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CHRISTOPHER TAYLOR'S BOOKS

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

SO WHAT DO WE DO? Pt 1: No

I don't have to tell you things are bad. 

Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. 

We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. 

We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' 

Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. 

 All I know is that first you've got to get mad. You've got to say, 'I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!

I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. 

But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: 'I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this any more!'"
-Howard Beale, Network

Last week I wrote about the state of America, how the culture has overwhelmed common sense and virtue, leading to a mentality of "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die."  Faced with the challenge of fighting through the difficulty of tough times and the responsibility required to rebuild the nation, people are fleeing it and seeking the last few moments of pleasure they might find.
So we're faced with this basic set of problems: a nation slumping into disrepair, an economy in shambles about to crash into the rocks, a culture that has lost its virtue, a people who are so immature they reject hard work and personal responsibility, and a political class that has abandoned all restraints of honor and law to achieve power and whatever goals they might desire.
And that's just the beginning.  When I watched the build up to November's national election I was fascinated by the campaign being run by the Obama team.  It was the worst campaign in human memory, a strategy that had absolutely no chance of winning politically.  They continually played to their base, who should have already been locked in.  They were insulting and offensive to everyone except certain specific identity groups small in number.  They wrote off the biggest voting blocs in the past, such as married couples, elderly, and middle class whites.  And they picked the stupidest talking points and topics to hammer.  An old man claiming his wife got cancer because of Mitt Romney.  The claim that Republicans were going to take away contraceptives.  Big Bird.  Binders of women.
It was so stupid I just shook my head.  Who would be stupid enough to fall for that crap?  Well now we know: most of America.  Listening to the stories about people discussing the election is simply depressing.  Women claiming Romney would ban tampons.  Young people claiming the Republicans would outlaw contraceptives.  On an on it went, with the stupidest, most blatantly false and ridiculous claims taken with absolute seriousness.  Only an idiot, someone devoid of reason and critical thought could possibly believe this crap, and millions did.
And that was the strategy all along.  Obama knew he couldn't possibly win an election on politics.  His campaign wasn't about winning, it was about keeping the base on track, getting them to show up.  The actual campaign to win was waged in the popular culture, academia, and media.  President Obama didn't really even have to campaign.  The teachers and professors in education shaped young minds and told the lies they believed.  Popular culture pushed the lies about Romney, ridiculous nonsense that felt hip and trendy.  The news media just blatantly covered up the absolutely horrific stuff that was going on with the Obama administration.
And while this has long been the practice of the left, the country has slumped to such a low of cultural and intellectual nadir that it worked very well indeed.  Mitt Romney ran one of the best campaigns I've ever seen, but it didn't matter because that's not what anyone was paying attention to.  To be sure his tone hurt him too.
Campaigning on hard choices, personal responsibility, achievement, and stories of how great he was because of his business and personal acumen all made Jersey Shore America feel bad about its self.  Every tale at the RNC of someone who made their way without government help made leeches and takers feel disgruntled and annoyed; dude you're making me look bad.  
The left has succeeded not only in taking over the culture and becoming the establishment, but in presenting that establishment as revolutionary and exciting.  That's right, the man thinks he's the revolutionary.  And what's more astounding is that real revolutionaries, real outsiders and counter establishment types are considered the staid old establishment.
In a nation like this, what can we possibly do?  What can we hope for?  Well I know what wont work.


VOTING
Elections are a write off.  There's no reason to even vote at the national level now, especially if you live outside, say, Texas.  The Chicago machine, notoriously corrupt and fixed for almost a century, is now established nationwide.  And even if it were not, the nation's takers and parasites have become the dominant culture finally.  The day we all feared has finally come, when people who live off others and demand they be cared for outnumber the ones they live off.  Those people vote with a wallet like everyone always has, but now the wallet belongs to someone else.
You can't win this politically, and I've known that for decades, I just hoped we could stave it off just a little longer to give the culture time to work.  You cannot change things from the top down, ever.  You can only really change things at the ground level, starting locally and individually.  That means who you vote for at the federal level is irrelevant.  They won't win if they don't fit the machine, and even if by some act of God they managed to, they couldn't get anything done.  False revolutionaries like Ron Paul work in the system to accomplish absolutely nothing except to be corrupted themselves.
PROTEST
Sure, this is always on the table. You can stand outside with a sign, you can sing songs and play bongos, you can write letters and emails and post on facebook. You can wear a black armband you can put a ribbon on your car, with the bumper stickers and the flag. You can fly a Gadsden flag and put an empty chair on your lawn. Knock yourself out.
It won't make a bit of difference. No protests do. None ever have. People on the streets yelling and holding up signs and wearing paper machet heads and burning things in effigy are great fun and make you feel like you're part of something, but the truth is none of them have ever made a damn bit of difference anywhere
What's that you say? It stopped the Vietnam war, it brought about women's sufferage, it gets the French to change their constitution? No it didn't. The protests didn't accomplish a single thing. What the protests did was keep angry active people busy. What made the changes were the shift in culture, the general mod of the country and the work behind the scenes. The Vietnam War didn't end because of protests, the protests took place because the culture was moving against the Vietnam War.
Remember the huge protests around the world against the invasion of Iraq? The impassioned pleas, the violence, the big heads, the signs. All those bull horns, all those songs, all those bongos being played. Didn't change a thing. Remember the Occupy movement? Didn't change a thing. The Tea Party protests? Nothing. You can do that all you want, but it doesn't do anything at all.
SECESSION
As a Christian, I've long understood the desire to become a monk or hermit, to hide way in a secluded place with like-minded people sealed off from the increasingly shocking and awful culture.  And the desire to split one's state off from the rest of the nation is part of that mindset, to run away when you cannot fix what's broken.
We could argue about whether its best to stay and fight or leave and build elsewhere for our entire lives and never find the exact answer.  It isn't clear ever which is best, and even if it was, each person's situation and abilities vary that decision.  Maybe you have no gift or strength to fight, maybe you have a family to think of first.  Maybe you're one of those crazed visionaries like Andrew Breitbart or Samuel Adams, someone who can stand the slings and arrows and welcome them, to the death.
What is sure, however, is that it wouldn't work anyway.  Nobody can secede from America.  The Civil War proved that is nonsense in more ways than one.  First off, America will not tolerate a portion of its economy, people, and resources splitting away from the nation.  Its too costly and we all need that stuff, those people, and that energy.  Texas may brag about how it can legally secede (basically a myth anyway), but the US wouldn't let it happen.
And while I agree that the rural conservative folks not only have the guns but the will and skills to fight and win battles - that's where the bulk of our soldiers come from, and almost all our hunters - it doesn't come down to soldiers and guns.
It comes down to economics, just like the Civil War.  The main reason the South lost, ultimately, was economic.  They had better soldiers.  They had better generals.  They had better equipment.  They had better morale.  What they didn't have was the logistics to keep fighting.  The south starved, it didn't have the factories and the international connections to win.  They were cut off by blockades and diplomatic maneuvering in the North and ultimately they were ground down because of that.  If it had come down to battles won, the South would have had victory, but a civil war like that wasn't about territory, it was about who could hold out longest.  The South did win, they won nearly every battle at first, and most of them overall.  It didn't matter in the end, and the entire region was ruined for more than a century.
The truth is, while the political right has more guns and skill, talent, and masculinity to fight, it can't win a war to split away from the rest of America because it would eventually be ruined.  Not only would the US military (most of it at least, some would join the secession), the world's finest and most powerful, be arrayed against essentially good old boys with their survival kit, America's entire economic and diplomatic power would be arrayed against them as well.  Nothing would get shipped in or traded.  Fuel, energy, processed materials, replacement parts, etc all would be cut off.  States would be starved of federal funds.  Communications would be blocked and jammed.  The truth is, it couldn't be done.
And the final straw that breaks the camel's back is the urban/rural divide.  There is no state in America that has no leftist pockets in it.  Sure, some like North Dakota or Wyoming have very tiny ones, but their overall population is lower than most big cities, so they aren't very significant in the overall scheme.  There are so few people living in Wyoming they would be easily overwhelmed.
No what I mean is this: Even in the state of Texas, the big cities tend left, some of them extremely left.  And in leftist states like California, the rural areas trend right.  If you look at a county-by-county map of any election in the last 30 years, its impossible to understand how a Democrat could possibly have won.  But those pockets of leftist ideology and voting are so populous that they overrule the rural ones.
And if you try to secede, you have to take the whole region with you.  You can't take Texas minus San Antonio and Dallas.  You can't take New York minus the New York City metro area.  You can't take Oregon except Portland and Eugene.
The geography simply doesn't work.  Yes, the rural areas could defeat the cities in their areas, but those cities would never secede.  They would always fight to be American and they'd be fortresses in the midst of the seceding areas, like a medieval castle.  In medieval times, it wasn't difficult to conquer an area, you just couldn't control and win it without taking out the fortresses.  You couldn't defend the entire area, but the castles could send out troops at will and protect them.
Cities are like those castles, they control the areas around them.  And the rural areas could not ever pull away a state leaving these pockets inside them.  Secession just isn't an option, no matter how much we might care for it.  It wouldn't work.
REVOLUTION
Armed revolt seems attractive at times.  When the entire federal government seems to have decided the US constitution is utterly irrelevant and even an impediment, you know the founding fathers would be firing their rifles already.  They'd have taken up arms under Teddy Roosevelt.  And I understand why; for them liberty was more dear than life, and living in chains, no matter how beautiful and comfortable, was intolerable.  At any cost, they would be free.
The problem is, revolutions almost never, ever work.  But for the grace of God, the US Revolution would have ended like all others: in misery and tyranny.  I've written about this at some length in the past, so I won't go on too much here, but suffice to say that this is and should be the absolute last resort in the face of absolute need, not out of frustration, fear, or anger.
GUERRILLA
If revolution isn't on the table, perhaps just armed resistance is, you say?  OK who are you willing to kill to stop President Obama from nominating a supreme court justice?  What neighbor are you willing to blow up with a bomb to punish congress for raising taxes?  Sound ludicrous?  Well that's what it comes down to.  You would have to be killing in protest of policy, and that's unacceptable.
The problem is that on the right we have these things called integrity, honor, and a love of justice and the rule of law.  Its what keeps anti-abortion folks from killing; it would be a violation of what we believe in.  Ending life to defend the sanctity of life is madness and contradiction.  The reason Alinsky's hateful creed works is because the right has standards that it can be made to live up to.  Yes our standards hurt us.  Yes, what we believe in puts us at a disadvantage to people who have no honor or dignity.  Yes, in modern culture it means we're handicapped.  But its part of what makes us who we are.
Abandon that, and you abandon why you're fighting to begin with.  Once you use the enemy's tactics to accomplish your goals, you are betraying your goals, and have lost already.  The enemy then begins to win because you've started down the honeyed path that leads to the same place they sit gloating right now.
There are some acts and there is some behavior which are indefensible.  Like the palestinian who blows up Israelis to protest not being given all of Israel without Jews in it, whatever rightness their cause may have had is lost when that bomb goes off.  Once you cross a certain line, you no longer have justice or right on your side, and you're just a monster.
HASTY
The truth is, all these attempted solutions share the same flaw: they are impatient.  They buy into the modern western man's idea that we have to see results fast or all has failed.  These tactics all presume we have to get things done completely and in a hurry.
We can't.  This took a hundred years or more to build up to, and won't be fixed overnight.  Even if we somehow won a huge revolution while seceding and replaced every lousy politician with a good one, the culture would still be the same, the stupidity would still be out there, and the corruption would still be in place.  This is a long fight, not a fast one.  We cannot turn things around with a single battle or even a series of them.
So what do we do?  That is the question, and I'll try to answer that next in this series.

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