2020 as 1850

The idea here is considerably less interesting than the source, as it appears that even the converged champions of diversity are beginning to understand that the future is unlikely to bring smooth sailing into their imagined utopia of tolerance, equality, progress, inclusion, and diversity, as The Atlantic explains “Why the 2020s Could Be as Dangerous as the 1850s”:

If Joe Biden beats Donald Trump decisively next week, this election may be remembered as a hinge point in American history: the moment when a clear majority of voters acknowledged that there’s no turning back from America’s transformation into a nation of kaleidoscopic diversity, a future that doesn’t rely on a backward-facing promise to make America great again. But that doesn’t mean the voters who embody the nation’s future are guaranteed a lasting victory over those who feel threatened by it.

With Biden embracing America’s evolution and Trump appealing unrestrainedly to the white voters most fearful of it, the 2020 campaign marks a new peak in the most powerful trend shaping politics in this century. Over the past two decades, and especially since Barack Obama’s election in 2008, voters have re-sorted among the parties and thus reconfigured the central fault line between them. Today Republicans and Democrats are divided less by class or region than by attitudes toward the propulsive demographic, cultural, and economic shifts remaking 21st-century America. On one side, Republicans now mobilize what I’ve called a “coalition of restoration”; on the other, Democrats assemble a “coalition of transformation.”

So far so good. The only two errors so far is the suggestion that Joe Biden will win the election; not only will he not decisively beat Donald Trump, he will be decisively beaten, as well as the assumption that the “coalition of restoration” is necessarily shrinking. The Atlantic is making the usual left-wing error of the Ricardian Vice, in which all variables save one are held constant. Just as leftists never understand that people’s behavior changes in response to tax hikes, it also changes in response to demographic changes.

The next section is where it all goes awry. It is downright comical to posit that California, of all places, is the “hopeful vision” for the way forward for a victorious coalition of transformation. Then again, what does The Atlantic know about the West Coast or the ruthless preferences of the increasingly powerful second coming of the Aztec Empire? Would the return of the Mexica to the Southwest be better characterized as restoration or transformation?

The inexorable change coming to the Democratic Party could make the GOP even more reactionary. Biden has defined himself as a “transitional” figure, and demands are already building for a Democratic leadership corps that reflects the party’s increasing reliance on young people and people of color. It’s not hard to imagine that by 2024, Democrats will be led by presidential nominee Kamala Harris, who is of Jamaican and Indian descent; vice-presidential nominee Pete Buttigieg, an openly gay man; and House Speaker Hakeem Jeffries, who would be the first Black person to hold that post. Much like Obama did in 2008, such a roster would symbolize a changing America in a way that inspires the coalition of transformation—but terrifies many in the coalition of restoration. “It would touch on everything that a lot of Trump supporters were reacting to when they supported him in 2016—this sense of feeling threatened by the [challenge] to white supremacy in the U.S.,” Schaffner told me.

California over the past 30 years may offer a hopeful vision of how America could work through these coming conflicts. During the 1990s, as minorities were slowly becoming a majority of the state’s population, racial tension soared. With preponderant support from white voters, conservatives passed a series of ballot initiatives targeting those minority groups, including Proposition 187, which cut off services for undocumented immigrants; a ban on bilingual education; and tougher criminal-sentencing laws. But once California passed the racial tipping point and the sky didn’t fall, tensions dramatically eased. In years since, the state has repealed much of the hard-line agenda it approved during the 1990s. If that’s the nation’s path, the next few years may be rocky, but today’s political fault lines could slowly dissolve. Americans could re-sort themselves around less volatile differences over taxes and spending, instead of their feelings about racial and cultural change.

The alternative is the 1850s scenario. On that path, the Republican coalition remains centered on culturally conservative white Americans who grow more embittered and radical as evidence mounts that they cannot stop the emerging majority from instituting its agenda. If this many non-college-educated and Christian white voters are receptive to a Trump-style racial-identity message when they constitute a little more than 40 percent of the population, there’s little reason to believe fewer of them will respond to it when they fall to 38 or 36 percent as the decade proceeds. Already, research by the Vanderbilt University political scientist Larry Bartels has found that a stunningly high percentage of Republican voters express sympathy for an array of antidemocratic sentiments, such as the half who agreed that the “traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it.”

There is no alternative. The nation has already been defeated and the state is now in the same process of partition and separation that Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union have gone through, although there is little reason to believe that the dissolution of the United States empire will be anywhere nearly as peaceful, given that the various peoples are far more distinct than the Czechs and the Slovaks or the Serbs and the Croats.

It is interesting, though, to see how more and more people on both sides of the political aisle are beginning to recognize that the endgame for empire is in sight.


Muslims are not French

A Muslim leader makes that perfectly clear.

The former prime minister of Malaysia said Muslims have “a right to be angry and kill millions of French people” just hours after an attacker yelling “Allahu akbar!” beheaded one woman and killed two others in a church in France.

The incendiary comments were part of a tweetstorm from Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who railed against Western culture and French President Emmanuel Macron for refusing to denounce the caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad that have sparked three attacks in two months in France.

“Macron is not showing that he is civilized. He is very primitive in blaming the religion of Islam and Muslims for the killing of the insulting school teacher. It is not in keeping with the teachings of Islam,” Mohamad tweeted.

“But irrespective of the religion professed, angry people kill. The French in the course of their history has killed millions of people. Many were Muslims. Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people for the massacres of the past.”

Mohamad also said “the West” shouldn’t impose its views and values on others.

“To do so is to deprive the freedom of these people,” he wrote.

How, precisely, is he wrong? The West shouldn’t impose its views and values on others, which is precisely why it should not permit those others to reside in the West.

And how is this any different than another non-Western people holding the people of the West responsible for everything from the Spanish Inquisition to the Holocaust?

Immigration is war.

UPDATE: The Interior Minister at France understands France has been invaded and is at war:

France must be prepared for more attacks on its soil, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has warned following a deadly killing spree at a church in France. He said that the nation is battling against Islamic extremism. “We are in a war against an enemy that is both inside and outside,” Darmanin told RTL radio on Friday. 

Unfortunately for the French people, the current government of France is not willing to actually fight or win that war. 

The minister said at the time that France must reel in “rampant Islamism which is arming people ideologically,” while stressing that Islam would always have a place alongside other religions in the secular nation. 


A mostly peaceful murder

 Antifa are surprisingly lethal for a supposedly nonexistent organization.

A man participating in what was billed as a “Patriot Rally” sprayed mace at a left-wing demonstrator, and the left-wing demonstrator shot him with a handgun. Ambulances responded to the scene. Police said Saturday afternoon they were working on a homicide investigation.

Never forget that the enemy always gets a vote. 

UPDATE: the killer is “a self-described BLM/Antifa member”, which will presumably inspire the media to describe the murder a “mostly peaceful” one.

UPDATE: Now the killer is reported to be a bodyguard for Denver 9NEWS. But he looks more like he’s taking the offensive in a close-up photo of the shooting.

UPDATE: “The fake news media is literally killing conservatives. Do not go near them. Could end up shot and killed.”

Mike Cernovich

UPDATE: The “security guard’s” tattoo appears to indicate that he was Antifa. The private security hired by 9NEWS, was definitely Antifa if you look at his wrist tattoo. Why did 9NEWS hire Antifa as its security?

UPDATE: 4chan has ID’d the alleged shooter as Mathew Dolloff, 30, an Occupy Wall Street activist.

UPDATE: Dolloff’s victim has been identified as Lee Keltner, a husband, father, and minister.


The President defends the SEALs

And now that he’s in quarantine, he’ll have plenty of time to prepare lots of big, beautiful executive orders:

The Navy has removed gendered words from its official SEAL ethos, changing them to ‘citizen’ and ‘warrior’. Alterations have also been made in the Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen (SWCC) creed, American Military News reports.

One change in the first paragraph of the SEAL ethos now reads: ‘I am that warrior.’ It had read: ‘I am that man.’ Another states: ‘Common citizens with uncommon desire to succeed.’ That did say: ‘A common man with uncommon desire to succeed.’

In the ethos, ‘The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men’ has been changed to ‘the ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from others’.

And ‘brave men’ has been amended to read ‘brave SEALs.’

In the SWCC creed ‘brotherhood’ was switched to a ‘group of maritime warriors.’ In another sentence ‘brothers’ in changed to ‘them’.

In a tweet responding to the news, the president wrote: ‘I will be overturning this ridiculous order immediately!’

I wouldn’t worry about the Covid-19. Yes, the President is old and he’s not exactly trim, but I tend to suspect there may be other reasons he’s withdrawing from the public eye at the moment.


Don’t worry, Tommy

It’s cute that Thomas Friedman thinks he won’t be personally involved in the civil war he considers to be a possibility:

During an appearance on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman expressed his concern over what could happen in November if there were enough doubt about the outcome of the November 3 presidential election.

Friedman warned such a lack of confidence in the American election process could lead to a second civil war.

“I found it stunning and surprising,” Friedman said of President Donald Trump’s unwillingness to commit to accepting the possible outcome of election results. “Anderson, you know, I began my career as a journalist covering Lebanon’s second civil war and its history. And I’m terrified to find myself ending my career as a journalist covering America’s potential second civil war in its history.”

Friedman and other “journalists” will no doubt be surprised to discover that they won’t just be covering America’s Civil War 2.0. They’ll be considered enemy combatants:


Preserving the US empire

Now, Donald Trump is going to win the election. No question. But it’s important to understand what is at stake, because at present, the God-Emperor is literally the one and only thing preventing the imperial USA from collapsing rapidly. To give just one example, the Saker points out how ridiculous the current globalist beating of the war drums over the color revolution in Belarus is, considering the relative state of the Russian and NATO militaries.

There is a popular expression in Russia which, I submit, beautifully sums up the current US/NATO doctrine: пугать ежа голой задницей, which can be translated as “trying to scare a hedgehog with your naked bottom”.

The truth is that NATO military forces currently are all in very bad shape – all of them, including the US – and that their only advantage over Russia is in numbers. But as soon as you factor in training, command and control, the ability to operate with severely degraded C3I capabilities, the average age of military hardware or morale – the Russian armed forces are far ahead of the West.

Does anybody sincerely believe that a few B-52s and a few thousand soldiers from different countries playing war in Poland will really scare the Russian generals?

But if not – why the threats?

My explanation is simple: the rulers of the Empire simply hope that the people in the West will never find out how bad their current military posture really is, and they also know that Russia will never attack first – so they simply pretend like they are still big, mighty and relevant. This is made even easier by the fact that the Russians always downplay their real capabilities (in sharp contrast to the West which always brags about “the best XYZ in the world”). That, and the fact that nobody in the Western ruling classes wants to admit that the game is over and that the Empire has collapsed.

If the civilian leadership permits the US military to go into action against Russia or China, or to invade either Iran or North Korea, the US military is going to be exposed as the paper tiger it has become. And that will cause the rapid collapse of the global empire that presently has 800 bases in 70 countries around the world. The President is trying to downsize the empire without triggering a complete collapse while the neocons are attempting to use the US military while it could still be potentially useful for them.

The only reason the US isn’t losing wars is because the President is preventing the US military from fighting them.


Challenge accepted

The Left is promising war over Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s dead body:

Mount up. You dare try and replace her right now and there will be a war. That’s a promise. 

Signed, 

Us

#RBG

Seems to me they already started what they think passes for a war over George Floyd’s dead body. Either way, the sooner things get rolling in the USA, the better for actual Americans. But I very much doubt the God-Emperor is going to permit anything to get out of hand on his watch. 


Defense is best when it’s diverse

 Best for whom, one has to ask:

The Ministry of Defence has come under fire for having more diversity and equality officers than the Royal Navy has warships. The figures emerged yesterday, after veterans minister Johnny Mercer told parliament that there were 44 civil servants in the ministry and its executive agencies who had ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ in their job title. 

In comparison, the Royal Navy possesses only thirteen frigates, six destroyers, two aircraft carriers and eleven submarines, a total of 32.

The MOD has a target of increasing the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic personnel from 8 per cent to 10 per cent. A ministry spokesman told the Times: ‘Defence is at its best when it’s diverse … Our appointment of these diversity and equality officers shows that we are moving beyond platitudes and putting our words into action.’ 

Apparently every single military historian and strategist is wrong, as diversity and inclusion have turned out to be the vital elements for successful warfighting. If only Caesar and Alexander had known!


Doomed to repeat history

The reason I stress the importance of developing a regular habit of reading history, especially those histories that are not on the A-list of classics recommended by generation after generation of historians, is that it is the only way to develop a sense of pattern recognition for large-scale events taking place over an extended period of time. Notice how the growing chaos we are witnessing in the United States and elsewhere across the invaded West would not be lost on Machiavelli. He would have immediately recognized the situation as being the inevitable consequence of a republic being overrun by people with different customs, modes of living, religions, and languages, and would also have been able to predict the eventual consequences for that republic, as this selection from his History of Florence and of the Affairs of Italy demonstrates.

For surely if any times were truly miserable for Italy and the provinces overrun by the barbarians, they were those which occurred from Arcadius and Honorius to Theodoric. If we only consider the evils which arise to a republic or a kingdom by a change of prince or of government; not by foreign interference, but by civil discord (in which we may see how even slight variations suffice to ruin the most powerful kingdoms or states), we may then easily imagine how much Italy and the other Roman provinces suffered, when they not only changed their forms of government and their princes, but also their laws, customs, modes of living, religion, language, and name. Any one of such changes, by itself, without being united with others, might, with thinking of it, to say nothing of the seeing and suffering, infuse terror into the strongest minds.

From these causes proceeded the ruin as well as the origin and extension of many cities. Among those which were ruined were Aquileia, Luni, Chiusi, Popolonia, Fiesole, and many others. The new cities were Venice, Sienna, Ferrara, Aquila, with many towns and castles which for brevity we omit. Those which became extended were Florence, Genoa, Pisa, Milan, Naples, and Bologna; to all of which may be added, the ruin and restoration of Rome, and of many other cities not previously mentioned.

From this devastation and new population arose new languages, as we see in the different dialects of France, Spain and Italy; which, partaking of the native idiom of the new people and of the old Roman, formed a new manner of discourse. Besides, not only were the names of provinces changed, but also of lakes, rivers, seas, and men; for France, Spain, and Italy are full of fresh names, wholly different from the ancient; as, omitting many others, we see that the Po, the Garda, the Archipelago, are names quite different from those which the ancients used; while instead of Cæsar and Pompey we have Peter, Matthew, John, etc.

Among so many variations, that of religion was not of little importance; for, while combating the customs of the ancient faith with the miracles of the new, very serious troubles and discords were created among men. And if the Christians had been united in one faith, fewer disorders would have followed; but the contentions among themselves, of the churches of Rome, Greece, and Ravenna, joined to those of the heretic sects with the Catholics, served in many ways to render the world miserable. Africa is a proof of this; having suffered more horrors from the Arian sect, whose doctrines were believed by the Vandals, than from any avarice or natural cruelty of the people themselves. Living amid so many persecutions, the countenances of men bore witness of the terrible impressions upon their minds; for besides the evils they suffered from the disordered state of the world, they scarcely could have recourse to the help of God, in whom the unhappy hope for relief; for the greater part of them, being uncertain what divinity they ought to address, died miserably, without help and without hope.


The three types of adversaries

 This is an interesting article on the strategy of conflict with antifragile adversaries by a Czech student of military history. While I don’t agree with all of Antifragile Adversaries: How to Defeat Them, particularly his dismissal of the strategic significance of the distinction between state and non-state actors, and I suspect his attempt to work back from metaphor to application will not provide him with the answers he admittedly does not have, he does offer an admirable clarity of analysis that is very useful to anyone involved in any form of conflict:

The spectrum from fragility, to resilience to antifragility captures how strategic performance affects the three basic types of adversaries. The first ideal type is the fragile adversary. In this case, the strategist’s performance degrades the adversary’s military capabilities. Fragile adversaries are arguably the most common types across strategic history. The Greek king Pyrrhus and the Carthaginian general Hannibal in their respective wars against Rome come close to the ideal type of fragile adversaries. Roman strategic performance, though often flawed or even disastrous, gradually degraded military capabilities of both adversaries. More modern examples include the Swedish king Charles XII during his war against Russians and the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Both the Russian and the Union’s strategic performance destroyed their adversaries’ military capabilities despite suffering initial setbacks. The logic of defeating fragile adversaries is straightforward. If the strategist is less fragile than the adversary, he has a high chance to succeed with any strategy. Indeed, as the examples above illustrate, the strategist can even suffer a string of defeats and still be successful in the long term. Fragile adversaries do not pose any unique challenge for strategists.

The second ideal type is the resilient adversary. Strategic performance does not affect the capabilities of this adversary in either way. Actors who have access to large pools of military resources and adequate mobilization procedures fall into this category. Typical examples include the Roman republic or the Russians (Soviets), especially in the 20th century. The Romans suffered many defeats in their countless wars but they were always able to recover and deploy fresh troops to replace their losses. The Russians were able to recover from the initial shocks of the German impetus and to field overwhelming numbers of forces throughout the Second World War, first stopping and then reversing the German advance into their territory. Nonetheless, the logic of defeating the resilient adversary does not differ significantly from the previous case. Ultimately, military means are always a finite resource. Therefore, the strategist can defeat resilient adversaries by becoming more resilient himself. If he possesses more resources than the adversary, then in the end he will prevail through the simple process of attrition. Of course, not every strategist has easy access to additional military resources. For this reason, resilient adversaries may pose a considerable challenge for most strategists.

The third ideal type is the antifragile adversary. For this one, strategic performance serves as a stimulus for the growth in his military capabilities. This happens when the adversary with antifragile predispositions faces regular challenges appropriate to his current capabilities. Of course, what is “regular” and “appropriate” is context dependent. Antifragile adversaries are less common in strategic history. This is so because they manifest themselves only in instances when their predispositions match with the favourable character of the strategist’s attacks. One historical example that comes close to the ideal type were the Thebans in their wars against the Spartans (395-362 B.C.). The two polities fought each other regularly during the first half of the fourth century. The continual engagement in strategic performance made Theban forces stronger from one major battle to another. Though first suffering a defeat at Nemea (394 B.C.), Thebans fought Spartans to a standstill at Coronea (394 B.C.), routed them at Tegyra (375 B.C.), and slaughtered them at Leuctra (371 B.C.) and Mantinea (362 B.C.).[vi] Over the course of the wars, Thebans enjoyed gradually increasing morale, explored innovative echelon tactics and developed new kinds of military units. Therefore, by their own efforts as well by the repeated violent interaction with the Spartans, the Thebans fulfilled their anti-fragile potential. Seeing this development in practice, one Spartan sarcastically congratulated his own king that by the repeated attacks against Thebes, he had taught his adversary how to fight.[vii] Antifragile adversaries are not an artefact of a distant past. In fact, as David Betz and Hugo Stanford-Tuck argue in their recent piece, even the contemporary West has often pursued a way of war “which through one’s own efforts leaves the enemy stronger at the end than at the beginning.[viii]” Antifragile adversaries are universal and so is the unique challenge they pose.

The main challenge in facing antifragile adversaries is that what does not kill them makes them stronger. This is a bit of exaggeration, but in general it does apply. To start with, most strategies seeking to attrite that adversary do not work. Worse, these strategies work for the antifragile adversaries. Actively seeking out the antifragile adversary and trying to attrite his military capabilities by frequent engagements is a reliable receipt for making him stronger. This may not seem like a big deal when the other strategies are available. The problem is, most of the other strategies eventually turn into some sort of attrition contest as well. Strategists too often envision quick and decisive wars of annihilation and get prolonged wars of attrition instead. Others, who start out with terrorist attacks and guerrilla raids, turn to attrition once they develop sufficient military capabilities to have a reasonable chance of success. Not all the strategic options lead to attrition but too many of them do. It follows that most options for dealing with the antifragile adversaries convey high risks of failure.

This is important for everything from Qanon and the Antifa/BLM color revolution to the current conflict with Patreon. The problem that every responsible strategist is trying to solve is how to make a resilient adversary less resilient and how to make an antifragile adversary more fragile.

To provide one non-military example of attacking antifragility, Patreon tried to get consumer arbitrants declared not-consumer, then tried to convince the arbitrators to rule that the consumer protection laws and arbitration rules did not apply. They also tried – with limited success – to expand the battleground from arbitration to the courts in order to put pressure on their opponents’ resources. That this particular expansion turned out to be a serious tactical blunder that has already backfired doesn’t change the fact that their strategic instinct in the situation was correct. In strategy, it’s not at all uncommon to do the wrong thing for the right reasons; there is no perfect strategy since timing, execution, and Sun Tzu’s “Heaven” principle always matter.

Anyhow, it’s an intriguing article and I’ll put up another post later reviewing his proposed approaches to finding the answers to defeating antifragility. However, the fact that he cites Echevarria and not Van Creveld doesn’t tend to bode well for success in that regard.