31 December 2010

Future, Past

This is still a vanity blog as I said when I started it at the end of DEC 2005: this is not a dialogue blog, nor one that particularly entices commentary. I added the comments feature at the behest of a few individuals who then, of course, rarely commented. It is not that sort of blog, not a social blog. For the most part I am not a social person, and rarely did I go out when I was well and now, in worse straights, those times are limited still further. The social gatherings I did go to were rarely those to 'blow off steam' but, rather, had a point to them: conventions, interest meetings and gaming sessions. I dearly love society and those that keep it going. Unfortunately I am not refreshed nor renewed when partaking of it.

Also while I may write about current events it is in no way to assert that they should be read now, in the present, when these things are current. This blog has not been about the now, the present, but about a time after now, a time when these messages in bottles dispersed into caches around the globe will be available to those who need them. I desperately want them to not be needed by those in the future who will stumble across them.

Hope, while many things, is not a strategy.

It has been my pleasure and my horror to examine the 'problems' of the modern world in regards to terrorism. The horror, beyond the activity itself, is the degradation of our language, politics and even how we conceive of such things as society as we head down a path that is unmoored from the past. The past is to be our teacher and, as a teacher, she is not necessarily nice, sweet, kind, decent and even has some rather harsh concepts to get across to us. If we tremor in fear at those lessons, seek to say 'we are much better now' or to do worse and say 'what bad people these were in the past' we then distance ourselves from who and what we are as human beings. The horrors of the past are sometimes done in ignorance of what it is that is being done: the Children's Crusade began with such fervor over the innocent going to war, their fate, however, could have been predicted by any military expert who stepped away from the ideology and just looked at the skills and logistics of those going to war. World War I was taken on with the full and complete knowledge of how warfare had fundamentally changed as seen in the US Civil War and, yet, that was all discounted because we were (after all) Americans and uncouth. Yet the brutal logic of rate of fire, increased accuracy at far further distances and the invention of the machine gun all had precursors in the US Civil War that saw the first static trench warfare of the modern era in the Siege of Richmond. Europe had decided to ignore the past in that instance and in that of the Children's Crusade, and the result was horror beyond belief. Today the sensibilities of the effete elite are queasy even at the mention of war and what it is, as a function of Nation States. This does not get you an era without war, but an era with old forms of warfare that were being crushed when we were civilized now finding new root and growing quickly.

Those who wish to point out the cold facts of what warfare is, in the modern sense, are shunned by those who dare not even let themselves think of human conflict. When it is pointed out that the civilized rules of war that we have created to ensure the absolute brutality of war is kept at a minimum, they scoff, at once, and point to Dresden or Hiroshima. Yet the logic of Total War is that public military forces are but a representation of their Nation State and that mass war requires mass production which, in its turn, requires that the commerce of the Nation State be put into the battlefield to support the logistics of mass warfare. In a very real sense World War I and II were not won on the battlefield, but in the factories, mines, dams and productive capacity of the Nations involved to field forces. Soviet Russia moved entire factories to the Urals lest they be over-run and the Nation lose its production capability. Germany was at once blocked from resources and then had their productive capacity bombed and that was in retaliation for Germany doing the same thing to the UK. Japan did not realize the true wealth of North America in her resources and idled factories, and the fact that the Nation had to buy much of the steel seen in its aircraft, tanks and ships from the US before the war, speaks volumes about the inability of the island Nation to last through a long war. That is why they went after Manchuria, raped Peking, and went after Dutch and British holdings that had oil fields attached to them: the resources were necessary to run a modern war.

This logic of war cannot be glossed over and say that we are less civilized for waging it this way, and any student of history will look back at the 30 Years and 100 Years Wars and see that even without modern productive capacity, the populations were not exempt from the ravages of war and, in fact, were often the targets of war, though not due to industrial might but due to religious concerns. The absolute horror of 20% of Europe dead due to the 30 Years War started the Western Nation State into the idea of civilizing warfare and examining just what war was in the era of the Nation State. Here the differentiation of the powers of a Nation State and its government were put in context of society and discourse between Nations so that it could be examined, reflected upon and codified. The logic of those time still exists, today, in Total War and we consider it brutal beyond all knowledge to attack those who do not take part in the support of armies in the field... even when Total War requires that same commitment due to the logic of industrialized warfare.

Now we live in a post-Total War era: where the weapons are so horrifically capable that those of Mass Destruction must be aimed at population centers as they are the productive capacity of a Nation State. Yet, with all that power, the recent fights in the world have been of the small scale and of a different tone, tenor and type than we have seen in the interim period of the late 19th through the last quarter of the 20th century. We cannot return to those days as they are gone to us in our technical genius. Yet that same technical genius has put into play the most corrosive and destructive type of warfare known to modern man and it is not that of Nation States but individuals and bands of same, fighting without sanction as zealots and warlords. This most abhorrent kind of war we have tried to call 'terrorism' but even those on the political Left admit that 'terrorism' is just a tactic. With that said none dare call this type of war that 'terrorism' is a part of by its proper name.

It isn't because we fear that name. We should be so lucky!

It is because the political class of the 20th century has seen fit to try and divest our societies of their understandings of the nature of war, Nation States and Empires, and so they have decided that the term of 'piracy' deals with ships, booty, parrots, rum and an era long, long gone. Yet they exist not just as 'pirates' but as this thing known as 'terrorism', and they both come under a larger term that describes all this activity that you can read about going at least as far back to the fall of the Old Hittite Empire all the way to Soviet paratroop forces in the 1920's going after a bandit army in the hinterlands. The logic of what to call this category of activity, call it 'piracy' or 'terrorism' or 'bandit armies' or 'barbarian hordes', is known by the activity they do in pursuit of their ends.

If Public War, that thing we do as Nation States with solemnity, votes, declarations and such is what we know and it is the sanctioned use of force to assert the will of a Nation, then what is its opposite?

It is not Total War, that is Public War at its terminal conclusive stance in the system of Nation States.

This other form of warfare is done by individuals, without sanction, without pomp, without accountability, without public assent, without uniforms, without chain of command, without any trappings of establishing a Nation State or at least a State so that we may call them 'rebels' and at least offer them the sanctuary of the civilized rules of war. Those who disdain all of that are the enemies of not just their targets, but of all civilized means as they set themselves up to be judge, jury, executioner and they have no codified stance so they mete out such things at whim.

The term for this is Private War and it is the scourge of mankind as it is the harbinger of civilizations about to collapse or on the brink of same.

The Bronze Age saw this happen and the records are in numerous places with only Ancient Egypt surviving, and then only after losing all of its holdings East of the Sinai and West into the desert and coastal areas of North Africa. The Old Hittites, Assyrians, and Achaean Greek civilizations all fell. Ancient Egypt survived under Ramses III who would defeat the Sea Peoples and secure the coastline of Egypt. The ravages of the Sea People are still in evidence on inscriptions in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Crete and as far west as Gibraltar including Greek colonies in Sicily and the Italian Peninsula. The Linear B alphabet was lost due to this, as was literacy amongst the Greeks. The New Hittites would never establish the depth of power of the Old Hittites and never assemble anything close to the Old Hittite diplomatic archive. Egypt was destabilized and only pushing the Sea People and their land based confederates back to the shores saved the core of Ancient Egypt.

What fell was, of course, Troy, but more importantly the Old Hittite trade web that stretched beyond Egypt to what we now call Ethiopia all the way out to Mesopotamia and perhaps even to China, northeast to Siberia, north to the Baltic Sea and West to modern day France and Gibraltar. Troy was the major trade-hub of goods going from the Black to Mediterranean Seas, and goods going from Asia minor to Europe, and the islands and southern coast of Asia Minor represented a wealth of Hittite affiliates and colonies that plied their trade with the Greeks and Egyptians. They probably used many languages for trade, but only one was kept in baked clay which now has piles of shards in the Eastern Med and can be found scattered across some parts of the Western Med and even along the old Hittite trade routes into Asia: Linear B. Once deciphered Linear B proves out to be Greek and the shards are parts of shopping lists. There are still unmarked piles of shards of Linear B to this day, out in the open, they are that common. When you see a pile a foot deep, and more in the surf in the shoreline and further piles and scattered pieces along trails, you begin to get the idea of just how common shopping lists were and just how often they were used. The vast trade complex at Troy, with the perfect winds and shallow (now silted in harbor that is a field) plus scores of out-buildings, secondary wall, moat... all of that was a trade city of vast wealth that would dry up with the harbor and the moment trade was no longer safe through it. A decade long war to deprive Troy of its satellite support cities worked very well: Troy fell. So did the trade web.

Troy fell to war as we more or less know it, although without civilized refinements it was Public War of the 'attrition' sort.

What came after you can read about in the Odyssey: men on ships going to far shores for wealth, trade goods and even just for food. There is evidence that at least one Old Hittite city depopulated completely with its people set to sea who would then migrate West after ravaging the Eastern Med. After those times of troubles the resettling of all these peoples onto the shores of the Med would lead to new peoples arising (like the Phoenicians) and start to set the basis for much of the later history that would come about because of this set of migrations. What actually set them to motion may be multi-causational: the Lukka people lost their city when they went against their former Hittite allies, the Denyan's were possibly the Israelite Tribe of Dan exiled to ships, a somewhat drier and cooler climate regime changed fertile agricultural zones from where they had been, a plague ravaged the Old Hittite Empire, a number of smaller trade cities on Anatolia suffered from war and invasions, the possibility of earthquakes hitting a major city or a volcano erupting cannot be discounted... what can be said is that when civilized ways collapsed the uncivilized ways of warlords, pirates, brigands and roving peoples began. This may have gone on for as long as 300 years, but the transition from relatively stable City State and Imperial relations to roving Sea Peoples is, perhaps, all of two generations at the starting end. Call it less than 100 years, and probably less than 60 years.

It takes a number of items to bring down a civilized set of interactions between States. Today we have the breakdown of international trade due to absolutely insane forms of spending and borrowing not just in the US but across Europe, Asia as well. Unwilling to pay for government services up front, governments go into debt, money systems become destabilized and when this spreads into the interiors of Nations, then the ability to actually trade based on debt starts to decline, often rapidly. Building magnificent projects or spending huge amounts to 'help the retired' does not mitigate the debt that piles up that is to be paid off: trade suffers as debt is a very hard thing to trade with as its real value is in the negative, not the positive. Today thousands of ocean going freighters are at anchor in parts of Oceania and a 19th century clipper ship delivered goods faster than today's transports because it isn't worth spending the money to go fast. A President wants a railroad system as fast as it was... in the 1920's. Hooking people on government handouts turns them into beggars in their own land, waiting for handouts from the benevolent tyrants who have impoverished them with the very best of intentions. Strife of the Private War kind restarted, with great vigor, as ideological in nature, fostered by the USSR and other 'Red' Nations. Now, that has spilled over into religion and there is a religion on the move: Islam. Just as the Sea People move, so do they, and they bring their culture of strife with them, which gets you strife in your own land. It is not civilized to treat women as property, kill daughters because they dare to seek companionship of someone you do not approve based on religion, and to put forward that your religion will dominate all others and be the only religion on Earth.

Christians had some very nasty wars to go through to finally realize that the God of Reason does not speak in such ways but through persuasion of the mind. Yet that very ability to reason is now put at odds with an age of unreason in finances, debt, services, and a high twisting of what it means to be civilized so as to never criticize one's own degeneracy in not opposing the downfall of it. If we cannot oppose that most degenerate form of war, Private War, in which all Nations are at peril, then how, praytell, can the effete elite ever think about actually paying for the goodies they so dearly want via other people's money? Government is not made because man is 'perfectible' but because we are beings of nature with the flaws of nature within us and the very best we can do to safeguard ourselves from our fellow man is to create accountable governance. If we could be perfected by spending, we long ago would have reached that point and turned into perfect beings. Or at least convinced the poor that they should seek to not need a handout in perpetuity and to help their fellow man by working for what they eat... unfortunately the fruits of one's labor are readily taken by government with ever expanding appetite and power.

Government is built upon the ruins of paradise not because we are evil, but because in Nature and without society, there is no difference between evil and good. When man reverts to Natural Man by conscious design, he becomes that horror able to do anything at whim, including wage war on the rest of mankind. When we are able to reason we stop being amoral animals and become moral creatures who seek society so as to protect one's family, oneself and then those that are agreeable to common ways. All government is self-government, and must start with the individual. When you wish others to pay for your goodness, you are not upholding your part of the bargain: seeking to have government steal from others to 'do good' is an evil act in and of itself as it seeks to allow one to wash oneself of the responsibility to care for their fellow man in common society. That is not a 'noble' cause, even when nobles practice it: it is a degradation of your moral character, by you, because you are afraid to do good. Government is a necessary evil due to our fear of our fellow man turning into a creature of Nature once more against our society. When government is turned by those who do not uphold their compact with the rest of society, then government becomes evil and divorces itself from the role of being accountable defender of society and becomes the tyrannical dictator to society. The only governments ever able to sustain itself on that basis is called an Empire and they don't last long when more than 1% of the population is literate.

Which is why you aren't taught history, or much of anything else of value, and learning math and the natural sciences is demeaned in favor of the ideologically driven 'social sciences' which have no standards they must adhere to. For all that is taught, little is learned, and slowly the wedge of unreason is driven into our society by no longer teaching what civilization rests upon: YOU.

This is a vanity blog as I do have my points of vanity from time to time.

It is not a blog of unreason, unthinking or uncaring: I do my best to tell you what I see, how I see it and why (that part left out by so many) I see it that way.

I send out no negatives on anything save for those with negative behavior, negative attitudes and negative actions. Those that degrade and corrode society deserve criticism, as does their favored means to do so via our government. Yet for problems I bring up I do try to show a positive means out of them, or at least show they are part of the human condition beyond the ability of any government, at any time, to ameliorate because they are part of the Nature of Man. That is the civilized way to do things and to be civilized one must be civil.

Being civil to each other is our duty.

If you lose a civil tongue you are becoming uncivilized and no matter how good that feels at the start, it winds up with all your cherish gone from you as when you are in need you will find the milk of human kindness has run dry for you... because of what you have said and done in life. Screaming and churning your guts in hatred because someone dares to think differently and disagree with you in a civil manner is just the opposite of being civilized.

I have found that when all is in chaos, being a bastion of order gives calm to those around you.

It is not easy nor without cost to be civilized.

It really is cheaper than degrading yourself to let government be civilized for you, however.

Physically and mentally I am better off than I was when I started: this blog has helped me to recover.

Now there is hard work ahead to continue civilization, and I am busy within the limited energy I have.

Posting will be light. My prior posts show much of where we are going and what is needed to get through.

You cannot think your way to survival, you can only do your way to survival.

Now I do as I say.

Say what I mean.

Mean what I do.


CKCarter said...

Your love of country, frank recognition of the knowledge to be gained by recognizing our past (the good and the bad), eloquence and clarity of thought have gained you at least one admirer.

I've been reading you for years and find myself a far better critical thinker for it. I am unfortunately a product of the public school system and as such had never even heard of terms like Westphalia, Barbary pirates nor letters of marque. However, being a member of the group referred to in "The Jacksonian Tradition" I was taught the proper meaning of terms like gentleman, family and honor.

The sheer bulk of knowledge I've gained by tracking down things like the Black Book of the Admiralty as well as more contemporary information like the actual history of the middle-east (post-WWII) or the first few years of the state of Israel have left me with a hunger for more information, because the more I learn the more holes there are to fill in. So I say thank you for bringing up, discussing and explaining enough information to create a great many such gaps that I can fill.

So please keep doing what you're doing, there are many of us who are reading now as well as acting and don't wish to wait for the later to reflect on what was missed by those too caught-up in a mundane, uneducated, head-in-the-sand life.

Kevin Carter
North Carolina

A Jacksonian said...

Dear Mr. Carter,

I thank you, deeply!

When all was grey blankness about my mind I had to find a way out of that and it was through finding something I could. at least, understand. That was a long process to do that and after the source of the problems had ceased I then had to live with the aftermath that was the ruin of my mind and physical ability to recover. I do not give in so easily to my mere body turning on me, and have been through that before in my life. I am truly grateful for each and every day I have with some vigor and mental capacity as I have had to work hard to keep them both.

Now I move to some fundamentals and it is appropriate that I have sought those out. My current reading list is a hodge-podge: Pufendorf's work on Man and Citizen, Andrew Dubino's Gunsmithing with Simple Hand Tools, and the David Gingergy books starting with the charcoal foundry. I have said that it is 'back to basics time' and, somewhere deep inside me, that now moves me forward. To be able to do for others one must be able to do for oneself and have some value in their life. I don't want money for what I write, because it is necessary to have my thoughts out there freely available for all to read... that is a moral imperative deep inside me that tells me that.

Thus to get back to basics I go to the basics of political philosophy and the man who set the language down all the way to our modern time: Pufendorf. After that comes one's ability to maintain their self-defense and that means, to me at least, learning the rudiments of gunsmithing. As I have projects around the house that take precedence (storm shields for doors and windows) that means going back to my family's roots in woodworking and its tools. To keep all that going from firearms to hand tools, requires a low cost machine shop and learning the hard won skills necessary for them.

I will probably put that into a coherent post in the near future.

As I am a man who hates to repeat himself, and most of what I find myself saying about politics and society is pure repetition, I spare my readers that. With that said any insights I get, I will try to pass along... as an example what to do with the mentally ill? As we removed great power from government in this venue, then it is our responsibility as individuals to pick up for that which we disbanded. We didn't. We have been slackers unable to make charitable organizations to address this and reach out to help beyond a meal and warm bed for the night. That must change as this is a reflection of our character as a society and inviduals. There is much we have given over to government that is rightly ours, alone, to have... that means being prepared for a harder, richer, more fulfilling if less inwardly focused lifestyle. For that I must be useful to my fellow man beyond words... and I must be useful to keep body and soul together as well.

Again, great thanks and blogging will be light.

The time to DO is here, and I shall MEAN what I DO.

It won't change the world.

It is necessary and I shall adapt.