — maneuvering against Lenin and Trotsky, two of the coldest, most ruthless sons-of-bitches ever to draw breath.  His successor, Nikita Khrushchev, survived both the Great Purge and the Great Patriotic War for the Motherland — an achievement, as you can imagine, that pretty much no one else of consequence could boast.

Mikhail Gorbachev, by contrast, was born in 1931.  His childhood was affected by the war — as was every Russian child’s — but his grandfather was a kolkhoznik from way back; Mikhail was wired in to the Party from birth.  Stalin died in 1953.  Gorbachev was 22 — in an earlier generation he could’ve been a serious player at that age, but the postwar generation didn’t start rising until their 30s, or more usually their 40s.  He was still at university when the Boss kicked the bucket; he didn’t start his official political career until 1955, and wasn’t recognized as a bona-fide comer until the late 1960s.

What this meant was that Gorbachev grew up in the kinder, gentler Soviet Union — the one where Khrushchev released a whole bunch of folks from the Gulag and denounced cults of personality.  This is not to say that Gorbachev wasn’t a sincere Communist; he was.  In fact, that was his problem — he was too sincere.  The earlier generations faced the stark choice between hewing to orthodox Marxism, or hanging on to power.  They chose the latter, of course, and that’s why Trotsky had to go —  he kept on claiming to be the only true Marxist of the bunch (which he was, of course, but that’s a story for another day).  Gorbachev, though, got to see Communism “working,” and from this he deduced — not unreasonably for someone who didn’t come up hard — that Communism’s manifest failures were due to not following Marx and Lenin more exactly.  Marx and Lenin talked a great game about “openness” (glasnost), “democracy,” and all that “improving the lot of the People” jazz.

So he did all that, the fool, not realizing that Communism “worked,” such as it did, only through repression.  Take your foot off The People’s neck enough to let them breathe, by all means — that was Comrade Khrushchev’s great insight — but if you ease off any further, they’ll try to wriggle out… and eventually kill you, their tormentor.  Having never seen The People at close range — as everyone in the previous generations had — he couldn’t understand this, and so crashed the system.

Our modern Democrats are in Gorbachev’s shoes right now.  Whatever tenuous grasp of reality Pelosi once had, 40+ years in power has completely eroded it.  When she came up, California was still a red state (would’ve been “a blue state” back then, but you get the point).  In her lifetime, San Francisco went from “the one hippy enclave in a conservative state” to “the bellwether of Progressivism;” it’s no wonder she’s out of touch.  The younger generation — “the Squad” and the rest of them — never were in touch.  They were marinated in identity politics while they were still in the womb.  They took the private-school pipeline straight into “elected” office.  Having been raised, educated, and supervised by Pamela Karlan types their entire lives, they see her as a Mommy figure — a benign authority that only wants what’s best for everyone.

Seriously, they do.  It’s like Gorbachev’s attempt at creating a kinder, gentler KGB — what he saw as a necessary reform for The People’s welfare, The People saw as their opportunity to finally turn their knives on their tormentors.  What do the Democrats want for America?  Imagine Pamela Karlan wagging her finger in a human face, forever.

These people are terrifyingly stupid.  Pamela Karlan makes Pajamaboy look like the fucking Marlboro Man, and she’s unscripted.  Gorby’s still alive – they’d better talk to him, fast.  Otherwise, we might’ve just seen the opening shots of the revolution.

 

 

 

*As much as I hate this (((special people))) shit so many in Our Thing insist on, you don’t have to be Heinrich Himmler to see her and think “Oh lord, another one.  Do they have anyone on the varsity that doesn’t carry two passports?”
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Revolts vs. Revolutions III

Lenin understood the distinction between revolts and revolutions.  He knew that the peasantry can be pushed to revolt — the Russian peasantry was the most backward, abused, and brutalized in Europe — but would falter once their passions were spent.  As a Russian with more than a little Mongol in him, he was familiar with Pugachev’s Rebellion, and understood why it failed: Pugachev was a throwback who, like all pre-modern rebel leaders, preached an idealized past (he went so far as to pretend to be the assassinated Tsar Peter III, another common feature of pre-modern rebellions).*  Better to be a free peasant under Pugachev than a serf under Catherine, I suppose, but being a free Cossack is better than both, and that clearly wasn’t in the cards.  Pugachev wasn’t offering a viable alternative — his was a real rebellion, as I’m defining the term.

Lenin understood that a real revolution requires a viable alternative.  More importantly, a revolution requires a group that understands the alternative, that can preach it to the masses, and is willing to do what it takes to make it happen.  This was his great insight, and why “-Leninism” got appended to “Marxism” wherever Commies gained actual power.  That “Vanguard of the Proletariat” stuff isn’t (just) self-serving hooey to justify the nomenklatura’s cushy lifestyle while the people are starving.  It’s a dead-bang description of actual revolutionary practice.  You’ve got to have one in order to succeed.

Our paradigm case is the English Civil War, and I trust that the “vanguard” there is obvious:  The hot gospellers who saw Charles I’s religious meddling as the work of the actual Antichrist.  “Puritanism” — here lumping in lots of diverse groups who hated each other for convenience’s sake — is a bizarre creed, unlike anything seen before.  We can’t really realize how strange it seemed back then, because in a very real sense we’re all Puritans now — we share their core belief, which is that the external world must be made to conform to all the undulations of our own pwecious widdle selves.  This is very obviously a species of nihilism, since if the world can’t be made to reflect our souls, it must be destroyed, taking our souls with it.  Nobody hates the world more efficiently than the man who hates himself, and the Puritans are still the all-time champions of self-hate.  Scratch a hot gospeller, find a suicide vest.

But they were educated, those Puritans, and they had a prose style (incomprehensible as it seems to modern eyes), and the printing presses to publicize it.  When your society has a critical mass of people who see themselves inevitably trending downwards, “something radically different” will always beat “more of the same,” provided “something radically different” has some kind of divine sanction behind it.  Back in the 1630s you needed Scriptural citations.  By 1917 the Gospel of Karl Marx was enough…

…and given the ongoing, rapidly-accelerating enstupidation of the human race, I can’t even imagine  how little it’s going to take to kick off our century’s Great Calamity.  The comments are open; speculate away.

 

 

*So many medieval chiliastic rebellions had pseudo-Barbarossas, pseudo-Charlemagnes, and others at their head.  Cohn’s The Pursuit of the Millennium is full of examples.  Note that the Cat Fanciers tried a version of this, too, with their cult of Henry the Fowler.
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Happy Thanksgiving

I’ll be out of town all week, so Happy Thanksgiving a day early.

Today I’m thankful for family and friends.  For y’all — comrades in arms, if only virtually.  They’re the only things worth being loyal to.

There will be a Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, of course, and it’ll look a lot like it did back in the old days.  There will be turkey in the oven and football on tv.  Grandmas and Grandpas, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandchildren will gather around the table.  Grandpa will have one of his two annual glasses of whiskey and fall asleep in his armchair by the start of the third quarter, like he does every year.  Some goofy cousin will bring her new boyfriend — he’s really The One this time — and he’ll try too hard to be funny when we play board games (probably drinking a bit too much in the process).  At least one grandkid will be down with a stomachache by four o’clock.  Uncle Paddy will try to talk politics, like he always does, and Aunt Mabel will shush him just like always.  The fire will be bright, the stuffing will be perfect, and if you try, you can almost convince yourself it’s still America.

But the goofy cousin’s boyfriend will be a mystery meatball, or at best one of those pudgy white kids who wears skinny jeans and ironic facial hair.  Uncle Paddy will be extra bitter, because he’s been out of work for five years now, since the plant got outsourced to Mexico.  Aunt Mabel’s shushing is a bit slurred these days — Prozac — and all the grandkids are on Ritalin.  All the ads during the game will feature Hispanics and homosexuals.

The truth is, America was gone by 1992, when we elected that chicken-fried poonhound and his harridan gangster wife.  It was probably gone long before that, to be honest, but by then the rot was unmistakable.  I was too young and naive to see it clearly, but a few decades on, I recognize what that vague feeling of discontent was I’d had all those years.  I felt like a Romano-Briton must’ve felt, circa 400 AD or so.  You know the horrors are on their way, but for now the roads and aqueducts still work and there’s peace, however obviously fragile and short-lived.  Here in ex-America we still have heat and light and the Internet and indoor plumbing, and I’m thankful for them… not least because I sure as hell wouldn’t take bets that my grandchildren will have them.

So be thankful for what you have, comrades-in-arms, for as long as you are blessed to still have it.  Western Civilization has survived worse than this.  We’ll be back… but the night is long, and twilight is rushing in.  Be thankful for the light while it’s here.  Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless.

 

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Revolts vs. Revolutions II

From below:

  • A revolt is a large-scale, semi-organized riot.  It aims, at best (e.g. Wat Tyler’s Rebellion), at the redress of specific grievances.  At worst, it’s violent nihilism (e.g. the Jacquerie).
  • A civil war aims to replace one leader with another, leaving the underlying civil structure intact — e.g. any of the Roman civil wars post-Augustus.
  • A revolution‘s goal is total social transformation.  We’re stipulating that it’s violent, because while stuff like the Industrial Revolution is fascinating, we’re not looking at peaceful change here in the Current Year.  Revolutions are necessarily, fundamentally ideological.

I realize this can cause some confusion, as events I’d classify as “revolutions” are called civil wars in the history books, and vice versa.  But the difference is important, because it sheds light on the development, course, and outcome of events.

The paradigm case is the English Civil War, 1642-51.  This was clearly a revolution, as it aimed at — and achieved — the near-total overthrow of existing society.  When Charles I took the throne in 1625, his kingdom was very much closer to a Continental-style divine-right monarchy than most Britons would like to admit.  While the English had succeeded in clawing some of their liberties back from the crown after Henry VIII’s death, the fact remains that the Stuart state, like the Tudor state, was despotic.  But by 1625, the despot was completely out of step with his people, and his times.

By 1642, the first revolutionary prerequisite was in place: No clear alternative.  There were lots of revolts against Henry VIII, and one of them, the Pilgrimage of Grace, had the potential to turn into a civil war, or even a revolution.  The revolts against Elizabeth I didn’t quite rise to that level, but the Northern Rebellion, and Essex’s Rebellion certainly imperiled her government.  See also Wyatt’s Rebellion against Queen Mary, the Prayer Book Rebellion and Kett’s Rebellion against Edward VI, etc.  In all of these, the alternative was clear — return to Rome, replacement of one court faction with another, or return to the old ways.

In other words: Potential rebels could size up the situation accurately, and decide whether the potential benefit of __ outweighed the known hardship of the current situation, plus the very real danger of rebellion.  The simple folk on the Pilgrimage of Grace might have been very attached to their monasteries, but “keeping the local monastery open” — the clear alternative offered by the rebels — didn’t outweigh the very obvious hardship of being hanged in chains.  By 1536, Henry VIII had been on the throne nearly thirty years; he was a known quantity.  During his reign, England had gone from a relatively obscure power on Europe’s outskirts to a major player in international affairs.  Going back to the old style of mass wasn’t worth all that.

By 1639, though — the start of the “Wars of the Three Kingdoms,” a different interpretive slice of the English Civil War — there was no clear choice on offer.  Charles I was intolerable, but the alternative was….?  His son was only 9 years old, and the courtiers surrounding him — that is, the potential regents — were all suspect, either crypto-Catholics or obvious despots.  The rest of Europe was twenty years into the Thirty Years’ War; no help would be forthcoming from the Continent.  Charles was also King of Scotland, so rising behind a Scottish laird would entail either Scotland’s independence, or rule by actual bare-arsed, kilt-wearing Scots — both intolerable.*  Ireland, of course, was a benighted, Catholic land held down by main force; they’d make another bid for independence at the first possible moment.  Charles was intolerable, but seemingly indispensable…

Thus an alternative had to be worked out.  An ideological alternative.  Perhaps it’s not the individual monarch who’s the problem — it’s the institution of monarchy itself.  If men must be allowed to follow their conscience in religion — which is the highest of all consciences — then must they not be allowed to follow it in politics?  And if the king derives at least some of his power from the people — the King-in-Parliament, as it had been since Runnymede — then are the people not in some sense sovereign, equal to or even above the king?  Certainly the king isn’t above the law, or the ancient Rights of Englishmen — this is why the victorious rebels executed their former king on a charge of treason.  How could Charles betray the country he was king of, if not that “the country” is somehow superior to whatever mortal is temporarily at the head of its government?

The great Western political theories all flow from that one event: The execution of the king for treason.  Even Thomas Hobbes, who derived a theory of the most absolute possible monarchy from it, had to account for the brute fact of Charles’s head rolling in the dust.  His answer is instructive: Though the monarch’s power is theoretically unlimited, a “monarch” who can’t maintain his power in practice is no monarch at all.  Hobbes made his peace with the Protectorate, and came home from exile in 1651 (that is, he lived 8 years under Cromwell, the king’s executioner).

Part III soon.

 

 

 

 

*James I was no fool.  Though born and raised in Scotland, he acted as English as he possibly could throughout his reign.  To my knowledge Charles I never got further north than York.

 

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Revolts vs. Revolutions

You’ll never see a clearer example of academic blindness than Revolution, capital-R.  You’d think this would be a rich field of study.  How do revolutions start?  Are there commonalities?  What kind of person becomes a revolutionary?  Do revolutions all follow a similar pattern, or are they all unique?  History, political science, sociology, applied psych, economics… all of these disciplines have insights to contribute.  Or so you’d think.  But while there are zillions of books written on almost every conceivable aspect of each individual revolution, small-r, the big-R topic is (in the academic term d’art) severely under-theorized.

So I guess it’s up to us.

First, let’s distinguish between a revolt, a civil war, and a revolution.  A revolt is basically a large-scale, somewhat-organized riot.  Revolts of sufficient size and complexity become civil wars when they aim for a wholesale change of government.  A revolution, by contrast, aims at a total transformation of society.  It is fundamentally ideological, in the way the others aren’t (though, of course, revolts that become civil wars can morph into full-scale revolutions).

The ideological dimension is key.  The Middle Ages were full of revolts.  The English Peasants’ Revolt, aka Wat Tyler’s Rebellion, is a good example. Wat Tyler had some enumerated gripes — tax relief and whatnot — but did not aim at a change in government, much less a fundamental restructuring of society.  Like most rebels in all times and places, Tyler’s people seemed to believe that the head of government was blameless.  King Richard II, a minor at the time, was held to be the victim of evil councilors — a standard rebel trope.  The Peasant’s Revolt was also a success (though it didn’t work out so well for Tyler personally) — they got most of what they wanted. They achieved pretty much all it is possible to achieve without a full-scale civil war.

The Middle Ages also had a few incidents that you could probably call civil wars.  The Wars of the Roses, for example, which are (probably, in some cases) examples of revolts mutating into civil wars… if in fact, it rose to that level.*  Rome, of course, had umpteen civil wars in its long history, which raises the fascinating question of whether or not it’s really possible to have a civil war below a certain level of political sophistication…. fascinating, but unanswerable by me, and not really germane.  The point is, civil wars aimed only at a change in leadership, leaving the underlying governmental structure intact.  Furius Malcontentus thought he could do a better job as Emperor than Lazius Incumbentus, and got a few legion commanders to agree with him.  Medieval and Early Modern civil wars (if, again, there really were any) aimed at the same thing the Roman civil wars did: Replacing one branch of the ruling family with another.

Revolutions, though….

(Part II coming soon).

 

 

*The “wars” of the “Roses” were actually multi-way fights between the affinities of major lords — what pretentious Game of Thrones fans (is there any other kind?) know as “bastard feudalism.”  A field specialist could tell you who all participated, and what each one of them wanted, but I surely can’t.
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No C.O.

In the wonderful old Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now, there’s a scene where the boat reaches a bridge being defended — or, possibly, attacked — by an American detachment.  Capt. Willard (Martin Sheen) goes ashore to requisition supplies, and is immediately engulfed in chaos.  After wandering around for a while, he encounters a soldier with a terrifying thousand-yard stare.

“Where’s your C.O.?,” Sheen asks, looking for the unit’s commanding officer.

“Man, there ain’t no fuckin’ C.O.,” the GI replies.

Sounds familiar.  Looking around at Current Year America, it’s increasingly clear that there ain’t no fuckin’ CO.  Nobody’s in charge.  Someone’s out there giving orders, I suppose, but that someone is like the someone who keeps ordering the GIs to defend — or is it attack? — the bridge: The fight goes on, night after night after night, but nobody wins, because nobody even knows why they’re fighting in the first place.  The soldiers — Americans and Vietnamese both — go on fighting on autopilot, each individual soldier doing his individual thing, with no thought to the (nonexistent) goal.

The “impeachment” mess is the most obvious example.  Pelosi, Schiff, et al obviously haven’t given the first thought to what happens if they actually go through with it.  They’re just doing their own thing, fighting on autopilot, with no sense of what, if anything, they’re trying to accomplish.

All you have to do to prove it is to take their accusations seriously.  No matter which version you select — and of course they change daily — the upshot of the “case” against Trump is that he colluded with someone to do damage to his political enemies.  Maybe he colluded with Ukrainians to get dirt on Biden, maybe he colluded with Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton, but whatever, everyone who accuses Trump of something agrees that a shady deal with a foreign power was part of it.  Ok, so: What happens if this man — this guy who is willing to wheel and deal with America’s oldest enemy while in the Oval Office to preserve his political perks — is in real danger of being ousted?

Do you really think that kind of guy — who, again, we’re stipulating is an active agent of a hostile foreign power — is going to just quietly pack up his bags and leave town if he’s impeached?

Maybe Trump himself is too emotional a topic to consider rationally, so let’s look at second-tier guys.  Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Trump’s underlings have a tendency to end up in jail, thanks largely to obviously, egregiously manufactured “evidence” from the security apparatus.  Now, let’s say Trump is turfed out of office.  What’s going to happen to his underlings, do you think?  What do you think they think?

Like all Presidents, Trump has a military attache or two.  Those are high-ranking career officers.  Is Colonel So-and-So just going to sit back and wait for the FBI to file charges on him?  I wouldn’t bet on someone who has an infantry division or two at his disposal to just roll over….

… and I don’t think even Nancy Pelosi, ideologically enstupidated though she is, would expect it either.  If she were looking at it rationally, that is, as part of a larger strategy.  But she isn’t.  She doesn’t have a plan.  No one does.  She’s blindly flailing about, caught on the horns of a self-created dilemma — impeach Trump, and blow up her party at the polls; or don’t impeach him, and blow it up from the inside.  Since the voters are out there and “the Squad” are in here, she made the decision to impeach.  She didn’t look any further than that, because she can’t.  She’s been a politician since… well, since Apocalypse Now was first in the theaters.  She’s fighting on autopilot, just like the rest of them.

 

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Idle Hands

For anyone who grew up during the Cold War, reading the news these days is like your first time getting stoned.  Everything’s fine, nothing’s happening, and then…. what the hell?  Wait wait wait… the cloak-and-dagger goons are the good guys now?

For the benefit of younger readers: Back when the USSR was a going concern, the Left spent a great deal of time excusing Commies’ behavior Scooby Doo-style — they would’ve gotten away with it, were it not for those meddling kids!  The Reds’ hearts were in the right place, of course, but gosh darn it, the CIA insisted on interfering with spontaneous sovereign people’s movements, and that’s why the Marxist guerrillas invariably had to massacre all those peasants.  It was pretty much an entrance exam for NGOs back in the days — if you couldn’t find a way to blame the excesses of, say. Kim Il Sung’s torturers on Ronald Reagan, you couldn’t get a job at Amnesty International.

Naturally, then, all correct-thinking people hated the CIA and their domestic Mini-Me, the FBI.  Those two organizations used to show up at college job fairs, and a good way to meet easy girls was to drop in on the inevitable protests.  Slap on a Che t-shirt (available at the campus bookstore, natch), do a Ricardo Montalban impression while saying “Sandinista,” and let the magic happen.  Don’t forget to stop by the Emma Goldman clinic for some free rubbers on your way back to her dorm room!

Gosh I miss the good old days, but whatever, the point is, watching groovy antiques like Nancy, Bernie, and Hillary telling me to trust the black helicopter guys is like watching Bruce Jenner in drag — you’re embarrassed for him, and scared of his enablers.  Listening to them screech about Russia like the most paranoid Reaganaut is so weird, I can’t even come up with an analogy.  Yo, guys, THIS

was your idea, wasn’t it?  Just like it was you guys calling the FBI the American Gestapo all those years?  Hello?  COINTELPRO?  Remember that?  Hello?  Is this thing even on?

It’s tempting to write off the Left’s newfound love of the mirrored-sunglasses crowd as merely instrumental — they’ve got the dirt on #OrangeManBad, and we all know that if Adolf Hitler’s zombie corpse showed up waving around some Ukraine phone call hearsay, they’d start hailing the Fuhrer himself as a true American hero.  But I don’t think it’s that (or just that).  Rather, it’s all about idle hands.

The FBI et al are actually doing something.  Doing it poorly, it goes without saying, but still.  The Left have painted themselves into a corner here these last few years.  The end result of their elaborate victimology — the “progressive stack,” in their fugly jargon — is to completely paralyze anyone who buys into it.  Since all the conflicting identities in their coalition

  • conflict with each other;
  • change without notice;
  • and are all impossible anyway,

any action any Leftist takes is bound to get xzhym in hot water with someone, so all they can do is shriek… and not even very much of that, since they know better than anyone that whatever they accuse Trump of doing, they themselves have done / are doing on a much larger scale.

So the Left is forced, by and large, to sit on their thumbs.  Blaise Pascal said that “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”  That’s where the Left is now.  They can’t sit quietly, but they can’t do anything, either, so they project all their hopes and dreams onto the worst collection of swollen-headed bunglers ever assembled, because — and only because — the said knuckleheads appear to have some freedom of action.

I hope Comey, Strzok, et al enjoy their brief moment in the sun.  San Fran Nan and the rest don’t realize it yet, because they can’t, but theirs is the last group of white folks who will have any influence in the Democratic Party.  When the Donks get back into power, one of the first things they’ll do is replace the existing security forces with their own people — meaning, much much browner people.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell y’all what happens to the former state’s machinery of repression once the revolution gets power, but I hope for their sake that whatever crop of FBI goons is assigned to this page look it up….

 

 

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Respect for the Law is the Last to Go

I always wondered what it felt like, being an average guy in the wake of a revolution.  What was it like for Ivan Sixpack, say, in 1918?  The Tsar’s justice system wasn’t perfect — far, far from it — but the rules were there, and the people knew them.  Policies and procedures might’ve been quirky, and were undoubtedly stacked, but the usages of the court were hallowed by time, and everyone understood them.  But then one day you go down to the courthouse, to go about your routine business, and are confronted by some scruffy college dropout in a tattered longshoreman’s coat, who claims to be the People’s Plenipotentiary of Justice or something…

Germany in 1933 is probably easier to envision, since the same guys administering the Fuhrer’s justice were the ones administering Weimar’s justice, and often were the same guys who’d done it for the Kaiser.  And it was justice, at least in apolitical matters.  So long as your case didn’t impinge on the Party, you’d get real, objective, impartial justice, even from a guy wearing a swastika armband behind the bench…

The problem, of course, was that lots of stuff impinged on the Party, and the area that fell under the Party’s “prerogative” grew by the day.  An explicitly politicized bench will, naturally, start getting political with its caseload.  Imagine the first poor burgher in a civil suit getting told that yes, the law is on his side, but for reasons of state he loses…

Lots of us are finding out what that feels like, but even so we can’t seem to let it go.  I saw something on Ace of Spades the other day, debating the desirability, from the GOP’s perspective, of stringing out the President’s inevitable impeachment trial.  The reasoning was: Since the trial is held in the Senate, that means all the Senators have to be there.  Which means Bernie and Warren, at least, will have to cease campaigning in order to be on hand to hear testimony.

No, really — they said that, like they meant it.

See what I mean?  That’d be a pretty clever bit of dirty political pool, actually, if we still lived under the rule of law.  But we all know what would happen: The Senate Democrats would move to amend the rules to let their candidates off to go campaign, because reasons, and the GOP — you know, the party actually in control of the Senate — would all vote in favor, again because reasons.  It’s not like we don’t know how Sanders and Warren are going to vote anyway, right?  Does anyone, anywhere, think there’s a case so airtight that they wouldn’t vote to convict?  Since the only question is how many Republican senators are going to defect to vote with all the Democrats, why should they have to be there?  Hell, why bother with a “trial” at all?

This attitude is almost inescapable among the nominal “Right.”  Since we follow the laws, we assume everyone else does, too, despite Himalayan-sized mountains of evidence to the contrary.  These same folks, for instance, seem to think that Hillary’s not running again, because the deadline to file as a candidate has passed in certain states.  Once again, out in the real world she files a lawsuit, and some hack in black puts her on the ballot, because reasons.

We’ve seen this song-and-dance before.  Remember Mel Carnahan’s wife?  Carnahan was a Democrat senator from Missouri who died in a plane crash three weeks before the election, where he was running neck-and-neck with John Ashcroft (yeah, him). Being an honorable man, Ashcroft suspended his campaign.  The Dems didn’t — of fucking course they didn’t.  Missouri’s Dem governor said he’d appoint Carnahan’s wife in his stead if he, Carnahan, posthumously won.  She cut a campaign ad, and the Donks went into overdrive playing up the grieving widow to the rubes.

She won, natch.

That was back in 2001.

The fact is, American “justice” is whatever the Left needs it to be today.  Rules are just suggestions — the Constitution is a “living document,” which means it says whatever the Democrats need it to say at the moment.  These are people who claim to sincerely believe that women can have penises and men can have periods; you think the phrase “shall not be infringed” means anything to them?  At least Stalin and the boys had the good grace not to change the accusations right in the middle of the fucking show trial.  Watching the “impeachment,” it’s clear that, like Obamacare, we have to convict Trump in order to find out what he’s guilty of.

How do people not see this?  That, my friends, is why my daily pills are very, very black.  The “law” means whatever they say it means, at the moment they say it.  That’s all it means.  Or, like the man says: They hate you, and want you dead.  What’s so hard to grasp about that?

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