Auto Added by WPeMatico

Why I read Fred Reed

Fred Reed is cranky and ex -US military. He is intelligent, and not deceived. Apart from occasionally rude and always accurate things he has to say about American blacks and the intelligence issue, his views are centrist. He has been advising against war with China for years. You can read more of him at the Unz review. But perhaps he found the Unz review too weird, and now writes privately. Try his subscription page here.

 

Speaking of wars, he writes:

“The reason for this curious behavior is that war is only tangentially a rational endeavor, being chiefly a limbic, instinctually driven habit probably of genetic provenance. War is just what men do, tribe against tribe, country against country, empire against empire, world without end. War is a major, perhaps the major, focus of human endeavor. A glance at history reveals it to be chiefly a tapestry of war. The literature of civilizations reflects this: The Gilgamesh Epic, the Iliad, the Aeneid, El Cid, Orlando Furioso, Lord of the Rings.”

John Ruskin on loyalty

Sebastian Junger could have written this.

“It is easy to imagine an enthusiastic affection existing among soldiers for their colonel. Not so easy to imagine an enthusiastic affection among cotton-spinners for the proprietor of the mill.

“A body of men associated for purposes of robbery (as a Highland clan in ancient times) shall be animated by perfect affection, and every member of it be ready to lay down his life for the life of his chief. But a band of men associated for purposes of legal production and accumulation is usually animated, it appears, by no such emotions, and none of them are in anywise willing to give his life for the life of his chief.”

 

Junger said that the ultimate state of Christian brotherly love is found in a small outpost of soldiers surrounded by their enemies. People are ready to lay down their lives for people they don’t even like.

 

The Ruskin material is lifted from Curtis Yarvin’s article on substack

Stalin’s War by Sean McMeekin

 

Even after reading two volumes of Steven Kotkin’s thorough and excellent  biography of Stalin, I am still surprised at the extent of Stalin’s evil. Take a passage from Sean McMeekin’s “Stalin’s War” for example. The USSR invaded portions of Romania in 1940, on no other grounds than Stalin could get away with it, Hitler was still his ally, and the British and French were powerless.

 

“In the first two weeks after the Soviet invasion, 51,391 ex-Romanian citizens were taken into custody by occupation authorities. By August 2, 1940 the total had surpassed two hundred thousand. By year’s end, three hundred thousand Romanians had been deported from Moldova SSR to Gulag camps in the Soviet interior.”

Can you imagine what it means in terms of repressive power, trains, track, locomotives and feeding, to arrest, process and deport 300,000 people? And for no reason other than they belonged to the wrong social and economic classes.

Okay so you get the point.

McMeekin has stood the usual recital of World War 2 on its head, and it is time that this was done.

Until recently we have been obsessed with Hitler, to the relative exclusion of the other villain, Stalin. There were several reasons for this. First Germany is nearer to the English speaking world and started off more civilized and fell faster into totalitarian makeover than Russia. Second, the Germans were defeated in 1945 and their records were opened since then, whereas Russian archives were only opened since the fall of Communism in 1990. By then the momentum to blame all of WW2 on Hitler had become unstoppable, even though Stalin  played a hugely important role in abetting Hitler in the early stages of the war and the Japanese operated their conquering empire in complete independence of either. And third, not to be underrated, there has always been granted to communism a free pass from criticism by most of the political Left, that operates to this day.

McMeekin’s thesis is to stand the usual accounts on their heads, to situate Stalin as the chief winner in WW2, as the chief villain, as the promulgator of much more extensive evil, and to see Hitler’s Germany as the tool of the USSR, up until it betrayed Stalin by invading the USSR in 1941. Who was the economic colony of whom, asks McMeekin? Who was utterly dependent on Soviet oil and raw materials for its war making?

I am not sure I will agree with all of McMeekin by the time I have finished Stalin’s War. Nevertheless I welcome the refreshingly new perspective that restores to us a vision that was present at the time, before the heroic narratives of Churchill and those of British and American historians came to predominate,  that between Hitler and Stalin there was only a choice of which kind of murderous tyranny would kill you.

McMeekin draws our attention to the oft-forgotten obvious fact, that Stalin killed millions more people than Hitler, was granted more time to do it in, and was convinced of the need to act this way to bring about a claptrap utopia of poverty and repression.

I am enjoying McMeekin’s Stalin’s War. I hope you will read it too.

 

Drones: A revolution in Military Affairs

Drones: all previous ideas of fighting war, including the use of armoured vehicles, missile and artillery batteries, air forces, have been shown to be wholly vulnerable to drone attack. Machines are killing people. The low exposure of the users of drones to harm, and the vulnerability of those who are not covered by drones, has been shown by the clear and overwehelming victory of the Azerbaijanis over the Armenians recently.

It is a revolution as important as the gunpowder revolution of the 1400s.

The video is of an Indian scholar journalist explaining the scale and nature of Azerbaijan’s victory. Armenians were ready to fight a war of 2000: modern radars, well-equipped armoured vehicles, gun batteries, well trained troops. They had their heads handed to them, or whatever was left of their bodies by the time the Azeri drones had blown them up.

Turkey and Israel made the drones, Canada made the software for the Turkish drones. Azerbaijan, which had lost to Armenia some years ago, was thirsting for vengeance and got it. Hear alll about it. Tanks look increasingly like expensive and wholly vulnerable targets.

 

Douglas Murray says it all

Things are as they normally are. We have been extremely lucky to have avoided revolution completely and great civil unrest since the 1960s. I could blog all day about BLM, defunding police, anarchists, the Democrats. What I observe is an anti-white anti-rational, anti-Enlightenment cultural and would-be political revolution. That is the part of the elephant that I can feel. It is against standards of any kind, the truth, the possibility of truth, the Enlightenment (viz David Hume). It is generated by malignant forces of the Left (because that is what they call themselves) against the rest of society, which they imagine to be on the brink of fascism. As I look around the principal fascist forces call themselves Antifa.

I think we are in a nearly desperate situation, but I think it can still be turned around. But we are in for a decade of increasing civil disorder, greater poverty, and stresses that will lead to war.

Douglas Murray captures my feelings exactly. We have had it so good for so long that we have tolerated fools and termites  in universities undermining the bases of intellectual and moral standards. By their fruits ye shall know them.

 

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

 

 

 

War after Civilization

Thomas Hobbes - Wikipedia

Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679)

Some redneck speaks the truth (below) about defunding police.  I find that the best exponents of what it would be like to live in the “nasty, short and brutish” world of a sovereign-less world envisaged by Thomas Hobbes are Americans, perhaps because they are so close historically to a world without externally imposed order. Some of them escaped authority at the time of the Revolution and have never been tamed since. The redneck in question bears a surprising resemblance to Thomas Hobbes, portrayed above. Coincidence?

 

 

War Before Civilization: the Myth of the Peaceful Savage

Lawrence Keeley’s book, War Before Civilization: the myth of the peaceful savage, is perfect. It cannot be improved upon. I shall explain.

The basic assertions of the book are that war before civilization – which means written records –  was frequent, endemic, extremely violent, total, murderous, and that it engaged  the whole population of the tribes and family groupings involved, men women and children, and involved high proportionate fatalities. It was not ceremonial, ineffective, and rare, nor did it touch only the young men of the tribe. Peace was difficult to negotiate for many reasons, including because the reparations involved could generate new causes of war, for non-payment. There was always another death  to avenge.  No sovereign interposed itself because such a sovereign required statehood, and statehood lay far into the future. So deadly and ubiquitous was the violence that many peoples accepted European colonial justice readily as the less horrible solution to endemic violence.

The author shows the archaeological evidence of bones, arrowheads, spear wounds, fortifications, mass graves of men, women and children. He also relies on the accounts of witnesses from the “primitive” tribes themselves as they were recorded by Europeans in the early stages of first contact.

He also examines the economic rationales for pre-civilized bands to wage war, which are powerful and many. Winning societies gain access to resources by driving off competitors, whether for arable land, hunting grounds, or resources, such as obsidian for weapons or salt deposits.

Professor Keeley confronts the vast efforts of denial attempted by western anthropologists to disguise the war-like history of mankind prior to European colonial contact, and the absurd denials of reality. He argues against what he calls the “pacification of the past”.

He writes:

“The doctrines of the pacified past unequivocally imply that the only asnwer to “the mighty scourge of war” is a return to tribal conditions and the destruction of all civilization. But since the primitive and prehistoric worlds were, in fact, quite violent, it seems that the only practical prospect for universal peace must be more civilization, not less.” (p179)

Keeley situates the issue of war in the context of a continuing debate between the realists, who are, roughly speaking, followers of Thomas Hobbes, who felt that, tp achieve peace,  only the interposition of a powerful sovereign  could solve the problem of human violence, and followers of the illusory twaddle of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who felt that civilization was the source of all our discontents.

“If Westerners have belatedly recognized that they are not the crown of creation and rightful lords of the earth, their now common view of themselves as humanity’s nadir is equally absurd.”

Why is this book so perfect?

  1. It is directed to the general audience of intelligent readers.
  2. It is only two hundred pages long. Brevity is the soul of wit.
  3. It is does not divert from the issue into irrelevant matters, or academic asides.
  4. It is well researched, but not pedantic.
  5. It confronts an important issue – the untruth of the pacific human past – and demolishes it.

The book is an antidote to all thought that the absence of police will engender a state of peace between people and peoples.

Two narratives, utterly different

One is by Charles Eisenstein, which will beguile you in its loveliness and wisdom. He may be right. It is a long read but worth the effort. (Even if by the end you suspect it to be hippie shit). There are many insights along the way that resonate with me, about “safety culture”, the dreadful epidemic of “staying safe” at all costs. Eisenstein concludes:

“The virus we face here is fear, whether it is fear of Covid-19, or fear of the totalitarian response to it, and this virus too has its terrain. Fear, along with addiction, depression, and a host of physical ills, flourishes in a terrain of separation and trauma: inherited trauma, childhood trauma, violence, war, abuse, neglect, shame, punishment, poverty, and the muted, normalized trauma that affects nearly everyone who lives in a monetized economy, undergoes modern schooling, or lives without community or connection to place. This terrain can be changed, by trauma healing on a personal level, by systemic change toward a more compassionate society, and by transforming the basic narrative of separation: the separate self in a world of other, me separate from you, humanity separate from nature. To be alone is a primal fear, and modern society has rendered us more and more alone. But the time of Reunion is here. Every act of compassion, kindness, courage, or generosity heals us from the story of separation, because it assures both actor and witness that we are in this together.”

There are days I can believe this.

Then there is the old-fashioned realist, Fred Reed, talking about men and their favourite activity, war.

“Nobody (except feminists) says the obvious, that all of these evils are committed by….

“Men.

“It is always men–some other men, of course, men of another race or country, or religion or tribe or social class. We ourselves–men–are pure. But however you cut it, it is men.

“The crucial problem for humanity is, probably always has been, how to control men, how to to harness their vigor and inventiveness for the common good while restraining their penchant for destruction, mass homicide, individual murder, rape, pillage, depravity, and foolishness.

“Wars are the vilest masculine behavior. They never end. Wars are not about anything. They are just wars. Men always find something for them to be about, but really they are just what men–men–do.

“The martial urge is deep in the steroid chemistry. Little boys want to play with guns. If you force dolls upon them, they shoot each other with dolls. When grown up, to the extent they ever are, they fight wars. If there is no reason for war, as for example now, they invent reasons. The Russians are coming. The Chinese are coming. North Korea will nuke us. So will Iran. We must gird our loins and fight, fight, fight.”

By the time you have finished reading Fred Reed, you may be ready for Charles Eisenstein’s more idealistic approach. Maybe.

George Friedman

“This is the world as it normally is.” Friedman is talking about us, now. When I said yesterday that failures were normal, mistakes were necessary, I did not then know that Friedman would say much the same in relation to the rise and fall of nations. Conflict is normal. War is a way of adjusting the relative importance of nations.