Dec. 18, 2020, marks the 142nd birthday of Joseph Stalin, the communist dictator who ruled the Soviet Union for almost three decades. For many people, Stalin is synonymous with mass murder and totalitarianism; his misdeeds are so voluminous and epic in scale that they are incomprehensible.
Historians continually debate just how many deaths Stalin was responsible for. Even a prominent former Soviet and Russian official estimates that Stalin’s victims, whether through famine, purge, or deportation, number around 20 million. Figures such as these are almost impossible for anyone to grasp in full.
The accounts of the Stalin era reveal a man as cruel and ruthless as the numbers suggest. During the Great Terror of the 1930s, Stalin routinely signed off on execution lists with hundreds or thousands of names. In one particularly bloodthirsty day during the Terror, he approved 3,167 executions.
Moments such as these were so commonplace in the Stalin era that the tyrant enjoyed a movie screening immediately afterward, his conscience apparently untroubled by the lives he was ruining.
Stalin’s regime targeted those suspected of being insufficiently dedicated to the communist cause, as well as their innocent family and friends. Millions of Armenians, Bulgarians, Chechens, Germans, Greeks, Jews, Muslims, Poles, and Turks were persecuted for being more loyal to their racial or religious affiliations than to the glorious truths of Karl Marx.
Stalin’s own words reveal his sadistic nature. He once remarked, “The greatest delight is to mark one’s enemy, prepare everything, avenge oneself thoroughly, and then go to sleep.”
Not even Stalin’s closest family and friends were safe — they were often the inevitable targets of his wrath. Stalin’s relatives by marriage, such as Alyosha Svanidze and Pavel Alliluyev, found themselves imprisoned because minor incidents aroused the dictator’s suspicions.
Stalin’s longtime aide Alexander Poskrebyshev begged his boss to release his wife from prison (she had annoyed Stalin by asking him to free her brother). Characteristically, Stalin replied, “Don’t worry, we’ll find you another wife.”
Beyond the unnecessary human cost, one of the most troubling aspects of Stalin’s reign was how convinced his followers were that, despite all of this misery, they were creating a new, better world. Spurred on by the vision of a classless society with perfect equality, they were able to justify atrocities as necessary stumbling blocks on the road to utopia.
Stalin’s interpreter Valentin Berezhkov would later recall, “I believed in Stalin. … We felt we were creating the model for a better society that would be emulated by the rest of the world.” Even Soviet military official Dmitry Volkogonov, whose parents were purged, remembered: “I believed in Stalin. … Everybody thought that Stalin was the foundation of power and happiness and prosperity of the country.”
Historians continue to debate whether or not Stalin was a truly committed communist or simply using Marxist ideology to perpetuate his own power over the Soviet people. Stalin himself used communist terminology throughout his entire career to explain how the world worked. In 1946, he gave a major speech attacking capitalist nations for causing the two world wars. In his last public appearance, in 1952, Stalin continued on this theme, labeling the capitalist bourgeoisie the “arch-enemy” of freedom.
Stalin grew up in a broken home in Georgia mired in the depths of poverty. As a youth living in an authoritarian czarist empire, Stalin saw much in the way of injustice. While in seminary, he turned to communist revolution as the best solution to right the wrongs of his world. Whether or not he continued believing this for the rest of his life is anyone’s guess, but it’s clear that many of his followers were sincere Marxists. Unfortunately for their victims, the communist faithful stopped at nothing to attain the promised utopia.
As scholar Erik van Ree once observed, “The greatest crimes in history have been committed by the sincere — those who believe in their hearts that they are justified in committing their acts.” In doing so, these committed Marxists enabled one of the worst killers in human history.
On the 142nd anniversary of Stalin’s birth, let us remember the key lesson from his life: that those who promise to bring about heaven on earth through revolution and government control, no matter how sincere, often bring about a hell far worse than the one they are trying to escape.
often see conservative commentators, both on TV and on social media, asking for Democrats to condemn the rioters or to at least state why they will not do that. While I am sure that those commentators are well-intentioned, they are obviously missing the point. Democrats have not condemned the riots and will not do so because, unlike conservatives and the independents that value the rule of law and private property, they do not cherish or even respect Western norms. In fact, they hate Western civilization. Therefore, I think it is fair to say that Democrats support the riots that are burning down America’s greatest cities.
Well, perhaps “greatest cities” is a bit too far. Chicago is full of corruption and crime, New York has been controlled by leftists for decades now, and the cities on the West Coast that have seen such high levels of Antifa violence are, well, cities on the West Coast. But, other than that, I think that everything I just said is absolutely true; Democrats support the riots and, as a result, will not condemn them.
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Examples of Ways That Democrats Support Anarchism and Rioters
We can see that Democrat support for anarchism and riots in many aspects of life.
Example 1: Their Messaging and Refusing to Condemn Anarchy and Violence
The first, and most obvious one, is their refusal to condemn the violence of the Antifa thugs and BLM Marxists. Whereas Republicans and Independents have stood against a complete breakdown of law and order, Democrats seem to have stood in support of that breakdown and have even egged it on.
Whenever and wherever there is a shooting of a black person, whether that person happens to be armed or not, Democrats step in to spread the seeds of chaos and attack the foundations of law and order, which is tantamount to attacking civil society. They use lies, deceit, and highly emotional speeches to urge people to commit acts of violence.
In any case, whatever tactics they use to start riots, it is obvious that Democrats support the riots because their support for the rioters is as vociferous and ubiquitous as it is uninformed and reality-defyingly stupid.
They step in to defend the people burning down Targets and other stores and describe them as “peaceful protesters.” When the media has a chance, it and its allies on the left fan the flames of Antifa’s riots. And every single time they have an opportunity to mourn the death of a career criminal, they do so. At no point while doing those things do Democrats ever condemn the riots or even express sympathy for the business-owners whose lives have been ruined by these vast orgies of destruction.
All of that is evidence that the Democrats support the riots and cases of domestic terrorism that are raging around America right now. They stand on the side of criminals, not the side of law-abiding Americans. Their messaging shows that.
Example 2 of How Democrats Support the Riots: Democrats Support Defunding the Police
The next example of why it is so obvious that Democrats support the riots is that they support defunding the police and leaving our communities at the mercy of rabid rioters that seek to do nothing more than to loot and destroy.
If anyone in the Democratic Party wanted to stop the riots, or at least slow them, they would be calling for increases in spending on the police right now. Like Republicans, they would want to defend the police and send them the necessary equipment to keep rioters in check.
However, Democrats support the riots so that is not what they want nor is it what they call for. Instead, Democrats support defunding the police. They want to turn Michigan into Somalia. Portland into the Wild West. New York into post-invasion Baghdad, the utter hell of which is well-documented in The Great War for Civilization. Those places were or are anarchic because there is no effective police force to defend the natural rights of citizens. If Democrats get their way and defund the police, America’s cities will resemble them.
So, that’s another great reason of why I know that Democrats support the riots. If they wanted to stop those horrific actions and prevent rioting, they would defend the police. But they are not. Instead, they are trying to remove the thin blue line between law-abiding Americans and the criminal elements of society.
Example 3: Democrats Want to Attack and Redistribute Private Property
Like other good socialists, Democrats hate the idea of private property. That is why they support unconstitutional wealth taxes. It is why they want to increase the regulatory state and make it harder for you to start a business and earn money. Their hatred of private property is what drives their agenda.
(Un)coincidentally, it also is what drives the BLM and Antifa rioters, almost all of whom are communists. They hate the idea that people who work hard and follow the simple path to success in America could possibly earn more than they do. So, to “correct” that “injustice” they burn down small businesses, loot luxury goods, and steal from and attack law-abiding citizens.
How does that show that Democrats support the riots? Because they have openly defended those actions! The always incompetent and idiotic AOC, for example, recently described BLM looters that were stealing plasma screen TVs as people simply taking “bread to feed their starving children.” Yes, she really said that. As usual, she was wrong. They were not taking bread. They were stealing goods.
And what if they were stealing bread? Would that be permissible? Is need the only payment necessary? No, of course not! In America, we value private property. As Ayn Rand says in Atlas Shrugged, there is no justification for taking private property simply because you “need” it. Civil society is dependent on respecting private property and the government punishing those that do not. Hence why governments that are just have always defended the property of their citizens.
But Democrats support the riots, not justice. Hence why they are attacking private property and encouraging the looters to engage in theft.
In my mind, there is no possible justification for rioting. Peacefully protesting is one thing, although even that is something I disagree with if it means that commerce is in any way restricted. But rioting and looting is evil. It is, in effect, placing your wants at the pinnacle of human existence and denying your fellow citizens their rights in the process.
So, Americans need to see that Democrats support the riots and are doing everything in their power to spark more riots and advance their ideology of anarchism. We need to understand that they are not just an opposition party with slightly different beliefs about what America should be like. In reality, they are a party of looters that wants to rob Peter to pay Paul. Professional looters in D.C. and amateur looters on the streets of every major city.
Under real capitalism, there is no government policy at all regarding how people are to conduct themselves in a pandemic. With no barriers to innovation, production, and distribution, the pharmaceutical industry would be rocketing us into an almost disease-free future.
Before we start taking for granted the statist perspective on the vaccine and its delivery, let’s look at how a free, rights-respecting government and society would be behaving right now.
Prices of anything in short supply (where I am it’s Bounty paper towels) rise until supply meets demand. The supermarket shelves remain full. The businesses producing and selling these items reap windfall profits, which draws capital to ramp up production, so that in a few weeks prices fall back to where they were.
The same is true of medical services: in a free society doctors are not licensed; consequently, their supply can be expanded; hospitals are not regulated, so they can handle surges in demand as they wish. No fire marshals, building inspectors, environmental impact assessors can interfere with any temporary build-out a hospital decides to make. In fact, no one would dream of even asking to be informed of any decision a hospital makes regarding how to use its own property on its own land.
Tests and vaccines are developed by pharmaceutical companies, in their labs, and get whatever private voluntary certification they choose to get (probably none—why do Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson need any stamp of outside approval?).
As they develop these new tests and vaccines, they distribute early versions of them to their own network of forward-looking individuals, including doctors, medical staff, and researchers, willing to take a little extra risk to get innovative products sooner.
The new tests and vaccines are sold for “all the market can bear.” That means: high prices to early-adopters; then, as safety and efficacy become established by tracking the experience of the early-adopters, the items are sold at progressively lower prices to wider and wider segments of the general population.
Since a free society’s government never compels anyone to get a doctor’s prescription, there are no such things as pharmacies in the traditional sense. Rather, CVS, Walmart, Walgreens have a pharmaceutical area, perhaps staffed by specially knowledgeable people (who don’t require a government license) to advise you. If you don’t need this kind of service, and just want pills to swallow, you can just grab a bottle off the shelf and go to the cash register. Or you can go on Amazon or other sites and buy them just the way you do books, T-shirts, and canned peas.
The “delivery system” for the new vaccines and tests is the same profit-making firms that already deliver everything in a capitalist society. Think: UPS, Amazon, FedEx—but even better, because they are not regulated.
To get products, new or old, we don’t need four-star generals to be in charge of “logistics.” Even today, under semi-capitalism, the task is handled by purchasing managers, inventory managers, buyers, and vendors—and no shortage ever develops, except where government holds prices below market.
Under pure capitalism, there is no such question as: “Who is going to get the vaccine first?” If it were asked, the answer would be the same as for “Who is going to get the new C8 model Corvette first?” Whoever shows up with the money. If there’s a rush, the price goes up to where demand matches supply. Then supply is expanded to reap the resulting high-profit rate.
And there is no such question as: “What if a segment of the population is afraid to take the vaccine?” People are thinking, not of collective outcomes, but of individual ones. It would never occur to them to worry about people who don’t take the vaccine, because they know that by choosing to get vaccinated, they themselves will be protected.
Under real capitalism, there is no government policy at all regarding how people are to conduct themselves in a pandemic. Not only are there no lockdowns, no curfews, no group quarantines (on the basis of group statistics), but also no thought of government having any role to play. “Public health” is no more connected in people’s minds to government than is “public entertainment.” Health is understood to be a personal matter—just as entertainment is.
Even where there are “social problems,” free citizens of a free society regard it as widespread individual problems, not as problems justifying government coercion.
Take the rising divorce rate, which is widely regarded as a “social problem.” Even today, no one thinks divorce is something to be combatted by government directives. The prospect of government getting involved in marital problems would fill us with horror. For the citizens of a laissez-faire society, the idea of government dictating people’s behavior in a pandemic would be equally as horrifying.
In practice, the laissez-faire utopia I’m envisioning would be tremendously healthier than the regulatory state we live under in America today. Without the dead hand of the FDA, medical experimentation and data-collection from ordinary citizens (via their smartphones, perhaps) would produce vastly more data for AI to use in discovering what works and what doesn’t. With no barriers to innovation, production, and distribution, the pharmaceutical industry would be rocketing us into an almost disease-free future.
The author surely knows that Lincoln was challenged to a duel by James Shields, the sitting senator from Illinois, as a result of the “Rebecca letters.” Lincoln accepted the challenge—he chose broadswords as the weapons, and actually took instructions from a military officer in preparation. Shields was an experienced Army man in his own right, considered an expert with the broadsword. But Lincoln designed the proposed combat arena in such a way as to give his size and considerable reach an advantage over the shorter Shields.
Though the matter was amicably settled before the duel could be fought, I invite all readers—including the second “Rebecca”—to ponder Lincoln’s ingenious and highly amusing design. It provokes reflection on the comedy and tragedy of politics.
Dueling was against the law in Illinois, so the plan was to stage the event in Missouri where it was permitted. Planning or conspiring for a duel either by principals or seconds was also illegal, and Lincoln surely broke the law in doing do. Had plans for the duel been carried out, Lincoln’s political career might have ended in 1842.
In any case, Lincoln did not write all of the “Rebecca” letters: some (and the most scandalous) were written by Mary Todd, his fiancée and future wife. Surely “Rebecca” was an odd choice on the part of our pseudonymous author: it wasn’t Lincoln’s finest moment and he never again resorted to the use of a pseudonym. He had learned his lesson!
A Sparring Match
I will not challenge our author to a duel, but I will challenge this holder of “multiple Ivy League degrees” on his understanding of the American regime. Our author rightly notes the deep division that has arisen in the nation between the Red States and the Blue States. He or she proposes, not a divorce, but a trial separation that may eventually lead to a reconciliation of differences.
Throughout the essay, the author makes a mistake that Lincoln never made: Lincoln never forgot that politics is the architectonic art. We have often heard from conservatives that “politics is downstream from culture” and the way to reform political life is first to reform culture. Lincoln never made this foolish error, nor do the progressive ideologues who drive the politics of the Red States. These leftist radicals are deadly serious; politics is their avocation. For them culture, while an important part of political calculus, is eventually determined or shaped by politics because politics is always a contest for rule.
Conservative Republicans who believe that the battle for culture takes precedence over politics will always lose because they don’t know where to drawn the main battle line: they prefer to fight skirmishes. Progressives count on the apolitical character of conservatism, its preference for private life over the political. This is why the leftist radicals saw Trump as such a threat: he was a political man and understood the supremacy of politics.
Lincoln in the 1850s
Our author rightly notes, as many commentators have, that our current situation resembles that of the 1850s and the election of 2020 appears eerily similar to the election of 1860. Lincoln’s great speeches of the 1850s all sought to reconcile the nation by restoring the principles of the Declaration of Independence as the authoritative source of the Constitution’s authority. He tirelessly reiterated that the Constitution, understood in the light of the principles of the Declaration, had put slavery on the “course of ultimate extinction.”
These speeches—the Peoria Speech in 1854, the Dred Scott Speech in 1857, House Divided (1858), Cooper Union (1860), and the First Inaugural (1861)—were all masterworks of reasoned logic and persuasion. But they were political failures! Why? Simply because the slaveholding states were consumed by their passions and so unable to listen to reason. The First Inaugural, for example, appealed to their self-interest: there would be no interference with slavery in the states where it already existed, Lincoln averred, because there was no constitutional power to do so. If the South left the Union it would lose its representatives and Senators and would therefore be unable to protect its interests in the government.
Secession was folly. It occurred only because the South had refused to listen to reason—reason, in other words, no longer informed public discourse. Today, too, reason has been driven from the public sphere. The era of the sound-byte and media manipulation has replaced reasoned discourse. The election of 2020 has sunk to the lowest level of public discourse in modern times and perhaps in history.
The real reason that no compromise with slavery was possible was that any compromise would have been a rejection of the first principles of the nation announced in the Declaration. Slavery was incompatible with the central principle that “all men are created equal.” Slavery could not be abolished all at once at the founding because compromises were necessary to secure the support of the slaveholding states: if they had formed their own nation, the prospects of ever ending slavery were remote. But as Lincoln noted, those compromises were not the principles of the Constitution: they were the exceptions.
When read in the light of the principles of the Declaration, it was clear that the protections for slavery in the Constitution were merely compromises with those principles, temporary expedients to be observed until political conditions (and public opinion) would accept the abolition of slavery. Read in that manner—in the manner the Founders intended—the Constitution had doomed slavery to eventual extinction.
The public mind had rested with that assurance until the passage of the Missouri Compromise in 1854, which allowed local majorities in the territories to determine whether to have slavery or not. Stephen Douglas, the architect of the measure and Lincoln’s main political rival, maintained that it was not a matter of principle but simply of whose interest was served. If a majority of the people found it in their interest to “vote slavery up,” then they should do so. If not, they should vote it down. Lincoln, with his inimitable ability to convey complex matters simply, said it was like two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for lunch—by majority vote!
Lincoln’s response to Douglas revealed the essence of republican government: if natural rights are only a matter of whose interests are served, then no one’s rights are secure. It will always be in someone’s interest to disenfranchise the rights of others—whether it be the interest of a majority, an oligarchy or a tyrant. Douglas’s claim that interest is the only basis for rights put everyone’s rights in danger. If rights are not grounded in “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,” then it simply becomes a matter of whose interest is being served. The Missouri Compromise, in Lincoln’s true estimation, repealed the principles of the Declaration.
In the House Divided Speech, Lincoln made it clear that no further compromise on the issue of slavery was possible—or desirable. What would it profit to lose the soul of the nation—its animating principles? The body might live on, but without a soul it would be a nation indifferent to justice, that sine qua non without which no constitutional regime or the rule of law can exist. And in the Cooper Union Speech Lincoln revealed that the South did not want mere tolerance for its “peculiar institution”; it wanted the North to stop condemning the immorality of slavery and even demanded its recognition as a moral good, something that could not happen without repealing the Declaration.
Conflating the Timeless with the Timely
Our author recognizes that “[o]ur times are Lincoln’s.” But Lincoln’s times “attempted to accommodate the ‘peculiar institution’ with individual liberty.” This was an attempt “to reconcile irreconcilable ends…that could not be resolved within the system.” Indeed these were incompatible ends, but the “system” had “resolved” them, by putting slavery on the “course of ultimate extinction.” Read the Constitution in light of the principles of the Declaration and enforce the Constitution: that was the “system” as Lincoln understood it. The slaveholding states no longer wanted the resolution prescribed by “the system”; as Lincoln said over and over again, there was nothing inadequate, as our author seems to think, with “the system” itself.
The author admits that our current problems, however serious and dangerous they are, do not compare to slavery—although, I might add, some kind of tyranny (which amounts to enslavement of the people) might be in prospect. The author is correct that the people are currently deeply divided—“we are two people.” But here is the surprising observation: “The current political system cannot bridge the divide between the two Americas.” “The Constitution is not broken,” we are assured, “rather “the People for whom it was created are broken.” In order to address this problem our author suggests a “separation” that will allow Red and Blue America a “political living space.” This will allow the “people to relax the political bands connecting them.”
We are told that this strategy surely will be productive since “both sides still claim fealty to the Constitution.” This outrageous claim will be examined in short order. If suffices to ask now: Which constitution is our author referring to?
Our author assures us that the founders would not frown upon this innovation, since change was “not an affront” to them: “it was their expectation.” It is true, as our author suggests, that the Constitution was grounded on “timeless principles” which had to “adapt [to] the times.” But our author has done something incredible by changing a “timeless principle.”
We presume that the “timeless principles” to which our author has referred are contained in the Declaration of Independence and its invocation of “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” We remember that the Declaration appeals to those same laws when it says it has become necessary for “one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another.” Our author treats these “timeless principles” as flexible and adaptable, i.e., as if they were not sacred “Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” but merely matters of convention which can be modified at will. Thus they can be reinterpreted to “relax the political bands” of the “one people” instead of becoming a foundation for the principles of a new separate and equal nation dedicated to the “safety and happiness of the people.”
Something is wrong here! The timeless and the timely have been confounded and the Constitution is now bereft of permanent principles. But is this the price that must be paid so the two separate people, Red and Blue, have their “space?” It might be separate, but it certainly will not be equal.
Understanding Regime Politics
Our author, I believe, shows a fundamental misunderstanding about the American regime, beginning with the assertion that the Constitution was “itself a course correction from the Articles of Confederation.” It was indeed a “course correction,” but somewhat more than that: Madison regarded the Constitution as an act of revolution because it not only rested on wholly different principles than the Articles but was ratified by the supreme authority of the people, not the states.
In Federalist #39, Madison wrote that the Constitution must be republican because that was the only form of government consistent with the principles of the Revolution, by which he meant the principles of the Declaration of Independence. Our author says that today our “current system” is inadequate to bridge the divide that separates the people.
Presumably our author believes that the “current system” or some reasonable facsimile is the regime of the founding that both sides of the political divide, Red and Blue, still adhere to. But what evidence does the author have that the Blue States still adhere to the same constitution that the Red States appeal to? The most advanced elements of the Blue states— the ruling elites, composed of the most progressive law professors, academics, the minions of the deep state, media, corporate elites, the tech oligarchy—don’t adhere to the Constitution of the founding; rather, they routinely refer to a post-constitutionalism in which the Constitution of the Founding will be rendered superfluous, having been replaced by the administrative state and bureaucratic rule.
What Would BLM Say?
Our author even seems to agree that the two Americas are operating according to different basic principles: Rebecca calls for a revitalization of the 9th and 10th amendments that might inspire some kind of decentralized federalism to encourage social experimentation in our separation. This can only mean that Red and Blue would be invited to govern themselves in quite different ways.
The 9th amendment’s provision for “unenumerated rights” might help soften the abortion debate that motivates much of our division. It might perhaps provide some new rights to be free from pollution and climate degradation, since climate change seems to be another source of unbridgeable division. Separations can be fruitful times for reimagining all manner of things that could lead to reconciliation. It might prove beneficial in reconciling Black Lives Matter and blue lives matter, for example, although it is difficult to see how any amount of relaxed reimagining might meet the non-negotiable demand of BLM and left-wing progressives—backed by Blue State Democrats—to defund the police.
Blue lives matter seems to be equally resolute and, not surprisingly, to have strong support among non-oligarchic, urban lower-class blacks and Latinos as well as whites and other ethnics. Mirabile dictu! BLM seems to be a part of the ruling oligarchy! A truly helpful reimagining might suggest a defunding the military wing of BLM, but this kind of creative reimagining would undoubtedly be stigmatized as “racist,” for which even the most active imagination seemingly has no defense—even among the “woke” ruling elites who tremble before the slightest charge of racism, real or imagined, conscious or unconscious.
Our author seems to be perplexed that the statement that “all lives matter” has been deemed “racist” by BLM. Doesn’t BLM realize that as a matter of logic “all lives” includes “Black lives?” But here is the rub. Logic and reason are a Western imposition on the world, invented by white supremacists and white imperialists. To say that black lives are included in all lives is demeaning—it pushes black lives into an invisible background. Logic is not life.
The assertion “Black lives matter” is a statement of racial superiority. It cannot be judged by “racist logic.” “All lives matter” is therefore racist—no logic necessary, only reimagination. BLM has considerable responsibility for driving reason out of the public sphere with its claims that Western logic is racist and imperialist. If you think BLM doesn’t have that much influence on elite opinion, I invite you to think again. Mull that one over in your separation and “relax.” Get back to me when you figure out a reconciliation. Do your best: our marriage may depend on it!
Is America Still a Republic?
The fundamental error in our author’s analysis, however, is still more glaring: America has not been a constitutional republic based on the consent of the governed for many years. It has, in fact, been a thinly disguised oligarchy, dominated by ruling class elites in the media, in academia, both political parties in government (where politicians freely make promises to voters but find it easy to evade and ignore), the bureaucracy, the deep state (including the intelligence agencies), corporations, Silicon Valley, and other centers of influence.
Aristotle in the Politics noted the tendency of democracies and republics to become oligarchies. On occasion, he noted, one of the oligarchs appealed to the support of the people to overturn the oligarchic class and return to the old regime. Is this how we are to understand Donald Trump’s rise and fall? He said during his primary campaign that he was a wealthy insider and he saw what was happening to the people, especially how the oligarchy was profiting from China at the expense of the middle and working class. He believed that the people were being defrauded to enrich the wealthy and that this was simply unjust. He wanted to act on behalf of the people to restore the constitutional republic in which they, not the oligarchy, held sovereign power.
Trump didn’t know about Aristotle, or Aristotle’s dictum that it is justice above all which preserves regimes. But he did understand that it takes an insider to understand oligarchy.
Why would Trump betray his own class—the oligarchy? Self-interest is not always the dominant motivating force in some men—sometimes an instinct for justice prevails, or sometimes a reputation for justice might be a primary self-interest. But it took an oligarch—an insider and a traitor to his class. In turn, his class reacted to his effrontery with deadly purpose. How dare he take the side of the people! How dare he invoke justice!
The Oligarchy’s Grand Strategy
The elites, in an out of government, mobilized against Trump with resources that he could not match. The so-called Masters of the Universe dogged him unmercifully, censoring him at crucial moments that had a significant, if not decisive, impact on the election.
Pollsters did not use the wrong methodology in conducting polls; almost certainly they misreported results on purpose to suppress turnout. The media was uniformly against him, suppressing news—which the FBI said was credible but not worth investigating—about Hunter Biden’s corrupt dealings, trading on his father’s connections with Russia, China, and Ukraine. The role of the Dominion Voting system, an easily manipulated system that can change results in real time without a trace, may be revealed in the future. But it is clear that the election was in fact stolen from Trump by the oligarchy he dared oppose. The likelihood that there will ever be another free election in America is remote.
Perhaps most important was the Wuhan virus, which provided an unexpected weapon for the oligarchy not only to consolidate their power but to terrorize the public into accepting oppressive government regulations that will probably extend into the indefinite future. Some of the regulations have been exercises in raw power, having little or no rational basis and little effect on curbing the pandemic.
Most telling, however, is the fact that the pandemic has resulted in the greatest transfer of wealth in history from the lower and middle classes to the wealthy and corporate classes. Whether the pandemic was an accident or not, the massive transfer of wealth was intentional. The reaction to the pandemic was the beginning of the end of President Trump’s attempt to survive the all-out assault mounted against him by combined forces of oligarchy. Without the pandemic, Trump, in all probability, would have won reelection, and would have been better positioned to deal directly with the minions of the deep state, the Masters of the Universe, and those who supported them.
Oligarchy and Regime Change
Oligarchy is not a permanent; it too is subject to regime change. It can become a democracy, or it can become a tyranny if one or a small segment of the oligarchs becomes predominant in wealth and power. In the near future, the latter prospect is most likely. What is clear however is that no “trial separation” will alleviate our situation, even when our highly educated commentator learns to recognize the politics of regime change.
Politics is a contest for rule—the people or the oligarchy in our current situation. It is not helpful to think of the relationship of the Red and Blue State as a marriage that needs a “trial separation.” Even if a separation was secured, I can assure you that the Blue State oligarchs—and for that matter the many Red State oligarchs and politicians who are content to return to status quo ante Trump—would not use it to work on the marriage. And they certainly won’t tolerate a divorce. Like all domineering partners who abuse their consorts, they want to rule.
Edward J. Erler is Professor of Political Science emeritus at CSU San Bernardino. Previously a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hillsdale College, he is a senior fellow of The Claremont Institute and a member of the Board of Directors. His new book, The United States in Crisis can be purchased here.
Just a brief cruise through the conservative Blogisphere will reveal a hardening resistance forming to the violence being done to our Constitution by Marxist scum and the willingness of weak-kneed GOP leadership to accept the stealing of our election without a fight. Soon we who believe in freedom will not have that luxury.
I think most of us are again looking for a leader that shares our values and will lead us in this fight. Beyond doubt, President or not, Donald Trump is that person. If we had the time our movement would simply absorb the establishment Republican Party. 25% describes what’s left of the old Republican Party base; RINOS, Never Trumpers, and all. We are the remaining 75%. The Real Trumpers who also voted GOP down-ballot. This has been coming for a long time. Unfortunately we have run out of time.
Evan though we love Donald Trump and will continue to do so, it was a set of constitutionally based conservative principles that gave birth to a movement starting with the Tea Party which progressed over time into the Trump Presidency. It was this movement that found Trump, not the other way around.
It is because the President shares these values with us that well over 75 million of us RE-ELECTED him and will look to him for leadership even if he is no longer President. If the Marxist pig take-over is completed and/or the electoral system has been corrupted beyond repair we will look to him to lead us in Resistance.
Let us hope the GOP will come to its senses and realize what has happened to it before its too late to strike down the criminal electoral abomination that would crown a pawn of the Red scum, including the Communist Party of China, to be our President.
If they do not fight; no election can be trusted and we will soon be under the heel of a suppressive Marxist state. We have come to this place not because President Trump, he simply pulled the curtain away from the Swamp, the Deep State, the conspiracy of silence, and exposed its demonic face. We are here from generations of looking the other way and appeasing our mortal domestic enemies of the Constitution.
“The Donald” has taught us through his example how to fight. May he lead us in the Resistance that means the survival of our nation. No more nice guy. When they come against our Country they come against our families and from now on they must find that a very unpleasant experience.
JOHN Milton was one of the foremost English poets of history, and, according the Encyclopedia Britannica, “the most significant English author after William Shakespeare.” He is most famous for Paradise Lost, considered the finest epic poem in English. Perhaps Milton’s greatest contribution to the history of liberty, including his influence on the American Revolution, arose because he was a fully convicted and forthright defender of religious rights, civil liberties, and the English Commonwealth during a tumultuous time of religious and political change. His argument for free speech and freedom of the press and against government censorship in Areopagitica was also widely influential.
Milton’s political philosophy, which led him to oppose tyranny, and his theology, which advanced freedom of conscience and religious toleration, were powerful influences on America’s founding, seen most clearly in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Consider some of his words. None can love freedom but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license, which never hath more scope than under tyrants. License they mean when they cry, Liberty! For who loves that, must first be wise and good.
Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties. Who ever knew Truth put to the worse in a free and open encounter? Though all winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and falsehood grapple, who ever knew truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter. There is no truth sure enough to justify persecution.
He who thinks we … have attained the utmost prospect of reformation … by this very opinion declares that he is yet far short of truth.
Thou canst not touch the freedom of my mind. He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is … a king.
No man … can be so stupid to deny that all men naturally were born free, being the image and resemblance of God himself. [God] created them free and free they must remain.
The whole freedom of man consists either in spiritual or civil liberty. Here the great art lies, to discern in what the law is to bid restraint and punishment, and in what things persuasion only is to work.
What is strength without a double share of wisdom? When complaints are freely heard, deeply considered, and speedily reformed, then is the utmost bound of civil liberty obtained that wise men look for.
Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe. Nations grow corrupt, love bondage more than liberty; bondage with ease than strenuous liberty. [Those] with their freedom lost, all virtue lose.
Most men admire virtue who follow not her lore. John Milton’s stands against tyranny and government religion were principled stands taken during a maelstrom of change. Americans, in particular, have been major beneficiaries of his influence on our founders in those areas. Milton deserves celebration for that, as well as for his poetry.
China, Russia and Iran are the top three existential “threats” to the U.S., according to the National Security Strategy. Three features distinguish the top three. They are all sovereign powers. They are under varying degrees of sanctions. And they are the top three nodes of the 21st century’s most important, evolving geopolitical process: Eurasia integration.
What do the three sovereigns see when they examine the dystopia that took over Exceptionalistan?
They see, once again, three – discombobulated – nodes in conflict: the post-historic Pacific and Atlantic coasts; the South – a sort of expanded Dixieland; and the Midwest – what would be the American heartland.
The hyper-modern Pacific-Atlantic nodes congregate high-tech and finance, profit from Pentagon techno-breakthroughs and benefit from the “America rules the waves” ethos that guarantees the global primacy of the U.S. dollar.
The rest of America is largely considered by the Pacific-Atlantic as just a collection of flyover states: the South – which regards itself as the real, authentic America; and the Midwest, largely disciplined and quite practical-minded, squeezed ideologically between the littoral powerhouses and the South.
Superstructure, tough, is key: no matter what happens, whatever the fractures, this remains an Empire, where only a tiny elite, a de facto plutocratic oligarchy, rules.
It would be too schematic, even though essentially correct, to assert that in the presidential election, invisible campaigner Joe Biden represented the Pacific-Atlantic nodes, and Trump represented the whole South. Assuming the election was not fraudulent – and that remains a big “if” – the Midwest eventually swung based on three issues.
Trump, as much as he relied on a sanctions juggernaut, could not bring back manufacturing jobs home.
He could not reduce the military footprint across the Greater Middle East.
And, before Covid-19, he could not bring down immigration.
Everything that lies ahead points to the irreconcilable – pitting the absolute majority that voted Dem in the Atlantic-Pacific nodes versus the South and a deeply divided Midwest. As much as Biden-Harris is bound to isolate the South even more, their prospects of “pacifying” the Midwest are less than zero.
Whose ground control?
Beyond the raucous altercations on whether the presidential election was fraudulent, these are the key factual points.
A series of rules in mostly swing states were changed, through courts, bypassing state legislatures, without transparence, before the election, paving the way to facilitate fraud schemes.
Biden was de facto coronated by AP, Google and Twitter even before the final, official result, and weeks before the electoral college vote this past Monday.
Every serious, professional audit to determine whether all received and tabulated votes were valid was de facto squashed.
In any Global South latitude where the empire did “interfere” in local elections, color revolution-style, this set of facts would be regarded by scores of imperial officials, in a relentless propaganda blitz, as evidence of a coup.
On the recent Supreme Court ruling, a Deep State intel source told me, “the Supreme Court did not like to see half the country rioting against them, and preferred the decision be made by each state in the House of Representatives. That is the only way to handle this without jeopardizing the union. Even prominent Democrats I know realize that the fix took place. The error was to steal too many votes. This grand theft indicts the whole system, that has always been corrupt.”
Dangers abound. On the propaganda front, for instance, far right nationalists are absolutely convinced that U.S. media can be brought to heel only by occupying the six main offices of the top conglomerates, plus Facebook, Google and Twitter: then you’d have full control of the U.S. propaganda mill.
Another Deep State source, now retired, adds that, “the U.S. Army does not want to intervene as their soldiers may not obey orders.
Many of these far right nationalists were officers in the armed forces. They know where the nuclear missiles and bombers are. There are many in sympathy with them as the U.S. falls apart in lockdowns.”
Meanwhile, Hunter Biden’s dodgy dealings simply will not be made to vanish from public scrutiny. He’s under four different federal investigations. The recent subpoena amounts to a very serious case pointing to a putative crime family. It’s been conveniently forgotten that Joe Biden bragged to the Council on Foreign Relations that he forced Ukraine’s chief prosecutor Viktor Shokin to be fired exactly when he was investigating corruption by Burisma’s founder.
Of course, a massive army of shills will always invoke another army of omniscient and oh so impartial “fact checkers” to hammer the same message: “This is Trump’s version. Courts have said clearly all the evidence is baseless.”
District Attorney William Barr is now out of the picture (see his letter of resignation). Barr is a notorious Daddy Bush asset since the old days – and that means classic Deep State. Barr knew about all federal investigations on Hunter Biden dating back to 2018, covering potential money laundering and bribery.
And still, as the Wall Street Journal delightfully put it, he “worked to avoid their public disclosure during the heated election campaign”.
A devastating report (Dems: a Republican attack report) has shown how the Biden family was connected to a vast financial network with multiple foreign ramifications.
Then there’s Barr not even daring to say there was enough reason for the Department of Justice to engage in a far-reaching investigation into voting fraud, finally putting to rest all “baseless” conspiracy theories.
Move on. Nothing to see here. Even if an evidence pile-up featured, among other instances, ballot stuffing, backdated ballots, statistical improbabilities, electronic machine tampering, software back doors, affidavits from poll workers, not to mention the by now legendary stopping the vote in the dead of night, with subsequent, huge batches of votes miraculously switching from Trump to Biden.
Once again an omniscient army of oh so impartial “fact checkers” will say everything is baseless.
A perverse blowback
A perverse form of blowback is already in effect as informed global citizens may now see, crystal clear, the astonishing depth and reach of Deep State power – the ultimate decider of what happens next in Dystopia Central.
Both options are dire.
The election stands, even if considered fraudulent by nearly half of U.S. public opinion. To quote that peerless existentialist, The Dude, there’s no rug tying the room together anymore.
Were the election to be somehow overturned before January 20, the Deep State would go Shock and Awe to finish the job.
In either case, The Deplorables will become The Ungovernables.
It gets worse. A possible implosion of the union – with internal convulsions leading to a paroxysm of violence – may even be coupled with an external explosion, as in a miscalculated imperial adventure.
For the Three Sovereigns – Russia, China and Iran – as well as the overwhelming majority of the Global South, the conclusion is inescapable: if the current, sorry spectacle is the best Western liberal “democracy” has to offer, it definitely does not need any enemies or “threats”.
2020 will surely qualify as an “annus horribilis” in the history of the Republic.
By New Year’s, one in every 1,000 Americans, 330,000, will be dead from the worst pandemic in 100 years. The U.S. economy will have sustained a blow to rival the worst year of the Great Depression.
And by the end of December, much of the nation will be back in lockdown, with Joe Biden repeatedly predicting a “dark winter” ahead.
Only at the apex of World War II has the U.S. deficit and debt been so large a share of our economy.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, the summer of 2020 produced riots the extent of which rivaled the week after the murder of Martin Luther King in 1968.
Also revealed by the BLM uprising of 2020 was an unknown depth of hatred many U.S. citizens have for their country’s history, as they pulled down and smashed statues of men once revered as the greatest leaders — Washington, Jefferson, Jackson, Lee, Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson.
By year’s end, tens of millions were denying the legitimacy of the designated president-elect, who was to take office on Jan. 20. Both parties were charging the other with trying to “steal” the presidency. Can a nation so distracted, so divided, so at war with itself continue to meet all of the duties, obligations and commitments that are ours as the self-proclaimed “leader of the free world”? Are we still the people and country we used to be?
While we tear ourselves apart, we remain obligated to defend nearly 30 nations of Europe from Russia. We are committed to ostracizing and isolating Iran and going to war if she should seek to build nuclear weapons like those held by her neighbors Israel, Pakistan, India, Russia and China.
Why is this our duty?
We are strategically “pivoting” to Asia to contain a China that is the rising power of the new century and whose economy and armed forces rival our own, while its population is four times larger.
If South Korea is attacked by the North, or Japan or the Philippines find themselves fighting China over rocks in the South and East China seas, we are obligated to treat any Chinese attack as an attack upon us.
Three decades ago, historian Paul Kennedy used the term “imperial overstretch” to describe what happens to great powers when their global commitments become too extensive to sustain.
This happened to the British at the end of World War II when, bled, broken and bankrupted by the six-year war with Germany, she began to shed her colonies. In the fall of 1956, Prime Minister Anthony Eden, Churchill’s foreign secretary, was ordered by President Eisenhower to get his troops out of Suez under an American threat to sink the British pound.
The British Empire was finished.
The imperial overstretch of the Soviet Empire was exposed from 1989 to 1991, with the withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Iron Curtain. The captive nations of Eastern Europe broke free. The USSR then disintegrated along ethnic and tribal lines into 15 nations.
Its diversity tore the Soviet Union apart.
On Dec. 2, at Brookings Institution, joint chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley said: “There’s a considerable amount that the United States expends on overseas deployments, on overseas bases and locations, etc. Is every one of those absolutely, positively necessary for the defense of the United States?” The Defense Department, Milley added, must “take a hard look at what we do, where we do it.”
In a separate talk at the United States Naval Institute, the chairman added that U.S. permanent basing arrangements are “derivative of where World War II ended.”
Indeed, NATO was formed and its war guarantees were issued to Western Europe in 1949, seven decades ago. War guarantees to South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Australia were all issued from 1950 to 1960.
These commitments to go to war for other nations were issued when Stalin was in the Kremlin, a 400,000-man Red Army sat on the Elbe in Germany, and Mao and his madness had just come to power in Peking.
How long must we sustain all these alliances and soldier on in the “forever wars” of the Middle East? Do we Americans still have the national unity, sense of purpose, and disposition to sacrifice for the cause of Western civilization we had in the early days of the Cold War?
Or has our own Suez moment arrived?
President Trump did not extricate us from the “forever wars,” but he did draw down our troop levels in Afghanistan and Iraq. And he did raise the question of how many more decades must we defend a rich Europe from a declining Russia that has a fourth of its population and a tenth of its wealth.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”
I’ve always been a “big picture” kinda guy. I would rather read a general overview of history than a detailed analysis of the Battle of the Bulge. I would prefer reading a concise, insightful summary of human nature rather than the most in-depth study of child development. I would prefer watching a Discovery Channel program on The Big Bang than one on the solar system. For me, the Big Picture is just more fun to think about than the little stuff. Continue reading →