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REQUIEM

Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010

9/04/2009

A Storm is Brewing


Something of historic proportions is happening. I can sense it because I know how it feels, smells, what it looks like, and how people react to it. Yes, a perfect storm may be brewing, but there is something happening within our country that has been evolving for about ten to fifteen years. The pace has dramatically quickened in the past two.

We demand and then codify into law the requirement that our banks make massive loans to people we know they can never pay back? Why? We learned just days ago that the Federal Reserve, which has little or no real oversight by anyone, has ‘loaned’ two trillion dollars (that is $2,000,000,000,000) over the past few months, but will not tell us to whom or why or disclose the terms.

That is our money. Yours and mine. And that is three times the $700 billion we all argued about so strenuously just this past September. Who has this money? Why do they have it? Why are the terms unavailable to us? Who asked for it? Who authorized it? I thought this was a government of ‘we the people,’ who loaned our powers to our elected leaders. Apparently not.

We have spent two or more decades intentionally de-industrializing our economy. Why?

We have intentionally dumbed down our schools, ignored our history, and no longer teach our founding documents, why we are exceptional, and why we are worth preserving. Students by and large cannot write, think critically, read, or articulate. Parents are not revolting, teachers are not picketing, school boards continue to back mediocrity. Why?

We have now established the precedent of protesting every close election (violently in California over a proposition that is so controversial that it simply wants marriage to remain defined as between one man and one woman. Did you ever think such a thing possible just a decade ago?) We have corrupted our sacred political process by allowing unelected judges to write laws that radically change our way of life, and then mainstream Marxist groups like ACORN and others to turn our voting system into a banana republic. To what purpose?

Now our mortgage industry is collapsing, housing prices are in free fall, major industries are failing, our banking system is on the verge of collapse, social security is nearly bankrupt, as is Medicare and our entire government.

Our education system is worse than a joke (I teach college and I know precisely what I am talking about) -- the list is staggering in its length, breadth, and depth. It is potentially 1929 x ten.

And we are at war with an enemy we cannot even name for fear of offending people of the same religion, who, in turn, cannot wait to slit the throats of our children if they have the opportunity to do so.

And finally, we have elected a man that no one really knows anything about, who has never run so much as a Dairy Queen. All of his associations and alliances are with real radicals in their chosen fields of employment, and everything we learn about him, drip by drip, is unsettling if not downright scary (Surely you have heard him speak about his idea to create and fund a mandatory civilian defense force stronger than our military for use inside our borders? No? Oh, of course. The media would never play that for you over and over and then demand he answer it.)

Mr. Obama's winning platform can be boiled down to one word: Change.

Why?

I have never been so afraid for my country and for my children as I am now. This man campaigned on bringing people together, something he has never, ever done in his professional life. In my assessment, Obama will divide us along philosophical lines, push us apart, and then try to realign the pieces into a new and different power structure. Change is indeed coming. And when it comes, you will never see the same nation again.

And that is only the beginning.

As a serious student of history, I thought I would never come to experience what the ordinary, moral German must have felt in the mid-1930s. In those times, the ‘savior’ was a former smooth-talking rabble-rouser from the streets, about whom the average German knew next to nothing. What they should have known was that he was associated with groups that shouted, shoved, and pushed around people with whom they disagreed; he edged his way onto the political stage through great oratory. Conservative ‘losers’ read it right now.

And there were the promises. Economic times were tough, people were losing jobs, and he was a great speaker. And he smiled and frowned and waved a lot. And people, even newspapers, were afraid to speak out for fear that his ‘brown shirts’ would bully and beat them into submission. Which they did -- regularly.

And then, he was duly elected to office, while a full-throttled economic crisis bloomed at hand -- the Great Depression. Slowly but surely he seized the controls of government power, person by person, department by department, bureaucracy by bureaucracy. The children of German citizens were at first encouraged to join a Youth Movement in his name where they were taught exactly what to think. Later, they were required to do so. No Jews of course.

How did he get people on his side? He did it by promising jobs to the jobless, money to the money-less, and rewards for the military-industrial complex. He did it by indoctrinating the children, advocating gun control, health care for all, better wages, better jobs, and promising to re-instill pride once again in the country, across Europe, and across the world. He did it with a compliant media -- did you know that? And he did this all in the name of justice and ... change. And the people surely got what they voted for.

If you think I am exaggerating, look it up. It's all there in the history books.

So read your history books. Many people of conscience objected in 1933 and were shouted down, called names, laughed at, and ridiculed. When Winston Churchill pointed out the obvious in the late 1930s while seated in the House of Lords in England (he was not yet Prime Minister), he was booed into his seat and called a crazy troublemaker. He was right, though. And the world came to regret that he was not listened to.

Do not forget that Germany was the most educated, the most cultured country in Europe. It was full of music, art, museums, hospitals, laboratories, and universities. And yet, in less than six years (a shorter time span than just two terms of the U. S. presidency) it was rounding up its own citizens, killing others, abrogating its laws, turning children against parents, and neighbors against neighbors. All with the best of intentions, of course. The road to hell is paved with them.

As a practical thinker, one not overly prone to emotional decisions, I have a choice: I can either believe what the objective pieces of evidence tell me (even if they make me cringe with disgust); I can believe what history is shouting to me from across the chasm of seven decades; or I can hope I am wrong by closing my eyes, having another latte, and ignoring what is transpiring around me.

I choose to believe the evidence. No doubt some people will scoff at me, others laugh, or think I am foolish, naive, or both. To some degree, perhaps I am. But I have never been afraid to look people in the eye and tell them exactly what I believe-and why I believe it.

I pray I am wrong.

[This is an excerpted opinion piece being circulated as having been authored by historian David Kaiser. Mr. Kaiser says that they are not his words. I do not know who wrote it, but I applaud the author's insight and courage, whoever he may be.]

~ joanie

13 comments:

Steve Leiden said...

I do not know who wrote it, but I applaud the author's insight and courage, whoever he may be.

As do I.

James said...

Joanie, I not much of a writer but your article expresses my thoughts exactly. I feel like I'm living in a foreign country. All people want is for the gov. to give them food and entertainment. They don't care about anything else. TV promotes nothing but filth and hate. The government divides its citizen everyway possible. The soul of America is dead.

John Cooper said...

I recommend three books:

The Ominous Parallels: A Brilliant Study of America Today - and the 'ominous parallels' with the chaos of pre-Hitler Germany (Paperback) by Leonard Peikoff, first published in 1984, and

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (Paperback) by William L. Shirer, and

The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek

America is following the same philosophical path that National Socialist Germany did in the early thirties. The results will be the same.

robmaroni said...

Spot on in every way. And it does take courage to speak the truth about these people nowadays. They demonize everyone who dares to call them what they are and describe their ugly motives. No one wants to be called "intolerant" or a racist, etc.

Saul Alinsky taught them well.

Anonymous said...

A book could be written about every paragraph in this article, but he sure touched all bases.

John Cooper, you are absolutely right in your comparison of "philosophical paths." I believe we've passed the point of no return.

joanie said...

Very well said, James!

The government divides its citizen everyway possible.

I believe that Obama is simply serving as 'the annointed one' and others, much more powerful and influential (such as George Soros and Rahm Emanuel) are calling most of the shots -- with one of the major goals being the division you alluded to above.

They thrive on class warfare (not literal, but psychological), race warfare, and any other kind of societal division they can promote.

Thanks for your insightful comments. Pessimism these days is nothing more than candid realism.

~ joanie

joanie said...

John, I remember trying to read 'The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich' in high school. It was fascinating, but there just weren't enough hours in the day.

As for Hayek, he was a prescient genius.

Don't know the Peikoff book.

I will have to put all three books on the top of my list of reading material (right after 'The Age of Reagan, of course). :)

~ joanie

John Cooper said...

A sample of the Peikoff book (part 1):

We dare not brush aside unexplained a horror such as Nazism.

Many writers have noted similarities between America today and Germany before Hitler, then have shrugged off their own observations—succumbing to the notion, spread by today's intellectuals, that it is bad history to compare two different countries. This notion, itself a symptom of our current crisis, means that there are no principles governing human action, and that it is bad history to learn from history.

The similarities, however, cannot be shrugged off. Our crisis is real. The crisis is the fact that our country, the United States of America—the freest, the most productive, and the most moral country in the world—is now moving in Hitler's direction.

America is moving toward a Nazi form of totalitarianism. It has been doing this for decades. It has been doing so gradually, by default, and for the most part unknowingly, but it is doing so systematically and without significant opposition. In every cultural area—from science and education to art and religion to politics and economics—the trend is now unmistakable.

There are differences between America and the Weimar Republic. Our future, as far as one can judge, is still indeterminate. But the current trend will not be checked unless we grasp, in terms of essentials, the ominous parallels between the two countries—and, above all, the basic cause behind those parallels. If we are to avoid a fate like that of Germany, we must find out what made such a fate possible. We must find out what, at root, is required to turn a country, Germany or any other, into a Nazi dictatorship; and then we must uproot that root.

We need to look for something deeper than practical conditions, something that dictates men's view of what constitutes the practical.

In an advanced, civilized country, a handful of men were able to gain for their criminal schemes the enthusiastic backing of millions of decent, educated, law-abiding citizens. What is the factor that made this possible?

Criminal groups and schemes have existed throughout history, in every country. They have been able to succeed only in certain periods. The mere presence of such groups is not sufficient to account for their victory. Something made so many Germans so vulnerable to a takeover. Something armed the criminals and disarmed the country.

Observe in this connection that the Nazis, correctly, regarded the power of propaganda as an indispensable tool.

The Nazis could not have won the support of the German masses but for the systematic preaching of a complex array of theories, doctrines, opinions, notions, beliefs. And not one of their central beliefs was original. They found those beliefs, widespread and waiting, in the culture; they seized upon them and broadcast them at top volume, thrusting them with a new intensity back into the streets of Germany. And the men in the streets heard and recognized and sympathized with and embraced those beliefs, and voted for their exponents.

The Germans would not have recognized or embraced those beliefs in the nineteenth century, when the West was still being influenced by the remnants of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment, when the doctrines of the rights of man and the autonomy of the individual were paramount.
But by the twentieth century such doctrines, and the convictions on which they depended, were paramount no longer.

John Cooper said...

(part 2)

"Germany was ideologically ripe for Hitler. The intellectual groundwork had been prepared. The country's ideas—a certain special category of ideas—were ready.

There is a science whose subject matter is that category of ideas.

Today, in our colleges, this science has sunk to the lowest point in its history. Its teachers have declared that it has no questions to ask, no method to follow, no answers to offer. As a result, it is disappearing—losing its identity, its intelligibility, its students, and the last vestiges of its once noble reputation. No one—among the intellectuals or the general public— would suspect any longer that this science could be relevant to human life or action.

Yet this science determines the destiny of nations and the course of history. It is the source of a nation's frame of reference and code of values, the root of a people's character and culture, the fundamental cause shaping men's choices and decisions in every crucial area of their lives. It is the science which directs men to embrace this world or to seek out some other that is said to transcend it—which directs them to reason or superstition, to the pursuit of happiness or of self-sacrifice, to production or starvation, to freedom or slavery, to life or death. It is the science which made the difference between the East and the West, between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, between the Founding Fathers of the new continent and the Adolf Hitlers of the old. It is the science which had to be destroyed, if the catastrophes of our time were to become possible.

The science is philosophy.

Philosophy is the study of the nature of existence, of knowledge, and of values.

The branch of philosophy that studies existence is metaphysics. Metaphysics identifies the nature of the universe as a whole. It tells men what kind of world they live in, and whether there is a supernatural dimension beyond it. It tells men whether they live in a world of solid entities, natural laws, absolute facts, or in a world of illusory fragments, unpredictable miracles, and ceaseless flux. It tells men whether the things they perceive by their senses and mind form a comprehensible reality, with which they can deal, or some kind of unreal appearance, which leaves them staring and helpless.

The branch of philosophy that studies knowledge is epistemology. Epistemology identifies the proper means of acquiring knowledge. It tells men which mental processes to employ as methods of cognition, and which to reject as invalid or deceptive. Above all, epistemology tells men whether reason is their faculty of gaining knowledge, and if so how it works—or whether there is a means of knowledge other than reason, such as faith, or the instinct of society, or the feelings of the dictator.

The branch of philosophy that studies values is ethics (or morality), which rests on both the above branches—on a view of the world in which man acts, and of man's nature, including his means of knowledge. Ethics defines a code of values to guide human actions. It tells men the proper purpose of man's life, and the means of achieving it; it provides the standard by which men are to judge good and evil, right and wrong, the desirable and the undesirable. Ethics tells a man, for instance, to pursue his own fulfillment—or to sacrifice himself for the sake of something else, such as God or his neighbor.

John Cooper said...

(part 3):

"The branch of philosophy that applies ethics to social questions is politics, which studies the nature of social systems and the proper functions of government. Politics is not the start, but the product of a philosophic system. By their nature, political questions cannot be raised or judged except on the basis of some view of existence, of values, and of man's proper means of knowledge.

Since men cannot live or act without some kind of basic guidance, the issues of philosophy in some form necessarily affect every man, in every social group and class. Most men, however, do not consider such issues in explicit terms. They absorb their ideas—implicitly, eclectically, and with many contradictions—from the cultural atmosphere around them, building into their souls without identifying it the various ideological vibrations emanating from school and church and arts and media and mores.

A cultural atmosphere is not a primary. It is created, ultimately, by a handful of men: by those whose lifework it is to deal with, originate, and propagate fundamental ideas. For the great majority of men the influence of philosophy is indirect and unrecognized. But it is real.

The root cause of Nazism lies in a power that most people ignore, disparage--and underestimate. The cause is not the events hailed or cursed in headlines and street rallies, but the esoteric writings of the professors who, decades or centuries earlier, laid the foundation for those events. The symbol of the cause is not the munitions plants or union halls or bank vaults of Germany, but its ivory towers. What came out of the towers in this regard is only coils of obscure, virtually indecipherable jargon. But that jargon is fatal.

"[The Nazi] death camps," notes a writer in The New York Times, "were conceived, built and often administered by Ph.D.'s."

What had those Ph.D.'s been taught to think in their schools and universities—and where did such ideas come from?"

John Cooper said...

Jumping ahead to chapter eight:

"The culture of Weimar Germany advocated irrational emotion. The economy demanded it. It provided conditions which allowed men no other mode of functioning.

The Republic was a mixed economy, the kind established by Bismarck and mandated by the nation’s new constitution. There was an element of economic liberty, and there were growing government controls - direct or indirect: federal, state, and municipal - over every aspect of the country’s productive life. The controls covered business, labor, banking, utilities, agriculture, housing, and much more. As a rule each new set of controls conferred benefits on some German group(s), at a cost. The cost was incurred by other groups, whose forced sacrifice paid for the benefits. The victims responded predictably.

Confronted with increasing British exactions one hundred and fifty years earlier, the American colonists did not decide to beef up their lobby in the English court; they hearalded the rights of man and decided to throw off the yoke. There were no such ideas in Weimar Germany. The Germans did not question the code of sacrifice or the principle of statism. These ideas, they had been taught by every side and sect within their culture, specify how man ought to live and the only way man can live. They define the moral and the practical.

The Germans, therefore, practiced them.

--Leonard Peikoff, The Ominous Parallels, 1982, Chapter 8, “The Emotionalist Republic”

joanie said...

John, your Peikoff excerpts are absolutely chilling.

I especially flinched upon reading the following two paragraphs (although all of what you excerpted was relevant and brilliant):

The Germans would not have recognized or embraced those beliefs in the nineteenth century, when the West was still being influenced by the remnants of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment, when the doctrines of the rights of man and the autonomy of the individual were paramount. But by the twentieth century such doctrines, and the convictions on which they depended, were paramount no longer ...

... The root cause of Nazism lies in a power that most people ignore, disparage--and underestimate. The cause is not the events hailed or cursed in headlines and street rallies, but the esoteric writings of the professors who, decades or centuries earlier, laid the foundation for those events. The symbol of the cause is not the munitions plants or union halls or bank vaults of Germany, but its ivory towers. What came out of the towers in this regard is only coils of obscure, virtually indecipherable jargon. But that jargon is fatal.


Our mutual friend, First_Salute, has been warning about the power and corruption of those in decision-making, and ‘education’-defining, positions in so-called ‘higher education’ for a very long time. It is one of his most salient and insightful arguments, and Piekoff appears to agree wholeheartedly.

I intend to purchase, and pore through, The Ominous Parallels. Thank you so much for bringing this obviously brilliant work to our attention!

~ joanie

John Cooper said...

Peikoff wrote that book in 1984, which is even more chilling.