Peace Is Conservative

I wonder if the “conservatives” who have spent Veterans Day “thanking our troops” past and present have considered the fact that basically every major war that the United States has ever fought has pushed the country noticeably leftward – often radically so – and towards what Murray Rothbard described as a “welfare-warfare state”. Let us consider:

The Revolutionary War took the country away from a genuinely conservative form of government – monarchy – and, having infused the young nation with the daft and ultimately disastrous ideals of the French Enlightenment, left it with a hideously badly-written constitution and a form of government guaranteed to eventually end up in ochlocracy, socialism, irreligion, and decadence.

The Mexican-American War, along with the Spanish-American War half a century later, gave America the first taste of empire that would lead it down the path to being the welfare-warfare state and global champion of secular socialist democracy that it is today.

The War Between the States put the final nail in the coffin of the decentralized, small-time farmers’ republic that the revolutionaries of 1776 envisioned, and ensured the victory of the forces of modernity, egalitarianism, and industrial scientism that were centered in the north.

World War I was the war that destroyed the west. William S. Lind was right when he said that in the summer of 1914, the Western Civilization put a gun to its head and pulled the trigger. The beautiful Victorian Age was destroyed, the era of enlightened kings came to an end in Europe, the stage was set for Lenin and eventually Hitler, and Europe was fatally and irrevocably destabilized. The hundred years since then have been nothing more than the long death throes of a once-magnificent civilization

World War II has sometimes been, rightly, called “The War to Save Stalin and Empower Chairman Mao”. Not only did it put Communism in power directly in something like half the world, but it also gave the forces of Communism in that half the time and opportunity to destabilize the other half.

The Cold War saved Western Europe from being forcibly taken over by godless Communism, so that they could vote a slightly rebranded version of it in of their own free will later.

The Korean War, mostly forgotten, was a halfhearted attempt to put right some of the horrors that America had itself caused by driving the Japanese from that part of Asia and leaving it instead to the tender mercies of men like Mao Tse-Tung and Kim Il-Sung. It mostly served to prove that we were nowhere near as serious about fighting against Communism as we had been about fighting for it a few years earlier.

The Vietnam War was really two wars – one a skirmish of little consequence in an obscure part of Asia, and the other a radical social revolution in the United States. The good guys lost both – badly.

The incredible events of 1989-1991 gave the world a chance to repent – a gift of grace that only Poland and Russia seem, slowly but surely, to be taking God up on. As for America, it had the chance to not only repent, but to withdraw from the empire business and work on fixing itself – morally, spiritually, politically, and economically. The First Gulf War demonstrated that it had no intention of doing that, but instead meant to establish a “New World Order”; a vaguely Trotskyesque state of permanent global revolution meant to establish secular socialist democracy worldwide, with the American empire at its head.

The 9/11 attack will be remembered by historians of the future as the moment that the “American Century” ended and the age of American decline began in ernest. The wars and the establishment of the ever-encroaching police state that followed the attacks, along with the capture of the mainstream right by the “neocons” (who are perhaps best described as the living embodiments of the welfare-warfare state) all of which were bad enough on their own, also led directly to the backlash that brought the country Barack Obama, gay “marriage”, and Obamacare.

For all of these outcomes, shall we “thank our veterans”?

The truth is that war is inherently destabilizing, and thus is always counterproductive for “conservatives”, as long as we define that term as people who want to “conserve” a political or societal system that has existed up to that point (this may not, therefore, apply to rightist revolutionaries). Peace is conservative, and to lose sight of that simply because the left briefly affected a passion against war when it was in their best interest to do so (note that the leftist antiwar movement basically vaporized the day that Barack Obama was elected) is to allow oneself to be defined by one’s enemies. It is to engage in counterproductive and ultimately self-destructive behavior out of habit instead of reason.

Peace is conservative, and the “conservative” passion for war and worship of the military, which is no more than a particular form of the worship of the state that they claim to oppose, is ultimately not just homicidal, but suicidal.

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Inbound From The Fringes

Noted in stories, columns, and blogs related to the recent events in Egypt – in comments sections, in the dark and obscure corners of the internet, on the fringes (But how much that we face in modern life was at the fringes not so very long ago?) there have been a great many remarks made along the lines of: “If only our military had the guts to do what Egypt’s just did!”.

I’ve long said that any country that worships its military as much as America does is almost certain to end up ruled by it. Perhaps with some pretenses and external trappings of democracy (Note that even Augustus didn’t dare to formally disband the Roman Senate; he simply made it an irrelevant rubber stamp), but with the military as the real power.

I am a monarchist, and not by nature an advocate of military dictatorship (though certainly it is far better than democracy), so I am of mixed feelings about all of this. Make no mistake, however, this sentiment is moving off the fringes – more quickly than most would believe.

The Military Does Not Defend My Freedoms

A refrain that Americans hear endlessly from nearly all ends of the political spectrum, and certainly from the Republicans (who were antiwar in the 1930s, but no longer) and the Democrats (who were antiwar in the 1980s, but no longer), is how “the military defends our freedoms”. This is unquestionable, beyond the pale to doubt in the slightest, a dogma that no one dares question. It is also utter bullshit. The military has never defended any of my freedoms, and, with the possible exception of the “freedoms” of a few select interest groups of particular economic or political potency, has never defended much of anybody’s. Let me ask, then:

When blacks were enslaved and American Indians had their lands stolen from them by force and by fraud, where was the military?

When the blatantly unconstitutional and tyrannical Alien and Sedition acts were passed by Congress and President Adams, where was the military?

When Abraham Lincoln jailed elected Representatives and newspaper editors for having the temerity to publicly oppose him, where was the military?

When Woodrow Wilson jailed Mennonites for refusing to be drafted into his useless European war and Eugene V. Debs for daring to speak out against it, where was the military?

When the rights of American citizens were baldly violated – when the likes of Emma Goldman were deported from their own country, when the West Coast Japanese-Americans were imprisoned by it, and when Anwar and Abdulrahman al-Alwaki were executed without trial by it, where was the military?

When Congress unconstitutionally abdicated its role in setting monetary policy by outsourcing it to a private, for-profit bank called the Federal Reserve, where was the military?

When laughable and nonsensical laws like Prohibition were passed that violated rights in the name of armed do-gooderism, where was the military?

When J. Edgar Hoover compiled dossiers on non-violent, law-abiding citizens under COINTELPRO in an attempt to find ways to intimidate them out of exercising their rights, where was the military?

When one of the most fundamental of human freedoms, freedom of association, was destroyed by the passage of one after another utopian “civil rights” law, where was the military?

When the absolute most fundamental of human rights – the right to life – was destroyed by the Supreme Court in their appalling Roe v. Wade decision, where was the military?

When millions of Americans were drafted into a slave army to fight an unconstitutional, undeclared war in Vietnam, where was the military?

When American citizens were intimidated into not speaking their minds – both leftists by McCarthyism and rightists under the deadly-serious doctrine of Political Correctness, where was the military?

When an all-out assault on the presence of faith in public life – right down to a very real War on Christmas – became ever more powerful and intolerant, where was the military?

When the assault on the right of citizens to keep and bear arms pressed on, where was the military?

When a militarized police conducted combat assaults against admittedly kooky, but essentially harmless groups of American citizens on US soil – the MOVE bombing, Waco, Ruby Ridge – where was the military?

When the country was flooded by millions of Third World proletarians under the approving eye of a government that simply refused to enforce the peoples’ laws, where was the military?

When this resulted in the destruction of the native-born working class of all races and changed the political balance of the nation by, in the words of Bertolt Brecht, dissolving the people and electing another in its place, where was the military?

When the Bush/Obama outrages against civil rights continued unabated – the PATRIOT Act, warrantless wiretapping, Room 641A, Guantanamo, military tribunals, the NDAA, the persecution against and jailing of journalists and whistleblowers like Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Thomas Drake – where was the military?

When our sons – and this time, God forgive us, our daughters – were again sent into unconstitutional undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where was the military?

When the hard-earned money of citizens was involuntarily taken by the government to reimburse crooked bankers for the losses they incurred when the massive financial frauds they had undertaken finally collapsed around them, where was the military?

When the citizens were forced under penalty of law to buy products from private, for-profit corporations in the name of “health care reform”, and when people of faith were forced by these laws to pay for birth control and abortifacients they found morally horrifying, where was the military?

Where were they? At best they were nowhere to be found. At worst, and perhaps more commonly, they were actively a part of denying or destroying the freedoms I am so often told they are there to defend.

So let me hear no more about how the military “defends my freedoms”.