Has the Red Government had enough of the Blue Government? In the last part, we considered that maybe something historic has taken place. Here, we will look at the background context: USG’s grand strategy, the role of visions and how it is working in practice.
In C. Wright Mills’ The Power Elite he theorised that in the post-1945 American system there were three factions: the Political Directorate; the Corporates and the Military.
The Political directorate (which is a Brahmin run operation) is master of both the Corporates and the Military, or the Warlords, as Mills names them.
The basic problem of imperium in imperio (state within a state) is the incoherence, confusion and conflict that results from divided, competing power structures. Having separate wings, such as an unaccountable bureaucratic wing, or an intelligence agency, is one thing; democracy, however, is another.
Halford Mackinder said that democracies cannot think strategically because they cannot think period; they certainly seem to be unable to think about threats over the long-term (which is also Hans Hermann Hoppe’s point about Western democracy and economics); thus, democracy cannot coordinate various actors and institutions and concentrate on a specific strategy to engage threats (as we shall see).
While America was largely a post-democratic country by 2016, it was not fully; with the Trump election – where the people chose…. for the first time since… – they have chosen a candidate who is a complete outsider and one who wishes to enact radical change. The success of the Trump administration remains to be seen.
Trump has flummoxed not only the entire foreign policy establishment; it has caused consternation and panic in America’s allies (or vassals).
Consequently, the problem of imperium in imperio extends even to the fact that USG is an empire. The vassal states of England, France and Germany, moreover, have their own “state within a state” and the result is friction, instability and incoherence. For example, under the time tested imperial design, the instability and violence in France would be solved by USG appointing a new governor, dispatched with troops, to bring peace to the province. Today, however, France burns, and no one can do anything about it – within the constraints of the current system.
The breakdown in global and domestic security and the resulting political division is, I believe, the most important problem of our era. Trump has grasped this issue intuitively; sober analysts concur; the problem is what to do about it.
The problem is one of political engineering; my hunch was that the biggest reason why the Roman Empire collapsed was that the civilian branch of government kept losing control of the military branch.
Our Problem today, however, is that the military branch has no control over the civilian one.
The solution is unification under a single executive authority with some kind of responsibility mechanism involving succession and selection. It is no wonder that so many people chose Trump, for he acts like a boss- or a king – and that is what America needs.
Anyway, my last article argued that maybe the military have undertaken a coup against the Cathedral by throwing its support behind Donald Trump.
As this article claims, the military branch has grown exasperated with the corporate and political wing.
However, here we will look, very briefly, as to why this might be.
America has now been at war for over 15 years against Islamic radicals. It conducts military operations, without congressional approval or oversight, in numerous countries. Trillions have been spent, thousands have died, yet the threat of Jihad does not seem to be abating. If anything, it is increasing. Furthermore, the military has other possible threats – Russia and China, for example.
Now would be a good time to ask how robust is USG’s grand strategy?
How solid are the assumptions underpinning American grand strategy? How valid are the key ideas that U.S. officials have about how the world works? Such assumptions represent the intellectual foundation upon which American statecraft rests. If the foundation is solid, American strategy has a decent chance of success. If the foundation is shaky, American strategy may collapse.
After one of the most surprising presidential elections in generations, the need to reexamine core strategic assumptions has become ever more pressing. Since the Cold War, the United States has pursued a grand strategy centered on maintaining America’s global primacy and extending the liberal international order.
“Global primacy” — imperium.
Liberal international order — progressive imperium.
That grand strategy, in turn, rested upon a set of optimistic assumptions about the sustainability of American dominance and the direction in which the world is moving. Now, however, those assumptions are coming under greater strain than at any time in a quarter-century, thereby casting the future of American grand strategy into greater doubt.
Coming under “strain” is not even the half of it.
The role of “assumptions”, “axioms” and “unstated theories” in knowledge and decision making:
Assumptions are the received wisdom among the policymaking elite — the intellectual axioms on which policy rests. They may be, for example, the core beliefs that policymakers hold about the nature and direction of the international system, their baseline views on a country’s particular role within that system, or their unstated “theories” about how some action will lead to some desired result. And crucially, although assumptions may sometimes be stated explicitly, they more often remain in the background, creating the implicit intellectual guidelines within which policy debates occur.
In short, the military guys are sticking their dicks into a meatgrinder because of the “assumptions” and “received wisdom” of the likes of Obama, Kerry, Bush and, of course, Clinton.
The problem here is twofold. The first order problem is the assumptions or visions themselves; the second is the awareness that you are thinking with assumptions in the first place, that these assumptions have a history, that they are received, and that they may well be the intellectual equivalent of crack.
Here is what Thomas Sowell, who has written one of the best books exploring the philosophical assumptions of the two main, western political philosophies, has to say about the role of “unstated theories” or “visions” in our knowledge and decisions:
“A vision has been described as a “pre-analytic cognitive act.”
This means that it is not something that has been constructed analytically, or that it emerges via a “judicious study of reality” we might say. It is simply something that “seems” to be given.
“A vision is our sense of how the world works.”
Thus, a vision implies a relationship of cause and effect, which may of course be entirely mistaken. Not only mistaken but deadly.
“The effects of visions do not depend upon their being articulated, or even on decision-makers’ being aware of them. “Practical” decision-makers often disdain theories and visions, being too busy to examine the ultimate basis on which they are acting…”
This is the key point here. To a crack addict, they will shoot up crack or caffeine because they are too busy to examine, or care, which is which.
Nevertheless, we cannot dispense with assumptions, theories, or axioms; they are essential; they must, however, be tested against evidence, and they must produce the desired consequences:
“It would be good to be able to say that we should dispense with visions entirely, and deal only with reality. But that may be the most utopian vision of all. Reality is far too complex to be comprehended by any given mind. Visions are like maps that guide us through a tangle of bewildering complexities. Like maps, visions have to leave out many concrete features in order to enable us to focus on a few key paths to our goals. Visions are indispensable—but dangerous, precisely to the extent that we confuse them with reality itself. What has been deliberately neglected may not in fact turn out to be negligible in its effect on the results. That has to be tested against evidence.”
As pointed out here, this was Clinton’s problem.
Below, Sowell explains how visions underpin theories and how facts confirm theories:
“Visions are the foundations on which theories are built. The final structure depends not only on the foundation, but also on how carefully and consistently the framework of theory is constructed and how well buttressed it is with hard facts. Visions are very subjective, but well-constructed theories have clear implications, and facts can test and measure their objective validity. The world learned at Hiroshima that Einstein’s vision of physics was not just Einstein’s vision.”
Sowell, Thomas. “A Conflict of Visions: Ideological Origins of Political Struggles.
Arguably, war is the fastest and most reliable mechanism for testing one’s theories against facts.
So, how is USG’s war against Islamic Jihadists going?
The general conclusion is that, to the military at least, there is no coherent grand strategy; that the current assumptions, organisation and policies are not baring fruit. In short, the war is not being won.
In war, it is the men and women in uniform who fight and die – not the politician, or the civil servant. In 4th Generation Warfare, civilians are targets every bit as much, if not more so, than people who work directly for the state.
Secondly, and this is a key theme of this series, and especially the last post, the civil religion, the narrative, the formula of America, has been degraded by the actions of the political Brahmin elite.
What are the crucial assumptions that the article claims is under strain?
The article lists six:
Assumption #1: American Military Primacy Today, in the Future, and Everywhere
Assumption #2: The Best Allies
Assumption #3: A Wealthy and Integrated China Will Be a Democratic and Peaceful China
Assumption #4: Great-Power War is Obsolete
Assumption #5: The Unstoppable and Irreversible Advance of Democracy
Assumption #6: Globalization is Inexorable
Assumption #7: Technology Will Save Us
Of course, one can ask if these assumptions should have been adopted in the first place. At the very least, assumptions 3, 4, 5 and 6 are consequences of the post-war, progressive faith.
Now, let’s turn to a strategic document written by policy analyst, Mr. Nathan P. Freier,and thirteen serving officers. The conclusion they have for USG’s current strategy, security for itself and its allies (never mind USG’s global dominance) is not good.
Here are some extracts:
U.S. defense strategists and planners must dispense with outdated strategic assumptions about the United States, its global position, and the rules that govern the exercise of contemporary power.
In fact, the U.S. defense enterprise should rely on three new core assumptions.
First, the United States and the U.S.-dominated status quo will encounter persistent, unmitigated resistance.
Second, that resistance will take the form of gray zone competition and conflict.
Finally, the gray zone will confound U.S. defense strategists and institutions until it is normalized and more fully accounted for by the DoD.
These assumptions, combined with the gray zone’s vexing action-inaction risk dilemma, indicate there is an urgent necessity for U.S. defense adaptation. Without it, the United States introduces itself to enormous strategic risk.
The consequences associated with such failure to adapt range from inadvertent escalation to general war, ceding control of U.S. interests, or gradual erosion of meaningful redlines in the face of determined competitors. These risks or losses could occur absent a declared or perceived state of war.
In the area of policy and strategy, this study found that there is no common perception of the nature, character, or hazard associated with the gray zone or its individual threats and challenges. Consequently, there are gaps in strategic design, deliberate plans, and defense capabilities as they apply to operating and succeeding in gray zone environments.
This study further found that there is significant asymmetry in risk perceptions between the United States, its partners, and their principal gray zone adversaries and competitors. The results of this apparent asymmetry of risk-perception are predictable—loss of initiative, ceded control over interests or territory, and a position of general disadvantage in the face of aggressive gray zone competition.
Finally, this study discovered that there is neither an animating grand strategy nor “campaign-like” charter guiding U.S. defense efforts against specific gray zone challenges. Because of this, U.S. gray zone responses are generally overly reactive, late, and ineffective.
Just like what Mackinder claimed all those years ago.
Then, we have the conclusion:
Global leadership is no longer an assumed U.S. entitlement. If the United States does not reassert its leadership—especially against purposeful gray zone competitors—it hazards loss of control over the security of core interests and increasing constraints on its global freedom of action.
Then, we have something very interesting asserted:
Therefore, it is incumbent on senior U.S. leaders to deliberately plan in a campaign-like fashion to compete for primacy and defend core interests in the space where U.S. dominance is most at risk.
But democracies – or, perhaps, what is worse, semi-oligarchical democracies – cannot do this…
A coherent whole-of-government concept for combatting gray zone challenges would be ideal.
That means, if it means anything, a rejection of imperium in imperio
However, it is likely not forthcoming.
Now this, very interesting claim:
Thus, the DoD should not wait for definitive national-level guidance on countering gray zone competition before thoughtfully considering its own options.
What does “should not wait” mean? Who, whom?
Of course, it cannot act alone. However, with presidential approval, it can leverage its substantial strategy development and strategic planning capacity to design coherent and proactive strategic responses to revisionist gray zone competitors.
And they we are; the problem of imperium in imperio; the rejection of which is the foundation of reactionary political philosophy:
Moldbug’s UR is basically a rejection of competitive division in governance.
UR working from solid ground with Carlyle, De Jouvenel (and additionally it would seem) Carrol Quigley’s insights provides a series of additional analyses based on observable historically recorded behaviour.
The article from War on the Rocks concludes, meanwhile, that:
…… it is hard not to worry that this most fundamental assumption of U.S. grand strategy — that the country can effectively cope with its problems — may be becoming shakier as well. Were this assumption to be further undermined, it would significantly compound the effects of all the other global changes discussed here — and augur a bleak future for U.S. policy and the post-Cold War order it supports.
A bleak future.
So, that is a brief outline of the grand strategic situation, and the central flaw upon which it rests. Fifteen years ago, when I was barely beginning to think about the challenge of Islam, and the invasion of Afganistan following 9/11 (one reason why I chose the blog’s picture) is how can America as a democracy survive in a protracted war against an enduring problem like Islamic Jihad? Where every four or eight years you have changes in government? Indeed, where one side is using Islam as a proxy to undermine the other?
The answer, of course, is that it cannot.
For fifteen years, I waited for sanity to kick in, but it never arrived.
What, however, of the individual military man’s perspective with, say, the Democrat Party and the left’s embrace of Islam?
An enemy that is far and away is one thing, an enemy in the homeland is quite another.
So, imagine our military man who have been fighting Islamic Jihadists in Afghanistan and Iraq for over a decade and, upon his return, he learns that his government (the “Blue government”) is going to import hundreds of thousands, and one day, millions of the same people into your towns and cities.
Might this not strike him as madness, maybe even treason?
So, let’s recap the domestic situation with respect to Islam. I suggest the following reading material.
Islam is a religion of peace, yet:
Islam leads the world in terrorism (political violence), battle deaths and refuges. From the Economist no less! Of course, USG invades the world, and then invites the world.
The truth, as I argued here, against Nicholas Kristof, importing more Muslims will simply mean more Muslims will die.
Of course, we have a chicken and egg question here. All I will say is that the chicken existed one thousand years before the egg. Islam has always been an expansionist and imperial power. Other civilisations are thus doomed to come into conflict with it.
Political violence is on the rise in Europe and the world:
Fareed Zakaria, who is one of the smartest clowns in the circus, thinks the current eruption of political rage might have something to do with mass Muslim immigration:
According to the following poll, which sampled ten European countries, most Europeans don’t appear to want more Muslims:
In our survey, carried out before President Trump’s executive order was announced, respondents were given the following statement: ‘All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped’. They were then asked to what extent did they agree or disagree with this statement. Overall, across all 10 of the European countries an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed and 20% disagreed.
Majorities in all but two of the ten states agreed, ranging from 71% in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy to 47% in the United Kingdom and 41% in Spain. In no country did the percentage that disagreed surpass 32%.
Is it really a mystery why people want this?
A government’s first duty is to provide security; the West is not very secure, is it? Not like Japan, for example? Why might that be?
Why is Japan so much safer than America, England or France?
Why, however, should Americans care about what is happening in Europe?
Well, they have eyes, they have ears, they can read, and they can talk.
Also, it probably doesn’t escape the attention of many Americans who read Drudge, Town Hall, PJ Media, Brietbart or just watch Fox news and see that Europe is, well, fucking insane.
Just like America.
Then you have the Clown-in-Chief, Barack Obama, or wannabe who aint gonnabe Hillary Clinton who actually admires Merkel’s decision; a decision which directly led to rape, robbery and slaughter:
So, if Clinton had won the election, America would have been on the road to ruin like Europe. Which, quite rationally, to many people is an awful and despicable thought – no less to the military, as to millions of Americans.
Clinton, meanwhile, called these Americans “Deplorable” because of this:
You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up. He has given voice to their websites that used to only have 11,000 people — now 11 million. He tweets and retweets their offensive hateful mean-spirited rhetoric. Now, some of those folks — they are irredeemable, but thankfully they are not America.”
What I find interesting is the moral judgement that they are irredeemable. Irredeemable means that someone cannot be saved, or corrected or reformed. It’s not a very Christian attitude is it? And Clinton claims she is a Christian:
“I am a person of faith. I am a Christian. I am a Methodist. I have been raised Methodist.”
“So there is much to be learned and I have been very disappointed and sorry that Christianity, which has such great love at its core, is sometimes used to condemn so quickly and judge so harshly.”
How can Clinton “quickly” “judge” and “condemn” millions of Americans as “irredeemable” and still be a Christian?
The truth is that, like so many other people of her caste, Clinton has nothing but contempt for the masses.
Which, presumably, means she has contempt for the military; where do the military men and women come from? The masses.
Thus, the masses, backed by the military and the police, went over to Trump.
So far, following Fernandez, we have looked at the crisis of security, information and the decision makers within the system; next we will take a look at the economic aspect of the crisis.