A Pushback Against Barbarism

On Christmas Eve, I watched on TV a bit of the Mass at St. Peter’s in Rome – and there is nothing quite as impressive as St. Peter’s Basilica. Say what you will about the Catholic Church, St. Peter’s is clearly the product of a highly advanced and refined civilization.

As I watched, a little distracted by the English translation (I wish they hadn’t bothered…certainly no Catholic needed to know what was going on; we know, no matter what language) it occurred to me that St. Peter’s was probably heavily locked down by security and all sorts of screening and barriers were around and within the Church…all to prevent a savage from carrying out a horrific act. And then it really hit me:

In the very heart of our civilization, we are not safe.

Think about what we have around us, every day, grating against normality. A prominent lady on Twitter, the daughter of immigrants, related the other day her tale of woe in getting the new driver’s license. All the extra documentation she needed to obtain and provide so that she, an American, could prove to her own government that she was, indeed, a citizen of the Republic and so should be allowed to enter federal buildings. And even if she got that ID, she’d still need to take off her belt and shoes and run them and her purse through a scanner while she, herself, was quickly x-rayed on the way in. And let’s pause for a moment and think about those round, concrete bollards which have sprouted like mushrooms in front of all sorts of buildings and places…barriers against a barbarian driving a car or truck into us.

We are imprisoning ourselves – caging our own people, while barbarians roam free.

This is wrong. This is terrible. This is not how civilized people are supposed to live. It is the barbarians who should be running and hiding from us…not we erecting anti-terrorism barriers in front of our buildings, parks and places of worship. And it is becoming so ubiquitous that even us older folks aren’t noticing it – but worse than that, the youngsters are growing up thinking that it is normal to have such things. That to live you have barriers and machine guns and tanks and, with all that, the barbarians will get through from time to time and carry out a massacre.

No. No. No. That is not what should be.

Qassim Soleimani was a very dapper man – in uniform or mufti, he was always carefully groomed and well turned out. But make no mistake about it, he was a barbarian. Doubly so because he deliberately became one, rejecting the 4,000 year old civilization he was born into. He was not, be sure of it, the only person in the world organizing and funding barbarism…but he was one of the main ones. When Trump ordered him killed, a peculiar bit of satisfaction came over me…the purveyor of blood finally paid in blood for what he did. I’ve been saying for years that Islamism is a con. As much of a con as Nazism or Communism is or ever was. It is a grift; a justification for a mafia-like entity to batten itself upon a nation and suck its blood. Not for the leaders of Islamism is strapping on a bomb and blowing up a marketplace – nope; they convince others (or force via threats to families, if needed) to do that. Because it really is just a con: what they say and do merely justifies their barbarism…and allows them what they, and all barbarians, really want: to live fat on the carcass of civilization…making nothing and doing nothing of merit, but having the luxuries of life in gross.

Trump struck a hard blow against barbarism – and promises more of the same if the Iranian leadership doesn’t cool it. But to me, that isn’t quite enough. We need to forcefully let everyone know that civilization wins. That we will punish those who seek to kill and destroy as a means of garnering unearned wealth and power. For decades we’ve allowed the barbarians to push us back to the point where we’re bunkered into our churches and government offices…now is the time to start the counter-attack.

And I can’t think of a better way than painting a target on the backs of the barbarian leaders. Let them know that if they orchestrate savagery, we’re coming after them – that they will die; that they will no longer live well while others die. Do it often enough, and they will change their tune because all those who seek to live well off others primarily want to live. They are brutes, to be sure, but also cowards of the lowest sort. Mere amoral appetite…and the thing that terrifies them the most is losing wealth and life.

Thinking About the Ruling Class vs Everyone

Over in Britain, the Brexit vote in Parliament has been delayed – because it probably would have gone down to crushing defeat and forced PM May’s ouster. I have no sympathy – she negotiated a deal which essentially kept the EU in power over Britain…except that, now, Britain wouldn’t even have a say in the EU. This, to me, was a feature, not a bug: the idea being, I’m guessing, that eventually the British people could be convinced that they must rejoin the EU. The plain fact of the matter is that no “deal” needs to be negotiated. All the British government has to do is say, “we’re out” and they’d be done. But that would only have happened if anyone in the British Ruling Class gave a damn about the will of the British people.

Meanwhile, over in France, les Deplorables have been conducting some pretty impressive riots. Seems that the French people have also had it with their Ruling Class selling them down the river. We’ll see how this comes out – personally, I’m hoping it develops into a genuine revolution.

Naturally, the Ruling Class is saying that the Russians are behind the French protests.

Still seeing lots of people speaking in favor of Experts. Ross Douthat has an interesting thing to say on that:

…meritocrats are often educated to be bad leaders, and bad people, in a very specific way — a way of arrogant intelligence unmoored from historical experience, ambition untempered by self-sacrifice. The way of the “best and the brightest” at the dawn of the technocratic era and the “smartest guys in the room” decades later, the way of the arsonists of late-2000s Wall Street and the “move fast and break things” culture of Silicon Valley…

Do read the whole thing. Mostly because you won’t agree with all of it. The bottom line is a fundamental irresponsibility. That they really lack merit and are often wrong isn’t the biggest problem: the biggest problem is that they never have to pay a price. Sowell often points this out in his books: those who propose to do all sorts of odd things are never the people who have to suffer the consequences. I came across a sorta-Conservative guy on Twitter (I’m guess he’s at least modestly famous, but I had never heard of him before) and he was arguing that America must take charge of the world! Be strong! Get out there and fight…and then I looked at his picture and saw a fairly fit, young man but his bio didn’t seem to include anything about military service. I suggested “you, first” to him: that if he wants America to flex her muscles in the world, that he go out and be that muscle…and get back to us once he was deployed.

Mixed right in with that was a small debate with a much beloved (and extremely liberal) friend where he was sort of on the side of Experts. I rejoined that the more stupid a person is, the more vital it is that they be consulted on the major issues. Experts build atomic bombs: morons drink beer and eat chips. On the whole, the more beer-drinking and chip-eating we do, the better off we are.

Chesterton once opined that it was disturbing how few politicians are hanged. And there is more in that than the mere healthy desire to kill those in charge from time to time. The larger issue is that a price must be paid for our follies…and every now and again, it would be salubrious to have those who promoted the follies be first up the scaffold. FDR, George C. Marshall and Ernest King are honored in the United States these days…you can find out all sorts of details about them and stand in rapt admiration over their deeds…but, you’ll find out less about the guys who were buried after dying of dysentery in a squalid, Japanese POW camp, even though the people ultimately responsible for those deaths were, precisely, FDR, George C. Marshall and Ernest King. You know: they made horrible, stupid mistakes…and then got other people, less famous, to pay the blood price to repair their errors. It would be simple justice if, every now and again, the FDR’s, Marshall’s and King’s swung from lamp posts.

But getting that done is very difficult. The problem is that you need people who can have a say but who don’t want to say much. Once upon a time, the Catholic Church tried it – at the peak, they managed to have King Henry II of England flogged for murdering St. Thomas Becket. To tell you how that came out, long term, one only needs say that Henry VIII had St Thomas’ bones scattered. The trouble is that people who care deeply about politics are those who tend to rise in politics…and they’re never terribly interested in fixing things; nor can they be relied upon to hang themselves are regular intervals.

So, Revolution is the only way out of this mess. We here in the United States are fortunate in that we have built in mechanisms which allows us alter or to abolish our government without the necessity of engaging in bloody revolution. Unless, of course, we get a situation where the Ruling Class tries an end run around the Constitution by, say, removing a popularly elected President on bogus charges. We’ll see how that plays out.

But make no mistake about it – we are entering, globally, a revolutionary time. It is a complex battle which pits those who make and do against those who consider themselves smarter than those who make and do. It is your local plumber against the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, if you want it in a nutshell. The victory for our side comes when we successfully demonstrate that the Ruling Class is both corrupt and illegitimate – that is when they’ll be turned out of power.