A Light In The Twilight

July, 2008 Feature--Truth Based Logic


Synopsis
Concepts few are willing to discuss: The twilight of the America that was the envy of the world; dwindling possible remedies; legal theories; to light a candle or a torch?

No matter how one views the present American dynamic, we are deeply into a rapidly evolving crisis of epic proportions. Yet few, indeed, are willing to discuss either the extent of the problem or such remedies, as might have a chance to arrest what may otherwise become inevitable and irreversible. Can we preserve the America that the Founding Fathers sought to secure to their posterity; or are those Americans, who even understand the concepts, doomed--as the native people of contemporary Hawaii--to stand in pathetic witness to their Nation's loss of culture, sovereignty & hope, in the lands of their fathers?

The America that Washington, Jefferson, Madison & others established, after proclaiming independence for its constituent States a mere 232 years ago, resonated with principles passed down among the peoples of the British Isles from the time of Magna Carta in 1215 or before--principles not found in the history or heritages of most of the world's peoples; and, where found, distinguishable by nuances unique to each people. Steeped in the compact that was Magna Carta, and in the history of Mankind, the Founders saw Government as legitimate only when it honored the compact of its creation. They saw individual property rights as both sacred and heritable. They sought freedom for commerce, for an entrepreneurial spirit; for public involvement even in Government, while disdaining the politics of mobs & demagogues, that had doomed every ancient attempt at popular government.

Thus they, in varying degrees, sought limits on the suffrage to those deemed to be responsible. Thus, Section 9, of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which led to the eventual creation of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan & Wisconsin, provided (in addition to other requirements) that to qualify to vote for representation in a territorial General Assembly, one had to hold at least 50 acres of land. Virtually no one, in that generation, considered universal suffrage--or even universal white male suffrage--a desirable end.

While favoring liberal immigration, to help populate still vast unsettled spaces, their efforts to encourage immigration were directed to those both congruous and congenial to the existing population. This may be seen, clearly, in Thomas Jefferson's explanation for the Louisiana Purchase--not specifically authorized by the Constitution--yet motivated by a desire to secure compatible Anglo-Saxon settlements on the frontier of the original lands of those who had become known as "Americans." Jefferson was not anti-Mexican or Hispanic. He understood the significance of ethnicity, the true "diversity" of Mankind; that human cultures reflect the people who create them, not the absurd converse being prattled by advocates of open borders, today.

We do not make these observations to disparage poor Americans, or out of antagonism to any other people. The point is that our unique political institutions grew out of a profound understanding of human nature and the human experience; that those who devised them understood the conditions necessary for their preservation; that we need to be ever alert to the possibility that a change in those conditions may indeed cast doubt on that preservation. The point is that a combination of universal suffrage with a radically changing population, calls for more careful analysis than it has been receiving from our political leaders, or in the Academies of self-styled "Higher Education." The point is that by every measure, we are about to lose what America was all about. The point is that the America that was once--even in this writer's lifetime--the envy of the world, is in mortal peril, if not surely moribund. We will be very specific:

Twilight Of The Americans?

By every realistic measure, the quality of our politics--of the political acumen of those participating in the political process--has declined sharply from the America that was. Anyone who will bother to compare the political oratory of America in the era of Webster, Clay & Calhoun, with that of America today--or the idiotic politics of the thirty second sound bite, even beside the already poor political rhetoric of America as recently as a generation or two ago--will have to concede the point. The level of debate, today, is hopelessly inconsistent with that level of intelligence necessary to the preservation of a free society!

Inversely, the past century has seen a steady increase in those dependent upon Government; not only upon Government, in general, but in those dependent upon a distant, remote, Government. This is as unhealthy, in theory, as were the bread and circus distractions in Classic Rome; but in practice it is yet worse. While the Romans kept lower orders of a cosmopolitan society distracted with spectacles, they still honored heroic role models. Few, if any, suggested that a social leveling might be worthwhile; no one suggested that abolishing the reality of human inequality was a prime purpose of human government or existence! Contrast the new America, where politicians outdo one another at every election, in ever more lavish promises catering to dissatisfactions of the least successful--not as charity, but as right;--promising aid not from their own resources, but by imposing an increasing burden on all productive Americans.

While Rome, as America, became increasingly populated by new stocks drawn to the wealth and power, achieved by the original Romans; Rome never ceased to honor the past glory of the ethnic Roman. Yet, increasingly, in American public education, honor goes not to the Founding Fathers, but to those who agitated for change in the institutions the Founding Fathers left us! The very concepts of race and ethnicity--of ancient lines of descent--are deliberately stripped of their once positive connotations; reduced from sources for pride--for continuity of purpose--to ones for the perpetuation of imaginary grievances, useful only to agitators & demagogues. Thus, we are being denied social defense mechanisms that ordinarily flow from a sense of identity & heritage. This was never more evident than in the present election campaign.

Those Americans, who imagine that some miraculous agency will turn a flood of new arrivals from third world nations, into beings steeped in the values of the Founding Fathers, need to look more closely, both at those arrivals and contemporary American education. Is there anything in the historic culture of any third world people, which even reflects concern for some of the abstract concepts addressed in Magna Carta or our own Declaration of Independence; that even suggests that such concepts were ever important to such peoples? We deal now, largely, not with the propertied classes of the lands of origin, but with nations who may never in their history have been landowners; or, if landowners, only in a collective, tribal sense. As for what they are likely to learn here, even overlooking any nature driven peculiarities? Emphasis on the abstract values of the Founding Fathers is no longer a major focus in education of the native born. Just how are those values likely to be infused into the mindsets of those to whom they may be totally foreign?!

When one considers the 'sea change' that has taken place in American education over the past century, it is clear that new residents are far more likely to be taken in a precisely opposite direction. In Seventeenth, Eighteenth & Nineteenth Century America, educational institutions--whether home or academy, even where non-sectarian--had a strongly Christian influenced value system. The concept of the "loyal and faithful servant" was an honored one. The poor boy or girl was taught, not to envy or resent, but to emulate good role models; to give the best each had to give; to serve with loyalty and faith, whether for wages or upkeep. Yet during the Twentieth Century, this was turned upside down.

Today--even in supposedly Faith based schools--Socialist influences, both Marxist & Fabian, have replaced the Biblical & Christian. Poverty is no longer seen as a condition to be addressed by dedication and labor, but as a "grievance." Private charity, for the truly needy, has been replaced by a frenzy to 'rob Peter to pay Paul' through the agency of an ever more expansive, and intrusive, Government. The very concept of being a good and faithful servant is seen as less and less a basis for honor, more and more a cause for resentment; a provident employer, no longer one to be emulated, but an object for resentment, jealousy and hatred. While increasingly, affluent rooted Americans--that "posterity" the Constitution was intended to secure--have been conditioned with an absurd fantasy of their forebears "guilt."

At the same time, a pursuit of expensive Socialistic goals at home, and equally confused egalitarian projects and adventures overseas, have undermined the value of our money to an extent not yet fully realized by even the more Conservative among us. There may be major economic crises--not just expensive oil and a few failing banks--coming over the next decade, as the price structure becomes radically less stable; undermining the options remaining to mainstream America.

From every realistic perspective, our situation has become desperate. If our end is not immediate, the evolving dynamics may have already brought us perilously close to a point of no return.

Possible Remedies

1. Political Action: If we are right in this analysis, we may already have reached a time where political action, alone, is hopeless. Open borders have exponentially increased the percentage of voters--and soon to be voters--who have no concept of what the America that was, actually believed; of the principles on which our Federal union was founded. Given the decline in political awareness--of political depth--even among the rooted population; given the increasing percentage of the population, effectively bribed by Government to seek more of those things that are destroying our heritage, even without the flood of incongruous migrants; every election becomes more difficult than the last. This does not mean that we must not try. It does mean that we have to be aware of alternatives; to avoid actions that might have the effect of cutting off those alternatives. And it certainly would behoove us to demand some limitations on the suffrage. For one, it is indefensible that we allow those, who can increase their unearned benefits by doing so, to vote for candidates who will control those benefits.

Americans understand the concept of "conflicts of interest," except where those conflicts imperil their future as a people. This must change or our lot is hopeless.

As for an immigration policy, beyond lax--actually favoring those from stocks that played little or no role in the founding of America? We can no longer delay a very hard stand. What is 'at play,' here, is far more serious than any temporary economic downturn; far more serious than any economic problem of the present generation.

People are not interchangeable; and in a world of limited space and dwindling resources, no man or woman deserves political office in America, who is not willing to secure America for her own posterity. That, after all, is a sworn duty under our written Constitution. Read the Preamble! Voting for the lesser of two evils--almost a norm for millions today--has only aggravated the problem. The reality is that large areas of America are already lost to those who would uphold a Constitutional Republic. For generations the pattern has been repeatedly confirmed: Those areas that regularly elect representatives who, at least occasionally, stand up for our written Constitution--even against otherwise popular measures--tend to be those with the highest percentage of voters from original settler stocks. This should surprise no one. People create cultures; not cultures people. Yet to temporize with the implications, is to play the ostrich, while all hope is lost.

Refusing to vote for the lesser of evils, where the continuity of America is at stake, may doom the two party system. It has seldom worked in America's interest in our lifetimes. But this suggests another immediate need. The major parties have adopted Campaign Finance "reforms," which make it very difficult for an alternative party to grow. The exception was demonstrated in 1992, where a billionaire poured vast amounts of his own money into buying major media exposure. Perot, of course, did not use TV effectively. He bought program length time--the right move--but then read words off a teleprompter, the worst way to use the medium. We might be well advised to seek a billionaire with the ability to speak well extemporaneously; one, who understands America's peril, and is willing to stand into the political breach. Otherwise, we must find a means to bring a lot of different, competing, groups together, in a terribly short time; or political action, directed towards elections, may not work in our immediate future.

2. The Right of Revolution: The right--even duty--to revolt, where a Government becomes destructive to the purposes for which it was created, is clearly stated in the Declaration of Independence. The original version of the Magna Carta actually established a procedure for rousing the Nation against the Crown if, and when, the latter broke the solemn commitments of the great charter. Magna Carta was still a major influence in America in 1776. As Jefferson stated in our Declaration, Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, [i.e., the fundamental rights understood in the Compact from which a Government derives legal authority] it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Of course, Jefferson immediately added the caveat that Conservatives have always recognized: Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty to throw off such Government . . .

Do efforts in Washington, today, to move America yet further in a Socialist direction at home, while making us ever more involved in the affairs of other lands in ways that interfere both with their ethnic & cultural integrity and with our own (both by treaty & otherwise), reach such a threshold? We have come to a place, where we must at least quietly discuss this.

3. A Military Coup: America has a long tradition of the subordination of the military to civilian authority. Yet, if that civilian authority ceases to respect the Constitutional base for its own legal existence--ceases to respect the rule of law--what then is the duty of others sworn to uphold that Constitution--that sacred compact--whether military or civilian?

Certainly, if we are to be forced into a second American Revolution, it would be far better--actually far less bloody, far, far more likely to succeed--if it were accompanied by military support from units under patriotic command. Given that historic subordination of the United States military to civilian authority, is there legal basis for such action, and under what conditions?

Relevant Legal Theories

1. Under feudal structure, the Norman Barons entrusted with enforcement of the Magna Carta were the equivalent of military commanders. The Barons represented the highest level of men at arms. The duty of the Barons under Magna Carta, to rouse the nation against violation of the charter, would equate with military duty in the highest and most honorable modern sense. Certainly an outright Marxist takeover in America, would similarly justify a military rising against such an illegally premised Government. While every situation is different--as every nation--it would be difficult to deny both the justice and necessity for Admiral Horthy's successful revolt against the Hungarian Communists in 1919; in General Franco's rising against the Marxists in Spain in 1936; in General Pinochet's move to save Chile from the like in the early 1970s. Indeed, as our written Constitution is the antithesis of the Marxist vision for any people; each of us--civilian or military--sworn to uphold that Constitution, would have a clear and solemn duty to take all actions necessary to that purpose.

2. Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson's advise to President Washington on the subject of treaty law, in 1793, presents another relevant concept:

There are circumstances however which sometimes excuse the non-performance of contracts between man & man; so are there also between nation & nation. When performance, for instance, becomes impossible, non-performance is not immoral. So if performance becomes self-destructive to the party, the law of self-preservation overrules the laws of obligation to others. For the reality of these principles I appeal to the true fountains of evidence, the head & heart of every rational & honest man. It is there Nature has written her moral laws, & where every man may read them for himself.

Clearly, then, no soldier--no civilian--should ever be asked to accept the abolition of American sovereignty or independence by treaty. Again, as with a domestic takeover by those who flaunt the sacred principles of our chartered liberty, there would be a clear and solemn duty to take all actions needed to preserve America; and to restore that America, premised upon a sacred compact among her founders.

There are also other legal theories, if not equally relevant, yet quite persuasive, which we must consider:

3. The "Caine Mutiny" crisis, where a ship commander became dysfunctional in a storm, made a valid point. If subordinate officers may relieve a superior, who has obviously ceased to function in a rational or proper manner, cannot senior military officers relieve a Commander-In-Chief, whose manifest conduct shows that he has ceased to function as the Chief Executive intended under a written Constitution (including the Preamble), which clearly defines his legal powers and duties: As, for example, if such Executive were to endeavor to surrender or compromise American sovereignty by Treaty or otherwise?

4. At the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials in 1946, certain members of the German Military were tried and convicted for carrying out orders from their superiors, where those orders were deemed so egregious as to obviously exceed the accepted duties of military personnel: The implied premise being that a reasoning man should recognize what crossed an abstract line, where fundamental illegality could be inferred. While we would agree with reservations expressed at the time by our Ohio Senator, Robert A. Taft, Sr., then leader of the Conservative wing of the Republican Party, who pointed out ex post facto elements in some definitions of War Crimes being employed; the Taft point did not really challenge the concept that some orders may, on their face, be so contrary to the traditional duties of a soldier, that one may be not only justified, but actually compelled, to disobey them.

Nor does the other major criticism of the Nuremberg precedent weaken the thrust of that limited concept. There was, indeed, an element of hypocrisy in putting Germans, who had laid down their arms, on trial for species of offenses against civilian populations that were on the same order & magnitude as those committed by our war time Soviet "allies," both before, during & after, the same War. The fact that prominent Communists lived out their lives as national heroes of the Soviet Union, after having done that for which prominent Nazis hung, is beside our point. We need only look at both the functional and moral duties of an American man at arms, to see what is relevant.

The provisions of the Constitution--to which all military personnel are sworn fidelity--that deal with Defense, include the Preamble, providing that such Defense be "common" (that is, for the people of all the United States), with an ultimate purpose to "secure the Blessings of Liberty" to the original citizens and their posterity. Clearly, both function and sworn moral obligation of our military personnel would be challenged by any Government that sought, Quisling like, to impose an alien Government over the United States--or to merge the United States into any World or Regional Government, where the people of the United States would be governed by institutions or protocols outside the Constitutional framework. Clearly, under such circumstances, there would be a duty, not only not to obey the orders of traitors, but to openly resist them.

A Candle Or A Torch?

The remaining question, then, is how bright a light to cast? Certainly, Conservatives do not want to appear either paranoid or in a panic. The situation may be desperate; frantic behavior is not the way to address it. Calm dedication, ever reasoned responses, consideration of the whole panorama of factors, are always better than playing the "Chicken Little" role, which only helps our enemies dismiss us as emotional and irrelevant. In considering that panorama of factors, we need always to consider how the Left will respond to each contemplated maneuver; to measure risks and rewards, just as in any other reasoned pursuit. In this, we admit to something of a gambit. In actually addressing, here, what many have thought yet few have publicly discussed, we have concern lest our very discussion move the forces of collectivism still further down the totalitarian road. We are in what some of them already would play as a species of "end game." They see final victory in sight. Consider:

The Clinton/Blair conversion of NATO from defensive alliance into aggressive intruder in a Serbian Civil War--a clear violation of principles of the Law of Nations, well recognized for over two Centuries--but a major step towards a contemplated World Government. To similar effect would be the Bush assumption of a "mission," in vowing to force Democracy on other peoples.

There were reports of civilian personnel, with no military background, being placed in key positions in the Clinton Defense Department. Was it right wing paranoia or a legitimate concern that the purpose might be similar to the Bolshevik & Nazi placement of political operatives in military units--to prevent questioning of the means selected for the brutal consolidation of power by the new, monolithic, political orders? In short, a preemptive move to cut off the possibility of any military antidote?

The Bush Administration may--at first--have seemed friendlier to our professional soldiers. But was the placing of Neocon theorists in key positions in our Defense Department really cut from a different cloth? Has, what we thought was to be a "War On Terror," actually been converted into a war on the independence and true diversity of Nations--an obvious mockery of accepted principles of fair dealing among the earth's peoples--in pursuit of an even greater international monolith than that to which Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin or Hitler, ever realistically aspired? Does not the Administration's push for an increasingly likely confrontation with Iran, despite advice from career officers as to the downside, indicate an agenda, both disrespectful of our professional military, and independent of any true American interest?

Finally, stepped up attacks on display of the Confederate Battle flag in 2000, coupled with political attacks on the dating policy of a private Baptist University in South Carolina [could there be a less appropriate issue for the concern of an American President?!], followed by near hysteria in the 2002 attacks on Senator Lott for toasting the wisdom of a great Senator, coupled with the remarks of President Bush on that subject, followed by his address to the NAACP convention in 2006--subjects covered in depth in other essays;--all show a growing mindset, at the highest levels of our Government, consistent with a perceived "mop up" in the drive against the Constitutional Liberty, to which Americans were once accustomed.

Yet some of this involves more analysis than many, instinctively conservative but oft distracted by various aspects of contemporary living, will ever absorb in one or two sittings or discussions. Thus, a mere candle will not suffice. But our beacon needs to be carefully focused for each individual we would enlighten. Where appropriate, we would suggest an emphasis on three essential, more easily grasped, points:

The Three Points

1. Demographic Changes: The combination of a Welfare State, which has long subsidized illegitimate births to Society's failures, even as the birthrate among America's high achievers (in fields that call for abstract reasoning) has persistently fallen; coupled with an open border, where a flood of those with average IQs of 90 or below pour daily into the Southwestern States; has been steadily lowering the critical intellectual potential of the coming generation to even understand concepts upon which America was founded. This is not generally discussed because of an egalitarian conditioning of the American people; but it is reflected in the failure of major American urban public school districts to improve their ever more dismal comparisons to public schools in other First World Nations (Western Europe, Japan, etc.), despite an immense expenditure of funds in sundry misguided directions.

So long as mainstream American Conservatives fail to challenge the false premises of egalitarian social environmentalists, this situation can only continue to worsen.

2. Demagogues & A Sea Change In Moral Values: We mentioned a 'sea change' in moral values in American education--the shift from a Christian, or Biblical, respect for the "good & faithful servant," to the grievance mentality described earlier. This, of itself, must grievously compound the effects of the demographic changes, addressed; adding to a decline in conceptual and analytic ability, a loss of constructive moral compass, which can only make the lives of those afflicted all the more difficult, even as it creates an ever deepening psychological chasm between those who succeed and those who fail.

While this leaves the poor yet more susceptible to the appeal of demagogues, it makes them ever less likely to wake up and act in their own true interest--ever less likely to support the continuity of our Constitutional structure;--ever more likely to become increasingly alienated, increasingly useful to those who would promote a totalitarian order that promises to decree "solutions" to every "problem." The essential point is that the combination of factors creates a steadily deteriorating condition, which must be faced by mainstream Americans able to understand, and respond, from a traditional perspective; patriots, freed of the self-defeating egalitarian myths that have led so many educated Americans to remain mute or apologetic, while the Left dismantles their heritage.

Again, so long as mainstream American Conservatives fail to challenge the false premises of egalitarian social environmentalists, this situation can only continue to worsen.

3. Origins Of Liberty: While often posturing as champions of "freedom," demagogues who exploit the grievance/entitlement mentality of various minorities & increasingly corrupted under-classes, are the absolute antithesis of those who have actually advanced the cause of Liberty. Throughout Western history, since the classic days of Greece, the pursuit of Libertarian values has always come from the successful, from the propertied classes; from people of well above average intelligence, well above the commonality of mankind. The Magna Carta, for example, resulted from an uprising of landed aristocrats. It vindicated the rights of inheritance in land; the rights to acquire wealth through commercial activity; the right to rise against a Government that violated the premises of the compact, which gave it legal continuity.

The American Revolution was an example, a practical application, of the Magna Carta concept; a true counter-revolution against a Government that had lost moral authority by losing touch with its legitimate purpose; a counter-revolution led by landed gentry in the South and wealthy merchants in New England, who meant to preserve the traditional liberty of settler peoples, threatened by a natural tendency of unrestrained Government to assert collective solutions to what are, basically, individual or local problems. Nor did freedoms, traditionally enjoyed by the Swiss or Dutch, flow from anyone's "huddled masses," a racial minority or a threatened revolt or agitation by the least skilled. In every case, it was the wealthy high achievers; who, even as they provided the patronage to enable great works of art or science, provided an intellectual climate, where a culture amenable to individual liberty could flourish.

The exact opposite results, when a successful political leadership makes its primary concern, assuaging the grievances, real or imagined, of those who have not prospered. Examples of such would include the Governments of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Hitler & Chairman Mao. Yet it is also possible to recognize an intermediate condition, such as that to which America has fallen in the Clinton/Bush era; or such as our President and his Neocon advisers have created in contemporary Iraq.

Too harsh? Contrast conditions at the birth of American Independence with the wish driven fantasy, which pretends that mass voting--by people armed with neither knowledge nor understanding, but with lists provided by local clerics & fingers dipped in blue ink--was a step towards replicating the American experience! In America, even among a population that had managed their own "liberation," universal free male suffrage did not take hold for a full half century. During that half century, our still significant precedents were set by well educated men, who understood the complexities of human history, the complex checks, balances and abstract concepts, with which our foundational documents were replete, and--of primary importance--that individual responsibility, not collective dependence, was the essential prerequisite for the maintenance and preservation of a free society. Only one immersed in a wish driven fantasy, could possibly imagine that those men and women, lining up to have their fingers dyed in Iraq, have any reasonable expectation of resisting the siren songs of demagogues. Their suffrage was, at best, premature; more likely, pure mischief. But what of the future of an America, so totally out of touch with her own roots, that she celebrates the Iraqi election as a vindication of her values?

The reality is that our lot is probably hopeless, unless we are willing to challenge the false premises of egalitarianism--of human interchangeability. We will never defeat the demagogues, unless we take the case for truth to all who, with our persistent calm and deliberate help, are able to fully grasp that truth and its implications. The survival of all we most value, depends upon breaking through the conditioned reflexes of our intelligent friends & neighbors, before the parasites, who exploit the present intellectual confusion in and out of Government, sort out their respective, competing, ambitions to destroy the last remnants of a once free America.

That is our light in the twilight.

William Flax





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